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Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition Announces Winner

Scottish accordionist Ryan Corbett becomes the first accordionist since 1993 to win the top prize along with cash prizes totaling £20,000


For its 69th season, the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Annual Music Competition had four finalists in the keyboard division, including Ryan Corbett on accordion and three pianists: Alexander Lau, George Harliono, and Jinah Shim — the latter who was awarded the £1,000 Kerr Memorial Prize.

They originally competed for a £5,000 prize and the opportunity to make it to the Gold Medal Final, which involved a £15,000 top prize. The jury for the first round comprised Alexandra Dariescu, Geoff Parkin, Sophia Rahman, and Martin Roscoe; the second round involved Lorna Aizlewood, Geoff Parkin, Njabulo Madlala, Peter Manning, Sophia Rahman, and Helen Sprott.

In the Gold Medal finals, Corbett competed with cellist Matthias Balzat, soprano Milly Forrest, and flutist Marie Sato at Over-Seas House, with a program of works by Scarlatti, Franck Angelis, and Semyonov. 

Corbett is the first accordionist to reach the Gold Medal Final since 1997, and as the top prize winner, he joins only one other accordionist to complete the same feat — David Preston who won both rounds in 1993.

“Ryan connected with audience and jury alike with his innate ability to communicate through his accordion,” said Geoff Parkin, ROSL’s artistic director. "His soundworld, phrasing and musicality mark him out as a very special musician and we look forward to supporting his future career."

Currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Ryan’s solo engagements include the Berlin Philharmonie, Jesus-Christus-Kirche Dahlem, University of Glasgow, Perth Concert Hall, Edinburgh Festival, and Edinbach Festival.




The ROSL 70th Annual Music Competition for 2022 is now open for applications, for more information and to apply, click here.

Open to musicians aged 30 and under, The ROSL Arts Competition offers over £75,000 in awards to solo performers as well as chamber groups.

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