7th New Talent Festival
At the Royal Academy of Music
Let's Play

Open to musicians from 4 to 18 years old

Strings — Piano — Voice — Woodwind & Brass

Total prizes worth totalling £16,000+, admission into Junior Royal Academy of Music without audition, masterclasses, mentorship and performance opportunities.


Hosted by

Hosted by

Music is life.

New Talent Festival is a celebration of the joy of music. Hundreds of young people from all over the world coming together to showcase their talents, buddy-up with other young musicians and get inspired by some of the world’s top music teachers. There are one-to-one masterclasses,

interactive workshops, forums, concert, and of course, the competition.

Whether beginner, virtuoso, or somewhere in between, if you love classical music, you’ll love New Talent Festival 2024.

Jury, Faculty & Advisors

Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.

His commitment to education spans over 30 years, during which time he has also established himself as a recording producer, freelance trumpet player, writer and broadcaster. In the early years of his career, he was awarded the Healey Willan Memorial Scholarship at the University of Toronto, from which he graduated with First Class Honours, before embarking on research at Christ Church, Oxford.

From 1991 to 1995, he served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, then 13 years as its Vice-Principal and Director of Studies. In 2001, he was conferred Professor of the University of London. For over a quarter of a century in senior posts at the Academy, Jonathan has played a leading role in launching pioneering programmes and fostering major international relationships. He has been instrumental in nurturing a 20-year collaboration with The Juilliard School in New York, as well as masterminding several major artistic and professional development initiatives, including the Academy’s recording label (producing nearly 40 titles including those on Linn Records since 2012) to introduce talented young artists to the creative challenges of the studio.

He has also assembled a roster of eminent international musicians as permanent staff or visiting professors. A close involvement in the artistic strategy of the Academy has led to the inauguration of several successful concert series, including with the Kohn Foundation a 10-year project to perform all of Bach’s sacred and secular cantatas, extended into ‘Bach the European’ in 2019, co-curated with John Butt. During Jonathan’s Principalship, the Academy was granted Degree Awarding Powers from the Privy Council (2012) and has embarked on a number of transformational capital projects, including two new practice facilities and, from 2015, the building of the award-winning Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall, completed in 2018.

Jonathan is a Fellow of King’s College London (where he is a Visiting Professor) and has also been awarded fellowships from Royal Northern College of Music and Royal College of Music. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Academy of Ancient Music, Vice-President of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, Patron of London Youth Choirs, and a trustee and Chair of the Artistic Advisory Committee of Garsington Opera. He is also a trustee of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford Music, the British Library SAGA Trust, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Countess of Munster Trust, and he served for a decade on the board of Young Classical Artists’ Trust (YCAT) and as a trustee of the University of London from 2010 to 2016.

As a trumpet soloist, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has released 10 solo albums, the majority of them with Linn Records, and he has attracted wide critical acclaim for their musical originality. These recordings have achieved an effective reimagining of the trumpet as a chamber instrument in reconstructions of works from c 1600 to the 20th century. Initially with John Wallace and Colm Carey in 2003, he recorded The Trumpets that Time Forgot (Rheinberger and Elgar) before conceiving a series of programmes with pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar: La Trompette Retrouvée (2007), Trumpet Masque (2008), Romantic Trumpet Sonatas (2010), A Bach Notebook for Trumpet (2012), The Neoclassical Trumpet (2014) and, most recently, An English Sett for Trumpet. Trumpet Masque won High Fidelity’s ‘Recording of the Year’ in 2008.

He also recorded the world premiere of Gabriel Fauré’s Vocalises in 2013, accompanied by pianist-scholar Roy Howat, whose edition was published by Peters. Jonathan is a Series Editor for Resonata Music’s The Re-Imagined Trumpet, in which, among other pieces from his catalogue, newly configured sonatas by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Fauré have been published. In 2020, he published with composer Thomas Oehler a Sonata ‘after Richard Strauss’ for Boosey and Hawkes, recorded for Linn as part of The Viennese Trumpet. In May 2020, BBC Music Magazine wrote: ‘Freeman-Attwood’s brilliantly recorded high lines and judiciously vibratoed singing prove companionable for the whole duration’.

Jonathan has produced over 250 commercial discs for many of the world’s most prestigious independent labels, including Naxos, BIS, Chandos, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi USA, Linn, Channel Classics and AVIE. His productions have won major awards, including several Diapasons d’Or, Gramophone Awards, and numerous nominations over the last 20 years with artists including Rachel Podger, the Cardinall’s Musick, Trevor Pinnock, Phantasm, La Nuova Musica, I Fagiolini, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Daniel-Ben Pienaar, and various leading cathedral choirs – among them St Paul’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. He produced the final volume of Andrew Carwood’s Byrd Edition (Vol 13) for Hyperion, which won the prestigious Gramophone ‘Recording of the Year’ in 2010.

As an educator and scholar, he is active as a lecturer, critic, and contributor to journals (including Gramophone since 1992) and publications such as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001, 2nd edition) and Cambridge University Press’s Companion of Recorded Music, and also to BBC Radio 3. He is an established authority on Bach interpretation, particularly in challenging and refocusing historical perspectives on performance practices. He regularly writes for Warner, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and other major record labels.

He was appointed CBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 2018.

Princess Alreem

Royal Patron of Amy Yuan Academy.


Professor David Strange

Professor of Cello at Royal Academy of Music.

Former Head of Strings at Royal Academy of Music.

Richard Morris

Former CEO of ABRSM.

Former Chairman of Yehudi Menuhin School.

David Woodcock


Director of Music at Harrow School, London.

Renowned conductor and educator.

David Woodcock began his musical education as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral under Dr Allan Wicks. He returned to Canterbury at the age of 16 and completed 2 years as Cathedral Organ Scholar before going up to Cambridge as Organ Scholar at Queens’ College. During his three years at Cambridge, he directed Queens’ College Chapel Choir, the St Margaret Society Chorus and Orchestra and the Gentleman of St John’s. In September 1992, David was appointed Organist and Choirmaster at Oakham School, where from 1995-2005, he was Director of Music. Since September 2005 David has been Director of Music at Harrow School. Harrow has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its music education, and a large number of pupils go on to university with organ and choral awards.

David has a deep commitment to fostering music education of excellence. In a normal year, he oversees more than 100 concerts given by Harrow’s musicians.

He is a Fellow of The Royal College of Organists, for which he has served on the Trustee Council, as Chairman of the Academic Board and as an examiner. He has also served as a member of several national Music Education committees. Life as a school master leaves little time for other things, but David still finds time to perform as an organist and a singer. He sings occasionally with the Tallis Scholars and the Choir of the English Concert. As an organist he has given many recitals throughout the UK, including St Giles’ Cathedral Edinburgh, King’s College Cambridge, Coventry Cathedral, York Minster, Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral. In addition to family life and working his other great passions are following Arsenal FC and Kent CCC.

Professor Fraser Gordon

In person

Head of Woodwind at the Royal Academy of Music.

Principal Contrabassoon at Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

After several busy years freelancing with the orchestras in Scotland, he was appointed to his current post as Principal Contrabassoon in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011, following in the footsteps of several notable British contrabassoonists including David Chatterton, Dominic Weir, Kenneth Cooper and Nicholas Reader.

Fraser is a former member of the Board of Directors of the RPO and enjoys being part of every aspect of the orchestra’s activity, including being an active participant in the Community and Education programme, RPO Resound. He enjoys performing in major cities around the world and performs regularly as a guest with the other orchestras in London and the UK and has worked with conductors such as Gergiev, Rattle, Noseda, Davis, Ticciati, Volkov and Nelsons.

From his first experience playing contrabassoon in Edinburgh Youth Orchestra to recent performances with the World Orchestra for Peace, Fraser has always enjoyed the supportive and blending role of the contrabassoon within the orchestra. He relishes the opportunities that arise in the world of chamber music, having recorded and toured John Adams’s Chamber Symphony with the Aurora Orchestra and performed Strauss’s Serenades with London Winds.

Fraser is in demand as an examiner and visiting teacher at Conservatoires and Music Schools across the UK and recently co-hosted live broadcast coverage of the Woodwind Category of the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition from St Petersburg, Russia.

Fraser plays on two vintage 1950s Heckel contrabassoons, one previously owned by Richard Plaster formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the other formerly belonging to Dominic

Professor Jo Cole

In person and Online

Former Head of Strings at the Royal Academy of Music.

Professor of Cello at Royal Academy of Music.

Jo Cole is Head of Strings and cello professor at the Royal Academy of Music. She won a scholarship to study at the Academy herself where she was a pupil of Florence Hooton and David Strange, before further study with Ralph Kirshbaum, Pierre Fournier and William Pleeth.

Her performing career of over twenty years included membership of the Academy of St Martins, regular playing with the London Symphony Orchestra, numerous guest principal and freelancing engagements throughout the UK as well as performance and recordings of chamber music and solo works. She has adjudicated competitions nationally and internationally, given classes in a number of international conservatoires and summer courses and uses these opportunities to share her thinking not only on cello playing but advocating that developing musicians embrace all forms of performance and the arts in order to be fulfilled and communicative artists.

She is Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of Music at the University of London.

Professor Nicola Eimer

In person

Piano Accompaniment and Chamber Music at the Royal Academy of Music.

Renowned concert pianist and chamber musician.

British Pianist Nicola Eimer has performed as a soloist and chamber music across Europe, Asia and America and has played at the major UK venues including the Barbican and Wigmore Hall.

A graduate of New York’s Juilliard School, Nicola held a Fulbright Scholarship to study with Joseph Kalichstein. She previously studied in London with Danielle Salamon, and then with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was subsequently awarded a Fellowship and then nominated an Associate of the Academy.

Nicola’s passion for chamber music has led to collaborations in duos as well as larger ensembles, and she won the 2002 Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Prize with the Eimer Piano Trio, as well as later winning the Piano Prize in the 2005 competition. She regularly performs with the Swedish violinist Johan Dalene, with whom she has made a BBC broadcast as part of the New Generation Artists scheme.

Nicola is regularly invited as a guest accompanist at international competitions, and has recently played for the Menuhin and the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competitions.

In February 2019, Nicola’s CD “So Many Stars” was released on Stone Records, with acclaimed violinist Fenella. It was described as “hugely rewarding” by The Observer; “an absolutely exquisite album” by BBC Radio 3’s Record Review, and was The Strad’s Recommended Recording that month, who said “the recorded sound combines warmth and immediacy with all the intimacy of a live performance, revealing Humphreys and Eimer at their stellar best.”

Teaching and lecturing are an important part of Nicola’s musical life. She has maintained a close connection with the Royal Academy of Music, teaching piano and chamber music at both Junior and Senior Departments, as well as being the piano lecturer on their piano pedagogy LRAM course. Nicola is also Head of Keyboard at Highgate School in London.

Professor John Hutchins

In person

Director of Junior Royal Academy of Music

Director of LRAM

As Director of the LRAM teaching course at the Royal Academy of Music he devised a course for students to provide the basic tools to begin a career in instrumental teaching. With over thirty years of teaching experience, John has become sought-after as a motivating and inspirational problem solver to many trumpeters of all ages. For the past eight years John was a Head of year at the Academy and is currently Professor of Baroque Trumpet.

As a performer he has played with numerous ensembles such as The English Chamber Orchestra, The Royal Opera House and English National Opera Orchestras. On the baroque trumpet John has worked with all the major national baroque ensembles, including The Sixteen, The English Consort, the Kings Consort, Copenhagen Baroque, Stuttgart Baroque and the English Baroque Soloists. John was also a member of the Phantom of the Opera orchestra in London’s West End for fourteen years.

Professor Kathron Sturrock

In person and Online
Piano professor and Collaborative Piano professor at the Royal College of Music

Kathron Sturrock was twice the winner for the best pianist at the Sofia International Opera Competition. After these awards she was invited to work for several years with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in her Master Classes throughout Europe. She is a founder member and Artistic Director of the noted chamber ensemble The Fibonacci Sequence. As a soloist she has appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra, making her Proms debut in 1994 playing Alan Rawsthorne’s Concerto for 2 pianos with Piers Lane. She has recorded CDs for Hyperion, Chandos, Gamut, Pickwick, Sain, ASV, Black Box, Quartz and Deux-Elles. In September 2003 she joined the Keyboard Faculty at the Royal College of Music, London, where she teaches piano, chamber music and collaborative piano. She has appeared on panels for many competitions, including the very special Sydney International Piano Competition sister project ‘The Piano Lovers Competition’ for amateur pianists.

Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College

Renowned conductor and educator

Tim is Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College. Choral highlights of his time at Eton have included two CD recordings and choir tours of China, Japan, India, Germany and Latvia. The choir is regularly heard on the professional concert platform, with notable engagements including Bach’s St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music, Mahler’s Symphony No.8 in the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia under Lorin Maazel, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. Tim has directed the choir on two episodes of BBC Songs of Praise and recorded a number of performances for David Starkey’s BBC series Music and Monarchy. Recent projects have included first performances of works by Sir James MacMillan and Judith Weir.

During his time at Eton, Tim has also developed and enhanced the reputation of orchestral music, establishing regular international tours which have taken the orchestra to venues such as the Rudolfinum in Prague and the Kursaal in San Sebastian.

Beyond Eton, Tim’s work with young musicians has included preparing trebles for the Barbican’s annual performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the London Symphony Chorus/City of London Sinfonia, and a live Radio 3 broadcast of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev in St Paul’s Cathedral. He has directed choirs and orchestra in venues such as St John’s Smith Square, Westminster Abbey and the Barbican, with recent freelance conducting engagements included a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Senior Tutor in Violin at Royal Northern College of Music

ABRSM Examiner

Born and bred in Edinburgh, Steven Wilkie is one of the country’s busiest violinists. A prize winning student of Yossi Zivoni at the RNCM, he has played with many leading orchestras including the Halle, RLPO, RPO, BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the John Wilson Orchestra.

His solo appearances include the Bach Double (with Yossi Zivoni), Mendelssohn, Bruch, Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak, Barber and Prokofiev concerti. In 2004 he made his European concerto debut in Lucerne.

He is the leader of the Manchester Concert Orchestra and a founder member of the Sinfonia of London.

As a chamber musician Steven has performed throughout the UK and is leader of Sinfonia UK Collective. This ensemble recently toured Canada with great success.

Steven is an examiner for the ABRSM and Senior Tutor in Violin at the RNCM. Former students are to be found in many orchestras including the current leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Steven plays a Nicolò Gagliano violin of 1765.

Patricia Rozario 


Member of Council at RCM

Professor of Singing at Royal College of Music 

and Trinity Laban


Born in Bombay, Patricia Rozario studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music, winning the Gold Medal and the Maggie Teyte Prize. She went on to the National Opera Studio in London and won prizes at the Mozarteum, s’Hertogenbosch, B&H and IYCAC International Singing Competitions. Since then her career has developed in opera, concert work, recording and broadcasting. Her unique voice and artistry has inspired over 15 of the world’s leading composers to write for her, notably Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener, who alone has now written over thirty works for her, making their collaboration unique in the contemporary field.

Gareth Owen

Head of Piano at Eton College

Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (from September 2024)

Gareth Owen is a pianist, collaborator and teacher, and has performed throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Australia.

Appearing at venues in the United Kingdom, including the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, St. David’s Hall, Cardiff and the Sala Mozart, Zaragoza, he has also performed at international festivals in France and Switzerland, including the Verbier Festival. A winner of numerous prizes in the UK, Gareth has toured in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and broadcasts have included performances on BBC Radio 3, BBC television, Canal+ and ABC Australia.

Gareth was appointed Head of Piano at Eton College in 2016 and is a piano professor at the Junior Department of the Guildhall School. He studied with Alicja Fiderkiewicz at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and later with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School. Postgraduate scholarships enabled Gareth to further his studies with Menahem Pressler at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and masterclasses with Dimitri Bashkirov and Leon Fleisher.

Gareth has collaborated with many high-profile artists, including the cellist Hannah Roberts and the violinist Geoff Nuttall. Gareth is frequently invited to examine, adjudicate and give masterclasses at various schools and festivals and he is involved in several piano programmes at summer music schools in the UK. Most recently, performances have included recitals in France and the UK, as well as Rachmaninov’s Concerto No.1.

Gareth has been appointed Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies at the Guildhall from September 2024

More jury members will be announced in due course.

A message from
Amy Yuan

I fell in love with music when I started playing the violin at just 4 years old. With the support of family and some wonderful teachers (and a lot of hard work), I won the Young Beijing Violinist Competition at the age of 12. Since then, my musical journey has taken me from leader of the Beijing Youth Chamber Orchestra to studying at the Royal Academy of Music. I was chosen as the first Chinese leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and have had the joy of performing with the London Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and many other great ensembles. I’ve also been lucky enough to play under the batons of some of the world’s most esteemed conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis.

As a little girl of 4, I never dreamt this would be possible, and it can’t have happened without the support of my teachers and other young musicians. That’s why, in 2018, I launched New Talent Festival to help young musicians all over the world develop their talents and grow in confidence. This year, the Royal Northern College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama joins the Royal Academy of Music and Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana as the Festival’s Partners. It’s going to be the best one yet! 

I can’t wait to see (and hear) you there.

Amy Yuan, Director – Amy Yuan Academy

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