Maidstone Young Musician 2021

Maidstone Young Musician 2020 Competition Winner: Daniel Pengelly

2020 Maidstone Young Musician Winner Daniel Pengelly

Daniel is a music scholar at Tonbridge School where he takes part in a variety of ensembles and choirs.

He has played the flute for seven years and has achieved his Licentiate diploma. He also has Grade 8 on the recorder, Grade 7 on piano; he plays the drums, and sings.

Daniel enjoys arranging, composing, and performing music, and hopes to be a professional musician when he is older.


Daniel Pengelly plays ‘Ballade’ by Perilhou

Maidstone Young Musician 2021 ADJUDICATOR: Malcolm Riley

2Maidstone Young Musician  2021 Adjudicator Malcolm Riley

Malcolm Riley recently retired from a 38-year career teaching music, mostly in Kent schools. He has also been active as an organist, pianist and conductor, working with several county ensembles, including, Cranbrook Choral Society, Gravesham Choral Society, Maidstone Symphony Orchestra (for whom he composed a centenary celebratory overture Fairmeadow in 2010), Kent Chamber Choir and Kent Sinfonia.

Lockdown has enabled Malcolm to spend more time on two more of his abiding interests: he has completed several compositions for voice, piano and organ and – having recently become a grandfather for the first time – had the perfect excuse to delve further into his family genealogy.


Maidstone Young Musician 2021 FINALISTS

Maidstone Young Musician 2021 Competition Winner: Hannah Runting

2021 Finalist Hannah Runting

Hannah is 17 years old, studying Harp at the Junior Royal Academy of Music with Miriam Keogh ARAM where she also studies Composition and Viola. Hannah also has a wider interest in music therapy. She is currently working towards her A-Levels in Music, Psychology and English Literature at Mayfield Grammar School for Girls. Hannah is an active member of Maidstone Youth Music Society, as well as the Kent County Youth Orchestra and Choir. Hannah hopes to go to conservatoire to continue her musical journey.


Hannah Runting plays “Perpetuum Mobile” from “Sonata for harp” by Germaine Tailleferre

Runner Up: Markus Sadler

2021 Finalist Markus Sadler

Markus Sadler was born in Chatham, Kent, is 15 years old, and is a pupil at Holcombe Grammar School. He has been studying the piano with David Sams since the age of 7 and passed his Grade 8 Piano with Distinction in 2019, and the ATCL Diploma with Distinction in 2020. Recently he has been benefitting regularly from the advice of Professor Gordon Fergus-Thompson from the Royal College of Music. Markus also studies the trumpet with Tim Haywood, and passed Grade 8 Trumpet with Distinction in 2020. He won the Baroque and Tutors’ prizes at the Kent International Piano Course in 2019, and was also a finalist in the Medway Young Musician of the Year that year. He plays the Trumpet in the Kent Youth Orchestra, Lydian Orchestra and Maidstone Wind Symphony, and has been involved, as performer and volunteer helper, with many youth orchestras and groups organised by the Medway Music Association. Markus’s hobbies include taking part in the weekly Parkrun events around Kent.


Markus Sadler plays “Prelude” from “English Suite no 2 in A minor” by Bach

Young Musician of Promise: Oliver Moh

2021 Finalist Oliver Moh

Oliver is 9 years old and is currently in year 5 at the Junior King’s School in Canterbury. He began having regular cello lessons 4 years ago and made such rapid progress that he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Music London in September 2019 where he continues to have cello lessons with Bozidar Vukotic. Oliver loves music, especially the sound of the cello. He has won several local and international competitions, most recently he was awarded the “most promising young musician” at the Maidstone Young Musician Competition 2020 and “runner up” at the Rotary Young Musician Regional Competition 2020.  He currently plays a 1/2 size cello and has achieved a high distinction in his ABRSM grade 8 cello exam. In his free time Oliver enjoys watching animal documentaries, Star Wars, maths, playing football, swimming, chess and speedcubing (solving different types of Rubik’s cubes in competitive settings).

He hopes to become a professional cellist when he’s older.


Oliver Moh plays “Chant du ménestrel” by Glazunov accompanied by Tim Frost

Thomas Hall

2021 Finalist Thomas Hall

Born into a musical family, Thomas has been playing the Trombone for just over 4 years. Since 2018, he has been studying under Rob Burgess at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then, he has achieved Grade 7 distinction and is working towards his Grade 8. Also a euphonium player, he is a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and principal euphonium of the Southern Counties Youth Band. In his free time, Thomas likes to compose, sing, play and is an award winning  mathematician!  He is looking forward to participating in Maidstone Young Musician again, but this time on a different instrument!


2021 Finalist Eliza Ruffle

Eliza Ruffle

Eliza is a 14-year-old pianist from Sevenoaks. She attends the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music in London on Saturdays. She gained grade 8 with Distinction at age 8 and the LRSM diploma at age 11. She is one of the two pianists in the National Youth Orchestra. She has won many first prizes in competitions, including Newcastle’s Young Pianist of the North, the Hong Kong International Piano Competition, Italy’s Young Musician International, Shanghai’s International Piano Competition, Vienna’s Grand Prize Virtuoso, New York’s American Protégé International Music Talent, Poland’s Chopin Youth Piano Competition, and Russia’s International Competition for Young Pianists.  She has performed solo in concerts at home and abroad, including Malta, Bonn, Washington DC, Vienna, Shanghai, St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and the Carnegie Hall in New York.


2021 Finalist Ashley Solano

Ashley Solano

Ashley Solano is an 18yrs old pianist from Colombia. He studies piano with Penelope Roskell, and attends music A level classes at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. He plans to go to a music conservatoire from 2021, and aspires to become a renowned musician, teacher and composer.


2021 Finalist Polina Sumbayeva-Yasynska

Polina Sumbayeva-Yasynska

My name is Polina Sumbayeva-Yasynska. I started playing piano and singing when I was eight. My first singing and piano teachers were my mum and Mrs Charlotte Chaney. Then my singing teachers were Mrs Sophie Hyde and Mrs Claire Clarke; Mrs Harriet Mountford teaches me currently. Mrs Jenny Walland was my violin teacher and my current piano teacher is Mr Clive Robinson. I have ABRSM grade 5 in both piano and singing and also Trinity grade 1 in violin. I studied at Bryony School and then in Rochester Grammar School for girls where I completed my GSCEs. Currently, I am a first-year student at the Mid Kent College, where I study Music and Performing Arts. My long-term plans are to go to the University to do Music and I am interested in becoming an actress and a singer and singing teacher. My hobbies, in addition to singing, include reading and travelling.  Also, I enjoy languages – I am bilingual, speaking fluently both English and Russian. I also speak Ukrainian and German. Currently, I work as a volunteer teacher assistant in the Saturday language (Russian) school in London.


2021 Finalist Isabel Watson

Isabel Watson

Isabel is in her final year at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, where she is an active member of the Chamber Choir and school Drama Prefect. She has been awarded School Colours for her outstanding contribution to the performing arts and is currently studying for her Grade 8 with her singing teacher, Ms Anna Nicolaus Evans. Isabel has attended the Italia Conti School for Performing Arts in Tunbridge Wells every Saturday for the last eight years, performing regularly as a soloist and in ensembles in concerts and show cases, and has twice been awarded the school’s Senior Singing Prize. Isabel is passionate about the performing arts and is applying to continue her studies at Drama College or University. She enjoys writing her own songs and walking her dog by the sea.



Maidstone Music Festival

Maidstone Music Festival