Update for 2016
Formed in 2012, BLOCK4 is a London based recorder quartet featuring Emily Bannister, Lucy Carr, Katie Cowling and Rosie Land. Studying at the Royal College of Music with Ashley Solomon, Julien Feltrin and Maria Martinez Ayerza, BLOCK4 present a dynamic approach to contemporary consort music as well as offering a captivating interpretation of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.The quartet's innovative style has resulted in them being the 2014 winners of the Royal Overseas League Ensemble competition, the first recorder consort to receive this accolade in the competition’s 62 year history. They received a high commendation at the RCM’s Senior Woodwind Prize in 2013, and were awarded the June Emerson Launchpad prize at the competition in 2014. BLOCK4 has recently been named the 2015-16 Ensemble in Residence for Handel and Hendrix Museum - a role which will include a concert series in 2016. BLOCK4 have also performed as Artists of the Concordia Foundation, following a successful debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields in July 2015.
updated for 2016
Antara Duo Thomas Hancox and Rachel Wick started playing together in 2007, when they met while studying at St Peter’s College, University of Oxford. They are now much in demand throughout the country, performing at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Colston Hall, Kensington Palace and Penshurst Place, along with work for concert societies in Canterbury and West Somerset. Beyond their recital work they work for Live Music Now, a charity that brings live music to those who would otherwise rarely, if ever, experience it, and also give educational performances for CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust and the Wigmore Hall. Thomas Hancox has worked as guest principal flute of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, English Chamber Orchestra, and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, along with performances with English National Opera, the Dunedin Consort, the London Handel Orchestra, and the Britten-Pears Orchestra. He is an artist on the Countess of Munster Musical Trust Recital Scheme, and also with Live Music Now. He first read music at St Peter’s College, Oxford, from where he graduated with a first, before pursuing further studies in Paris and subsequently at the Royal Academy of Music finishing with a distinction and the honorary DipRAM. Rachel graduated with a first from St Peter’s College, Oxford University, where she was both an instrumental and academic scholar, and with an MA with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. She has recorded for both the Decca and Avie record labels with New College and Christ Church Cathedral Choirs, Oxford, respectively, and has performed with Her Majesty’s Choir of the Chapel Royal in a concert at Buckingham Palace, which was broadcast on Classic FM on Christmas afternoon. Rachel is an experienced chamber and orchestral musician having played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Orpheus Sinfonia, Orchestra Musica Romantica, City of London Sinfonia, and European Union Youth Orchestra to name but a few.
The Albany Piano Trio is a thriving, dynamic ensemble whose repertoire focuses on works by female composers – both current and historic – alongside the traditional canon of pieces that make the more established body of piano trio repertoire. Founded in 2010, the trio has risen compellingly from a nascent group to an established ensemble, having performed at a large number of high profile venues and gathered insights, via masterclasses and international music courses, from some of the preeminent exponents in their respective fields. They work particularly with Susan Tomes, Simon Rowland-Jones, Lowri Blake and Peter Cropper. Recipients of the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, the Albany Trio have recently been selected by Making Music for inclusion in its concert Promoters’ Network 2013/14 Guide. Other concert experience includes performances around the UK as part of Live Music Now, which the trio have been connected with since 2012. Future engagements include recitals for Darlington Music Society; St. James’s Piccadilly; Peter Gould Music Trust; Winchester Cathedral and a return visit to Belle Serre, Toulouse. Pippa Harrison, piano, has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the UK, Ireland, Holland, Bulgaria and Norway. Gemma Sharples, violin, completed her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was kindly supported by the Howard Davis scholarship, having previously studied music as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford. She is currently enjoying a varied schedule of orchestral work, chamber music and solo projects. Verity Evanson studied music as an undergraduate at St John’s College, Oxford before gaining a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London for a masters course in performance.
The Aurora Trio was established in 2012 by Emma Halnan (flute), Joe Bronstein (viola) and Heather Wrighton (harp) whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Emma and Heather had previously played as a flute and harp duo; in 2010 they performed Mozart’s flute and harp concerto with the European Union Chamber Orchestra. Joe commenced his Masters degree at The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and was invited by Emma and Heather to form the trio. Since its conception, the trio have performed at a number of important venues around the UK, such as the Wigmore Hall. The trio have been fortunate to receive coaching from flautists Kate Hill and William Bennett, violist Martin Outram and harpist Karen Vaughan. They have been awarded a prestigious chamber music fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music for the academic year 2014/15. Emma Halnan (flute) studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She previously learnt at the Purcell School of Music. She recently won the Kenneth Loveland Gift 2014, the International Award Carl Reinecke (Italy) and the Croydon Festival Concerto Competition 2013. Emma plays principal flute in the European Union Youth Orchestra. Joe Bronstein has recently completed his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Prior to this, he achieved a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Manchester. Heather was inspired to play the harp at the age of six and as a junior student at Trinity College of Music she studied harp with Gabriella Dall’Olio and Frances Kelly and continued her studies at The Royal Academy of Music, London with Karen Vaughan, graduating with an MA (Distinction), BMus(Hons) and an LRAM. From a young age Heather has been interested in different types of harps and plays Classical Harp, Celtic, Baroque triple and Paraguayan Harps. Heather currently freelances as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician.
Jernej Albreht - Clarinet
A current student at The RAM, Jernej has performed with the LSO, BBC SO, London Sinfonietta, Dresden Staatskapelle, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. He is active in chamber music, playing regularly with Tritium Trio and Daunt Trio and has appeared as guest with The Brodsky Quartet and New London Chamber Ensemble.
Toby Thatcher - Oboe
In 2012, Toby moved from Australia to London to complete a Master’s Degree at The RAM. Having performed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, he has continued his orchestral career by performing with London Sinfonietta, The Philharmonia Orchestra and The RPO. Toby is also an active conductor, founding The Eroica Ensemble and partaking in conducting masterclasses under the tutelage of conductors such as: Prof. Johannes Schlaefli, Paavo and Neeme Järvi, Jorma Panula and Nicolás Pasquet.
Lois Au - Bassoon
After graduating from The RCM in 2012, Lois held a year-long contract with The Royal National Theatre and since then has been freelancing with ensembles such as: World Orchestra for Peace, ENO, RPO, Aurora Orchestra, Isobel Griffiths sessions, BBC SO, BBC SSO, BBC NOW, LSO Discovery, BSO and LCO. Lois also enjoys educational work such as BBC Inspire, NYO and RCM JD.
The Mellanie Trio was formed in 2014 and by students from the Royal College of Music, London, comprising award-winning instrumentalists Stephanie Ongowinoto (piano), Sally Law (violin), Kuan-Yin Lin (cello), all of whom are scholarship award holders. They have performed at a variety of venues and recent appearances include the Royal College of Music’s Lunchtime Concert Series, a recording session at the Belle Shenkman Studio and a recital at St. Botolph, London. The Mellanie Trio has a particular passion for Classical and Romantic period works, and receives regular coaching from Kathron Sturrock, Richard Lester, Mark Messenger and Leon McCawley. Most recently, they performed in a masterclass for Alina Ibragimova. Indonesian pianist, Stephanie Ongowinoto, began playing the piano at the age of five. Stephanie is currently a Neville Wathen scholar at the Royal College of Music, London, studying with Leon McCawley. Her studies are also generously supported by the Frederick Cox Scholarship and Felix Appelbe. Stephanie has won prizes in many international piano competitions, including the prestigious Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, Germany 2010. More recently, Stephanie was awarded the First Prize in the Appelbe Piano Prize Competition in London. Sally Law is currently a Big Give scholar studying at the Royal College of Music in London under Professor Jan Repko. She has performed many solo recitals and has been concertmaster in the Royal College of Music Chamber Orchestra. Recent solo appearances include concerts in Duino and Palmanova, Italy, and a masterclass with Professor Alexander Bonduryansky. Melody Kuan-Yin Lin is a captivating young cellist who is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London under the tutelage of Richard Lester. Prior to this, she studied in the United States with renowned cellists such as Michael Reynolds, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Ling-Yi Ouyang, Suren Bagratuni, and British conductor Benjamin Zander.
The Minerva Piano Trio was founded in 2012 in London by three young acclaimed soloists with a shared passion for chamber music. They are individually multiple award-winning players, and together they bring a diverse range of musicianship. Pianist Annie Yim has recorded live as soloist and chamber musician on CBC Radio 2 in Canada and BBC Radio 3. She is a doctoral candidate at the Guildhall School of Music studying with Joan Havill, and makes her London concerto debut in May 2013 at LSO St. Luke’s. Violinist Nathaniel Anderson-Frank regularly leads the orchestras at the Royal Academy of Music and has been selected to participate in the LSO String Experience Scheme. Cellist Richard Birchall is a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra, directs Cellophony cello octet and works as a composer and arranger; as a Park Lane Group young artist he has performed at the Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall. The Minerva Piano Trio are currently Concordia Foundation artists and have performed at St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. Paul’s Church Covent Garden and as part of the City University Concert Series. The group have received coaching from Gordon Back and have recently been selected by the ChamberStudio at Kings Place to work with Susan Tomes of the Florestan Trio in a masterclass. They were Finalists in the 2013 Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition.
Jubilee Quartet First prize winners of the ‘Val Tidone International Chamber Music Competition’ 2010, the ‘St. Martin’s Chamber Music Competition’ 2013, and third prize winners of the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition 2013, the Jubilee Quartet was formed in London in 2006. They held a Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music from 2012-13, and are the current Richard Carne Junior Fellows at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. The quartet are award winners of the Tillett Trust ‘Young Artists’ Platform’, the Park Lane Group ‘Young Artists’, the Hattori Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Musicians ‘Concordia Foundation Artists Fund’, and recipients of the Philharmonia MMSF ‘Charles Henderson Ensemble Award’. In 2012 the quartet were finalists in the ‘Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition’, Weimar, and in 2013, the Royal Over-Seas League. The quartet have performed widely throughout the UK and their continental tours have included a performance in the presence of the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. They also enjoy a variety of outreach work as part of the ‘Live Music Now!’ scheme, and have participated in the Lake District Summer Music and St Magnus Festivals. In May the quartet gave their debut recital at the Purcell Room.
Opera Barcarole Made up of soprano Natasha Day, mezzo-soprano Eirlys Myfanwy Davies, tenor Alex Tsilogiannis and pianist David Malusa, Opera Barcarola comprises some of the UK’s most promising young talent. Individually, they have performed internationally at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, following their passion for music. Together, they bring their audiences a varied programme of spectacular opera hits – heart-warming, humorous, unforgettable and, above all, guaranteed to entertain.
All That Malarkey are a Cardiff-based Classical Cabaret act who are dedicated to bringing audiences a fresh sounding, entertaining theatre show, boasting brand new arrangements of songs, sketches, fairy tales, extraordinary medleys and entrancing ballads - all with the Malarkey twist! All That Malarkey perform in theatres, concert halls and manor houses with regularly updated staged programmes that never fail to leave audiences of all ages and tastes roaring, crying and smiling as they witness glamorous, exceptionally high quality music in a completely refreshing, utterly camp and thrilling package.
Quintabile Brass Ensemble was formed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2007, and is one of London’s leading brass quintets. They perform recitals regularly, with highlights including performances at the Barbican, London, Colston Hall, Bristol and Yorkshire’s Newby Hall. Quintabile have had a number of residencies including Newark Brass Festival (2009), Dartington International Music Festival (2010) and the Combret Music Festival, France (2011). As well as this, in 2011 they were finalists in the Worcester Three Choirs Festival Brass Competition and more recently have been invited to perform at the Banff International Music Festival in Canada this coming Summer (2013). Quintabile are proud to be part of the Live Music Now! Scheme, with whom they have performed extensively across the UK. They also have firm links with both the Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire Music services, where they have given workshops to over 2000 children. In 2012 Quintabile received their first major piece of publicity, being featured in a 2 page article in the Brass Herald. That same year they recorded their first studio album, and have been broadcast to international audiences on the BBC World Service.
Eclectic alternative-folk group Tir Eolas was formed four years ago at the Royal College of Music. The band – Philippa Mercer, Ruairi Glasheen, Laura Snowden, Georgie Harris and Hedi Pinkerfeld – draw on their Celtic and English folk roots to create their unique combination of traditional folk songs/tunes and original material. Think virtuosic instrumentals, five-part singing, guaranteed foot- stomping, and time-honoured folk ballads telling stories of love, loss and longing. Having started out busking on the streets of London, in recent times the band have performed together at: Bestival; Cecil Sharp House for the English Folk Dance and Song Society; the City of London Festival; Milton Court Concert Hall; Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club; and Cambridge Summer Music Festival. In July 2013, the band’s performance for BBC Proms Plus at the Royal Albert Hall was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 alongside the poetry of Richard O’Brien. The group are passionate about sharing folk music with one and all, and give regular performances in community settings including: hospitals, hospices and homes for the elderly (working alongside individuals living with dementia); special needs schools; centres for refugees; and centres for adults with learning disabilities. Such activity is frequently undertaken in partnership with specialist outreach organisations such as Live Music Now, the Tri-Borough Music Hub and RCM Woodhouse Centre.
The British a cappella ensemble Apollo5 has been praised for its engaging and entertaining performances. With a repertoire ranging from retro jazz, pop and classical arrangements to Christmas a cappella, they are adept performers on the concert platform, at festivals, private parties and corporate events. The group’s performances in London have included St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Albert Hall, Café de Paris, the Houses of Parliament, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, The Crazy Coqs and Kings Place. Recent UK festivals include The City of London Festival and the Petworth Festival. The five outstanding vocalists also perform internationally, most recently appearing at the Teatro dal Verme, Milan. Apollo5 has broadcast live on Resonance FM and BBC Radio 2. The group has recently worked in partnership with The Sixteen, The National Portrait Gallery and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, presenting an exciting new festival, ‘Sounds Sublime’. Apollo5 is part of the charitable foundation Voces Cantabiles Music (VCM), and is involved in its innovative education programme aiming to inspire creativity through music. The programme, led by VOCES8, reaches 20,000 young people annually, working in over 200 schools in the UK, France, Sweden, the USA and Asia. The foundation has its home at the Gresham Centre, in a beautiful Wren Church in the heart of the City of London. In partnership with the Diocese of London, VCM is establishing a hub for excellence in education, outreach and the performance of vocal music.
The international award winning octet VOCES8 has established itself at the forefront of British a cappella, performing a repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to unique jazz and pop arrangements. The ensemble regularly commissions and collaborates with world-renowned contemporary composers including Ola Gjeilo, Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine and Ben Parry. VOCES8 is delighted to be in partnership with the acclaimed arranger Jim Clements as Arranger in Residence. With an ongoing programme of recordings and live broadcast, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international TV and radio, including Deutschlandradio, ARTE TV, Radio France Musique, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. They have performed at the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, the Tel Aviv Opera House and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. VOCES8 plays a key role in the education work of the non-profit foundation Voces Cantabiles Music. VOCES8’s educational work extends to workshops and masterclasses for people of all ages and abilities, with the aim of inspiring creativity. VOCES8 has worked with the Concordia Foundation in their Young Audiences Projects, both producing and performing in two musicals for children at Wilton’s Music Hall. They also appeared for the Foundation at Concordia’s 15th Anniversary Concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Artistic collaborations with orchestras have included the Philharmonia, London Philharmonia Orchestra and period ensemble Les Inventions.