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Kristan Swain Wins Catherine Judge Memorial Award

21st April 2012

Winner of Catherine Judge Memorial Award 2012 is announced 

The live final of the Catherine Judge Memorial Award was held on Saturday April 21, 2012 in the Great Hall at Queen’s University, Belfast.  

Competition was fierce this year, and for the first time the award was shared between two winners, Andrew McCoy, a pupil of Methodist College Belfast and Kristan Swain, a pupil of Portora Royal School, Enniskillen.

Principal Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra , David Brophy, who chaired the Catherine Judge Memorial Award judging panel, made the presentation after he and his fellow judges heard the live performance before an audience of 150 people.

Fellow judges on the panel included one of Ireland’s internationally renowned organ players, Desmond Hunter, and Ioana Petcu, co-leader of the Ulster Orchestra and classic violinist. The event was hosted by Mark Carruthers of BBC Northern Ireland.  

Andrew and Kristan each received a £5,000 bursary towards their third level studies. 

The Award was created in memory of Catherine Judge, an employee of Bank of Ireland who passed away in August 2005, as a way of supporting a new generation of musical talent. This year is the first time year the Award was open to all on the island of Ireland by encompassing the award in Bank of Ireland’s Secondary Schools Programme. The Award is presented annually to an exceptional solo classical musician who wishes to pursue third-level music education.   

Chair of the Judging Panel David Brophy said: “The Catherine Judge Memorial Award continues to provide a very special unique opportunity for Ireland’s next generation of musical talent. It is incredibly encouraging to see this Award go from strength to strength every year and the calibre of applicants each year never fails to impress. On behalf of all the judges, I would like to congratulate Andrew and Kristan – we look forward to watching their careers develop in the coming years.”

Pat Byrne, Regional Manager, Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland is delighted to continue its support for this award. In six short years this award has become an established platform upon which the exciting and new musical talent of Ireland can be showcased. We are delighted to have the Award open to all on the island of Ireland. Congratulations to Andrew and Kristan on their winning and quite spectacular performances."  

Bank of Ireland would also like to thank the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the loan of the beautiful Steinway piano used in Saturday’s event.