He has yet to sit his final Leaving Cert exam but an 18-year-old student from Cork has received the single largest annual classical music in Ireland.
Piano virtuoso, Kevin Jansson, from Wilton, is the recipient of this year’s RDS music bursary, valued at €15,000.
The bursary - one of the largest in Europe - will now help to fund Kevin’s studies at the prestigious Juilliard School, in New York, where he has been accepted with a scholarship to study piano under Dr Veda Kaplinsky.
“We are delighted to award Kevin Jansson this year’s bursary, he really impressed the judges and undoubtedly is a performer with a very exciting career ahead of him,” said RDS chief executive, Michael Duffy.
Kevin, who is currently studying piano in CIT Cork School of Music with Mary Beattie, is due to sit his Leaving Cert Music exam tomorrow.
The teen has an impressive and extensive list of performances to his name, including performances with Camerata Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the New York Concerti Sinfonietta in Carnegie Hall.
He was the youngest ever member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and has given a private performance of Chopin and Rachmaninov for President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin.
This year’s judging panel was so impressed with Kevin’s application form, performance and interview that he was awarded full marks, describing him as "brilliant in all respects".
The RDS Jago Award, worth €5,000, was awarded to flautist Amy Gillen, a graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.
Both musicians will also receive professional performance engagements with RTÉ Orchestras as part of their prizes.