Robert Costin, described as a performer of ‘consummate control’ (MusicWeb) and ‘in total technical command’ (International Record Review), studied organ and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music before reading music at Pembroke College, Cambridge. His principal teachers were Nicholas Danby, David Sanger and John Toll. After graduation, Robert moved to New Zealand to take up the post of Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington. During this period he became a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand, making numerous solo organ broadcasts, and he was a major prize winner at the Hamilton International Organ Competition. He has subsequently held posts at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, Blackburn Cathedral, Worksop College, Bedford School, Ardingly College, St Paul’s Cathedral School, and presently Highgate School.
Robert’s musical career has taken him all over the world, including North America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. He has performed in many of the major British venues, including King’s College, Cambridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. He made his concerto debut with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2011, which was broadcast live on national radio. Recent highlights have included concerts and classes at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and major tours of New Zealand and Australia. Robert has made regular broadcasts on Radio New Zealand and the BBC, and his recordings have featured on the popular US radio programme Pipedreams.
David Crown has been singing and conducting choirs and orchestras since his teens. He won a Choral Scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge and was also a university instrumental award holder on the viola. Immediately after leaving university he embarked on a career as soloist in opera and oratorio winning several competitions. He also built a considerable reputation as singing teacher and now teaches at Oxford and Bristol Universities as well as privately. In more recent years he has left the world of solo singing and returned to his first love of conducting. He is Director of Music at Somerville College, Oxford, and Music Director of the Reading Phoenix Choir, The Oxford Singers and The Wychwood Chorale. His work with choirs and orchestras has attracted superb notices in the UK and abroad. He is also increasingly in demand for master-classes. Somerville have been invited to sing Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral twice in the coming year and will be taking part in the Britten in Oxford festival in 2013 as the only collegiate choir.
Sophie Daneman studied at the Guildhall School of Music with Johanna Peters and has established an international reputation in a wide ranging repertoire. An accomplished recitalist, Sophie Daneman has appeared at many of the world’s major recital venues, including the Wigmore Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Musikverein, Vienna, and Carnegie Hall.
Her opera engagements have included Rodelinda in the Netherlands, ‘Arianna’, Cleopatra (‘Giulio Cesare’) and Dalila (‘Samson’) for the Göttingen Handel Festival, and an acclaimed Mélisande for the Opéra Comique. She has sung Servilia (‘La Clemenza di Tito’) with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Euridice (Haydn’s ‘L’Anima del Filosofo’) for the Opéra de Lausanne, Euridice (Monteverdi’s ‘L’Orfeo’) and ‘Dido and Aeneas’ at the Bavarian State Opera, the title role in Handel’s ‘Theodora’ with William Christie in New York, Paris and Salzburg and Bernstein’s ‘Wonderful Town’ and her first Susanna (‘Le nozze di Figaro’) for Grange Park Opera. She appeared in the staged productions of Tod Machover’s ‘Skellig’ at The Sage, Gateshead and sang Phedre in Rameau’s ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ for the Nationale Reisopera.
She has toured extensively with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, as well as performing with Sir Neville Marriner, Gérard Lesne, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Phillipe Herreweghe, Ivor Bolton and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. She has sung Handel’s ‘Apollo e Dafne’ at the Maggio Musicale, ‘L’Allegro’ with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and appeared with the Halle Handel Festival, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Rias Kammerchor, the Beaune Festival, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Wyn Davies was born in South Wales and graduated from Christ Church Oxford. He works with a wide range of opera companies, orchestras, theatre companies, in the West End and in cabaret. He has been Director of Music to New Zealand Opera since 2005. His most recent productions there are Don Giovanni and The Flying Dutchman.
Wyn Davies first worked with Welsh National Opera. He conducted a wide variety of repertoire there, including his own edition of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea as well as Janáček cycles and Krása’s children’s opera Brundibar (televised).
He later spent two years as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and undertook two seasons for the Banff Centre in Canada, which included the award-winning production of Weill’s Threepenny Opera in Toronto.
Wyn Davies has also conducted the Welsh and English National Operas, Scottish Opera and Opera North, where his collaborations have been frequent and successful from the co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company of Show Boat (also in the West End and on tour) to Madam Butterfly, The Merry Widow and two Gershwin musicals: Of Thee I Sing (also Bregenz) and Let ‘Em Eat Cake.
Wyn Davies has worked with the Hallé Orchestra (and returned for concerts each year since 2007), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Millennium Concert) and other British ensembles, and with orchestras from Serbia to New Zealand.
Recent projects include A Child of our Time for the National Youth Orchestra and Choir in New Zealand, Don Pasquale in Japan, a double bill of Dido and Aeneas and La Voix Humaine for Opera North, La Cenerentola for Queensland Opera and Under Milk Wood on tour in Wales.
William Dazeley was born in Warwickshire and is a graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge. He studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he won several prizes including the prestigious Gold Medal, the Decca Kathleen Ferrier Prize, the Royal Overseas League Singing Competition, the Richard Tauber Prize and the Walther Gruner International Lieder Competition.
William is now established as one of the leading baritones of his generation, and has already appeared with many of the world’s important opera houses. Roles include Count in Cherubin, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Anthony in Sweeney Todd, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; The Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and title role in Owen Wingrave for Glyndebourne Touring Opera; Figaro in Barbiere at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; Count in Figaro and title role in Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dr Faust at the Salzburg Festival and Châtelet conducted by Kent Nagano and Scherasmin in Oberon at the Theatre du Châtelet conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, which was also presented in concert at the Barbican, the Count in Figaro at the Pittsburgh Opera, Zurga in The Pearl Fishers at the San Francisco Opera, the Ferryman in Curlew River at the Edinburgh Festival, Papageno in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera, Maximilian in Candide with the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Marcello in La Boheme and Yeletsky in Pique Dame with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Concert appearances have included title role in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust for a European tour conducted with Philippe Herreweghe and concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Schumann’s Requiem for Mignon conducted by John Eliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Orchesta; Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Royal Flanders Philharmonic conducted by Herreweghe and at the Casa da Musica, Porto; Corigliano’s Dylan Thomas Trilogy with the BBC Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Christmas Oratorio with the Berlin Philharmonic; the world premiere of songs by Harrison Birtwistle for the BBC Proms conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi, Mahmoud in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Das Paradies und die Peri with the San Francisco Symphony, Das Klagende Lied with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Orchestre du Capitole Toulouse, Britten’s War Requiem at the Aspen Festival, L’Enfance du Christ with London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis, the Brahms Requiem with the Monteverdi Choir conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Orquestra Nacional do Porto, and concerts of L’Enfance du Christ with Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg conducted by Ivor Bolton.
World premieres include the lead role of Jesus in Harrison Birtwistle’s The Last Supper at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim, which was then repeated at the Glyndebourne Festival; and Hosokawa’s Hanjo, which was presented at the Aix en Provence Festival and Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels.
William has given recital performances at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St George’s Bristol, and Chatelet, and is regularly invited to sing at Cheltenham, Aix en Provence and Saintes Festivals with such noted accompanists as Graham Johnson and Iain Burnside.
pursueing his vocal studies at la Civica Scuola di Musica of Milan and the prestigious Curtis Institute, Philadelphia where his early opera performances led to highly successful European debuts including a prizewinning Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Ton Koopman.
Since his 2007 UK debut as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos for Garsington Opera, he has quickly made a name for himself here, with roles such as Robinson-Secret Marriage (Scottish Opera), Dandini-La Cenerentola (Garsington), Pete-Lost Highway (ENO), the Count-Capriccio (Grange Park), Guglielmo-Così fan tutte, and Schaunard-La Boheme (Opera North).
His operatic repertoire spans from Monteverdi to the present day, with over 50 roles performed, including several world premieres such as the title role of Achilleus (Flemish Opera), but if asked to choose, his preferences would lie with Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Strauss and Britten. Similarly indecisive is he with Song repertoire, as the music he most enjoys performing is that of Wolf, Schuman, Fauré, Tchaikovsky, Barber and Rorem.
Recent highlights include Don Giovanni in Rimini, Christus in Bach’s Johannes Passion for De Nationale Reisopera, Selim in Il Turco in Italia for Garsington Opera, and future engagements include roles at La Monnaie, The Netherlands Opera and Grange Park Opera.
Rebecca de Pont Davies is establishing herself as one of the leading singer actors of her generation. Recent engagements include Geneviève Pelléas et Mélisande at the Aalto Musiktheater in Essen, conducted by Stefan Soltesz, her first Klytemnestra (opposite Susan Bullock) for Opera North, Auntie in David Alden’s award-winning production of Peter Grimes at ENO, Vlaamse Opera, and Opera de Oviedo, her debut in Germany as Mrs Sedley in a new production of Peter Grimes for Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf, her first Herodias and Die Hexe for Theater Bielefeld, Beggar Woman Sweeney Todd, in a new production for Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Aunt Kaye in the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Bronka Steinberg’s The Passenger for ENO.
Future engagements include Auntie Peter Grimes for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Old Lady/Elaine in a new production of Sunday in the Park with George for Theatre du Chatelet Paris and Mother Wagner Dream for Welsh National Opera.
Rebecca has gained international recognition through roles such Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes at the Liceu Bercelona and in Valencia, Zweite Magd Elektra, Mother in Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream for De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Beroe Henze’s The Bassarids in Luxembourg and Paris, Albine Thais and 3rd SecretaryNixon in China for Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, and Mother Goose The Rake’s Progress for Opera de Oviedo. On the concert platform, Rebecca’s appearances have included performances in a wide variety of works with many of Britain’s leading orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Further international performances include da Falla El Amor Brujo and Seven Popular Spanish Songs with Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada and Alma Mahler’s Four Early Songs with Sinfonica del Valle in Cali, Colombia. An enthusiastic exponent of contemporary music, Rebecca has appeared with Lontano and the Endymion Ensemble in works such as Henze’s El re del Harlem, Berio’s Folksongs, Judith Weir’s Consolations of Scholarship and with the London Sinfonietta she sang Wife/Doreen/Waitress 1/Sphynx 2 in Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek as part of the BBC’s Momentum series at the Barbican.
Rebecca was born in London and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She made her debut at Glyndebourne in Death in Venice and went on to create the role of Ismene in Luc Braeways Antigone with Belgian based Walpurgis, touring throughout Europe. Having made her ENO debut as Emilia in Verdi’sOtello, Rebecca went on to become a Company Artist. Her many roles during this time include Ulrica Un Ballo in Maschera, Mistress Quickly Falstaff, Mrs SedleyPeter Grimes, Ottavia Poppea, Genevieve Pelleas et Melisande, Theatre Dresser/Schoolboy/Groom Lulu, Albine Thais, Annina Der Rosenkavalier, Flosshilde Das Rheingold, Siegrune Die Walkure, Page Salome (also recorded for Chandos), Mother Goose The Rake’s Progress and 3rd Secretary Nixon in China.
She also created the role of Suzanne in the world premiere of Martin Butler’s A Better Place. For the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden she has sung Schwertleite Die Walkure, and 2nd Esquire Parsifal, and for Scottish Opera Moksada Parem Vir’s Snatched by the Gods, Orlofsky Die Fledermaus, and Mezzo Actor Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera. She appeared as Maddalena in Opera North’s new production of Rigoletto and at Garsington Opera she has sung Gaea DAPHNE, Die Muschel Die Agyptische Helene and Die Haushalterin Die Schweigsame Frau.
Magid El-Bushra was a recipient of a 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Susan Chilcott Scholarship. A countertenor, who was born in Khartoum, Sudan and studied Music at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he also held a Choral Scholarship, he continued his studies at the Royal College of Music, where he was a winner of the Century Prize for Early Music, and at the Flanders Opera Studio in Ghent. He currently studies with Paul Farrington and Della Jones, and is a grateful recipient of scholarships from Sir Vernon Ellis and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.
In opera, Magid has performed the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Opera Fuoco/David Stern at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, as well as the role of David in a staged production of Handel’s oratorio Saul at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (conducted by Andreas Spering). He made his debut with Glyndebourne on Tour as Nutrice in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (2010), and has covered the roles of Mago Christiano (Rinaldo) and Nireno (Giulio Cesare) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2011/2009). In 2010, he created the role of Little Ceasar in the pastiche opera Nachtwache at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater to great reviews (the production was revived in 2012), and performed the role of Primo Uomo in another pastiche opera, Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali, at the Opéra de Rouen. He has also performed the role of Tolomeo in a version of Handel’s Giulio Cesare for young people at the Théâtre Saint Quentin, Paris, with Opera Fuoco/David Stern, Tragedia/Dafne in Caccini’s Euridice with Scherzi Musicali/Nicolas Achten (recorded for Ricercar and awarded 5 Diapasons), and appeared in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Les Arts Florissants/William Christie at the Teatro Real, Madrid.
As a soloist in the oratorio repertoire, Magid has performed Handel’s Chapel Royal Anthems with the Basel Kammerorchester directed by Paul Goodwin; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Casa Da Musica, Porto under the direction of Laurence Cummings and in Auxerre with Ensemble La Fenice/Jean Tubéry; Buxtehude’s Das Jüngste Gericht with Masaaki Suzuki in Japan; Bach’s Mass in G and Mass in A with Ensemble Pygmalion at the Festival de la Chaise Dieu (recorded for Alpha and awarded Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2008), and the premiere of Klaus Huber’s Miserere Hominibus at the Opéra Bastille, Paris with Les Jeunes Solistes. He has also recorded the Pie Jesu in the Requiem by Duruflé for Harmonia Mundi.
Magid has given several recitals at the Bijloke concert hall in Ghent, most recently of Byrd consort songs with the viol consort Phantasm (following on from the recital of English lute songs he gave there in 2010). He has also given a recital of English folksongs at the Snape Maltings concert hall in Aldeburgh, as well as the premiere of Robert Platz’ song cycle Boutaden for the Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Cologne.
He participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, performing the role of David in Handel’s Saul at the Aldeburgh Festival under the direction of Richard Egarr in 2010. He has also participated in Malcolm Martineau’s song masterclasses at Crear, and in masterclasses with Ann Murray, Graham Johnson and Emma Kirkby. In November 2008, Magid won first prize at the Concorso Musica Sacra in Rome, and, with his baroque ensemble La Sfera Musicale, was a prizewinner at the international early music competitions in Brugges and Yamanashi.
This season sees the revival of Handel’s Saul in Oldenburg and Heilbronn, concerts in De Bijloke, Ghent, and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, and Magid’s first concert in North America, at the Montréal Bach Festival.
Samuel Evans is a former choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and recently completed the opera course at the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Upon graduation, he was awarded the prestigous Tagore Gold Medal, which was presented to him by HRH The Prince of Wales. He is a Samling Scholar, and was a finalist in the 2007 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. As a winner of the Maisie Lewis Prize he made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall. He also won both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 London Welsh Young Singer of the Year, and was a finalist in the Welsh Singer of the Year Competition at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff.
His operatic roles include Garibaldo Rodelinda in the London Handel Festival, Don Alfonso Cosi fan Tutte at the Royal College of Music, Kilian Der Freischütz at the Opéra Comique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and The Forester The Cunning Little Vixen at the Ryedale Festival. He has also sung Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte for Vignette Productions in London and France, Chelsias Susanna for Iford, Giacchino Leonora for Bampton Classical Opera, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas for the Armonico Consort, Leporello Don Giovanni for Opera-by-Definition, Pallante Agrippina for Barber Opera, and Judas Pilgrim’s Progress at Sadler’s Wells under Richard Hickox, as well as performing on tour with Essential Scottish Opera. In concert, he has performed the role of Le Grand Prêtre in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux at the Salle Pleyel in Paris under Gardiner.
Concert engagements have included Bach Christmas Oratorio at the Spitalfields Festival, Bach B Minor Mass in the Bachfest Leipzig with the English Baroque Soloists/ Gardiner, Mozart Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore in Salzburg Cathedral, Bach St Matthew Passion at the Fairfield Halls, Haydn Theresienmesse at St. John’s Smith Square, Rutter Mass of the Children at Cadogan Hall, Monteverdi Vespers in Southwark Cathedral and Beethoven Symphony No.9 for Highgate Choral Society. He has given recitals at St John’s Smith Square and The Peak Festival.
Samuel’s recent and forthcoming engagements include his BBC Proms debut in Der Freischütz with Gardiner, Mozart C Minor Mass with The Northern Sinfonia / Thomas Zehetmair, Handel Messiah with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway, and Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney Opera House. In the summer of 2013 he will sing roles in the Britten Church Parables with Mahogany Opera in St Petersburg and the Aldeburgh Festival.
Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition.
Forthcoming recitals include debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and La Monnaie, Brussels with Mark Padmore and Julius Drake and a return to the Wigmore Hall to sing Tit for Tat with Malcolm Martineau and Canticles with Julius Drake as part of their 2012 Britten Festival. Marcus will also give
four concerts for the Australian Chamber Music Festival, with music by Barber, Britten, Poulenc and Brahms; a recital for the Lammermuir Festival and BBC Radio 3; a recital of Hugo Wolf for the Oxford Lieder Festival, to be recorded and concerts with the Carducci Quartet including Finzi Footpath and Stile and Barber Dover Beach. Recent highlights have included a Wigmore Hall recital with James Baillieu and further recitals with Simon Lepper, Iain Burnside, and Graham Johnson. Marcus has also taken part in a Schubertiade with The Prince Consort in Perth and will appear with the Myrthen Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall in 2013.
Opera plans this season and beyond include Eddy in Mark-Anthony Turnage Greek for Music Theatre Wales; Gugliemo in a new production by Katie Mitchell of Mozart Così fan tutte and English Clerk in Britten Death in Venice for English National Opera and in concert, Sid in Britten Albert Herring with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Steuart Bedford.
Concert plans include Britten War Requiem with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and at Truro Cathedral; Berlioz L’enfance du Christ with the BBC SO; Dvorak Te Deum with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Monteverdi Vespers, on tour, including Lille and Essen with Emmanuelle Haïm; Haydn Paukenmesse with the BBC Scottish SO and Bernard Labardie; St Matthew Passion (Christus and bass arias) in Poland with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh and Peter Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King on a UK tour with the Hebrides Ensemble. In 2013, Marcus will sing Son in a new work by David Sawer Flesh and Blood with the BBCSO and Ilan Volkov and take part in a European tour and recording of Thomas Larcher’s Die Nacht der Verlorenen for baritone and ensemble.
Recent opera highlights include Novice’s Friend in Britten Billy Budd for ENO; the title role in Britten Owen Wingrave for the International Chamber Music Festival in Nuremberg and in concert, Kilian Der Freischütz with the LSO and Sir Colin Davis and Aeneas in Purcell Dido and Aeneas for the Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn at Wigmore Hall.
Marcus has also recently sung Nielsen Symphony No 3 with the LSO and Colin Davis; Bach Ich habe Genug and St John Passion (arias) with the Academy of Ancient Music; Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Wermlands Opera Orchestra, Karlstad, Sweden and Bach St John and St Matthew Passions (Christus and bass arias) with the Gabrieli Consort.
Marcus was a chorister at Southwell Minster and read music at the University of Manchester, graduating with a first class honours degree. He completed his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in July 2011, where roles included Guglielmo Così fan tutte; Sid Albert Herring; Oreste in Cavalli Giasone and Meredith in Peter Maxwell Davies Kommilitonen!
Neil Fisenden was born in Perth and joined the West Australian Symphony Orchestra as Second Flute in 1974, before being appointed principal piccolo four years later. He was a founding member of the Perth Woodwind Quintet, performing often in concerts and recordings for the ABC, and has appeared regularly as soloist with the WASO. In 1979 he was made Principal Flute of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and in the same year awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to study in London. During his four-year stay in Adelaide, he frequently performed as a soloist with both the Adelaide Symphony and Adelaide Chamber Orchestras. He returned to Perth in 1983 as Principal Flute of the West Australian Symphony and continued to appear regularly as a soloist, notably as soloist for the 1983 tour to Singapore and as a Master Series soloist in the 1993 season. He is in great demand as a teacher, and is chief flute examiner and woodwind specialist advisor to the Australian Music Examinations Board. He is keenly involved in chamber music, featuring in performances in the past two years’ Perth International Arts Festivals. In 2004, he was elected as a Director of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Jens Franke, born to an eminent German musical family, trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and King’s College, London. An artist of eclectic taste, equally at home in the concert room or theatre, he has worked with English National Ballet and was formerly orchestral guitarist of the European Union Youth Orchestra, in which capacity he appeared in concert with Bernard Haitink, playing such venues as the Concertgebouw, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and Sadler’s Wells. He has commissioned a number of new works for guitar including a theatre cycle by Oscar Colomina i Bosch, setting Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies (an eighteenth-century listing of London prostitutes), premièred at the Barbican Centre, London in December 2011. Recording credits include two EPs, eight CDs for Schott London, associated with a series of Romantic and Baroque anthologies, an album of music by Johann Kaspar Mertz (Stone Records), a collection of Schubert songs with Anna Huntley, recorded at the Wigmore Hall (Quartz) and, alongside his long-standing guitar duet partner Jørgen Skogmo, the complete ensemble works of Antoine de Lhoyer (Naxos).
Megumi Fujita, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, studied around the world including the United States, Japan, Iraq and Israel. She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School (UK), Rubin Academy of Music (Tel-Aviv University) and the Royal College of Music (UK), with Simon Nicholls, Louis Kentner, Vlado Perlemuter, Irina Zaritskaya and Alexandra Andrievsky. Prizewinner of numerous competitions including Bösendorfer International Competition (Belgium), Montreal International Competition, PTNA Piano Competition (Japan) and Commemorative Medal from the F.Chopin Scholarship Fund Committee (Poland). Megumi has performed numerous concertos and recitals throughout the world including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and USA, at prestigious venues including the Barbican Hall, Conway Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Atheneum Hall (Romania), Place des Arts (Montreal, Canada), Cemal Resit Rey Hall (Istanbul, Turkey), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), Hyogo Performing Arts Center (Hyogo, Japan) and Oji Hall (Tokyo). The conductors Megumi has collaborated with include Sergiu Comissiona, Issac Karabchevsky, Sung Kwak, Louis Lane, Robert Shaw, Christian Mandeal, I.Ionescu–Galati, David Josefowitz, and Yukio Kitahara. Megumi is also an active chamber musician as a member of the Fujita Piano Trio, having performed at over 150 venues in the UK. They have been awarded the prestigious Aoyama Barocksaal Prize (Japan) in 2007. Megumi has recorded eight CDs, six of which are as Fujita Piano Trio, and two solo discs including the Rachmaninov 24 Preludes, with ASV label and the Swedish label Intim Musik.
Christina Gansch is a graduate of Salzburg’s Mozarteum and the Royal Academy of Music, whose recent engagements have included Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro at the Theater an der Wien under Harnoncourt and Amore Orfeo ed Euridice at the Opéra national de Montpellier. She is a member of the International Studio of the Hamburg State Opera where her roles this season include Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, Oscar Un ballo in Maschera and Frasquita Carmen. Her 2014/15 also includes a return to the Opéra national de Montpellier for Servilia La clemenza di Tito and Barbarina in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival.
In concert, she has appeared in Vienna’s Musikverein with the Orchester Wiener Akademie and in the Konzerthaus as part of the international festival Resonanzen, at the Verbier Festival under López-Cobos and Harding, at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, at London’s Wigmore Hall with the Royal Academy of Music’s Song Circle and in Salzburg’s Mozarteum.
Artists with whom she has studied include Richard Bonynge, Angela Gheorghiu, Edita Gruberova, Angelika Kirchschlager, Ann Murray, Dennis O´Neill, Thomas Quasthoff and Gudrun Volkert. She continues her studies with Lillian Watson.
James Gilchrist began his working life as a doctor, turning to a full-time career in music in 1996.
He is in huge demand internationally as a concert artist. Recent engagements include Frank Martin’s Der Sturm at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Bach Festival in Salzburg, Saul (Laeiszhalle, Hamburg), further performances of War Requiem (Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España), St Matthew Passion with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, King Arthur with the Concert Spirituel in London, Luxemburg and Paris and Athalia with Concerto Köln in Köln, New York and Paris. Future engagements include performances at the Presteigne, Lichfield, Cheltenham, Leicester, Edinburgh and Three Choirs Festivals, On Wenlock Edge with the Endellion String Quartet at the Leeds Lieder Festival and Messiah with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Christopher Gould read music at Clare College, Cambridge before taking up a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music to study accompaniment with John Streets, Malcolm Martineau and Gareth Hancock, supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust. On graduating he was awarded the Her Royal Princess Alice’s Prize for outstanding contribution to the Royal Academy of Music and in 2001 he was made an Associate. He was the first young pianist to receive an award from The Geoffrey Parsons Trust in 1996; this was followed by the first prize in the two most prestigious accompaniment competitions: the Gerald Moore Award (1998) and the Wigmore International Song Competition (2001).
Christopher is staff pianist and coach on several international summer schools and divides his time between vocal coaching and a busy recital career. In the UK he has performed with such artists as Sarah Walker, Ann Murray, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Geraldine McGreevy at the Wigmore Hall, St Johns Smith Square, the Purcell Room and on BBC Radio 3. Concerts abroad have included recitals at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Opera House in Lille and in Italy, Israel and Japan. Recital projects include a tour of the UK with bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams performing Winterreise in a multimedia presentation for Opera North.
Anna Grevelius studied at the GSMD in London and was later accepted to the Benjamin Britten International Opera School at RCM, as a Sir Thomas Allen Scholar, studying with Lillian Watson. She then joined the National Opera Studio for the 2006/07 season. She was the winner of the 2004 Gerald Moore Award’s Singer’s Prize and the 2006 RCM Lies Askonas Competition.
Operatic roles include Dorabella Così fan tutte (Classical Opera Company), Prince Orlovsky Die Fledermaus, Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia (both RCM) and Onoria in Handel’s Ezio (London Handel Festival), 2nd Witch Dido and Aeneas (Aix-en-Provence Festival), Cecilio Lucio Silla (Classical Opera Company), Proserpina Orfeo (Drottningholm), Nerone L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Pitti-Sing Mikado, Fyodor Boris Godunov (ENO), Rusalka (Grange Park Opera), Rosina/The Barber of Seville (ENO), 2nd Lady/Magic Flute (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence), Siebel Faust for ENO, Varvara/Katya Kabanova for ENO and at the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos in Lisbon, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro at Garsington Opera, Juno Platée with René Jacobs for De Nederlandse Opera, Dorabella at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and Cherubino for the Opera National de Paris.
In concert and recital she has worked with Roger Vignoles, Eugen Asti, Bernard Haitink, the South Bank Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Leon Botstein and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and appeared at the Oxford Lieder Festival, Cambridge and London’s King’s Place. She is also featured on Hyperion’s latest volume of Mendelssohn songs, with Eugene Asti.
Paul Guinery studied at the RCM with Stephen Savage and was also a student répétiteur with the Opera School. He later took a degree in Modern Languages at The Queen’s College, Oxford. Since 1997 he has worked extensively with the wind quintet Harmoniemusik as their regular pianist, performing a wide variety of chamber music each summer in the group’s annual festival at St.Columb in Cornwall and has also featured there as soloist in concertos by Bach and Mozart.
As well as regular concerts throughout the year in the UK, the group has toured abroad, including visits to Belgium and Germany, and to France, twice taking part in the Oloron Festival. His recording debut was with Harmoniemusik in 2007 and since then he has also made a disc of solo works by Rachmaninov.
Paul is a former vice-chairman of The Delius Society for whom he’s given many talks about the composer as well as a lecture-recital at Steinway Hall. He’s currently writing a series of analyses of Delius’s works for a book to be pubished in 2013. For many years Paul presented music programmes for BBC Radio 3 including the Proms and such long-running series as Your Concert Choice, Sacred and Profane and Choirworks.
Timothy Hamilton studied Singing, Composition and Jazz Piano at the University of Kent: Christ Church College, UK with Benjamin Luxon, Paul Edlin and Lionel Grigson, and Singing at Trinity College of Music with Teresa Cahill and Janice Chapman.
As a composer, Timothy’s works include many choral and orchestral pieces, including several anthems and masses that are performed at various cathedrals, churches and concert venues throughout the UK, USA and Canada. Timothy is also in demand as a composer and arranger for other genres, including Film and Television.
Timothy is a graduate of ENO’s prestigious ‘Knack’ programme, and has performed with English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals, Queen’s Royal Chapel of the Savoy, Canterbury Cathedral Choir, Raymond Gubbay, BBC Wales Chorus and the Grammy nominated French vocal ensemble Accentus. He has also been on tours and recorded film soundtracks with London Voices (The Hobbit and Snow White and The Huntsman). Timothy has also made numerous recordings with Accentus, including the best selling Faure Requiem.
Future projects include a requiem mass, commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Lisa Harper-Brown, critically acclaimed as ‘radiant both vocally and visually’, is a unique and commanding performer. Equally at home on the recital platform or the operatic stage, Lisa has delighted audiences from Sydney to London in a range of repertoire from Bach to Bernstein.
Lisa made her debut on the main-stage for Opera Australia singing Pamina in The Magic Flute. Since then her operatic roles have included Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Elsa in Lohengrin, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the title role in Salome, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Countess Almaviva in Niel Armfield’s exciting interpretation of The Marriage of Figaro, for which she received a prestigious Sir Robert Helpmann Award.
Work with other companies has included Musetta in Opera Queensland’s captivating production of La Bohème, and Ortlinde in the State Opera of South Australia’s highly acclaimed and ground-breaking production of Die Walküre, as part of their complete Ring Cycle by Wagner directed by Elke Neidhardt.
After relocating to Berlin to live she debuted as First Lady in Die Zauberflőte for Hamburg State Opera, and was seen regularly in Concerts, Festivals and recitals throughout Germany until her return to Australia in 2009.
In 2010 Lisa was featured in ‘Nocturne’, the Gala opening of Victoria’s highly popular Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, performing Chopin’s ‘Polish Songs’ Op. 74. Later that year she accompanied the celebrated Seraphim Trio for a concert tour of Australia. The performances premiered an exciting new work by Australian Composer, Graham Koehne, commissioned especially for Lisa and the ensemble. Titled ‘Ringtone’, the composition drew on Lisa’s extensive and eclectic skills in all vocal styles from opera to cabaret.
For Opera Australia she most recently revisited the role of Helena for their Spring and Summer seasons, in Baz Luhrmann’s iconic production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performances which earned her a nomination in the 2010 Green Room Awards.
Lisa continues to entrance audiences around Australia, and New Zealand, where she now resides.