Arts Council of Northern Ireland Announces Recipients of  Young Musicians’ Platform Award

The recipients of the Young Musicians’ Platform Award, clockwise from top left: ROE, Angus McCall, Justine Gormley, Andrew Irwin, Rose Connolly and Jack Warnock. (Photo: Arts Council of Northern Ireland).

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Announces Recipients of Young Musicians’ Platform Award

Artists will receive funding of up to £5,000 as well as professional mentoring and broadcasts on the BBC.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) has announced the recipients of the Young Musicians’ Platform Award. The biennial awards, which are run by ACNI in collaboration with BBC Northern Ireland, aim to support the development of young musicians with funding of up to £5,000 that goes towards training with a professional musician, mentor, teacher or composer. 

The award has previously been granted to musicians in the genres of classical, jazz and folk, with this being the first year singer-songwriters were eligible. The recipients are opera singer Andrew Irwin, cellist Angus McCall and pianist Justine Gormley in the classical category; traditional musician and multi-instrumentalist Jack Warnock and composer and multi-instrumentalist Rose Connolly in the traditional category; and singer-songwriter Roisin Donald (ROE). 

In addition to funding for professional training, the musicians will also receive two broadcasts with BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle, including one with the Ulster Orchestra. Three presenters from BBC Radio Ulster will mentor the young musicians in preparation for the performances. Classical pianist and presenter of Classical Connections John Toal will mentor Irwin, McCall and Gormley; Lynette Fay, presenter of Folk Club, will mentor Warnock and Connolly; and Stephen McCauley of The Stephen McCauley show will mentor ROE

Commenting on the announcement, Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: 

Congratulations to all six musicians on receiving these awards which offers a unique opportunity to develop musical skills, learn from the best and perform live with our tremendous Ulster Orchestra. All of the previous recipients of this award have gone on to have incredibly successful careers in music and I’ve every confidence that the new recipients will benefit greatly from this experience.

Previous recipients of the award include classical pianist Michael McHale, soprano Laura Sheerin, harpist Richard Allen, violinist Michael Trainor, piper Conor Mallon, folk singer and guitarist Niall Hanna and jazz drummer Ed Dunlop. 

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Published on 19 January 2021

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