18 October 2023
By Mary Bemingham
Rowel Elesio Friers (Piano | RIAM) is this year’s Winner of the 2023 Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year.
The Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition is now the highest prized Music Competition in Ireland with Cash Prizes of more than €21,000 plus significant Solo Engagement Performances in both Ireland and Internationally for the Winner who will pick up a cheque for €8,000. Recognised internationally, and one of the most important dates in the calendars of young musicians who will be the future of classical music in Ireland and around the globe the competition took place before an international Jury in Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 last week.
Rowel Elesio Friers was presented with his 1st Prize which included:
A cheque for €8,000 plus significant Solo Engagement Performances in both Ireland and Internationally including
A solo engagement during 2024 with the National Symphony Orchestra
A Recital engagement at the National Concert Hall during 2024
An engagement at the ‘Music in Monkstown Festival’ in 2024
Submission of the recording (at RTE LYRIC FM’s discretion) of the Winner’s performance to the European Broadcasting Union New Talent Competition, as RTE Lyric FM’s entry for 2024.
A special prize for this year’s winner of a Recital in the Redutowe Rooms of the Teatr Wielki – National Opera in Warsaw presented by Jury Member Beata Klatka, Polish National Opera
SECOND PRIZE: €5,000 – Ella Nagy (Piano | RIAM) was awarded the Second Prize of €5,000
THIRD PRIZE: €3,000 – Gavin Hodson (Alto-Saxophone | TU Dublin) was awarded the Third Prize of €3,000. He also won ‘The Conrad O’Sullivan Memorial Prize (sponsored by Mrs. Geraldine O’Sullivan in memory of her son, Conrad). This prize is €1,000 and is awarded to the competitor who, in the opinion of the Jury has given the best performance by a Wind or Brass player in the 2023 competition.
FOURTH PRIZE: €2,000 – Kate O’Shea (Violin | Cork School of Music) was awarded the Fourth Prize of €2,000. She also won ‘The John Vallery Memorial Prize’ (sponsored by Mary Beattie in memory of her husband, the viola player, John Vallery). This prize is €1,000 and is awarded to the competitor who, in the opinion of the Jury has given the best performance by a String player in the 2023 competition.
Wil Keune Memorial Prize: Mickey Glen Tomas (Piano | TU Dublin) was awarded The Wil Keune Memorial Prize €1,000 for a performance by a Semi Finalist not awarded a place in the Final but whom the Jury feel shows real potential and promise. This Prize was posthumously presented on behalf of Jane Carty.