This new Prize was kindly sponsored by Japanese flute manufacturers Altus Flutes in conjunction with their UK agents, Just Flutes, and named after the late Academy Professor William Bennett OBE. William, affectionately known as Wibb by his students, friends and colleagues, was a cherished Professor of Flute at the Academy and taught many of the world's leading flautists, including current Visiting Professors Emily Beynon and Denis Bouriakov. He also played a key role in developing instruments with Altus Flutes, and their collaboration led to the invention of the 'Bennett Scale', which gave Altus flutes their characteristic precise intonation.

Sofiia Matviienko was presented with an Altus Alto Flute for winning the Prize, which was specifically sent over from Japan for the event. Sofiia is currently in her third year at the Academy studying with Sam Coles, and is a former student of William Bennett. The Prize was adjudicated by Emer McDonough, Principal flute of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and an Altus Artist.

We were delighted to be joined on the day by Jonathan Myall and Adam Clifford from Just Flutes, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Altus Flutes and Just Flutes.

Images © Matthew Johnson Photographer