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To begin on a strong note was Schay Wickham (Junior Royal Academy of Music), who gave a very dramatic and involving rendition of Op 57, the finale was especially exciting and technically fluent, while the forthright opening movement was somewhat flexible rhythmically. The Bagatelle was graceful and light with a touch of reticence in emphasis.

The flowing performance of Op 78 by Sarah Lyo (Junior Royal College of Music) was just a little nonchalant, her interesting choice of sonata slightly marred by some over pedalling and lack of dynamic nuance.

From left to right: jury member Angela Brownridge, Carola Grindea (BPSE UK Vice-Chairman),  three prize winners - Lin Yang, Schay Wickham, Julian Clef and jury members Stephen Savage and Sulamita Aronowsky
From left to right: jury member Angela Brownridge, Carola Grindea (BPSE UK Vice-Chairman), three prize winners - Lin Yang, Schay Wickham, Julian Clef and jury members Stephen Savage and Sulamita Aronowsky

The final performer of the first session was Holly Coma (Croydon Music Centre) whose rather attractive tonal control, especially in the Bagatelle was matched by her arresting Op 31 No 2. There was plenty of tension and bite in the first movement, and the finale caught the mood of restless impetus.

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Copyright © 19 March 2008 Malcolm Miller, London UK

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