Brighton-born cellist Riya Hamie, 17, is a junior student at the Royal College of Music. She was selected as one of eight London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) junior artists in 2020-2021 and became a member of the National Youth Orchestra in 2021; she was then offered the seat of co-principal cellist in NYO 2022 and was the principal cellist in the NYO winter concert at the Barbican in January 2022, which was later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Most recently, she has been awarded a full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music from September 2023.
Riya has won multiple prizes at the RCMJD under the tutelage of Michał Kaznowski, including the Barbara Boissard Junior Concerto Competition, Marjorie Humby Memorial Competition and, most recently, the prestigious Peter Morrison Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the RCMJD Symphony Orchestra in March 2022 which was subsequently released on the RCM YouTube channel. She has also won many first prizes at music festivals over the years including the Junior Concerto prizes at both the Hastings International Festival and Brighton Springboard Festival. The venues she has performed at include the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Leeds Town Hall, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Barbican, and she was featured as the cover model for ABRSM’s Cello Exam Pieces 2020-2023.
Riya plays on a George Panormo cello – on loan from the Benslow Music Instrument Loan Scheme since January 2020 – which was kindly donated by the late Walter Cheney. She is grateful for the support of the Westdene Fund and The Pebble Trust, who awarded her a Talent Grant in January 2022.