THE adjudicator of the latest classes at the Swindon Music Festival has said he would take great away great memories of music making in the town.

The comments come after nine talented pianists took to the stage at the Arts Centre on Devizes Road on Wednesday for the fifth day of the festival.

Among the winners were Martha Berry who scored 86 marks in the Piano Solo – Grades 3 and 4 category, which saw her presented with The Betty Walters Trophy.

Joshua Dilly took home The Geoff Walters Trophy for being named top of the Piano Solo – Grades 5 and 6 with 87 marks, while Eric Chen also scored 87 marks in the Modern Popular Piano Solo: 9 and under class.

Alessandro Virgilio and Samuel Marshall were both named joint winners of the Piano Solo - Beginners (Pre-Grade 1) class after they each achieved 87 marks.

The Holmes Music Trophy was presented to Natalie Henry who was named the winner of the Modern Popular Piano Solo: 13 and under category with 88 points, while The Muriel Amor Intermediate Bach Trophy went to Tess Armstrong who scored 86 in the Piano Baroque Solo – 16 and under category.

Timothy Lai was presented with the Beatrice Plaum Challenge Cup after being named the winner of the Junior Piano Competition for winners from classes 62 - 78, and Sally Armstrong won The Instrumental Challenge Cup in the Instrumental Championship.

The classes were adjudicated by soloist and chamber musician James Kirby.

The piano performances would have been of particular interest to him, having been a member of the Barbican Piano Trio since 1992, performing regularly at Wigmore Hall and in major festivals and concert series throughout Europe and the USA

Particular highlights include a performance at Carneigie Recital Hall and many cycles of Beethoven's complete Piano Trios including one in the Master Concert Series at Wigmore Hall.

The Trio's repertoire consists f more than 70 works and their discography includes trios by Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, Rachmaninov and Schnittke. He has also worked with the Vanburgh Quartet, BBC Singers, Lydia Mordkovitch and the mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, and made recordings for Chandos.

As a dedicated teacher, he enjoys posts at the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff, Royal Holloway, University of London and it Artist in Residence at the University of Hull. He is also an Honourary Professor at the Rachmaninov Institute in Tambov, Russia, where he makes frequent visits to perform concertos, give recitals and masterclasses, as well as a chamber music courses.

Following his stint at the Swindon Music Festival, he said he would leave the town with fond memories of the music he had heard.

A spokesman for the festival said: "A wonderful evening was enjoyed listening to the winners of the Junior Piano classes competing for the Beatrice Plaum Challenge Cup and the Instrumental winners competing for the Instrumental Challenge Cup.

"The adjudicator for the last three days, James Kirby, expressed his thanks to all the competitors he had the privilege of hearing and would take great memories away with him of music making in Swindon."

The festival continued yesterday with the vocal classes.