Meet our six 2020 judges


Sam Haywood

Sam Haywood

Sam Haywood has performed to critical acclaim in many of the world’s major concert halls. The Washington Post hailed his ‘dazzling, evocative playing’ and ‘lyrical sensitivity’ and the New York Times his ‘passionate flair and sparkling clarity’. He embraces a wide spectrum of the piano repertoire and is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician or with accompanying Lieder. He has had a regular duo partnership with Joshua Bell since 2010 and often performs with cellist Steven Isserlis.

He has recorded two solo albums for Hyperion, one featuring the piano music of Julius Isserlis (grandfather of Steven Isserlis) and the other Charles Villiers Stanford’s preludes. His passion for period instruments led to a recording on Chopin’s own Pleyel piano, part of the Cobbe Collection.

In 2013 Haywood co-founded Solent Music Festival in UK. The annual Lymington-based festival features highly varied programmes and projects in the local community. Guest artists have included the King’s Singers, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Steven Isserlis, Anthony Marwood, Michael Portillo, Mark Padmore and the Elias Quartet.

Image: [Robert Torres]

Joanna MacGregor

Joanna MacGregor CBE

Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, curator, and collaborator. Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna MacGregor is also the Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival.

As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over eighty countries and appeared with many eminent conductors – Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them – and orchestras, including London Symphony and Sydney Symphony orchestras, Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, the Berlin Symphony and Salzburg Camerata.

She has premiered many landmark compositions, ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She performs regularly at major venues throughout the world, including Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and the Barbican in London, Sydney Opera House, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Image: RAM


Guy Johnston

Guy Johnston, Cello

Guy Johnston is one of the most exciting and versatile British cellists of his generation. Born into a musical family, Guy joined his brothers in the world-renowned choir of King’s College, Cambridge, where he recorded the famous carol Once in Royal David’s City, under Stephen Cleobury. He went on to achieve important early successes through the BBC Young Musician of the Year title, the Guilhemina Suggia Gift, the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award and receiving a Classical Brit Award at the Royal Albert Hall. His mentors have included Steven Doane, Ralph Kirshbaum, Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Isserlis and David Waterman.

He has made many important debuts including at the First Night of the BBC Proms playing the Elgar Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/Slatkin, the Brahms Double Concerto in the Philharmonie with the DSO Berlin/Valchua, and the Schumann Concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra/ Tilbrook.

Among past highlights with leading orchestras on these islands are ‘Don Quixote’ with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain/Tortelier, the Walton Cello Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic/Tortelier, the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Seal, Britten’s Cello Symphony with the Royal Northern Sinfonia/Ticciati, and Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2 with the RTE National Orchestra/Altschuler in Dublin.

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David Takeno

David Takeno, Violin

Born in Tokyo, David Takeno began to play the violin at an early age performing solos with orchestras from the age of eight, first in New Zealand and soon afterwards in America, Israel and Europe.

The main influence in his musical education was with Emmanuel Zetlin in Seattle and Ramy Shevelov in Tel Aviv.

During the 60s he moved to London, where he formed various chamber music ensembles and was a member of the Menuhin Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and Academy St Martins.

Since 1976, he has devoted his time to teaching and has taught at the Menuhin School, Cambridge University and at the Guildhall School where he holds the post of 'Eugène Ysaÿe International Chair of Violins'.

His broad interest in and enthusiasm for music, past and present, have encouraged pupils in a wide range of fields, from Rachel Podger and Pavlo Beznosiuk in baroque performance to Anthony Marwood and Carolin Widmann who have championed many new works. Past students hold active positions in the profession, performing and teaching throughout the world.

In 1998 he was awarded the W W Cobbett Medal for services to chamber music by the Worshipful Company of Musician, and in 2009, the Golden Award from the University of Belgrade. In 2010 he was awarded the Association of British Orchestras Award, marking his contribution to excellence in British orchestral music-making through his teaching.

Text and image: David Takeno


John Wallace

John Wallace, Trumpet

John Wallace grew up in the Brass Band tradition in Scotland. In 1965 he toured Europe with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and went on to become Principal Trumpet with the Philharmonia Orchestra after periods with the Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras as Assistant Principal.

In 1986 John created his flexible brass interest group, The Wallace Collection, who made over 30 solo and ensemble CDs and undertook a wide variety of performance tours and innovative musical projects. During his first career as a trumpet player, John played concertos with many conductors including Simon Rattle, Andrew Davis, Riccardo Muti, Giseppe Sinopoli, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, and premiered new works by Malcolm Arnold, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, James Macmillan, Tim Souster, Robert Saxton, Mark Anthony Turnage, HK Gruber and Dominic Muldeowny amongst many others.

In 2002 he became Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a multidisciplinary institution of Drama, Dance, Production, Screen and Music. He left this position in September 2014 to resume his musical career, reforming The Wallace Collection, and composing new music for brass.

John was awarded the OBE in 1995 in recognition of his distinguished services to Music, and the CBE in 2011 for services to Dance, Music and Drama in Scotland.

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Juliette Bausor

Juliette Bausor

Juliette Bausor is the principal flute player in the London Philharmonic Orchestra, having previously held the position with both Royal Northern Sinfonia and London Mozart Players. A highly sought after chamber musician, Juliette is a member of critically acclaimed Ensemble 360 and has collaborated with many other leading chamber musicians, including Lars Vogt, Alasdair Beatson and Llyr Williams (piano), Thomas Zehetmair (violin), Kate Royal (soprano), Jana Boušková, Anneleen Lenaerts and Catrin Finch (harp), and the Elias, Carducci and Edinburgh String Quartets amongst others, whilst performing at major international festivals, including performances at the Heimbach, Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Aldeburgh International Festivals and the BBC Proms. Following early recognition in competitions, including reaching the televised Concerto Final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and winning the Gold Medal in both the Shell LSO Competition and the Royal Over-Seas League Competition, Juliette has performed as a concerto soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Academy of St Martins in the Fields, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and London Mozart Players amongst others. In 2014 Juliette was selected by the European Concert Hall Organisation as an ECHO 'Rising Star'. She has since appeared as a solo recitalist in some of Europe’s most prestigious concert venues, including Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Brussels BOZAR, Birmingham Town Hall, Budapest Palace of Arts, Vienna Musikverein, Stockholm Konserthus, L’Auditori Barcelona, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Philharmonie Luxembourg and London Barbican Centre.

Text and image: Juliette Bausor