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24 July

OV finalist in The BIG Durham Talent Show!

Well done to OV Natasja Enthoven (W 14-19) who recently made it as a finalist in Durham University’s, The BIG Durham Talent Show. Natasja is currently studying Law at Durham and has very much enjoyed taking part in this wonderful, uplifting event.

Natasja explains,

“The BIG Durham Talent Show was one of the Durham Inspired ‘Live in Lockdown’ online events. Past and present Durham students were invited to showcase their talents by submitting a video of themselves performing, in advance of entries being shortlisted for the semi-final event.

I was lucky enough to be selected for the semi-final amongst an amazing 8-piece brass powerhouse, hilarious Lockdown comedy acts and a musician playing 28 instruments!

There was a live Zoom call on 1st July during which alumni, students and friends from all over the world tuned in to watch the submitted acts, interspersed by an original theme tune composed by Durham University Classical Ensemble’s Rob King and lively commentary by host Megan from HR.

After the event, voting opened for 24 hours and people were able to vote for their favourite act out of the nine talent entries!

The Final of The BIG Durham Talent Show was to take place on 8th July, and after much suspense the four acts which had made it through to the final were announced during the live event. I had made it through!

My second video of me performing an extract from Chopin’s Nocturne Op.48 No.1 on the piano (an extract so that it would fit within the allowed three minutes!) and my filmed introduction, would be shown in the final! I was so excited. During the final, we were honoured to have the President and CEO of the Lincoln Centre (of Performing Arts) in New York, Mr Henry Timms, as host and to offer his live expertise after each talent was shown. He offered a very inspirational way of thinking about music and creativity as being used to help support others and allow us to connect with each other in these uncertain times, as well as drawing on the importance of charity work.

The live audience was then able to vote for their favourite act and I congratulate Eleanor George for her moving poetry and being crowned winner. We were also able to see clips of some of the other entries to the Show which did not make it to the semi-final- all deserving acts I thought!

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to perform my Liszt and Chopin pieces for the community, to give back to Durham for awarding me the Chris Higgins Bursary Scholarship to contribute towards my piano lessons in preparation for the Fellowship of Trinity College London Diploma which I aspire towards completing, as well as providing entertainment and an opportunity to connect with friends, family, students and alumni.

I am especially grateful also to King’s for the Music Scholarship which I received throughout my school time and for all the opportunities I had to perform on the beautiful grand piano in College Hall as well as in the Cathedral. Thank you to Dr Poole (Hon OV) too who supported me during the event and was there live, even receiving a shout-out during the zoom call! All in all, The BIG Durham Talent Show was a fun event to take part in, relieving some of the lockdown realities for many!”

It was an incredible performance by Natasja and we are so proud of how much she has achieved already and excited to see what the future holds for her. The final can be viewed here with Natasja appearing from 13:30.