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The Venue

06 April 2018

Leaving Cert Student takes €15,000 RDS Music Bursary 2018

Cellist Killian White is the winner of the 2018 RDS Music Bursary. Valued at €15,000, the RDS Music Bursary is the single largest annual classical music award in Ireland, and one of the largest in Europe. The RDS Jago Award of €5,000 was awarded to Christopher Moriarty (Clarinet). Both musicians will also receive engagements with RTÉ performing groups as part of their bursaries.

 

Eighteen-year-old Killian, who is currently studying in Dublin’s Royal Irish Academy of Music, will use the prize to help fund his studies in Paris in September under the tutorship of renowned cellist Jerome Pernoo at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Paris (CSMNP), as well as masterclasses in London’s Prussia Cove with Steven Isserlis. The leaving cert student was accepted into CSMNP with maximum votes from the judges which allowed him to choose his teacher.

 

Candidates for the Bursary can be Irish born or Irish resident, over eighteen and become eligible by winning one of five specified senior competitions in the ESB Feis Ceoil classical music competition of the same year. The five competitions comprise of piano, strings, woodwind, voice and brass. Winners of these competitions are invited to apply to the RDS and the bursary is awarded based on a detailed outline of their future plans, the outcome of a panel interview and a live performance. All participants in the Bursary receive a stipend.

 

Speaking afterwards, Killian said: “I am delighted to win the RDS Music Bursary. It will greatly help with my plans of becoming a professional musician, something I have dreamed about for many years. I am also already very much looking forward to the solo performance with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra next year, which is part of this prize, and a huge honour”.

 

Killian is already the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including eight awards at the ESB Feis Ceoil over the years, the Father Frank Fahey Award (2017), National Concert Hall Young Musician Award (2015) and third prize in the Noor Muusick Young Musicians Competition in Tallinn, Estonia, when he was just 11. He has an extensive list of performances to his name, including performances with Kaunas Symphony Orchestra to the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland to Culture Night, and will be performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra this August.

 

Chair of the RDS Music Bursary judging panel, John O’Kane, RTÉ Music and Arts Strategy Executive said: “an outstanding winner who impressed with a superb performance and a crystal clear sense of purpose regarding his future career”.

“We are delighted to award Killian this year’s Bursary, he really impressed the judges and undoubtedly is a performer with an exciting career ahead of him” said RDS CEO Michael Duffy. “Classical music has a strong tradition within the RDS and the Bursary is a particularly good fit with the RDS mission of seeing Ireland thrive culturally and economically, which it does by helping young musicians make the transition to becoming a professional.”

In addition to the €15,000 prize, Killian will also benefit from some key RDS partnerships during the 2018/19 season: a partnership with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will offer a solo engagement and a partnership with Irish Heritage in London will offer Killian a solo recital in London, with full travel costs next year.

 

Winning the RDS Jago Award of €5,000 was Christopher Moriarty, which also comes with a performance opportunity with one of RTE’s performing groups or a recording recital opportunity with lyric fm.

 

The RDS Collins Memorial Performance offers a professional performance opportunity at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and was given this year to pianist Máire Carroll. This award is open to previous RDS Music Bursary winners and is selected each year by the Artistic Director of the Opera Festival.

 

The RDS Music Bursary was set up in 2003 by the RDS Arts programme, whose goal is: To provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual art, craft or music.

 

Impact of the RDS Bursary on the careers of past winners

In a 2012 independent evaluation of the Bursary, past winners of the bursary were interviewed in depth. They all felt that the award was an exceptionally valuable investment in their career; something which later proved to be a game changer. The evaluation also found that all the winners are still actively involved in music, either continuing further studies or developing their careers as professional performers; with one winner going on to become a music teacher.

 

The 15 Bursary winners to date:

 

Name

Age*

Instrument Class

Instrument

2017

Sarah

Brady

23

Voice

Soprano

2016

Aoife

Gibney

23

Voice

Soprano

2015

Patrick

Rafter

23

Strings

Violin

2014

Clara

Daly Donnellan

18

Brass

Trombone

2013

Kelley

Lonergan

26

Voice

Soprano

2012

Máire

Carrol

20

Piano

Piano

2011

Róisín

Walters

23

Strings

Violin

2010

Joseph

Ryan

21

Brass

Horn

2009

Patrick

Hughes

24

Woodwind

Saxophone

2008

Maria

Ryan

23

Strings

Violin

2007

Anna

Devin

25

Voice

Soprano

2006

Sarah

Power

24

Voice

Soprano

2005

Aisling

Seery

20

Woodwind

Recorder

2004

Mairéad

Buicke

23

Voice

Soprano

2003

Redmond

O'Toole

25

Strings

Brahms Guitar

*As at April 1 of the relevant year

 

Why are the RDS involved?

The RDS is one of the best known venues in Ireland. One of the world’s oldest philanthropic organisations, it is a society of Members that has worked since 1731 to fulfil its mission of cultivating Irish talent and potential.

Today its philanthropic roots remains central to its vision and mission, with a work programme that spans the arts, agriculture, enterprise and science.

An important component of our mission is our arts programme through which we invest in the future of Irish visual artists, musicians and craft-makers, helping emerging talent in all three areas. The RDS Music Bursary is a significant feature of this, and at €15,000 is the largest single prize across the RDS arts programme.

 

Irish Heritage Background

A voluntary arts organisation established in London in 1974 to promote Irish literature, music and drama in Great Britain to all people with an interest in Ireland and its cultural heritage. http://www.irishheritage.co.uk/

 

 

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