Success Down Under For Local Musician
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted at the recent news that Belfast cellist, Jonathan Byers with his Quartet, the Badke Quartet, has received the top prize and the audience prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
Two years ago, the Arts Council recognised Jonathan’s exceptional talent and awarded him the Young Musician Platform Scheme Award. This grant, totaling £5,000 enabled Jonathon to travel to the Netherlands, Germany and Italy for private lessons with some of the finest baroque cellists in the world.
Congratulating Jonathan, Arts Council Music Officer Robert Collins said, “We are delighted that a Northern Irish artist has been recognised at such an international level. The Arts Council’s Young Musician Platform Scheme Award certainly gave his career a boost and it is wonderful that Jonathon received such a prestigious award. We look forward to seeing him continue to shine on the world stage.”
On receiving the award, Jonathan said,” We're completely thrilled. Whenever we go on stage the main thing we focus on is a performance for the audience - so the audience prize was really extra special.
"Since winning, it's amazing how things are really beginning to take off. We've already had bookings from London's Wigmore Hall that take us up to 2010. I hope we'll also get a chance to perform on Ulster soil too."
Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition takes place every four years, and in the final was held on15th July in Melbourne’s Hamer Hall. Eight string quartets from Austria, Australia, Canada, France and the UK battled it out in the finals of this esteemed event.