Adam Heron awarded Irish Heritage Music Bursary for 2017

Adam Heron, a student at Royal Academy of Music (RAM in London), is the recipient of the Irish
Heritage Music Bursary for 2017. The prestigious Bursary is an important part of the arts
organisation’s annual programme of activities, concerts and recitals.


Adam was chosen for the award after a day of auditions conducted before a panel of expert adjudicators under the Chairmanship of John Gilhooly OBE in the Wigmore Hall in London on 3rd November. The bursary, worth £5,000, is awarded to an Irish student studying in Britain. This year students were nominated by this country’s seven major conservatoires and the National Opera Studios.

Adam (18) was born in Hong Kong and adopted at birth by his mother Ann Heron, who comes from Dublin. Ann, who was teaching in the former colony at the time, returned to this country and settled in Cheltenham in 2003. Adam went to a local junior school from where he was awarded a scholarship at the age of seven to study with Adrian Partington, Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral. From 2012 until 2017 Adam studied piano at Wells Cathedral School with Hilary Coates and Richard Ormrod from where he was awarded a scholarship to undertake a Bachelor of Music course at the RAM. He was nominated for the Bursary by Christopher Elton, Professor Emeritus of Piano at the RAM.

Adam has already enjoyed numerous successes in both national and international piano competitions and has performed in venues from Cheltenham to Kiev and Hong Kong as well as participating in masterclasses with distinguished musicians such as Stephen Hough, John Lill and Imogen Cooper.

Adam’s mother is a great granddaughter of James Connolly, the Irish patriot. Both Adam and his mother are regular visitors to Dublin and to Spiddal in County Galway, the home of his late grandparents. Adam can speak a little Irish.

Commenting on the award of the bursary to Adam Heron, John Gilhooly, Chairman of the adjudicators said, “Adam is a very engaging young musician and we are very pleased that Irish Heritage can help him at such a pivotal point in his studies.”

Speaking about the bursary, Adam Heron said, “It is both an honour and a delight to have been awarded the Irish Heritage Music Bursary.  An opportunity to perform in the main auditorium at the Wigmore Hall was very a special privilege, and I know that it will be a great pleasure to work with Irish Heritage during the years to come.  Its outstanding work in supporting Irish artists both in Ireland and the UK is quite simply remarkable.”

Irish Heritage has invited Adam to give a cameo performance as part of its “Christmas by Candlelight” concert in St George’s Hanover Square, London on Monday 18th December. He will give a full recital at the organisation’s bursary winner’s concert in Leighton House Museum, London W14 on Tuesday 12th June 2018.

Adam will also perform at the Lismore Opera Festival on 1st June 2018 together with the two highly commended contestants for this year’s Bursary soprano Rebecca Murphy from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and harpist Maria McNamee from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.