Another string to cellist's bow

Anoushka Sharp performing at the Royal Academy of Music finale

Anoushka Sharp performing at the Royal Academy of Music finale

It was a case of "if at first you don't succeed, try again" for the 2012 Emunah Young Musician of the Year - Golders Green cellist Anoushka Sharp.

The 12-year-old North London Collegiate pupil was runner-up last year. On Sunday, she went one better, impressing the judges and the audience of 300 at the Royal Academy of Music with her performance of two pieces by Ernest Bloch.

"I am glad to win because of the cause," she said. "I go to Norrice Lea cheder [Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue] and Emunah is one of the charities that we are raising funds for. I love playing. It has been a pleasure."

One of the judges, Yehudi Menuhin School director of music Malcolm Singer, said Anoushka "communicated her love of music to the audience. Her cello has a very sweet tone. It was a lovely performance and particularly pleasing in one so young."

Emunah contest winner impressed judges with ‘sweet tone’

Special guests at the final of the contest, organised in conjunction with the JC, were the Chief Rabbi and Lady Sacks, in whose names Emunah has founded a music therapy programme for emotionally disturbed children and young people at its centres in Israel.

During the judges' deliberations, Lord Sacks told the audience that the finalists were "just astonishing. Music has wonderful healing powers," he said. "When you think of the incredible work that Emunah does, I cannot think of anything better for Elaine and myself to be associated with."

Pianist Nathan Dean and singer James Harvey were runners-up.

The other contest finalists were Jonathan Garcia, Daniel Hilton, Brady Isaac Pearce, Leon Keuffer, Toby King-Cline, Annabel Lawrence and Louis Patterson.

    Last updated: 7:42pm, March 8 2012