Open Academy Fellowships 2014-15

-Posted on 02.07.2014

Julian West, Head of Open Academy, writes:

As well as providing training in learning and participation skills for both undergraduate and postgraduate students through the Creative Music Leadership electives, Open Academy also works with a number of graduates each year who have shown an exceptional passion and aptitude for this area of work.

These Open Academy Fellows continue to receive training and mentoring, taking part in the full range of Open Academy projects that this year have engaged with over 4700 people, either through our own in-house projects, or through our work with music hubs and other cultural partners. The vast majority of these participants are young people in London’s schools who would not normally have the opportunity to experience music making and creativity at the highest level.

I am delighted to announce that for the academic year 2014–15 we will be expanding our fellowship programme, increasing the number of Academy graduates that we will be supporting. We are also launching a new ensemble fellowship in partnership with Wigmore Hall Learning, offering the opportunity to access much of the training offered by our partner organisation, as well as the full range of development opportunities made available by Open Academy.


The Open Academy Fellows for 2014–15

Wigmore Hall Learning/Open Academy Ensemble Fellowship: The Magnard Ensemble (pictured above)

Formed in 2012 at the Royal Academy of Music, the players are all developing their own professional careers in a variety of different areas. Collectively they have performed with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Orpheus Sinfonia, Sinfonia Cymru, the Britten-Pears Orchestra and show tours such as ‘Phantom of the Opera’.

All the members are deeply committed to music education ranging from individual private teaching to school workshops. Wider opportunities with organisations have included English National Opera Baylis, London Philharmonic Orchestra ‘Animate’ and ‘Funharmonics’, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra ‘Scrapers and Tooters’, and English Touring Opera.

For more information on Magnard Ensemble:

Open Academy Fellows

Max Bronstein
Max graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with joint undergraduate studies in Trumpet and Baroque Trumpet. As well as his BMus(Hons), he achieved a teaching LRAM in 2014 as well as being a recipient of the Leslie Regan Trust Prize. Max has a passion for early music and is currently a participant in the OAE Academy and has just returned from a tour of Europe with the European Union Baroque Orchestra.

He has been very active in learning and participation programmes over the past year including training and outreach work with: the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Touring Opera, National Orchestra for All, The Nucleo Project and London Music Masters, the London Music Centre and has just finished a course with the European Reminiscence Network for Dementia Care.

Emma Halnan
Emma Halnan studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Kate Hill and William Bennett. She previously learnt with Anna Pope at the Purcell School of Music, where she won the Fenton Leavers’ Award. Emma won the woodwind category of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2010. She has appeared as concerto soloist with orchestras such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the Welsh Sinfonia. She recently won a full place in the European Union Youth Orchestra, and performed in the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Emma performs regularly with pianist Daniel King Smith, with whom she has given recitals together all over the UK and also in Milan, Italy. She also works with harpist Heather Wrighton and violist Joe Bronstein (the Aurora Trio). They have been awarded a Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music for the academic year 2014/15. Emma is generously supported by the Hattori Foundation, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.  Twitter: @EmmaHalnan

Sam Rapley
Sam Rapley is a saxophonist, clarinettist and composer based in London. Sam writes and plays a diverse range of music, drawing influences from jazz, samba and pop. An active member of the UK music scene, his recent endeavours include playing with Troykestra at London Jazz Festival, being featured on Teotima’s debut album, ‘Counting the Ways’ and writing the score for the independent film, ‘Duet’. As well as sideman work, Sam leads his own band, with whom he has played at the Vortex and Old Vic Tunnels among other venues. The band plans to release a debut EP in late 2014.

Elo Masing
Elo Masing is an Estonian composer/free improviser currently based in London, UK. Her most recent music explores the physicality of instrumental performance in chamber music, focusing on relations with choreography. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal Academy of Music, and with support from the Academy receives private tuition from Rebecca Saunders.

Elo’s works have been performed internationally, most recently by the mmm... ensemble in Tokyo, Japan and by the Platypus Ensemble in Wiener Konzerthaus, Austria. In early 2012, she was selected on the LSO Soundhub Scheme and later that year won the Alan Bush Composition Prize for her piece ‘studies in resonance’ for two pianos, commissioned by duoDorT with support from Arts Council England and released on the duo's album ‘Quantulum’ in Autumn 2012.

Eloise Riddell
Eloise has both an MA and a BMus (Hons) from the Royal Academy of Music. She has spent five years studying the double bass  (with Duncan McTier and Graham Mitchell) and has taken part in many outreach projects including experience with English Touring Opera, English Chamber Orchestra, Resonate and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Eloise is also a successful performer, having this year played with the Britten Sinfonia and London Sinfonietta as well as gaining a place on the London Symphony Orchestra String Scheme, where she has been mentored and played with the orchestra on several occasions.

Avril Freemantle
Avril is currently studying for her MA at the Royal Academy of Music having previously trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she studied violin with Thelma Handy, Leader of the RLPO, and graduated in 2012 with a BMus Honours Degree and an LRSM with Distinction. Avril has recently played side-by-side with the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Britten Sinfonia, and played lead violin the premiere of the new musical the 8th Fold, at the Duchess Theatre, London. She is currently a violinist in the Southbank Sinfonia and has led the orchestra in performances of Scheherazade at LSO St Lukes and a programme of Brahms and Beethoven at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Avril has a keen interest in educational work and has worked with the BBC Philharmonic and Hallé orchestral outreach departments. This year she has been working on projects with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.

Gidon Fineman
It was on a trip to the circus, aged three, that Gidon first expressed (to sympathetic ears) his ambitions of becoming a clown. Not having been taken there since, his flair for the dramatic, nevertheless, persisted, re-emerging through various thespian, and later musical guises. In his early teenage years Gidon began to take writing music more seriously, developing a special interest in music for the stage, and the language of musical theatre. After failing to obtain the performance rights to adapt Eva Ibbotson’s novel ‘Monster Mission’ into a stage musical, Gidon began pestering Neal Foster, the actor/manager of the Birmingham Stage Company, until at age sixteen, he was landed with his first professional commission, creating the music for their national touring production of ‘The Jungle Book’.

Following this, Gidon went on to study Composition, Piano and Trumpet at Junior Guildhall before taking up a place on the undergraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music. Current projects include working with the Bristol school of Animation, ongoing collaborations with the musical theatre department at the Academy, and a commission from the Museum of Oxford. His concert pieces have been performed at the Guildhall New Music Festival, the Oxford Music Festival, the Chichester Festival, and at the Royal Academy of Music. His most eccentric project to date was a commission from ArboCarb, a reforestation project in the west of Ghana.

Gidon also enjoys teaching and community project work, and is currently the musical director for the JW3 amateur dramatics troup Spielers.

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