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Levedy and The Undercroft Trio named joint winners of inaugural Carne Chamber Competition 2020

Thu 22 October 2020

In a socially-distanced event at Blackheath Halls, the winners of the inaugural Carne Trust Chamber Competition, which celebrates the technical prowess and musical creativity of talented student ensembles, were announced on Wednesday. This high-profile chamber music prize, new for 2020, is delivered by Trinity Laban with generous support from The Carne Trust.

A highlight of Trinity Laban’s first Chamber Music Week, the live final of the inaugural Carne Trust Chamber Competition took place on 21 October 2020 at Blackheath Halls in front of a socially distanced audience and adjudicating panel of Trinity Laban experts led by Chair of Governors Alan Davey CBE.

Celebrating the incredible wealth of chamber music happening at London’s creative conservatoire, the 2020 competition saw Big Smoke Brass UK, Levedy, SE Guitar Quartet and The Undercroft Trio compete for share of a £3000 prize fund, with Levedy and The Undercroft Trio named joint winners.

All-female vocal and harp ensemble Levedy formed in early 2020 at Trinity Laban. Members Madeleine Todd (Soprano), Olivia Bell (Soprano), Helen Daniels (Mezzo Soprano), Rhian Davies (Mezzo Soprano) and Laudine Dard (Harp) greatly enjoy exploring underperformed works for upper voices with harp. The five-piece group – whose name is a Middle English word meaning ‘lady’ – is particularly interested in the juxtaposition of solo and ensemble voices with harp, and in cultivating a rich and unique blend. They delighted judges with their performance of Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) Ceremony of Carols Op.28.

Tom Crofton-Green (Violin), Maddy Hamilton (Cello) and Tom Knowles (Piano) have been performing together as The Undercroft Trio since their first year of undergraduate study at Trinity Laban. They have enjoyed two informal recitals at Wigmore Hall and been finalists in the Intercollegiate Piano Trio Competition at Chetham’s School in Manchester. They performed Antonín Dvořák Piano Trio No.2 in G Minor Op.2 to impress the panel.

Announcing the winners, Chair of Trinity Laban Alan Davey CBE said –

“Both winning ensembles are characterised by their authenticity, nuance and sensitivity, their ownership of their programmes and the way in which they communicate as musicians and with the audience. In chamber music you hear individual performances, you hear a collective, and you hear atmosphere being weaved between musicians. That’s what makes it so special and important. Everyone here tonight has achieved something marvellous. Myself and the other judges were entertained, enthralled and transported.

“This is my first public appearance as Chair of Trinity Laban, a post which is a huge honour and responsibility for me. I’ve admired the conservatoire for a long time. The musicians and dancers and choreographers who have emerged from Trinity Laban are making a real difference to the world and changing things for the better.”

The competition is generously supported by The Carne Trust. Since its inception in 2006, the Trust has helped numerous talented young artists across the performing arts and supports The Carne Trust Fellowship for an Individual and The Carne Trust Ensembles in Residence at Trinity Laban.

Trustee of The Carne Trust, Philip Carne MBE commented –

“Working in ensembles is at the core of a musician’s training. The Carne Trust is delighted to be able to support a new competition dedicate to recognising these talents and skills.”

Chamber music is a central focus of training at Trinity Laban. Music students receive frequent coachings led by the internationally acclaimed staff, many of whom perform in the country’s leading ensembles. Each term instrumentalists also have the chance to work with The Carne Trust Ensembles in Residence: the Carducci Quartet, the Linos Trio and the Smith Quartet.

In addition to structured chamber music, students are also encouraged to create their own opportunities and are able to showcase their talents in venues such as St Martin-In-The-Fields, Wigmore Hall, St James’s Piccadilly, The Old Royal Naval College Chapel and The Queen’s House.

The full concert programme for The Carne Chamber Competition is available here

The Carne Trust Chamber Competition 2020 Programme

Image credit: JK Photography