An unsung feat of cultural diplomacy has won a future for an Iranian pianist.
From the press release:
Ashkan Layegh, winner of the 2017 Barbad International Piano Prize in Shiraz, has won a full scholarship to study piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He has also been offered a place at the Royal College of Music, a remarkable double achievement.
Ashkan is probably the first young Iranian musician born in Iran ever to have achieved this distinction. Over 100 pianists from all over the world auditioned for the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music this December. Only a few truly exceptional young musicians are awarded scholarships.