2005 Awardee: Christopher Guild

I have laid myself excellent foundations for a most exciting and fruitful time in the... years to come

Biography

‘Spectacular’, ‘exquisite’ and ‘breathtaking’ are words used to describe Christopher’s prodigious talent as a pianist.  Born in Morayshire, of Scottish/Northumbrian descent, he has been hailed as one of Scotland’s most promising young musical talents.

Christopher started his musical education aged seven and entered St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh six years later.  Christopher’s former teacher at the school is in no doubt that he is an outstanding musician and pianist with unlimited potential.  Amongst his many achievements in piano performance are as Gold Medallist in the Chopin Society of Edinburgh’s competition class at the 2001 Perform Festival, and outright winner of the Moray Piano Competition in the same year, in which he was, and still is, the youngest ever winner.  At the St Mary’s Music School Director’s Recital Prize final, he was outright winner for his performance of Kenneth Leightons’ Five Studies for Piano.

More recently, Christopher performed at the Malcolm Arnold festival in Northampton where he gave the World Premier of Arnold’s Flamenco for solo piano.

Christopher was offered scholarships to all the major conservatoires, but chose the Royal College of Music, London where he is a Foundation Scholar of the piano, studying with the renowned pianist, Andrew Ball.

In his first year, Christopher won the Frankck Merrick Prize for the Best Performance of a Work by a Significant British Composer, adjudicated by Rolf Hind, at the College’s 20th Century Piano Competition.

How the Award Helped

Christopher received a Dewar Arts Award to support his studies at the Royal College of Music in London for four years.

Since the Award

After four intensive years of study at the Royal College of Music, Christopher graduated in 2009 with an outstanding first class honours. Included in the repertoire of his Final Recital was Elliott Carter’s Piano Sonata which Christopher now refers to as his ‘trademark’ piece. He will remain at the College for a further year to complete a Master of Music degree.

Christopher writes, “Thank you for all your generous support over the last few years.  It has not gone unappreciated as, without your help, what I have done and the great things I have achieved would have been impossible.”

I have laid myself excellent foundations for a most exciting and fruitful time in the... years to come

2005 Awardee: Chris MacDonald

Biography

Teenage piper, Chris MacDonald, started playing the bagpipes at 10 and is now one of the top young solo pipers in Scotland.

He is the first piper from Inverness to become a member of the National Youth Pipe Band. To achieve that honour he had to undergo a three-day audition and face competition from 200 other young hopefuls.

Chris has played in the world championships as a member of the Inverness Pipe Band and has won a number of solo competitions including the Inverness Music Festival and the Inverness Mod. At the age of 15 he opened the Inverness Highland Games.

His aim is to study traditional music at the RSAMD, Glasgow.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Chris to upgrade his bagpipes to a set of McCallum Bagpipes, which will help him continue to play at the level he is required.

2005 Awardee: Catriona Hetherington

I am tremendously grateful for the Dewar Arts Award... every day I am thankful! Aside from practising really hard to get to grips with the Caprices myself, the documentation of the techniques is the hardest thing. In addition my brain is being forced to think more expansively than before… I'm relishing new challenges even if they're hard!

Biography

Cellist, Catriona Hetherington, loves extremely challenging repertoire. A specialist in unaccompanied solo cello performance, she has given solo recitals throughout the UK including a performance of all six Bach Suites over two consecutive nights at the RSAMD, Glasgow.

In 2002, she won a Young Soloists Award which led to performances in the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C as well as live on Fox Television. Since November 2002 Catriona has been part of Live Music Now!, which was founded by the late Yehudi Menuhin.

A graduate with distinction of RSAMD, Catrìona won various prizes including the Governor’s Recital Prize (Strings), the Violoncello Challenge Prize and the Hilda Anderson Deane Prize.  Since graduating, she has studied with Robert Cohen in Lugano, Maria Kliegel and Anner Bylsma and has performed for Mstislav Rostropovich.

Catriona is now undertaking an equally challenging practice-based PhD at the RSAMD into violinistic technique on the cello and the performance on the cello of the 24 Paganini Violin Caprices.

As part of her final submission, she will produce a DVD of demonstrations of violinistic techniques and performances of Paganini Violin Caprices Opus 1 for the cello together with written editions of the Caprices.

Early in 2006, as part of her research, Catriona went to the US to view the biggest cello archive in the world and to consult with 87-year-old cellist George Neikrug. Mr Neikrug was very enthusiastic and encouraging about her research and her own cello playing. In turn, Catriona was thrilled to meet one of the last living links to cellist Emanuel Feuermann, who lived in the first half of the 20th century, and was famous for playing the cello with the ease of a violinist.

How the Award Helped

Catriona received a Dewar Arts Award to support her doctoral research.

Since the Award

The original intention was for Catriona to submit for a PhD, however, because of the scope of her research, it was decided that submission for an MPhil was more appropriate.  In 2008 Catriona was successful in gaining an MPhil. It was written of her that “one of the most pleasing aspects of Catriona’s work over the past three years is the intellectual and artistic journey she has made and the maturity of thought she has gained.”

Catriona writes that she hopes that “given that this was research into very advanced cello playing, some cellists may take an interest and use my ideas to further their playing.”

I am tremendously grateful for the Dewar Arts Award... every day I am thankful! Aside from practising really hard to get to grips with the Caprices myself, the documentation of the techniques is the hardest thing. In addition my brain is being forced to think more expansively than before… I'm relishing new challenges even if they're hard!

2005 Awardee: Carla Caramujo

It is with enormous gratitude and honour that I accept the Award

Biography

The Dewar Arts Awards are not just for exceptionally talented young Scots. They can also support exceptionally talented young artists from all over the world, who are currently living and working in Scotland.

Carla Caramujo is one of two Portuguese opera students to receive an Award while she studied at the RSAMD, Glasgow. Carla came to Glasgow after studying with Laura Sarti at the Guildhall School in London. She is ‘an exciting young lyric coloratura soprano with a voice of outstanding quality’ and possesses a voice with instinctive musicianship, impressive range and great potential.

Already a winner of a number of competitions, including first prize in the Musikförderpreis for voice and piano at the Hans-Sachs-Loge in Nuremberg, Germany (with Maki Yoneta on piano), Carla is a vibrant and focused performer with great dramatic potential.

How the Award Helped

Carla received a Dewar Arts Award to assist her in her operatic studies at the RSAMD, Glasgow

Since the Award

Carla gained a Master of Opera degree with Distinction from the RSAMD. Since graduation, Carla has worked in the UK, Portugal and Mexico. She sang the role of Madame Herz in Mozart’s The Impresario in the Teatro das Figuras, Faro. She was invited to audition for La Scala, Milan.

It is with enormous gratitude and honour that I accept the Award

2005 Awardee: Brian McGinley

Biography

When he started playing trumpet at the age of 10, Brian aspired to become a top orchestral player. Even as an undergraduate, his considerable talents were recognised by many of the major orchestras, both within and outside Scotland, for whom he has played regularly.

Brian plays regularly with the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Royal Scottish National, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, Ulster and RTE Concert Orchestras.  He is former principal trumpet with both Camerata Scotland and the National Musicians Symphony Orchestra, London and recently performed as guest principal trumpet with the Orchestra Utopica in Lisbon, Portugal.

Brian, from Yoker, is a keen chamber musician and has performed with the Hebrides Ensemble, the brass ensembles of the BBC SSO and Scottish Opera as well as with his award-winning brass quintet, Thistle Brass, with whom he has performed in venues as far apart as the Great Wall of China to the G8 Summit in Gleneagles.  For further information see www.thistlebrass.com.

In addition to performing solo recitals on modern instruments, Brian has a keen interest in early music and recently performed solo trumpet inBach’s B Minor Mass on baroque trumpet with the Dunedin Consort.

Currently studying for a Masters at RSAMD, Brian has a strong interest in modern music and premiered a new piece for solo trumpet by James MacMillan in 2005, to great acclaim. It is considered that, as his career progresses, he will become a vehicle for and a great exponent of the best of contemporary Scottish music. He is a recipient of the British Reserve Prize for Early Music, the Peter Morrison Prize for Brass and was recently awarded the prestigious Governors Recital Prize for Brass at the RSAMD.  He has received awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Musician’s Benevolent Fund Education Awards.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Brian to buy a pair of rotary trumpets, as well as support a series of lessons with some of the top European trumpeters of his choice.

2005 Awardee: Angus Nicolson

The Daughter of Dewar Award has been a huge benefit to me, both for my career, and for my personal development....if it wasn't for the Award I would not have had the opportunities I have had to date.

Biography

Piping has been in Angus Nicolson’s family for generations. Although no-one in the long line of Nicolson pipers had the opportunity to develop their musical talents to a professional level, until now.

From the beautiful Isle of Skye, Angus was a pupil of the well-respected teacher of piping, Iain MacFadyen.
Angus has won many prizes at some of the most prestigious piping competitions in Scotland, including the Northern Meeting and the MacGregor Memorial Competition.

He has shown his versatility by being equally successful in the light music categories as well as the Piobaireachd categories, regarded as the classical music of the pipes.

Currently at Benbecula College, Angus has his sights set on studying Scottish Music at the RSAMD, Glasgow before going on to a solo career as a piper.

How the Award Helped

Angus received a Daughter of Dewar Award to buy a set of handmade Fred Morrison reelpipes.

Since the Award

Before making the purchase, Angus was able to try Fred’s own set of reelpipes. Since he got his own set, his career has gone from strength to strength. His many performances include a gig at Celtic Connections with fellow Award winner, Sarah Naylor.

Angus writes that the instrument ‘is a joy to play, sounds excellent and is as reliable as anyone could want.’ Owning such a top-quality instrument inspires him to practise even more.

The Daughter of Dewar Award has been a huge benefit to me, both for my career, and for my personal development....if it wasn't for the Award I would not have had the opportunities I have had to date.

2005 Awardee: Andrew Dunlop

A hundred thousand thanks for helping to make my dream of becoming a concert pianist a reality

Biography

Hailing from Connel, a small village near Oban, Andrew is a prodigious musical talent. He started learning piano at the age of 8 with Geoffrey Heald-Smith. He studied harp and composition with Savourna Stevenson, whom she describes as one of her most talented students.

Andrew is an energetic and charismatic young performer with an impressive CV including BBC radio and TV performances, Celtic Connections Festival and the winner of many music prizes.  He has an interest in a broad range of musical genres, which embraces both his commitment to his Scottish musical roots and a passion for the challenge of the piano concert repertoire.

He won the Mòd Piano Competition five years in a row and was then politely asked not to enter again in order to give others a chance! He has represented Scotland at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland, winning First Prizes in the Group and New Song Competition and Second Prize in the International Harp Competition. Also a talented clàrsach player, Andrew performed at the prestigious World Harp Congress in 2002.

More recent competition successes includes reaching the final of the RNCM Concerto Competition, the Manager’s Discretionary Award for outstanding performance at the Jacques Samuels Intercollegiate Piano Competition, and an award by the John Ireland Society of his complete solo piano works.  In 2006 Andrew won the RNCM Ravel Competition, giving him the chance to perform Ravel’s G Major Piano Concerto as soloist with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra.

In 2005, he received a full scholarship to attend the Gold Country Piano Institute’s ‘Mastercourse in Interpretation’ in California. Subsequently, he was selected to perform in several concerts around California.  2006 performances include Mozart’s Concerto in A Major K488 with the Nottingham Youth Orchestra and Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the RNCM Concert Orchestra.

Andrew is studying piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he is considered to be an intelligent and talented pianist with enormous potential.  He plans to continue at RNCM on the Master’s programme for which he has been awarded a Major Entrance Scholarship.

How the Award Helped

Andrew received a Daughter of Dewar Award towards the purchase of a grand piano.

Since the Award

Since buying a grand piano, Andrew graduated from RNCM with first-class honours, the Alfred Class Pianoforte Scholarship for the highest Final Recital mark and the Hilda Anderson Den Award for highest academic marks. He was also the first student to perform two concertos with the college orchestra in the same year. Not to mention being the first student to perform in a kilt.  Andrew attributes a lot of this success to being able to practise on a professional-quality piano.

Andrew is now pursuing an MMus at RNCM. He has also won a Fulbright Scholarship to continue his studies at Eastman College, Rochester, towards a DMA.

A hundred thousand thanks for helping to make my dream of becoming a concert pianist a reality

2005 Awardee: Amira Bedrush-McDonald

I have surprised myself with the amount of progress I've made as a violinist and the whole experience is enabling me to grow in many ways I never expected. This opportunity would [have been] impossible without the kind support from the Dewar Arts Awards.

Biography

According to her violin tutor at the RSAMD, Amira has ‘star quality’ and is quite simply the best violinist he has ever taught. Not only does she have an outstanding talent as a violinist, but she also has the ability to hold an audience. While still at the RSAMD in Glasgow Amira regularly brought the house down at student gigs with her techno-rock ceilidh group, which she formed with friends from school.

After she completed a Masters in music at the RSAMD, Amira could have begun a successful professional career, but she was encouraged to set her professional sights at the highest possible level.

She is currently in a postgraduate programme in Texas studying with leading violin tutor, Brian Lewis.
Shortly after arriving in Austin, Amira auditioned for the University Symphony Orchestra and was thrilled to be offered the post of Concertmaster.  In her first concert she played the solo violin part in Brahm’s Symphony No. 1, which was extremely well received.  After a successful first year, Amira writes, “My dreams seem more accessible now.”

How the Award Helped

Amira received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Texas Music School.

Since the Award

May 2007: After two years studying violin performance at the University of Texas with Brian Lewis, Amira graduated in May 2007 with a Master in Music and the “Outstanding Master of Music Recital Prize”. She writes, “I feel incredibly fortunate that I was afforded the space, time and opportunity to learn such a great deal and also have the support and belief that I was capable of doing it.”

Amira is now working in the UK as a full-time musician. She and fellow Dewar Award-winner, Genna Spinks, have formed a string duo.

March 2017: in 2015 I became a member of the 1st violins in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. For me, this is a dream job which has involved tours round Europe, India and the Far East, and has included making highly acclaimed recordings and also appearances at the BBC Proms. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the support from the Dewar Arts Awards 2005-2007 and know that my chosen career path might not have been possible without it.

I have surprised myself with the amount of progress I've made as a violinist and the whole experience is enabling me to grow in many ways I never expected. This opportunity would [have been] impossible without the kind support from the Dewar Arts Awards.

2005 Awardee: Aidan O’Rourke

What Aidan combines is the best of what I regard as 'Scottishness', outstanding ability and outstanding commitment, all delivered with great humour

Biography

Aidan O’Rourke was brought up in the West Coast town of Oban and moved with his family to the beautiful Seil Island, near Oban, as a teenager. He lived there until going to university in Glasgow at 18.

In 2005 he took up a two-year musician-in-residence at the Tolbooth in Stirling, which the Artistic Director says “is as much about nurturing Aidan’s talents as a composer and musician as it is about the Tolbooth utilizing the talents of the musician”.

In 2004 Aidan was commissioned by Fife Community Services to compose and perform a piece of music to celebrate the visit of his holiness the Dalai Lama to Fife. As part of the project he worked with troubled young people with a broad range of musical talents.

According to all who worked with him, Aidan’s work on the project was ‘inspirational’, both in relation to the composition and to the performance he drew out of the youngsters.

How the Award Helped

Aidan received a Daughter of Dewar Award to buy a new fiddle.

Since the Award

Aidan is a busy recording and performing fiddler at the top of his game, including playing and recording with Blazin’ Fiddles and his new trio Lau. His fiddle was coming to the end of its life, and Aidan badly needed a new one to match his abilities and to enable him to challenge himself musically.

What Aidan combines is the best of what I regard as 'Scottishness', outstanding ability and outstanding commitment, all delivered with great humour

2005 Awardee: Aaron McGregor

I am enjoying the violin very much and am very grateful for the help I have been given

Biography

Aaron writes that “since both my parents are musicians, music has always been a central part of my life.”

Multi-talented Aaron has been playing the violin since the age of 7 and now also plays guitar and piano, sings and writes music.

Brought up in Canada and now based in Orkney, Aaron has immersed himself in the local traditional music scene. He plays with many of the Scottish orchestras and has been involved in several productions at the St Magnus Festival.

Aaron is now studying music at Edinburgh University.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Aaron to buy a performance-standard violin.  A second Award funded the purchase of a new bow.

I am enjoying the violin very much and am very grateful for the help I have been given