South Hampstead pianist, 10, wins national music contest supporting Israeli children

Emunah Young Musician of the Year Elizabeth Kandelaki. Picture: John R. Rifkin Photographer.

Emunah Young Musician of the Year Elizabeth Kandelaki. Picture: John R. Rifkin Photographer. - Credit: John R. Rifkin Photographer

A 10-year-old pianist from South Hampstead has won a national music competition supporting disadvantaged children in Israel.

Joint runners-up in the Emunah Young Musician of the Year competition, Alessandro d'Orazio and Olivi

Joint runners-up in the Emunah Young Musician of the Year competition, Alessandro d'Orazio and Olivia Ter-Berg with Anthony Broza, of Wienerworld, and Michelle Hirschfield, of Emunah. Picture: John R. Rifkin Photographer. - Credit: John R. Rifkin Photographer

Elizabeth Kandelaki was crowned Emunah Young Musician of the Year after performing in front of a 350-strong audience at the Royal Academy of Music, in Marylebone, on Sunday.

Louis Isaacs (left) and Jodi Bloom with the Sara Freedman Woodwind prize presented by Brenda Freedma

Louis Isaacs (left) and Jodi Bloom with the Sara Freedman Woodwind prize presented by Brenda Freedman. Picture: John R. Rifkin Photographer. - Credit: John R. Rifkin Photographer

Pupils from schools in Camden, Barnet and Haringey competed.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is organised by the British wing of worldwide charity Emunah, which supports Israeli children affected by abuse, ill-health and poverty.

Elizabeth, a former Belsize Music Academy pupil, beat off competition from finalists who qualified from heats in Manchester and London.


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She was named winner by a judging panel comprising Malcolm Singer, director of music at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard, Teresa Cahill, Norma Fisher, Françoise Pierre-Geller and Marc Verter.

Mr Singer said: “Elizabeth drew a beautiful tone from the piano and captivated the audience with her magical and wonderfully lyrical manner.”

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Elizabeth added: “This is the first time that I have won anything. It is probably one of the best experiences of my life. I am overwhelmed.”

Joint runners-up for the title were pianist Alessandro d’Orazio, 10, and harpist Olivia Ter-Berg, 17, a Camden School for Girls pupil.

Saxophonist Louis Isaacs, 12, of Hampstead Garden Suburb, jointly won a woodwind prize set up in memory of late young musician Sara Freedman, together with fellow saxophone player Jodie Bloom, 9, from Borehamwood.

Retired barrister Michelle Hirschfield, of Church Mount, in Hampstead Garden Suburb, who set up the competition in 2011, said: “It has been a fantastic ­afternoon thanks to our incredible winners, runners-up, and all the talented young musicians and singers who have entertained us while raising funds to help those less fortunate through music therapy.”

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