Young pianists shine in the S. Anselm's Piano Competition

Over 80 young pianists aged from 6 to 18 from across the North of England took to the stage to perform in front of nationally renowned adjudicators on Saturday 29th February, in the 2020 S. Anselm’s Piano Competition.  The competition, hosted by S. Anselm’s School in Bakewell is one of the few remaining competitions of this calibre in the UK, and this year, saw the highest ever standard of playing among the young people who competed.

Ben Andrew and Anne Bolt, the Heads of Keyboard from Stowe and Oakham Schools (respectively) adjudicated the competition, giving each participant invaluable feedback and encouragement and inspiring everyone with their passion and expertise.

Throughout the morning, competitors performed in graded classes from prep level (beginners) to Grade 8.

The day culminated with the Finalists’ Concert attended by guests, parents and families of the competitors and held in the S. Anselm’s Hargreaves Hall.  First and second place winners in each class each performed a piece of their choice in the concert, and after evaluating all the performances, the two pianists considered by the adjudicators to be the most talented overall pianists were awarded the competition silver cups.

The Senior Cup for Overall Winner of the Grade 7 & 8 classes was won by 10 year old Charlie Taylor from Birkdale School in Sheffield and the Peter Malcolm Cup for most promising pianist was awarded to James Symonds from S. Anselm’s School for his exceptional mastery of the entire keyboard.

Charlie Taylor from Birkdale School, winner of the Senior Cup

James Symonds from S. Anselm’s School, winner of the Peter Malcolm Cup

Full details of all the Class Winners (from Prep to Grade 8) and further photographs are available on the Piano Competition webpage.

S. Anselm’s Director of Music, Mark Percival said: “It’s so important for young pianists to have the opportunity to perform in an event of this type. Performance from an early age helps children to become natural performers and really builds confidence. Added to which, the one-to-one input and encouragement they receive from our adjudicators, who are both internationally acclaimed concert pianists, is absolutely invaluable.

“We look forward to following the future success of all our competitors and hopefully seeing them again next year!”

Music scholarships are available in both S. Anselm’s Preparatory School and College for young musicians with outstanding potential and commitment.  Please contact Mrs Cheryl Stevens at for details.