A special fund has been set up to help an Irish teenage piano virtuoso realise his potential on the world stage.
Irish actress and theatre and opera director, Fiona Shaw, who is currently starring in the TV spy thriller Killing Eve on BBC; award-winning journalist Fergal Keane; and former Ireland rugby coach Declan Kidney are among the patrons of the Friends of Kevin Jansson Trust which aims to help gifted pianist, Kevin Jansson, 18, further his musical studies and development over the next five years.
A spokesman for the trust said it is hoped the fund will help Kevin go on to study at some of the top classical music academies in Europe or the US.
The scheme will guarantee important extra income to fund and resource Kevin’s musical education. The trustees of the fund will be responsible for the awarding and disbursement of grants towards Kevin’s education, travel, and professional development.
Kevin, from Wilton, Cork, who is studying for his Leaving Certificate in Presentation Brothers College and who was named Cork Person of the Month in January to mark his contribution to classical music to date, was described by awards organisers as one of the finest musicians of his generation.
He began his musical studies with Una Kindlon, aged six, and went on to study violin with Ruxandra Petcu-Colan and piano with Mary Beattie at the CIT Cork School of Music.
He is now focusing full-time on his piano studies. He gave his first piano recital at the age of 12, and a year later, he made his concerto debut during the Cork International Choral Festival, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor with the CIT Cork School of Music Chamber Orchestra.
In 2014, he was one of 12 young pianists selected from around the world to participate in the Allianz Lang Lang Foundation Music Camp in Barcelona, which culminated in a concert masterclass with Lang Lang, the legendary Chinese concert pianist.
In February 2016, he was the youngest participant and joint winner of the Thierry Scherz prize at the Sommets Musicaus de Gstaad Festival in Switzerland, which led to the recording of his debut solo piano CD on the Claves label.
Kevin has won numerous competitions both at home and abroad, taking 13 first prizes at Feis Ceoil, and has won five international competitions over the last two years.
And he has been named as leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for this year.
Kevin also has an avid interest in maths and physics and received the gold medal at the Irish National Physics Olympiad in 2016.
Anyone interested in contributing to the fund can email: firstname.lastname@example.org