Nigel Clayton (Masterclass & Annual Jury)
Piano professor at the Royal College of Music, Nigel's worldwide travel has included four major tours of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan with Indian cellist Anup Kumar Biswas, tours of the Middle East and America with Wissam Boustany, of Scandinavia with Gerald LeFeuvre and throughout every European country. He performs more than eighty concerts every season and has also played at most of the music clubs and festivals in his native Great Britain, appearing regularly on the BBC's radio network, at the Wigmore Hall and at the South Bank Centre, where he has already performed over fifty recitals. His most recent concerts have been in Taiwan and Japan, where he is becoming an increasingly regular performer. Nigel also continues to perform as a soloist and has given more than one hundred solo recitals on board the British cruise liner SS Canberra, as well as completing several cruises on P & O's Oriana, Victoria and Arcadia luxury cruise liners. He has performed concertos by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Liszt, Mozart (directed from the keyboard), and was a soloist in Poulenc's two piano concerto in the Royal Albert Hall whilst still a junior student at the Royal College of Music. Apart from several long-standing partnerships, Nigel has appeared alongside such artists as Michael Collins, Sylvia Marcovici, Ofra Harnoy, Tasmin Little and Bryan Rayner Cook, the Chillingirian, Sorrel and Bingham Quartets and with instrumentalists from many countries; he is engaged as official accompanist each year for the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland and has recorded nine commercial compact discs. He teaches at a specialist school for pianists in Surrey and is visiting professor of piano at the North East of Scotland Music School and was recently appointed Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music.
Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Masterclass & Annual Jury)
Professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music, Catherine appears with the Three Choirs, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh festivals, and also at the BBC Proms, where she was a memorable soloist in the 1995 Last Night. She has performed in concert with Leonard Slatkin, Bernard Haitink, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington, David Zinman, Peter Oundjian, Edward Gardner and Zubin Mehta. Her numerous recordings include Dream of Gerontius with Daniel Barenboim, Samson with Harry Christophers, The Dream of Gerontius with Vernon Handley for EMI, Mozart's Vespers with Trevor Pinnock for DG, Peter Grimes with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, and Graham Johnson's Complete Schubert Edition for Hyperion. Catherine sang Erda and Waltraute in Valencia and Florence with Zubin Mehta, appeared at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Sosostris The Midsummer Marriage, and made her debut for the Teatro alla Scala as Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes. For English National Opera she has appeared in Madama Butterfly, War and Peace, La Gioconda, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Rape of Lucretia and Deborah Warner’s productions of the St. John Passion and Messiah. She has had a close relationship with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where roles have included First Norn Götterdämmerung, Erda Das Rheingold and Siegfried, Magdalene Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Cornelia Giulio Cesare, Sosostris The Midsummer Marriage, Genevieve Pelleas et Melisande and Auntie Peter Grimes. Catherine has been a regular guest of the Bavarian State Opera, Munich, singing Sosostris, Adelaide Arabella, First Norn, Genevieve, Cornelia Giulio Cesare, Amastra Xerxes, Hexe Königskinder, Erda Das Rheingold and Widow Zimmerlein Die Schweigsame Frau. She has also worked with Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Semper Oper, Dresden, Teatro Real Madrid, Netherlands Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Salzburg Festival. She sang her first Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro for the Verbier Festival conducted by Paul McCreesh, Mrs Sedley in the Aldeburgh Festival production of Peter Grimes that was staged on the beach, Bianca Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Festival and Moses und Aron in her debut at the Opera National de Paris. She made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Adelaide in Arabella.
Jonathan Tilbrook (Annual Jury)
As Head of Orchestral Studies at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Jonathan works regularly with the Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles, and has devised and conducted several series of ‘side-by-side’ performances in conjunction with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Welsh National Opera and the BBC orchestras. Early achievements included his appointment as Assistant Conductor with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic (Zlín, Czech Republic), and invitations to guest-conduct the Janáček Philharmonic and Košice State Philharmonic orchestras. He has since worked with a wide range of ensembles including the Martinů Philharmonic, Moravian Philharmonic, Olomouc and Kroměříž chamber orchestras (Czech Republic); Košice State Philharmonic (Slovak Republic); Hong Kong Sinfonietta; Sinfonia Viva; contemporary music groups Gemini, One Voice, and Mephisto Ensemble, and the early music ensemble Florilegium. Opera productions have included Don Pasquale; Die Fledermaus; La Bohème; Carmen; Madama Butterfly; Cavelleria Rusticana; I Pagliacci; Le nozze di Figaro; Don Giovanni and L’Incoronazione di Poppea, at major UK festivals including Brighton, Cheltenham, King’s Lynn and Holland Park. Highlights have included appearances with the Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra (on the concert platform and in the recording studio) and the Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb (Tchaikovsky Nutcracker); Symphony Hall, Birmingham (with the Birmingham Philharmonic); London’s Barbican Hall and the Bromsgrove Festival with the English Chamber Orchestra; Handel’s Xerxes (British Youth Opera) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall; critically acclaimed performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and St John Passion in France with Florilegium; Walton’s Façade at the Albert Hall, Nottingham with Lady Susanna Walton and musicians from Sinfonia Viva; appearances with the contemporary music ensemble One Voice in Edinburgh; and performances of Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame and Tarik O’Regan’s Scattered Rhymes with the Orlando Consort.
Gina McCormack (Masterclass & Annual Jury)
Gina McCormack having spent 11 years as professor of Violin at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (formerly Trinity College of Music) in London. She is currently teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. She also gives regular masterclasses both in the UK and at summer festivals abroad. Gina is well established as one of Britain’s leading artists, with regular solo appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre and at venues across the country. She has performed at many British Festivals, including the City of London, Henley, Edinburgh, Buxton, Aldeburgh and Salisbury Festivals, and has appeared as soloist in the UK with the Hallé and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras and the former Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Tours abroad have taken her to France, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, South Africa and South America, and most recently to Austria and Switzerland. Gina studied with György Pauk at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and attended masterclasses with Sandor Vegh (at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at Prussia Cove in Cornwall), Dorothy DeLay, Andras Mihaly and Siegmund Nissel (from the Amadeus Quartet). While still a student, she was a prizewinner at the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London and at the International Young Concert Artists’ Competition in Tunbridge Wells, where she has since returned to serve on the jury.,For thirteen years Gina was the leader of the Sorrel Quartet, with whom she was frequently heard on BBC Radio Three. The quartet made twelve CDs for Chandos Records, of works by Britten, Mendelssohn, Schubert and the complete cycle of Shostakovich quartets. Their Elgar CD was chosen as one of Classic FM’s records of the year and was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. The group also recorded John Pickard’s Quartets on the Dutton label. She then led the Maggini Quartet for two years, and decided to leave the group in March 2010 to focus on her solo work. In 2019, she was appointed as new first violinist of the Brodsky Quartet.
Dr Basil Athanasiadis (Annual Jury)
As one of the world leading composers, Basil’s works are characterised by a strong visual identity; his performances has often been accompanied by dance or stage action. Early influences can be traced in Sergiu Celibidache’s views on aspects of ambience and acoustic space (Athanasiadis attended Celibidache’s Munich seminars in 1994), and in composers such as Christou, Feldman and Takemitsu. His most recent works focus on the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which has also been the main subject of his doctoral and postdoctoral research since 2004. Represented by United Music Publishing since 2014, his music has been released on CD by Metier, Sargasso, Dutton Epoch, Regent Records, Fonorum and the Choir & Organ Magazine. Basil’s works have been performed in Europe, US, Canada and Asia by performers and ensembles such as Evelyn Glennie, Mayumi Miyata, members of the Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, New London Chamber Ensemble, Silk String Quartet, Okeanos, Mondriaan Quartet, Alea III, Shonorities and choirs such as the BBC Singers, Wells Cathedral Choir, Cambridge Chapel Choir of Selwyn College and Montreal Christ Church Cathedral Choir.After completing his piano and advanced theory studies at the National Conservatoire of Athens, Basil moved to London. He studied composition at the Trinity College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and finally at the Canterbury Christ Church University where he obtained his PhD supported by the Research Studentship Award. An Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) since 2019, Basil completed his JSPS Bridge Fellowship (2018-19) at the Tokyo University of the Arts, and he is the only composer to date to be twice the recipient of the prestigious JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (2010-11 and 2011-13). During that period, Basil was based at the Tokyo University of the Arts as a Special Foreign Researcher, where he composed new works for Western and Japanese instruments with a particular interest on the shō (mouth organ) and the 20-stringed koto.
Dr Lin-Lin (Artistic Director & Annual Jury)
Described by conductor Jonathan Tilbrook as ‘an exceptional musician’, ‘a phenomenal flute player’ and ‘a wonderfully gifted pianist’, and by composer Peter Weigold as ‘a very fine and creative musician’. Lin has established herself as one of the most exciting young musicians of today by giving a large number of solo and chamber recitals in major concert halls and music festivals throughout Europe and Asia, including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Blackheath Great Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Fazioli Concert Hall, etc. Lin has also collaborated with composers since 2013 in the creation of new art music. The recent releases and publications including: music score of 'Book of Dreams' for flute and string quartet published by United Music Publishing; CD albums 'Anatta' and 'Soft Light' released by Metier and Miraco Studio, both contains new compositions collaborated with different UK based composers. The recent concert performance including: art musical concert 'Lenged Unfold' at London Deptford Chamber Room; piano and flute recital at Honiton Music Festival; premiere performace for Alex McGery's 'Dai vilalge' at Faversham Assembly Rooms; live performance with King’s Choir for John Rutter’s new work ‘SecondFarewell to Cambridge’ at Corn Exchange; and premiere performance for Sandy Clark's ‘Hua Mulan Saga' at Blackheath Great Hall with Trinity Symphony Orchestra. Lin has studied and worked with many well-known musicians including Anna Noakes, Susan Milan, Paul Edmund Davies, Sue Thomas, Nigel Clayton, Matino Tirimo and Dmitri Alexeev. Lin received her PhD in music performance at University of London in 2019, and published her research thesis about soloist's creative realisation in new collaborative compositions. Unusually, Lin also has a Master’s degree in Science & Engineering, having studied material science and engineering at Queen Mary University of London from which she graduated with first class honours in 2009, the only student in her year to have a research essay published at Science Journal. Lin’s talents in both science and musical art, and her life change to musical art story has been filmed in the documentary film ‘Great Britain, Great Experience’ by the British Embassy in China in 2015.
Harry Nowakowski-Fox is a young Steinway Artist and the co-founder of Piano and Strings Tutors London. He has rapidly established an exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist, having performed internationally at concerts, competitions and chamber music festivals in Austria, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, Switzerland the UK and the United States. Performances at prestigious London venues include St Martins in the Fields, St John Smiths Square, Victoria and Albert Museum, Fairfield Halls, and Wigmore Hall. In 2016 he gave his debut recital in Moscow performing works by Bach, Schumann & Chopin. Of Polish and Finish descent Harry was born in the UK and started playing the piano at the age of 5. His progress was quickly noticed which led to being accepted to Chetham’s school of Music in Manchester at the age of 8 to study with the head of keyboard at the time, Nigel Pitceathly. Shortly afterwards he appeared on a television documentary about laying the technical foundations of piano playing for young students. When he was 13, he gave his concerto debut performing Grieg’s Piano concerto in A minor. Whilst at Trinity College of Music Harry won the opportunity to perform Chopin´s 1st piano concerto in the United States and was also the 2010 winner of the Derek Butler London prize, held in London´s Wigmore Hall. Harry graduated as a Kendall-Taylor Scholar of the Masters in Performance course at the Royal College of Music in 2013, where he was studying under Professor Dina Parakhina. Shortly afterwards he was named as a Young Steinway Artist and won the special prize at the Valletta International Piano competition. He was also the 2015 Grand Prize winner at the Windsor International Piano Competition. In 2016 Harry signed a recording contract with the label KNS Classical and released his first solo recording, an all Schumann disc. A keen chamber musician and concerto performer Harry collaborates regularly with talented instrumentalists in a wide-ranging variety of ensembles. In 2017 he founded the Harry & Alisa Recital duo with his wife, the Cellist Alisa Liubarskaya. They have since performed a series of concerts in the UK, Greece, Valetta, Paris & Rome. Their first recording as a duo, Sonatas by Schubert, Brahms and Schnittke, was realeased in Autumn 2019 on the label Grand Empirical.
Henry is a versatile cellist with a particular interest in orchestral performance and working with young Cellists. In the 2019-2020 season he has been awarded a place on the London Symphony Orchestra String Experience Scheme, performed as principal cello with Academy Symphony Orchestra under Robert Trevino and John Wilson and continued his position as Principal Cello with the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming highlights include performing the Saint Saens Cello Concerto with the Whitehall Orchestra, concerts at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra and quartet recitals around the UK. Highlights of the 2018/9 season included performing the Schumann Cello Concerto at the Waterloo Festival, a side by side concert with the Nash Ensemble at Wigmore Hall and performing the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto with Thomas Carroll at Thinking Musician Festival, Italy. Henry appeared on Resonance FM and performed with the Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists (the elite string ensemble at the RAM) for Karl Jenkins 75th Birthday Concert. A committed teacher, Henry feels privileged to work at the Youth Music Centre in Golders Green and has a large private class. His students have gone on to win scholarships to leading independent schools in London and at the Royal College of Music Junior Department in addition to the National Children’s Orchestra. Henry’s musical education began at the Bromley Youth Music Trust with Michael Nebe followed by private tuition with Gillian Thoday. Henry is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Benjamin Hughes and received a First Class Honours degree from the same institution studying with Felix Schmidt. Henry has been recipient of many prizes for duo and ensemble playing both at the Academy and externally. He is grateful to the Raphael Sommer Foundation for their support during his studies.
Susanna MacRae graduated from the Royal College of Music, London, where she studied with Jeffrey Stewart (Vocal Studies) and Nigel Clayton (Piano). Susanna enjoys a busy performance schedule across the U.K. and Europe. This season she is currently touring the role of Venus (Blow's Venus & Adonis) across regional houses in Italy for L'offerta musicale di Venezia. Throughout 2017 she toured with the same company singing Galatea (Handel's Acis & Galatea). In 2021 she will sing First Lady (Mozart's Die Zauberflöte for Arcadian Opera). Highlights from last season include performing the role of Emmy (Marschner's Der Vampyr) with Gothic Opera in their Offie Award Nominated Production, The Bath Festival (Handel Arias for Jane Glover's book launch) and The Utrecht Early Music Festival, The Netherlands (Purcell Songs). Susanna also completed a tour of south-west England singing the role of Euridice (Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice) for Grassroots Opera. In 2018 she performed Emilie (Les Indes Galantes) for Benslow Baroque Opera as well at The Périgord Noir Festival singing the role of Bellezza (Handel's Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno). In competition she has competed as a finalist at The British Art Song Competition, The John Kerr Award for English Song, Cheltenham Baroque Singing Competition and as a semi-finalist in The Froville International Voice Competition in France. Susanna enjoys appearing as soprano soloist for numerous choral societies across England and has a keen interest in contemporary music; she performs regularly with the New Woods Collective and enjoys working closely with composers to develop music and being involved in several projects spotlighting new music. Most recently she performed a piece on protesting at The Whitechapel Gallery devised by artist Peter Liversidge. Alongside her performing career, Susanna has been a private piano teacher and coach for over 10 years. She runs a studio teaching children and adults encompassing all levels from beginner to conservatoire level. Her students have included children studying at the top music specialist schools across the U.K. as well as at the junior conservatoires, and consistently achieving excellent results in ABRSM exams.
Sam Rodwell completed his undergraduate at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with a first class honours degree under the tutelage of Craig Ogden. Sam went on to complete his Masters in performance also at the RNCM with a distinction. The college subsequently appointed him as an 'Associate Guitar Teacher' after excelling over a six year period . In his very first term as an undergraduate he won the String Department 'Salon Prize' making him the first guitarist to win this competition for nearly 30 years. Also during his first year at music college Sam was offered the opportunity to perform on guitar, banjo and ukulele in Shostakovich's rarely performed ‘Paradise Moscow’. In his fourth year he went on to attain a place as a finalist in the highly prestigious ‘Gold Medal’ competition. He has similarly appeared as a finalist in the Ivor Mairants Guitar Competition and The Royal Overseas League strings sectional.
Sam has given many recitals in some of the most recognised concert halls in the U.K. including a solo performance for 1500 people at the De Montfort Hall (Leicester), St Martins-in-the-Fields, Bridgewater Hall, RNCM Concert Hall, Buxton Pavilion and many more. He has also featured at many festivals including the 'World Saxophone Congress' in Zagreb, Croatia, where he premiered a new work with his Saxophone and guitar duo (Duo Antipodes), a solo recital at 'Hellys international Guitar Festival', The Cardiff Guitar Festival, Craig Ogden's Big Guitar Weekend, Winchester Festival, World Youth Guitar Festival and RibFest. In 2016 he made his television debut on Sky Arts whilst taking part in ‘Guitar Star’ making it to the final 8 and being featured in 6 out of 9 episodes. Sam has also been an ambassador for Yamaha (U.K.) in promoting their classical guitar range. He has performed in masterclasses for artists including David Russell, Mark Ashford, Chris Stell, Milos Karadaglic, Gary Ryan, Michael Lewin, Gordon Crosskey and Julian Byzantine. Sam's love of chamber music has led him to perform with many different ensembles, covering repertoire from the renaissance to the 21st century. He has had notable success performing many concerts with the ‘Roth Guitar Duo’ with Emma Smith. Sam has performed with a number of British orchestras, including the Manchester Camerata featuring a performance with the world famous accordionist Martynas Levickis. Sam plays a 2006 Christopher Dean guitar.
Sandy Clark is a British composer based in Kingston-Upon-Hull. His compositions have been performed across the UK and internationally by ensembles such as the Portumnus Ensemble, Berkeley Ensemble, Piatti Quartet and Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated as a composer with many musicians including flautist Lin Lin, pianist Matthieu Esnult, violist Emily Hoyle, oboist Jurij Likin and trumpeter Simon Desbruslais. As an orchestrator, he has provided material for several singers including Adrien Mastrosimone, Vidal Sancho and Béatrice de Larragoïti, and instrumentalists such as harpist Solenn Grand and string group Chiqas. After completing his BMus in Music at the University of Hull in 2014, Sandy moved to London to undertake an MMus in Composition at Trinity Laban, studying under Stephen Montague. From there, he returned to Hull to begin his PhD in Composition under Dr Mark Slater, culminating in a 75-minute opera, The Siren, focussing on audience accessibility. Sandy is a keen conductor, and current Musical Director of Hessle Sinfonia. He has worked with a variety of ensembles including choirs, orchestras, opera, musical theatre, wind bands and brass bands.
Lithuanian born violist is a versatile performer and teacher, quickly establishing herself as renown musician and winner of major awards. A member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and active concert violist around UK and Europe. She has recently appeared as a visiting viola teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Ugne Tiskute began her music studies at the age of six inspired by her mother violinist herself. She has moved to London in 2009 and completed her Bachelor, Masters and Advance Diploma degrees with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music. Her studies has been kindly supported by major foundations and awards including the Royal Academy of Music, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Musicians Help UK award, the Solti Foundation, Drake Calleja Trust and the Marylebone Educational Trust. She is also an active member of the Ensemble Mirage who recently has won the St Johns Smith Square Young Artists Scheme. In addition, Ugne has been awarded the International LRAM teaching certificate by the Royal Academy of Music; demonstrating her talent for teaching. She is dedicated teacher who is sharing the newest methods with a great enthusiasm while helping young violists to achieve their aspirations in music performance. Ugne has performed at the International Menuhin Competition of 2016 semi-finals together with Jack Liebeck and Junior semifinalists. She has worked with distinguished soloists including Nobuko Imai, Lawrence Power,Thomas Riebl, Wolfram Christ, Hartmut Rohde, Jerzy Cosmala, Avri Levitan, Ettore Causa, Maxim Vengerov, Helen Callus and others. As a soloist and chamber musician she has performed in various concert venues across Europe and China such as Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre, Palacio de Festivales in Cantabria, St. Johns Smith Square, Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall and many more. She has recently appeared as guest conductor and the soloist at the International Avanti Festival, Kaunas. In addition to her viola studies at RAM Ugne has been studying Baroque viola with Annette Isserlis and Orchestral conducting with Paul Brough.
Pianist Oda Voltersvik has performed at important international venues including
“Palermo Classica” International Festival, the 1st International Folk Music Festival in
Beijing, Carnegie Hall and Scandinavia House in New York, Wigmore Hall, St Martin in
the Fields (“Pianists of the world series”) and St James`s Piccadilly in London, as well
as concert societies throughout UK and internationally. Her concert engagements in
Norway include among others recitals & annual weeks of lunchtime concerts at the
Edvard Grieg museum (2014- 2021), the International Grieg in Bergen Festival with solo
and chamber music recitals since 2010, Lofoten International Festival and solo recital at
the Norwegian Opera House. She is a 1st prize winner of the Bradshaw£Buono
International competition, and a finalist of the London Intercollegiate Jaques Samuels
competition (Wigmore Hall, 2016). She has recorded a duo CD “Khoreia”, as member of
the Volt&Potenza Duo, Velut Luna Label with great reviews internationally (Musicweb-
International etc.) as well as her 1st solo CD “Firebird” with an outstanding review
from Klassiskmusikk.com. Oda has in recent years been project leader of the Volt
Ensemble and the concert series “Music in Movement 7” supported by Lofoten
International Chamber Music Festival, Norwegian Arts Council and Fund for Performing
Artists Norway. Her solo tours have also been awarded funding from Bergen Municipality among others. She holds a Master in Performance from the Royal College of Music London (Prof. Niel Immelman & Prof. Andrew Ball) and an Artist Diploma from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (Prof. Gabriele Baldocci) with
distinction from the Intercollegiate Jury. “Pianist with great sensitivity and lovely tone (... ) She has the touch to render the orchestral textures vividly and the technique to tackle the ferociously difficult piano writing with ease” Marios Papadopoulos, director of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra“ Hats off to Oda Voltersvik for such well-considered programme for her debut recording as a solo pianist (...) a most auspicious start to a recording career that promises much for the future - – and already delivers generously here.“ Martin Anderson, klassiskmusikk.com review on CD “Firebird”
“I felt cosseted and highly entertained in their hands, not only with playing of the
surest unison and harmony, but with the palpable joy and fun of their music
making(...)” Des Hutchinson at Musicweb-international.com, May 2017, Review
Volt&Potenza duo CD “Khoreia”
Alisa is a guest cellist at venues including the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Scottish Opera, Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and the Belarus State Music College in Minsk. She started playing the cello at the age of seven and began giving public performances soon after. Among her early successes were prizes at the Heran, Beethoven and Chandos International Competitions as well as a solo Concerto performance with the Belarus State Chamber Orchestra and a place in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Scheme. Since 2007 Alisa has been studying in London under Natalia Pavlutskaya and Hélène Dautry, generously supported by the Royal College of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the Albert Cooper Trust. During 2012 Alisa became a member of the Southbank Sinfonia and most recently has been invited as a Guest Section Principal with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and a member of Covent Garden Soloists. As well as multiple funding awards to support her Undergraduate and Masters degrees, Alisa has received first prizes at the Vivian Joseph Concerto Competition, Vera Kantrovic, Leonard Smith and Felicity Young Competitions. She also won the John Thompson, Cavatina Chamber Music Prizes and the Barbirolli Memorial Prize for Cellists. Her most recent performances including solo concerto performances with the Southbank Sinfonia, Trinity Laban Sinfonia, Canterbury Symphony Orchestra as well as chamber music recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, St. Martins in the Fields, Warwick and Leeds University Halls, Jacqueline du Pre Music Building in Oxford and Adrian Boult Hall in Birmingham. Alisa has taken part in masterclasses with Steven Isserlis, Torleif Thedeen, Karine Georgian, Bernard Greenhouse, Aleksander Ivashkin, Roel Dieltiens, Leonid Gorokhov and Patrick Demenga.
British Pianist, Phillip Leslie is first class honours graduate from Trinity Laban and a recipient of the Silver Medal Keyboard Award. Having performed in venues such as Steinway Hall, Reid Concert Hall, St John's Smith Square & St Martin in the Fields he has been described as a musician who plays with "vigor and excitement." He has previously worked with Philip Fowke, Martino Tirimo, Peter Tuite & Margaret Fingerhut. Further accolades include the Weingarten Prize for Piano and Angela Rinsler Award (EPTA). In 2017 he became a Concordia Foundation Artist. He has worked with renowned pedagogues including Stephen Hough at the Hertfordshire Festival, Leslie Howard, Antti Siirala, Boris Petruchansky, Jonathan Plowright & Leon McCawley. A growing interest in the British repertoire, his interpretations have been expressed by a critic "...responding to the virtuosic nature of this music with a full-bodied sound, transparent passagework, and clarity of expression." In a repertoire which spans from Rameau to Boulez, in 2018 he gave a recital at the Reid Concert Hall in memory of Kenneth Leighton which received high acclaim. In 2016 he was interviewed on BBC Radio. Phillip is currently a Park Lane Group Artist and made his debut at the Southbank Centre in January 2019 as part of Southbank International Festival where he performed works by Knussen & Boulez. As a PLG Artist. Most recently he won 2nd Prize at the Liszt International Piano Society Competition.
Lan Yao, Associate Professor in piano department of Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing. She graduated from Soloklasse programme of Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater Hannover, Germany with Distinction, under the instruction of famous pianist and piano professor Matti Raekallio. She also received her Bachelor Degree of Music in Royal Academy of Music, London University with 1st Class and Postgraduate Performance Diploma with Distinction in Royal Academy of Music, London. So far, she has been on the panel of judges of many national and international piano competitions, including Jose Roca International Piano Competition, Spain; Xinghai Cup Piano Competition, Beijing; Haiziman National Piano Competition for Young People, Internationale Schumann Wettbewerb and National Piano Competition etc. In 1999, Lan received scholarship from Royal Academy of Music and became a college student there, studying with Prof. Christopher Elton, the head of piano department. During the 4-year-time in Royal Academy of Music, she received many 1st Prizes, including National Wilfrid Parry Chamber Music Competition in London, Lloyd Hartley Prize, Henry Ellice Lees Prize, John Ireland Prize, Allanesi Prize, Claude Beddington Prize and Edward Nicholls Prize etc. She was also the appointed pianist for both piano works of John Ireland and Norctunes of John Field. Meanwhile, she received the honor to study with Madame Maria Curcio and Mr. Alexander Satz regularly. So far, Lan has given recitals and concerts throughout U.K, Germany, Spain, Japan and China, performing with Penzance Philharmonic Orchestra in United Kingdom, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra and Harbin Symphony Orchestra in China, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester and Deutsche Staatshilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany. At the same time, she also gave a lot of chamber music recitals, collaborated with many distinguished musicians, including Xue Wei and Ning Feng. "China Daily" commented on her as "the Rising Pianist in China". "Allgemeine Zeitung" said "she is definitely one of the most impressive concert pianists". The Boesendorfer News described her playing with "tender tone colours and thunderstorms unleashed".
Naufal is an experienced concert pianist and winner of several international piano competitions. He has been teaching piano for almost ten years and he likes to incorporate his wealth of performing experience into his teaching practice. Working with students of all ages and levels, Naufal tailors his teaching approach to the each individual pupil, according to their interests and aspirations. He encourages his tries to encourage his students to connect with the meaning and character of each piece of music, and to build not only the technical, but also the expressive foundation in their practice. Naufal holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance and he completed his Postgraduate and Artist Diploma with distinction. He has performed as a soloist at the Wigmore Hall, Steinway Hall, Cadogan Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, King’s Place, St. James Piccadilly, St. John’s Smith Square, St. Alfege’s Church and Blackheath Halls. Other appearances include a piano quintet performance at Wigmore Hall and he also works as an accompanist with a number of instrumentalists.
Mercè Bruguera Abelló
Catalan mezzosoprano, Mercè Bruguera is a member of a semi-professional children’s choir from an early age, she is now singing around Europe in professional choirs as well as pursuing a career as a soloist. Operatically, Mercè made her debut as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Her time at the Academy has included operatic experience (Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare a Fairy in Dvorak’s Rusalka) and in 2018 she won the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize as well as being a member of the prestigious Academy ‘Song Circle’ and the ‘Bach the European’ series. Recent highlights as soloist include Mozart’s Requiem in Verona and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Barcelona.
Violinist Yijia Zhang is recognized as a“Rising star” in the classical music field(Amati Magazine). captivating wide audiences with playing that combines virtuosity and purity. Hailed for playing of "elegantly lyrical tones" that is the “one to watch” (The Independent), Zhang has appeared as soloist giving recitals in China, the United States,Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Yijia was selected to be a member of the Asian Future Star Musicians group and made his western debut with the Cazadero Festival Orchestra in San Francisco, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, when he was seventeen. He received his Bachelor of Music from Mannes School of Music in New York and Master of Arts from Royal Academy of Music in London with Distinction and a Dip RAM certificate. Yijia has performed at the world's leading concert halls such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, the LA Disney Hall and the Beijing Performing Arts Centre. He was member of various orchestras and ensembles including New York String Orchestra, Youtube symphony, and he was the leader of Royal Academy Symphony and Opera, GoodEnsemble London, and Castleton Festival Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. In October 2015, Yijia’s debut album “Tango Embrace” released by Eito Music, featuring nine classic tango pieces from Astor Piazzolla, the renowned Argentinian tango composer. Yijia as the producer and post-production was completed by mastering engineer Ray Staff at the London Air Studio, best known for his work with a diverse mix of artists including Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Muse. Continually searching for new creative mediums, Yijia is consistently striving for musical excellence and perfecting his unique style. Esteemed Russian violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov recently remarked on Yijia’s playing, noting his “great potential.” Yijia’s goal is to continue to find the beauty in the encompassing of all musical styles with one foot firmly planted in the classical field and the other in the world of contemporary artistic expression. Yijia plays a 1780 Nicola Bergonzi violin from Cremona, Italy. His 1850 Dominique Peccatte bow was also owned by Maestro Henryk Szeryng - one of the greatest violinists of 20th century. Yijia Zhang is currently the violin professor at Soochow University School of Music in Suzhou, China.