Sheepdrove Piano Competition Winner 2024

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Newbury Spring Festival announces MISHA KAPLOUKHII as the winner of the 2024 Sheepdrove Piano Competition

Now in its 15th year, the annual Sheepdrove Piano Competition – held during Newbury Spring Festival – has been won by Misha Kaploukhii, a student from the Royal College of Music.

Born in 2002, Misha is an alumnus of the Moscow Gnessin College of Music. He is currently studying at the Royal College of Music and is an ABRSM award holder generously supported by the Eileen Rowe Trust, Keyboard Trust, Drake Calleja Trust and The Robert Turnbull Foundation, studying for a Bachelor of Music with Professor Ian Jones. He was thrilled to receive a full scholarship from the Royal College of Music for two years of postgraduate studies. 

Misha has gained inspiration from lessons and masterclasses with musicians such as Claudio Martínez Mehner, Dmitri Bashkirov, Jerome Lowenthal, Konstantin Lifschitz and Dame Imogen Cooper. His performances with orchestras around the world include debuts in Cadogan Hall playing Rachmaninov’s First Concerto with YMSO and James Blair, Liszt’s Second Concerto with RCM Symphony Orchestra with Adrian Partington, and a very recent performance of Rachmaninov’s Fourth Concerto performed with the Albion Orchestra. 

As a soloist he often performs across London in venues like St Mary’s Perivale, St James Piccadilly and Razumovsky Academy with a wide range of solo and chamber repertoire. 

Misha’s recent prizes include RCM Concerto Competition, International Ettlingen Piano Competition, Sheepdrove Piano Competition and the Hopkinson Gold Medal at the Chappel Medal Competition.

The competition, which is open to current students at the UK’s eight major music colleges, does not charge an entry fee to participants and this year celebrated Chopin’s 150th anniversary. After a private first round with just the panel in attendance, the final happened before an audience on Sunday 19 May in the beautiful setting of Sheepdrove Eco Centre, in the rolling Lambourn hills.

This year’s judges were: Rupert Christiansen (Music critic and writer, and Director, Robert Turnbull Piano Foundation), Mark Eynon (Director, Newbury Spring Festival), Mikhail Kazakevich (Russian pianist and Professor of Piano, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance), Clare Taylor (Founder and CEO of City Music Foundation) and Elena Vorotko (Artistic Director, The Keyboard Charitable Trust).

All the prizes

Alongside the £3000 prize money from the Kindersley Prize, Misha Kaploukhii also gave a recital at 12.30pm on Monday 20 May at Newbury Corn Exchange, part of Newbury Spring Festival’s popular Young Artist Recital series. Misha Kaploukhii also won the audience prize, of £250 (donated by an anonymous donor),

The second prize, of £1500 (donated by the Greenham Trust), was won by Kasparas Mikuzis a student at the Royal Academy of Music.

The third prize, of £750 (donated by the Friends of Newbury Spring Festival), was won by Yuxuan Zhao, a student at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The fourth prize, of £500 (donated an anonymous donor), was won by Max Artemenko a student at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

The Robert Turnbull Piano Foundation winners are Angeliki Giannopoulou from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Xizong Chen from the Royal Northern College of Music

Mark Eynon, Festival Director, comments:

“It has been an honour to host some of the best students from the UK’s conservatoires in such a beautiful space. As ever, we witnessed piano playing of incredible standard, and the judges felt that Misha’s performance was particularly impressive this year.

We are proud to continue the policy of always providing travel, subsistence and accommodation expenses for all competitors, and all four finalists have left with a financial prize. I am forever grateful to the Sheepdrove Trust for their continued generous support for the competition as we celebrate its 15th year.