The Top Security / Frank Maher Classical Music Awards 2021 are now open for nominations.
With a prize of € 5,000 for the winner, this is the largest competition of its kind for Irish secondary schools.
The awards were created in 2001 by Emmet O’Rafferty, president of the Top Security group, to honor the memory of his late teacher, Father Frank Maher, a pioneer in the education of musical talent in high schools. They went nationwide in 2012.
Emmet said: “From small beginnings, the awards are now in their tenth year of national competition, and we continue to be amazed and delighted at the incredible talent of the teenagers they attract.
“We are proud to be able to support these young people when they need it most and we look forward to meeting this year’s finalists. “
The nominees for the award are a roll call of young talent in burgeoning Irish classical music.
Previous winners also include pianists Kevin Jansson, Aidan Chan and Maire Carroll, violinist Mairead Hickey, and cellists Sinead O’Halloran and Killian White.
All of the winners have received national and international recognition for their achievements and have used their cash awards as a stepping stone to professional careers by funding their studies at some of the world’s most renowned music colleges and institutions. These include the Juilliard School, the Barenboim-Said Akademie, the Royal College of Music, the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Kronberg Academy.
The prizes are open to sixth year post-primary students of strings, woodwinds, brass and piano. The first prize of € 5,000 will be used by the winner to follow a recognized education, a course of study in Ireland or abroad or for a purchase necessary for the development of his talent.
The remaining finalists will each receive a grant of € 300.
The closing date for entries for this year is Friday October 8 and the competition night is scheduled to take place on Friday October 29 in Dublin.
Further information, rules and a copy of the downloadable application form are available at