TWO Cork teen musicians excelled at the annual Frank Maher Classical Music Awards which were held in Dublin recently.
Pianist Anna Jansson, from St Angela’s College and flautist Eimear Boyle, from Midleton College, were two of only six finalists at the 2021 Top Security Frank Maher Classical Music Awards.
The awards’ aim is to showcase outstanding young musical talent in Irish schools and are open to sixth-year post-primary students of strings, woodwind, brass, and piano.
With a €5,000 top prize, it is Ireland’s largest such competition for secondary schools.
Anna performed two pieces on the night, Prelude and Fuge in D Minor, Book II, BVW875 by Johann Sebastian Bach and Liebestraume No.3 in A-Flat Major by Franz Liszt.
Her older brother Kevin won the competition in 2018.
Eimear performed First Movement, Sonata in E Flat Major, BWY 1031 by Johann Sebastian Bach and Allegretto Grazioso by Eldin Burton.
The awards were created in 2001 by Top Security chairman Emmet O’Rafferty to honour the memory of his late teacher, Fr Frank Maher, who taught music at Castleknock College in Dublin.
Emmet said: “I am very pleased to welcome Anna and Eimear to the ranks of the very talented finalists who have taken part in this competition over the years.
"Father Frank Maher was a mentor of talent in many areas of school life, but he was especially passionate about classical music. I know that he would have been delighted and proud of all the performances we heard. I want to wish Anna, Eimear, and their fellow competitors the very best of luck wherever their talents take them,” he added.
The €5,000 top prize was won by 18-year-old pianist Stan O’Beirne, a sixth-year student at Gonzaga College in Dublin. The other finalists received a €300 bursary.
Past winners have gone on to attend some of the world’s most prominent music colleges, which include the Juilliard School, Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique et de Danse Paris, Kronberg Academy in Germany, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and MUK Vienna.