Finn Mannion, a seventeen year old cellist from Crieff who studies music at Scotland’s only specialist music school – St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh – is the youngest of four musicians to be awarded the prestigious 2019 Royal Philharmonic Society (RHS) Julius Isserlis Scholarship.
Awarded biennially, the Scholarship offers young instrumentalists aged 15 to 25, who are based in the UK, a life-changing opportunity to undertake further studies at a destination of their choice. The Scholarship can be used in imaginative ways: to fulfil a course at an international music school or university, or take lessons from a specialist based overseas.
This year, after auditioning an exceptional shortlist of musicians, the panel decided to apportion the scholarship – totalling £35,000 – amongst four outstanding musicians based across the UK including Finn.
Finn studies with Ruth Beauchamp at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh where he was awarded a government-aided place in 2012, aged 10. Finn has won both the Junior and Intermediate Recital Prizes (2015 and 2018).
He was a solo recital prizewinner in the Edinburgh Competition Festival, winning the ‘Gray Gold Medal’ in 2015, the ‘Winifred Gavine Gold Medal’ in 2017 and, with the Strathearn Piano Trio, the ‘Horace Fellowes Gold Medal‘ for chamber music.
A regular member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Finn has been principal cello of both the Junior and the Senior Orchestras in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Finn has played as a soloist at the International Festival Academy of ‘Musique Cordiale’, receiving tutoring from members of the Chilingirian Quartet. Finn received scholarships to progress to join the festival orchestra of ‘Musique Cordiale’ under the baton of James Lowe.
In 2018, Finn attended the Aurora Masterclasses in Sweden, where he studied with Prof. Peter Bruns (Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Leipzig). Finn has been given further musical inspiration from time spent with other renowned cellists: Troels Svane, Peter Hörr, Hannah Roberts, Clive Greensmith, Jo Cole, Philip Higham, Alice Neary, Chris Hoyle, Martin Storey and Su-a Lee.
Finn has a strong interest in chamber music and has received coaching at music school from age 10. He was a founding member of the Strathearn Piano Trio and the group still enjoy performing together regularly. Finn has been involved in numerous chamber music events, for example, at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.
Finn’s dream is to study in Germany and his scholarship will go towards scoping future study options there, meeting contacts and attending a range of masterclasses in Germany.
“I’m ecstatic! Receiving the Julius Isserlis Scholarship now means I can fully explore my options to study undergraduate music abroad, which has always been a goal of mine. In fact, the research starts tomorrow – I am flying to Berlin to meet Cello Professor Troels Svane which I’m really looking forward to.
“I could not be more grateful to the Royal Philharmonic Society for granting me this amazing opportunity.”
Picture Caption: Seventeen year old cellist Finn Mannion who studies at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh.