15 Aug 2022

Music student awarded prestigious piano scholarship

A Birmingham City University student has been awarded a prestigious piano scholarship after fighting off stiff competition from across the country.

Bulgarian-born Emanuil Ivanov (pictured), aged 23, scooped the highly coveted Musicians ' Company Carnwath Piano Scholarship for 2022/23 after enduring a competitive audition at the Guildhall School in London.

The auditions saw nominated pianists from conservatoires across Britain battle it out for the £10,000 funding prize towards their postgraduate studies.

Emanuil, who has completed a BMus degree at Birmingham City University 's Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC), is set to embark on a Master 's degree in Instrumental Performance (piano) in September, also at the RBC, and is set to record an album.

Emanuil said: “It 's a great honour to be awarded this scholarship. Being nominated by the RBC to compete for this opportunity means a lot to me and I am incredibly grateful for their support. But the fact that my performance scored so highly at the competitive audition makes me extremely happy.

“I try not to plan too much for the future. The pandemic taught me that all plans can be completely shattered and it's better for one's sanity not to anticipate too much but, nevertheless, this coming season is starting to look very exciting.

“ I will have the great opportunity to record a CD of Scarlatti sonatas for the renowned label Naxos next summer - recording an album, which will be a first for me! I'm also looking forward to a big concerto/recital tour of South Africa, which is in the making. ”

Dr Shirley Thompson, interim principal at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, said: “We 're obviously delighted for Emanuil, a product of our highly successful Keyboard Department at our Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

“He is already an extremely accomplished musician enjoying a busy international performing career, and his success is richly deserved. ”

A rising star in classical music, in May 2019 Emanuil won both second prize and the Audience Prize at the prestigious Allessandro Cassagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, before taking the top spot at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in September 2019 with a performance of Saint-Sa´┐Żns Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bolzano, Italy.

In February last year, he wowed millions with his solo piano recital at Milan 's famous La Scala which was live-streamed across the world.

Established in 1983, the Carnwath Scholarship was endowed by Sir Andrew Carnwath, Master of The Musicians ' Company 1981/82.

It is awarded by competitive audition following nomination from the conservatoires.