Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw wins the 2011 Guildhall Gold Medal

17/05/2011

Guildhall School of Music and Drama: Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw wins the 2011 Gold Medal. (Eds)

The Guildhall School is delighted to announce that 24-year old soprano Natalya Romaniw is the winner of this year’s Gold Medal, the School’s most prestigious prize for outstanding soloists, this year for singers. The prize presents a sum of one thousand pounds with the gold medal, generously donated by The Worshipful Company of Musicians.

The four Gold Medal finalists each performed a short programme with piano accompaniment in the first half of the concert, followed by a second half of arias with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards to a capacity audience in the Barbican Hall on Tuesday 10 May.

The other three finalists were runner up English baritone Ashley Riches who was presented with the Glass Trophy, generously donated by The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers, Japanese baritone Koji Terada and French baritone Victor Sicard. The Piano Accompanist Prize was awarded to Marek Ruszczynski, supported and presented by Dr Andrew Parmley.

Natalya Romaniw’s winning performance included Liszt’s Die Lorelei, Debussy’s C’est l’extase, Britten’sTell me the truth about love and Strauss’s Cäcilie accompanied by pianist Elizabeth Rossiter, as well as Britten’sHow beautiful it is (The Turn of the Screw), Gounod’s Jewel Song (Faust)and Puccini’s Un bel di (Madama Butterfly).

Natalya Romaniw commented, ‘I am absolutely thrilled to have won the Gold Medal. I feel this is what I have been working towards for the last six years, and am especially grateful to my teacher John Evans who has brought me to where I am’.

Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw studies at the Guildhall School under the guidance of John Evans, where she is in her final year of the opera course. Operatic engagements have included La Rondine with British Youth Opera, the cover of First Nymph in Rusalka at the Glyndebourne Festival and Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff for WNYO. More recently she appeared as Giulia in La scala di seta for BYO and covered the role of Anne Truelove for the Glyndebourne Festival.

Already in demand as a soloist on the concert platform appearances include Messiah in Fishguard, a recital of Rachmaninov Songs at LSO St Luke’s, recitals at the Swansea Festival, Ammanford Arts, in Guernsey and at St David’s Hall Cardiff and in 2009 as soloist with the Manchester Camerata for their popular New Year’s concerts. She also appears regularly as soloist with the Welsh Male Voice Choirs including the Dunvant, the Morriston Orpheus, Port Talbot and Pontarddulais. For BBC Four Natalya co-presented and appeared as the soprano in the documentary Chopin and the Singer. Natalya was awarded first prize at the London Welsh Young Singer of the Year and more recently, first prize in the 2008 Welsh Singers Competition. In 2009 she reached the final of the song prize in the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Natalya is also the winner of 2010 Clonter Opera Prize. Her scholarship for the 2010/11 academic year is supported by the Worshipful Companies of Plumbers and Saddlers, the Atlantic Foundation and Independent Opera.

The final took place before a distinguished panel of judges including Jonathan Vaughan, Director of Music at the Guildhall School; the evening’s conductor of the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra Sian Edwards; mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker; ENO’s acclaimed Music Director Edward Gardner and Edward Seckerson the Independent’s Chief Music Critic.

The Gold Medal award was founded and endowed by Sir H Dixon Kimber in 1915. Previous winners include Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Tasmin Little (1986) and Bryn Terfel (1989). The 2006 winner Anna-Liisa Bezrodny has had solo performances with orchestras across Europe including the Helsinki Philharmonic and Haydn Chamber Orchestras; 2007 winner Katherine Broderick also won the first prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Award 2007 and recently made her ENO debut as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni); 2008 winner Sasha Grynyuk also won the inaugural Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize which saw him perform a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall in 2009. 2010’s winner Gary Griffiths has performed solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, and will make his professional debut with Welsh National Opera in summer 2011. Last year’s winner Martyna Jatkauskaite has appeared as a soloist with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuania Chamber Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra and the London Festival Orchestra.

On Tuesday 24 May there will be a fundraising evening in honour of Natalya Romaniw, the 2011 Gold Medal Winner. This will take place at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall, Dowgate Hill, London EC4 AT 7pm. For further information about please contact the Development Office on 020 7382 7179 or email development@gsmd.ac.uk.

The Guildhall School is provided by the City of London. www.gsmd.ac.uk

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