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.
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.
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.
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.
Maya Iwabuchi is Leader of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, a position she has held since 2011. She began violin lessons at the age of two. Her main influences that remain integral to her working life are professors Alice Schoenfeld and Rodney Friend.
Since her first concert at the age of five, Maya has enjoyed an international career as a solo violinist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Her performances have taken her to major concert halls worldwide such as London’s Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Highlights for Maya as soloist include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestras, and she has appeared in numerous renowned music festivals such as the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Bath and Chichester festivals, and at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove
After 18 distinguished years, Maya ended her tenure as Leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2012, having led for major conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kurt Sanderling.
Maya is a tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
Guy Johnston is one of the leading British cellists of his generation. Guy has made many important debuts including at the First Night of the BBC Proms playing the Elgar Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/Slatkin, the Brahms Double Concerto in the Philharmonie with the DSO Berlin/Valchua, Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the St. Petersburg State Capella Orchestra/Dmitriev in St. Petersburg, Elgar with the Osaka Philharmonic/Otaka in Tokyo, and the Schumann Concerto in the Barbican Centre with the English Chamber Orchstra/Tilbrook. Other collaborations in the UK have included Don Quixote with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain/Tortelier, Walton with the BBC Philharmonic/Tortelier, Dvorak with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Seal, Britten’s Cello Symphony with the Northern Sinfonia/Ticiatti, and Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2 with the RTE National Orchestra/Altschuler in Dublin.
Born into a musical family, Guy joined his brothers in the world-renowned choir of King’s College, Cambridge, where he recorded the famous carol Once in Royal David’s City, under Stephen Cleobury. He went on to achieve early recognition through the BBC Young Musician of the Year title, the Guilhermina Suggia Gift, the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award and received a Brit Award at the Royal Albert Hall. His mentors have included Steven Doane, Ralph Kirshbaum, Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Isserlis and David Waterman.
A founding member of the Aronowitz Ensemble, Guy is an enthusiastic chamber musician and has enjoyed appearances abroad at the Delft, Moritzburg, Spoleto, and Gaia Festivals as well as Cheltenham, Bath, and City of London Festivals at home with numerous musicians including Janine Janssen, Lawrence Power, Anthony Marwood, and with the Belcea, Endellion and Navarra String Quartets.
Guy has recently worked on an education project with the Wigmore Hall, where he performs regularly. He was Principal Guest Cello of the Australian Chamber Orchestra on tour in Australia and has been invited as Guest Principal of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Recent concerto performances have included the Elgar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Alexander Shelley at Cadogan Hall, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Northern Sinfonia at the Sage, Gateshead, and works by Tavener and Macmillan with the Britten Sinfonia. This year also sees Guy performing on tour in Japan and in festivals across Europe and South America.
Guy is an inspiring leader of young musicians which was reflected in his invitation to meet Her Majesty the Queen at a reception at Buckingham Palace dedicated to young people in the performing arts. Guy is a patron of several charities which promote music education with schoolchildren and young people whilst enjoying a full and versatile career as an international soloist, chamber musician, and guest principal. He is also a Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music.
Guy’s debut recital CD on Orchid Classics has been released to widespread critical acclaim. The disc includes works by Bridge, Britten, and a new work by Mark Anthony Turnage with pianist, Kathryn Stott. Other recordings include concertos by David Matthews and Edward Gregson for Chandos with the BBC Philharmonic/Gamba and BBC Concert Orchestra/Tovey. Future releases include the Moeran Cello Concerto with the Ulster Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta, two works by Frederic d’Erlanger – Ballade and Andante Symphonique with the BBC Concert Orchestra/Wildner and David Matthews’ imagining of Vaughan-Williams’ unfinished cello concerto Dark Pastoral with the RSNO.
Guy has also created and undertakes artistic direction of an exciting new chamber music festival at Hatfield House in September 2012.
Guy plays a 1714 David Tecchler cello. It is currently made available to him by the Guy Johnston Cello Trust, which is being established by Nigel Brown and the Stradivari Trust to raise the funds needed to secure the instrument.
Abigail Kelly gained a postgraduate diploma in operatic studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and completed her undergraduate studies at Birmingham Conservatoire with a first class honours degree. She has won a series of Awards and in 2008 was nominated in the music category at the International Women of Excellence Awards. With English Touring Opera she has performed as Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Fido (Paul Bunyan), Naiad (Rusalka), Cobweb (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Bridesmaid (The Marriage of Figaro). Internationally, Abigail has performed as a featured artist with Opera South Africa and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and has given recitals in Kingston – Jamaica, Hungary, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands and Germany. Most recently she held a recital of traditional African American spirituals with a string quartet in Władysławowo, Poland. Abigail’s has performed widely in new music and also commissioned a one woman operatic cabaret entitled Swan Song: Memoirs of a Dudley Diva, a cabaret style operatic monologue charting the rise of fictitious opera star Deirdre Daniels. A proud Birmingham woman, Abigail has also performed at Birmingham’s first commemoration of Emancipation day and at the 2012 Birmingham Symphony Hall celebrations of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence.
Tamara Konstantin is a British composer born in Georgia. Tamara started playing piano at a very young age and as a young girl was selected to join the Tbilisi Special Music School for Gifted Musicians – one of the most prestigious educational establishments in the country. There she honed and mastered her skills as a concert pianist. Her studies were completed at the Tbilisi Music Academy where she graduated with the highest ranked diploma. Throughout her career she performed with the Georgian State Symphonic Orchestra and performed solo concerts. Currently, Tamara lives in Dorset in the south of England. Along with her passion of composing music, she is actively involved in performing at charity concerts and events.
Douglas was Organ Scholar at Somerville from 2010 until 2013 and currently studies with Katharine Pardee, in addition to receiving lessons from Daniel Moult and Ann Elise Smoot.
He has performed at St. Lawrence Jewry Lane, St. Giles Cripplegate, Union Chapel and other London churches, and as a member of the St. Giles Junior Organ Conservatoire he has played in masterclasses to Dame Gillian Weir, Hans Fagius, David Goode and Robert Quinney.
Douglas is also studying the clarinet with Elizabeth Drew having obtained his DipABRSM last summer under his first teacher Nicholas Shipman, with whom he began receiving lessons ten years ago. He has taken part in the North London Music Festival, winning prizes in woodwind classes, and enjoys playing contemporary repertoire.
Sholto Kynoch is in demand as a song accompanist and chamber musician, regularly performing with many outstanding singers and instrumentalists.
He is the founder and director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, where he has accompanied more than fifty song recitals over the past eight years, working with singers including Kate Royal, Mark Stone, Jonathan Lemalu and Henry Herford. In the 2008 Lieder Festival he was privileged to play for tenor Ian Partridge’s “farewell” recital.
Other recent highlights have included performances at Wigmore Hall (with violinist Kaoru Yamada), the Berliner Konzerthaus (with soprano Olja Dakic), the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore (with violinist Tee Khoon Tang), the St Endellion Festival, the Chichester Festivities, Cambridge Summer Music, the Perth Festival, the Brasov International Chamber Music Festival in Romania, the Chelsea Schubert Festival (with the Doric String Quartet) and a series of recitals in Sweden (with violist Ylvali Zilliacus).
Sholto is the pianist of the Phoenix Piano Trio, with whom he performed the complete Beethoven trios in 2010. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Bangor Univeristy.
Sholto read Music at Worcester College, Oxford, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers have included Michael Dussek, Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, Ronan O’Hora and Vanessa Latarche.
Stephan Loges was the winner of the 1999 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. He has given recitals throughout the world, including at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Klavierfestival Ruhr, La Monnaie, Brussels, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Santiago de Compostela and the Vocal Arts Series in Washington with pianists Roger Vignoles, Simon Lepper, Alexander Schmalcz, and Eugene Asti.
Current and future plans include Bach St John Passion with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; St Matthew Passion with the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston; Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Bernstein Candide at the Staatsoper Berlin; Mozart Coronation Mass and Haydn Stabat Mater with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and Fabio Biondi; Mendelssohn Walpurgisnacht with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale, Florence; Ottokar Der Freischütz with the LSO and Sir Colin Davis and Messiah and Bach Cantatas with the Academy of Ancient Music in London. Recitals planned include Schubert Winterreise and Schwanengesang at the Kuhmo Festival, Finland and with Simon Lepper for the Neuss Shakespeare Festival, Germany.
The Lendvai String Trio has a busy schedule of concerts at major venues throughout Europe, including several recitals at Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, the Barbican and Purcell Room in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Berwaldhallen and Nybrokajen 11 in Sweden, with their concerts frequently broadcast by Dutch Radio 4, Swedish Radio P2 and the BBC 3.
In 2010 the Lendvai String Trio was selected for the 2010/11 Concertgebouw’s Young Artist Series in Amsterdam; other previous successes include winning awards from the Kirckman Concert Society, the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Musician’s Benevolent Fund, the Park Lane Group, and the Concert Promoters Network in the UK. In 2005 they were selected for the Holland Music Sessions ‘New Masters on Tour’, resulting in a series of concerts across Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands. They have also toured and performed at festivals in Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Sweden.
The trio enjoys regular collaborations with other artists, and recent highlights have included concerts with oboists Alexei Ogrintchouk and Nicholas Daniel, and pianists Paolo Giacometti, Charles Owen, Alasdair Beatson and Martin Sturfält.
Simon Lepper read music at King’s College Cambridge and studied piano accompaniment with Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music. He has recently been appointed professor of piano accompaniment at the Royal College of Music, London and is also the official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize.
Current and future plans include appearances at the Wigmore Hall with Angelika Kirchschlager, Malin Christensson, Lawrence Zazzo, Karen Cargill, Sally Matthews and Carolin Widmann. He will also appear with Angelika Kirschschlager in Leeds and Ghent and give recitals at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with Sally Matthews and Carolin Widmann and in Paris and Montreal with Malin Christensson. Simon will visit Moscow this season to give a recital with Stephan Genz and Lucy Crow at the 30th anniversary of the International Music Festival ‘December Nights’ in a programme to include lieder by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann.
Recent appearances have included Schumann Dichterliebe and the Schubert song cycles with Mark Padmore throughout the UK; a recital with Angelika Kirschlager at the 2010 Verbier Festival, Switzerland; Schubert Schwanengesang with Christopher Purves at the Howard Assembly Room at Opera North; a theatre project on the madness of Ophelia with Cora Burggraaf at de Doelen, Rotterdam as well as recitals with singers Felicity Palmer, Anna Stephany, Robin Tritschler, Elizabeth Watts, Allan Clayton, Marcus Farnsworth, Nicole Cabell and Stephan Loges.
Recording highlights include Debussy Songs with Gillian Keith on Deux-Elles, Warlock Songs with Andrew Kennedy on Landor Records and Feldman, Zimmerman, Xenakis and Schoenberg with violinist Carolin Widmann on ECM.
As a student, Simon won every major award for piano accompaniment including the Gerald Moore Award as well as the accompanist prizes in the Kathleen Ferrier and Royal Overseas League competitions.
Little Venice Ensemble is the resident ensemble of Chamber Music in Little Venice and takes its name from a district in the heart of London just north of Paddington, where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet creating a picturesque pool of water. Comprising some of London’s most sought-after musicians, the ensemble is currently building up a reputation for presenting music at the highest level within all genres, spanning from serious classical chamber projects to music in a lighter vein.
In 2011 violist Karin Norlén founded the Chamber Music in Little Venice series together with her husband Jonathan Cunliffe who is Director of Music in the Parish of Little Venice. They met during their studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire. A few years earlier, violinist Björn Kleiman had started an Anglo-Swedish Music series in London and also ran a music production company. Karin and Björn share a passion for chamber music and soon started co-producing events. Having known each other since childhood, they wanted to form a flexible chamber ensemble that could play both serious and lighter music to a high standard. Karin plays regularly with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and Royal Opera House orchestras and is a member of the Oxford Philomusica where Yuri Zhislin is co-concert master. The LVE’s first concert was performing the Schumann Piano Quintet and since then they have performed numerous works from the classical chamber music repertoire. Yuri is equally at home on violin and viola and enjoys an illustrious career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing all over the world. He is now a professor of violin and viola at the Royal College of Music in London. Björn had previously worked with fellow RCM graduate cellist Angélique Lihou, a member of the Southbank Sinfonia and cellist of the Cosima Piano Quintet. She is also an accomplished soprano and a member of electronic/rock band CIAM. They wanted to add a double bass for both classical and jazzy pieces so Karin invited Jamie Kenny who also works with the Oxford Philomusica and has played with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Britten Pears Orchestra and was principal double bass for Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival Orchestra. The five string players form the core of the ensemble and perform in different constellations depending on the occasion and the repertoire.
Benjamin MacLean was senior chorister at Westminster Abbey, where he was also head of school. His professional singing has included singing for the Royal Wedding, the 60th Coronation Jubilee of HM the Queen, the Papal Mass in Rome for Pope Benedict XVI as well as tours with the choir to Russia and Hungary. Amongst the numerous tv appearances with Westminster Abbey Choir Benjamin has also performed at the first night of the Proms, the documentary series on Westminster Abbey, David Starkey’s ‘Music & Monarchy’ series and for many heads of State. Benjamin is also an accomplished Horn and piano player. Recently Benjamin has won a Music scholarship to Sherborne School where he starts this September.