The Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate pursues a varied career as a chamber musician and vocal coach, working with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, Koscierzyna and Sorrento, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. She also cultivates an active interest in historical keyboards, and has performed on a range of original instruments at Finchcocks and Hatchlands.
In May 2014, at the age of 17, Martin James Bartlett won the BBC Young Musician competition, following a performance of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirill Karabits. Martin began his piano studies with Emily Jeffrey at the Royal College of Music Junior Department at the age of 8, continuing at the Purcell School 5 years later. In 2014, he commenced his undergraduate studies with Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College of Music with a coveted Foundation Scholarship. Martin has previously studied the bassoon and the recorder as well, achieving Grade 8 Distinction on all three instruments by the age of 12.
Katarina Davies, age 13, lives in Woking and studies at the Junior Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Robert Max. Additionally, at the JRAM, she is taught the piano under David Alexander and the oboe under Philip Harmer.
Katarina has given 12 solo recitals in the UK and 3 in the US. In November 2012, she was a soloist for the Remembrance Day Progamme, London, and in May 2014 she played in a cello octet with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cambridge. She is a member of Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra in Wimbledon and is a former member of the National Children's Orchestras and the Surrey Youth Choir in Woking.
James Cobb is a 17 year old tenor from the Woking area. He studies with Veronica Veysey-Campbell at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. As well as performing as a soloist, James also sings in various choirs. He is a member of the National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain and has sung with them at various locations and performed solos at Tonbridge Chapel and Truro Cathedral. Despite being offered a sixth form place at Wells Cathedral School, James decided to remain as an academic and music scholar at Reeds School Cobham. With the school choir, James has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, St. Paul's Cathedral and will be performing in St. John's Smith Square this spring.
From the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York, the young Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, recently named as “one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career” in the International Piano Magazine, has dazzled audiences worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. Alexandra has recently been awarded the Custodian of the Romanian Crown Medal, the youngest person to receive a distinction from the Royal Family of Romania.
Mayumi Iida was born in Japan and started the piano at the age of three. She continued her studies at Tokyo University of Liberal Arts, where she was awarded first place at her Master’s recital, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated from the postgraduate performance course with honours.
She had encouragement at the International Schubert competition in Germany in 2003 and she participated with success in other international competitions. Her international engagements have included concerts in the UK and Japan.
Following Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov’s Wigmore Hall debut in January 2014, The Telegraph gave his recital a rare five-star review and called it “one of the most memorable of such occasions London has witnessed in a while.” Since becoming Prize Laureate of the Honens Prize for Piano in 2012, Kolesnikov has been winning hearts around the world. A live recording of his prize-winning performances was released on the Honens label in March 2013, about which the BBC Music Magazine wrote “tremendous clarity, unfailing musicality and considerable beauty”.
Svitlana Kosenko was born in Ukraine and studied at Kharkov University of Arts with professor Meinikov and in Germany with Professor Mokatsyan. In 1999, she won second prize in the International Competition of French-Polish Music in Paris.
2001 saw Svitlana take first prize in the Smetana International Competition and was awarded a Special Prize for her performance at the Enescu Competition. In 2012, she won Best Pianist at the Joseph Suder Lieder Competition. Since 2014, Svitlana has been Accompanist in Residence at the Yehudi Menuhin School.
Recently described as ‘exuberantly stylish’ by the Sunday Times, Julian Perkins has a growing reputation as a keyboard player and conductor of considerable talent and versatility. His discography has seen acclaimed solo and chamber recordings for Avie, Coro, Chandos, Opus Arte and Resonus on a wide range of instruments, including the Royal harpsichord by Burkat Shudi at Kew Palace. These have included world première recordings of harpsichord suites by James Nares and John Christopher Smith, Stephen Dodgson’s clavichord suites and Daniel Purcell’s opera-oratorio The Judgment of Paris.
Dylan has been playing the piano since the age of five, but has recently come to prominence after winning Pianist of the Year (or equivalent) awards at the Woking, Hatfield and Richmond music festivals. He also recently participated in the Emanuel Piano Competition, Woking Young Musician of the Year and performed Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 last year to widespread acclaim.
Since graduating from the class of Professor Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a Masters in solo performance, Rosie Richardson has become well known for her work with some of the most talented young cellists currently emerging.
In her capacity as a collaborative pianist, Rosie has given recitals most recently at Milton Court, the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall and the 1901 Arts Club in addition to music societies around the country and recent overseas engagements have taken her to Portugal, Switzerland, the United States and Austria.
Rosie is a faculty pianist for the String Department at the Guildhall and the class pianist for Head of Strings, Professor Louise Hopkins.
Alison Rhind is recognised as one of the leading collaborative pianists specialising in the repertoire for piano and strings. Her ability to accompany was recognised and nurtured at an early age whilst still at Chetham’s School of Music and she became increasingly in demand throughout her time at Oxford University where she read Music at Wadham College. Chetham’s invited her back immediately she had finished her degree but she completed her studies with Edith Vogel at the Guildhall School of Music before returning there.
In 1994, she moved to the Yehudi Menuhin School where she worked for twelve years. She toured Israel and Germany with the students and was invited to accompany at the prestigious Kronberg Akademie after her recitals there with the school.
Erika Smith-Gordon performs at Breinton in our Local Young Performers' Soiree on 24 January 2015.
Erika Smith-Gordon, 14, is a 1st year pupil and music scholar at Wellington College, Crowthorne, where she weekly-boards. Although she was offered a place by the Junior Departments of the Royal College of Music and of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she decided to continue learning violin privately with Lucy-Ellen Spencer in Guildford.
She has always enjoyed performing for people in all kinds of settings; she has played in many concerts, both solo and in orchestras, at her previous and current schools, participated in music festivals in the local area, and also played for local elderly people and primary school children.
She was awarded the Woking Junior Musician of the Year title in 2013. The highlight of last year was to participate in Age UK Surrey’s Christmas Service when she performed solo pieces in Guildford Cathedral.
She is a member of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. At Wellington College, she is a member of the school orchestra, chamber orchestra and string trio. Future engagements include: Beethoven's Romance in F with the Guildford Symphony Orchestra; solo recital at Guildford URC Concert Society; recital in the Second Sunday Concert series at St Paul’s Church Grove Park, Chiswick.
Colin Stone’s career as a performer began in the late 1980s. He was encouraged by Sir Charles Groves at the finals of the 1985 Young Concert Artist’s Trust and went on to win the Royal Over-Seas League piano competition in 1986. A Subsequent debut at the Wigmore Hall and numerous broadcasts on BBC Radio3 helped to establish his growing reputation and has led to performances around the world. A number of acclaimed recordings followed both of solo repertoire and chamber music with the London Mozart Trio which he founded in 1989. He gave his first cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas in 2005 and most recently has been recording the Prokofiev sonatas.
Coco Tomita was born in Japan in 2002 and began to play the violin when she was four years old. She became a pupil of Natasha Boyarsky when she was six, and in 2012 she was awarded a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School where she has continued to study with Mrs Boyarsky.
In 2010, at the age of eight, Coco became the youngest contestant to win Third Prize in the Junior section of the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy. Two years later, she made her debut appearance at the Cadogan Hall, London performing as a soloist with the Southbank Sinfonia.
Described by The Times as a violinist “who held us rapt in daring and undaunted performances” and by The Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”, Tamsin Waley-Cohen enjoys an adventurous and varied career. In addition to performances with orchestras including the RPO, LPO and BBC orchestras, and conductors including Andrew Litton and Tamas Vasary, she continues her association with Orchestra of the Swan, returning as “Artist in Residence” next season. Performances have taken her across the UK, Europe, to the USA and the Antipodes.
"What an amazing musician Huw Watkins is, this unfailingly dependable and musical pianist who seems to be everywhere. If he caught a cold most of Britain’s summer festival season would collapse." - The Telegraph
Huw Watkins was born in Wales in 1976. He studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Julian Anderson at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. In 2001 he was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, he now teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music.