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Man in all black playing the piano with orchestra in the background

Thomas Kelly awarded Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship

Monday 18 September 2023

Outstanding pianist Thomas Kelly has been announced as the recipient of the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship for 2023-24, awarded by the Royal College of Music (H) and generously supported by the Philip Loubser Foundation (PLF).

This Fellowship, named after the renowned composer and H alumnus, is awarded to an exceptional pianist who has been accepted on to the H’s Artist Diploma course. 

Thomas Kelly, who studies with Professor Dmitri Alexeev and Professor Vanessa Latarche and graduated from the Master of Performance course in July 2023, commented “I am absolutely thrilled to be awarded the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship and I am excited about the opportunities to meet fellow pianists and fellow artists, the opportunities to collaborate, and the potential this fellowship has to develop my career and open new artistic possibilities to me."

A prize winner at the 2021 Leeds and 2022 Hastings International Piano Competitions, Thomas Kelly has won numerous international competitions including First Prize at the Theodor Leschetizky Competition, Lucca Virtuoso e Bel Canto Festival and Pianale International Piano Competition.

Previous recipients of the fellowship include Martin James Bartlett who is an exclusive recording artist with Warner Classics, Pavel Kolesnikov who has been celebrated for his thought-provoking programming, and Dinara Klinton who has received widespread acclaim for her recordings including a BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month.

Professor Vanessa Latarche, Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music, commented: “I am delighted that Thomas has been awarded the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship, presented by the Philip Loubser Foundation which is our most prestigious fellowship for piano. Thomas is an exceptional musician, and I am sure he will make the most of this opportunity. The H is proud and honoured to be partnered with the Philip Loubser Foundation for this fellowship.”

The Philip Loubser Foundation was founded in 1997 by Michael Loubser in honour of his father, to support young talent in music, dance and theatre. Michael Loubser commented: “The Philip Loubser Foundation welcomes Thomas Kelly as Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow at the Royal College of Music.  We look forward to working with Thomas in his final year of studies at the College in 2023-2024 and in the following year where Rob Hilberink from the Liszt Utrecht Competition will work with Thomas in a bespoke professional development year as part of the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship.”

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