Michael Murphy Wins 2019 Frank Maher Classical Music Awards

Michael Murphy and Phil Coulter

Michael Murphy Wins 2019 Frank Maher Classical Music Awards

Cork cellist to use €5k prize fund to fund studies in the UK, Germany and France.

Eighteen-year-old cellist Michael Murphy, a sixth year student at Presentation Brothers College, Cork, has been announced as the winner of this year’s Top Security Frank Maher Classical Music Awards. The top prize is €5,000, which assists in the winning musician’s education and career. 

Six finalists from Cork, Louth and Kildare competed on 4 October at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin with Phil Coulter as Master of Ceremonies. Murphy performed two pieces, ‘Requiebros’ by Gaspar Cassado and the third movement from the Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19, by Rachmaninov.

Commenting on his win, Murphy said:

It was an incredible night and I’m absolutely amazed and delighted to have won. I plan to use my prize to go towards the cost of a new bow and pay for masterclasses in the UK, Germany and France.

Five other finalists each received a €300 bursary, including French horn player Maria Fay (17), St Mary’s College, Naas, Co. Kildare; violinist Michelle McCarthy (17), St Angela’s College, Cork; harpist Eimear McDonagh (18), Mount Mercy College, Cork; flautist Holly Nagle (17), Bruce College, Cork; and pianist Justin O’Hagan (17), Coláiste Rís, Dundalk, Co. Louth

The awards, which were created in 2001, aim to showcase outstanding young musical talent in Ireland and are open to sixth-year post-primary students of strings, woodwind, brass and piano. The €5,000 top prize must be used to attend a recognised place of tuition, a course of study in Ireland or abroad or on a purchase necessary for the development of their talent.

Previous winners have continued their studies in colleges and universities abroad, such as the Juilliard School, 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  The 2018 winner, pianist Kevin Jansson from Cork, now studying at the Juilliard School in New York, returned to perform Chopin’s Ballade No. 1. 

The judging panel this year were Dr Kerry Houston, head of academic studies at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, pianist Veronica McSwiney, and Brian O’Rourke, former head of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

For more information on the awards, visit www.frankmaherclassicalmusicawards.com


Published on 9 October 2019


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