2020 SEASON 3 JURY MEMBERS
Nigel Clayton (Chairman)
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.
Dr Lin Lin (Artist Director)
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Yaoying is one of the most gifted young pianists in her generation.” Described by international concert pianist Gordon Fergus-Thompson. Chinese concert pianist Yaoying Wang performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in major London venues including the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre; The Steinway Hall London, Kings Place, St Martin-in-the-fields, St John's Smith Square, St James's Piccadilly, the Duke’s Hall, David Jones Recital Hall, Marlow Piano Society, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Liaoning Grand Theatre, the Blackheath Hall and Polish Hearth Club. She studied with Prof. Danwen Wei, one of the few students of the great pianist Vladimir Horowitz. After being accepted by several world-class conservatories and receiving multiple scholarships, Yaoying decided to study the Royal Academy of Music in 2009. In 2013, she received Bachelor of Music degree with honours from the Royal Academy of Music and Master of Music degree from the Royal College of Music in 2015, studying with leading English pianist Colin Stone and international concert pianist Gordon Fergus-Thompson. She finished her Postgraduate Artist Diploma at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, has studied with piano professor, Deniz Gelenbe and the head of the keyboard department, Peter Tuite. She also studied Harpsichord with leading British harpsichordist Steven Devine. She has also played piano concertos with several orchestras across Europe and Asia and won top prizes including the Asian TOYAMA Cup Piano Competition and the Yamaha Piano Competition. She has recently been awarded the 2018 TL Raymond Russel Prize, the "2017 U.K. Ten Outstanding Chinese Young Person" Award by the Big Ben Award, UK; the First prize winner at the 2017 Leonard Smith and Felicity Young Duo Competition for Piano and Strings with her duo partner, violinist Elena Abad. As a piano teacher, Yaoying has been invited to teach at several music festivals and has given masterclasses in music schools in both here and China. All her students achieved their ABRSM piano and theory grades results with Distinctions and won many top prizes in both international and national competitions. Her students also received offers from world-renowned England schools with music scholarships such as The Harrow School, Radley College, St Catherine’s Bramley and Kings School etc. Yaoying has been interviewed by major Chinese TV stations such as Xinhua News Agency, Europe Phoenix TV Station, etc. She has also appeared in magazines and newspapers such as "Beijing Times" and "Oversea Students" as a representative of Chinese outstanding young musicians. She was awarded Leverhulme Arts Scholarship, the Alfred Kitchen Scholarship, Trinity Laban Award Scholar and Trinity College London Scholar Award.
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.
Jinwen Xu used to study and work at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire both as a young pianist and a principal assistant. Jinwen takes a tremendous amount of hard work for her musical career development and shows considerable promise of maturing into a vital part of global music industry. She has made a series of important concerto debuts with institutions such as Beijing Symphony Orchestra in China and Music Ensemble in London. She has also given successful recitals throughout the United Kingdom. Her footprints have left in South Yorkshire, London, and Stratford-upon-Avon. Jinwen is an excellent and promising musician who is expertise in British contemporary music, chamber music, collaborative piano, and solo performance. As a multicultural communicator, she is undoubtedly a valuable asset for the United Kingdom’s music industry and education industry. She recently continues to take an active part in music education. In October 2020, she taught several postgraduate lectures in different local conservatoires. Globalisation is an irresistible force. As a music director of Global Music Education League, Jinwen also aims to continue this positive trend by sharing elements and resources necessary for the development of music education across the globe.
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.
Chinese-British concert pianist Bocheng Wang is the Founder and Director of Pianoland Academy in London. He is currently an artist of the Keyboard Charitable Trust and Talent Unlimited Foundation. Born in Lanzhou, China, Bocheng Wang first began his career by winning Third Prize at The “Young Pianist of the North” International Piano Competition in 2012. In 2015, He went on to win Second Prize at the Liszt International Society Piano Competition and First Prize at the Croydon Concerto Competition. Three years later, he became a semifinalist at the Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. And recently, he became winner at the both 2019 Grand Prize Virtuoso “Salzburg” International Music Competition and 2020 Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarships Competition. In June 2016, Bocheng was invited for a celebratory concert in honour of HM The Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday in the Fairfield Halls, where he performed Mozart’s D minor Piano Concerto K.466 with the London Mozart Players conducted by maestro Dominic Ellis-Peckham. In the same year, he also performed Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto with the Dulwich Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Leigh O’Hara, and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Purcell School Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Robin O’Neil. In January 2020, Bocheng had a chance to perform this challenging concerto again, and this time he collaborated with maestro John Wilson and the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra at the Duke’s Hall, Bocheng had toured North East England in 2017, where he performed seven recitals in five days in Manchester and Newcastle. He has also performed in many venues such as the FAZIOLI Hall, King’s Place, Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-fields, Fairfield Hall, Watford Colosseum and Duke’s Hall. Throughout his career so far, he appeared in many international festivals such as Konzertarbeitswochen Goslar, PianoTexas, Ferrara, Oxford and Dartington.
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.