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."

2018 Awardee: Colin Murray

"Without the award I received from the Dewar Arts Awards it would not have been possible to complete my studies. Thanks to their incredible generosity, I am now able to move forward into life as a professional singer."

Biography

Colin Murray discovered singing at a young age, taking part in the National Boys Choir of Scotland before graduating to the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Through NYCoS, Colin had the privilege of singing in some of Europe’s finest concert venues whilst he was still a teenager. These experiences, alongside the top musicianship training offered, gave him the passion and the opportunity to pursue singing further by gaining entry to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Colin’s operatic engagements include the role of ‘Harry Easter’ in The RCS production of Kurt Weill’s ‘Street Scene’, the title role in Victor Ullman’s ‘Der Kaiser von Atlantis’ and covering the role of ‘Belcore’ at the inaugural New Generation Festival in Florence. In his time at the RCS he performed several roles, including ‘Le Roi Mark’ in a rare staged performance of Frank Martin’s ‘Le Vin Herbe’, ‘Don Alfonso’ in Mozart’s ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ and ‘Father’ in Humperdinck’s ‘Hansel und Gretel’ in a performance opening the 2016 Saint Magnus Festival on Orkney. Outside the RCS, Colin is a founding member of the company Raucous Rossini, and has performed the roles of ‘Blansac’ in ‘La Scala di seta’ touring Britain and Italy.

Colin is an accomplished concert soloist and award-winning ensemble singer. He works regularly with many of Scotland’s biggest choral societies and recent high-profile appearances have included Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’ and Walton’s ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ at Glasgow’s City Halls.  He is passionate about ensemble singing and in 2017 won the Governor’s Recital Prize for Chamber Music at the Royal Conservatoire, part of the first vocal ensemble ever to do so. Colin is a founding member of the ‘RCS Voices’ and a regular choral scholar with the choir of Paisley Abbey.

How the Award Helped

Colin’s award supported him in completing his postgraduate studies at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatorie of Scotland, where he studied with Scott Johnson.

"Without the award I received from the Dewar Arts Awards it would not have been possible to complete my studies. Thanks to their incredible generosity, I am now able to move forward into life as a professional singer."

2018 Awardee: Emma Simpson

“I am extremely grateful for the generous support of the Dewar Arts Awards - thank you!”

Biography

Originally from Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Emma became interested in music at an early age, and began learning the bassoon in school. Keen to take it further, she moved to Glasgow to study at the Music School of Douglas Academy for her final years of school.

Here she found many opportunities and was able to meet and play with lots of other likeminded young musicians. She had the opportunity to play with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years and with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland as Principal bassoon.

Emma gained a scholarship to study on the undergraduate performance programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Here she identified the need to purchase her own bassoon, in order to develop as a musician and play professionally.

How the Award Helped

Emma’s award enabled her to purchase a basson, allowing her to develop fully as a musician.

“I am extremely grateful for the generous support of the Dewar Arts Awards - thank you!”

2018 Awardee: Grace Wain

"I am so very thankful for my Dewar Award. It would have been impossible for me to participate in the masterclasses without financial help and I'm incredibly grateful for the generous support that I have received."

Biography

Grace is originally from Lincolnshire and went on to study at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Suzanne Murphy.  She graduated in 2014 with an MA in Opera Performance and a 1st Class BMus (Hons).  During her time at RWCMD she has appeared in concerts with the College Chorus and Symphony Orchestra as well as lunchtime recitals as a chorus member and as a soloist.  After moving to Scotland in 2014, Grace studied with Patricia MacMahon.

Grace’s operatic work includes; Zweite Dame/Zweite Knabe in Die Zauberflöte (Escales Lyriques), Dryade (Cover) in Ariadne auf Naxos (Scottish Opera),La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (Les Azuriales), 2nd Bridesmaid (Cover)/Chorus in Le Nozze di Figaro and Chorus in Eugene Onegin, Aleko/Francesca da RiminiLa Traviata, IolantaLa bohèmeLe VilliL’amico FritzPelléas et MélisandeThe MikadoRusalkaCarmen and Madama Butterfly (all Scottish Opera). Chorus in HMS Pinafore, Princess Ida, The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance (all The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company), Jennifer/The Creator in My Perfect World (Welsh National Opera Outreach Workshop), 2nd Lady in The Magic Flute (RWCMD), Stewardess (Cover) in Flight (RWCMD), Bianca and Auntie in Britten’s Women (RWCMD at The Bath International Music Festival), Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia (RWCMD), Chorus in The Bartered Bride and Chorus in Le Nozze di Figaro (both British Youth Opera).

In scenes, she has also sung: Componist in Ariadne auf Naxos (with orchestra), Rosina in Il barbiere di SivigliaDorabella in Così fan tutteCarmenIdamante in IdomeneoCendrillon (with orchestra), Meg in FalstaffCharlotte in Werther (with orchestra) (all RWCMD), and Hansel (Opera’r Ddraig).

Grace’s oratorio performances include: Handel Messiah, Haydn Stabat Mater, Mozart Regina Coeli KV 267Rutter Feel the Spirit, Mozart Requiem, Mozart Coronation Mass, Britten Ceremony of Carols, Vivaldi Gloria and Magnificat and Pergolesi Stabat Mater.

Grace was a finalist in Ljuba Welitsch International Vocal Compeition 2017, Les Azuriales competition 2016, semi-finalist in The Mozart Competition 2013, a finalist in The Thelma King Award 2013 and 2014, and she was chosen to compete in the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Award in 2009. Additional engagements include: Prince Charmant in Cendrillon (Fife Opera) and Chorus in Edgar (Scottish Opera).

How the Award Helped

In 2018, Grace was chosen to participate in the residential Song Masterclass with Malcolm Martineau at Crear Space to Create. Her Dewar Arts Award enabled her to take up this opportunity.

Grace writes; “The masterclasses have truly been a turning point for me, as they gave me a safe environment to explore and discover different repertoire whilst finding new confidence in myself and in what I have to offer as an artist.”

"I am so very thankful for my Dewar Award. It would have been impossible for me to participate in the masterclasses without financial help and I'm incredibly grateful for the generous support that I have received."

2018 Awardee: Lewis Blackwood

"I’m so grateful to have been given back the opportunity to be taught by the best Scotland has to offer. My dream of being a professional percussionist can live on."

Biography

Lewis has been playing percussion since the age of 3, and by 14 had reached the standard associated with studying at degree level. He is also a talented trumpet player and pianist.

Having been given a drum kit at Christmas, Lewis began dedicating all his time to improving his skills, including busking in Glasgow with his brothers. The family ended up on Real Radio and STV.  Lewis’ passion for percussion continued when he auditioned for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at the age of 7.  At that stage he played drum kit, snare drum and a set of timpani drums (which he bought with the proceeds of his busking).  He was awarded a place in the pre-junior department and was taught there by Lachie Birch, who also introduced Lewis to the marimba.  This has become his favourite instrument.

Lewis is severely dyslexic, which he feels benefits his music due to the right side of his brain being especially strong. As well as gaining a place at RCS, Lewis was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland every year since the age of 9, progressing from the junior to senior orchestras. He has performed in a jazz collective, RCS orchestra, NYOS orchestra, percussion ensemble and RCS choir along with perfoming in stage shows and with ceilidh bands.

Lewis has competed internationally in the Young International Tuned Percussion Competition at the Purcell School of Music.  In 2017 he was awarded the St Cecilia trophy at Larbert High School. He has ambitions to enter the BBC Young Musician of the Year, the Rotary Young Musician Competition and the Colin Curry Competition at RCS. He also hopes to attend a percussion summer school in Germany, run by a virtuoso percussionist.

In the future, Lewis intends to apply to RCS and further afield; to the Royal Academy of Music in London and Julliard in New York.  His plan is to be a solo percussionist like Evelyn Glennie, playing in an orchestra and teaching.

How the Award Helped

Lewis’ Award enabled him to continue his studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

"I’m so grateful to have been given back the opportunity to be taught by the best Scotland has to offer. My dream of being a professional percussionist can live on."