2018 Awardee: Rennie Sutherland

"I cannot thank Dewar Arts Awards enough for enabling me to begin my studies at the Royal College of Music. It is an opportunity few are fortunate to get and so I look forward to making the most of it. Thank you!"

Biography

Scottish clarinettist Rennie Sutherland auditioned and joined the Music School of Douglas Academy in Glasgow in 2011. Throughout his time there and with the support from teachers Josef Pacewicz and Lawrence Gill, Rennie grew as a musician and developed a keen interest in seeking a career in Clarinet.

From 2016 to 2018 Rennie was a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Department and was taught by Alison Waller. Here he was also involved in orchestral projects with conductors such as Christopher Adey and Holly Mathieson. Both as a soloist and within various chamber music groups he won classes at the Glasgow Music Festival.

Rennie was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for 2018. As a result of this opportunity, he was fortunate to have worked with critically-acclaimed conductors including Sir Mark Elder and Sir George Benjamin and perform at venues including Birmingham Symphony Hall, Barbican and at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.

Rennie gained a place to study at the Royal College of Music with Timothy Lines and Richard Hosford, as a Jamie Milford Award Holder.

How the Award Helped

Rennie’s Award supported him in his studies at the Royal College of Music.

"I cannot thank Dewar Arts Awards enough for enabling me to begin my studies at the Royal College of Music. It is an opportunity few are fortunate to get and so I look forward to making the most of it. Thank you!"

2018 Awardee: Stephanie Maitland

"I cannot thank the Dewar Arts Awards enough for their generous funding. Without their support, I would be unable to attend this wonderful institution and I am so grateful...for the chance to further my studies."

Biography

Stephanie has always had a passion for singing. She studied her undergraduate degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on a scholarship where she achieved an Honours Degree of the First Class. During her time there, she participated in a masterclass with Meribeth Bunch Dayme, received coaching from Rachel Nicholls and partook in many poignant choral engagements. She sang the role of Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the RCS Opera Scenes and was a member of the chorus of the Conservatoire’s production of Die Fledermaus in May of 2017.

Stephanie was part of the launch of the Piccalilli Opera Company; a new budding opera company based in the Yorkshire area. She has also worked closely with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society by putting on various concerts in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh church and the House for an Art Lover.

Over the summer of 2017, she joined Opera Bohemia on their sell-out tour around Scotland as a member of the chorus in their production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. She also attended her second British Youth Opera summer workshop as well as attending the Oxenfoord International Summer School.

Having gained a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, Stephanie sang the role of Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen in 40minutes, participated in a weekend residency with Opera North working with Nicholas Kok and Tim Albery, and sang in a masterclass with Andrew Shore. She was also involved in the first recording of Cellier’s Dorothy with Richard Bonynge and Victorian Opera Northwest singing the role of Phyllis (released in Febuary 2019 by NAXOS).

Stephanie was also a finalist in the Frederick Cox Award and has sang in various charity concerts and opera galas throughout the year. She portrayed the Sandman in RNCM’s spring production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, conducted by Anthony Kraus and directed by Stephen Medcalf. She was also involved in Clonter Opera’s Spring Opera Showcase singing a variety of repetoire and working with Michael McCaffery and Anthony Legge.

In summer 2018, Stephanie sang with Buxton International Festival, singing chorus in Mozart’s Idomeneo, conducted by Nicholas Kok and directed by Stephen Medcalf, and singing chorus and covering the role of Zuma in Verdi’s Alzira, conducted by Stephen Barlow and directed by Elijah Moshinsky. Additional engagements include singing the roles of La Principessa in Suor Angelica and Zita in Gianni Schicchi in RNCM’s Puccini double bill, directed by Robert Chevara and conducted by Marin Andre.

Stephanie is very grateful to be supported by The Sir James Caird’s Travelling Scholarship Trust and the Dewar Arts Awards.

How the Award Helped

Stephanie’s Award supported her in studying on the Masters in Vocal Performance course the Royal Northern College of Music.

"I cannot thank the Dewar Arts Awards enough for their generous funding. Without their support, I would be unable to attend this wonderful institution and I am so grateful...for the chance to further my studies."

2018 Awardee: Hugh Mackay

"The generous support of this organisation has provided much needed security while I pursue my studies"

Biography

Hugh Mackay is a Scottish cellist whose musical life comprises many different areas of performance including chamber music, orchestral playing and historically-informed performance. He has played in leadings festivals including The BBC Proms, Enescu Festival (Bucharest) and Festival Berlioz (France), and venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Palace of Versailles.

Hugh received his formative education at St. Mary’s Music School (Edinburgh), where he studied with Ruth Beauchamp, Philip Higham and William Conway. In 2017, he gained a place to study with Hannah Roberts and Jonathan Manson at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he was awarded the Yadegar-Hall Scholarship.

In 2019, Hugh was selected for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Experience Scheme, working with the orchestra throughout 2019 including concerts at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest. He has worked with many leading conductors such as Trevor Pinnock, Thomas Adès, Edward Gardner, John Wilson, Masaako Suzuki, Nicholas Collon, and Ryan Wigglesworth, and enjoys a variety of freelance engagements, such as playing as an inaugural member of the London Contemporary Music Festival Orchestra on BBC Radio 3 in December 2018.

Hugh was the co-principal cellist of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, exposing him to the leading British venues as well as recording works by Strauss and Holst for Chandos Records. In 2017 he played at the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André, France with the NYO, playing Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ under the direction of Gerry Cornelius.

Hugh has performed chamber works at Kinnordy Chamber Music Festival, Petworth Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival, Hatfield Festival and Virtuoso & Belcanto Festival (Lucca) and also the Hatworth Festival.

How the Award Helped

Hugh’s Award supported him in his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Since the Award

2019: 1st Prizewinner of the 2019 Isaacs Pirani Piano Trio Competition (RAM)  alongside colleagues Manuel De Almeida-Ferrer and Wouter Valvekens.

2020: 1st Prizewinner of the 2020 May Mukle Cello Sonata Prize (Royal Academy of Music) alongside duo partner, Junyan Chen

"The generous support of this organisation has provided much needed security while I pursue my studies"

2018 Awardee: Aileen Sweeney

"Being able to study a postgraduate degree will open up so many more career opportunities for me...I will always be incredibly grateful"

Biography

Aileen is an accordionist and pianist of formidable talent and keen imagination. She has performed works by composers such as Dr. Gareth Williams and Dr. Emily Doolittle with some of the leading contemporary music ensembles in Scotland, including The Glasgow New Music Expedition, Ensemble Thing and NOISE Opera, whilst also working alongside the young composers in the RCS Junior Conservatoire.

In 2012 and 2013 Aileen won First Prize in the UK Accordion Senior Recital and Second Prize in the International Accordion Championship Open Solo. In 2016, she founded the folk-fusion band Eriska which she performs with regularly across Scotland, having just released their debut album.

Aileen studied a Bachelor of Music in Classical Accordion and Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In her first year, she was awarded the Tony and Tania Webster Prize for Rare Russian Music. In her third year, she was awarded the Dunbar-Gerber Prize for Chamber Music.

https://soundcloud.com/aileen-sweeney-2

In 2018, Aileen performed Piazzolla’s Concerto for Bandoneon with orchestra conducted by David Watkin as a finalist of The Edinburgh Festival Concerto Competition.  She also became the inaugural recipient of the Geddes-Peterson composition prize at RCS. As the winner, Aileen was asked to write an orchestral work in John Maxwell Geddes’ memory which was performed at his memorial concert.

Aileen graduated from the RCS with First Class Honours, and went on to study at postgraduate level. Her works have been performed by the likes of the Red Note ensemble, RCS Music Lab and the Psappha ensemble.

How the Award Helped

Aileen’s Dewar Arts Award supported her postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

"Being able to study a postgraduate degree will open up so many more career opportunities for me...I will always be incredibly grateful"

2018 Awardee: Michael Gibson

"Thanks to the support of the Dewar Arts Awards, I am able to not only to complete my studies, but also begin preparing and planning the next steps in my development as a professional singer."

Biography

Glasgow born tenor, Michael Gibson, started singing at the age of 14 after much encouragement from his music teachers at Boclair Academy. It was due to their influence that Michael decided initially to follow a career as a music teacher, and went on to omplete a Bachelor of Education in Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating in 2015.

During his time at RCS, Michael studied with both Gordon Wilson and Alan Watt. After completing his probationary teaching year in 2016, Michael decided to pursue his passion for performing. He gained a place to study for a Masters at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and continued on to an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma with Peter Alexander Wilson.

Michael’s operatic roles include Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) and Le Prince Charmant (Cendrillon) at the RNCM and Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) in a semi-staged production at Shrewsbury School. In opera scenes he has performed the roles of Jaquino (Fidelio), Fenton (Falstaff), Lyonel (Martha), Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Fritz (L’amico Fritz). Michael was also a member of Buxton International Opera’s Young Artist Programme in 2018.

Michael’s concert engagements include Finzi Dies Natalis with the Lindsay Chamber Orchestra and the Mozart Requiem with Cantores Salicium in Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire. He regularly performs at gala concerts, both in the UK and in Europe.

In 2019, Michael joins the chorus of Glyndebourne opera festival for their productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia and La damnation de Faust. Following this, he commences further studies at the Royal College of Music’s opera school in London.

How the Award Helped

Michael’s Dewar Award supported him in completing his Advanced Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music.

"Thanks to the support of the Dewar Arts Awards, I am able to not only to complete my studies, but also begin preparing and planning the next steps in my development as a professional singer."

2018 Awardee: Maja Persson

"I am extremely grateful for the Dewar award as it will help me fulfil my passion and further my career and exciting journey!"

Biography

Scottish flautist Maja is a passionate and hard working musician.

In 2014, Maja was awarded a scholarship which enabled her to complete her final two years of schooling at Douglas Academy Music School.  During that period she took part in many diverse musical events including an invitation to perform at the Confucious Institute Annual Conference in London, which coincided with the state visit of the Chinese President. She also performed at the Scottish Parliament and was invited to give a solo performance at the 2014 National Sikh Banquet, in front of invited guests and several MPs.

As a soloist, Maja performed the Ibert Flute Concerto alongside the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Symphony Orchestra in 2016 after winning the Concerto Competition held at the Junior Conservatoire.  She has undertaken masterclasses with Sir James Galway, Michael Cox and Ian Clarke.

Maya gained a place to study on the BMus Performance degree at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Gitte Marcusson and Simon Channing, supported by the Henry Wood Accomodation Trust.  Alongside flute, she has studied piccolo with Stewart McIlwham and at the RCS with Alison Mitchell.

Maja is an avid orchestral musician.  She has played with several orchestras including West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera Connect, NYOS Symphony Orchestra and participated in the NYO Inspire Project.  She was privileged to perform with NYOS at the Royal Albert Hall 2016 Prom Season.  Since her time at RCM, she has played as principal of the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra, RCM Opera Orchestra and performed with RCM Chamber Orchestra alongside members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Maja is also a keen chamber musician and performs regularly with her wind quintet, Ardor Ensemble, as well as with many other small ensembles.

How the Award Helped

Maya received an Award to support her in undertaking her studies at the Royal College of Music.

"I am extremely grateful for the Dewar award as it will help me fulfil my passion and further my career and exciting journey!"

2018 Awardee: Maria Donohue

"Without the support of the award I would not have been able to attend this life changing experience"

Biography

From Brooklyn, New York, Maria is a pianist, improviser, and artist.

Maria studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she gained a First Class Honours Degree and a Masters. She went on to study a PhD at Huddersfield University under the EHRC funded project IRiMaS, researching the psychophysiological responses in group free improvisation.

Maria has performed in numerous concerts in America at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre, The Lotus Club and The Brooklyn College of Music. In the UK she has performed widely, including at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

The core of her work is a focus on audience. For Maria, expanding, adapting, and altering the possibilities for the audiences of live works is of utmost importance for the future of all artistic practices.  She is specifically interested in experimentations in inter-disciplinary collaborations, looking to create new possibilities for merging and adapting artistic spheres. Because of these interests, much of her work utilises improvisation to both devise and question the successful impact of her mixed artistic practice, hoping to adapt to audiences and scenarios. In her improvisations, whether sonic, visual or movement based, Maria looks to uncover and imitate the root of communication.

In her quest for inter-disciplinary experimentations, Maria is part of a number of ensembles and collaborative groups. She has worked with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Tonotopy, a collaboration on image to sound with visual artist Gino Ballantyne, and is also a Founding member of the young artist collective EAST (Experimental Artists Social Theatre) for interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge. Maria has won several awards including the Governors Recital Prize and the New Piano Stars competition. She has worked with leading improvising practitioners such as Phil Minton, Anton Pet and Trever Watts.

How the Award Helped

Maria’s Award allowed her to travel to Australia and participate in the Australian Art Orchestras CMI (Creative Music Intensive). She presented a paper and performed at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. The residency helped Maria to extend her learning of musical traditions outside of her western classical background – a crucial opportunity to immerse herself in learning outside of her expertise and develop her skills as a PhD candidate, performer and teacher.

"Without the support of the award I would not have been able to attend this life changing experience"

2018 Awardee: Hugo Eedle

"Being supported by the Dewar Arts Awards has been invaluable towards my journey as a musician...it has enabled me to study abroad with a teacher who inspires me"

Biography

Hailing from Dumfries, Hugo began playing cello aged 11. At 14, he successfully auditioned to Chetham’s School of Music, where he studied with Nicholas Jones.

Hugo went on to study with Thomas Carroll at the Royal College of Music, and at the Hochschule fur Musik und Tanz in Cologne, with Thomas Carroll. His studies have been supported by the Dewar Arts Awards and by the Holywood Trust.

Hugo has taken part in masterclasses with Karine Georgian, Guy Johnson, Robert Cohen, and Francis Gouten. He has performed with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Milton Court, and Dukes Hall. He has performed many solo concerts as well as with his quartet, who won the Dewhust Torevell competition.

Hugo’s ambitions are to study a masters degree in Germany, and then perform as a soloist and chamber musician in and around Europe.

How the Award Helped

Hugo received support from the Dewar Arts Awards for his studies, enabling him to further his ambitions to become a professional musician.

"Being supported by the Dewar Arts Awards has been invaluable towards my journey as a musician...it has enabled me to study abroad with a teacher who inspires me"

2018 Awardee: Joseph Stevenson

"With the help of an extremely generous Dewar Arts Award I was able to afford the tuition fees...I would have really struggled without the financial assistance I received"

Biography

Joseph grew up in the small town of Moffat in Dumfriesshire, where he taught himself guitar from a young age. He began playing in bands and then went on to write and record his own music.

Having released his first original progressive rock EP in 2013, Joseph was accepted to study at the University of Edinburgh the following year. During his time at university, he wrote and recorded three more albums ranging from rock to traditional music.  As his skills progressed, Joseph began to focus on a career in music for film, TV and video games.

Joseph applied to the highly competitive Composing for Film and TV course at the National Film and Television School in London, and was one of only eight people accepted to start in 2019.

Joseph has shown himself to be an ambitious and innovative composer, who demonstrates originality, passion and profound talent.

How the Award Helped

Joseph’s Dewar Arts Award supported his studies at the NFTS.

Since the Award

In 2021, Joseph’s compositions appeared on the NFTS film Night of the Living Dread.  The film was nominated as a finalist for a BAFTA Los Angeles Best Student Film Award.

"With the help of an extremely generous Dewar Arts Award I was able to afford the tuition fees...I would have really struggled without the financial assistance I received"

2018 Awardee: Laura Wilson

"I feel extremely grateful to be supported by the Dewar Arts Awards...it has given me a further boost of motivation and determination to develop as a musician and therapist."

Biography

Laura began her musical journey aged five, learning piano with her grandmother. She soon began immersing herself in the classical world further, studying the viola and flute. This led her to continue her education at St. Mary’s Music School.

Laura was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (RNCM). Here, she performed and learned with some of the world’s leading musicians, including the resident orchestra for the Montepulciano Arts Festival in 2012 and 2013.

Afrer graduating, Laura worked as a freelance viola player across the UK and Europe, playing with a number of different ensembles. She became engaged in international charitable work, providing musical respite for vulnerable individuals.  This inspired her to share her music with a range of audiences, and so she travelled around the world busking with her viola.

Laura believes that music speaks to everybody. She continues to expand her musical boundaries by pushing herself out of her comfort zone as often as possible. She performs in a range of settings – from nursing homes, community centres, bars and cafes, exploring ways to engage audiences outside of the classical spectrum.  She also records samples for music producers and DJs.

Laura’s work volunteering for charities led her to become a music therapist. She has since seen the benefits of her work in Romania and Bulgaria. She is driven to help people through a therapeutic relationship with music, and aims to share her knowledge with people who are vulnerable in society.  She aims to work in settings such as prisons, with refugees, and in countries that have suffered as a result of war.

Having chosen to undertake formal qualifications in music therapy, Laura aims to use her skills in creative and imaginative ways. She feels confident that she has embarked on the right path, and that Music Therapy will continue to direct her passion, energy and focus.

How the Award Helped

Laura’s Award supported her in studing an MA in Music Therapy at the University of the West of England.

"I feel extremely grateful to be supported by the Dewar Arts Awards...it has given me a further boost of motivation and determination to develop as a musician and therapist."