Woking Young Musician of the Year, 2022

The 2022 competition will be held at

St John’s Church
Church Road
St John’s
GU21 7QN
5th February

Please note the change of time and venue from previous years and some early publicity.

Ticket prices remain unaltered at £12 each and under-18s are now free. Tickets will be available at the door. In addition, concert programmes will be on sale at £1 each.

Free tea and/or coffee will be available during the interval.

Please note that due to the limited number of spaces available, the car park adjacent to the church cannot be used by members of the audience but parking is available in the vicinity.

We look forward to welcoming you to this prestigious event.

The aim of the competition is to provide young people, aged 14-20 years, who are selected on the basis of their performance in solo classes in the Woking Music Festival, with an opportunity to compete in concert conditions.

1st Prize: £300 and the Gordon Brown Trophy
2nd Prize: £250 and the Yorkshire Building Society Trophy
3rd Prize: £200 and the H R Taylor Charitable Trust Trophy
All other competitors receive a cash prize of £100.

An account of the 2020 competition can be found here.

Click here for the names of previous winners and adjudicators.

The 2021/2022 Woking Music Festival season came to a resounding conclusion on 5th February when the Woking Young Musician of the Year competition was held at St John’s Church, St John’s.

The occasion was attended by Councillor Liam Lyons, Mayor of Woking, who presented the awards. This is the second Music Festival event he has supported and the committee are most grateful to him.

The 2022 winner was pianist Stefanija Nikolich (17),  who performed The Mephisto Waltz No 1 by Liszt. Stefanija is currently a student at The Yehudi Menuhin School.

In second place was Rhia Thomas (17), a violinist who is a sixth form student and music scholar at Guildford High School.

This year the adjudicator awarded third place jointly to Isabella Mackie (16), oboe and Chung Sze Kwok (17), piano.

Isabella attends the City of London Freeman’s school and studies oboe and recorder at the Royal College of Music. Chung Sze will begin university this year to study linguistics and cognitive science.

Additional awards for performances at the Woking Music Festival in November were presented to Eleanor Kitchin (10 – Most Promising Young Actor Award); Alex Qu (7 – Sandra Bedford Memorial Award for Most Memorable Performance of the Festival); Junior Musicians of the Year, pianists Daniel Nowrouzi (12) and Yash Saran (12); and Best Vocal Performance of the Festival to Sacha King (19). The winner of the Summer Bursary Award which contributes towards the costs of a summer school was Ruvin Meda (15).

The winner, Stefanija Nikolich, said she had “a wonderful evening; the experience will always be remembered and it was a pleasure to perform alongside such gifted musicians.” She praised her teacher, Ruth Nye at The Yehudi Menuhin School, for her guidance and support.

The adjudicator was the distinguished horn teacher and player, Simon de Souza.

Simon commented, “It is a privilege to adjudicate such a well run competition, and to spend the evening listening to such a wealth of talent. Although music education in this country faces many challenges, events such as this demonstrate that music still has the power to inspire young people to remarkable feats, and to touch the listener deeply. Long may the Festival flourish”.

After the presentations, the Mayor of Woking thanked the chairman and committee, the venue and Handel Pianos for a wonderful evening and praised the musicians for their dedication to practice and  the parents for their support. He did not envy the adjudicator: the choice of the winners must have been very hard.

This was the first time the event was held at St John’s Church. The committee had very positive feedback and the evening was a huge success, very well attended by a sizeable and appreciative audience. The church is beautiful and well suited to musical events. We were warmly welcomed by the church administrators and we look forward to holding the Music Festival there later this year. 

These and other photos taken during the evening can be bought from the Woking News and Mail website.