A winning weekend for RCS students and graduates

A winning weekend for RCS students and graduates

Published: 03/02/2020

From clinching major film awards to winning a top opera prize, it was weekend of wins for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students and graduates.

Krysty Wilson-Cairns the Glasgow screenwriter who co-wrote World War One epic 1917 with director Sam Mendes, accepted the award for Outstanding British Film at the BAFTAS in London last night (Sunday). The film was the night’s big winner, taking home seven trophies for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Director, Cinematography, Sound, Production Design and Special Visual Effects. Now, Krysty is looking ahead to this Sunday’s Oscars in Los Angeles where she’s nominated for her first Academy Award for Writing (Original Screenplay).

The film has notched up ten nominations including Best Picture, Cinematography, Directing, Music (Original Score) and Production Design. It comes hot on the heels of 1917’s two Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Motion Picture Drama. Krysty graduated from the Royal Conservatoire’s BA Honours course in Digital Film and Television in 2009. In the latest edition of Review, the RCS magazine, she talks to her former tutor, Dr Andy Dougan, about how her studies prepared her for the industry.

Jack Lowden the actor was nominated for the EE Rising Star Award at the BAFTAS. Jack, who graduated in 2011, has received widespread acclaim on stage and screen. Theatre credits include National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Black Watch while on screen he has starred in Dunkirk, Mary Queen of Scots and Fighting with My Family. His next film roles will be in Cordivae and Fonzo.

Lauren Young the mezzo-soprano, who is studying at the Alexander Gibson Opera School, won the Clonter Opera Prize on Saturday. Contestants are nominated by the UK’s leading conservatories, and perform before a distinguished panel of judges. Lauren follows in the footsteps of previous RCS winners Arthur Bruce, Emma Mockett, Alexey Gusev and Anush Hovhannisyan.

Alexander (Ali) Levack piper and whistle player Ali was named BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year at Glasgow’s City Halls last night, on the closing night of Celtic Connections. Ali, who studied piping at RCS, said: “It’s such an honour to win especially in this 20th anniversary year of the competition.

“The competition as tough so I’m a little bit shocked to have won, but utterly thrilled. The past winners have gone on to do some amazing things so it’s really exciting to think what could lie ahead.”

Of the six finalists, five were current or former students of RCS. Joining Ali were Josie Duncan (voice) and Mhairi Mackinnon (fiddle) and current students Calum McIlroy (guitar/mandolin/voice) and Cameron Nixon (voice).

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “What a fantastic weekend of success across several of our disciplines for our students and graduates we are thrilled for them and send our heartiest congratulations.

“RCS is a place where students create and produce their own artistic vision. We’re so proud of the contribution our students and graduates make to the arts across the globe and thank them for making our conservatoire part of their journey.”

Image: Krysty Wilson-Cairns on the set of 1917 with Sam Mendes and script supervisor Nicoletta Mani (left). Pic © Francois Duhamel/Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures

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