Mark Ford was born in Bromley and educated at St Dunstan’s College, Catford, where he studied the organ with the international recitalist David Sanger. He continued his academic and musical studies at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he held an Organ Scholarship and read law. Whilst at Cambridge, Mark directed the Chapel Choir (whom he accompanied on tours to Bavaria and Ireland), as well as the college Choir and Orchestra, and sang in the University Chamber Choir under Timothy Brown. More recently, he studied piano with Elena Kiseleva, whose insights and coaching were invaluable in the preparations for recording this CD.
In 1994, Mark founded The Purcell Singers, a choir which he has directed in concerts of wide-ranging music from the fifteenth century to the present day. His passion for Georg Schumann’s music began with a chance discovery of Schumann’s Opus 52 motets for double choir and eventually led to him recording the composer’s complete choral works with The Purcell Singers. The first of these discs was Gramophone Magazine’s Critics’ Choice in January 2002, and the second also described as a “hugely impressive disc” (Gramophone). He has also made numerous commercial recordings with the choir and has conducted sessions at all the major London recording studios.
By profession, Mark is a solicitor. He is a leading authority on legal process outsourcing and previously built a team of 60 lawyers in a pioneering business unit in his firm’s Delhi office. Mark is currently Chief Knowledge Officer at a major US law firm and leads a team of more than 300 knowledge management professionals across the world.
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.
A native of Rosebud, Alberta, Keith Hamm is the Principal Violist of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.
Keith received his training at The Glenn Gould School of Music under the instruction of Steven Dann, and at the Mount Royal Conservatory under Nicholas Pulos. Other influences include Pinchas Zukerman, Mark Fewer, the London Haydn Quartet, and formative summers at the Chamber Music Programme at Le Domaine Forget.
Keith is an alumnus of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, the Sarasota Music Festival, and Masterclasses at The Banff Centre. He has been featured on CBC Radio, Classical 96.3 and has been named one of Canada’s Hottest 30 Classical Musicians Under 30 by CBC.
A dedicated chamber musician, Keith has been invited to perform at the Ravinia Festival as guest violist with the Royal Conservatory’s ARC Ensemble, the SweetWater Music Festival in Owen Sound, Ottawa Chamberfest, Music By The Sea in Bamfield, British Columbia and Sunday Chatter in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Keith is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Rosebud Chamber Music Festival in Rosebud, Alberta, Canada. He performs on a viola made by in 2001 by Joseph Curtin and a bow by James Tubbs.
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.
Johnny Herford graduated with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music Opera department in 2012, and the next year won prizes at the Kathleen Ferrier Competition and the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. In 2014, Johnny was chosen by Philip Glass to create the role of Josef K in his opera, The Trial, in a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Music Theatre Wales. Johnny has also performed the role of Josef K for Theater Magdeburg, making his German debut in April 2015. Recent performances have included Traveller (Curlew River) and Kuligin (Katya Kabanova) for Opéra de Dijon, Nikitsch (Boris Godunov) with Jakub Hrůša and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Emireno (Ottone) for English Touring Opera, the Scottish Opera Highlights Tour, and a return to Music Theatre Wales for an opera by Peter Eötvös, The Golden Dragon. As a recitalist, Johnny has performed at the Machynlleth, Leeds Lieder, Oxford Lieder, and the En Blanc et Noir Festivals, in repertoire including Schubert’s Winterreise and Die Schöne Müllerin, Schumann’s Myrthen, Strauss’s Acht Gedichte aus “Letzte Blätter“, and Britten’s Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. In 2016 he made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu in a programme of Schumann, Ravel and Judith Weir.
Thomas Hobbs is in demand with many leading baroque and early music ensembles, appearing throughout Europe and the US as a soloist in key works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Hobbs works frequently with, among others, Philippe Herreweghe and his acclaimed ensemble Collegium Vocale Gent and Raphaël Pichon and his Ensemble Pygmalion. Recent concert performances include Evangelist in the Bach St Matthew Passion and St John Passion with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Le Concert Lorrain and Ensemble Pygmalion, arias in the Passions with the Academy of Ancient Music, CVG and Ex Cathedra, Bach B minor Mass with CVG, Le Concert Lorrain, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Bach Akademie Stuttgart and the Freiburg Bachchor, Bach Magnificant with De Nederlandse Bachverenigning, Bach Ascension Oratorio with CVG, Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, title role in Handel Joshua with the Akademie für Alte Musik and RIAS Kammerchor, Handel Israel in Egypt with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Handel Messiah Le Concert Lorrain, Mozart Requiem with Dunedin Consort and Beethoven Mass in C with Stuttgart Kammerchor. Hobbs has also made debuts with the Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras and with renowned period ensemble Accademia Bizantina under Ottavio Dantone. Hobbs’s operatic roles include a critically acclaimed Telemachus The Return of Ulysses in a new production for English National Opera conducted by Jonathan, Apollo and Shepherd in Monteverdi’s Orfeo in semi-staged performances with Richard Egarr and the AAM, the title role in Albert Herring and Ferrando Così fan tutte. A keen recitalist, highlights include Brett Dean Winter Songs at the Cheltenham Festival, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge with the Edinburgh Quartet, Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin and Schumann Liederkreis Op.39, a recital of Mozart songs at London’s Kings Place, a recital of English song and German lieder for the Festival Accademia delle Crete Senesi in Tuscany, and, most recently, Wolf songs at the Oxford Lieder Festival and a recital at the Ryedale Festival with Christopher Glynn. Hobbs’ ever-expanding discography includes Bach B minor Mass with CVG and Dunedin Consort, Bach Motets, Leipzig cantatas and Christmas Oratorio with CVG, Handel Acis et Galatea and Esther with Dunedin Consort and Beethoven Mass in C with Stuttgart Kammerchor. His most recent recordings of Handel Chandos Anthems with Stephen Layton and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Mozart Requiem with John Butt and the Dunedin Consort have been universally praised, with the latter receiving the 2014 Gramophone Award for best Choral recording. Current and future engagements include further tours with Collegium Vocale; Damon Acis and Galatea with Dunedin Consort, Bach cantatas with De Nederlandse Bachverenigning and Ensemble Pygmalion, Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Le Concert Lorrain. Born in Exeter, Thomas Hobbs studied at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Neil Mackie, where he was awarded the RCM Peter Pears and Mason scholarships, and at the Royal Academy of Music under Ryland Davies, where he held a Kohn Bach Scholarship in addition to a full entrance scholarship. He was also awarded a Susan Chilcott Scholarship, has been made a Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist and was an Associate Artist of the Classical Opera Company. He was also a member of the prestigous Académie at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where he performed in concert with Louis Langrée and the Camerata Salzburg.
Robert Holl was born in Rotterdam where he studied with Jan Veth and David Hollestelle. In 1971 he won the First Prize at the “International Vocal Competition” in s’-Hertogenbosch, followed by studies with Hans Hotter in Munich. In 1972 he won the First Prize at the “International Music Competition of the German Broadcasting Association” (ARD) in Munich which resulted in TV/Radio engagements and orchestral concerts. Between 1973 and 1975 he was a member of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. After numerous years as a sought-after concert singer and Lieder recitalist Robert Holl has acquired a renewed interest in singing opera in the Eighties. He has appeared at the Staatsoper Wien, at the Brussels and the Zurich Opera as Sprecher and Sarastro / Die Zauberflöte, Amfortas / Parsifal,Gremin / Eugene Onegin (sung in Russian), Basilio / Il barbiere di Siviglia, Assur / Semiramide, lfonso / Così fan tutte, La Roche / Capriccio, Wassermann / Rusalka (sung in Czech), Robert / Des Teufels Lustschloss with conductors like Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Franz Welser-Möst. From 1999 to 2002 Robert Holl has appeared as Landgraf Hermann / Tannhäuser, Commendatore / Don Gionvanni, Hans Sachs / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Daland / Der fliegende Holländer at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. In 2005 he sang again Hans Sachs under Barenboim. He will be heard in this role again in a revival under Peter Schneider at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2008. In a new Meistersinger production of the Köln Opera staged by Uwe-Eric Laufenberg he was again Hans Sachs.At the Wiener Staatsoper he has been heard in different productions of Wagner Operas as Landgraf Hermann / Tannhäuser, König Marke / Tristan und Isolde (conductors: Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst and Peter Schneider),Gurnemanz / Parsifal (conductor: Donald Runnicles), and as Pimen / Boris Godunov (new production under Daniele Gatti, May 2007). He has consecutively appeared as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Bayreuth from 1996 to 2002 with great success (conductors: Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann). From 2004-2007 he was Bayreuth´s Gurnemanz in Christoph Schlingensief´s production of Parsifal (conductors: Pierre Boulez and Adam Fischer). In the Festival summers of 2008 and 2009 he sang König Marke in a Tristan production of Christoph Marthaler and returned to Bayreuth in the same role in 2011 and 2012. For many years Robert Holl has been a much sought-after concert singer, which enabled him to acquire a wide range of concert repertoire. He has appeared with the most renowned conductors and orchestras in Europe, America, and Japan. Robert Holl is one of the most important Lieder singers of our time, having a particular preference for the German (especially Schubert) and Russian repertoire. He sings regularly with constant high acclaim in all the great music centres in Europe, Israel, the USA, Russia, and Japan. He is artistic director of Schubertiads in Austria and Holland as well as artistic advisor of the “Poetry and Music” series in the Brahmssaal of the Vienna Musikverein. In 1990 Robert Holl was awarded the prestigious Austrian title of “Kammersänger”, in 1997 he was named an “Honourable Member” of the “Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien” and of the Festival “Carinthischer Sommer” as well. In 1998 he became a Professor for Lied and Oratory at the “Uni-versität für Musik und darstellende Kunst” in Vienna. In 2005 he was awarded the “Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst I. Klasse”. In 2007 he received the high Dutch award of „Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw” in his home town of Rotterdam.
Anush Hovhannisyan is praised as “hypnotically striking” (The Arts Desk), “glamorous, excitingly temperamental” (The Sunday Times) and her voice “rich and vibrant, smoky and spiritual” (Music OMH) and “flame-toned” (Gramophone Magazine). She is the winner of First and Public Prizes, Deutsche Grammophon and Royal Danish Opera special prizes at the Stella Maris competition 2016, and of the Concours Suisse Ernst Haefliger 2014 Swiss international competition and was a finalist at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017. As a Jette Parker Young Artist she performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2013-2015, and has worked under the direction of renowned conductors such as Jonathan Santagada, Renato Balsadonna, Semyon Bychkov, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Nicola Luisotti, Daniel Oren, Mark Wigglesworth, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sir Antonio Pappano. Her performances, except of the variety of roles on the ROH, have also included Lucilla (La scala di seta) and Princess (El Gato con Botas) at the Linbury Studio Theatre, the soprano solos in Gloria for the Royal Ballet and Messa di Requiem for the ROH L&P tour to France, Sitâ (Le Roi de Lahore) for Chelsea Opera Group, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) at the Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Anitra (Peer Gynt) with Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and Lady in Waiting (Macbeth) for the Royal Opera’s 2015 tour to Japan. Her recordings include songs by Scriabin with Valentina Lisitsa in Complete Piano Anthology of Scriabin by DECCA and songs by Glinka with Malcolm Martineau in Decades: A Century of Song Vol 2 by VIVAT. Anush studied singing at the Yerevan State Conservatory in Armenia and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is a Samling Artist, holder of Bayreuth Scholarship, Ian Smith of Stornoway Opera Prize and Clonter Opera Prize, and a Georg Solti Foundation scholar. Most recent and upcoming performances include the Opera Gala the Al Bustan Festival, the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Verdi Messa di Requiem at Glasgow City Halls, Shostakovich Symphony No. 14 with Southbank Sinfonia, Emma (Khovanshchina) at BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall in London, Adina (L’elisir d’amore) at New Generation Festival in Florence and her debut as Violetta Valery (La traviata) for Scottish Opera.
Since leaving Oxford University, where he was a choral scholar at New College with a degree in music, Benjamin Hulett has worked with many of Britain’s leading choirs and orchestras. He is much in demand as an interpreter of music across a wide range of genres and has been hailed by the national press as one of the most promising young tenors of today.
Most recently he has appeared in concert with Philippe Herreweghe, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Harry Bicket and Fabio Biondi. As a soloist with the Hamburgische Staatsoper his roles have included Flute (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Jaquino (Fidelio), the Four Servants (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) and Narraboth (Salome). He made his debuts with the Bavarian State Opera as Oronte, Opera North as Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), for the Salzburg Festival in Elektra, at the Theater an der Wien in the world premiere of Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen, with the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin in Henze’s Phaedra, and the Baden-Baden Festival in Salome.
Benjamin’s concert engagements include Das Paradies und die Peri with Norrington for the Edinburgh Festival, Haydn’s Creation with both Pinnock and Haim, Missa Solemnis with Herreweghe and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Hogwood. This season Benjamin returns to the Baden-Baden Festival, makes his debut for the Salzburg Mozartwoch with the title role of J.C. Bach’s Lucio Silla, and sings Tamino in a concert performance of Die Zauberflöte with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.
Winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, violinist Fenella Humphreys enjoys a busy career combining chamber music and solo work. Her playing has been described in the press as ‘amazing’ (The Scotsman) and ‘a wonder’ (International Record Review). She has broadcast for the BBC, Classic FM, and German, Canadian, Australian and Korean radio and TV. A champion of new and unknown music, a number of eminent British composers have written works for Fenella. During 2014/15 she premiered a set of 6 new solo violin works by leading British composers including Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Sally Beamish and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. She has been fortunate to record these works over 2 critically acclaimed CDs for Champs Hill Records, both discs chosen by BBC Music Magazine as Instrumental disc of the month with 5 Star reviews, and the second also picked as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. Fenella is a passionate chamber musician, enjoying performances with Ensemble Perpetuo, Counterpoise and I Musicanti as well as collaborations with artists including Martin Roscoe, Adrian Brendel, Pekka Kuusisto, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Nicholas Daniel. Concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, Fenella also enjoys guest leading and directing. Fenella plays a beautiful violin from the workshop of Peter Guarneri of Venice, kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey.
One of Britain’s leading clarinettists, Matthew Hunt is a distinctive musician, renowned for the vocal quality of his playing and his ability to communicate with audiences. He holds the position of solo clarinettist with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and is a member of the Sheffield based chamber group Ensemble 360. A very keen chamber musician, he appears regularly with Meta4, the Chiurascuro and Elias quartets, Thomas Adès, Pekka Kuusisto, Emily Beynon, Nicholas Altstaedt, Alina Ibragimova, and La Bande de La Loingtaine. He has also appeared as a guest of the Berlin Philharmonic as a soloist in their series at the Berlin Philharmonie Kammermusik Saal.
Matthew’s plans for this season include appearances at festivals including Lockenhaus (Austria), Kaposvar (Hungary), Kuhmo (Finland) and Charlottesville (United States), and concerto appearances with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Paavo Jarvi, and with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Ingolstadt. As an orchestral musician, Matt a regular guest principal with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and has appeared as a guest principal with the Concertgebouw and BBC Symphony Orchestras and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Matthew’s recording for ASV of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with the Elias quartet was met with critical acclaim, with the BBC Music Magazine hailing it with five stars as “the Benchmark recording of this much recorded work”.
“The clarinettist played so beautifully it was as though he wished to make the very air of the hall melt” Tokyo Times.
Born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1982, in 2002 Anna won a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. She graduated in 2006 with a 1st Class Honours Degree and went on to join the Benjamin Britten International Opera School at the Royal College of Music where she was supported by a Sir Jack Ackroyd Award and Sir Thomas Allen Scholarship.
In 2011 Anna won 3rd Prize at the Das Lied International song Competition in Berlin, was selected for the public rounds in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and won the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera Vocal Fellowship at the Wigmore Hall International song Competition. Previous prizes and awards included an Independent Opera Fellowship (2009), the Michael Oliver Prize in the London Handel Singing Competition (2009), the Douglas Craig Opera Bursary (2009), the Hampshire Singing Prize, Oxford Recital and Musicians Benevolent Fund Education Awards. She was selected for representation by YCAT in 2012.
In 2013 Anna joins Welsh National Opera covering the role of Suzuki (Madam Butterfly) and takes the roles of Irene in Cambridge Handel Opera’s production ofAtalanta and Rosina (Barber of Seville) with Opera Brava. On the concert platform she performs of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été and Berio Folksongs with the Hebrides Ensemble at Bath International Festival, and gives recitals at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Spitalfields, Brighton and the North Norfolk Music Festivals.
Previous operatic work has included the cover of Dido/Sorceress in After Didobased on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas for English National Opera, the cover of Alto Role in Wolfgang Rihm’s Jacob Lenz for English National Opera; Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for English Touring Opera & Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) for English Chamber Opera. She was a member of Glyndebourne Festival Chorus in 2008.
During her studies roles included Ramiro (La Finta Giardinera), Angelina (Cenerentola) and Mignon (Mignon) for BBIOS; Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) for Dartington Summer School, Isabella (L’Italiana in Algeri) at the XXIV Festival Internationale de Musica Cinque Terre; Cis (Albert Herring) for British Youth Opera, Sesto (Giulio Cesare) and Stewardess (Dove’s Flight) at the RAM.
Recent concert appearances include recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Musikverein, concerts with Graham Johnson as part of BBC Radio 3’s Schubert week and a performance of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und leben as part of the launch of a new group called Songsmiths. She has also undertaken a Barbican Residency working on a one-woman show.
On the concert platform she has appeared as soloist in Bach’s B Minor Masswith Trevor Pinnock, Handel’s The Choice of Hercules with Daniel Taylor and Laurence Cummings, Haydn’s St. Nicholas Mass in the King’s Lynn Festival with the European Union Chamber Orchestra and sung Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Colne Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cyril Ibrahim was born in Rotterdam in The Netherlands, in 1984, he started playing the piano at the age of seven. One of his first mentors was Leonardo Palacios, a classical guitarist from Uruguay. He subsequently enrolled at the age of 18 at the Rotterdam Conservatory. He graduated as Bachelor of Music with Distinction. During his studies, his tutors where Aquiles Delle Vigne, Barbara Grajewska and Marcus Baban. To his delight, Cyrill was loaned a Grand Piano by the Dutch Music Foundation during his studies in the Netherlands. In 2009, the pianist Paolo Giacometti offered him a place at the Utrecht Conservatory to follow the Master of Music programme. He studied there for a year before moving to the United Kingdom. Cyrill graduated from the RCM after undertaking the Master’s Degree in Performance under the tutelage of Professor Andrew Ball. The Dutch Government showed its faith in Cyrill’s skills as a pianist by offering him a full Huygen’s Scholarship for the entirety of his studies with the RCM. He participated in the masterclass of the Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires at the Karma Ling Institute in France. In addition to this, he studied at the Birmingham Piano Academy, Chetham’s Summer School, the Lucca Estate and the Orchestral Conducting Course that is run by Antonio Ros Marba in Spain. Over the years, he has received tuition from, among others, Philip Fowke, Peter Donohoe, Ruth Nye, Matthias Kirschnereit, Dr. Robert Markham, Malcolm Wilson, John Humpreys and Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron. He has performed both as soloist and a chamber recitalist on the national and international stage for such halls as the Berliner Philharmonie and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.