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Mendl-Schrama Prize in Music 2023

On Saturday, 21 January, auditions took place for this year’s Mendl-Schrama Prize in Music. The panel, consisting of Mrs Heleen Mendl-Schrama, Teresa Cahill (soprano), Julian Jacobson (pianist), Bruce Harris (trustee) and Giles Underwood (Director of Music, Univ) were delighted to hear a broad field of singers and pianists. There were a dozen applicants; ten singers, one voice and piano duo and one solo pianist. The standard was high and as well as Univ, there were nine other colleges represented.

The prize, worth £1000, was awarded to Archie Inns, a second-year tenor from Christ Church. He will give his winner’s recital next January, on a date to be announced. It was also decided that, as last year, there was a worthy runner-up, and a second prize of £250 was therefore given to Joshua Kenney, a tenor from Merton.

All this took place in the Holywell Music Room and this was where last year’s winner, soprano, Maryam Wocial, gave her recital that evening accompanied by Donal McCann. This was a beautiful display of French song, with works by Lili Boulanger, Debussy and Fauré. Maryam had also prepared a series of short, illustrative films which were played alongside the music. You can hear some of Maryam’s recital here.

Thanks must go to all the candidates; to Maryam and Donal for their beautiful and atmospheric recital; to the various Univ members who stewarded the event; to all the members of the panel and of course, to Mrs Heleen Mendl-Schrama who founded and endowed the prize in 2015 in memory of her late husband, His Honour James H E Mendl (1948, Law).

Photo L-R: Donal McCann, pianist and recitalist, Heleen Mendl-Schrama, donor and panellist, Archie Inns, tenor, winner of the 2023 prize, Julian Jacobson, pianist and panellist, Giles Underwood, DoM and panellist, Maryam Wocial, soprano, winner of 2022 prize and recitalist, Hugo Max, film-maker for the recital

Published: 26 January 2023

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