Media Release: Young Scottish student wins prestigious Yamaha Jazz Scholarship

A PAINIST from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Utsav Lal, has been awarded with a prestigious Yamaha Jazz Scholarship at the annual Summer Jazz event held in Portcullis House London, in association with music licensing company PPL and the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG).

The 21 year-old – who will be performing at this year’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival – was given his prestigious award by MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk and APPJAG co-chair, Michael Connarty, at the event in London.

Utsav Lal – dubbed the ‘Raga Pianist’ for his innovative handling of the Indian classical music genre – has performed in the past at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Lal has drawn attention for his collaborative work with Irish and Scottish traditional musicians and his style has been described as having ‘illuminating grace’ by Novara Jazz Festival director, Corrado Beldi.

Summer Jazz at Portcullis House aims to spotlight the important contribution of those prestigious UK music institutions which offer full-time degree courses in jazz.

Lal was one of seven final-year students chosen by the heads of jazz from the most revered conservatoires across the country, to receive a £1,000 Yamaha Jazz Scholarship which includes recording and promotional opportunities.

Summer Jazz Scholarship recipients:

  • Utsav Lal, 21, of Glasgow, a pianist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
    • Mark Lewandowski, 22, of Kentish Town, a double bass player and student at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London
    • Ashley Henry of South Norwood, 22, a pianist at Leeds College of Music
    • Ed Haine of Highams Park, 25, a tenor saxophone player and student at the Birmingham Conservatoire
    • Scott Chapman, 22, a drummer and student at the Royal Academy of Music, London
    • Tom Dennis of Deptford, 22, a trumpeter at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London
    • Dan Smith, 22, Hertford, an alto saxophonist at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff

PPL, which annually supports the APPJAG Summer Jazz event and others throughout the year, works on behalf of over 90,000 record companies and performers to license recorded music played in public, so that those who invest their time, talent, and expertise in recording music are paid fairly for their work. 

Michael Connarty MP, APPJAG co-chair said: “Summer Jazz in Portcullis House is a fantastic annual event that continues to celebrate the up-and-coming jazz talent in this country.

Congratulations go to all of this year’s Yamaha Scholars. At APPJAG we are proud to support British jazz by recognising and honouring the amazing musical talent we have throughout the United Kingdom.”

Jonathan Morrish, director of PR and Corporate Communication, said: “PPL is proud to support this year’s APPJAG Summer Jazz event.

“Once again, we celebrate the extraordinary talent of young musicians involved in the jazz scene and we congratulate all of them in receiving their Yamaha Scholarship.

“We have had a long association with APPJAG as their main partner. It is always a pleasure to work with Yamaha to encourage and support young artists as they launch their careers and create the music of the future.”

Charles Bozon, director of Yamaha’s Classic Division, commented: “These innovative scholarships have further extended our relationship with PPL and the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group.

“The promotion of Jazz Performance and these scholarships complement our many other music education and student support initiatives.

“What better way to support the studies and showcase the talent of the UK’s finest upcoming young jazz musicians than through financial assistance, live performance and a recording opportunity.”

MEDIA RELEASE issued by The BIG Partnership. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka press or media releases), on Email for more information.

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Contact: Katie Burnett
Phone: 01413339585