The Guildhall School’s premier music prize was founded and endowed by Sir H. Dixon Kimber in 1915 and since the 1950s it has been open to singers and instrumentalists in alternate years. The final traditionally takes place in May each year in a sold-out Barbican Hall.
Previous winners include Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Tasmin Little (1986), and Bryn Terfel (1989).
In recent years, the Gold Medal has launched the careers of:
In the 2011/12 season Natalya (soprano, 2011) sang Mozart’s Requiem with Swansea Philharmonic Choir, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Duruflé’s Requiem at Sherbourne, Giunia Lucio Silla and a concert of Mozart arias in Baden Baden for Classical Opera Company, and cover of the Countess Le Nozze di Figaro for the Glyndebourne Festival. She is currently an Associate Artist with the Classical Opera Company and in May 2012 won the first prize and the song prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition. In the 2012/13 season Natalya joins Houston Grand Opera’s prestigious Young Artist Program.
Anna Stéphany (soprano, 2005), won the Kathleen Ferrier Award, went on to study at the National Opera Studio and now performs at an international level, including concerts with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra at both the Barbican and Carnegie Hall.
Anna-Liisa Bezrodny (violin, 2006) has had solo performances with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsinki National Opera Orchestra and the Haydn Chamber Orchestra. In 2007 she made her Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall debuts, and in 2008 won awards from the Ricci Foundation and Making Music Foundation. Other recent activities include a debut recital in the Berlin Kontzerthaus, a concerto with the Bach Orkester of Leipzig in Cologne Philharmonie, a concerto tour with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under maestro Eri Klas, and the release of her debut CD.
Katherine Broderick (soprano, 2007) also won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in the same week, studied at the National Opera Studio and went on to appear twice at the BBC Proms, singing Woglinde Götterdämmerung with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Donald Runnicles in 2007, and the Young Lover Il Tabarro with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda in 2008. Other recent projects include Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte for Glyndebourne on Tour and Bruckner Mass in F minor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiri Belohlávek.
Sasha Grynyuk (piano, 2008) went on to be a Fellow at the Guildhall School and also won the Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize, receiving a recital at the Wigmore Hall as his award. During 2008/09 he won the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Piano Scholarship and was the overall winner of the 2008 Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition and winner of 1st Prize in the Piano section. He was recently selected as a ‘Rising Star’in BBC Music Magazine and International Piano magazine.
Gary (baritone, 2009) went on to study on the School's Opera Course, and made his professional debut with Welsh National Opera in the role of Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) in the 2010-11 season. In 2011-2012 Gary will be an Associate Artist at WNO where his roles will include Masetto (Don Giovanni), Claudio (Béatrice et Bénédict) and Schaunard in a new production of La bohème.
Martyna (piano, 2010) has appeared as a soloist with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuania Chamber Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra and the London Festival Orchestra. In 2011 she won the Giorgios Thymis International Piano Competition, and she recently released her debut CD.