The Dewhurst Torevell annual Chetham’s Music school prize 2012

May 16th, 2012, by Phil Bennett

The 15th annual Dewhurst Torevell competition took place at Chetham’s School of Music on Thursday 10th May where 42 guests judged performances from 4 student ensembles, selected by Stephen Threlfall, Director of Music at Chetham’s.

Mathis Picard (piano) and Greg Barker (saxophone) won the award despite having to improvise at the last minute when the other 3 members of their Jazz quintet were struck down by illness.

The duo impressed the audience of judges with their musical rapport and passion and they were awarded a cheque for £1,000 which will be used to buy equipment for the jazz department.

All of the students were highly commended for their excellent presentations. One guest observed: “What was truly exceptional about the event was the element of drama in their presentation of the music. I loved how the string quartet performed “Sunrise” by Haydn in their pyjamas and the wind quintet had dancers in 1920s costume on the stage as they played the Charleston”.

The Dewhurst Torevell annual Chetham’s Music school prize has been in existence since 1997 and this year the audience were treated to performances by a wind quintet, a string quartet and a piano duet in addition to the winning act.

Held in Chetham’s Baronial Hall, the competition requires performers to present their chosen pieces of music to the audience who then vote for the winning act. The prize is awarded on the basis of the presentation of the piece, rather than the quality of the music, which was again extremely high this year.

Dewhurst Torevell and Chetham’s

Dewhurst Torevell has supported Chetham’s School of Music for many years and in addition to sponsoring the Dewhurst Torevell prize they are the major series sponsor for Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra.

Previous winners of the Dewhurst Torevell annual Chetham’s Music school prize include The Wu Quartet, Rebecca Herman and Guy Johnston.

About the 2012 winners

Jazz pianist Mathis Picard is 16 years old, from France, and studies with Les Chisnall. Mathis will be going to the Juilliard School in New York next year.

Saxophonist Greg Barker is 17 years old, from Huddersfield, and studies with Andrew Wilson. Greg has been accepted by the Royal College of Music.