2012 News

A piano competition for Young Adult Pianists of Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London postal districts

Mishka Rushdie Momen, winner of the Norah Sande Award 2012, received a cheque for £3000 from Adjudicator Richard Deering.


Mishka Rushdie Momen won the seventh annual Norah Sande Award  at a new venue, the multi-million pound purpose built concert hall at the Birley Centre at Eastbourne College.  Mishka, 20, received a cheque for £3000 and the opportunity to perform in a recital later in the year.  Fifteen semi-finalists performed a 20 minute programme on Saturday 7th July before a prestigious adjudication panel, Richard Deering, Graeme Humphrey and David Patrick, all keyboard exponents of international repute.  Three were chosen to perform a full recital programme incorporating classical, romantic and contemporary pieces the following day.

Mishka Rushdie Momen is the youngest pupil ever admitted to the Purcell School on a full scholarship where she studied from age 6 with Ilana Davids. At the age of 18 Mishka graduated with First Class Honours from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she is now a postgraduate scholar and student of Joan Havill.  Previously Mishka studied with Imogen Cooper for five years as her only student.  Mishka has also had private lessons with Alfred Brendel ad Nelson Goerner.

Mishka has been chosen for the Tillett Trust Young Artist Platform Scheme for 2012.  She won the Audience Prize in the 2011 Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition and the Piano section of the 2010 Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition. In 2009 Mishka represented the UK in the EU Piano Competition, Prague where she won the Chopin Prize and at 13 she won first prize in the Leschetzky Concerto Competition, New York.

Mishka had a busy weekend.  The day after her success at the Norah Sande Award she gave a recital at St Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey.  Earlier in the year she gave a solo recital at the Barbican Hall and played Chopin on BBC1's  Andrew Marr Show to promote their Chopin Bicentennial celebrations and in March performed Schubert on BBC Radio 3's In Tune programme.  Her concert experience includes most major London venues including the Wigmore Hall, QEH, RFH and The Purcell Room and abroad in New York, Weimar, Prague, Mumbai and Cologne. Mishka has played in masterclasses for Paul Lewis, Stephen Hough and for Lang Lang at LSO St Luke's which was filmed for broadcast.

Ashley Fripp, also a former student of the Purcell School and a First Class Honours graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, was named as runner-up in the Norah Sande Award and received a cheque for £1000.  Ashley has given solo and concerto performances in prestigious UK venues and overseas including Carnegie Hall and Audimax Hall, Regensburg.  He has won first prize in more than a dozen national and international competitions including the coveted Gold Medal from the Guildhall School, first prize in the Brant International Piano Competition and the Award for Keyboard at the Royal Overseas League Competition 2011.  He has also appeared on BBC TV and radio and has performed in the Edinburgh International, Chipping Campden and City of London Festivals.  Ashley has a busy year of concert engagements, is releasing a recording of both Chopin Piano Concertos in the Autumn and is studying, on a full scholarship, at the Guildhall for an MMus with Ronan O'Hora.

Third place and a cheque for £500 was awarded to Maulen Alimbayev from Kazakhstan.  Maulen graduated from the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Hamish Milne.  He is currently studying for a Masters degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with Martin Tirimo and is a scholar of the President of the republic of Kazakhstan Scholarship.  Maulen has performed major works with orchestras around the world and is a laureate and prizewinner of many national and international competitions.

"The 2012 Award has again attracted an outstandingly high calibre of entrants and it is now established as an important competition for young pianists on the cusp of an international performing career",  said Spencer Freeman, the Award's Artistic Director.  "The Award has also developed a loyal following with the largest-ever audience on both days and the new venue offered both the audience and the performers the benefits of one of the finest new concert halls in the region".

This Award has been enabled by a substantial bequest from the late Norah Sande, in memory of her Grandmother, Alice Mary Caffen.  The Norah Sande Award  is a charity administered by the Trustees of the Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

Final Round Programme of the 2012 Norah Sande Award Winner, Mishka Momen

Berg : Sonata Opus 1
Liszt : Gnomenreigen
Ravel : Noctuelles
Chopin : Polonaise and Fantasia

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Artistic Director : Spencer W Freeman MBE

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