Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts. Pupils at Marlborough are no strangers to going the extra mile to ensure excellence, and the 2020 Piano Soloists competition is testament to that. During the lockdown period, where possible, the instrumental music provision has continued, be it with ensemble rehearsals or simply the weekly lessons that pupils enjoy on their instruments. But eight pupils pulled out all of the stops to provide well practised, high calibre performances to compete for the coveted Piano Soloists cup.
Pupils from both the Prep and Senior schools participated in the pre-recorded competition this year. Pupils went to huge lengths to ensure that their performances reached the high standards which any Marlburian aspires to achieve. They treated their international audience to a feast of delights ranging from the Baroque precision and grandeur of a Bach Sarabande and Gigue, to Copland’s ‘The Cat and the Mouse’, once described by Gramophone’s Peter Dickinson as a ‘Mickey-Mouse Scherzo’. Indeed, it was with this early Copland piece that Jerry Li from Remove, convinced our adjudicator, the British pianist James Willshire, that she was worthy of the cup. This was no easy decision for Mr Willshire, however, and he gave deservedly commendable feedback to all the performers for their musicality and spirited performances.
There is no doubt that all pupils involved in the event deserve to be winners. They have shown true Marlborough spirit during unprecedented circumstances and should be rightly proud of everything they have achieved.
Watch the full competition video here