THE best of Gwent's talented young musicians battled it out recently for regional titles.

Organised by the City of Newport Symphony Orchestra, competitors gathered at the St John Baptist Church in Risca Road for the inaugural CNSO Gwent Young Musician 2022 and CNSO Gwent Concerto Soloist 2022 contests.

There were six finalists in the first category - for ages 15 and under - comprising three violins, two cellos and one tuba.

Jake Lewis was named Gwent Young Musician 2022, and fellow cellist with Monty Short was named runner-up.

"The variety of each finalists chosen programme was immense, entertaining and diverse from classic composers such as Vivaldi and Saint-Saens and Jim Parker, all equally performed with great style and panache," the organisers said.

The Gwent Concerto Soloist 2022 contest was for musicians aged 21 and under, and had five finalists - piano, violin, tuba, trumpet and flute - with each contestant playing a concerto of their own choice.

Pianist Zosia Dzimitrowicz won the competition, with tuba player Patrick Miller named runner-up.

"This was an amazing contest, the variety of instruments, the diverse choice of composers’ works performed from Bach to Rachmaninov, all exhibiting an outstanding level of ability and maturity," said the organisers.

South Wales Argus: Competition winners (L-R) Monty Short, Jake Lewis, Zosia Dzimitrowicz, Patrick MillerCompetition winners (L-R) Monty Short, Jake Lewis, Zosia Dzimitrowicz, Patrick Miller

Jake and Zosia will now be invited to play their winning programmes at a public concert with the City of Newport Symphony Orchestra in the autumn.

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Judging the contest was Elenid Owen, a renowned violin soloist and chamber musician from Maesteg, who herself competed from a young age and won the TSB Welsh Young Musician of the Year in 1984.

She went on to study in Germany and Canada and spent 24 years playing with the Quatuor Ludwig String Quartet, based in Paris. In 2012 she was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry for Culture for her contribution to music in France.

Joining her on the judges' panel was Kevin Price, from New Zealand, who was a trombonist with the Auckland Philharmonic and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra before coming to London to further his studies.

He subsequently became the Principal Trombonist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held for several years. Presently Kevin is Head of Music Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.

The event also included the giving of two awards from the Hywel Davies Trust for Young Musicians, designed to help two promising musicians taking part in the competitions to help further their future musical studies.

The two awards were presented by trust member Steven Broom to Patrick Miller and to violinist Chloe Liew.