Top Tipperary teen talent sought for classical music prize

Frank Maher Classical Music Awards

The 2013 winner and award-winning violinist Mairead Hickey at the launch of the Frank Maher Classical Music Awards for 2018

The search for Tipperary entries for Top Security’s Frank Maher Classical Music Awards for 2018 has begun and, with a €5,000 top prize, they are Ireland’s largest classical music competition for secondary schools. 

The 2013 winner and award-winning violinist Mairead Hickey was at the launch and, as this year’s competition is taking place earlier than usual, the closing date for entries is now Friday September 14.

The Frank Maher Classical Music Awards were created in 2001 by Emmet O’Rafferty, chairman of the Top Security Group, to showcase outstanding young talent in classical music.

Past winners have received national and international recognition for their achievements and used their prize money as a springboard towards a professional career by funding their studies at some of the world’s most renowned music colleges and institutions. 

These include the Barenboim-Said Akademie, Royal College of Music, Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique et de Danse, Kronberg Academy and the Meadows School of the Arts.

The awards are open to sixth year post-primary students of string, woodwind, brass and piano. The €5,000 top prize will be used by the winner to attend a recognised place of tuition, a course of study in Ireland or abroad or on a purchase necessary for the development of their talent.

The finalists will each receive a €250 bursary.

Seven finalists will be selected by an independent board of adjudicators to attend the competition night on Friday October 5 at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin to perform in front of an invited audience.

Full details, including rules and a copy of the application form for downloading, are on