2019 Awardee: Ciaran Roberts-Osterberg

"I cannot express how amazing it feels to be a Dewar Artist, and how grateful I am for the award...I would not be able to take up my place at Berklee if it wasn’t for the help that Dewar has so graciously given me."

Biography

Ciaran is a multi-instrumentalist from Dundee, who started taking lessons on the drums, piano and vocals at school as a way to cope with bullying from his classmates. Ciaran is autistic, which presents challenges for him in everyday life (such as social interactions, mental processing and understanding how other people think). However, music is something that comes very easily to him, and in which he has been able to flourish.

Having studied jazz and improvisation since the age of 15, Ciaran was inspired by greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones and Charlie Parker.  This led him to aspire to his dream of attending Berklee College of Music and becoming a professional musician.

On achieving an offer from Berklee, Ciaran engaged in a campaign to gain the funding required to cover his studies.  He agained support and endorsement from trusts, individuals and celebrities including Curtis Stigers and five-times Grammy Award winner Antonio Sanchez.

Ciaran has achieved some major milestones, including headlining in the Dundee Jazz Festival with his Trio, performing for the US Consulate, playing at the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, and performing for the Royal Family at Windsor Castle. He has played with top UK musicians such as Liane Carroll, Alan Benzie, Pete Johnston, Gordon McNeil, Malcolm Edmonstone, Jules Jackson, and Rick Taylor. He has also had the opportunity to play with Grammy-winner and Berklee film scoring faculty, Claudio Ragazzi.

Ciaran hopes that his studies at Berklee will enable him to meet and have the opportunity to play with some of the best international young talent, as well as some of the music industry’s top performers.

He aims to specialise in Jazz, as well as continuing to perform in multiple genres by leading his own groups and performing with other ensembles as a “sideman”. He hopes to tour internationally, to become an accomplished composer and arranger, and also to become an educator, an autism activist and a motivational speaker.

How the Award Helped

Ciaran’s Award supported him in achieving his dream of studying at Berklee College of Music.

"I cannot express how amazing it feels to be a Dewar Artist, and how grateful I am for the award...I would not be able to take up my place at Berklee if it wasn’t for the help that Dewar has so graciously given me."

2019 Awardee: Frances Allen

"I hope that this creative direction, along with the industry connections that the RCA can facilitate, will be formative in my career as a Sound Artist."

Biography

Born in Inverness, Frances started playing the piano at the age of 6. At age 11 she took up the saxophone which then became her principal study.

After receiving a distinction in Classical saxophone, Frances went on to study Music at the Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh, in 2014. Whilst at Edinburgh, Frances studied Jazz saxophone and improvisation with Edinburgh-based saxophonist Zack Moir, and Classical saxophone with internationally renowned saxophonist Richard Ingham.

Alongside performance, Frances began to explore her compositional ideas under the tuition of Dr Gareth Williams. Improvisation heavily influenced her compositional practices and she began to experiment with the relationship between visual art and musical principles. With her work, Frances drew inspiration from a range of 20th century artists and designs.

After graduating in 2018, Frances has gone on to study her Masters in Sound Design at the Royal College of Art, in London. As part of the School of Communication, Frances is interested in bringing together music and design to explore the possibilities for immersive and interactive composition.

How the Award Helped

Frances’ Award has made is possible for her to study at the RCA and to afford the tuition fees for her Masters.

"I hope that this creative direction, along with the industry connections that the RCA can facilitate, will be formative in my career as a Sound Artist."

2019 Awardee: Joshua Parkhill

"The Dewar Arts Award has allowed me...to play to my full potential while studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland"

Biography

Originally from Ayr, Joshua started playing brass instruments in the Salvation Army through their learner program at the age of four. When he started high school, his grandfather gave him and old trombone out of his loft and then started teaching himself how to play it.

Towards the end of high school, he took part in the Ayrshire music festival where he won the Open Brass Category and then went on to win the Overall Best Instrumentalist. This was where he won The Elizabeth McNair Trophy, James M Clark Prize for Instrumental Music and The John R Chalmers Trophy. After spending two years at the Junior Conservatoire getting taught by Alastair Sinclair he started studying full time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2019 where he is taught by Lance Green on a scholarship place. Currently Joshua enjoys plays with Dalmellington brass band.

Joshua’s ambitions as a trombone player are to graduate the Royal Conservatoire and work as a freelancer in Glasgow. He has a passion for teaching and community outreach through music which he discovered while volunteering to give music lessons at the same learner’s program where he learned how to play.

How the Award Helped

Joshua’s Award helped him to make repairs to his trombone, enabling him to progress in his studies and performance.

"The Dewar Arts Award has allowed me...to play to my full potential while studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland"

2019 Awardee: Melek Ipek Vursavas

"Melek Ipek's award will help her learning environment and developing her piano skills. She thinks that without the support of the award, she would not have been able to attend this life-changing and beautiful experience."

Biography

Melek Ipek was born in Ankara, Turkey, in 2014. She grew up in a musical environment – her mother graduated from a music conservatoire and her grandfather is a musicianship manager.  Melek took her first music and rhythm classes from her family members.

When Melek was four, she began taking piano lessons.  Through this, her piano teacher discovered she had exceptional musical ability. She could easily understand rhythms and notes and proved herself to be a quick learner. Melek is very talented and enthusiastic about the piano and is ever growing in her abilities.

After her family moved to Scotland, Melek Ipek started school in Haghill Park Primary. She began learning the piano under her the tutelage of Ms Alina Horvath at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Early Years Music Department. At the beginning of the 2019/2020 term, she also began attending musicianship classes at the Conservatoire.

According to her lecturer, Alina; “Melek is not only able to communicate and express herself effectively in her second language English after a few months but also the language of music. She has a great understanding of musical pitch and rhythm, and she uses her knowledge efficiently in practice.

She has highly developed motoric skills with great muscular hands supporting her sensitive control over the keyboard. Her coordination skills are excellent, enabling her to put hands together easier than most of the other children at her age. Her concentration is exceedingly good, and she is confident in her performance and presence in lessons. She is not only picking up new materials rapidly on the piano, but also has a wonderful clear voice and she loves singing along with the music.

In addition to Melek’s musical qualities, she also has a positive and open personality, she is a fantastic listener and responds creatively to my ideas and suggestions. She is a self-motivated and enthusiastic child, and she is a student with high musical potential who will be able to take her talents to the next level with the support of Dewar Awards”

Melek Ipek has great promise as a pianist and aims to become a very successful musician who encourages others to get into music.

How the Award Helped

Melek Ipek’s Award supported her studies in piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

"Melek Ipek's award will help her learning environment and developing her piano skills. She thinks that without the support of the award, she would not have been able to attend this life-changing and beautiful experience."

2019 Awardee: Tallulah Molleson

"I am so grateful for my Dewar Arts Award as the support has enabled me to pursue my dream to study jazz in a world class institution and continue to develop my creative ideas and find constant inspiration from a vibrant music scene."

Biography

Originally from Edinburgh, Tallulah Molleson grew up in a musical family and became involved with music and performance from a young age. She attended St Mary’s Music School as a chorister and at age 11 began studying saxophone, which led her to discover an interest in jazz. She went on to play in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra where she further developed this focus.

Whilst playing with big bands, Tallulah developed personal projects merging jazz, neo-soul and hip hop. With fellow musicians Max Carsley, Euan Crawford-Mckee and Mark Sandford, she recorded ‘Marzi’ an EP of original music and jazz standards. With this group, she performed at various venues in Edinburgh and at the Kelburn music festival.

In September 2019, Tallulah began studying Jazz Saxophone at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where she continued to explore her musical ideas, fusing her singing and saxophone playing with inspiration from the many other talented students. Finding the environment stimulating, Tallulah developed her compositional skills, drawing from jazz, hip hop and groove music along her musical journey.

How the Award Helped

Tallulah’s award enabled her to attend the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she was able to learn from world-class tutors and receive support to grow as a professional artist and musician.

"I am so grateful for my Dewar Arts Award as the support has enabled me to pursue my dream to study jazz in a world class institution and continue to develop my creative ideas and find constant inspiration from a vibrant music scene."

2019 Awardee: Daniel Toderas

"The Dewar Arts Award not only helped me financially, but also gave me the chance to pursue one of my biggest dreams...without having to worry about financial problems...words can’t tell how grateful I am for their help"

Biography

Born in Romania, Daniel began to take piano lessons when he was 8 and played his first concert aged 9. At that point he decided that performing was his ‘in his blood’ and it became his dream to play professionally. Daniel began taking part in bigger competitions such as Romania Music Olympics, in which he achieved First Place.

When he was 13, Daniel moved to Scotland and started working with Peter Evans. He was given the chance to perform Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto with an orchestra, and this opened doors to him.  This included an invitation to play Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra in May 2020.

Daniel’s goal is to become a well-known performer, and an inspiration to others. He wants to show that everyone is capable of following their dreams and that anything is possible with hard work.

How the Award Helped

In 2019, Daniel was accepted into the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, to continue his studies with Joan Havill. This represented an exceptional achievement and opportunity for him, and the Dewar Arts Awards are proud to have supported this stage of his development.

Since the Award

Romania Music Olympics – First Place

"The Dewar Arts Award not only helped me financially, but also gave me the chance to pursue one of my biggest dreams...without having to worry about financial problems...words can’t tell how grateful I am for their help"

2019 Awardee: Symone Hutchison

"I will forever be grateful to Dewar for giving me the chance to fulfill my dreams and further my career in music."

Biography

Originally from Raploch, Stirling, Symone started playing trombone at the age of 10 with the programme ‘Big Noise Raploch’ in 2011. Big Noise is part of the larger charity, Sistema Scotland, who works with challenged communities throughout Scotland to give children opportunities they wouldn’t gotten the chance to have.

In 2015, Symone gained a place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department where she studied with Nigel Cox and gained additional musical experience as part of the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra and Brass Ensembles. She also performed as part of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, and the Clackmannan District Brass Band as Solo Trombonist.

Symone has a great passion for performing as well as teaching younger musicians. She wants to ‘give back’ to others, believing that all young people should have the chance to learn a musical instrument and gain the life skills that come along with it.

In 2019, Symone gained a place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Lance Green. This enabled her to develop her technique on the trombone as well as alto trombone as her second study. Symone’s future ambitions are to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and teach at an organisation like Big Noise while also working freelance.

How the Award Helped

Symone’s Award enabled her to buy a professional trombone and supported her living costs during her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

"I will forever be grateful to Dewar for giving me the chance to fulfill my dreams and further my career in music."

2019 Awardee: Liam Bonthrone

"I enjoy using my voice not only through performance, but through enriching the lives of others"

Biography

Scottish tenor Liam Bonthrone was born in Perth, where he attended the High School and received free musical tuition as a member of the Perth Jambouree Singers. He credits the choir’s director Edna Auld for his musical inspiration, and his first singing teacher Fiona Brownsmith for nurturing his voice and musical ear from the age of 11.

A community-based project, the choir performed almost every weekend at local events. Liam was encouraged to develop his stage presence, his capacity as compere, and his ability to accompany other singers on piano. As Liam’s voice changed from treble to young tenor, Edna and Fiona guided Liam’s development.  He went on to successfully audition for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s undergraduate voice programme.

Whilst at the Conservatoire, Liam studied with Scott Johnson and won the Hugh S. Roberton Prize for Scottish Singing, the Leonie Kayser Prize and the Elgar/Spedding Lieder Duo Prize. He continued on to postgraduate study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, under the tutelage of Robert Dean and Adrian Thompson, and won First Prize in the GSMD English Song Competition.

As an Alvarez Young Artist in the Garsington Opera 2019 Season, Liam performed in the choruses of Don Giovanni and as an ensemble soloist in Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.  In September 2019, he made his role debut as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola with British Youth Opera and won both the Dame Hilda Bracket Prize from Sadler’s Wells and the Basil A. Turner Opera Award for his performances.

Liam has performed in masterclasses led by Sir Willard White, Malcolm Martineau, Ann Murray, John Treleaven, John Mark Ainsley and Roger Vignoles. On the concert platform, solo performances have included Handel Messiah and Samson, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Requiem and Mass in C minor, Haydn The Creation, Bach St John Passion, Finzi For St. Cecilia and the Scottish premiere of Joubert’s St. Mark Passion. He also appeared in various roles in the ensemble for Bernstein’s Candide, with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, in the Barbican Centre.

Liam is in high demand as a recitalist; in 2019, he performed alongside the Prince Consort at the Wigmore Hall, and in Graham Johnson’s Song Guild at Milton Court. He was a featured soloist in the April 2019 BBC Boulanger sisters’ ‘Total Immersion’ weekend, later broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and he frequently performs in collaboration with pianist Alasdair Hogarth for Classic FM.

Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include an appearance in a concert celebrating the work of composer Julian Philips, Handel’s Samson at Haddo House, and performing his International debut as Bruno in Bellini’s I Puritani with the Rotterdam Operkoor, in De Doelen.

How the Award Helped

Liam received a Dewar Arts Award to support his postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Since the Award

Update 2020:

In February 2020, Liam sang Russian songs as part of an exchange project at the Mariinsky Theatre, in St Petersburg. He also gained the opportunity to undertake training as a Samling Young Artist.

Alongside a classical singing career, Liam appears regularly in theatres across the UK as part of ‘The Two Highland Lads’, a Scottish variety performing duo, with baritone Kenneth Maciver (also a member of Jambouree), Leonard Brown and his All-Star Band. He has since returned to his hometown of Perth to assist Edna Auld in the training of young voices in the choir, and to perform in charity fundraising concerts.

From September 2020, Liam will study at the Royal Academy Opera School, as a recipient of a Bicentenary Scholarship.

"I enjoy using my voice not only through performance, but through enriching the lives of others"

2018 Awardee: Kirsty MacLeod

"I am eternally grateful for your support without which [my studies] would not be possible."

Biography

After studying at the Music School of Douglas Academy in 2013, Kirsty gained a scholarship for a Bachelor of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Whilst at the RCS, Kirsty was awarded the Robert Highgate Prize for Excellence in Violin, the Mabel Glober String Prize for Chamber Music and was the reciprocate of the Thomas and Margaret Roddan Scholarship and the Wolfson Scholarship. She was selected to partake in the Cantilena Music Festival, where she performed solo and as part of the chamber orchestra.

In 2014, Kirsty was invited by Jacqueline Ross to take part in Festival MusicAlpe in France, and in 2015 she became a freelance member of the RSNO.

Kirsty has performed in venues including Perth Concert Hall, Edinburgh Usher Hall and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.  She has performed for numerous Music Series’ and Festivals including Westbourne Music Series, Rannoch Music Series and Glasgow Cathedral Festival. In 2016 she was invited to the Mendelssohn on Mull festival, where she performed with the Chilingirian Quartet in numerous venues.

In 2017, Kirsty became a freelance member of the Scottish Ballet and the English National Ballet, as well as graduating from the RCS with First Class Honours. She has performed as a session musician at high profile events including the Evanescence UK tour and alongside Susan Boyle.

Kirsty has taught violin and chamber music at RCS Summer Courses and also offers private tuition.

How the Award Helped

Kirsty’s Award supported her in studying a Master of Art at the Royal Academy.

"I am eternally grateful for your support without which [my studies] would not be possible."

2018 Awardee: Ross Montgomery

"I am extremely grateful for the Dewar Arts Awards and their generous support."

Biography

Ayrshire-born clarinettist and saxophonist Ross began his musical studies as a pianist, entering the Royal Scottish Academy Junior Department at the age of eight. At 16, Ross then took up the saxophone and clarinet, studying at Douglas Academy, and moved on to study both instruments at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), completing his Joint Principal Study bachelor’s degree in 2015.

Ross turned his focus to the clarinet during his second year at RCS and during his studies, spent an exchange term at the Conservatorio di Verona E.F. Dall’Abaco in Italy. In 2016, Ross completed a Master of Arts Performance in clarinet at RCS, for which he was gratefully supported by Help Musicians UK.

Performing on both clarinet and saxophone, Ross has enjoyed orchestral experience across the UK and Europe, in 2010 performing the premiere of Katrina Gordon’s Saxophone Concerto with the Highland Chamber Orchestra at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. Ross has performed saxophone with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, clarinet with I Virtuosi Italiani and in 2012 took part in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Mentoring Scheme. In 2016, he was selected to be mentored on clarinet with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and he has played alongside Red Note Ensemble as part of its Advanced Academy collaboration with Paris Conservatoire and Sibelius Academy.

Ross has toured the UK, Umbria and Tuscany performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with Stirling Orchestra and Raucous Rossini, and performed Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet with the Allegri String Quartet for concerts in Honor Oak Park and Richmond. He is a former member of ‘Athenaeum Winds’ – Enterprise Music Scotland artists from 2013-2016.

In 2017, Ross performed as Co-Principal with Southbank Sinfonia, as well as appearing as soloist; performing Weber’s Clarinet Concertino in London and Anghiari Festival, in Tuscany. In 2018 he gained an offerto continue his studies at Royal College of Music, on the Artist Diploma course under the tutelage of Richard Hosford and Tim Lines.

How the Award Helped

Ross’ Award supported him in undertaking his Artist Diploma in Performance at the Royal College of Music.

"I am extremely grateful for the Dewar Arts Awards and their generous support."