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Arts / Amy shines on piano to land place in young traditional musician of the year final

Amy Laurenson.

A PIANIST from Shetland says she is “over the moon” after making through to the final of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year contest.

Amy Laurenson will compete against five others in the final on 5 February at Glasgow’s City Halls, which will form part of the Celtic Connections festival.

The semi-final was broadcast on BBC Alba on Thursday night, and it can be watched back here.

Amy, who is 23, was raised in Shetland before heading off to study at the well-respected Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

At the semi-final she performed a set of traditional Shetland tunes, arranged in her own way.

“I grew up learning classical piano and first got introduced to trad when I was around 16 years old and started getting lessons from Violet Tulloch,” the musician said.

She initially studied the classical performance course at the Royal Conservatoire but switched to traditional music in her second year, and she graduated in June.

Amy currently spends a lot of time teaching in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and outside of this she plays in a duo with guitarist Miguel Girão and in a yet-to-be-named new five-piece Scandi fusion band.

The pianist has plenty of experience of competitions; she was named Shetland’s junior young musician of the year back in 2011 at the age of 11 – not playing the piano, but the bassoon – before bagging the main award in 2015.

The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, meanwhile, was founded in 2000.

Past winners include fiddler Gillian Frame, concertina-player Mohsen Amini, and singer Hannah Rarity.

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