PHOTOS: L-R                Le Yu, James Larter, Tom Lee /  Alex Petcu-Colan

Four students have achieved professional recognition as the best young Percussion talents in the UK and Republic of Ireland after winning the finals of the prestigious 'Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards' held at The Royal Academy of Music on 18th and Royal Irish Academy of Music on 27th February 2013. Highly prized by students and highly regarded by the music establishment and conservatoires in particular, this year's ten finalists came from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Irish Academy of Music and the CIT Cork School of Music.

Winning finalists Le Yu - Royal Northern College of Music, James Larter - Royal Academy of Music, Tom Lee - Royal Academy of Music and Alex Petcu-Colan – CIT Cork School of Music each received €2000 to assist the furthering of their studies and classical music careers.

Now in their 23rd year and with a rotating instrument discipline, the scholarships have established an international reputation for showcasing the finest emerging talent and boast particularly strong alumni, many of whom are now enjoying successful careers. These include saxophonist Amy Dickson, euphonium player David Childs and pianists Sasha Grynuk and Eduard Kunz. Already making his mark, winning finalist Le Yu has recently been playing as guest soloist with the Brighouse & Rastrick brass band and is also the current recipient of the Yamaha Percussion Scholarship at the RNCM.

This year’s awards proved no exception attracting a record level of entries from percussion students in full time music education from all over the UK and Republic of Ireland. The ten finalists each performed a programme of 30 minutes duration, gaining valuable experience and feedback from the world-class artist and tutor judging panels comprising:

UK: Neil Percy (Chair) - Head of Percussion, Royal Academy of Music; Simone Rebello - Head of Percussion, Royal Northern College of Music; David Hockings - Head of Percussion, Royal College of Music and Richard Benjafield - Head of Wind, Brass & Percussion, Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Republic of Ireland: William Dowdall (Chair) - Head of Wind Brass & Percussion at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Ian Frankland - Yamaha Music Europe (GmbH) UK.

Launched in 1989, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe is celebrating twenty-three years of providing performance opportunities, support and financial assistance to talented music students throughout Europe. The programme now operates in thirty-one European countries and since its foundation has provided over 850 scholarships amounting to well over €1 million.

The awards are open to UK and Republic of Ireland students aged 25 and under and currently studying on a full-time music course at a higher education institution. The Republic of Ireland final takes place at the Royal Irish Academy on Wednesday 27th February.

Each year the instrument emphasis rotates between Piano, Brass & Woodwind, Orchestral Strings, Percussion and Voice. Last year was dedicated to Brass and Woodwind.

Yamaha Director Charles Bozon comments, "We were privileged to enjoy some outstanding performances in the finals. Supporting up-coming musicians is central to our philosophy and we know that this programme often plays a pivotal role in both assisting students expand their studies and getting noticed by the media and industry."

The 2013 UK finalists were:

James Larter                   Royal Academy of Music

Ruairi Glasheen              Royal College of Music

Michael Rareshide          Royal Academy of Music

Le Yu                               Royal Northern College of Music

Oliver Butterworth          Royal Academy of Music

Jack Stone                     Royal Northern College of Music

Tom Lee                         Royal Academy of Music

The 2013 Irish Finalists were:

Alex Petcu-Colan            CIT Cork School of Music

Ronan Dikker                 Royal Irish Academy of Music

Brian Dungan                 Royal Irish Academy of Music


For further information on YMFE visit


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