W T Best Memorial Scholarship 2017-19: Alexander Pott

The winner of the W T Best Scholarship for 2017-19 is Alexander Pott.

The Musicians’ Company founded the W T Best Scholarship 60 years ago in memory of the great Victorian concert organist. Alexander Pott joins a distinguished list of past winners including Steuart Bedford, Stephen Cleobury, John Scott, Jane Watts, Andrew Lucas and Stephen Farr.

Each year The Musicians’ Company, one of the oldest and most respected charitable companies in the City of London, donates over £220,000 in scholarships and awards in support of young musicians at the start of their careers across all musical disciplines.

Alexander Pott is currently Assistant Organist and Tutor to the Choristers at Magdalen College, Oxford and was recently organ scholar at Westminster Cathedral. Alexander was Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral Oxford where he studied with Thomas Trotter and started his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey.

The W T Best Scholarship was awarded to Alexander Pott following a competitive audition in front of a distinguished panel of adjudicators including Dame Gillian Weir, Philip Moore, Professor John Morehen and Jonathan Rennert. The scholarship provides £4,000 a year for three years for a young organist of exceptional promise to enable them to further develop their talent by undertaking a period of further study. Alexander has chosen to learn Bach’s organ works with the major Bach scholars and to play on historic organs on the continent in Amsterdam, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Oslo.

The Musicians’ Company also awarded £2,000 and the F E Smith Medal to Graham Thorpe, who is the organ scholar designate at Brompton Oratory.

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  • For over 500 years the Worshipful Company of Musicians has supported the music profession in all its forms.
  • Every year the Company gives a range of awards, scholarships and medals, which make a real difference to the lives of outstanding young singers, composers and instrumentalists as they make the transition from study to a professional career in music.
  • The WT Best Scholarship has been supported by the Musicians’ Company for 60 years and it has a distinguished list of past winners. Other awards range from Classical Music to Jazz, Music Theatre, Popular Music, Brass Bands and the Military Schools of Music.
  • In addition to their specific award, our winners are invited to become Yeomen for the next five years. This entitles them to be considered for a range of performance opportunities, which the Company arranges – probably their top priority as they seek to become known. This year our Yeomen will give over 100 performances at venues ranging from the Wigmore Hall, where the Company organises its own concerts every year, to major music festivals across the country.
  • Our Yeomen also take part in an extensive Outreach Programme, taking music into primary schools mainly in the more deprived inner London boroughs that have little or no music provision. In 2016, 40 of our award winners made 155 visits to 55 schools, reaching 8,122 children.
  • If you would like to learn more about the Company, join us at our events or support our Yeomen, please visit our website, www.wcom.org.uk or contact Hugh Lloyd, at clerk@wcom.org.uk.