Kevin Jansson Wins €5,000 Prize at 2018 Frank Maher Classical Music Awards

Kevin Jansson

Kevin Jansson Wins €5,000 Prize at 2018 Frank Maher Classical Music Awards

Cork student to use prize to attend auditions at music colleges in Germany and the USA.

Eighteen-year-old pianist Kevin Jansson, a sixth-year student at Presentation Brothers College, Cork, and a student of Mary Beattie at CIT Cork School of Music, has been announced as the winner of the Top Security Frank Maher Classical Music Awards for 2018. The awards carry a prize of €5,000 to assist the winner develop a musical career with further study abroad.

Seven finalists from Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Louth and Down competed at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin on Friday 5 October. Jansson performed two pieces: Nocturne Op. 48, No.1 in C minor by Chopin and Sonata No. 7, 3rd movement (Precipitato) by Prokofiev.  

A student of Mary Beattie since he was six, Jansson is also a violinist. His father, Tom Jansson, teaches piano in the Cork School of Music, as did his late mother, Marion McCarthy. In February 2016 he was the youngest participant and joint winner of the Thierry Scherz prize at the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad Festival in Switzerland which led to his recording a debut solo CD on the Claves label.

Study abroad
Previous winners of the Frank Maher Awards have gone on to attend prominent music colleges abroad, including Shenandoah University of Virginia, Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique et de Danse Paris, Kronberg Academy in Germany, the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Commenting on his win, Jansson said:

I plan to use my prize money to attend upcoming auditions at colleges in Germany and the USA, as well as fees for music masterclasses abroad.

Killian White, the 2017 winner, is currently studying at the Conservatoire Nationale in Paris and returned to perform ‘Fantasie on Little Russian Songs’ by David Popper at the final.

The six other finalists each received a €300 bursary. They were: Jane Brazil (18), Mount Anville Secondary School, Goatstown, Dublin (piano); Paul Fitzgibbon (17), Brookfield College, Tralee, Kerry (viola); Alana McManus (17), Sutton Park School, Sutton, Dublin (classical guitar); Tom Myles (16), Regent House School, Newtownards, Co. Down (clarinet); Callum Owens (17), Christian Brothers College, Cork (cello); and Tiffany Qui (17), St Vincent’s Secondary School, Dundalk (piano).

The awards were created in 2001 by Top Security chairman Emmet O’Rafferty to honour the memory of his late teacher, Fr Frank Maher, who taught music at Castleknock College in Dublin.

The judging panel this year were Dr Gerard Gillen, emeritus professor of music at NUI Maynooth, Brian O’Rourke, former principal clarinet and head of programming for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, and classical pianist Darina Gibson.

For more on the awards, visit

Published on 10 October 2018


Be Part of the Future of the Journal of Music

Sign up for our newsletters to receive our latest news, UK newsreviews, articles, jobs and events.

To add a concert listing see here. For advertising visit this link.