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The Delius Prize

The Delius Prize was inaugurated with the purpose of introducing young musicians to the music of Delius. It was felt that the challenge of a prize competition held at a music academy would provide an encouragement to investigate this repertoire and to study it to a level suitable for public performance. This has proved to be the case, as well over 100 music students have entered the competition since its inception.

The Delius Prize is in two parts: a preliminary round, held in private at the music academy, and a public final. An eminent musician is invited to adjudicate the final event.

The Delius Prize 2018

The public competition for The Delius Prize 2018, sponsored by The Delius Society, took place on 11th May at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  The Adjudicator was Dr David Hill, the eminent conductor and organist.  All four entries satisfied the rules of the competition and were heard in ideal conditions in the Academy’s new Angela Burgess Recital Hall.

Introducing his adjudication, David Hill described his first experience of the music of Delius as the leader of a student orchestra that had programmed On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring.  Though the performance was imperfect, the music lodged in his mind and began an involvement with Delius which culminated recently in a fine recording of A Mass of Life for Naxos.  He emphasised the need, in interpreting the songs and chamber music of Delius, not only to play close attention to the details of the score but also to maintain the pulse and direction which should always be always apparent.  He chose as winners the cello and piano duo of Ye Jin Choi and Kevin Suherman, and awarded the second prize to the soprano Hannah Curtis and her pianist, Gus Tredwell.

Introducing the 2018 Prize, Roger Buckley, who represented The Delius Society, said: “The purpose of this competition is to encourage young musicians to investigate and perform music by Delius, with the incentive of cash prizes for the winner and runner-up, and to perform a twenty-minute public recital, at least half of which consists of music by Delius (the balance being of music by any of his contemporaries).  The previous winners have enhanced their CVs and in a number of cases have gone on to perform, record and promote the music of Delius.  Over the years, the Prize has introduced nearly two hundred young musicians to Delius.”

The Delius Society thanks David Hill for his sensitive adjudication and congratulates all of this year’s entrants, and especially the winners, on their memorable performances.

The programme of the public competition was as follows:

Hamin Kim (cello) and Harry Rylance (piano)
Delius: Romance

Delius: Cello Sonata

Hannah Curtis (soprano) and Gus Tredwell (piano)
Delius: Young Venevil, The Homeward Way, Twilight Fancies, Indian Love Song, Love’s Philosophy, To the Queen of my Heart


Hamzah Zaidi (cello) and Luca Gliozzi (piano)
Delius: Romance

Delius: Cello Sonata

Ye Jin Choi (cello) and Kevin Suherman (piano)
Delius: Romance
Delius: Serenade from Hassan (arr Fenby)
Debussy: Cello Sonata
FIRST PRIZE (£1,000)

The annual Delius Prize competition was first held in 2004.  The first five competitions took place at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  The following five were held at the Birmingham Conservatoire, apart from the 2012 event, which was national in scope and held in the course of the Chetham’s School, Manchester, Delius Festival in October 2012.  The Delius Prize competition returned to the Royal Academy in 2015.

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Delius Society,
Delius Trust, 13 Calico Row, Plantation Wharf, London, SW11 3YH. Tel: 0207 924 4250

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