Boost for local young musician

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A harpist from Lisburn is one of four exceptionally talented young musicians from Northern Ireland have been awarded the Northern Ireland Young Musicians’ Platform Award by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and BBC Northern Ireland.

The four winners are: classical musicians, Seán Morgan-Rooney (pianist from Newry), Aaron O’Hare (baritone from Warrenpoint) and Richard Allen (harpist from Lisburn) with the folk award being presented to Niall Hanna (singer and guitarist from Dungannon).

The biennial awards, which are run by the Arts Council in collaboration with BBC NI, aim to showcase and support the development of young musicians from the region by providing individual funding awards of £5,000.

This funding enables the recipients to spend a sizeable amount of time learning from a master musician, mentor, teacher or composer either in Northern Ireland or abroad.

For the second time, the awards have been extended beyond the classical music arena, reaching out to musicians from traditional folk music backgrounds.

As well as this training opportunity, the awardees will receive two professional radio broadcast engagements, including one with the Ulster Orchestra, between January and December 2017.