Classic Tipperary teenagers invited to apply for €5,000 prize

The Top Security/Frank Maher Classical Music Awards 2022 are now open for entries.

With a prize of €5,000 for the winner, this is the largest competition of its kind for secondary schools in Ireland.

The closing date for entries is Friday 7th October and Marty Whelan is emcee for the competition night in Dublin at the end of October.

Last year’s winner, 18-year-old pianist Stan O’Beirne, has been awarded an Ad Astra Performing Arts Scholarship at UCD, which allows top-performing students to develop their artistic talents while pursuing a university education.

Stan said: “Winning the Frank Maher Prize in 2021 was fantastic to have on my application for the UCD scholarship. This means that I can study for my university degree, while being supported in my piano studies at the highest level. I can continue to participate in competitions, to perform in concerts and festivals and to participate in other events. It gives me so many career options.

The Top Security/Frank Maher Classical Music Awards were established in 2001 by Emmet O’Rafferty, Chairman of the Top Security Group, to honor the memory of his late teacher, Father Frank Maher, a pioneer in the development of musical talent in schools secondary. . They went nationwide in 2012.

Emmet said: “The awards are now in their eleventh year of national competition, and we continue to be delighted with the high caliber of teenage talent they attract. We are proud to be able to support them at a key time in their life, and we look forward to meeting this year’s talented finalists.

The winners are a group of emerging young talents in Irish classical music. All winners have received national and international recognition for their achievements, and many have used their award as a springboard to fund their studies at some of the world’s most renowned music colleges and institutions. These include the Juilliard School, MUK Vienna, Barenboim-Said Akademie, Royal College of Music, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse and Kronberg Academy.

The awards are open to sixth-year post-primary students in strings, woodwinds, brass, and piano. The first prize of €5,000 will be used by the winner to attend a recognized educational institution, a study program in Ireland or abroad or for a purchase necessary for the development of their talent. The other finalists will each receive a grant of €300.

Further information, rules and application form can be found at