Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mark Had It in the Bag from the Start

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mark Had It in the Bag from the Start

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Whetstone

Bbc Young Musician of the Year 2006, The Sage Gateshead

A Cconcert with a competitive edge created its own special atmosphere at The Sage Gateshead on Saturday afternoon.

For the 1,500 in Hall One, there was the privilege of being party to something that millions would later be watching on BBC2.

For the five contestants the tension must have been the greater for the silently prowling cameras catching their every flourish in close-up.

None of them showed it. And for those who saw their interviews on TV later, it was clear these were five cool customers.

In the interval, the air crackled with predictions. Would it be the pianist, the clarinetist or the guitarist?

Cordelia Williams had been serene over the keyboard, David Massey possibly a little over-awed on guitar. For me ( and it's easy to seem wise after the event ( Mark Simpson had it in the bag the minute he raised his clarinet to his mouth.

The Nielsen Clarinet Concerto sounded a monster but he made it sing. …

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