Rhona McKail, from Prestwick in Ayrshire, studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama where she gained a BA (Musical Studies) with first class honours in 2005. She recently concluded her studies on the highly coveted opera course of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, from where she gained both a Masters of Music with distinction and a Master of Music in Performance (Guildhall Artist), also with distinction.
Upon leaving the GSMD, she sang Anne Trulove in British Youth Opera’s acclaimed production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress: “Rhona McKail, playing [Anne Trulove] as a dowdy provincial girl, and singing with intensity, does as well as anyone I’ve seen or heard.” (Michael Tanner, The Spectator)
Rhona has performed in many of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including: Wigmore Hall; St. Martin in the Fields; Cadogan Hall; Barbican Hall; and the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Her concert highlights include: The Angel in Jephtha for the London Handel Festival (also broadcast on BBC Radio 3); a recital of Handel and Purcell in St Georges Hanover Square, London; and The Creation with the London Concert Choir. Broadcasts have included a programme for BBC Radio 4 with Robin Bowman and In Tune with Iain Burnside on BBC Radio 3.
Recent roles Rhona has sung include: Rezia in La Rencontre Imprévue by Gluck; Anne Who Steals in The King goes forth to France by Sallinen; Agafya in The Marriage by Martinů, all for GSMD opera; and Ortensia (cover) in Mirandolina by Martinů for Garsington Opera.
Studying with her vocal tutors Patricia MacMahon and Jane Irwin at the RSAMD, Rhona won many accolades and, since moving to London, under the tutelage of John Evans has excelled in the Maggie Teyte French Song competition winning the Miriam Lycette Scholarship of 2006. She won the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Scholarship in 2007 and also in the same year a Susan Chilcott Scholarship and was the winner of the Association of English Speakers and Singers Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition. Most recently she was a semi-finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition and won second prize in the London Handel Festival’s Handel Singing competition.
She was a Samling Scholar in 2006, and has undertaken masterclasses with such distinguished artists as: Graham Johnson; Iain Burnside; Sir Thomas Allen; Eugene Asti; Yvonne Kenny; Catherine Bott; Malcolm Martineau; Philip Langridge and Ann Murray; François le Roux; Daniel Taylor and most recently with Sir Timothy West.
Elisabeth Meister is an alumna of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has performed on the stages of Royal Opera House, Lyric Opera Chicago and Teatro Municipal de Santiago and, most recently, at La Monnaie, where she stepped in at very short notice to sing the title role of Lucrezia Borgia.
For the Royal Opera, Meister’s roles include Pale Lady The Gambler, Fox The Cunning Little Vixen, Costanza L’isola Disabitata, and First Lady Die Zauberflöte. In addition, she covered the title roles in Der Rosenkavalier, Aïda and Anna Nicole, as well as Polina The Gambler and Ellen Orford Peter Grimes. She made her international debut to great acclaim in the title role Aïda for Teatro Municipal de Santiago, returning there later in the season in the title role Lucrezia Borgia. She made her US debut at Chicago Lyric Opera in the role of First Lady Die Zauberflöte, and also covered the title role Ariadne auf Naxos. She returned to Santiago de Chile for her role debut as Elisabeth Tannhäuser.
A well-established concert artist, her repertoire includes Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Dvořák Stabat Mater, Elgar’s Caractacus, The Dream of Gerontius and The Kingdom, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater, Tippett’s A Child of our Time, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem, among many other works. She recently made her debut at the Royal Festival Hall with the UK premiere of Torsten Rasch’s Mein Herz Brennt, with René Pape and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
As a recitalist, she has performed Britten’s Cabaret Songs, Grieg’s Opus 48, Strauss’ Opus 48, Ebel’s As I Walk From Her Grave (world premiere), Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Csanyi-Wills’ The Last Letter (world premiere) and Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder.
Engagements in the 2012-13 season include her return to the Royal Opera House as Helmwige, Third Norn and cover Sieglinde in the revival of Keith Warner’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, as Ker The Minotaur and covering Susan Bullock in the title role of Britten’s Gloriana.
On the concert platform, she performs at the Royal Opera House’s Extraordinary Gala marking the Queen’s Jubilee alongside Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu and Bryn Terfel and makes her Carnegie Hall debut with performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 and Missa Solemnis as part of a US tour with the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Further highlights include the UK premiere of Shostakovich’s Orango with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony under Ryan Wigglesworth at the St Endellion Festival, and a recital of Wagner Lieder for the London Song Festival. Future engagements include Lady Macbeth for Scottish Opera and the title role Turandot for Bilbao.
Joseph Middleton, described in the BBC Music Magazine as ‘a born collaborator … one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, performs and records with many of the world’s finest singers in major music centres across Europe and North America. Recent and forthcoming appearances include those at London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Royal Opera House, the Konzerthaus Vienna, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Cologne, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Opera Bonn, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and at the Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Bath MozartFest, Brighton, Cheltenham, City of London, Edinburgh, Ravinia Chicago, Three Choirs, Toronto, Vancouver and West Cork festivals. Joseph has enjoyed concerts with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Sophie Bevan, Allan Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Lisa Milne, Clara Mouriz, Ann Murray, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Matthew Rose, Carolyn Sampson, Toby Spence, Ailish Tynan and Roderick Williams. Before studing the piano on an EMI Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, Joseph obtained an MPhil degree in Musicology from the University of Birmingham. He subsequently took up the post of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge and works extensively for the BBC New Generation Artists scheme.
Robert Murray studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He won second prize in the Kathleen Ferrier awards 2003 and was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Operatic roles at the Royal Opera House include Tamino (‘Die Zauberflote’), Lysander (‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’), Agenore (‘Il re Pastore’), Belfiore (‘La Finta Giardiniera’), Jacquino (‘Fidelio’) and Don Ottavio (‘Don Giovanni’). Other roles include the title role in ‘Albert Herring’ for Glyndebourne On Tour; Nanki-Poo, Tamino, Don Ottavio and Idamante for English National Opera and Tom Rakewell (‘The Rake’s Progress’) for Garsington Opera.
Concert work includes Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Sir John Eliot Gardiner for the BBC Proms; Handel’s ‘Solomon’ with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg; Mozart’s C Minor Mass both with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras, and with Le Concert D’Astrée; Britten’s War Requiem with Simone Young and Britten’s ‘Our Hunting Fathers’ with Thomas Adès at the Aldeburgh Festival; Strauss’s ‘Elektra’ with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Edward Gardner, Schumann’s ‘Manfred’ with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov at the Edinburgh Festival and ‘Tristan und Isolde’ with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev.
In recital he has performed at the Newbury, Two Moors and Aldeburgh Festivals. He has toured ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ extensively with Malcolm Martineau, recorded a recital of Brahms, Poulenc and Barber with Simon Lepper for Voices on BBC Radio 3, and performed ‘On Wenlock Edge’ with the Dante Quartet both at the 2006 Brighton Festival and at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Mary Nelson made her debut with English National Opera singing the role of ‘Woodnymph’ in Dvorák’s Rusalka and rejoined the company to sing ‘Amor’ in Orpheus and Eurydice and ‘Belinda’ in Dido and Aeneas. In addition, she has sung the roles of ‘Carolina’ in Cimarosa’s A Secret Marriage for Opera North, ‘Gilda’ in Rigoletto and ‘Micaela’ in Carmen for Castleward Opera and has appeared in the role of ‘Echo’ in a concert performance of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Barbican with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox, all to critical acclaim. She also sang Poulenc’s Gloria and Faure’s La Fête Étrange at the Royal Opera House.
Mary Nelson was subsequently appointed as a company principal with English National Opera. Her roles included ‘Susanna’ in The Marriage of Figaro, ‘Pamina’ in The Magic Flute, ‘Dalinda’ in Ariodante (directed by David Alden), ‘Atalanta’ in Xerxes (directed by Nicholas Hytner), ‘Trash’ in The Fairy Queen (including performances in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona), and ‘Lucia’ in the new David McVicar production of The Rape of Lucretia for ENO and the Aldeburgh Festival, which was also broadcast on BBC 2 and Radio 3. Other roles include ‘Ismene’ in Mitridate for the Classical Opera Comapany and Piacere in Il trionfo del Tempo e de Disinganno for The Early Opera Company.
An experienced oratorio and concert soloist, Mary has performed Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the City of London Sinfonia at the Barbican, Vivaldi’s La Senna Festeggiante with The King’s Consort in The Netherlands and Spain, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Handel’s Gloria with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Bach’s St. John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In addition she has performed Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Bach’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the English Chamber Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Handel’s Athalia with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Engagements have also included performances of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast with the Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Mozart’s Requiem with the Halle in The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Mozart’s Regina Coeli with The Academy of Ancient Music, Brahm’s Requiem with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hansel and Gretel and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Nights Dream for the BBC Proms, Caldara and Vivaldi cantatas with La Serinissima in Spain, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Faure’s Requiem with the Northern Sinfonia, Handel’s Messiah with the Brno Philharmonic and Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Israel Camerata. Conductors she has worked with include Nicholas McGegan, Thierry Fischer, Christian Curnyn, Jane Glover, Kenneth Montgomery, Richard Hickox, Takuo Yuasa, Paul Daniel, Harry Christophers, Harry Bicket and John Nelson.
An experienced recitalist, Mary has given concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, the Honiton, Chester, Gower, Cambridge festivals and Queen’s Festival, Belfast. She also recently undertook a recital tour of Argentina to great critical acclaim. Her recordings include Vivaldi Cantatas with The Band of Instruments, Mendelssohn’s Symphony 2 and Sacred Music by Georg Schumann.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Ulster Youth Orchestra, ‘Pamina’ in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, ‘Nedda’ in I Pagliacci for Stanley Hall Opera, Elijah with the Cheltenham Bach Choir, Haydn’s Creation with the Prague Philharmonic and Jakub Hrusa, Orfeo and Eurydice and Judas Maccabeus at the Cadogen Hall, Messiah in Gloucester Cathedral ,Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s Scena di Berenice with the Ulster Orchestra, Vivaldi’s Catone in Venice, Haydn’s Lo Speziale with the Israel Camerata, Pergolesi’s Stabet Mater with Monica Huggett and the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the RTE Symphony Orchestra and a CD recording of Georg Schumann Lieder.
In 2015, Mary became a Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music.
Adam Newman began his musical studies aged 7, learning a variety of instruments including violin and piano before focusing on the viola aged fourteen. He proceeded to study at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music with Louise Lansdown. Adam graduated with first class honours from the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Matthew Souter, Philip Dukes and Hu Kun. He then continued his studies in the class of Tatjana Masurenko at the Hochshule für Musik in Leipzig and in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins. He is currently studying in Basel with Rainer Schmidt of the Hagen Quartett.
Adam has attended Verbier Festival, IMS Prussia Cove, Thy Chamber Music Festival, Tibor Varga Masterclasses and the London Masterclasses where he has studied with renowned musicians such as Tabea Zimmerman, Bruno Giurana, Ana Chumachenco, Gabor Takacs- Nagy, Thomas Riebl, Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian, Lawrence Power and Alfred Brendel.
During his time at the Academy, he had considerable success in both competitions and recitals. They included a Sir John Barbirolli Foundation Award towards the purchase of a new bow and the Duchess of Cornwall / English Chamber Music Award. He was also a finalist at the Windsor International String Competition where he was awarded the Bishops Instruments and Bows Prize for the most deserving finalist.
Adam has worked with the English Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Camerata Variabile Basel, Cappa Ensemble, London Conchord Ensemble, Razumovsky Ensemble, Aronowitz Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, and with such musicians as Patricia Rozario, Nicolas Daniel, Jorg Widmann and Valentin Erben.
Daniel Norman was a choral scholar at New College Oxford, where he read Engineering. He went on to study in the US and Canada and at the Royal Academy of Music. In his first year out of college he made his debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Trevor Pinnock, the Royal Festival Hall with David Atherton, the Wigmore Hall with Graham Johnson, Almeida Opera and the Aldeburgh Festival with David Parry and at the Barbican with Richard Hickox.
Concert performances have included Wozzeck with Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Evangelist in Bach St John Passion at the Festival Hall, Tippett A Child of Our Time with the CBSO and the Northern Sinfonia, Britten Les Illuminations and Mozart Requiem with Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic, Britten Nocturne with Edward Gardner, Britten Serenade in Tel Aviv, Britten St Nicolas at the Gulbenkian in Porto and for the BBC Concert Orchestra, Stravinsky Les Noces with Martha Argerich, Bach St Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw and for the Sønderjyllands Symfonieorkester in Denmark, Beethoven 9th Symphony for Minnesota Orchestra, Holst Savitri with London Sinfonietta, Sam Kaplan in Weill’s Street Scene at the BBC Proms, St John Passion for The King’s Consort (Matthew Halls), Judas in Birtwistle’s The Last Supper for London Sinfonietta in Italy, Argento’s Jonah & the Whale in Boston, Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall, Delius Mass of Life with the BBC Philharmonic, Haydn Stabat Mater with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi, Stravinsky’s In Memoriam Dylan Thomas with the CBSO, Renard (Helsinki & Paris), Britten War Requiem for Southbank Sinfonia and for Philharmonia Taiwan and recitals at Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and for Oxford Lieder.
Opera credits include Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw and Dr Blind Die Fledermaus for Glyndebourne on Tour, his Covent Garden debut as Borsa Rigoletto, Flavio Norma, Goro Madama Butterfly and Tchekalinsky Queen of Spades with Opera North, Tanzmeister in concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO, Mao in Nixon in China for Opera Boston and at the Teatro Filharmonico for Fondazione di Arena di Verona, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos for L’Opéra National de Paris and Tanzmeister Ariadne, Elemer in Arabella and Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro at Garsington, and the Electrician in the Channel 4 film of Adès’s Powder Her Face (Almeida/Aldeburgh), as well as in its Vienna and Boston premieres, and at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. With the Early Opera Company he played the title role in Arne’s Alfred at the Covent Garden Festival. He sung Fenney/Hugo Mines of Sulphur at the Wexford Festival, Bob Boles Peter Grimes at the Endellion Festival, Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Zuid, Hermes in Tippett’s King Priam with the Nationale Reisopera, Eurimaco in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and Valetto in L’Incoronazione di Poppea for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and New Israeli Opera and, to critical acclaim, performed the first official staging of all five Britten Canticles in Westminster Abbey with Streetwise Opera. Daniel also appeared in Nuno Corte Real’s The Bronze Boy, in Porto and Lisbon and as White Minister Le Grand Macabre and Squeak Billy Budd for English National Opera, Maxwell Davies Taverner with BBC Scottish Symphony, Messiah for the Minnesota Orchestra & Chorale and Carmina Burana for the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Columbia. Further engagements include title role Hugh the Drover for New Sussex Opera, Beethoven 9th Symphony (Marriner), Moser Die Meistersinger for Glyndebourne Festival and Schwanengesang for the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Charles Owen is widely recognised as one of the leading British pianists of his generation. He has performed at such venues as the Barbican Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Lincoln Center and Weill/Carnegie Hall in New York, the Brahms Saal in Vienna’s Musikverein, the Paris Musée d’Orsay, and the Moscow Conservatoire. His chamber music partners include Julian Rachlin, Chloe Hanslip, Adrian Brendel, and Nicholas Daniel and the Takacs, Vertavo, Carducci and Elias Quartets. He also has a highly successful piano duo partnership with Katya Apekisheva. He studied in London at the Menuhin School, the Royal College of Music with Irina Zaritskaya and Imogen Cooper. He has won numerous awards, including the Silver Medal at the Scottish International Piano Competition and the Parkhouse Award. A regular guest at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham, West Cork and Perth, Australia, he has performed with the Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National and London Philharmonic orchestras. His solo recordings include discs of Janácek, Poulenc and Fauré. Together with Natalie Clein, he has recorded the cello sonatas of Brahms, Schubert, Rachmaninov and Chopin for EMI. He is a Professor of piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Raphaela Papadakis studied with Janice Chapman on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where her roles included Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Aurore in Massenet’s Le portrait du Manon, and Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.
Her other operatic roles include Gretel Hansel and Gretel for Clonter Opera, Dido (cover)at l’Opéra de Dijon, Pamina with Hampstead Garden Opera, and Branghien in Frank Martin’sLe vin herbé with Ardente Opera, as well as Dido Dido and Aeneas, Lauretta GianniSchicchi, La Marchande Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and the title role in Holst’s Savitri for Cambridge University Opera. Before studying at the Guildhall, she was a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, where she gained a first class Honours Degree in English Literature, graduating in 2009.
Raphaela was a finalist in the London Handel Competition and won the York Early Music Festival Prize. She is also the winner of the Association of English Singers and Speakers Courtney Kenny Award 2011 and the Guildhall English Song Competition 2010, and was a finalist in the Jackdaws Awards 2010 at the Wigmore Hall. Last year, she was awarded a place on the inaugural Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, which took her to Neumarkt, Germany in the summer for six weeks of intensive study under renowned international teachers and artists, including Edith Wiens, Malcolm Martineau, Brian Zeger, Siegfried Jerusalem and Rudolf Piernay.
Raphaela is just as happy on the concert platform as she is on the stage. Recent highlights include performances of Schoenberg’s melodrama Pierrot Lunaire in Cambridge, Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Thomas Tallis Society, Britten’s Les Illuminations in St James’s Piccadilly and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass in St John’s Smiths Square, London. She also performed Mozart’s Requiem with Stephen Cleobury, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, and the Aurora Orchestra in Kings Place, London, in a performance that was streamed live through the Guardian website. Plans for 2012/13 include Haydn’s The Creation with Stephen Cleobury, Pierrot Lunaire at Sutton House, London, and performances in the London Handel Festival and the York Early Music Festival.
Heralded by The Globe and Mail as “a superb piano partner … gorgeously accompanied.” Steven Philcox is regarded as one of Canada’s finest collaborators. He is a frequent partner of Canada’s vocal elite performing in concert halls across North America where he continues to garner the reputation as one of this country’s most expressive and colorful interpreters.
As a member of the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company he served as répétiteur and assistant conductor on more than 35 productions and was the pianist of choice for the continuo of Handel and Mozart. Increasingly recognized for his teaching, Philcox has given masterclasses throughout Canada and is regularly invited to mentor young artists at many of Canada’s prestigious summer programs. Recent highlights include Opera on the Avalon, Toronto Summer Music, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy. In 2011, Philcox co-founded the Canadian Art Song Project with tenor Lawrence Wiliford.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Mr. Philcox pursued his love of vocal literature at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California. Subsequently, he went on to receive his Master of Music Degree in Vocal Accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music. Philcox is currently Associate Professor and Head of Collaborative Piano Studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.
The Phoenix Piano Trio, formed in 2010, is fast establishing itself as one of today’s leading ensembles. Their concerts to date have drawn universal high praise; the Oxford Times described the playing in their debut concert as “a common approach to the music… a well-rounded concert from three consummate musicians.” In 2011, after an extremely successful first season, they undertook a major series performing all of Beethoven’s piano trios in London, Oxford and various other venues, as well as commissioning five new works to be performed alongside them.
In 2012, the Trio will give its debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall. They also release their first CD; a live recording from the “Beyond Beethoven” series recorded in 2011, featuring the “Archduke” trio and the trio in E flat, Op. 70 no. 2.
Violinist Jonathan Stone is also a member of the Doric String Quartet, hailed as the eminent quartet of its generation. Cellist Marie Macleod is a renowned soloist, a member of the Lendvai String Trio, the Aronowitz Ensemble (BBC New Generation Artists) and Ensemble 360. Pianist Sholto Kynoch works with many outstanding string players and singers, recently launched his debut CD at Wigmore Hall and is the founder and artistic director of the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Tom Poster has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music).
Tom has performed more than 40 concertos ranging from Bach to Ligeti with Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, China National Symphony, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, under conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. He features regularly on BBC Radio 3 as soloist and chamber musician, and has appeared several times at the BBC Proms. Tom’s chamber music collaborators include Alison Balsom, Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis, Guy Johnston and Elena Urioste, and as pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists), he has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals.
Tom has recorded for Champs Hill Records, Chandos, Decca Classics, Edition Classics, EMI, Sonimage and Warner Classics. He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge. He is also a successful composer, and a lifelong fan of dugongs.
Elisa Rapado, pianist from Zamora (Spain) discovered her passion for Lied and vocal accompaniment while studying chamber music in Moscow with Georgi Fedorenko. She has appeared in many voice recitals, the international masterclasses Cordes et Pics (France) and the last masterclasses given by Teresa Berganza in León. As a professor of piano and accompaniment at León’s conservatoire, Elisa helps many young singers at the beginning of their careers by evangelising Lied and art song through lessons, as well as her frequent concerts and activities aimed at children, young people and amateurs.
Christine Rice is one of the leading British mezzo sopanos of her generation. A regular performer at the major European opera houses including Covent Garden; the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich; Frankfurt Opera; the Teatro Real, Madrid and English National Opera she has built a reputation both as a singing actress and a Handelian of the highest order.
For the Royal Opera, Covent Garden her roles have included Judith Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Concepcion L’Heure Espagnol, Miranda Ades’ The Tempest the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, Sonyetka Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Ariadne in the world premiere of Birtwistle’s The Minotaur, Giulietta Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Maddalena Rigoletto and Carmen. For English National Opera her roles include Marguerite La damnation de Faust and Arsace Penelope. Other notable roles include Penelope Il Ritorno d’Ulisse for Frankfurt Opera; Dorabella Cosi fan tutte for Seattle Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper; Diana La Calisto for Geneva Opera; Beatrice Beatrice et Benedict for the Opera Comique in Paris and the title roles of Ariodante and Rinaldo for the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Christine also has a very busy concert career, appearing throughout the UK, Europe, North America and at the BBC Promenade Concerts and Edinburgh International Festival working with conductors that include Antonio Pappano and Sir Charles Mackerras.
Sam Robson is a twenty-three year old musical prodigy and multi instrumentalist who is the son of classically trained violinist parents – his father plays in the London Symphony Orchestra. After finding trouble settling into mainstream education it became clear to him that music was the desired path. At this point he discovered the Brit School from where he would eventually graduate with distinction, immediately showing himself to be an exceptional student and winning their prestigious competition for song writing in his second year. At the Brits School he studied with the hugely successful act Rizzle Kicks, whom he supported regularly at live shows in their formative years. He also wrote, recorded, produced and arranged for many of the students at the school, building a studio in his parent’s house that often accommodated all-night full band recordings. As well as being an accomplished guitarist and drummer Sam has always been fascinated with the voice as an instrument in its own right, and a cappella has been a natural vehicle for him in that regard. He has created versions of s Mirrorball – which after its upload to YouTube was mentioned by the band’s singer Guy Garvey, during their tour of the United States – and a version of the theme tune for TV show Family Guy, which was broadcast on BBC TV prior to an episode. Always experimenting with arrangement and musicality, Sam has created nine-part harmony versions of some of his favourite hymns that he originally posted on his YouTube channel; these songs have now received combined views well in excess of two million hits from all over the world.
Matthew Rose is one of the most exciting singers of his generation. In the 2012/13 season he returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Talbot in a new prodction of Maria Stuarda, he makes his role debut as Sarastro Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden and his concert appearances include the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Dutoit, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique with Gardiner.
In 2006 he made an acclaimed debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream – for which he received the John Christie Award – and he has gone on to sing the role at La Scala, at Covent Garden, the Opéra National de Lyon and at the Houston Grand Opera. Other highlights have included included Sparafucile Rigoletto at Covent Garden; Colline La bohème at the Metropolitan Opera; Mozart’s Figaro at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich; Claggart Billy Budd at the English National Opera and Leporello Don Giovanni and Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Future seasons will see him sing Leporello at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and Henry VIII Anna Bolena for the Opéra de Bordeaux; return to Covent Garden, to the Glyndebourne Festival and to the Metropolitan Opera and make his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
He has appeared in concert at the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Proms and at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and recent engagements have included the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Colin Davis; the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Dudamel; the Swedish Radio Orchestra with Harding; the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis, the Dresden Staatskapelle with Mackerras and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Pappano.
In recital his appearances include the Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Brighton, Edinburgh, Chester and Cheltenham International Festivals.
Patricia Rozario, born in Bombay, studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music, winning the Gold Medal and Maggie Teyte Prize. She also studied at the National Opera Studio in London, and won prizes at the Salzburg Mozarteum, S’Hertogenbosch International Singing Competition, Benson and Hedges Competition at Aldeburgh, and International Young Artist Competition at Tunbridge Wells. She developed a career in opera, concert work, recording and broadcasting. Her unique voice and artistry inspired over 15 established composers to write for her, notably Arvo Pärt and the late Sir John Tavener. She has sung under Pritchard, Solti, Ashkenazy, Jurowski, Belohlavek, Gardiner, Pinnock, Ivan Fischer, Hickox and Andrew Davis, has sung opera at Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Lyon, Lille, Bremen, Antwerp, Wexford, ENO, Glyndebourne and Opera North, and performed concerts in Canada, USA, Russia, the Far East, Australia, Europe, and UK. She has appeared frequently at the BBC Proms. In 2010 together with pianist Mark Troop, she started a singing course, Giving Voice Society, to improve western music in India. She is Professor of singing at the Royal College of Music. She was awarded an OBE in 2001, Asian Women’s Award of Achievement in 2002, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, President’s Award in 2013, and FRCM in 2014.
Sergey Rybin was born in the city of tomsk in siberia, russia. he began playing the piano aged seven, studying at the specialised music school for gifted children, attached to the conservatory of Novosibirsk. subsequently, he studied at the moscow state university of culture and arts where, having gained a ph.D., he became professor of piano and taught for four years. since completing his studies at the royal academy of music in london under the tutelage of malcolm martineau, sergey has worked extensively for city of birmingham opera, english touring opera, garsington opera, opera holland park and grange park opera. as a recitalist he performed at the leeds lieder festival, hampstead and highgate festival, beaminster festival and in other prominent venues in the uk alongside Joan rodgers, Justina gringyte, katherine broderick, Nelly miricioiu, sergey leiferkus and others. in 2015 sergey was elected an associate of the royal academy of music, london and joined the coaching staff of the Jette parker young artists programme at the royal opera house. future engagements include Eugene Onegin for grange park opera and the royal opera house, covent garden, and Pelléas et Mélisande for english touring opera.
Mikhail Shilyaev was born in 1979 in Izhevsk, Russia. He started learning the piano at the age of six and won several regional piano competitions at a young age. In 1992 he entered the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatoire and in 1998 became a full-time student at the Moscow State Conservatoire, where he studied with Olga Zhukova, Elisso Virsaladze and Mikhail Lidsky. In October 2003 he gained a DAAD scholarship which enabled him to study at the Munich Hochschule with Franz Massinger.
Mikhail is the prize-winner of many competitions, and has been supported in his studies by many awards. In 2005 he won both second prize in the Ibiza International Piano Competition and first prize in the Intercollegiate Beethoven Competition organized by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe. In July 2006 he won second prize in the Amy Brant Piano Competition in Birmingham. He has also been awarded the Myra Hess Award from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the 2006 Ricci Foundation Award and the 2006 Maisie Lewis Award.
He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and in 2005-7 Mikhail studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Mark Ray, Alexander Melnikov and Nelson Goerner. He gave his Wigmore Hall debut recital in March 2007.
Mikhail has participated in masterclasses given by András Schiff, Charles Rosen, Stephen Hough, Barry Douglas and Stefano Fiuzzi and in Summer 2007 he took part in the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme. As a soloist with orchestra, he has recently performed with the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, with the RNCM Concert Orchestra and the Orchestra of Trinity Laban and the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra.
In July 2008 Mikhail appeared as a soloist at the Bridgewater Hall in Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra under Pascal Rophé. In 2008-2010 Mikhail was an appointed Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music. In 2009 Mikhail received a Golubovich Scholarship at Trinity Laban where he was worked on his Master degree with Professor Deniz Gelenbe. In July 2010 Mikhail won the Bronze Medal at the prestigious Vianna da Motta International Piano Competition in Lisbon.
Robert Smith is Organ Scholar at Somerville College, Oxford, where he regularly accompanies and occasionally directs the college choir for their regular services and concerts. He began musical life aged 5 on the piano, and moving to the organ aged 13 at the Birmingham Conservatoire under the tutelage of Henry Fairs, where he remained for 5 years.
Now at Oxford, Robert receives lessons from William Whitehead and was recently awarded an ARCO diploma, also winning the Sowerbutts Prize and Durrant Prize. He has had the pleasure of participating in numerous choir concerts and tours, notably at Blackburn Cathedral, Lancaster Priory, Birmingham Cathedral, Ampleforth Abbey and three times at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Robert regularly performs recitals as well as participating in masterclasses led by David Goode, Guy Bovet and Stephen Farr. He has twice been a finalist in the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition.
Future plans will see Robert feature on a BBC broadcast and a choir tour to America. In August 2014 he will undertake an extensive recital tour of Germany with concerts in Berlin, Brandenburg and Weimar. Robert also pursues piano studies with Margaret Newman, achieving a DipABRSM aged 16, winning numerous prizes in music competitions, both for his solo playing and as part of a piano trio.