The 2016 Swansea International Festival Launch took place at the Taliesin Arts Centre on 14 June, and was followed by a short concert to decide the winner of the 2016 John Fussell Award for Young Musicians.
In a hotly contested and most enjoyable final the adjudicators Michael Garvey, Director, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, David Jackson, Artistic Director of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and Lyndon Jones, Artistic Director of Swansea International Festival, were very impressed with the high standard shown throughout the evening. They said that they had faced a challenging task in selecting a winner from the four very talented finalists but decided that the prize should go to the young bassoonist Angharad Elin Thomas – a worthy winner who received a prize of £2,000 – one of the largest prize competitions in Wales – towards further studies in the field. The three other finalists, Viola player, Lowri Elen Thomas, Trumpeter Jason Owen Lewis and jazz vocalist Jasmine Power each received £250. Beginning in 1992 the aim of the John Fussell Award is to support musicians who have successfully completed a recognised course at a University or Music College, who wish to continue their studies in music. The competition is open to singers or instrumentalists of Welsh extraction or living in Wales, with the appropriate qualifications.