Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts have garnered her critical acclaim and a devoted following on the world stage. Anthony Tommasini remarked in the New York Times that ‘Montero’s playing had everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power … soulful lyricism … and, best of all, unsentimental expressivity’.
Recipient of the prestigious 2018 Heidelberger Frühling Music Prize, Montero’s recent highlights include debuts with the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas; Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra with Aziz Shokhakimov; Orquesta de Valencia with Pablo Heras-Casado; and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Carlos Miguel Prieto, the latter of which saw her feature as Artist-in-Residence for the 2019/20 season. Montero also recently performed her own Latin Concerto with the Orchestra of the Americas at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Edinburgh International Festival, as well as at the New World Center with Carnegie Hall’s NYO2.
Additional highlights include a second tour with the cutting-edge Scottish Ensemble, this time with Montero’s latest composition, Babel, as the centrepiece of the programme; her long-awaited return to Warsaw in 2018 for the Chopin in Europe Festival, marking 23 years since her prize win at the International Chopin Piano Competition; and return invitations to work with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jaime Martin and the Orquestra de Cadaqués, and Alexander Shelley and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras to date, from the Dresdner Philharmonie and Vienna Symphony Orchestra to the Australian Chamber Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra. A graduate and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, Montero is also a frequent recitalist and chamber musician, having given concerts at distinguished venues across the world, from Wigmore Hall to Vienna Konzerthaus and Sydney Opera House. She has appeared at many international festivals, including Edinburgh Festival, Salzburg and Lucerne, among others.
Huw Morgan is Principal Trumpet of the Sinfonieorchester Basel in Switzerland, a founder member of the acclaimed brass ensemble Septura and Assistant Lecturer at the Musikhochschule Luzern. He has won a number of international trumpet competitions including the Prague Spring, Ellsworth Smith, Girolamo Fantini, Only Brass and Lieksa.
Recent solo highlights include concerto appearances with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, Hamburg Camerata, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Irish Chamber Orchestra. He has also featured at numerous international festivals including Cheltenham, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Ticino, International Trumpet Guild and Kaposvár. A passionate exponent of contemporary music, Morgan has premiered works by Leif Segerstam, Paul Max Edlin, Karl Jenkins and Jonathan Harvey.
Morgan has been featured on over thirty commercially available recordings (EMI, Decca, Chandos) and can be heard as the solo trumpeter on the soundtrack to the BAFTA-nominated film, Me and Orson Welles. The first album in his ground-breaking series for Naxos Records, The Art of the Modern Trumpet, has garnered international acclaim since its release in 2019, described variously as a “sensational debut”, “exquisitely interpreted”, and “played with great elegance”. The second and third volumes will be released in 2021.
Alongside his solo activities, Morgan appears regularly as guest principal with many leading ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and Nash Ensemble. A frequent guest professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, he has presented masterclasses throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.
Born in South Wales, Morgan studied at Chetham’s School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. His principal teachers included John Dickinson, Murray Greig, James Watson, Mark David, Robert Farley, and Frits Damrow.
Following eight years as Music Director, Ludovic Morlot is now Conductor Emeritus of the Seattle Symphony. During his time there, Morlot’s innovative programming has encompassed not only his choice of repertoire, but theatrical productions and performances outside the traditional concert hall space. There have been numerous collaborations with musicians from different genres, commissions and world premieres. Under Morlot’s baton, 19 recordings have been released under the Seattle Symphony Media label, the orchestra has received ﬁve Grammy Awards and was also named Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year.
Current plans include Morlot’s debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna Symphony. He is also an Associate Artist of the BBC Philharmonic.
Morlot has a strong commitment to working with young musicians and is scheduled to conduct student orchestras at Yale University and at the Royal Academy of Music, as well as returning to the Aspen Festival. He is Artistic Director of the National Youth Orchestra of China and, in 2019, led their European Tour, having conducted their inaugural concerts in New York and China two years earlier.
Morlot has conducted, among others, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Czech Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared at the BBC Proms, Wien Modern and Edinburgh International Festival. Other recent notable performances have included the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony. Morlot has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which he has conducted in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America.
Morlot was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years, during which time he conducted several new productions including La clemenza di Tito, Jenůfa and Pelléas et Mélisande, as well as concert performances in both Brussels and at the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival.
Trained as a violinist, Morlot studied conducting at the Monteux School & Music Festival, Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music. He is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington School of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
An ex-sprinter and half the size of her double bass, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE has gained a reputation as one of the finest exponents of her instrument today.
Chi-chi is a classical double bassist and has performed as Principal bass player, chamber musician and soloist with many of Europe’s leading orchestras. In 2015 she founded the Chineke! Foundation, Europe’s first majority Black and ethnically diverse professional orchestra and Junior Orchestra to provide outstanding opportunities to already established, and up-and-coming Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s motto is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music'.
Chi-chi was a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and held the position of Principal double bass there for 30 years. She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was made a Fellow in 1998.
Some of her notable chamber recordings include Schubert’s Trout Quintet (recorded three times), and Octet, Beethoven Septet, Hummel Piano quintet and Boccherini Sonatas. Chi-chi’s solo recording of Dittersdorf and Vanhal Concertos with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra (Hyperion) received critical acclaim.
In 2012 Barrie Gavin directed a documentary film about Chi-chi’s career called Tales from the Bass Line.
As a broadcaster, Chi-chi presented BBC Radio 3 Requests for four years, she guest presents for the BBC Proms and was a Jury member of BBC 2 TV Classical Star and BBC Young Musician 2020. She presented a two-part series for BBC Radio 4 in 2015 which brought to life the stories and music of black composers and musicians from the 18th century, whose vivid presence on the classical music scene have slipped through the net. Her BBC R3 documentary on the 18th century black virtuoso violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower (the original dedicatee of Beethoven’s violin sonata No.9) will air in July 2021. Chi-chi presented a series for Classic FM entitled Chi-chi’s Classical Champions in 2020 and will present her next series in May/June 2021.
Chi-chi was awarded the Black British Business Awards, Person of the Year 2016 and was the recipient of the ABO Award 2017, awarded for ‘the most important contribution to the orchestral life of the UK’. She was named in the Top 10 of the BBC Woman’s Hour, Women in Music Power List 2018 and, in 2018, was awarded the inaugural Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award for Women in the Arts at the Commonwealth Business Women’s Awards. Chi-chi was voted to the Powerlist of Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People in 2019, 2020 and 2021. She was named in the 2020 book of 100 Great Black Britons. Chi-chi was awarded the MBE in 2001 and the OBE in 2017 for Services to Music.
Michael Nyman is a composer, pianist, librettist, writer, musicologist, photographer and film-maker whose work encompasses opera, concert music and film soundtracks of which The Draughtsman's Contract and The Piano are the best-known. Since founding the Michael Nyman Band in 1977, which tours the world, he has worked with leading film directors and has collaborated with artists such as Mary Kelly, Damon Albarn, Carsten Nicolai and the Oscar-winning Man on Wire star Phillippe Petit. Recent work includes several contributions to what is an intended series of 19 symphonies. Further War Work: 8 Songs with Film is a powerful example of Nyman's work as a composer and also film-maker. His music is available via an extensive range of recordings on his own label, MN Records.
Within a year of graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Erika Öhman joined the Hallé Orchestra as assistant timpanist and percussionist. She enjoys a varied freelance career with numerous orchestras in the UK and her native Sweden, including Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she featured as soloist in Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Étoiles.
Amongst other chamber projects, Öhman often performs together with her sister Karolina in the award-winning cello/percussion duo UmeDuo. Awards include first prize in the prestigious Swedish competition Ung & Lovande, resulting in two tours of Sweden. Other performances include festivals and collaborations throughout Europe, Russia and Iran. UmeDuo released their first CD Scrapes and Soundscapes in 2019.
In 2013, she was honoured to be made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
British-Nigerian actor Sam Oladeinde completed a Masters (with distinction) at the Royal Academy of Music in 2018, fully funded by an inaugural scholarship from Disney Theatrical Productions. He previously read Law at the University of Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor in a leading global law firm.
Oladeinde made his professional debut in the original West End cast of Hamilton, understudying Burr, Lafayette/Jefferson and Mulligan/Madison. He subsequently originated the role of Lord Pinkleton in the UK premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (in concert) at Cadogan Hall and played Motumbo/Guard in The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Most recently, he was Understudy Ramses in the original West End cast of The Prince of Egypt, which had its world premiere at the Dominion Theatre, London in February 2020.
He will soon return to the Dominion Theatre to star as Young Scrooge / Fred in a socially distanced all-star West End production of Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent's A Christmas Carol.
Oladeinde is involved in a diverse range of plays, films, workshops, musicals, concerts and projects around the UK and abroad.
Winner of the Pianist Prize at the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition, Michael Pandya is an increasingly sought-after pianist specialising in song and chamber music. He has appeared in performance alongside many high calibre musicians including Graham Johnson, Željko Lučić, Jonathan Lemalu, Robin Tritschler, Harriet Burns and William Thomas, and has performed across the UK, Europe and USA. The past two years have also brought accompaniment prizes at the Gerald Moore Award, Kathleen Ferrier Awards and Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards.
Pandya has recently appeared in performance at the Wigmore Hall, Bayerische Staatsoper, KlavierFestRuhr, Oxford Lieder Festival, Newbury Spring Festival, Royal Overseas-League London, Hinchingbrooke Bösendorfer Series, the Barbican Hall, Leeds Lieder Festival and several live performances on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. Upcoming engagements include recitals with cellist Leo Popplewell for the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme, recitals for Making Music with soprano Charlotte Bowden and recitals as an Oxford Lieder Young Artist alongside soprano Harriet Burns, including at the Two Moors Festival. He is a Samling Artist, as well as being a regular pianist for the Samling Academy. He has given recitals for the Park Lane Group and the Concordia Foundation, and received the Graham Johnson Fellowship at SongFest, Los Angeles in 2017.
He is continuing as a Young Artist at the Bayerische Staatsoper Opera Studio for the 2020/21 season. An experienced repetiteur and vocal coach, he worked as a repetiteur for New Chamber Opera for two years, directing, coaching and conducting numerous productions. He is also a scholar of and regular pianist for the Georg Solti Accademia.
Pandya studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music and University of Oxford. Teachers have included Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Michael Dussek, James Baillieu, Ian Brown, Caroline Palmer and Sholto Kynoch.
Michael writes of his time at the Academy:
'My time at the Academy was a hugely fruitful and fulfilling period. The weekly piano lessons resulted in vast levels of improvement in my playing, but perhaps what I learnt more than anything else was the importance of establishing and maintaining connections with other musicians. Through the frequent inter-departmental opportunities and social events that happen at the Academy, as well as group classes and performance opportunities, one is able to form lasting partnerships with musicians who share the enthusiasm for collaboration. Aside from this, the art of practicing was something I started thinking about while studying at the Academy; I began by practicing 5/6 hours per day but, if I’m honest, not using most of that time particularly productively. Now that I’m working a full-time schedule of coaching and rehearsals in Bayerische Staatsoper, I don’t get much time to practice, so I’m thankful that I learnt that sometimes getting a good 30 minutes of focused practice is actually far more beneficial than playing for three hours without full focus and commitment. Making the most of every minute of practice is something I learnt from my time at the Academy that I’ll undoubtedly benefit from throughout my career.'
Roxanna Panufnik studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and, since then, has written a wide range of pieces - opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, orchestral and chamber compositions, and music for film and television - which are performed all over the world.
Panufnik has a great love of world music - this has culminated in her Four World Seasons for violinist Tasmin Little, the world premiere of which was picked by BBC Radio 3 to launch their Music Nations weekend, celebrating the London Olympics; her multi-faith Warner Classics CD Love Abide and Dance of Life: Tallinn Mass for Tallinn Philharmonic, commissioned to celebrate Tallinn’s reign as European Capital of Culture.
She is especially interested in building musical bridges between faiths and her first project in this field was the violin concerto Abraham, commissioned for Daniel Hope, incorporating Christian, Islamic and Jewish chant to create a musical analogy for the fact that these three faiths believe in the same one God. This work was subsequently converted into an overture for the World Orchestra for Peace and premiered in Jerusalem and London under the baton of Valery Gergiev, in 2008 and at the 2014 BBC Proms. In 2017 her opera Silver Birch, commissioned by Garsington Opera, was met with great audience and critical acclaim.
2018, Panufnik’s 50th Birthday year, saw some exciting commissions and premieres for the BBC Last Night of the Proms and a co-commissioned oratorio Faithful Journey- a Mass for Poland for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Poland, marking Poland’s centenary as an independent state. In 2019, a new commission for two conductors and two choirs was premiered by Marin Alsop and Valentina Peleggi with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Panufnik has just finished an epic work for the Rundfunk Chor Berlin plus 9 other choirs from all over the world, which was due to be premiered at the Berlin Philharmonie in May 2020 (cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis).
Roxanna’s compositions are published by Peter’s Edition Ltd and recorded on many labels including Warner Classics, Signum, Chandos, and EMI Classics.
Valentina Peleggi is Music Director Designate of the Richmond Symphony (Virginia). Described by the BBC Music Magazine as a 'rising star', Peleggi has led orchestras from around the world, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Orchestra of Wales, Norrkoping Symphony (Norway), Orchestra della Toscana and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and will shortly release her first CD on Naxos.
Originally from Florence, Peleggi was the first Italian woman to enter the conducting program at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and more recently was honoured with the title of Associate. Currently a Mackerras Fellow with the English National Opera and Guest Music Director with the Theatro São Pedro in São Paulo, Brazil, Peleggi previously served as Resident Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of their professional symphonic chorus. She won the 2014 Conducting Prize at the Festival International de Inverno Campos do Jordão, received a Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California, and the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship 2015-2017 under Marin Alsop.
Born into a family of acclaimed Russian classical accordionists, Iosif Purits is renowned for his effortless mastery of the instrument. He boasts a truly international career with appearances at concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, George Weston Recital Hall and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
Purits came to prominence as recipient of the coveted Royal Academy of Music Patrons Award offering a Wigmore Hall debut to the most outstanding student across all instrumental departments, and prizewinner of The Arts Club Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award. He was the first-ever BBC Music Introducing classical artist, which led to showcase performances on BBC Radio 3, the Cheltenham Music Festival, Latitude Festival and Southbank Centre.
Purits’s extensive repertoire ranges from JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition to Bent Sørensen’s Looking on Darkness and Magnus Lindberg’s Metal Work. Distinguished not only as a solo performer but also as an enthusiastic chamber music collaborator, he has established duo partnerships with cellist Cecilia Bignall, guitarist Andrey Lebedev and clarinetist Mikhail Mering.
Purits was the first-ever Russian child to win the under-12 category at one of the most prestigious accordion competitions in the world, in Klingenthal, Germany, where, 13 years later, his repeat success in the main category at the 50th anniversary competition was described as ‘ensuring his place in history’. Since then, his numerous awards have included 17 first prizes at international contests such as Italy’s Competition of Accordionists, Arrasate Hiria and Trophée Mondial.
Purits was awarded a full scholarship for postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated with Regency Award in 2017. Prior to that, he was a student of Friedrich Lips at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music.
Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
From 1980 to 1998, Sir Simon was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. He moved to Berlin in 2002 and held the positions of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker until he stepped down in 2018. He became Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017 and spent the 2017-18 season at the helm of both ensembles.
Music education is of supreme importance to Sir Simon and his partnership with the Berliner Philharmoniker broke new ground with their education programme, Zukunft@Bphil, earning him the Jan Amos Comenius Prize, the Schiller Prize from the city of Mannheim, a Golden Camera and a Urania Medal. He and the Berliner Philharmoniker were also appointed International UNICEF Ambassadors in 2007 – the first time this honour has been conferred on an artistic ensemble.
Sir Simon has also been awarded several prestigious personal honours including a knighthood, becoming a member of the Order of Merit and being given the Freedom of the City of London.
Sir Simon has longstanding relationships with the leading orchestras in London, Europe and the USA, initially working closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and is also a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
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.
With recent awards including the Symphoniker Hamburg’s inaugural Sir Jeffrey Tate Prize and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, Timothy Ridout has confirmed his position at the forefront of young European soloists. He has been a BBC New Generation Artist since 2019 and will join the Bowers Program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2021.
Recent concerto engagements include Hector Berlioz’s Harold en Italie with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine and Orchestre National de Lille; Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat at Sion Festival (alongside Janine Jansen) and with Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Camerata Salzburg; Béla Bartók with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Symphoniker Hamburg and Sinfonieorchester Aachen; William Walton with Philharmonia Orchestra and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester; and the Benjamin Britten Double Concerto with Tapiola Sinfonietta and Siberian State Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, David Zinman, Gabor Takács-Nagy, Sylvain Cambreling and Sir András Schiff.
Equally in demand as a recitalist and chamber musician, Ridout’s engagements include several appearances per season at Wigmore Hall, as well as throughout the UK, Europe and Japan, plus invitations to festivals across Europe and America. His chamber music collaborators include Joshua Bell, Isabelle Faust and Christian Tetzlaff, among many others, and he also maintains a regular relationship with The Nash Ensemble.
His second album, Music for Viola & Chamber Orchestra: Vaughan Williams, Martinu, Hindemith & Britten, was released to general acclaim in February 2020, following his debut in 2017, Henri Vieuxtemps: Complete works for Viola.
In 2016, Ridout won first prize in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition; other prizes include the 2019 Thierry Scherz Award at the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad and first prize at the 2014 Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition.
Born in London in 1995, Ridout studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence. He completed his Master’s at the Kronberg Academy with Nobuko Imai in 2019 and in 2018 took part in Kronberg Academy’s Chamber Music Connects the World.
Described by Neue Muzikzeitung as ‘the Jamie Oliver of animateurs’, Paul Rissmann enjoys a varied career which includes composing music, talking about music and inspiring others to make and perform their own music. He currently holds the positions of Animateur with the London Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Composer in Residence for Music in the Round and Creative Partner of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Paul is a passionate music educationist whose projects has been acclaimed by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Royal Television Society. In 2014, he appeared as creative director in a Channel 4 documentary Addicts’ Symphony, which explored how music can be therapeutic in overcoming addiction.
Frequently commissioned to transform children’s literature into symphonic scores, Paul won a British Composer Award in 2012 and was nominated for an Ivor Novello Composer Award in 2020. His diverse portfolio of compositions includes an orchestral suite inspired by Alice in Wonderland, a setting of the New York Times bestseller What Do You Do With an Idea?
Paul’s music has been commissioned and performed by orchestras all over the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Luxembourg Philharmonic. Recent commissions include a prequel to Stravinsky’s Firebird ballet for the LPO and a setting of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing for the ASO.
Paul creates and performs bespoke orchestral events for people of all ages which range from full-scale concerts for the under-5s to a critically acclaimed series of music discovery concerts for adults called Naked Classics. He has guest-presented Classics Unwrapped for BBC Radio Scotland, dissected the world of opera for Glyndebourne in Behind the Curtain and performed a series of open-air classical concerts with the LSO in London’s Trafalgar Square.
In 2013 Paul was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Jane Rogers is one of the UK’s leading exponents in baroque and classical viola. At the age of sixteen she was awarded a music scholarship to St. Edward’s College Liverpool and went on to study viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London. During this time she gained a place in the European Union Baroque Orchestra and then began freelancing in the field of Early Music.
She was co-principal viola in The English Concert for ten years and played principal viola with the English Baroque Soloists, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and King’s Consort. She is currently principal viola with the Academy of Ancient Music, La Nuova Musica and Brecon Baroque. She also plays frequently with Arcangelo, Classical Opera, Dunedin Consort, Florilegium and La Serenissima. A keen chamber musician, she was also a member of the Amsterdam String Quartet, Terzetto and the Eroica String Quartet during which time she worked closely with Professor Clive Brown.
Roger’s recording career has been prolific and she has featured on over 200 CD recordings for Erato, Channel Classics, Deutsche Grammophone, Decca, Hyperion and Chandos as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player.
She enjoys and devotes a great deal of time to teaching and coaching chamber music. She holds a post of professor of historical viola and viola d’amore at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She has taught and given masterclasses at the Royal Conservatory Amsterdam , Prince Claus Conservatoire Groningen, Royal Irish Academy of Music Dublin, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal College of Music, Trinity College Dublin, Sydney Conservatorium, Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne and Hong Kong Music Academy.
In 2016 she qualified as a Bach Flower Remedies practitioner and gives workshops and sessions on performance anxiety.
Hailed by the New York Times as a ‘talent of extraordinary dimension’ and praised by Segovia for his ‘musicality and guitaristic technique’, David Russell is now firmly established in the elite group of classical guitarists regularly appearing in the most prestigious venues around the world.
Born in Glasgow, he spent his childhood on the Spanish island of Menorca. After learning the guitar initially with his father, he moved to London to continue his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Hector Quine. In 1974 he was awarded a grant to study with José Tomas in Santiago de Compostela. First prizes in numerous international competitions soon followed, including the Andrés Segovia Competition in Palma de Mallorca and the Francisco Tárrega Competition in Benicasim.
Since 1995 he has had an exclusive contract with Telarc International, with whom he has produced a series of acclaimed recordings, notably of Spanish and Baroque composers, culminating in Aire Latino, which in 2005 won a Grammy award in the category of best instrumental soloist in classical music. Composers, such as Carlo Domeniconi, Guido Santorsola and, more recently, Sergio Assad and Stephen Goss, have all dedicated pieces to him and several of his own transcriptions have been published.
In the town in Menorca where he grew up, a street has been named after him – as has a new auditorium in the music conservatory of Vigo in northwest Spain, where he now lives. Russell is greatly in demand at major international festivals not only as a performer, but also as a teacher in masterclasses, where his work with younger players has been highly influential. In 1997 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2010 was appointed as Visiting Professor.
In 2009 David was named honorary member of "Amigos de la Guitarra", the oldest guitar society in Spain.
Hailed as a ‘born communicator’ by the Independent, Karim Said came to the public’s attention in 2009 playing concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra under the late Sir Colin Davis (Barbican Centre, London) and at the BBC Proms with Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra. Said’s latest solo album Legacy was released on Rubicon Classics (UK) in November 2018. It received 5 Stars for interpretation and repertoire on West German Radio (WDR) and was described by Nicholas Kenyon in the Guardian/Observer as a programme ‘dispatched with intelligence and grace.’ Karim’s passion for early and modern music has earned him a reputation for stimulating programming, which led to a debut at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) in June 2019. Last year’s highlights include a recital debut at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin and the launch of the Etihad Chamber Orchestra in his native Jordan as its first Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.
Karim Said was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2017.
Joel Sandelson recently completed two years as Assistant Conductor at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Leverhulme Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and continues as director of Wond’rous Machine, a London-based period instrument orchestra. He graduated from Cambridge University in 2016 with a double starred first in music, receiving multiple prizes, and then studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Sian Edwards, gaining the DipRAM prize.
In various settings he has conducted orchestras including the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Hallé, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of St John’s and Red Note Ensemble. He won third prize at the Siemens-Hallé International Conductors Competition 2020, reached the final 12 at the Malko Competition for Young Conductors 2018 and won first prize in the Cambridge University Conducting Competition in 2014 and 2015.
He has assisted conductors including Thomas Dausgaard, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Trevor Pinnock, Yan Pascal Tortelier and John Wilson. He has also studied at Tanglewood as well as with conductors including Martyn Brabbins, Sir Roger Norrington, Mark Stringer, Jorma Panula, Thomas Søndergård and Joseph Swensen. He was conductor of the Barbican Chamber Orchestra 2013-17, and in Cambridge he was Conducting Scholar of the Cambridge University Music Society for two years, conducting concerts with the university’s flagship symphony orchestra at home and on tours in Europe.
Originally a cellist, highlights have included several recitals at Wigmore Hall, concertos with orchestras in the UK and Europe, premieres of solo and chamber works by Lowell Liebermann, Sir Nicholas Jackson and Kamran Ince, chamber collaborations with the Endellion and Celan Quartets, and success in several national competitions, including reaching the strings final of BBC Young Musician. As a baroque cellist, he has performed with ensembles including La Serenissima and members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Praised as ‘exceptional’ and his playing ‘deft and responsive’ (the Observer), Keval Shah has quickly established himself at the forefront of a new generation of song pianists, with appearances at concert halls and festivals across Europe, and a string of competition successes.
Recent highlights include concerts at the Buxton International Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival, as well as an Artist in Residence series at Burgh House, and recitals as part of an ongoing project to perform the complete songs of Hugo Wolf. In September 2019, Shah was the official accompanist for the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition. His performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Danish national radio (DR P2), and he has recorded for Decca Classics. His debut album, with bass-baritone Michael Mofidian, is due for release on the Linn Records label in 2021.
Away from the recital platform, Shah is carving an international career as a teacher. After a spell teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, in September 2020 he will take up the position of Lecturer of Lieder at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he will be the youngest professor in the institution’s history.
Shah is also active as a broadcaster and writer. He is a regular contributor and presenter for BBC Radio 3 and holds an Edison Fellowship at the British Library, where he is researching changing trends in the recorded performances of the songs of Hugo Wolf.
A former Britten-Pears Young Artist and Oxford Lieder Young Artist, Shah studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from both institutions with distinction. His teachers have included Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau, and he has also benefited from tuition with Roger Vignoles, Bengt Forsberg and Helmut Deutsch.
Shah writes of his time at the Academy:
'My time at the Academy was absolutely critical in helping me to discover and hone my artistic identity. After a brilliant, but mainly academic, undergraduate experience, my two years on the MA programme at the Academy gave me the space and time to focus on my playing, building and refining my technique at the same time as learning much of the core song repertoire. Being surrounded by fellow pianists and a cohort of talented singers, I found myself in the ideal environment to forge musical partnerships and friendships which I now carry with me through my career. The enormous amount of performance opportunities, both in the building and at external venues like Wigmore Hall, gave me the stage experience I desperately needed, and through that I learnt so much about what it means to perform, and what it takes to do it successfully.
I was able to make the most of all the opportunities and possibilities of Academy life because I had the constant support and supervision of my professors. Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau helped me to establish the strongest possible technical and musical foundation, and then taught me how to move beyond that foundation, allowing me to discover a physical and expressive freedom which has continued to expand the possibilities of my playing.
The most special thing about the Academy for me has always been the atmosphere of creativity and love for this art form. Being exposed every day to such an energetic environment has constantly renewed my passion for and dedication to what I do – stepping through the doors of the Academy is the best possible way of reminding oneself of the great privilege and joy of making music, and I am forever grateful for everything the Academy has been for me.'
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.
Lauded as ‘superbly subtle and virtuosic’ (The Arts Desk) and ‘an amazingly accomplished artist’ (Classical Source), Ksenija Sidorova is a major ambassador for the classical accordion and collaborates regularly with leading composers and musicians. Her repertoire spans from JS Bach to Astor Piazzolla, from Efrem Podgaits to George Bizet, as well as two new accordion concertos composed especially for her and a multitude of chamber projects.
Encouraged to take up the instrument by her grandmother, Sidorova started to play the accordion aged six under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown of Riga. Her quest for more exposure to both classical and contemporary repertoire took her to London, where she became a prize-winning undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music.
In May 2012, she became the first international award winner of the Bryn Terfel Foundation and in October 2015 appeared at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Terfel’s 50th birthday celebrations. Released in June 2016, Sidorova’s debut album with Deutsche Grammophon is a fascinating take on Carmen and has delighted audiences across the world.
Future events for Sidorova include performing with the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St Petersburg, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, where she will be Artist in Residence. She will also perform at the Rheingau Musik Festival with Kammerorchestre des Bayerische Rundfunks.
Sidorova plans to continue her collaboration with artistic colleagues such as Avi Avital and Itamar Doari with a European tour of her Between Worlds project, as well as performing chamber music recitals in concert halls across Europe and Asia.
Sidorova is a recipient of both the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship Fund and Friends of the Philharmonia award, as well as the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal. Since 2016, she has been an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Gwilym is one of the most gifted pianists and imaginative composers on the British scene. Able to move effortlessly between jazz and classical music, he can, at times, inhabit both worlds and has been described as stylistically reminiscent of Keith Jarrett, complete with ‘harmonic sophistication and subtle dovetailing of musical traditions’ as well as being a pianist of ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘dazzling’ ability. His music has been widely acclaimed as ‘engaging, exciting, often unexpected, melodically enthralling, complex and wonderfully optimistic’.
Simcock’s influences include jazz legends Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and John Taylor and classical composers Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Although principally a jazz artist, he is breaking new ground between genres and often uses classical reference points in his composed work.
Aside from his renowned solo piano work, he has worked extensively throughout Europe with the cream of British and international jazz artists including Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Bob Mintzer and Bobby McFerrin. His own groups as leader range from trio to big band. His debut album Perception featured his sextet with Stan Sulzmann (saxophones), John Parricelli (guitar), Phil Donkin (bass), Martin France (drums) and Ben Bryant (percussion) was nominated for Best Album in the BBC Jazz Awards 2008 and has been critically acclaimed at home and abroad. His most recent release Blues Vignette features both solo piano and work with his new trio with Yuri Goloubev (bass) and James Maddren (drums). The album has been universally praised as ‘sublime’, ‘flawless’, ‘impressive’ and ‘a marker that few others are likely to equal’.
Winner of the Perrier Award, BBC Jazz Awards 2005 and British Jazz Awards 2005, Simcock was the first BBC Radio 3 New Generation jazz artist. He was voted Jazz Musician of the Year at the 2007 Parliamentary Jazz Awards nominated for the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards as Best Instrumentalist. His impressive formal education includes Trinity College of Music (London), Chetham’s School of Music (Manchester), where he studied classical piano, French horn and composition and the Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated from the jazz course with first class honours and won the coveted Principal‘s Prize for outstanding achievement.
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’.