Olivia Crowned Felsted's Musician of the Year 2023

This year’s winner of the Felsted Musician of the Year competition has been announced!

The annual event was a joyful day of music celebration, bringing together over 80 individual performances across a wide variety of instruments and signing styles. The Prizewinners’ Concert in the evening gave the finalists from each category one last chance to shine for the overall prize of ‘Felsted Musician of the Year 2023’.

This year, we were delighted to welcome Nicholas McCarthy, a professional concert pianist, to adjudicate. Born without a right hand, Nicholas was the first left-hand-only pianist to graduate from London’s Royal College of Music in its 130-year history. He is a champion of the dynamic and brave world of left hand alone repertoire, a repertoire that first came into being in the early 19th Century and developed rapidly following the First World War as a result of the many injuries suffered on the battlefield. Nicholas has performed extensively around the world with critical acclaim in both recital tours and with major orchestras. He is passionate about encouraging new audiences to classical music and is committed to working with young people through music education. 

Nicholas had a tough job ahead of him to critique and score all the outstanding performances but he gave skillful and encouraging feedback to every student. In the end, a lively performance of the classic show tune, ‘Life is a Cabaret’, sung by Olivia M, Year 13, was singled out and Olivia was named ‘Felsted Musician of the Year 2023’.

Olivia commented; “I was absolutely thrilled when Mr McCarthy called my name and said I’d won! Everyone performed so well, it was definitely a tough competition, but this has given me the confidence to continue performing. When I leave Felsted, I hope to go on to study acting and hopefully go into a career of performing.”

Director of Music, Mr William Warns commented; “It was a full day of fantastic music making with over 80 individual performances from students in Years 9 - 13. There was a real sense of supportive camaraderie among the performers, many of whom were entering the competition for the first time. Many were nervous about competing for such high acclaim but all performed brilliantly”.