The Gold Medal, the Guildhall School’s most prestigious prize for musicians, was founded and endowed by Sir Dixon Kimber in 1915. Since 1950 it has been open to singers and instrumentalists who compete in alternate years for the coveted prize. Previous winners include Jacqueline du Pré (1960) and Bryn Terfel (1989). 2011 is the year for the singers. The 2011 competition was judged by a prestigious jury panel, including Dame Janet Baker, Edward Gardner (English National Opera) and Edward Seckerson (The Independent).
The final took place at the Barbican Hall on 10th May where the four finalists: Ashley Riches (baritone); Natalya Romaniw (soprano); Victor Sicard (baritone) and Koji Terada (baritone), performed a short programme with piano accompaniment in the first half of the concert, followed by a second half of arias with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards.
Natalya Romaniw was awarded the Gold Medal (the prize includes a cash award donated by The Worshipful Company of Musicians) and runner up was Ashley Riches (who received a glass trophy donated by The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers).
Previous Hazard Chase winners include: William Dazeley (1991) and Anna Stephany (2005).