Date of Award- September 2013 (two years)
Laura Snowden studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and later at the Royal College of Music, where she won the Guitar Prize in her first year and completed her Masters Degree with distinction. A recipient of numerous national and international awards, she is a solo and collaborative guitarist, composer and songwriter. Recently selected by the Tillett Trust, St John’s Smith Square and International Guitar Foundation for their Young Artist Platforms, she has also won First Prize in the 2014 Ivor Mairants Guitar Award, administered by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Laura has appeared as a soloist at the Cadogan Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and The Sage Gateshead, and given performances of newly commissioned works for the International Guitar Foundation’s North East and London Guitar Festivals. As a composer, her music has been played on BBC Radio 3 and premiered at Sadlers Wells, the Deal Festival and the Handel House. Some of her commissions have subsequently been performed at the Wigmore Hall and in Italy, Romania and Japan; her French Suite for harpsichord was a winner at the Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition in 2015. She has also collaborated as a composer with both the Royal Ballet School and the London Film School. Her song Live Free, composed for the charity ‘Voices For Hospices’, was performed at over 300 simultaneous concerts in 60 countries, spanning Europe, USA and Asia.
In addition, Laura writes and performs for the folk group ‘Tir Eolas’, who have received a City of London Music Foundation Award and released in 2015 their debut album Stories Sung, Truths Told. Other collaborative projects include her duos with guitarist Tom Ellis, which won First Prize at the Ligita International Guitar Duo Competition in 2012, and the violinist Joo Yeon Sir, for whom she was recently commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation to write a new piece. Her forthcoming solo recitals include the Guildford International Music Festival, Buxton Festival, Lake District Summer Music Festival and St John’s Smith Square.
Date of Award- September 2013 (two years)
Born in Moscow and brought up in Australia, Andrey Lebedev is currently living in London, where his studies at the Royal Academy of Music have been supported by the Julian Bream Trust, Countess of Munster Trust, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and the South Australian Government’s Carclew Board. He gained his BMus degree with First Class Honours at the Australian National University in 2012, in which year he became the only Australian to win 1st prize in the Adelaide International Guitar Competition, the first classical guitarist to receive the Australian National Fine Music ‘Young Performer of the Year’ Award, and the only classical guitarist to gain a Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship. After enrolling at the RAM in September 2013 he won 1st prize and the special Bach prize in the 25th Gisborne International Music Competition open to all instrumentalists, and in 2015, as well as the Academy’s ‘David Russell’ Guitar Prize and Recital Diploma, was awarded his MA with distinction.
His extensive solo repertoire includes many important works from the late 20th century, by composers such as Berio, Britten, Ginastera, Henze and Takemitsu, and he has given the world premieres of major compositions by Peter Sculthorpe and, under the auspices of the Julian Bream Trust, both Leo Brouwer and Sir Harrison Birtwistle. A lover of chamber music, Andrey performs regularly with flautists Bronte Hudnott and Alena Lugovkina, mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean and, in Australia, with the Llewelyn Guitar Quartet. Recently, he has appeared as soloist in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand.
Among the prestigious venues where has appeared are the City Recital Hall (Canberra), the Arts Centre (Melbourne), the International Guitar Festival (Adelaide), St.John’s, Smith Square and Wigmore Hall (London) and the World Expo (Shanghai). His forthcoming engagements include an evening concert at the Royal Academy of Music entirely of Australian composers, followed by UK recitals for the International Guitar Foundation, and solo recitals across Australia and for the Zagreb Music Institute in Croatia.
Andrey is an artist with Arts Global and has been selected by the Tillett Trust, City of London Music Foundation, Countess of Munster Trust and International Guitar Foundation for their ongoing ‘Young Artist’ schemes.
Date of Award- September 2014 (two years)
Giacomo Susani was born in Padua, Italy, in 1995 and studied the classical guitar and composition in Vicenza at the Music Conservatoire Arrigo Pedrollo. His progress was soon evident, when he won 1st prize at both the 2007 Città di Voghera and 2008 Fiuggi guitar competitions. After gaining special mention at the 11th Parma International Guitar Festival Nicolo Paganini in March 2009, he was awarded a scholarship by the Comunità Montana di Valtellina; further support enabled him to participate in the 2010 Laura Mondiello International Guitar Masterclass at Ponte in Valtellina and in the same year he was selected as the Italian representative for the XIX European Competition of the Lions Club International. More successes followed when he won 1st prize at the 2011 First International Mozart Competition in Quinto Vicentino, 2nd prize and the Audience Award at the 2012 International Guitar Competition Ruggero Chiesa in Camogli, and one of a series of 1st prizes that came his way at the National Guitar Competition Giulio Rospigliosi held in Lamporecchio
Meanwhile, he continued his studies at the conservatoire in Vicenza, where he was chosen as the 2011 ‘Soloist with Orchestra’, composed the music for various ensembles (including a ballet, which received a public performance at the Teatro Don Bosco in Padua) and graduated with distinction in July 2013. Thereafter he has twice attended Oscar Ghiglia’s International Masterclass at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and in 2014 was awarded the Marfa Maggioli Prize by the Soroptimist Club of Venice.
At this point he decided to apply to the Royal Academy of Music in London, where a scholarship from the Julian Bream Trust has enabled him to continue his studies on the BMus degree programme. He has since then participated in numerous concerts as soloist, in chamber ensembles and with orchestra, as well as writing a series of songs to Chinese texts. In February 2015 his ﬁrst solo CD (of works by Bach, Petrassi, Tansman and Weiss) was released by the Italian label Stradivarius.