Ciaran Carroll is riding a musical wave.

Last Monday Carroll won the Musica Viva/Palmerston North Rotary Young Performers Scholarship and that gives him an entry into next year's national performing arts competition.

Tomorrow, the Year 12 Boys' High student is the soloist performing the last movement of Grieg's piano concerto as part of the Manawatū Youth Orchestra's final concert for the year.

Grieg's concerto is one of the most popular of all piano concertos, written when the composer was seven years older than Carroll is.


Its musical and youthful exuberance is what attracts Carroll.

Playing Grieg has a been a journey for him, both exciting and daunting.

"When I started learning it seemed crazy. Now after a lot of work, wow. This is exactly my music."

Its epic element appeals; "that and lots of opportunities to show off".

As soloist he is in front of the orchestra with plenty of notes to show off his talent.

But the pianist knows the orchestra from the inside too.

He began learning clarinet as part of the Normal School's Saturday Music programme, and then progressed to play in the city's Training and then Youth Orchestra.

The versatile musician also plays trumpet in the Boys High jazz Stage Band and sings in the OK Chorale.

But the piano is his first instrument and is a pupil of local piano teacher Nick Hunter.


Carroll is seeking a career in music.

Playing piano overseas professionally is, he says, a " long shot – but why not?"

He hopes that as many people as possible will come to the concert on Friday.

"Classical music like jazz is best heard live. Live music has this immediacy – something that a CD or streaming can't do.

"And the orchestra is fantastic, too."

The concert, which includes the ever-popular Carmen Suite by Bizet under the baton of Isaac Henderson, will show the strength of the Youth Orchestra supporting Carroll in his concerto movement.

The concert begins Friday October 25, 7:30pm at the Speirs Centre, Palmerston North Boys' High School.