Guildhall School of Music & Drama is thrilled to announce Stephanie Tang as the winner of this year’s Gold Medal, the School’s most prestigious music prize for outstanding musicians.

The prize is awarded to singers and instrumentalists in alternate years, and this year saw three instrumentalists take to the Barbican stage to perform a concerto of their choice with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Leaper.

The final took place on Thursday 12 May and marked the first time audiences could experience the thrill and excitement of the Gold Medal final both in-person and online, reaffirming Guildhall School’s commitment to connecting and engaging audiences. The final will be available on Guildhall School’s website from Wednesday 18 May for 7 days. 

Stephanie’s winning performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 in D Minor impressed the audience as well as the judges. She performed alongside finalists William Bracken and Kryštof Kohout, who performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4, op. 58 and Berg’s Violin Concerto, respectively.

Stephanie Tang says: “It was incredible to end my artist diploma playing with my colleagues and friends of the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra; and to play in the Barbican Hall is just the cherry on top of a wonderful experience! I am incredibly honoured to have won the Gold Medal and to have shared the stage this evening with two incredible musicians. The evening would have been nothing without such a warm reception from the audience and the orchestra.”

This year’s distinguished panel of judges featured: the editor of the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme, Emma Bloxham; Chief Executive of Saffron Hall, Angela Dixon; artistic and executive director of Wigmore Hall, John Gilhooly CBE; Interim Director of Music and Head of Vocal Studies at Guildhall School of Music & Drama; and conductor for the evening’s performance, Adrian Leaper.

The Gold Medal award was founded and endowed by Sir H. Dixon Kimber in 1915, and has continued annually, uninterrupted even throughout two world wars and the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1950 it has been open to singers and instrumentalists in alternate years. Previous winners include William Primrose (1922), Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Patricia Rozario (1979), Tasmin Little (1986) and Sir Bryn Terfel (1989).

Pianist Stephanie Tang, a native of Los Angeles, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician worldwide. At the age of 12, she performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and at sixteen, made her orchestral solo debut with the West Covina Symphony Orchestra. She has since then performed solo recitals in Los Angeles, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Sendai, the Netherlands, Banff, Ottawa, Toronto and Gijon. In 2017, she competed in the Sendai International Piano Competition and was a finalist in the Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition. In 2021, she was a semi-finalist in the Montreal International Piano Competition and performed in Brussels at the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition.

Over the years, Stephanie has worked with many prominent artists including Richard Goode, Robert Levin, Jonathan Biss, Robert McDonald, Matti Raekallio, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Menahem Pressler, and Leon Fleisher. An avid chamber musician, she has performed and collaborated with John Adams, András Diaz, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and coached with members of the Ébène, Guarneri, and Tokyo Quartets. She is a member of the London-based Paddington Trio, which recently won second prize and a special prize for the best interpretation of an Estonian work at the Tallinn 2021 International Piano Chamber Music Competition.

Stephanie began her professional studies with Zhaoyi Dan at the Shenzhen Arts School in China. She completed her Bachelor of Music at the Colburn Conservatory of Music with John Perry and Master of Music at the Yale School of Music with Peter Serkin and Boris Slutsky. She is currently in her second year of Artist Diploma studies with Ronan O’Hora at Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Recent winners of the Gold Medal include pianist Joon Yoon (2018), who took part in the Gurwitz International Piano Competition in Texas in early 2020, and Samantha Clarke, (2019) who is due to make her debut at the Royal Opera House. Shortly after performing as a finalist in the Isang Yun International Music Competition in Tongyeong, South Korea, Soohong Park won the Gold Medal in 2020. Baritone Tom Mole, who won the prize in 2021, has recently made his debut at Glyndebourne Festival, where he was a Jerwood Young Artist.

The Gold Medal final is part of Guildhall School’s summer events season, all of which is available to browse on the School’s website.