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Amy Gillen awarded 2018 Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance

Amy Gillen, a student at Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, is the recipient of the 2018 Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance.  The prestigious Bursary is an important part of the arts organisation’s annual programme of activities, concerts and recitals.

Katie Rowan, Amy Gillen, Patrick Lennon and Joe Corbett

Pictured (left to right) are: Katie Rowan, co-ordinator of the Irish Heritage Bursary, Amy Gillen, recipient of the 2018 Bursary, Patrick Lennon, Chairman of Irish Heritage and Joe Corbett, Irish Heritage Artistic Advisor-Britain.

Amy, who is a flautist, 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 2nd November.

The bursary, worth £5,000, is awarded to an Irish student continuing her or his music education in Britain.  This year students were nominated by this country’s seven major conservatoires.

Twenty-three-year-old Amy, who comes from Bridgetown in County Donegal, was awarded a first class honours BA of Music Performance in Flute from the Royal Irish Academy of Music earlier this year.  She moved to London in September to study for a Masters of Music Performance in Flute at the Royal College of Music.

Amy’s exceptional talent has already been recognised through the award of multiple prizes both in Ireland and further afield.  Earlier this year, she gave a recital at the Galway International Flute Festival as part of being awarded the prestigious Sir James Galway Rising Star Award at the same festival in Switzerland in 2017.

Commenting on the award of the bursary to Amy Gillen, John Gilhooly, Chairman of the adjudicators said, “Amy is an immediately engaging artist from the moment she steps on the platform. She is a true musician in every sense. She greatly impressed the jury and this bursary comes at an important time in her development.” 

Speaking about the bursary, Amy Gillen said, “It is a great honour to have been awarded the Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance.  The opportunity to perform in the main auditorium at Wigmore Hall was a very special privilege. It will be a great pleasure to work with the Irish Heritage and I am extremely grateful and appreciative to them for their generous support. I look forward to making my London debut on 6th March next year and to performing at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival in Lismore County Waterford on 31st May 2019. The organisation’s outstanding work in supporting Irish artists both in Ireland and Britain is quite simply exceptional.”

There already are two confirmed opportunities where Amy will be performing in an Irish Heritage context.  She will give a recital at the organisation’s bursary winner’s concert in the beautiful St Marylebone Parish Church on Marylebone Road, London NWI on Wednesday 6th March 2019.

Amy will also perform at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival in Lismore County Waterford on 31st May 2019 together with the two highly commended contestants for this year’s Bursary, tenor Peter Harris from the Royal Academy of Music, and harpist Tara Viscardi from the Royal College of Music.  Brian Hughes, a pianist studying at the Royal College of Music was awarded a special prize to perform as an accompanist at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Amy Gillen
Amy Gillen
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