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Young Musicians of the Gulf

Hosted by St Christopher’s School

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Event date: 26 – 28 January 2016. The Grand Final will be held at Sofitel on the evening of Thursday, 28 January. This event is open to the public.

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.

Participants from schools across the Gulf (primarily Dubai, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar) are invited to 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. This year, 98 students will take part from seven school from across the region.

In the lead up to the Grand Final, all the musicians have an opportunity to attend Master Classes led by distinguished adjudicators who bring their own special talents to the competition. Last year’s judges commented that the level of musical talent and dedication on show throughout the competition as “consistently impressive”.

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This year, we are thrilled to welcome three esteemed adjudicators from the UK. Christopher Griksaitis, John Thwaites and Penny Stirling will be joining our Young Musicians throughout the event.

Christopher Griksaitis is an up and coming young tenor from the North East of England. He is particularly focused on opera, lied and oratorio performance. As well as being a singer, he is a gifted accompanist.

John Thwaites has run the Piano Department at Christ’s Hospital, and taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, John is currently Head of Keyboard Studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and Course Director of the Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School, London, in July.

Penny Stirling was born in Somerset and trained at the Royal College of Music in London. She ran the string department at Wells Cathedral School, was Head of the Instrumental Music Service for Wiltshire and then moved to Manchester where she became Director of the internationally renowned Junior Strings Project, a Queen’s Anniversary Prize winner for the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2004 she moved to North Yorkshire and became Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians, a DfE Music and Dance Scheme Centre for Advanced Training for highly talented children in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The anticipation is now mounting ahead of this year’s event, and we are thrilled to announce Euro Motors as our Diamond Sponsors.


Faye Hill, Head of Music at St Christopher’s Senior School: Faye.Hill@st-chris.net

Nadia Al-Aali, Marketing and Sponsorship Officer +973 1759 8499 / +973 3946 4199

Samantha Bicknell, Marketing and Operations Support Manager +973 1759 8486 / +973 3837 7334

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