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Oxford schoolgirl Ruth makes music history
A TEENAGER from Oxford is believed to be the first in the country to scoop a top cello prize three times in a row.
Talented 14-year-old cellist Ruth Friedlander earned the top exam mark in the country for grade six in 2010, grade seven in 2011 and grade eight in 2012 for the Associated Boards Royal School of Music exams.
The Oxford High School pupil was awarded the Marguerite Swann Memorial prize for the third year running in February, a feat the organisers believe is unique.
She said: “It was fantastic to find out. I remember jumping up and down for a while, it was so exhilarating.
“When I walked out of the exam I was confident I had done well but it was such a surprise to get the award again.
“I do love playing the cello. It’s a hard feeling to explain. There is so much you can do with it – jamming with friends, and playing all kinds of genres.”
The Summertown schoolgirl, who practises up to three hours a day, said she hasn’t decided if she wants to take up music or neuroscience as a career.
Her mum Kathryn Friedlander said: “My husband and I aren't musical, so it has come a little bit from nowhere. Her grandmother was though. She was a cellist and actually it's her cello Ruth plays now, so it's really lovely she's carrying on the tradition.”
ABRSM spokesman Rowan Walker said it was very unusual to get the prize more than once and didn’t know of anyone else who had received it three times in a row.
Ruth has also found out she will be playing in the National Youth Orchestra this year as one of their youngest musicians after a successful audition.