Yamaha is delighted to announce that a former Yamaha Piano Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, 23 year old Ashley Fripp, is the winner of this year’s Gold Medal, the School’s most prestigious prize for outstanding soloists.
Three Gold Medal finalists each performed a concerto with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Judd to a capacity audience in the Barbican Hall on 2 May 2012. Ashley Fripp's winning performance of Liszt’s Totentanz – Danse Macabre was awarded a prize of one thousand pounds plus the gold medal, generously donated by The Worshipful Company of Musicians. Ashley was awarded a Yamaha piano scholarship in 2010.
A delighted Ashley commented, ‘It is a tremendous privilege to have been awarded the Guildhall Gold Medal and has been an enormous pleasure preparing for this prestigious event with the outstanding support of the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, James Judd and the Guildhall staff. The scholarship with which Yamaha has so generously provided me throughout my undergraduate studies has been a crucial support to me at the most important juncture of my musical development.'
The Yamaha piano scholarship provided Ashley Fripp with financial support, masterclass, practising and performance opportunities.
Ronan O’Hora, Head of Keyboard Studies at the Guildhall School and Ashley Fripp’s teacher said, ‘The outstanding level displayed by the three finalists, matched by the quality of the orchestra under James Judd demonstrate why the Guildhall Gold Medal continues to be such a special evening. As a teacher it is a privilege and pleasure to witness the development of a young talent such as Ashley Fripp.’
The final took place before a distinguished panel of judges including Edward Gardner ENO’s acclaimed Music Director; Richard Morrison Chief Culture Critic at the Times; Joint Chief Executive of Askonas Holt Martin Campbell-White; Jonathan Vaughan, Director of Music at the Guildhall School and James Judd conductor of the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra for the Gold Medal.
The Gold Medal award was founded and endowed by Sir H Dixon Kimber in 1915. Previous winners include Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Tasmin Little (1986) and Bryn Terfel (1989). The 2007 winner Katherine Broderick also won the first prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Award 2007 and was announced as one of ENO’s Harewood singers earlier this year; 2008 winner Sasha Grynyuk also won the inaugural Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize which saw him perform a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall. 2009’s winner Gary Griffiths has performed solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, and made his professional debut with Welsh National Opera in summer 2011. In 2010 the prize was awarded to pianist Martyna Jatkauskaite, who has appeared as a soloist with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuania Chamber Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra and the London Festival Orchestra. 2011’s winner Natalya Romaniw was awarded first prize and the song prize in the 2012 Kathleen Ferrier Competition.
Pianist Ashley Fripp is currently studying at postgraduate level with Ronan O’Hora, having graduated last year with First Class Honours, and is the Derek Butler Trust Scholar. He has given solo and concerto performances in many of the most prestigious venues throughout the UK, including the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Kings Place. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in a recital with two other Guildhall students in January 2012. Recent international invitations have taken him to Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and China. He recently won the Keyboard Prize at the Royal Over-Seas League Competition 2011 and has also made appearances on BBC television and radio.
The Guildhall School is provided by the City of London.