Singer who died at her peak inspires future stars
Though the vibrant and attractive singer would have been mourned regardless of her profession, the sense of lost potential brought added poignancy to the death. So friends and family decided that the music should live on. They began fund-raising to establish scholarships for other emerging talents.
Last night, the first 10 winners of the Susan Chilcott Scholarship were announced at a ceremony in London. The youngest was Katrina Broderick, 23, whose award will help to fund living costs for the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, to the eldest, Emma Gane, 31, who is a freelance singer awarded funds for private lessons from the renowned British singer Dame Ann Evans.
Placido Domingo, who had performed with Chilcott and is patron of the scholarship scheme, said she was a wonderful person who understood that success depended not only on great talent but on sustained hard work. "She was also one of the most generous and bravest artists of our time. I am delighted that this scholarship in her memory is able to support a new generation of talented singers as they receive the tuition and training that will help them to achieve their full potential. I hope it goes from strength to strength."
Jonathan Dimbleby, the broadcaster who was close to the singer in the last months of her life, said the idea had been discussed with her before she died.
"She was much too modest herself to have had the idea. But we're trying to honour her memory in a way that will give some point to the awful pointlessness of sudden death and will put her name to good use by encouraging and helping talented singers to achieve potential. She was a very understated but magnetic personality and touched people who heard her sing," he said.
Seventy applications were received for the scholarships, which were decided by a panel including the soprano Dame Josephine Barstow and Iain Burnside, the Radio 3 presenter and pianist who now looks over Chilcott's son, Hughie.
The recipients were seeking help for everything from language tuition to private lessons from distinguished performers.
Mr Dimbleby said: "It's a very hard graft being a singer. Quite modest amounts of money can go a long way to help people pursue a course they want to pursue or have lessons with a particular maestro."
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
- 2 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 3 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 4 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Monty Python-inspired Australian Sam Simmons wins comedy award with 'very silly' show
X Factor hopeful Mason Noise: 'How is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in the music business, let alone a judge?'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Online toy marathon to launch new film
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up