2021 Awardee: Rylan Gleave

"Receiving the Dewar Arts Award meant that I could pause my hospitality job in order to focus on my Masters studies. This additional time was absolutely invaluable, and enabled me to graduate with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition Prize, and The Craig Armstrong Prize. Reaching my full potential was an incredible feeling, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to Dewar Arts Awards for their support."

Biography

Rylan Gleave is a Leith-based composer and vocalist whose musical practice involves mending the unfeigned gaps in his classical study with the healings of imaginative neuro-/gender-divergent kinship. As a composer/performer, his work has explored the instrumental qualities of his late-breaking trans-masc voice through queer auto-ethnography and autistic-specific notation. His compositions have been praised as ‘haunting’ by The Herald, and ‘rapturous’ by The Scotsman. The Scotsman also named Rylan ‘One to Watch’ in 2021, describing him as ‘one of the brightest lights in Scotland’s new music scene’.

Rylan’s commissions include pieces for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composer Programme / Presteigne Festival, Crossing Borders Music / Momenta Dance Company, Shadwell Opera, newEar Chamber Ensemble / KC No Divide, Red Note Ensemble, soundfestival, CRIPtic Festival, and Nevis Ensemble. Other projects have included new notes; better days, for which he worked with Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Refugee Musicians in Bangladesh after receiving a British Council Unlimited Micro Award: and KITH, nominated for Forecast Edition 6, Berlin, where he was mentored by composer/performer Sofia Jernberg.

Rylan studied with Linda Buckley, Oliver Searle, and David Fennessy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by a Dewar Arts Award, The Kenneth Barrett Scholarship from the RCS Trust, The Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust, and The John Mathers Trust.

How the Award Helped

Rylan’s Award supported him through an MMus Degree with Dr. Linda Buckley at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he won the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition prize.

"Receiving the Dewar Arts Award meant that I could pause my hospitality job in order to focus on my Masters studies. This additional time was absolutely invaluable, and enabled me to graduate with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition Prize, and The Craig Armstrong Prize. Reaching my full potential was an incredible feeling, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to Dewar Arts Awards for their support."

2017 Awardee: Emily Norris

"The Dewar Arts Awards' incredible generosity and support have opened up a world of opportunity to me and will allow me to realise my full potential and aspiration of becoming a professional singer. Thank you!"

Biography

Born in the Scottish Borders, Emily is a third-generation musician who began singing as a teenager under the tutelage of Patricia MacMahon.

As a youngster, Emily discovered her affinity with opera as it merges her two greatest passions – music and drama – fuelling her ambition to enter a career as a professional vocalist with the ultimate goal of becoming an operatic soprano. Whilst still at school and preparing for her undergraduate studies, she was winner of the regional final of the Rotary Young Vocalist of the Year Competition and a member of the Scottish Chamber Choir.

In 2013, Emily began her Bachelor of Music with Honours degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she was taught by Helen Lawson. During her undergraduate studies, Emily regularly sang in live performances, commercial recordings, radio broadcasts, fully-staged operatic productions and opera scenes.

She has performed as a soloist and chorus member for a number of vocal ensembles including Les Sirènes Female Chamber Choir (BBC Choir of the Year 2012), the RSNO Chorus and the RCS Voices in major venues including Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. She has performed as a chorus member in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s latest production of Die Fledermaus and sung roles including Susanna from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Carolina from Cimarosa’s Il matriomonio segreto.

Emily’s other musical interests include Kodály Musicianship – a philosophy that focuses on the use of the voice. Emily discovered the value of this educational method when she was selected to take part in an Erasmus Exchange in the Netherlands and plans to complete her Kodály training as part of her Master of Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

How the Award Helped

Emily’s Award helped to fund her Master of Music (Vocal Studies) degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This two-year course offers world-class tuition, performance opportunities in major venues, and opportunity to further develop vocal technique.

Performing in Die Fledermaus at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

"The Dewar Arts Awards' incredible generosity and support have opened up a world of opportunity to me and will allow me to realise my full potential and aspiration of becoming a professional singer. Thank you!"

2017 Awardee: Eva Macfarlane

"Without the support of the Dewar Arts Awards, I would never have been able to take up my place here in London...I am excited for the future, and for the opportunities to come!"

Biography

Hailing from Glasgow, Eva is a skilled and respected mezzo-soprano.

From a young age, Eva knew she had a great interest and passion for singing, and attended Douglas Academy Music School to further develop her musical talents. Here, through the combined work of Ruth Dean, Derek Norvall and Mark Evans, Eva developed her ambition to follow a singing career, and in 2013 she successfully auditioned for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Eva studied a Bachelor of Music in voice with Kathleen McKellar-Ferguson, and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2017. During her time at the RCS, Eva was a valued member of the RCS Voices and took part in prestigious performances of the St John Passion (with Bach choral scholar John Butt), and Beethoven’s Mass and Choral Fantasia (with the SSO).

Eva has performed as a concert soloist and operatically, and in 2016 performed the role of Fanny Price in Jonathon Dove’s ‘Mansfield Park’ with the Edinburgh Studio Opera. Other roles include Idamante in the Idomeneo Love Duet (Mozart Idomeneo), Mrs Quickly in the Letter Quartet (Verdi Falstaff), Sesto in Handel’s ‘Cesare’, and Gianetta in Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’.

In 2017, Eva was offered the opportunity to study a Masters of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music, under the tutelage of Elizabeth Ritchie and Coach James Baillieu.

How the Award Helped

Eva’s award enabled her to pursue her passion for singing, by undertaking her Master of Performance (vocal studies) degree at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

"Without the support of the Dewar Arts Awards, I would never have been able to take up my place here in London...I am excited for the future, and for the opportunities to come!"

2017 Awardee: Marcus Swietlicki

"A Dewar Arts Award [will] greatly help to set me on this training path required to reach my full potential and...achieve my goal of becoming a professional opera singer on the international stage"

Biography

Marcus’ first foray into singing was with the The National Boys Choir of Scotland when he was 11 years old.  At the age of 14 he showed prodigious talent, described by tutors as “an extremely exciting young tenor with huge potential” and “the most outstanding young singer of this age group that I have taught.”

Marcus studied under Kathleen McKellar Ferguson, lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. At the age of 15 he performed the tenor solo “Like a Singing Bird” by Chilcott in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall accompanied by the National Boys Choir of Scotland.  He then successfully auditioned and gained a place on the Scottish Opera Connect Course for young singers, and took part in performances alongside professional singers.

Marcus was chosen to take part in a masterclass with Judith Howarth, and in 2015 gained a coveted place in the tenor section of The National Youth Choir of Scotland.  He toured to France as part of the choir, taking part in the Berlioz Festival at La Cote St Andre, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

In 2016, Marcus was awarded the Winifred Crawford Smith Medal for the under 18 recital at The Edinburgh Competition Festival, was invited to take part in the end of festival concert in The Queens Hall, and was awarded First Place at The Glasgow Music Festival for the Oratorio Under 18 Class Competition. He was awarded winner of the Rotary Club Young Musician 2016 Competition (Scotland & NE England Final), sang as part of the NYCoS choir at the London Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, and took part in a two-week tour to the U.S A. He then successfully auditioned to take part in a masterclass at the Junior Oxenfoord Course with Malcolm Martineau.

In April 2017, Marcus performed as the tenor soloist in two public performances of Handel’s “The Messiah” with Abbey Consort Choir.  He was just 18.

Marcus continued his studies at the RCS, tutored by Professor Stephen Robertson on the B.Mus Vocal Studies course. He has a genuine passion for opera and hopes to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional singer and performing on the international stage.

How the Award Helped

Marcus’ Award supported him in his studies at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, on the four-year Bachelor of Music vocal course.

"A Dewar Arts Award [will] greatly help to set me on this training path required to reach my full potential and...achieve my goal of becoming a professional opera singer on the international stage"

2017 Awardee: Niall Anderson

"It is a tremendous privilege to study at such an institution and my Dewar Award has contributed to my studies immensely."

Biography

Originally from the Levenmouth area of Fife, Niall attended the Kirkland High School in Methil before going on to complete a Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Niall’s love for singing was encouraged from an early age, but his passion for classical singing was discovered during his undergraduate degree. Upon graduating from the University of Aberdeen Niall was awarded the Carlaw Music award for all round musicianship. He then went on to gain a place to study at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of  Glenville Hargreaves and Jonathan Papp.

Performances to date include Bach’s St Johannes Passion in Germany, Brahms Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Mess Solennelle and the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Niall made his Wigmore Hall debut in the Autumn of 2017 in a recital with Julian Prégardien and Christoph Schnakertz.

Niall has been a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music Song Circle and a featured soloist in the 2018 Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series.

How the Award Helped

Niall’s Award supported his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music.

"It is a tremendous privilege to study at such an institution and my Dewar Award has contributed to my studies immensely."

2015 Awardee: Klaudia Korzeniewska

This award has made my plans and dreams possible to achieve. I would not be able to continue my studies and certainly could not give my full potential and focus to singing if not for this generous award...Thank you for giving me your support and belief.

Biography

Klaudia begun her musical education at the National Music School in Poland studying flute. After moving to the Scotland she entered the Royal Conservatoire, studying voice with Helen Lawson. During her undergraduate studies she had the opportunity to collaborate with the Scottish Opera on projects that captured her imagination, including Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen and Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea.

Klaudia’s childhood dream was to sing and act, and since discovering a love of opera she found this to be the perfect combination of her two passions. She set out to gain as much experience as possible in the operatic environment, and to study the profession at the highest level.

In 2014, Klaudia went on to gain a place on the Masters in Opera, under tutelage of Clare Shearer. Klaudia has played key roles in numerous high profile performances, and has finely developed her soprano voice. She was highly commended in the Frank Spedding Lieder competition; gained the Hugh S Roberton Prize for Scottish Singing, and won the Tony and Tania Webster Russian Song Competition 2015.

How the Award Helped

Klaudia received a Dewar Award to support her masters studies at the RCS, allowing her to pursue her love of opera and achieve her full potential as a soprano.

This award has made my plans and dreams possible to achieve. I would not be able to continue my studies and certainly could not give my full potential and focus to singing if not for this generous award...Thank you for giving me your support and belief.

2014 Awardee: Juliet Montgomery

The generous support of the Dewar Arts Awards has allowed my aspirations of postgraduate study to become a reality! Thank you.

Biography

Juliet is a soprano with a voice of distinctive quality.  Born in Stirling, she grew up in a musical environment; her mother is a freelance musician who plays and teaches violin and viola.  Juliet attended Stageworx Stage School for six years before beginning tuition in classical singing.  She then went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

During her time as an undergraduate student she proved herself to be “an intelligent, musical singer of promise and a joy to teach”.  On graduating with a First Class Bachelor of Music (Honours), she was offered a coveted place for postgraduate study, reserved for only those students with the greatest talent and potential.

Juliet has played key roles in numerous operatic productions and has performed as a recitalist in a wide variety of venues including the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Halifax Minster and the Bridgewater Hall.  She has also performed solo for the prestigious Bulava Chorus, at the Notre Dame in Paris and the Cathedral of Resurrection in Kiev.

How the Award Helped

Juliet’s Award enabled her to benefit from postgraduate study at the RNCM.

She first completed a postgraduate diploma, and then received a further award to supporto continue her studies on the Masters of Music in Performance course. This course is designed to provide advanced training in solo performance.  As well as world-class one to one vocal tuition and performance opportunities, the course includes regular coaching sessions, language classes, repertoire classes, movement classes, Alexander Technique, acting technique and audition skills classes, equipping Juliet with the knowledge and experience needed to become a professional opera singer.

The generous support of the Dewar Arts Awards has allowed my aspirations of postgraduate study to become a reality! Thank you.

2014 Awardee: Graham McCusker

"Without the Dewar Award I would not have been able to afford to continue my training as an aspiring classical singer"

Biography

Born in Glasgow to a musical family (his father an opera singer and his mother a singing teacher), Graham grew up in Paisley and began singing at the age of five in the Paisley Abbey Choir.  During his 16 years as a chorister he became Head Boy (age 9) and Choral Scholar (age 15).

As a treble, Graham sang with the Scottish Opera and the RSAMD (now the RCS). He also learned piano and continued his studies at the Junior RSAMD before gaining a place at the Douglas Academy Music School.  During this time he developed his performance skills by singing with a number of choirs, including the National Youth Chamber Choir of Scotland, the RSNO Chorus and the RSAMD Chamber Choir.

Graham went on to tutor at the Renfrewshire Schools Senior Choir and then to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has developed a strong reputation as a performer, both solo and ensemble, and has sung at events as diverse as the proms at the Royal Albert Hall and a Radio 2 live session for Boy George and Clean Bandit (with the BBC Philharmonic).

Graham’s ambition is to pursue a career as a classical soloist.

How the Award Helped

Graham received a Dewar Award to fund a Postgraduate Diploma in Solo Performance at the RNCM, and a further award for a masters degree, providing the perfect next step towards achieving his ambitions.

Since the Award

Graham attained his undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. In his second year he was chosen as one of the apostles for performances and a recording of Elgar’s The Apostles. Performances included concerts at the Bridgewater Hall and a prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The CD gained the Gramophone Recording of the Year, amongst other awards, and No. 4 in the classical charts.

Highlights as a soloist include performing Schubert’s Mass in G, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s no. 9th symphony, Brahms’ German Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. Graham regularly sings with the BBC Daily Service Singers on Radio 4 and is a Lay Clerk at Manchester Cathedral.

On the opera stage, Graham was a young artist with Buxton Opera Festival for two years. Roles for the RNCM include Bogdanovich in The Merry Widow and Abraham Kaplan in Street Scene. He went on to be accepted on the chorus list with Scottish Opera.

In his final year of Masters at the RNCM Graham studied with Nick Powell. A composer in his spare time, he has written personal material as well as collaborating professionally. He acted as a composer and music director for the BBC & HBO series ‘His Dark Materials’.  He also writes for Oxford University Press and MacMillan Publishers.

"Without the Dewar Award I would not have been able to afford to continue my training as an aspiring classical singer"

2014 Awardee: Drishti Bundhoo

The Dewar Arts Awards has created a wealth of opportunities for me as a young singer and for this I thank you very much. It is an honour and privilege to be supported by this distinguished trust.

Biography

Drishti Bundhoo is a hard-working and passionate musician whose aim is to connect emotionally to the music she performs and to find her individual voice.

Born in Crosshouse, East Ayrshire, Drishti was brought up in a musical household in Kilmarnock.  Her Mauritius-born mother studied Indian classical music, and has performed and taught in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Drishti’s singing talent was prominent from a very early age. She trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a scholarship to complete her BMus (Hons) in 2014, and studied Spanish classical music for six months in Andalusia.

An engaging performer, Drishti has given solo recitals around the UK, Spain, India and Germany. Most recent performances have included engagements with Indian composer AR Rahman and the BBCSSO at Celtic Connections in 2014, performance for the UK WW1 Centenary commemoration service at Glasgow Cathedral and solo performances at the Glasgow  2014 Commonwealth Games.

How the Award Helped

Drishti’s award has allowed her to study a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she has performed the role of Susanna in Mozart’s opera Le Nozze de Figaro and the role of Tina in Jonathan Dove’s opera Flight.

The Dewar Arts Awards has created a wealth of opportunities for me as a young singer and for this I thank you very much. It is an honour and privilege to be supported by this distinguished trust.

2013 Awardee: Hazel McBain

I feel that this course will really give me the opportunity to explore my boundaries as a performer and make me ready to enter into the profession

Biography

Hazel was born and raised in Glasgow.  A skilled opera singer with excellent technique as well as acting ability, Hazel studied at the Royal College of Music in London before returning to Scotland to study at the Royal Conservatoire.  She graduated with a first class honours and continued her studies with a masters in performance.

Hazel was chosen to represent the Conservatoire in the Maggie Teyte/Miriam Lycette competition, and successfully auditioned for the MBF awards.  Her instinctive creativity earned her roles in productions with the RCS and the Scottish Opera.  Through hard work and dedication she went on to earn a place on the MMus in Opera at the RCS.

The journey to becoming an opera singer is a long one, and the MMus offered Hazel the training she needed to prepare herself for professional performance. The course provided the opportunity to develop her skills as a performer and also as a teacher.

How the Award Helped

Hazel received a Dewar Award to support her studies on the MMus at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

I feel that this course will really give me the opportunity to explore my boundaries as a performer and make me ready to enter into the profession