Form 7 music scholar Jan recently had the amazing opportunity to compete at Bromsgrove School in the national final of the Coach House Pianos Schools Piano Competition on Sunday 5 March. As one of only 6 pianists nationwide to be selected, this was an incredible achievement in itself, placing him in the very top rank of pianists in UK independent schools.
On arrival at the venue, Jan had a chance to try out the recital piano before having a special masterclass session with one of the jurors, Yulia Chaplina. She was full of praise for Jan’s technique and musicianship, as well as encouraging him to explore more dramatic colours out of his playing of Ravel’s Jeux d’eau. Her message was that music is all about taking risks and letting go on the concert platform.
After lunch, Jan had the opportunity to perform his 30 minute recital as part of a wonderful sequence of performances by the finalists, all of whom demonstrated excellent pianism more reminiscent of conservatoire playing than school recitals. The diversity and strength of the performances left the jury of four with a very difficult challenge when selecting their prizewinners. After much deliberation, Jan’s playing was rewarded with Special Jury Award, which includes the chance to give a recital in London at Coach House Pianos in the coming months. The jury applauded Jan’s musicality and the beauty of his playing, and felt that he had a very special talent. We couldn’t agree more, and the whole School community would like to congratulate him on this achievement.
Click here to listen to Jan’s recital in the final.