The Susan Chilcott Scholarships 20099:45, 12th February 2013
This year’s Susan Chilcott Scholarships, presented in association with the Royal Philharmonic Society, UK, have been awarded to six promising young singers aged between 22 and 28. The total value of the awards is more than £22,000 and will go towards the cost of the recipients’ studies.
The Board of Trustees has also appointed pianist and presenter, Iain Burnside, as Chair, replacing Jonathan Dimbleby, who will now become President. Burnside was a close friend of Susan Chilcott’s during her lifetime, and has served as a juror and trustee for the scholarships since their launch in 2004.
Iain Burnside: “This year, the awards have gone to a group of exciting young singers, and will enable some to complete conservatoire studies that might otherwise have been in jeopardy. We believe in the talent of these young artists and hope our support will give them space to grow.”
79 singers applied for the 2009 Scholarships, the strongest of whom were invited to audition before a panel that included Chair, Iain Burnside, soprano, Dame Josephine Barstow, bass-baritone, Robert Hayward, and Susan Chilcott’s teacher, Mollie Petrie.
The six Scholarship recipients are all currently studying at Conservatoires in London: baritone Gerard Collett (National Opera Studio), soprano Rebecca Goulden (Royal Academy of Music), baritone Gary Griffiths (Guildhall School), mezzo-soprano Martha Jones (Royal College of Music), tenor John Pierce (National Opera Studio), and this year’s youngest Scholar, 22-year-old soprano Natalya Romaniw (Guildhall School).
Awarded annually, the Susan Chilcott Scholarships offer financial support to emerging classical singers both within formal education or in private education, as well as to professional singers wishing to study a specific repertoire or language. Susan Chilcott, who herself came from a modest background, was one of the leading English sopranos of her generation; she died of breast cancer in 2003, aged 40.