A musical masterclass

20th October 2023

On 1st October, through the support of two of our fundholders, the Essex Young Musicians’ Trust and the Brian and Julie Cue Fund, we enabled a Masterclass to be held at Ongar Music Club given by Tasmin Little CBE, one of the supremely great violinists of our time.

During the afternoon Tasmin worked with six young violinists and one violist, providing them with one-to-one tuition and guidance.  Essex born pianist, Joanna Smith, accompanied the students during the day.  In the evening the musicians presented a recital which was greatly enjoyed by the audience, and at the end of the concert Tasmin awarded the new Essex Young Musicians’ Trust Norman Harper Prize, a £1,000 study bursary.

Norman Harper was a member of the Basildon Symphony Orchestra and when he died his widow, Jean, started a fund within the EYMT in his memory.  In her will, Jean left the trust a further sum which has enabled this prize to be established.

The winner this year was Cyrus Yuen.  Born in Hong Kong, he gave his first solo performance at the age of 6 and has travelled the world in pursuit of his dream.  He is now a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying under Professor Stephanie Gonley for a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance.

Jane Webster, Chair of Ongar Music Club said, “The Masterclass was a huge success, helping to nurture the talent of young musicians in Essex is a large part of Ongar Music Club’s objective, and we are grateful to ECF and their fundholders for support in helping us to deliver this opportunity”.

“The music students gain so much from masterclasses.  The students were all Grade 6 and above and were all very talented. To have individual tuition and advice from an International Artiste such as Tasmin Little, can be so inspiring for a young musician. The Masterclass was open to the public, and all the students attended each other’s sessions.  It was clear that the students were able to learn from observing as well as from performing themselves”.

“We look forward to holding another Masterclass next year.”

If you would like to watch Cyrus play, click here.