Staying Sharp to keep Emunah music prize in family


Eleven-year-old violinist Amos Sharp maintained a family tradition by winning the Emunah Young Musician of the Year final at the Royal College of Music on Sunday. His sister, cellist Anoushka Sharp, was the 2012 victor in the annual contest, organised in conjunction with the JC.

The Highgate School pupil — a first violinist with the National Children’s Orchestra — impressed the judges with his performance of Massenet’s Meditation from Thais.

“I feel ecstatic,” he said. “I wanted to play the most beautifully I possibly could and demonstrate that music has a hugely calming and uplifting effect. It ties in with the idea to use music therapy at Emunah’s children’s homes in Israel. My ambition is to become a world-class soloist.”

Announcing the results, Yehudi Menuhin School music director Malcolm Singer praised Amos for “his fine playing, lovely tone and real communication with the audience”. It had been “a wonderful festival of music”.

Runners-up were 15-year-old flautist Rafi Kelion from Northwood and bassoon player Annabel Lawrence, also 15, from Leeds. Ten-year-old West Hampstead pianist Zach Brandman received honourable mention for a performance of Schubert “remarkable in one so young”.

The other finalists were Rudy Brass, Joshua Daniel, Mark Englander, Natasha Fisch, James Harvey, Ben Silberstein and Nicolas Veal-Baschwitz. Mr Singer was joined on the judging panel by JC editor Stephen Pollard, Teresa Cahill and Norma Fisher.

Anoushka Sharp gave a cello recital and her nine-year-old violinist sister Aviva performed as one of three promising newcomers, along with alto sax player Sam Sher and pianist Hannah Whiteson.

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