Trumpeter Alexandra Ridout has been named as the winner of the BBC Young Musician 2016 Jazz Award.
In the final at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, the 17-year-old from Aylesbury emerged the winner after impressing the judges with her performance alongside the Gwilym Simcock Trio. Ridout was one of five finalists, who, with ages ranging from 15 to 21, also included two saxophonists and two pianists.
‘We were enchanted by Alexandra’s presence as a musician and her sound,’ says Julian Joseph, one of the judges, ‘but I think most importantly there was a relationship with the blues and swinging that sounds important in her playing. We all heard that, and we all felt that, and it really tipped the decision in her favour.’
‘I’m so pleased for Alexandra,’ adds Simcock himself. ‘She played wonderfully tonight and communicated in a really heartfelt, genuine and unaffected way. It was very honest music-making and I think that’s what she communicated to the judges.’
Ridout becomes the second winner of the BBC Music Young Musician Jazz Award, which was launched in 2014 and runs alongside long-established classical music competition. The finals of the main competition will be broadcast on BBC TV in May.