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2024 Concerto Class Finalists

The 2024 Concerto Class was won by Kristina Avalian. Biographies of the finalists are below.

KRISTINA AVALIAN Winner of the Audrey Innes Trophy, 2024, Kristina is an international competition prizewinner. In 2021, she was delighted to win first prize at the 13th Volodymyr Horowitz International Competition (Horowitz Debut, Group C and Group D), as well as claiming 2nd prize at the 14th Vladimir Krainev International Competition (Debut Group). In the same year, Kristina won 1st prize atthe 2nd Paderevsky International Competition. She is also a four-time creative scholarship holder of the Kyiv City State Administration.


Kristina feels passionately about unearthing music by Ukrainian composers. At the beginning of the war, Kristina and her family moved to Latvia. There she began playing concerts in order to raise funds for Ukraine, one of which was shown on national television. Since moving to Scotland Kristina continues to perform regularly in fundraising concerts, and this exploration of Ukrainian music allows her to feel connected to her home-country. Kristina is delighted to be playing with an orchestra for the first time.

SOFIIA SHOKINA Sofiia was born in Ukraine in the small town of Oleksandriia and began playing the piano at the age of three. She joined the Specialised Boarding School of Music in Lviv when she was nine and studied with Lyudmila Zakopets. During her time thereshe won numerous international competitions both as a solo performer and as a chamber musician.


After graduating she commenced studying at the Lviv National Academy of Music with Professor Mariana Humetska. In 2022 Sofiia moved to Scotland and began her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Fali Pavri and Petras Geniusas. She was chosen as a scholar of The Robert Turnbull Piano Foundation. Sofiia is an active member of the Conservatoire where she takes part in many different activities and events.

RHEA FITZGERALD Thirteen-year-old violinist and pianist Rhea Fitzgerald is a pupil at George Heriot’s School.She started learning piano with David Sced at the age of five and has studied with Peter Evans since 2018. A memorable holiday in Vienna inspired her to take up the violin when she was seven; she has been studying since with Uli Evans. Rhea has won a number of medals in the Edinburgh Competition Festival both for violin and piano playing, including the 10 minute piano recital class. In 2019 Rhea also won the Junior medal in the James Waterhouse Piano Competition held at Loretto School. 


Rhea gained wide acclaim in October 2023 for her performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto with the Meadows Chamber Orchestra in St Cuthbert's Church. Rhea may be the only musician to have reached the final of the ECFA Concerto Competition on two different instruments, having played Mozart's Piano Concerto K414 in The Queen’s Hall at the age of 9, four years ago.


Rhea has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland violin section since 2019. She led the NYOS Junior in 2022 and co-led the NYOS Development in 2023. She has been asked to lead the NYOS Development Orchestra in the 2024 season. Her ABRSM Diploma in violin was achieved with Distinction in June 2023.

EUAN KEMP Euan Kemp is an East Dunbartonshire-based saxophonist in his final year studying Saxophone at the Music School of Douglas Academy, and Percussion and Voice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Junior Conservatoire). Awarded a DipABRSM(Distinction) in 2022, he has performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and was an NYO Associate (Outreach) in 2023, performing at the BBC Proms and throughout the UK.


In 2023, as a winner of the Douglas Academy Concerto Competition, he performed John Williams’ Escapades for Saxophone with a mentored orchestra of students and players from Scotland’s professional orchestras. Euan was a winner of the Glasgow Music Festival Woodwind Premier Prize and was highly commended in the RCS Junior Conservatoire 2023 Gilbert Innes Prize for Woodwind.E uan is Conductor of the Douglas Academy Chamber Collective and is taking part in a day-release Music Trainee programme at Scottish Opera, receiving mentoring in conducting by Music Director Stuart Stratford, working alongside the company’s librarian and shadowing music staff. As a boy treble for the company, Euan sang several chorus and solo roles in productions from 2015 to 2019, including playing one of the three boys in Mozart’s Die Zaubeflöte (2019).

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