Posted on 12 July 2011
Musicians Benevolent Fund Suggia Gift recipient Michael Petrov has won the European Suggia Prize, competing against some of Europe's finest young soloists.
Outstanding young cellist Michael Petrov, who received the prestigious Musicians Benevolent Fund Guilhermina Suggia Gift of £1,500 in both 2010 and 2011, triumphed at the 2011 European Suggia Competition on Friday 8 July. It was the Fund’s Suggia Gift which allowed Michael to travel to Portugal when he was
nominated as the UK entrant to the competition.
The final, held in association with the International Guilhermina Suggia Festival, took place in Suggia’s home town of Porto, Portugal. Michael's prize is €10,000, the use of Guilhermina Suggia’s Montagnana cello
for two years, and a solo performance with an orchestra at the Casa da
Musica in Oporto.
Guilhermina Suggia was a Portuguese cellist and one of the most outstanding of her generation. Throughout her career she was a champion of young artists and hoped to advance the musical education of the young, especially in relation to the cello, with the aim of creating outstanding solo performers.
Michael Petrov was born in Bulgaria and began to play the cello at the age of six, inspired by his parents who were both musicians. He was awarded a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he now studies with Louise Hopkins. Michael joins a list of major talents who have previously received the Suggia Gift including Jacqueline Du Pré, Steven Isserlis, Robert Cohen, Raphael Wallfisch, Julian Lloyd Webber and Guy Johnston. Guy Johnston sat on the panel along with Susan Monks, Principal Cello of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Monks says: “I am always honoured to be a part of the process. I never fail to be impressed by the dedication and integrity of the team and the generosity of the awards given. Petrov is a truly remarkable and absolutely outstanding talent. Already an artist of exceptional maturity and distinction, his playing is characterised by an intense commitment and passion. In essence, a Suggia prize winner of world-class ability. The Fund has played a vital role in his professional development.”
In order to continue to encourage the development of promising young cellists in the UK, the Fund also runs a junior Gift, offering £1,500 to the best cellist under 18 heard at audition. In 2011 this was awarded to Indira Grier.