The fourth edition of the Bicentenary Prize, founded in 2020 to celebrate the Academy's 200th anniversary and the talent of its students, has been won by pianist Aidan Mikdad.

The final round in this prestigious competition took place at Wigmore Hall on 28 June in front of a live audience and a panel of eminent judges; composer, Academy alumna and Visiting Professor Eleanor Alberga OBE, critically-acclaimed trumpeter Alison Balsom OBE and renowned pianist Imogen Cooper DBE.

Following the preliminary round in November 2022, adjudicated by Academy Principal Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, five finalists were chosen to perform at the grand final; Aidan Mikdad, violinist Anna Im, trumpeter James Nash, oboist Drake Gritton and baritone Vitor Bispo.

In his prize-winning recital on the night, Aidan Mikdad performed Three movements from Petrushka, Stravinsky's piano arrangement of his 1911 ballet score.

'Having had the pleasure of selecting our musicians from the preliminary round, it was a special joy to hear our five finalists offering such a varied and superbly performed recital. I am hugely grateful to all of them and to our distinguished panel of judges. Particular congratulations go to Aidan Mikdad for his exceptional Petrushka – a tour de force presented with remarkable characterisation.'

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

James Nash and Drake Gritton were awarded second prize and third prize respectively, and the accompanist prize went to Leon Ruiyang Chen.

The inaugural Bicentenary Prize in 2020 was won by harpist Esther Beyer. Violist Julie Park took home the grand prize in 2021 and bass baritone Michael Ronan was last year's winner. Esther is now a successful freelance harpist based in London, and was a London Philharmonic Orchestra Foyle Future Firsts Associate for 2021/22. Julie was appointed as the Associate Principal Violist of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2021. Michael is currently a Jerwood Young Artist and will be performing as part of the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus this summer.

The Bicentenary Prize is generously supported by Mikhail Bakhtiarov and Svetlana Besfamilnaya.