The final of Junior Guildhall’s most prestigious award, the Lutine Prize, which showcases young talent, was held on Saturday 2 June at 2pm in the Milton Court Concert Hall. First place was awarded to violinist Sofia Gómez Alberto while clarinettist Marian Bozhidarov, was awarded second place. Sofia Gómez Alberto’s winning recital was a programme of Grieg’s Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor (movement I) and Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen.
The Lutine Prize is Junior Guildhall’s equivalent of the senior school’s annual Gold Medal competition, with six students selected from the preliminary round to perform in the final. The finalists are required to perform a 20-minute solo recital; the winner of the first prize is given the opportunity to perform a concerto with one of the Junior Guildhall ensembles in addition to a cash award.
The other finalists were: Marian Bozhidarov, clarinet, Alex Ciulin, cello, Krystof Kohout, violin, Thomas Nielsen, trumpet, and Luka Perazic, violin
The adjudicators this year were Sean Gregory, Director of Learning and Engagement for the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama; Chi-Chi Nwanoku, doublebassist and Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation and Jonathan Vaughan, Vice-Principal and Director of Music at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
The Lutine Prize was inaugurated in 1982 and Sofiá Gómez Alberto joins a long line of winners, many of whom have enjoyed professional music careers: Thomas Adès, Thomas Poster and Annabel Thwaite.
Sofia Gómez Alberto was born in Zaragoza, Spain in 2000. When she was four she started to play the violin with Valeri Gazarian, her teacher until 2017. Between 2007 and 2013 she lived in Casablanca, Morocco, where she won the First Prize in the National Violin Competitions, in different categories, in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Back in Zaragoza, during 2015-16 she attended the Junior Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with distinction. During 2016-17 she participated in Musethica’s Mastering Performance Program, preparing chamber music to be performed in social centres.
In September 2017 she moved to London and entered Junior Guildhall, where she is having the most extraordinary experience studying violin with Anna-Liisa Bezrodny and having the opportunity to play and sing in Junior Guildhall ensembles. She has been accepted to pursue her undergraduate studies at the Royal College of Music from this September and would like to become a professional musician.
Apart from her music-making interests, Gómez Alberto loves drawing, languages, skating, attending theatre and music performances and traveling. Gómez Alberto also plays the piano.