Woking Young Musician of the Year

The 2019 competition was held at Christ Church in the town centre at 7.00pm on 2nd February.

As usual we had a line-up of exceptionally talented youngsters to play for us, not just the ones invited to compete for the Woking Young Musician title, but the two even younger players who were nominated Junior Musicians of the year. We also heard performances by the winners of the Most Promising Young Singer and Most Promising Young Actor awards.

The adjudicator, Jonathan Willcocks, commented on the high standard, not just of technical mastery (which was impressive enough in itself), but also of musicality which the young players displayed. He had to choose a winner, however, and so the 2019 Woking Young Musician of the Year is the17-year old cellist, Sophie Kauer who gave a splendidly evocative performance of the first movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto followed by an exciting rendition of the third movement of Schostakovich's sonata in a very well contrasted programme. Second place went to viola-player, Clem Pickering, and third to pianist, Annie McChrystal. It was also announced that Sophie was to receive the Woking Muisc Festival Summer School Bursary, which is awarded independently of the performance in the competition.

Phoebe Baxendale reprised her performance of Hood by Katherine Chandler as winner of the Most Promising Young Actor award, and we also heard a short recital by Eleanor Bray who not only won the award for Most Promising Young Singer, but also the Dame Ethyl Smyth trophy, for having given the best performance of a piece by a female composer during the main festival in November.

The Woking Junior Musicans of the Year were Rhia Thomas (violin) and Christian Leslie (piano).

As always, we were very grateful to Handel Pianos Ltd from Sunningdale for the loan of a superb Schimmel piano for the evening.

 Sophie Kauer

Woking Young Musician of the Year: Sophie Kauer

Clem Pickering Annie McChrystal

Clem Pickering
(second place)

Annie McChrystal
(third place)


Felix Rockhill Imaan Kashim
Felix Rockhill Imaan Kashim
Hollie Tibbotts Zach Brandman
Hollie Tibbotts Zach Brandman

Most Promising Young Actor: Phoebe Baxendale

Most Promising Young Singer: Eleanor Bray

Rhia Thomas Christian Leslie
Rhia Thomas Christian Leslie

Woking Junior Musicians of the Year