The Young Musicians of the Gulf event was originally conceived in 1998 as a “celebration of young musical talent” within the Gulf, and since then has become a most prestigious and high-profile competition. St Christopher’s School is proud to have initiated and played host to an event of such magnitude and it is now in its 19th year.
This year, 170 participants from schools across the Gulf (British School Kuwait; Dubai College; The English School, Kuwait; King’s School, Al Barsha; Sharjah English School; The British School Al Khubairat) will be visiting Bahrain for three days of musical competition. The standard of performing is very high, with the average age of participants being between 14 and 17 years.
We are delighted to be supported by Euro Motors (Diamond Sponsors) and Ambassador Stores (Silver Sponsors). Yamaha have also kindly offered to invite one of their Japanese technicians(currently based in Jebel Ali – Dubai), specializing in repairs of Brass& orchestra – wind instruments, to attend as support during the event to help students fix / fine tune their wind instruments.
This year, St Christopher’s is delighted to welcome the following international adjudicators to Bahrain:
Ashley Wass (pianist) is firmly established as one of the leading performers of his generation. Ashley’s watershed moment came in 1997 when he won the London International Piano Competition (the only British winner this far), a victory that led to a recording contract with Naxos, making him the first solo artist to obtain an exclusive deal with the label. He has also been a prize-winner at the Leeds Piano Competition, and is a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.
Ashley has performed at many of the world’s finest concert halls including the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus. He has performed as soloist with numerous leading ensembles, including all the BBC orchestras, the Philharmonia, Orchestre National de Lille, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, RLPO, and under the baton of conductors such as Simon Rattle, Osmo Vanska, Donald Runnicles, Ilan Volkov and Vassily Sinaisky.
In June 2002 he appeared in a gala concert at Buckingham Palace to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a performance broadcast live to millions of viewers around the world. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2008 with Vaughan Williams’ Piano Concerto, and returned in following seasons to perform works by Foulds, Stravinsky, Antheil, and McCabe.
Much in demand as a chamber musician, Ashley is a frequent guest of many international festivals, and he is the Artistic Director of the Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival. In 2012 Ashley formed the Trio Apaches, together with Matthew Trusler and Thomas Carroll, which rapidly established itself as one of the most in demand British ensembles of today. There are plans for them to premiere a major new addition to the Triple Concerto repertoire.
Ashley played an integral part in the BBC’s Sound of Shakespeare celebratory event in Stratford in 2017, and will also embark on an extensive solo recital tour with a Shakespeare programme this autumn. Other highlights include a debut at the Melbourne Recital Centre, as well as an acclaimed performance of the Foulds Dynamic Triptych with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, debut with the Slovak Philharmonic and a performance of Beethoven Triple Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Ashley is currently a Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music, London, and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
David Campbell has enjoyed an exciting and varied schedule as a clarinet soloist for four decades.
After winning the Thurston Clarinet Prize at the RCM, David Campbell’s was invited to join Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s ‘Fires of London’. He also worked regularly with the London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, London Mozart Players and Nash Ensemble.
Over recent years David has developed the solo and chamber music strands of his career, performing in over forty countries with leading ensembles and as soloist with orchestras such as the BBC Scottish, BBC NOW, BBC Concert, English Chamber, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, as well as foreign orchestras in countries including the USA, Estonia, Malta, France, China and most recently a third trip to Puebla, Mexico as both concerto soloist and conductor.
David has made radio and television broadcasts both as a player and presenter and as a recording artist, David has played on about many recordings as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. His recordings of the Finzi Concerto and Charles Camileri’s Concertino are often played on Classic FM. David has also played on many Hollywood movie scores and often plays in the Covent Garden Sinfonia, which often plays ‘live’ with silent films. He was Visiting Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University from 1989 to 2013 and is currently Head of Woodwind at Westminster School and a visiting lecturer at City University in London and is a member of the University’s group, the ‘City Pierrot Players’.
David has been Artistic Director of Musicfest in Aberystwyth since 2001 and has also regularly given masterclasses at Dartington International Summer School.
David Campbell was the UK Chair of the International Clarinet Association for twenty years and was Chair of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain from 2011 to 2016. Since 2016, David has been a Yamaha and a D’Addario Artist. He also endorses D’Addario Reeds and undertakes promotional tours, recitals and pieces to camera for both companies. He plays Yamaha CSG IIIs ‘Hamilton’, mouthpiece by Licostini , BG ligature and D’Addario Reserve Classic 3.5 reeds.
“Matthew Trusler has been attracting the kind of praise normally reserved for a young Oistrakh” The Independent. He has developed a reputation as one of Britain’s leading violinists, performing with St Christopher’s School many of the world’s great orchestras, and receiving huge critical acclaim for his diverse recordings. He has founded the record label Orchid Classics on which some of the most important artists of today are recording, and the Lenny Trusler Children’s Foundation, which raises money for desperately ill babies. Trusler was instrumental in forming the Malmo International String Festival, and was in 2012 appointed a director of Delange Artists Management, based in Amsterdam. He has been invited to perform as a recitalist and concerto soloist around the world.
In the UK he has performed with major orchestras including the BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish and BBC Welsh orchestras, the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham, Halle and Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Further afield, he has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, NDR Hannover, Helsinki Philharmonic, Deutsche Symphony Berlin, Malaysian Philharmonic, Dusseldorf Tonhalle, Flanders Symphony Orchestra and Johannesburg Philharmonic. Some of his personal highlights include his debut at the BBC Proms where he performed the Mathias Violin Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, tours with the Australian orchestras (including appearances in Perth, Queensland and Tasmania), a tour of Germany with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Sir Neville Marriner, and a tour of Mexico with Martyn Brabbins and the Philharmonia.
Trusler is an accomplished recitalist and an avid chamber musician who has performed in leading venues around the world including Wigmore Hall, London, Auditorium du Louvre, Paris and Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels. Trusler has performed frequently with Wayne Marshall, and their disc – Blues – presents a collection of short pieces by composers directly influenced by jazz. The CD was released to huge critical acclaim, including CD of the week in the Telegraph, and on Classic FM, and Recital CD of the month in Strad Magazine. Trusler’s recording activities saw the release of a newly orchestrated version of Heifetz’s Porgy and Bess arrangement, with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Carl Davis, as well as a disc for children entitled Fairy Tales on the Orchid Classics label.
His recordings of the Britten Violin Concerto with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, and Prokofiev Violin Concertos I & II with BBC National Orchestra of Wales have also been released also on Orchid Classics. Another release in 2016 was “Wonderland”, an ambitious project involving 13 composers, 13 animated filmmakers, an illustrator and a best-selling author – produced together with Ashley Wass to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.