Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tom Hicks - Pianist, Rhapsody In Blue
St Nicolas' Church, Newbury, 2nd March 2013

Tom Hicks is a 19-year-old pianist from Guernsey. He has been awarded first prize in the Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Under-22 Piano Competition, first prize and the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA) UK Salver in the Croydon Advanced Piano Concerto Competition, first prize in the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Junior Intercollegiate Competition, first prize in the Junior Bakst Memorial Prize for the playing of Chopin and first prize in the Chetham's Beethoven and Chopin Competitions. In 2012 he was also selected as one of 32 finalists in the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alongside competition successes, Tom has also won awards such as the Richards’ Prize for piano and musicianship and the Dennis Midwood Keyboard Prize from Chetham’s School of Music and the Proctor-Gregg Performance Prize from the University of Manchester. In addition, he has recently been awarded the Keith Dawber Memorial Bursary from Deutche Bank and a John Biggs Scholarship from EPTA UK and has been grateful for financial assistance from the Ormsby Guernsey Charitable Trust.
After lessons in Guernsey with Mervyn Grand he gained a place at Chetham’s School of Music in 2009, studying with Murray McLachlan, with whom he is continuing on the prestigious joint course at The Royal Northern College of Music and The Manchester University. Tom also plays regularly to musicians including Christopher Elton, Peter Donohoe and John Gough and has enjoyed many master classes from pianists including Joseph Banowetz, Michel Beroff, Philippe Cassard, Stefano Fiuzzi, Ronan O’Hora, Stephen Hough, Leslie Howard, Vanessa Latarche, John Lill, Hamish Milne, Steven Osborne, Charles Owen, Dina Parakhina, Daniel-Ben Pienaar, Vladimir Tropp, Simon Trpcezici, Nelita True and Catherine Vickers.

He already has an expansive repertoire spanning from Scarlatti and Bach through to Shchedrin and Silvestrov and has performed in venues such as the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Centre in Salt Lake City, St James’ Piccadilly in London and The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. As a concerto soloist, he is currently undertaking a cycle of the complete Rachmaninov Concerti with orchestras from his island home in Guernsey.
As a versatile musician, Tom is also a skilled accompanist, having studied principally with Elena Nalimova, and is an experienced chamber musician, receiving coaching from John Gough, Valerie Taylor, Jeremy Young and Sara Wolstenholme. He has also received coaching from Stephen Threlfall and Mark Heron in conducting.

Paul Saunders Clarinet soloist, Artie Shaw's Concerto for Clarinet
 St Nicolas' Church, Newbury, 2nd March 2013

Paul studied at the Royal College of Music (under Michael Collins and Bob Hill). He gained the “Roger Fallows Prize for orchestral Clarinet Playing” and the “Constant and Kit Lambert” Prize for the most promising woodwind player leaving the College that year.  He was a finalist in the Royal Overseas League competition and a semi finalist in the Shell LSO competition. 
Since leaving the College he has enjoyed a varied career combining performing with teaching and he is now an established West End musician, trebling on Flute Clarinet and Saxophone. 
Previous solo work includes Solo Clarinet in Bernstein’s Prelude Fugue and Riffs (Capital Radio Jazz Festival), Mozart Clarinet Concert (City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra) and Weber’s First Concerto, (Dartford Symphony Orchestra, October 9th 2011). 
TV and studio work include LWT Parkinson, BBC Open University and BBC Can’t Sing Singers but the majority of his work is theatre based.  He has held many chairs on UK tours (including Sunset Boulevard. Kiss me Kate, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Half a Sixpence and Ain’t Misbehavin’).  West End work includes the following productions “Guys and Dolls”, Les Miserables”, “The Producers”, “Mary Poppins”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Full Monty” , “My Fair Lady”) 
He can currently be found working on the London production of “Wicked” playing Bb, Eb, Bass Cl and Sop Sax.  
Work outside of the musical theatre genre includes Matthew Bourne’s “Edward Scissorhands” performed at Saddlers Wells, RLPO, WNO, Chameleon Arts Orchestra and a the occasional late night cabaret at Madame Jo Jo’s.
He has recently enjoyed success as a composer and has had works published by Spartan Press. He is also a UK endorsee for Legere Reeds.