Success for James at the Wigmore Hall

James Newby

Trinity Laban undergraduate student James Newby has claimed two major prizes at a leading international song competition.

Despite being the youngest competitor by far, 22-year-old baritone James was awarded Third Prize overall at the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition 2015, the final of which was held at the Wigmore Hall on Thursday 10 September. He also claimed the Richard Tauber Prize, awarded for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder. Previous winners of this enormously prestigious prize include Jonathan Lemalu and Simon Keenlyside.

There was also success in the competition for Trinity Laban alumnus Kate Howden, who won the Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo with pianist Sachika Taniyama.

In the final, James was accompanied by Panaretos Kyriatzidis (Trinity Laban Junior Fellow in Piano Accompaniment) in works by Finzi, Barber and Poulenc. James says: It's been a whirlwind week and the result still hasn't really sunk in. I'm just so grateful to everyone at Trinity Laban for all their backing, especially Alison Wells, Matthew Rose and Linda Hirst, whose endless time, expertise and support has been so vital in preparing for this competition.”

Trinity Laban’s Head of Vocal Studies Linda Hirst says: James has a wonderful voice, a level of musical understanding rare at any level of study, and a personal courage to express text and music which takes one’s breath away and stops the heart. His performance last night was at the highest level, and he sang with no sense of competition, but with honesty and humanity.”

James is about to begin his fourth and final year of undergraduate study at Trinity Laban, studying with Alison Wells. You can read James’s story on the Trinity Laban website, and you can next hear him perform at a lunchtime recital on Friday 9 October.

Trinity Laban is welcoming late applications from baritones only for undergraduate study at Trinity Laban in 2015/16. For more information, contact [email protected].