St Edmund's

School News

Clarinettist Thomas Young has been awarded First Prize at the final of Junior Guildhall’s most prestigious award: The Lutine Prize.

The competition took place on Friday 23 June in Milton Court Concert Hall. Thomas performed a winning recital of Kovács’ Hommage à Manuel de Falla, the first movement of Saint-Saëns’ Clarinet Sonata, the second movement of Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata, and Messager’s Solo de Concours, accompanied by pianist John Flinders.

The other finalists were: Iván Cherednichenko Carrillo (cello), Emma Demetriades (violin), Dominic-Lucian Drutac (violin) and Joshua Slater (piano).

The adjudicators this year were conductor and tubist Shaun Matthew, violinist Jacqueline Ross and baritone Armin Zanner, Vice-Principal & Director of Music at Guildhall School. The certificates were presented by Alison Mears, Director of Guildhall Young Artists.

Junior Guildhall alumnus and Guildhall School undergraduate Camden Bonsu-Stewart performed with pianist Krystal Tunnicliffe during the panel deliberation.

Thomas Young says: “I can’t really fathom it! I’m so happy. The competition was so stiff, and the others were so incredibly talented, that I really didn’t think this could happen. I just tried to play my best and tell a story. I’m so grateful to everyone at Junior Guildhall, and especially my teacher Derek Hannigan, who has taught me so much. I am thrilled that I will get to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.”

Rosie Whitfield, Head of Junior Guildhall, says: “It was a memorable evening that paid tribute to the abundance and diversity of talent found at Junior Guildhall. Our finalists embraced the occasion with remarkable skill, showcasing mesmerising musical prowess. This remarkable accomplishment is also a testament to the dedication and support for finalists from their parents, teachers and all those at Junior Guildhall who played a significant role in making this evening an extraordinary success.”

Congratulations to Thomas and all of our 2023 finalists!

About the Lutine Prize

The Lutine Prize is Junior Guildhall’s equivalent of the senior school’s annual Gold Medal competition. Six students were selected from the preliminary round to perform in the final, where they presented a 20-minute solo recital. The winner of the first prize is given the opportunity to perform a concerto with one of the Junior Guildhall ensembles in addition to a cash award.

The Lutine Prize was inaugurated in 1982 and Thomas joins a long line of winners, many of whom have enjoyed professional music careers, including composer Thomas Adès, and pianists Tom Poster and Annabel Thwaite.

About Thomas

Thomas joined Junior Guildhall in January 2022. He started playing the clarinet in New York, where he enjoyed absorbing a range of musical influences, and won masterclasses with Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic) and Daniel Gilbert (University of Michigan). A formative experience was playing alongside the United Nations International School Choir for International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Manhattan.

Thomas attends St Edmund’s School, Canterbury, where he enjoys taking part in school ensembles and concerts. Highlights have included performing John Williams’s The Terminal at the Collier Ferguson Hall (2019) and opening Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in Canterbury Cathedral for his school’s Cathedral Gala Concert (2020). He has twice been a finalist in the Canterbury Festival Bursary Competition.

At Junior Guildhall he is taught by Derek Hannigan and has covered a wide range of repertoire, from Finzi to Poulenc. He recently joined Junior Guildhall’s Symphony Orchestra.

“I can’t really fathom it! I’m so happy. The competition was so stiff, and the others were so incredibly talented, that I really didn’t think this could happen". Thomas Young