Success and all that jazz for pianist

Peter with trophy.
Peter with trophy.

A TALENTED pianist has won the coveted title of BBC Scotland Young Jazz Musician of the Year.

Peter Johnstone, from Milngavie, fought off strong competition from some of the best emerging young jazz players in Scotland to clinch the title.

The final was held in the Beach Ballroom, in Aberdeen, earlier this month.

The winner was announced live on the night on BBC Radio Scotland’s Jazz House programme.

Peter will receive a prize package which includes £2,000, further support for study as well as prestigious appearances at the Glasgow and London jazz festivals.

The 22 year old said: ‘It’s fantastic to win, I never expected it to be me, everyone else seemed so good. ”

Peter was worried he wouldn’t be playing at his best for the final because he’d driven to Aberdeen after a late gig in Glasgow the night before, so he hadn’t slept.

When he was six, Peter started learning to play the piano, and he beagn playing the trumpet when he was eight.

After a conventional start, he discovered jazz, firstly on the trumpet and then on the piano, while listening to legendary pianist Oscar Peterson.

A keen rock climber, Peter represented Britain in the World Rock Climbing Championships, in Austria, in 2006.

Unfortunately, the demands of the two activities clashed so much that he eventually had a difficult choice to make - and he chose jazz.

Peter is in his final year on the BMus jazz degree course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow.

He currently performs with The Jazz Bar Big Band, The Jazz Bar House Trio, The Michael Deans Quintet, Paul Towndrow’s Jazz Futures, The Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra and The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland.