MSF | Bath Young Musician
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Bath Young Musician

Bath Young Musician 2023


Five talented musicians competed for the title of Bath Young Musician of the Year in the magnificent Pump Room, home to centuries of classical concerts. This is one of the Mid-Somerset Festival’s most celebrated events as all the participants gained outstanding marks in the March festival. Based on the BBC’s competition of the same name, it has acted as a springboard for the past 36 years in launching many musical careers and some former winners have returned to adjudicate.


The competition began with Indira Pandit on the cello, giving full expression and texture to the music of Debussy and Shostakovich. This was followed by the rich, joyous sounds of Dorothy Hodge’s alto saxophone which filled the high-ceilinged ballroom. Rebecca Shea said she loved the first of her pieces, Frank Bridge’s Allegro Appassionata, because, ‘it explores the full range of the viola’ and her enjoyment was well-communicated to the audience. She ended her repertoire with an arrangement of Prokofiev’s ‘Dance of the Knights’, now familiar as the theme tune to ‘The Apprentice.’  Amelia Wise exhibited tremendous breath control in her clarinet playing and gave a varied repertoire with pieces from Poulenc, Schumann and Stravinsky.  Finally, Alexander Bichard took to the stage, performing on both the violin and viola. He opened with Bloch’s ‘Nigun’, a highly-charged, emotional piece written just after the first World War. Alexander is passionate about early 20th Century music and his playing was engaged and seemingly effortless. 


Adjudicator Simon Kudurand praised all the young musicians and said their playing was fantastic but the three adjudicators were unanimous in their decision and Dorothy Hodge was named Bath Young Musician of the Year. Her contrasting repertoire, with pieces from Darius Milhaud, Michael McGlynn and Jules Demersseman, displayed her virtuosity and phenomenal stage presence.


The Mayor of Bath Cllr Dine Romero congratulated the talented performers and presented the winner’s trophy while Paul Roper gave each competitor a certificate and cash prize on behalf of the Roper family, the festival’s chief sponsor. 



Dorothy Hodge Winner of Bath Young Musician

Amelia Wise Bath Young Musician 2023 runner up

Indira Pandit Bath Young Musician 2023 runner up

Rebecca O’Shea Bath Young Musician 2023 runner up

Alex Bichard Bath Young Musician 2023 runner up

Bath Young Musician 2022

Left to right Jack Harris (euphonium), Evie Maya (violin), The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Bath Clir Rob Appleyard, Ruben Ridyard (piano), Megan Ong (‘cello) and Amelia Wise (clarinet)..

Amelia Wise 2022 runner up performing Debussy – Premiere Rhapsodie and John Williams – Viktor’s Tale from ‘The Terminal’. Accompanied by Abigail Wise

Megan Ong 2022 runner up performing Bach – Prelude from Suite no 4 and Rachmaninoff – Vocalise. Accompanied by George Fradley

Ruben Ridyard 2022 winner performing E Dohnanyi – Rhapsody no 3 opus 11 and Beethoven – Grande Sonate in C minor opus 13, Pathetique 1st movement

Evie Maya 2022 runner up performing C C White – Levee Dance , F Kreisler – Liebesleid and F Kreisler – Tambourin Chinois. Accompanied by Maria Garcia

Jack Harris 2022 runner up performing Joseph Horovitz Euphonium Concerto, Karl Jenkins – Euphonium Concerto, Romanza and Peter Graham – Whirlwind Accompanied by Susan Avison


Bath Young Musician of the Year 2023 will take place on Wednesday October 11 in the Pump Room Bath.  This event features a group of highly talented young local musicians and an evening of outstanding performances.  It is a much anticipated part of Bath’s musical scene and the Mid-Somerset Festival takes great pride in knowing that many competitors over the years have gone on to enjoy successful musical careers.

The five young performers taking part are: Alexander Bichard – violin, Dorothy Hodge – alto saxophone, Rebecca O’Shea – viola, Indira Pandit –  ‘cello, Amelia Wise – clarinet.

Last year’s winner, Ruben Ridyard returns to play the piano while the adjudicators make their decision.

Do come and join us for this very special evening and enjoy the performances of these exciting young talents and stars of the future.

Tickets  £15 or £10 (age 18 and under) from Bath Box Office Tel: 01225 463362


2018 Finalists with the Mayor of Bath Clir Patrick Anketell-Jones

2017 Finalists with Councillor Cherry Beath



History of the Bath Young Musician of the Year event


November 2017 marked thirty years since the first Bath Young Musician of the Year contest when Liam Gribbin (flute) won the event. Since then it has been held every year, except 1988.


Finalists for this event are selected from those who have done very well in their vocal or instrumental classes in the previous March Mid-Somerset Festival. Competitors must be under 21 and live or study in Bath or within a 15 mile radius of the city.


Liam Gribbin has recently written:


“Winning the Bath Young Musician in 1987 meant a great deal. It galvanized me, a somewhat haphazard 18 year old, as Mary King may recall, and left me with no doubts about following a musical path as a flautist for the foreseeable future. I was extremely lucky that, for its first year, the final was a grand concert in the Guildhall and the prize was a wonderful trip to Australia as part of the bicentenary celebrations with the Mayor of Bath. I performed a number of concerts in Sydney and explained to countless Australians the link between Sydney and Bath. I went on to Music College later that year in London and then remained in the classical profession for a number of years afterwards. While I have not pursued music as my long-term career, winning that prize was a springboard not only into more flute performance, but also into an adulthood filled with classical music.”



Past Winners of Bath Young Musician of the Year


1987 Liam Gribbin (flute)  2004 Ollie Parsons (baritone)
1989 Nicholas Ridley (oboe)  2005 Emil Huckle-Kleve (violin)
1990 Kerry Griffin (violin)  2006 Christine Pinkard (clarinet)
1991 Anthony Bailey (clarinet) 2007 Beatrice Newman (cello)
1992 Hannah Conway (flute) 2008 Harry Hall (violin)
1993 Mark Allen(trumpet) 2009 Rowan Carolan (guitar)
1994 Rebecca Smith (violin) 2010 Ruth Knight (flute)
1995 Clare Williams (piano) 2011 Lana Trimmer (violin)
1996 Louise Hunt (piano) 2012  Oliver Sourbut (tenor horn)
1997 Sophie Wall (piano) 2013 Kirsty Chaplin (piano)
1998 Yang Bo (piano) 2013 Lizzie Daniels (violin)
1999 James Bateman ( saxophone) 2014 Sebrina Lambert-Rose (cello)
2000 Anne Marie Cullum ( soprano) 2015 Katherine Stonham (piano)
2001 Liv-Marie Fletcher (violin) 2016 Rachel Stonham (violin)
2002 Christopher Avison (trumpet) 2017  Rachel Stonham (violin)
2003 Danielle Jalowiecka (Recorder) 2018 Katie Bunney


2019 Xavier Raynes  2019 Xavier Raynes
Danielle Jalowiecka (Recorder) 2022 Ruben Ridyard
2023 Dorothy Hodge



See syllabus and Festival calendar for details