Musical instruments on dark background

Spring 2018 Newsletter

A message from Dr Chris Storr, Chairman

This is my last message as Chairman as I shall be standing down immediately after the Competition in May. By then, I shall have been Chairman for seven Competitions. Now that we have moved successfully to Mayfield School, where we have received such a warm welcome from Antonia Beary, the Headmistress and Tony Bayliss the Bursar, and formed such a close association with the Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts, it is time for someone with fresh vision to take over, leading us to even higher levels of excellence.

We look forward to welcoming you to hear some of the most talented young musicians of their generation, with the excitement of wondering who will emerge as the Goblet winner, successor to so many prestigious concert artists. This year there is a good balance of the 81 entrants between the three Sections- so whichever is your favourite instrument you will have plenty of choice when you come to listen to them play in the preliminary Rounds.

The Competitors

Competitors come from 24 countries around the world though most are currently based in the UK. We wish them all well. Two have local connections – Matilda Lloyd trumpet lives in Leigh just outside Tonbridge and Toby Hughes double bass began his musical education with the Kent Music School while living in Tunbridge Wells before moving to the West Country.

Mayfield Festival

We are grateful for the growing collaboration with the Mayfield Festival, the Competition now forming a central part of the Festival Programme. In addition, Amalia Hall, winner of the Strings Section and Overall Winner 2016 will be playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the London Primavera in a concert celebrating Mendelssohn’s last years on Sunday, 29th April. Two of this year’s judges, Levon Chilingirian and Ian Fountain, will be giving a chamber concert of music by Mozart and Brahms on Saturday, 5th May, after the Semi-finals. To attend either of these events please apply to the Festival Box Office.

Your Support

Though the Competition Council have been working away to prepare for this year’s Competition for almost two years, we cannot succeed without the vital support by way of financial donations from Friends and Patrons and those who assist with financial donations and in other ways! We wish to thank you most sincerely for this generosity.


We are as always, particularly grateful to all those who are offering accommodation to the competitors and their accompanists as this forms the core of the friendly ethos which has such a strong reputation. It is really gratifying to be able to report that all those asking for a bed this year have once again been accommodated.

Help during the Competition

As the date of the Competition draws near, we also need assistance with Reception, Stewarding and Chairing the early Rounds. There are already a number of willing volunteers, but if you would like to become involved, please contact:

Fund raising

The generous donations by Friends and Patrons provide a substantial part of the funds needed to run each Competition and we thank them all most sincerely.

Money is also raised through a number of fundraising events arranged during the two years between the Competitions. These raise significant amounts and also enable supporters to meet outside the period of the Competition itself. They are always great fun and we should like to thank all those who support the Competition by attending. If you have not yet done so, we would encourage you to come to one in the future.

Since the last Newsletter there have been two successful and very contrasting events.

First, in November, Vivian Widgery, formerly deputy editor of Hansard, gave a fascinating talk entitled “An Insider’s Guide to Parliament”.We appreciated a unique chance to learn about the intimate details of life in the Palace of Westminster while enjoying a little pre-Christmas celebration. Then in February, Dominic Degavino, winner of the Piano Section 2016 gave us an unforgettable recital including Ravel’s Miroirs at a soiree in Manor Grange, the lovely home of Harry Trusted and Mary Anderson. Those who were privileged to hear him play will surely agree with the reviewer in the Times newspaper who wrote “Dominic is definitely one to watch”!

Friends and Patrons of the Competition

Many in receipt of this Newsletter are already signed up as Friends or Patrons. This is a very easy way of continuing valuable backing for the Competition whose mission is to support the future of classical music by supporting and encouraging the classical musicians of the future.

As the law is changing in May 2018, we need explicit permission to get in touch with you. Please return the enclosed form if you wish to receive future Competition correspondence by post or email. For further information, contact Mary Anderson by email:

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