New west Suffolk young musician of year is chosen

Liliana Luongo was presented with music vouchers and the winner's shield by John Balaam, of Balaam's

Liliana Luongo was presented with music vouchers and the winner's shield by John Balaam, of Balaam's Music in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Contributed

A talented young clarinetist has been named the winner of this year’s West Suffolk Young Musician competition.

Rehearsals for the West Suffolk Young Musician concert at the Apex in Bury. Francesca Akehurst on vi

Rehearsals for the West Suffolk Young Musician concert at the Apex in Bury. Francesca Akehurst on violin. - Credit: Archant

Liliana Luongo, who has just completed her A-Levels at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, took the title for her “compelling” performance of Messager’s Solo de Concours for clarinet, which wowed the panel of adjudicators, at the finalists’ concert at the Apex on Monday.

Liliana, who is going to study music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London in September, was presented with £100 in vouchers for Balaam’s Music and the winner’s shield by John Balaam, of the Risbygate Street shop.

The 18-year-old from Bury took up the clarinet at the age of 10 and also plays violin. She said: “It was a really close competition. It was tight. I’m very happy.”

She also received a cup for winning the Level 3 competition. The winner at Level 2 was 12-year-old cellist Rebecca Francis from St James Middle School in Bury, who was also presented with a cup.


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Rebecca was awarded £50 in Balaam’s Music vouchers, donated by the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Decorative and Fine Arts Society and presented on stage by their chairman, Dr Clare Smith.

Each finalist went away with a £25 voucher donated by Music Sales Group.

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Lois Hinsley, chairman of the competition’s organising committee, said: “It was fantastic to see so many talented young musicians, aged from 11 to 18, walk onto the stage and perform with such confidence and assurance. The atmosphere in the Apex was so supportive and it felt as though everyone in the audience was with each musician, willing them on.”

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