Tuesday 2 May 2017
Ferrier Award success for RCM musicians
Royal College of Music performers have enjoyed success at this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards.
Baritone Julien Van Mellaerts has won the prestigious competition’s First Prize following an outstanding performance in the Final at Wigmore Hall on Friday 28 April. Julien is a Fishmongers Company Scholar at the RCM International Opera School, supported by a Thomas Weinberger Award and studying with Russell Smythe. He performed ‘Mab, la reine des mensonges’ from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Go, lovely rose by Quilter, Liebchen, wo bist du? by Wolf, ‘Look! Through the port comes the moon-shine astray!’ from Britten’s Billy Budd, and two Schumann songs, Mondnacht and Der Contrabandiste.
Accompanying Julien on piano was RCM alumnus Gamal Khamis, who studied with Niel Immelman, Simon Lepper, Ashley Wass and Andrew Ball. He won this year’s Accompanist’s Award, having previously accompanied RCM alumna Kitty Whately’s First Prize-winning performance in 2011. This award comes hot on the heels of Gamal’s success at the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Annual Music Competition, where he won the Accompanist’s Prize in March.
Julien commented, 'It was an amazing opportunity to sing at Wigmore Hall and to be honest I still can't believe it all happened. I'm obviously over the moon and very excited about the next stage of my career. It was a real privilege to sing with Gamal, and I'm thrilled we both won.'
The Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship Fund’s Annual Competition offers the chance for young professional singers to compete for glittering cash prizes and instant international recognition. The First Prize of £12,500, Second Prize of £6,000 and Song Prize of £5,000 are sponsored in perpetuity by Mark & Liza Loveday, and the Accompanist's Award is provided by the Help Musicians UK in memory of Arthur & Gwyneth Harrison.