Following the live final held in the Great Hall at Queen's University, Belfast is winner of the 2011 Catherine Judge Memorial Award Richard Allen with Pat Byrne, regional manager Bank of Ireland UK Northern Ireland and Una Hunt, Chair of Catherine Judge Memorial judging panel and internationally renowned Irish pianist.
RICHARD Allen, a pupil of Wallace High School, has won one of the Northern Ireland's most prestigious awards for young musicians.
Richard was presented with the Catherine Judge Memorial Award, and a £5,000 bursary towards his third level studies, following the final in the Great Hall at Queen's University, Belfast.
Internationally renowned Irish pianist Una Hunt, who chaired the judging panel, made the presentation after she and her fellow judges heard Richard's performance of Gabriel Fauré's Impromptu Op. 86.
The other judges included one of Irelands leading concert harpists, Clíona Doris, and Ciaran O'Connell, a lecturer in flute performance at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Conservatory of Music and Drama. The event was hosted by Mark Carruthers of BBC Northern Ireland.
Pictured following the live final of the Catherine Judge Memorial Award which was held in the Great Hall at Queen's University, Belfast is finalist Gareth Houston of Wallace High School, Lisburn with Pat Byrne, regional manager Bank of Ireland UK Northern Ireland and Una Hunt, Chair of Catherine Judge Memorial judging panel and internationally renowned Irish pianist.
Richard received the bursary towards his 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 on the island of Ireland.
It is presented annually to an exceptional solo classical musician who wishes to continue their education in music to a third level.
Chair of the Judging Panel Una Hunt said: "The Catherine Judge Memorial Award continues to provide a very special and unique opportunity for Northern Ireland's young musical talent. It is very encouraging to see the Award go from strength to strength as the calibre of applicants each year never fails to impress us.
"On behalf of all the judges, I would like to congratulate Richard — we look forward to watching his career develop in the coming years."
Pat Byrne, Regional Manager, Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland said: "Congratulations to Richard on his winning and a quite spectacular performance." Another Wallace High pupil, Gareth Houston, also reached the final of the competition and performed Fantasie Pastoral Hongroise (Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy): Franz Doppler 18211883 on the flute.