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Your Adjudicators for the Birmingham Music Festival 2024 are:

Timothy Barratt

Timothy Barratt studied on a Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, winning many major awards, and completed his studies with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris and Geoffrey Parsons. He has enjoyed a career as soloist, accompanist and chamber music player throughout the UK and abroad for over thirty years and, in recognition of his work, was elected ARAM, an honour awarded to former students who have distinguished themselves in the profession.

Teaching forms a major part of Timothy's musical life, and he enjoys working with pupils of all ages and levels from beginner to post-graduate. He was Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College for almost 25 years whilst also teaching at the RAM and TCM and now pursues a busy freelance practice. 

Formerly a member of the examining, training and review panel for the ABRSM, Timothy Barratt now acts as a Piano Syllabus Consultant. He regularly directs Masterclasses and Residential Courses for performers and teachers and is in demand as a Competition and Festival adjudicator.

Ruth Gerald FRCM was Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal College of Music in London from 1992 until August 1999, having previously been appointed Faculty Adviser for Keyboard Studies in 1987.

Her career has always pursued a very wide path, solo and lecture recitals, concertos, chamber music, Lieder recitals, accompanying, adjudicating, examining and teaching. Ruth was Head of Keyboard Studies at the Birmingham School of Music (now the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) for a period of five years but relinquished this post in order to devote more time to performing, and teaching at the Royal College where she was a Professor of Piano and Piano Accompaniment for over 30 years. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal College in 1985.

Born and educated in Australia, Ruth Gerald began her musical career there, broadcasting regularly with the Australian Broadcasting Commission at a very early age. After winning the Elder Overseas Scholarship and gaining a Bachelor of Music degree at Adelaide University she continued with postgraduate studies at the Royal College where she was awarded many prizes, including the Hopkinson Gold Medal.

Recently Ruth Gerald has given Masterclasses in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malta and Greece and conducted many Seminars for piano teachers in the UK, Malaysia and Singapore. She has been frequently invited to adjudicate at festivals world-wide and is actively involved in many aspects of the work of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  

Ruth Gerald

Adjudications at the Festival
The adjudication scheme at the Festival is…

There are seven categories of assessment: 

EXCEPTIONAL (mark 95+): A superlative performance, displaying exceptional artistic individuality. An astonishingly impressive performance displaying effortless technical control and superlative individuality in its artistry, and profound musical insight.

OUTSTANDING (mark 90 - 94): An impressive performance technically and artistically, displaying spontaneity & clear individuality. A stimulating, imaginative and persuasive performance, showing stylistic flair, interpretative insight, poise and unobtrusive technical command. 
HONOURS (mark 85 - 89): An excellent performance, demonstrating fluent technical and artistic skills with emerging individuality. Assured and expressive, demonstrating a high level of technical security, imagination and stylistic insight and with a real sense of communication and performance, although small blemishes may be present.
COMMENDED (mark 80 – 84): A convincing performance technically & artistically, with increasing stylistic & communication skills. Confident, with clear evidence of tonal and stylistic qualities and a developing awareness of communication and performance, although there may be moments of imprecision.
MERIT (mark 75 – 79): A competent performance, showing some artistic awareness and/or technical ability. Mostly fluent and accurate, with some awareness of tone and style, but requiring a sense of communication and performance. 
PROGRESSING (mark 70 – 74): A performance showing development of technique and/or communication and commitment. A generally secure performance in notes and rhythm at a reasonable tempo but as yet with limited attention to detail, tonal qualities, and style. 
DEVELOPING (mark 65 – 69): A performance demonstrating an awareness of technical skills, requiring more consistency & artistry. An inconsistent performance with an overall need for accuracy and /or continuity and artistic development.

Participation certificates will be awarded to all competitors entering Class 1.  

Festival Certificates will also be awarded to the winner plus 2nd and 3rd placed competitors in each class (if applicable).  

Only class winners awarded a certificate will be eligible to receive a trophy. Only entrants receiving a mark of 85 or over will be eligible to receive a trophy. Second and third place certificates will only be awarded to classes with 6 or more participants. 

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