Young Musicians Bursary Awards 2016

Imogen Royce receiving bursary award from David Wood

Bursaries have been awarded by Chester Music Society to two outstanding young musicians. Awards of £500 each were made to Imogen Royce and William Bracken at a Music Society concert in St Mary’s Centre on 20th January 2016 in recognition of their outstanding potential and to assist them with their further musical education.

Imogen Royce – Flute. Chester Young Musician of the Year
Imogen Royce is eighteen years old, and has been playing the flute since the age of 9. In 2008, she became principal flute of the Halle Harmony Youth Orchestra, a project filmed for a Channel 4 documentary. Imogen then toured with the Halle Youth Orchestra in 2010 and 2011 to Italy and Cornwall, which inspired her to join the Junior RNCM in 2010, where she studied with Linda Verrier and Noemi Gyori. In 2014, Imogen was awarded a distinction in her ABRSM Diploma. Between 2014-2015, Imogen studied with Katherine Baker, principal flute of the Halle Orchestra. From 2013-2015, Imogen was principal flute of the Halle Youth orchestra, enabling her to be a part of two side-by-side projects with the Halle Orchestra, where she sat as principal for Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique' and Rachmaninoff’s ‘Symphonic Dances’. In 2013, Imogen was awarded a place in the National Youth Orchestra. The following year, she became joint principal flute. Whilst a member of NYO, Imogen has taken part in performances of large symphonic works such as Mahler’s 9th Symphony and Strauss’ ‘Ein Heldenleben’, in concert venues such as the Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall, and the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, working with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder and Francois Xavier-Roth. Imogen enjoyed playing principal flute in works such as Bartok’s ‘Concerto For Orchestra’ and Respighi’s ‘Pines of Rome’. She has also represented the orchestra in live interviews for BBC Radio 3, and in 2015, Imogen was part of the BBC Ten Pieces project, playing alongside members of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. In August 2015, Imogen played in the Young Euro Festival, Berlin, with NYO. In 2014, Imogen made her concerto debut, playing Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G with the Lancashire Chamber Orchestra. Imogen is an RCM Scholar supported by a Herbert Howells and Thomas Fielder Award. She studies with Sue Thomas and Daniel Pailthorpe.

William Bracken – Piano. Runner up
William Bracken, now sixteen years of age, was born into a musical family, and began learning piano at the age of four with Sandy Bowen and later with Dianne O'Hara. In his second year at Wirral Grammar School he was accepted onto the Pianoman scholarship scheme, having regular lessons in London with concert pianist Richard Meyrick and attending residential courses at a variety of venues across England. In 2013 William became a student at the junior Royal Northern College of Music studying with Jonathan Middleton.