2008 Awardee: Daniel Rainey

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for assisting me in fulfilling my goal to become an accomplished musician.

Biography

Glasgow-born Daniel says simply that ‘music is my life and my ambition is to become an accomplished violinist’. Daniel currently leads both the West Dunbartonshire Schools and the West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestras and is a member of NYOS. He has set his sights on studying music at Glasgow’s, RSAMD, where he currently attends the Junior Academy.

Daniel started to learn the piano when he was six and his natural ability immediately shone through. He has continued with both piano and violin, and his playing, both private and public, gives pleasure to many people.

As Daniel progressed with his violin studies, it became apparent that he needed a professional quality instrument to realise his potential as a violinist.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enables Daniel to buy a violin of professional standard

Since the Award

Since receiving the award, Daniel writes that he was able to buy a violin of quality which fitted his needs.  His playing improved immediately, benefiting from the virtuous circle of his being inspired to practice more on a violin of such quality.  When Daniel auditioned for conservatoires he was offered a place at RSAMD, Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal College of Music.  Daniel is now studying music at RSAMD and writes that “many of the achievements in my musical life would never have been possible without Dewar’s assistance.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for assisting me in fulfilling my goal to become an accomplished musician.

2008 Awardee: Scott Galbraith

Biography

Edinburgh born and bred, Scott comes from a family of three musical brothers. Currently a student of violin at RSAMD, Scott had been using a violin on loan from the City of Edinburgh Music School where he was a pupil.

While a pupil at the specialist music school, Scott was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the Lothian Regional and Edinburgh Youth Orchestras. He was leader of the Edinburgh Schools Symphony Orchestra, the Lothian Strathspey & Reel Society and the School String Ensemble. In Primary 6, Scott played solo in front of Prince Andrew. He has competed in the annual Kirrimuir Fiddle Festival in the solo classes, winning a gold, two silver and one bronze medals over the years.

Scott plays with the musicality and assurance of a more mature student. Now that he is entering undergraduate study, he needs a professional-standard violin to match his talent.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award has helped Scott to purchase a good-quality violin.

2006 Awardee: Michael Turner

Biography

At the time of winning the award, Michael is the current under-12 All-Britain Slow Air Champion, and has won numerous other traditional music competitions. He has played at Celtic Connections, Fiddle 2004 and 2005, Ar Ais Aris in Buncrana, Co. Donegal and other Irish and Scottish traditional music showcases.

Glasgow-born Michael started playing the fiddle at the age of four. As both his older brothers are also keen traditional musicians Michael was exposed to traditional music from a young age. He quickly demonstrated his natural talent and flair for music.

Michael has above average artistic talent and potential for his age and the right temperament to perform on stage. He is one of the best musicians in his age group and has the talent, commitment and enthusiasm to go far. His aim is to become a professional musician, but needs an instrument to match his talent in order to progress.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards has enabled Michael to buy a Rab Cherry fiddle.

Since the Award

Michael writes that since receiving his new fiddle his standard of playing has vastly improved. He has since won a clutch of medals in duet, trio, ceilidh band and other group competitions. The achievements he particularly cherishes are winning the All-Scotland Solo Slow Air competition followed by coming 3rd in the British Championships in the 12-15 age group. In 2009 he came first in the Scottish Fiddle Solo competition and then 3rd in the British Championships again. Other highlights of the year were supporting fellow Dewar Arts Awardees, Kathleen Boyle and Lauren McColl, with his group Southside Fiddlers.

Michael says that thanks to his new fiddle, his musical ability and love for music have increased dramatically.

2007 Awardee: Ani Batikian

I am extremely thankful to you, and appreciate your support very much. I would like to thank you and express my deepest gratitude.

Biography

Even before Armenian-born Ani Batikian started her Masters at the RSAMD, Glasgow, in 2006 she was invited to be guest leader of their Symphony Orchestra, to play with the Hebrides Ensemble and to take two master classes with Ilya Gringoltz.

Ani began her musical studies at the age of 15 at the Yerevan State Conservatoire in Armenia, the youngest student ever to study there and supported by a local scholarship. Receiving the Raffi Manoukian full scholarship meant she could continue her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating with a DipRAM for outstanding performance and a PGDip with distinction. When she applied to pursue a Masters at the RSAMD, she was awarded the prestigious International Full Scholarship for being an outstanding MMus student. She now studies with Peter Lissauer.

Ani has performed as a soloist throughout Armenia and Europe. She has performed with some of the major European musicians and received masterclasses with world-class musicians.

Since her arrival at the RSAMD, Ani has underlined her reputation as a musician of exceptional talent by winning the Hilda Bailey Prize, the Governor’s Prize for Chamber Music and the Mabel Glover String Quartet Prize. Shortly after her arrival, Ani formed the Cosmopolitan String Quartet, which she leads, and which has performed throughout Scotland and in London. These positive initial experiences in Glasgow have helped Ani to decide to make Scotland her home, believing that she can establish herself here as a soloist.

Amazingly, Ani has achieved all of this without ever owning her own violin. Throughout her studies she has been able to borrow excellent instruments at each institution, but she has had to give them back at the end of her studies.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will contribute towards a professional standard violin to match Ani’s prodigious talent.

Since the Award

When looking for the right violin, Ani was advised that when she played a violin that she didn’t want to give back, she would know that she had found the right one. Ani chose a Ciciliati violin and has since played it at numerous concerts.

For more information about Ani, her future concerts, and to listen to some of her recordings, see www.anibatikian.com.

I am extremely thankful to you, and appreciate your support very much. I would like to thank you and express my deepest gratitude.

2007 Awardee: Caroline Sharp

Please convey my thanks to the trustees … This money has meant that I can give full attention to my studies in London this year without the worry of financial stress.

Biography

Caroline Sharp has lived in the North-East of Scotland all her life. She is already recognised as one of Scotland’s foremost young violinists.

Caroline’s ambition is to become a professional musician. She is equally proficient on the piano. Caroline has been offered places to study music by four of the country’s leading conservatoires, and has chosen to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Maurice Hasson.

Caroline is considered to be a young artist of exceptional merit, one who combines the innate natural talent to produce the most glorious violin sound with artistic temperament, technique and a flair to perform. Her teachers at the ACMS believe that under Maurice Hasson, Caroline has the opportunity to develop her potential fully and become one of the best violinists Scotland has produced.

Caroline started learning to play the violin at 7 and was accepted into the Aberdeen City Music School when she was 11. She has been part of both the National Children’s Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the National Youth Orchestra String Ensemble, Camerata Scotland and is currently first violin with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help Caroline with the considerable expenses related to studying in a major city. In her first year at the Academy, Caroline writes that she learnt more than she possibly imagined she would. In her end of year performance, she achieved a staggering 90% and gained a Highly Commended in the John Waterhouse Prize.

During her second year Caroline joined the European Union Youth Orchestra and in 2009 toured Europe with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Andrew Litton. A highlight of Caroline’s third year was performing as a soloist in Glasgow and Blackheath, London. In 2010, she toured again with the EUYO playing in some of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe, including the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC Proms.

Since the Award

Caroline graduated with a degree of music performance from the Royal Academy of Music, gaining a first in her principal study, violin.  She is pursuing a career as a professional musician.

Please convey my thanks to the trustees … This money has meant that I can give full attention to my studies in London this year without the worry of financial stress.

2007 Awardee: Catriona Price

Thank you very much! I’m really excited about the new bow ..I’m going to take my time [choosing it] to make sure I get something just right.

Biography

Catriona is considered to be a musician of great energy and panache with the potential to become a leading player both in classical violin and traditional fiddle playing.

Born and bred in Orkney, Catriona started out learning traditional Scottish fiddle playing until her teacher persuaded her that classical music was just as ‘cool’. Now she excels in both styles. Catriona has had success in the BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year twice reaching the semi-final. She has already made her mark in composing much of her own material, drawing on her Orcadian roots.

Catriona spent her last two school years at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh before winning a scholarship to study violin at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester under Leland Chen. In 2006 she played in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall as sub-principal second violin in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain under Sir Colin Davis.

How the Award Helped

Catriona owns a German-made violin and now needs a bow of equal quality to match it. The Dewar Arts Awards enabled Catriona to buy a high-quality violin bow.

Since the Award

After a long period of searching for the right bow, Catriona writes: “The difference in my playing since I got the bow has been tenfold .. The rate of my development and progress over the past year and a half has definitely been accelerated by the opportunity to play on such a fine bow and I am sure that it will comfortably see me through my career, able to help me face any challenge, musical or technical, that I may be given.”

Thank you very much! I’m really excited about the new bow ..I’m going to take my time [choosing it] to make sure I get something just right.

2007 Awardee: Charlotte Mackechnie

Thank you so much for this award; each pound helps me get closer to the violin of my dreams (as corny as it sounds it is true!).

Biography

Charlotte is passionate about music. Her first TV appearance was at the age of five when she sang a solo alongside Carol Smillie.

Charlotte began playing the violin at the age of eight and piano when she was ten. She is also a very promising singer and in 2007 became a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland. In the same year Charlotte won the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year competition.

Since 2004 she has been a student of the RSAMD, Glasgow Junior Academy where she is co-principal second violin of the First Orchestra. Since 2006 she has been part of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. She is also a member of the Junior Chorus of the RSNO, the Starlight Youth Music Theatre, the National Youth String Orchestra of Scotland and the West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra.

Her ambition is to become a professional musician, and already Charlotte shows ability and potential above her years. Her dream is to buy a violin of the quality of the Benjamin Banks violin she has had on loan for some time.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award was given to contribute towards the purchase of the purchase of a professional standard violin.

Since the Award

Pooling her Dewar Arts Award with other scholarships and awards, Charlotte was able to buy a violin by 18th century maker, Benjamin Banks. Since then she gained ABRSM Grade 8 distinction and, amongst other achievements, was highly commended in the Nan Christie Memorial Cup for Strings Open Violin competition at RSAMD.

Charlotte has also begun composing and won the opportunity to compose a short chamber music work under the tutelage of John Maxwell Geddes. Her work was subsequently performed by the Paragon Ensemble in 2008.

Thank you so much for this award; each pound helps me get closer to the violin of my dreams (as corny as it sounds it is true!).

2007 Awardee: Christina Knox

I am very excited to have had my nomination accepted … Thank you so much for the opportunity you’ve given me!

Biography

Glasgow-born Christina Knox started to learn the violin at the age of six and has immersed herself in musical activities since then. She has performed with Scotland’s Children’s and Youth Orchestras, NYOS Futures and the prestigious Camerata Scotland, where she was leader on its summer tour in 2006. In 2001 she won a scholarship from the Glasgow Music Festival to attend a European Youth Summer Music Course, and two years’ running she won the St Mungo Trophy and the Grace Dick Memorial Prize for String Playing.

Christina is currently on a joint course at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where she is achieving success. In her first and second years at College she won the Hargreaves Fund Prize for coming top of the year. Christina is particularly passionate about chamber music and regularly performs recitals in and around Manchester with her string quartet. Her long-term ambition is to become a top-flight performer in Scotland.

Christina has been playing with a bow which was bought a long time ago. In order to achieve her full potential she needs a professional bow to take her into her career.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Christina to purchase such a professional-quality violin bow.

Since the Award

Subsequently, Christina gained a first class degree from the University of Manchester and plans to pursue postgraduate study in performance. She has given solo recitals with the Telemann Ensemble in Glasgow and Millport, travelled to Norway with Camerata Scotland and studied for three months at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with the renowned Polish violinist, Wanda Wilkomirska. She performs regularly with her quartet, the Albion String Quartet.

I am very excited to have had my nomination accepted … Thank you so much for the opportunity you’ve given me!

2007 Awardee: Coline Scobie

I would just like to say thank you immensely for your award … I am overwhelmed .. and cannot express my gratitude enough.

Biography

Edinburgh-born Colin was brought up in Peebles in the Scottish Borders. He won an assisted place at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, where he studies violin, viola and composition. Since the age of ten Colin has been set on a career in classical music performance. Towards that end, his ambition is to study music at one of the London music conservatoires.

Colin led the NYOS Strings in their 2007 Spring concert and performs with the RSAMD Orchestra, the Salomon Chamber Orchestra and the Yetholm Sinfonia. He is leader of the Borders Chamber Orchestra and has co-led the Peebles Orchestra. He also leads both the orchestra and the top quartet in St Mary’s Music School. In earlier years, he performed with Scotland’s Children’s and Youth Orchestras. Colin recently held his first solo recital in Cumbria.

Colin currently plays on a borrowed violin. He is considered to be an exceptionally gifted young violinist both technically and musically and one of the most able violinists in the School.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Colin to buy a quality violin to take into his studies and performing career.

Since the Award

Colin writes that having a new violin and bow has changed his career and life. He successfully auditioned for the Royal College of Music studying with Donna-Lee Croft. He played in many college ensembles and co-led the string ensemble. He sat as leader in a number of student-run orchestras and set up and conducts an orchestra in Ealing Abbey. Colin writes, “I feel that most of this would not have been possible if I had not been able to purchase my new violin; it has also improved vastly over the year and is sounding fantastic.”

I would just like to say thank you immensely for your award … I am overwhelmed .. and cannot express my gratitude enough.

2007 Awardee: Daniel Hunter

I thank … all those at the Dewar Arts Awards for giving me the chance to purchase the fiddle that I have always wanted and I am sure it will make me a better player.

Biography

Despite his young age, Daniel has performed solo and as part of a group at many top traditional music festivals, including Celtic Connections, Ar Ais Aris and the Edinburgh Fiddle Festival. An extremely gifted multi-instrumentalist, he has won several All Scotland titles and has represented Scotland at All Britain and All Ireland competitions through the Comhaltas organisation. Daniel specialises in the performance of Irish traditional music.

From a musical family, Daniel’s ambition is to study traditional music at the RSAMD in Glasgow. All his four siblings play music. Besides displaying his prodigious talents in performances, Daniel exudes a great sense of fun and joy when playing which engages audiences in a remarkable fashion. Daniel has a particular flair for both Irish dance tunes and slow airs and has enormous potential as a player in the Irish traditional music scene in its international context.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards enabled Daniel to buy a Rab Cherry fiddle.

Since the Award

In common with many recipients of a Daughter of Dewar Award, Daniel struggled to get the right tone and sound from his old fiddle, which he found dispiriting. Once he found a Rab Cherry fiddle he liked, Daniel says himself that his playing took a big step forward. Both his quality of playing and his confidence in his instrument improved. He has also developed an interest in composing and arranging music. Daniel’s positive experience mirrors that of many winners of the Daughter of Dewar Award.

I thank … all those at the Dewar Arts Awards for giving me the chance to purchase the fiddle that I have always wanted and I am sure it will make me a better player.