RCS pianist Ethan Loch in the grand final of BBC Young Musician 2022

RCS pianist Ethan Loch in the grand final of BBC Young Musician 2022

Published: 07/10/2022

RCS student Ethan Loch holds an award for winning the keyboard final in BBC Young Musician 2022

A Royal Conservatoire of Scotland pianist is in the running for one of the most prestigious prizes in music.

Ethan Loch is a finalist in the BBC Young Musician 2022, which broadcasts on BBC Four this Sunday at 7pm.

Watch Ethan perform in Sunday’s grand final on BBC Four

Ethan, who is in his first year of a Bachelor of Music degree and has been taught by Fali Pavri since the age of fifteen, is the fifth and last finalist to be announced as part of the 2022 edition of the contest.

Ethan impressed the judges with his performances of Chopin’s Piano Sonata no.3, 4th movement; Poème op.32 no.1 by Scriabin and Feux d’artifice by Debussy.

Joining Ethan in the keyboard final was fellow RCS keyboard student, second-year Dida Condria, who performed Venezia e Napoli, Tarantella by Liszt; Impresa Amorosa, 6th movement by Sadie Harrison and Sicilienne, originally by Vivaldi, but then arranged by Bach, Volodos and Dida herself.

Ethan, from Falkirk, began piano lessons at the age of four with his mother and has been composing since early childhood.

On reaching the final, Ethan said: “I’m feeling incredible excitement and anticipation.

“I’d say above all, the most exciting part is playing in front of an orchestra. Being mostly a solo musician, I haven’t had too many orchestral opportunities and having the ability to play with other musicians is one of the things I love the most.

“Also, I think that one of the best things about music is the unification of it – it brings people together and it doesn’t matter where you come from or the language you speak.”

Ethan’s teacher, Professor Fali Pavri, said: “It has been an absolute joy working with Ethan for these last three years. He really is an extraordinary talent. Preparing for BBC Young Musician has been an exciting journey for us both and am delighted with his well-deserved success. He has an exciting future ahead.”

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “The heartiest of congratulations to the students and staff of our Keyboard department who have been the most wonderful ambassadors for RCS in the BBC Young Musician 2022 keyboard finals, broadcast on TV last night.

“This year we had not one but two of the five finalists in this extremely prestigious competition – second-year Dida Condria taught by Professor Aaron Shorr and first-year Ethan Loch, taught by Professor Fali Pavri. They both played beautifully before an expert panel of judges.

“Well done Ethan – what a fabulous start to your first year at RCS. Good luck for Sunday, we’re all with you cheering.”

The judging panel for the keyboard final included pianist and composer Tom Poster and pianist and BBC Young Musician 1992 finalist Daniel Tong.

They joined organist, director of music at Pembroke College, and broadcaster Anna Lapwood, chair of all the BBC Young Musician 2022 Category Final judging panels.

Anna Lapwood confessed that she was in ‘tears’ after watching Ethan perform: “There’s something about him, the way he plays, his sincerity, that made us all remember why we’re involved in music-making, and it’s to be moved.

“It’s to experience those moments, when you don’t expect them necessarily, where you witness something that feels genuinely life-changing through music.”

In Sunday’s grand final, Ethan will be joined by viola player Jaren Ziegler, flautist Sofía Patterson-Gutiérrez, trumpeter Sasha Canter and percussionist Jordan Ashman.

Hour-long programmes of highlights from each category final were broadcast on BBC Four this week. They were introduced by trailblazing saxophonist and broadcaster Jess Gillam – a competition finalist herself in 2016 and BBC Radio 3 presenter – and Alexis Ffrench, classical soul pianist, composer and producer.

Find out more about Ethan on his website.

Visit the website for more information on RCS’s Bachelor of Music Keyboard programme

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