Five Northern Ireland Musicians Selected for €5,000 Platform Awards
Five musicians from Northern Ireland have been selected for the Young Musicians’ Platform Award by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and BBC Northern Ireland.
The five winners include classical musicians William Curran (clarinet) and Andrew Douglas (flute), baritone Brian McAlea, traditional flute-player Martha Guiney, and jazz singer Katharine Timoney.
The biennial awards provide funding of £5,000 each which artists can use to spend time learning from a musician, mentor, teacher or composer either in Northern Ireland or abroad.
As well as this training opportunity, the artists receive two professional radio broadcast engagements, including one with the Ulster Orchestra between January and December 2019. Professional mentoring will aso be provided by classical pianist and presenter of BBC Ulster’s Classical Connections John Toal, Folk Club presenter Lynette Fay, and jazz musician Linley Hamilton.
This is the third time that the awards have been extended beyond classical music and into traditional and jazz music also.
Martha Guiney is a flute and tin whistle player from County Down. She graduated with a first class honours in her BA degree in Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology and is currently completing an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.
Katharine Timoney is a jazz vocalist and singer-songwriter. Her debut EP Guilty Sin was released in 2014 and since then she has performed at festivals including Sligo Jazz Festival, Limavady Jazz Festival, Blues On The Bay and Belfast City Blues Festivals. Her debut album Man of Mine was released in 2016.
Clarinettist William Curran graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with first class honours from the BMus programme. He has just completed an MMus in Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Principal clarinet of the Ulster Youth Orchestra since 2013 and Young Artist with the Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble for the 2017/18 season, Curran will appear as Principal Clarinet with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra next year in Belfast.
Flautist Andrew Douglas recently graduated with honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is a regular guest player with the Ulster Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and has performed with Camerata Ireland, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra and upcoming with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Baritone Brian McAlea graduated from the University of Oxford where he read Music and sang as a Choral Scholar with the Choir of New College. He subsequently won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. McAlea is a regular concert soloist and recitalist and has performed with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Northern Ireland Opera, the Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, Dunedin Consort, Britten Sinfonia Voices and Chamber Choir Ireland and is a founding member of Sestina.
Previous recipients of the Young Musicians’ Platform Award include pianist Michael McHale, soprano Laura Sheerin, harpist Richard Allen, violinist Michael Trainor, folk musicians Conor Mallon and Niall Hanna and jazz drummer Ed Dunlop.
John Toal will present a live edition of Classical Connections from the Ulster Hall on Sunday 13 January featuring the classical winners of the Platform Award.
For tickets visit www.ulsterorchestra.com.