Congratulations to Michael Lei, who was the youngest ever finalist to reach the finals of Gloucestershire’s Young Musician of the Year.

Michael played outstandingly, performing:

Nocturne Op.62 No.2 in E Major – Chopin
Scherzo humoristique: Le chat at la souris – Copeland
Prelude Op. 23 No. 6 in Eb Major – Rachmaninoff
Alla Turca Jazz – Mozart (arranged by Say)

Musicians played to a packed Prince Michael Hall, based at Dean Senior School.

The judging panel was chaired by Professor Derek Aviss, who is former principal of London’s Trinity College. He was accompanied by Meurig Bowen, head of artistic planning for the BBC National Orchestra and Philip Harper, musical director of the award-winning Cory Band.

While the judges deliberated, gifted pianist Ashleigh Turley, who is both blind and autistic as a result of being born four months premature (she weighed just 500gms) entertained the audience with pieces by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. She received rapturous applause, many were moved to tears.

A clip of Alla Turca Jazz – Mozart (arranged by Say).