On Monday 29 January, pianist Iyad Sughayer won the 2018 Trinity Laban Gold Medal. This prestigious award is offered annually by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Iyad Sughayer was selected as the winner from the group of six students and recent alumni competing at world-class cultural hub Kings Place in north London in front of a sell-out audience.
The Jordanian-Palestinian pianist gave stunning performances of the serene ‘Les cloches de Genève’ from Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage followed by the vivacious first movement from Khachaturian’s Piano Sonata.
On winning the Gold Medal Iyad commented – "It is an absolute honour to be this year's Gold Medal winner. Last night was truly a wonderful experience and I will remember it for a very long time! I was overwhelmed by the audience's response and support. Huge congratulations to the finalists who were all truly remarkable!"
To adjudicate this year’s competition, Trinity Laban’s Director of Music Dr Claire Mera-Nelson was joined by David Pickard, Director of the BBC Proms.
David Pickard commented – “It has been a wonderful privilege and honour to be here. I’ve had the most wonderful evening and I stand in awe of what these composers and performers have done tonight. They have all been exceptional in their technical assurance, their musicality, and their ability to communicate.”
Claire Mera-Nelson commented –“Iyad’s achievement in winning tonight’s competition is exceptional amongst such a talented group of young musicians. I’m immensely proud to see the artistic integrity and individual voice of each finalist shine through in their performance. The real winner here was, of course, Trinity Laban!”
Iyad Sughayer is currently studying for an MMus in Piano at Trinity Laban under the tutelage of Martino Tirimo and Peter Tuite. He has recently performed at Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the Fields, and Bridgewater Hall, made his BBC Radio 3 debut at Stoller Hall, and has played with the European Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Prague Youth Orchestra and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. Future engagements include concerto performances with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the Jordanian National Orchestra.
Iyad joins an illustrious list of recent Gold Medal winners, many of whom enjoyed great success in 2017: baritone James Newby received Glyndebourne’s prestigious John Christie Award, jazz pianist Elliot Galvin was nominated for a Mercury Prize alongside fellow alumni, and soprano Nardus Williams became a Samling Artist and made her début at Opera Holland Park.
The annual Gold Medal Showcase celebrates outstanding young Trinity Laban musicians. Competitors are nominated by the Heads of each of Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music Departments for their exceptional musical flair and professionalism, and all receive a Trinity Laban Director’s Prize for Achievement in recognition of this. The 2018 finalists performing alongside Iyad Sughayer were Emily Gray (Mezzo-Soprano), Ben Vize (Jazz Saxophone), Jordi Morell (Viola), Georgina Bowden (Composition), and Ana Estefania Rodriguez Moran (Flute).