2010 - Craig Lutton

Sixteen-year-old Craig Lutton from Antrim won the 2010 contest with a rousing performance on xylophone of a piece entitled Bacchanale. He has been learning percussion since he was seven-years-old and plays not only timpani, but shows equal enthusiasm for other drums, the timpani and marimba.  He is tutored by Jim Lutton – no relation – of Kells, and is a member of the Cambridge House School Band and Drum Corps, the NEELB Senior Orchestra, and the Ulster Youth Orchestra.


In 2010, Craig won the title ‘Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year’ playing xylophone at Queens University Belfast. Attending the County Antrim Youth Orchestra weekly was a stepping stone to the Ulster Youth Orchestra (UYO) where he was a member from 2009-2015. He was appointed UYO principal percussionist 2012-2015 where he performed a duet with Sir James Galway at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in a joint Prom with the Ulster Orchestra. He achieved ABRSM Diploma Percussion before progressing onto studying BMus Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London.  As an orchestral percussionist, Craig has gained a vast experience of repertoire by performing with several orchestras in London and Northern Ireland and most recently with the Atlantic Coast International Orchestra in Portugal. He enjoys working with a vast array of conductors such as Garry Walker, Takuo Yuasa, Diego Mason, Gerry Cornelius, Nicholas Braithwaite, JoAnn Falletta, Luis Clemente to name but a few.
He has also had the opportunity playing with the English National Opera (ENO) in their productions of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’  at London Coliseum in 2014 and 2015. Recently he performed Puccini's 'Madame Butterfly' with the London International Sinfonia in Cadogan Hall.
In 2012 he has been awarded the Individual Artists Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Young Artists bursary from Antrim Borough Council 2010-2014. He was awarded the Adams Collins prize for best first year percussionist at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
Alongside classical music he also enjoys playing Drumkit and Cajon with the recently formed six-piece Trinity folk band ‘Trading With Craig’ in venues across London.
“Winning Young Musician of the Year was a great inspiration to further my career in music”