British conductor Adam Hickox has already shown considerable promise, demonstrating an impressive fluidity of technique and mature interpretation of a wide symphonic and operatic repertoire. He studied with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated with DipRam and the Ernest Read Prize for Conducting. He was recently announced as Assistant Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.
Hickox's commitments in Rotterdam include assisting for programmes with their Chief Conductor Lahav Shani, Valery Gergiev and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, amongst others. He was recently awarded the Tanglewood Festival's Conducting Fellowship in 2020, selected out of hundreds of applicants.
In the coming season he will also conduct the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, and recent engagements include the UK premiere of Thomas Larcher's Still for viola and chamber orchestra, with Lawrence Power and Collegium; Music of Exile with members of the ARC Ensemble – conducting and reviving works of exiled Jewish composers from the 1930s; assisting on The Turn of the Screw at English National Opera and concerts at the St Endellion and Klosters Music Festivals. In the last year he has also conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
In Autumn 2020 he has been invited to return to English National Opera to conduct Knussen's Where the Wild Things Are and Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, following his work in Autumn 2019 for Birtwistle's The Mask of Orpheus, assisting Music Director Martyn Brabbins. He recently assisted Leo Hussain at Theater an der Wien, and Raphaël Pichon at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in a production directed by Romeo Castellucci of Mozart's Requiem, and in performances of Mozart symphonies, and has also assisted and worked together with Ryan Wigglesworth, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Jac van Steen and Marin Alsop.
Hickox is a graduate of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, where he studied music and composition with Robin Holloway, and was the conductor of the Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, he co-founded the Endelienta Ensemble, which brings together postgraduate instrumentalists for a series of concerts in Cornwall.
After Studying for her BA in Music at Queen’s College, University of Oxford and a postgraduate diploma from the Royal Academy of Music, Alexandra Bellamy completed her training with a stint as Principal Oboe of the European Union Baroque Orchestra. She has since established herself as one of the leading lights in the world of historical performance, having played with many of the UK’s period instrument orchestras. She has featured on several award-winning CDs and is much in demand as a principal and solo oboist.
She was Principal Oboe of the King’s Consort from 1999 to 2008 and featured on many of the group’s recordings from that time, most notably as the soloist on a disc of Handel’s oboe sonatas. She also has a long standing relationship with the chamber group Florilegium and has appeared on several of their discs over the years; as well as the Gabrieli Consort, Arcangelo and Rachel Podger’s Brecon Baroque, with whom she can be heard as soloist in Bach’s Oboe and Violin Concerto on their Bach Concerti disc. As Principal Oboe of the Dunedin Consort directed by John Butt, she has been involved in many highly acclaimed recordings, including the Brandenburg Concerti, St John Passion and Christmas Oratorio. In 2018 she was appointed Second Oboe with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and has since joined them for many wonderful projects.
Other career highlights have included tours of Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra directed by Richard Tognetti, and tours and recordings with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.
Loosely connected to the jazz world but realistically inhabiting her own realm, vocalist, violinist, and composer, Alice Zawadzki, is a distinctive presence on the European creative scene. Her rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) draw upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel, an extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions, “all propelled in a voice of velvet suppleness and gutsy emotional power” (The Arts Desk). She performs extensively as a soloist and a collaborator internationally, having played in Canada, USA, Brazil, Europe and the Far East. Her 2019 release, Within You Is A World Of Spring (Whirlwind Recordings) was met with warm critical praise, being made Contemporary Album of the Month by The Guardian newspaper, and described by Jazzwise Magazine as "Tender in spirit and defiantly anti-genre... A cornucopia of delights." Her debut album China Lane was made Album of the Week by BBC Radio 3, had numerous radio and live appearances, was described by The Guardian as “a genuine original” and led to her being nominated for vocalist of the year by both Jazz FM and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. As an interpreter of new and unusual works, she has premiered several large-scale works both in the UK and internationally. She trained in Jazz voice and composition at the Royal Academy of Music and in violin at the Royal Northern College of Music, with scholarships from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and the Hilda Collens Prize.
Amy Turk is an arranger, composer, session artist and performer from the UK. She is the most-watched solo harpist on YouTube, attracting thousands of views to her ever-increasing list of video uploads. With special interests in percussion, video-game music, film music and popular music of all styles, Turk has created a unique career path through her presence online, pioneering arrangements for solo harp and ensembles.
Using YouTube as her main platform, Turk has created a worldwide audience for her work, taking the harp out of the concert hall and bringing it straight into people’s homes. Through the use of established and newly discovered extended techniques for harp, she has spearheaded the transformation of the harp into a percussive instrument, and found new ways to encompass a wider range of musical genres, from Vivaldi to Napalm Death. Her arrangements have been regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and shared online through Classic FM.
Classically trained from an early age, Turk has been transcribing music she loves throughout her career, with her first pop arrangement for harp ensemble receiving a world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall when she was 15 years old. While studying for a Master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music with Karen Vaughan, Turk elected to transcribe and perform JS Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 for her final recital, and a filmed performance of this piece subsequently became one of her first and most successful uploads to YouTube.
In addition to Turk’s regular video output, 2020 sees the release of Song of Time, a concept album featuring 25 arrangements for harp, ocarina, percussion and voice from the classic 1998 video game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and a trio of original songs for solo harp entitled Syzygy, featuring Turk’s signature percussive style.
Amy Yule studied for her Master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music, where she learned the flute with Michael Cox and Karen Jones as well as the piccolo with Pat Morris. She graduated in the summer of 2017 with distinction as well as several prizes, including the Chris Taylor Flute Award, Jonathan Myall Piccolo Prize, Woodwind Finalists’ Prize and the HRH Princess Alice The Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize. In 2016, Yule also won the Academy Patrons’ Award and performed the resulting recital at Wigmore Hall with pianist Seungwon Lee. Prior to this, Yule studied for her undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music with Laura Jellicoe, Jo Boddington and Richard Davis. Her studies were generously supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund.
While studying at the Academy, Yule participated in several orchestral projects, including the side-by-side scheme with the Philharmonia Orchestra. During her final year of study, she was offered the position of Principal Flute with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, which she held for two years before taking up the same position with The Hallé. She has also recently appeared as Guest Principal Flute with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra.
Chamber music was another subject Yule was able to explore and, while at the Academy, she joined the Moriarty Winds quintet. The ensemble enjoys delivering a variety of performances and educational workshops around the country and its members were Chamber Music Fellows at the Academy for the 2017-18 academic year. Yule’s chamber music engagements also include performing at Lars Vogt’s Spannungen festival in Heimbach and working with Ensemble 360. As well as chamber and solo commitments, she enjoys engaging with young musicians and has recently worked with students at Leeds College of Music, Durham University and both the National Youth Wind Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Anne Denholm is one of the leading British harpists of her generation and served as Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales from 2015 to 2019. After starting her harp lessons at school in South West Wales, Denholm studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Junior Conservatoire, The Purcell School for Young Musicians, Newnham College Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. She received her Master’s degree from the Academy with distinction, studying under Karen Vaughan, and graduating as the first-ever harpist to win the historic RAM Club Prize. In 2020, she was elected an Associate of the Academy.
As a soloist and chamber musician, Denholm enjoys giving regular recitals across the UK and further afield. Highlights include performances for the Wales Harp Festival, Royal Northern College of Music Strings Festival and harp festivals in Bangkok and Colombia. Denholm has also performed across the UK and internationally alongside her flute and harp duo partner, Alena Walentin.
New music is a large part of Denholm’s work; she has been recording and premiering new works for solo harp since 2006 and is a founding member of award-winning contemporary experimental quartet The Hermes Experiment. In 2019, they won the Royal Over-Seas League Mixed Ensemble Prize and their debut album of original commissions, Here We Are, will be released by Delphian Records in July 2020. Denholm has also enjoyed working with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Mahogany Opera.
Denholm makes guest appearances with orchestras and choirs across England, most recently working with the BBC Concert Orchestra, English National Opera and Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. She has recorded CDs with The Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, The Temple Church Choir, Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir and The Carice Singers.
A dedicated teacher, Denholm holds positions at Eton College and Dragon School in addition to her private teaching. She also hugely enjoys working as an instrumental tutor for the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain.
Antoine Bedewi holds the position of Principal Timpanist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, best known as the host orchestra of the world’s biggest international classical music festival, the BBC Proms.
Prior to joining the BBCSO in 2017 he held the position of Co-Principal Timpanist with the London Symphony Orchestra, whilst simultaneously freelancing with all of the major orchestras in London and the UK. He has also performed around the world with a variety of orchestras and conductors including the John Wilson Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Australian World Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Muti. In 2007 he served as the Principal Timpanist at Chile’s national opera house, Teatro Municipal.
As a percussionist, Bedewi appears frequently with the Colin Currie Group, an internationally-acclaimed ensemble founded in 2006 specialising in the music of Steve Reich. With Reich’s personal endorsement the group has performed at international venues including London’s Royal Festival Hall, Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Opera City Tokyo.
Bedewi currently teaches orchestral timpani at the Royal Academy of Music, having previously completed his postgraduate studies there in 2005. Prior to this he was awarded a first-class degree in music from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where he was also presented with the Director’s Prize for all-round excellence and service to the Academy.
His teachers include Simon Carrington and Alan Cumberland, whose virtuosic Two Challenges for Timpani (2003) are dedicated to Bedewi.
South London-born Ashley Henry is one of a new generation of musicians who have been raised with a wide range of influences. His album debut Beautiful Vinyl Hunter saw him nominated by Cerys Matthews for BBC 6 Music’s Album of the Year, only the second jazz album to do so. The album won Jazz Japan's Album of the Year and Henry is France’s Jazz Magazine New Jazz Artist of the Year.
Henry graduated from Royal Academy of Music in 2016, going on to perform with Jason Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Jean Toussaint, the latter featuring on Henry’s record, Easter EP. At the age of just 25, Henry was commissioned as guest resident Musical Director for both Jazz Café and Ronnie Scott's, and won the Jazz FM Live Experience Award. In 2018/2019, he toured with Christine and the Queens and supported Loyle Carner’s 2019 tour.
His live performances have gained outstanding reviews, including a sold-out standing-room-only show as part of the 2019 EFG London Jazz Festival and he featured in BBC Music Introducing at New York's Winter Jazzfest, curated by Gilles Peterson.
Augusta Read Thomas was born in 1964 and has been described by The New Yorker as ‘a true virtuoso composer’. In February 2015, music critic Edward Reichel wrote: ‘Augusta Read Thomas has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.’
Thomas studied composition with Oliver Knussen at Tanglewood, Jacob Druckman at Yale University, Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University and at the Royal Academy of Music. She was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College. Championed by such luminaries as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez and Oliver Knussen, among others, she rose early to the top of her profession and won the coveted Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.
Thomas was the longest-serving Mead Composer in Residence with the Chicago Symphony from 1997 to 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle – one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. During her residency, Thomas played a central part in establishing the thriving MusicNOW series commissioning living composers.
An influential teacher at Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festival and School, Thomas is only the 16th person to be designated University Professor at the University of Chicago, where she founded the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition. As part of the Center, she also founded a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Music Composition and formed a world-class sinfonietta-sized Ensemble. Thomas also envisioned and spearheaded Ear Taxi Festival, a six-day new-music festival in October 2016 celebrating the booming classical contemporary music scene in Chicago.
Thomas’s discography includes 88 commercially recorded CDs and her opera, Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun, received its world premiere in October 2019 at the Santa Fe Opera. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Described as creating a ‘poignant and distinctive sound world’ by Fiona Maddocks for The Observer, accordionist Bartosz Glowacki certainly shows the qualities of a rising star. Winner of numerous competitions, he was named Polish Young Musician of the Year in 2009 and represented his country the following year at the Eurovision Young Musicians. In 2011, he was offered a place under the tutelage of Owen Murray at the Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated with honours in 2016.
Glowacki has performed as a soloist in prestigious concert halls including the Royal Albert Hall, La Salle Cortot and Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of Polish Radio. Founder of the Deco Ensemble, he has worked with renowned artists from various musical worlds, such as Nigel Kennedy and Trevor Pinnock. He also plays regularly with international orchestras and companies, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Opera House. He recently worked with Apartment House on their revival of the opera Dejligt vejr i dag, n’est-ce pas, Ibsen? by Henning Christiansen in New York and Copenhagen.
Glowacki is a City Music Foundation Artist and has received numerous awards from the Zygmunt Zaleski Foundation, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Biddy Baxter and John Hosier Music Trust, and Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. He was selected to be part of the Open Space residencies at Snape Maltings in 2016 and recently won the Sir John Manduell Prize at the Bromsgrove International Competition.
Inspired by Astor Piazzolla, Gustavo Beytelmann and Osvaldo Pugliese, Glowacki started playing the bandoneon in 2016 and has recorded an album with the London Tango Orchestra and the bandoneon parts for the new Lion King stage show at Disneyland Paris.
In 2020, Glowacki released his debut album, Genesis, featuring solo accordion works and double concerto with British jazz guitarist Rob Luft. This album has been praised by critics as a ‘fascinating tour through the centuries’ (Göran Forsling) and showcasing ‘some terrific playing and fine contemporary writing for the instrument’ (Robert Hugill).
Ben Glassberg is the Music Director of Opéra de Rouen-Normandie, where upcoming plans include a new production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and performances of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Since 2019, he has been Principal Conductor of the Glyndebourne Tour, opening his tenure with a production of Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore. Next season he will conduct a new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio at Glyndebourne and on tour around the UK.
On the concert stage, Glassberg has worked with top orchestras in Europe and around the world. Recent highlights include performances with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017, he won First Prize at the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors, making his debut with the Orchestre National de Lyon in the final. Following this collaboration, the orchestra created the position of Chef Invité Associé for him; in this role he has conducted a range of repertoire including Strauss’ Alpine Symphony and works by Pépin, Ades, Haydn and others. Future symphonic highlights include debuts with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de Chambe de Lausanne, as well as returns to Orchestre du Capitol de Toulouse and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
A lover of theatre, Glassberg also enjoys his work in the opera house. Recent seasons have seen him conduct new productions for English National Opera, La Monnaie/De Munt and the Salzburger Festspiele. In 2020/21, he will conduct a new production of The Turn of the Screw directed by Andrea Breth at La Monnaie in addition to his work in Rouen. Future seasons include returns to ENO and Glyndebourne.
Recordings include a CPE Bach Keyboard Concerto with Shani Diluka and Orchestre Chambre de Paris for Mirare and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Tansmann’s Musique du Cour with Thibaut Garcia and Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse for Warner Classics.
Ben Hulme began horn lessons at the age of seven, before being accepted into Chetham’s School of Music, where he studied with Lizzie Davis and Julian Plummer.
During his eight years at Chetham’s, he enjoyed the abundance of wide-ranging opportunities provided by the school and was also fortunate to be a member of the National Children’s Orchestras and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Hulme was then awarded the Sir Elton John scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music. While at the Academy, he studied with Michael Thompson, Richard Watkins, Martin Owen, Katy Woolley and Roger Montgomery, as well as having regular masterclasses with Radovan Vlatković. He also studied the organ with Gerard Brooks.
During his time at the Academy, Hulme had the opportunity to work with conductors Robin Ticciati, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Mark Elder, James Newton Howard, Oliver Knussen, Edward Gardner and John Wilson in the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and Manson Ensemble. He also particularly enjoyed the vast array of chamber music opportunities offered by the brass department under the direction of Mark David and Bob Hughes.
Hulme is a founding member of London Metropolitan Brass, which won the Academy’s Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize in 2017 and claimed third prize at the inaugural Philip Jones Brass International Brass Ensemble Competition in July 2019. The ensemble members were also Academy Chamber Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year.
After graduating from the Academy with a first-class honours degree in July 2019, Hulme embarked on a freelance career, including trials for Principal Horn with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic. Alongside this, he has played Guest Principal with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. Hulme will be joining the BBC Philharmonic as Section Principal Horn in June 2020.
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognised for his electrifying performances, distinctive sound and insightful interpretations. His virtuosic command over the most arduous technical complexities underpins the remarkable depth and understanding of his music making, with Süddeutsche Zeitung lauding his ‘astounding technical gifts, the freshness of his imagination, his intense concentration, the absence of any kind of show, and the unmistakable sense of poetic immersion directed solely at the realization of music’.
A pianist of widespread international acclaim, Grosvenor’s recent and forthcoming concerto highlights include engagements with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Gürzenich-Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre National de France, Hallé Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Filarmonica della Scala and the Philharmonia Orchestra with such esteemed conductors as Andrey Boreyko, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Elim Chan, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Manfred Honeck, Andrew Manze, Kent Nagano, Gianandrea Noseda, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, François-Xavier Roth, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Krzysztof Urbański and Kazuki Yamada.
In recital, Grosvenor regularly performs at major venues such as London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls as well as the Southbank Centre, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Cologne’s Philharmonie, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall and 92nd Street Y. A keen chamber musician, this season sees him embark on a North American tour with the Doric String Quartet, perform duo concerts with violinist Hyeyoon Park, join musicians from the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France for a chamber concert, and perform at the Verbier Festival at Schloss Elmau and at Internationales Musikfestival Koblenz.
Grosvenor signed to Decca Classics in 2011, becoming the youngest British musician ever, and the first British pianist in almost 60 years, to sign to the label. His most recent CD on the label features Frédéric Chopin’s piano concertos, recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of Elim Chan. Named Recording of the Month by Gramophone, the disc was also awarded a Diapason d'Or, with Diapason's critic declaring that the recording is ‘a version to rank among the best, and confirmation of an extraordinary artist.’
Bertie Baigent is Assistant Conductor of the Colorado Symphony and Music Director of Waterperry Opera Festival. Recent and forthcoming highlights include a series of all-Beethoven concerts in Colorado, projects with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra as their Principal Guest Conductor, the League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview and productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni for Waterperry and Handel’s Partenope for Hampstead Garden Opera.
Baigent has assisted Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Jac van Steen and Masaaki Suzuki and collaborated with the Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, London Sinfonietta and Britten Sinfonia. He has also participated in masterclasses with Martyn Brabbins and Pierre-André Valade, and as part of the Dirigentenforum in Germany.
Winner of the Royal Academy of Music’s Sir Henry Wood Scholarship and Ernest Read Prize in 2017, he was the youngest semi-finalist in the London Symphony Orchestra Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2018. Between 2016-18 he was Chief Conductor the London Young Sinfonia.
Born in Oxford in 1995, Baigent read music at the University of Cambridge, going on to study conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Sian Edwards and graduating with distinction. He is also a composer, his music having been commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society and performed by the Aurora Orchestra, Fretwork and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. He is currently based in London and Denver.
Accordionist Borut Zagoranski was born 1980 in Ptuj, Slovenia. His music education started at the music school in his hometown and continued at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet in Maribor, Slovenia. He graduated in 2002 from the Academy of Music at the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia, receiving at the same time the Rector's Award for Best Student. He then enrolled for the Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music and completed his final concert diploma in 2006. His mentors include Marjetka Babić, Slavko Magdić and Owen Murray, as well as other eminent musicians and accordion teachers.
Zagoranski has won numerous national and international accordion competitions. As the Slovenian representative, he reached the finale of the 1998 Eurovision Young Musicians competition in Vienna. He was the 2006 recipient of the prestigious Friends of the Royal Academy of Music Wigmore Award.
He has participated in many renowned international festivals, such as ISCM World Music Days, Highgate International Chamber Music Festival and Glasbeni September Maribor, and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has played under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies, Lalo Schifrin, Pablo Zinger and Marko Letonja, and appeared at distinguished concert venues across the world, such as Wigmore Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus and Benaroya Hall.
Zagoranski is a jury member at international accordion competitions, reviewer of specialised publications and author of university-level accordion curricula. He is professor both at the Academy of Music at the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula and at the Academy of Music at the University in Ljubljana, where he is Head of Chamber Music. Since 2014, he has been an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Božidar Smiljanić’s most recent engagement was the title role in English National Opera’s 2020 production of The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. Following his international operatic debut in 2018/19 as a new member of Oper Frankfurt’s ensemble, Božidar has appeared as Eumée in Corinna Tetzel’s new production of Pénélope and Farasmane in Handel’s Radamisto, and is scheduled to perform Leporello in Christof Loy’s production of Don Giovanni, as well as continuing his series of recitals in the house.
A regular on the concert platform, Smiljanić has already developed a relationship with a number of key conductors and orchestras, with recent highlights including JS Bach’s Mass in B minor with Nathalie Stutzmann and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with John Wilson and Hector Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust with Edward Gardner, both with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Don Giovanni with Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberger Symphoniker; and Handel’s Messiah with Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel, Trevor Pinnock and Das Neue Orchester, and Richard Cooke and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. With a particularly extensive concert repertoire, Smiljanić’s other performances include Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Fauré’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9.
Born and raised in London, Smiljanić made his professional debut in 2014 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and has since debuted with some of the major UK companies, including Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour, before joining English National Opera as a Harewood Artist for 2018/19.
During his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, Smiljanić amassed a variety of operatic roles and was particularly singled out as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky, with Opera magazine describing his performance as ‘charismatic and velvet-voiced, simmering with subtle menace beneath his bonhomie and roaring magnificently in defeat’.
Brian Ferneyhough is widely recognized as one of today's foremost living composers. Since the mid-1970s, when he first gained widespread international recognition, his music has earned him a reputation as one of the most influential creative personalities and significant musical thinkers on the contemporary scene.
Ferneyhough was born in Coventry, England, in 1943 and received formal musical training at the Birmingham School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, London. In 1968 he was awarded the Mendelssohn Scholarship, which enabled him to continue his studies in Amsterdam with Ton de Leeuw, and the following year obtained a scholarship to study with Klaus Huber at the Basel Conservatoire.
Following Ferneyhough’s move to mainland Europe, his music began to receive much wider recognition. The Gaudeamus Composers’ Competition in the Netherlands awarded Ferneyhough prizes in three successive years (1968–70) for his Sonatas for String Quartet, Epicycle and Missa Brevis respectively. The Italian section of the ISCM at its 1972 competition gave Ferneyhough an honourable mention (second place) for Firecycle Beta and two years later a special prize for Time and Motion Study III which was considered the best work submitted in all categories.
Recent works have included Inconjunctions (2014), Contraccolpi (2016), and a collection of encounters influenced by Christopher Tye, Umbrations (2001-2017), premiered by the Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Modern at Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik.
Associated with the most prestigious teaching institutions and international summer schools for contemporary music, from 1984 to 1996 Ferneyhough was Composition Course Co-ordinator at the biennial Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. In 1984 he was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and he has since been named a member of the Berlin Akademie der Künste, the Bayrische Akademie der Schönen Künste and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. Most recently, he was awarded the 2007 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.
Born in Lancashire, bass Brindley Sherratt studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is now a Fellow and Visiting Professor.
Recent highlights include Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera House and Le nozze di Figaro and Manon Lescaut for The Metropolitan Opera. On the concert platform, he has recently performed Tristan und Isolde with Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España; Siegfried and The Apostles with London Philharmonic Orchestra; Fidelio with The Hallé; Theodora with Arcangelo; A Child of our Time with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; and Missa Solemnis with BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Sherratt has also performed at the English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Wiener Staatsoper, Salzburger Landestheater, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Dutch National Opera, Opéra de Nice, Opéra National Bordeaux, Teatro de la Maestranza, Teatro Real, Opernhaus Zürich, Oper Frankfurt and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has appeared at many festivals, including Glyndebourne, Three Choirs, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence, Bregenz, Edinburgh International, Lucerne and Salzburg, and at the BBC Proms.
Sherratt regularly works with leading orchestras and conductors, and recent engagements have included with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under Sir Antonio Pappano; Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis; The Hallé under Sir Mark Elder; Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Harding; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Harry Bicket; Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Louis Langrée.
He has recorded the roles of Polyphemus in Acis & Galatea (Nimbus); Cadmus in Semele and Ariodate in Serse (Chandos); Ubaldo in Imelda de’ Lambertazzi and Goffredo in Il Pirata (Opera Rara); Rocco in Fidelio (Glyndebourne Live); as well as Judas in The Apostles with The Hallé; Missa Solemnis with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and Haydn’s masses and JS Bach’s cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir.
Catherine Beynon began playing the harp at the age of eight and shortly afterwards won a scholarship from Surrey County Council to attend the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where she studied with Daphne Boden. She later gained a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where she continued to study with Boden and also Skaila Kanga. Beynon then completed her studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon with Fabrice Pierre, where she was awarded a DENSM with ‘félicitations du jury’ and completed her postgraduate course with two performances of the Alberto Ginastera Harp Concerto.
She is an extremely enthusiastic chamber musician and has performed across Europe and in Japan with numerous distinguished artists such as Quatuor Debussy, François Le Roux and Lindsay String Quartet, as well as with her sister, flautist Emily Beynon.
Beynon has given solo recitals at Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Fairfield Halls and St Martin-in-the-Fields and in September 1997 made her BBC Proms debut in the Proms Chamber Music Series at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Among Beynon’s numerous recordings, Flute Mystery by Fred Jonny Berg, together with Emily Beynon, Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra, was nominated for a 2010 Grammy, while her recording of Debussy’s Deux danses with Emmanuel Krivine and the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg was released by Timpani in 2012.
As a concerto soloist, Beynon has performed with the English Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and London Chamber Orchestra. In August 1999, she was appointed principal harp of the Royal Danish Orchestra and, in May 2000, she made Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of her distinguished performance in the profession. Beynon was appointed Principal Harp of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in September 2003, a post she continues to enjoy today.
Charlotte Ashton graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2015 with first-class honours and the Principal’s Prize, where she learned flute with Clare Southworth, Karen Jones and Samuel Coles, and piccolo with Sophie Johnson and Helen Keen. Her formal musical training began at the Junior Academy of the Royal Academy of Music, aged 11, before joining The Purcell School for Young Musicians in 2008. She was made an Associate of the Academy in 2018, recognising outstanding contribution to the industry.
In 2016, Ashton was appointed Principal Flute in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and has enjoyed the opportunity to explore a huge range of orchestral music, from core repertoire to the more unusual. Equally at home in the ranks of the orchestra as she is at the front of the stage, she performed Boulez’s Memoriale at the Edinburgh International Festival under Matthias Pintscher in 2016 and, more recently, recorded Bernstein’s Halil with John Wilson for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She also recorded James MacMillan’s Remembering for solo flute, one of 20 Postcards from Composers for solo instruments, commissioned by the BBC and featured on Radio 3, written and recorded remotely under lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to her commitments with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ashton maintains a busy freelance schedule, appearing regularly as Guest Principal Flute with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and John Wilson Orchestra.
As a soloist, Ashton won the 2015 Royal Over-Seas League wind, brass and percussion finals and is the recipient of numerous awards, including Making Music’s Philip & Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists, the Royal Academy of Music’s Chris Taylor Flute Award and the Harold Craxton Memorial Trust Award, as well as being supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust. She has given recitals in venues across the country, such as St John's Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Wigmore Hall and Colston Hall.
A deeply passionate and sensitive pianist, Christian Blackshaw is celebrated for the incomparable musicianship of his performances. His playing combines tremendous emotional depth with great understanding.
Following studies with Gordon Green at the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, winning the gold medals at each, Blackshaw was the first British pianist to study at the Leningrad Conservatory with Moisei Halfin. He later worked closely with Sir Clifford Curzon in London.
Blackshaw has performed worldwide and in festivals as recitalist and soloist with many renowned conductors including Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle, Gianandrea Noseda, Yuri Temirkanov and Sir Neville Marriner. He was Founder Director of the Hellensmusic Festival, which was established in 2013.
His hugely acclaimed Wigmore Hall complete Mozart Piano Sonatas series was recorded for Wigmore Hall Live and released in four volumes. Critics have been unanimous in their praise, describing these ‘landmark’ recordings as ‘captivating’, ‘magical’ and ‘masterful’. Volume 4 was named as one of the Best Classical Recordings of 2015 in the New York Times in addition to Gramophone’s 50 Greatest Mozart Recordings.
Recent notable performances include the Mozart cycle in Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing, a return to the Stars of the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg and debuts at the Schwetzingen Festival and Edinburgh International Festival. He has also been an Artist in Residence at Wigmore Hall. Blackshaw was awarded an MBE in the New Year 2019 Honours List.
Austrian soprano Christina Gansch is the winner of the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Award and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Mozarteum University Salzburg.
Recent highlights have included her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Marzelline in Fidelio for the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In concert, she performed Mahler’s Symphony No 4 at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Zerlina in concert performances of Don Giovanni in Vienna and Lucerne with Musica Aeterna; Gretchen in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; and Beethoven’s Egmont with the Camerata Salzburg. Other recent successes include her debut as Dorinda in Orlando for the San Francisco Opera; Gretchen for Staatsoper Hamburg; Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos for Teatro alla Scala; and Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel for Royal Opera House. Gansch has also appeared at the Salzburg Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris and Opéra national de Montpellier.
In concert, she has appeared at Musikverein Wien with the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Wiener Konzerthaus as part of Resonanzen International Cultural Festival, Verbier Festival, Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Wigmore Hall, the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Highlights include Zerlina in Don Giovanni in St Peterburg and Dortmund with Musica Aeterna; Ilia in Idomeneo at the Ingolstadt Festival; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg; Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Coronation Mass in C major at Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik; Mozart’s Requiem with the Göteborgs Symfoniker; and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.
Gansch’s recordings include Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Music Aeterna and Teodor Currentzis (Sony), Wolf’s Lieder with Malcolm Martineau (Vivat) and Schubert’s Der Hochzeitsbraten with Matthew Rose, Robert Murray and Malcolm Martineau (Stone Records).
Christopher Glynn is a Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist, praised for his ‘irrepressible energy, wit and finesse’ (the Guardian). He is also Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival, programming around 60 events every year in historic venues across North Yorkshire.
Glynn grew up in Leicester and read music at New College Oxford, before studying piano with John Streets in France, and with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music, where he now teaches. Glynn’s many awards include the Accompanist’s Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, a Gerald Moore Award, Geoffrey Parsons Award and a Grammy. A regular artist at Wigmore Hall, Glynn also appears in major concert venues and festivals across the world, including the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, Schubertiade, Oxford Lieder Festival, Leeds Lieder, Royal Opera House, Barbican, Southbank Centre, The Royal Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus and as far afield as Japan, China, Brazil, Russia and Sri Lanka. He has made many CD recordings and is regularly heard on BBC Radio 3.
An interest in bringing classical song to a wider audience recently led Glynn to commission Jeremy Sams to create new English translations of Franz Schubert’s song cycles, recorded for Signum Records. He also enjoys working with young musicians and leads masterclasses for the Samling Institute for Young Artists and Britten-Pears School, as well as adjudicating many international competitions. Away from the piano, Glynn is President of Chiltern Arts and Vice-President of Music in Hospitals and Care.
Recent highlights include performing the Schubert song cycles with Roderick Williams (including a nationwide tour of Winter Journey), CDs exploring the music of Edvard Grieg, Percy Grainger, Donald Swann, Eric Coates and Hamilton Harty, and The Passion with Streetwise Opera. Future plans include further collaborations with Jeremy Sams (Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf songs) and Streetwise Opera, CD recordings with Roderick Williams, Nicky Spence, Kathryn Rudge, Claire Booth and The Sixteen, a tour of Wolf's Italian Songbook and embarking on a project with Rachel Podger to perform and record Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.
Glynn writes of his time at the Academy:
'The Academy has a unique and special tradition of piano accompaniment and some amazing teachers. I was lucky enough to study with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek – but also remember inspiring sessions with string, woodwind and conducting professors too. Accompanists really get the best from conservatoire life because, through their partners, they encounter such a wide cross-section of teachers and influences. The things I learnt - and the colleagues and friends I met - at the Academy have stayed with me throughout my working life. I'm very happy to now teach there, and to see a new generation of student accompanists join the Academy family each year and make their own contribution to its history.'
Christopher Hart graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2016 with Distinction in his Master’s degree, studying under Mark David, Paul Beniston, Gareth Small, Robert Farley and John Hutchins. Prior to this, Chris completed his undergraduate studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, graduating with first-class honours in 2014.
During his time at the Academy, Hart won the John Solomon Brass Prize in 2014, the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize in 2015 and graduated with a DipRAM for an outstanding final recital. He recorded Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for Linn Records as part of the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble and was chosen to play the Peter Maxwell-Davies Trumpet Concerto at the Royal College of Music in January 2016.
His studies at the Academy gave him the opportunity to perform for some of the world's leading conductors, including Semyon Bychkov, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Oliver Knussen, and The Countess of Munster Musical Trust selected Hart to be a member of their Recital Scheme, which saw him perform as a solo artist at music festivals across the UK.
Hart was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow in 2016. Since he joined the orchestra, Hart has been fortunate enough to perform to audiences throughout the UK and across the world, including the USA and China. He has appeared as a soloist with the orchestra in Haydn's Trumpet Concerto with Sir Roger Norrington and the Neruda Trumpet Concerto with Gemma New.
Hart enjoys a busy freelance career alongside his full-time position, having performed as Guest Principal Trumpet with many of the UK's leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Jurowski, Sakari Oramo and Academy alumnus Edward Gardner.