ABRSM Lloyd Hartley Prize awarded to Julie Zhu

2012_09_31 - Julie Fafner_cropSincere congratulations go to Julie Jing Xuan Zhu for being awarded the Lloyd Hartley Memorial prize by the ABRSM. In Autumn 2014 she took her Grade VI piano exam playing the Bach Two Part Invention in Bb, a Study in D by Stephen Heller and an interesting arrangement of a traditional chinese folk tune JingPo Mountain Song. The Bach is an exercise in contrapuntal finger agility and articulation, both hands having equal responsibility. The Heller, Op 46 No 8, was an alternative List B piece, which requires attention to sonority, phrasing, pedalling and rhythmic flexibility. The Mountain Song requires accuracy in leaps, clarity in repeated notes and control of chord sonority over a wide dynamic range.

The examiner was particularly impressed with Julie’s articulatory discipline and stylistic awareness in the Bach, while the Heller was notable for its “tonal shape and sense of musical direction”. The Mountain Song was commended for its neat and rhythmical articulation, well judged dynamics and balance.

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From the moment Julie began lessons she has been a model pupil; paying attention and striving during lessons, acting on advice and practising diligently between lessons. It is hardly surprising that her exam results have been consistently in the high distinction bracket.

The Lloyd Hartley Prize is awarded annually to pianists in the Leeds and Harrogarte areas for the most outstanding ABRSM examination performances each year in Grades VI, VII and VIII.

Julie is also an accomplished violinist and plays in the Leeds Folk Fiddle Group. And all this is when she has time to take off from her final year PhD research into TeraHertz Quantum Cascade Lasers at Leeds University.


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