Ildikó Allen | soprano

Ildikó Allen read Music at Birmingham University and completed her MMus at Trinity College of Music. At TCM, she was awarded the Wilfred Greenhouse Alt Prize in Oratorio for her performance in Haydn’s Nelson Mass under the direction of Sir Charles Mackerras and Second Prize in the TCM Association Soloists’ Competition. She was also a finalist in the London Handel Singing Competition and made her debut at the Wigmore Hall as a Young Artist with the Kings Consort.

Ildikó’s operatic engagements have included Grilletta in Haydn Lo Speziale for Retrospect Ensemble, creating Cécile in Nicola LeFanu’s Light Passing for BBC Radio 3 at the NCEM, a season with Savoy Opera, Bach St John Passion at Chatelet, Paris with Emmanuelle Haim, Belinda Dido and Aeneas with the Marésienne Consort and Second Witch Dido and Aeneas for the English Country Garden Opera Company.

Recent concert engagements have included Bach St Matthew Passion with the Kings Consort broadcast live on Spanish Radio, Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri with Retropsect Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall and a recital of Handel Cantatas at the London Handel House. Further concert engagements have included Bach B Minor Mass, Britten Les Illuminations, Carissimi Jephte, Mozart Requiem and Exsultate Jubilate, Handel Dixit Dominus, Messiah, Salve Regina and Silete venti, Haydn Creation and Nelson Mass, Orff Carmina Burana, Poulenc Gloria, Rossini Petite Messe Solenelle, Rutter Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria.

Extensive experience in performing contemporary repertoire includes 1st Soprano in Brian Ferneyhough’s Missa Brevis live on Radio 3, the London premiere of Gabriel Jackson Laudate Pueri, Anna Meredith Fly–by–Night with the London Sinfonietta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the performance of new Commissions by Tazul Tajuddin & Jeremy Thurlow for the SPNM at the Spitalfields Festival.

Ildikó also works as a consort and session singer appearing with groups such as the BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Cardinall’s Musick, London Voices, RSVP Voices and Metro Voices. She has also recorded solos for ITV dramas Northanger Abbey and Miss Marple.

Alongside her busy performing career Ildikó also works as a coach and therapist at the Lewis Clinic in Harley Street. She is passionate about helping others to create new perspectives in their lives by rediscovering their innate wellbeing and creative potential.

Hear Ildikó in: Come & Sing: Vivaldi Gloria

Rachel Barnes | actor

Rachel is based in Beverley and has appeared in several productions at the East Riding Theatre including: ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Sparrow’ (dir. Mike Friend), and ‘I Am Will’ (dir. Richard Avery). A founding member of ERT’s company in residence She Productions, Rachel has appeared in and composed music for many of their shows; most recently, ‘The StorytEllas’ and ‘Let’s Do It’. Playing a variety of musical instruments, Rachel is also the lead vocalist in the jazz/soul band Sweet Lady Grace and is a member of the local entertainment company SurpriSING Waitresses. She also currently studying English Literature at university and works as a freelance music teacher and fitness instructor.

Hear Rachel in: The Reluctant Dragon

Kate Bennett Wadsworth | baroque cello

Kate Bennett Wadsworth (formerly Kate Bennett Haynes) studied modern cello with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory and baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden at the Royal Dutch Conservatory in the Hague, after completing a bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian studies at Harvard College. She has appeared at festivals throughout North America and Europe with baroque ensembles such as Arion, Tafelmusik, B’Rock, Apollo’s Fire, Aradia, Masques, and the Theatre of Early Music, and her continuo playing can be heard on the Naxos, ATMA, Artemis/Vanguard,and labels. As a soloist, she has appeared with Arion Baroque Orchestra, Les Bostonades, and Norwich Baroque, and her recording of the CPE Bach A minor concerto with Les Bostonades was released in 2015.

Kate is currently pursuing a practice-led PhD under Clive Brown at the University of Leeds, looking at the notoriously marked-up editions of the cellist Friedrich Grützmacher as a window onto 19th-century performance practice. Drawing on similarly marked-up editions, as well as treatises, memoirs, early recordings, and other historical sources, she has also prepared annotated editions of the Brahms cello sonatas, in collaboration with Clive Brown and Neal Peres da Costa and published by Bärenreiter.

Hear Kate in: Introduction to the Baroque, Late-night Bach Cantatas, For the love of coffee, Gourmet Baroque

Cara Berridge | cello

Cara is a founder member of the Sacconi Quartet who have won prizes at many International competitions and have performed at all the major London venues and extensively throughout the UK and Europe. The Sacconi Quartet was formed in 2001 and has their own Chamber Music Festival in Folkestone which includes collaborations with many outstanding musicians, commissions of new music and outreach projects.

In addition to playing with the Sacconi Quartet, Cara enjoys performing duo repertoire and joining other chamber music groups. Cara also performs with London Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Britten Sinfonia.

Cara graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2002 with First Class Honours where she studied with Melissa Phelps and Baroque cello with Jennifer Ward Clarke and continued her studies as the Amaryllis Fleming Scholar, receiving her Postgraduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma with Distinction in 2003 and 2004.

Cara plays a Nicolaus Gagliano cello from 1781, generously on loan to her from the Royal Society of Musicians, a charity which helps musicians in need.

Hear Cara in: Opening Night: On This Island, A Retrospective, Under the Starry Skies, Inspired by Elwell, Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

Claire Booth | soprano

British soprano Claire Booth has a wide range of repertoire both on the operatic stage and concert platform. Recently she performed Vixen in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Garsington Opera) and Elcia in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto (Welsh National Opera) both to critical acclaim. In 2016 alone she sung two Rossini heroines, namely La Comtesse in Le Comte Ory (Chelsea Opera Group) and Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Welsh National Opera) and most recently gave a tour de force performance of La Voix Humaine, again for Welsh National Opera.

Other recent highlights include performances at the Royal Opera House of Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments in Netia Jones’ ground-breaking multimedia production, and Haas’s Attis, as well as Oliver Knussen’s Whitman Settings in her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. On the concert platform she took part in a retrospective of Julian Anderson’s works at London’s Wigmore Hall, took part in a performance of Birtwistle’s Yan Tan Tethera in celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday, and has returned to the Aldeburgh Festival in a performance with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Claire has recently returned from Japan where she performed with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, and with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert marking 20 years since the death of composer Toru Takemitsu. She also celebrated her long-standing partnership with composer Oliver Knussen with performances at the Knussen Festival in Stockholm. Later this year, Claire revives the highly acclaimed La Voix Humaine for Aldeburgh Festival and performs with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

Hear Claire in: Opening Night: On This Island, Late-night Bach Cantatas

Georgia Browne | baroque flute

Flautist Georgia Browne began her musical life in Perth, Western Australia where she was given the opportunity to try replica historical flutes. Smitten with the sound and history of these instruments she decided to make the pilgrimage to The Netherlands, to specialise with flute teachers Kate Clark and Barthold Kuijken.

After graduating with distinction from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Georgia was launched onto the European concert scene in style, with an exciting performance of a Vivaldi flute concerto for live radio broadcast at the Palazzo Quirinale in Rome.

Since that momentous debut in 2004, Georgia has been in demand as a soloist, orchestral musician and guest tutor across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. She has performed with most of the established UK period instrument ensembles and is regularly invited to play principal flute with the more recently formed Ensemble Pygmalion in France and Capella Cracoviensis in Poland. She is also a member of progressive Icelandic chamber ensemble Nordic Affect with whom she released a recording of flute music by Carl Friedrich Abel.

An enthusiastic educator, Georgia has taught at the University of Southampton, Birmingham University and Birmingham Conservatoire alongside a successful private teaching studio. Each year she hosts a residential Baroque Flute Summer School.

Hear Georgia in: For the love of coffee, Gourmet Baroque

Christopher Bucknall | harpsichord

Conductor and harpsichordist, Christopher Bucknall, is a rising star both on the concert platform and in the opera house, sharing his passion for bringing music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries alive.

Christopher made his conducting debut in 2012 with Handel, Apollo e Dafne at the Wigmore Hall and has since gone on to conduct critically acclaimed productions of Handel, Agrippina (Iford Arts), Haydn, Il Mondo della Luna (English Touring Opera), Monteverdi, L’Orfeo (Silent Opera), Handel, The Choice of Hercules (Bampton Classical Opera), Pergolesi, La Serva Padrona (Vestfolds International Festival, Norway) and Purcell, Dido and Aeneas (Silent Opera). In January 2014, Christopher made his Scandinavian debut conducting Handel, Alcina for Den Norske Opera.

On the concert platform, Christopher has appeared conducting B’Rock (Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent), Real Filharmonie de Galicia, Norwegian Wind Ensemble, International Baroque Players in varied repertoire ranging from Monteverdi through to Mozart. He also regularly collaborates with the UK’s finest vocal ensembles including performances of Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with the BBC Singers, and highly praised preparation of the Glyndebourne and English National Opera choruses in works by Purcell and Rameau.

Christopher frequents many of Europe’s top concert halls and festivals as harpsichordist and continuo player appearing with groups including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Kings Consort, Brecon Baroque, Academy of Ancient Music, Early Opera Company, and The Classical Opera Company.

Christopher studied at Lincoln College, Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music, studying harpsichord and fortepiano.

Hear Christopher in: Late-night Bach Cantatas, Promised Land: Italian Hour, For the love of coffee, Gourmet baroque

Libby Burgess | piano & artistic director

Libby is a pianist dedicated to the fields of song and chamber music, collaborating regularly with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. Her diverse schedule ranges from song recitals in the UK’s major concert halls and festivals, to chamber music in obscure venues around the country or appearances on Radio 3. Libby is Artistic Director of New Paths, and in 2013 she established Konstellation, which presents programmes exploring the intersection of song and chamber music; this combined interest is reflected in her discography, which ranges from The English Oboe: Rediscovered with James Turnbull, released in 2013 to excellent reviews, to her most recent disc featuring songs of madwomen with mezzo-soprano Clare McCaldin.

Born in Sussex, Libby took a first in music at Oxford, where she was the first female organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, before specializing in piano accompaniment with a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. Here she was awarded numerous accompanist prizes and graduated with the DipRAM for an outstandingly high final recital mark, subsequently being awarded both the Shinn and Lucille Graham fellowships.

Libby’s passion for working with singers extends beyond the piano: she is in demand as a vocal coach and chorusmaster, in which role she collaborated with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in the premiere of his Kommilitonen!, and is regularly invited to guest-conduct choirs throughout the country. She gives masterclasses at schools and universities across the UK, and until 2015 was Head of Keyboard at Eton College.

Hear Libby in: Opening Night: On This Island, A Retrospective, Musical Tour of the MinsterPromised Land: Italian Hour, Under the Starry Skies, Inspired by Elwell, Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

Alex Caldon | trumpet

Alex is a freelance trumpeter who works extensively in London. Since graduating from the Royal College of Music, where he won the prestigious Queen Mother Scholarship, Alex has both performed and recorded with various ensembles, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, London Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Ensemble Chroma.

As well as orchestral work Alex appears frequently performing solo repertoire, and plays regularly in London musicals, including most recently the hit West End show ‘Matilda’. The variety of his work in the last couple of years also included playing at the BBC Proms and recording for Beyoncé.

In 2014 Alex formed CantiaQuorum, resident professional ensemble at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall. The orchestra has commission various new works from local composers and has just released its second EP, ‘Haze’.

Hear Alex in: Musical Tour of the Minster, Promised Land: Italian Hour, Come & Sing: Vivaldi Gloria

Alexandra Caldon | violin

Alexandra Caldon was born and brought up in Great Hampden before embarking on a music degree at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a first class honours degree.  She then attended the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Erich Gruenberg, graduating with Distinction in 2008.  Two years later she was appointed a member of Britten Sinfonia, with whom she now principally plays, touring the UK and abroad.  Recent Britten Sinfonia highlights have included performing Vivaldi’s Autumn from the Four Seasons in the City of London Festival and playing with the orchestra in the BBC Proms 2016.

Alexandra has also worked with the London Sinfonietta, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Aurora Orchestra, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.  She plays frequently with the London Chamber Orchestra, with whom she was privileged to perform at the Royal Wedding in 2011.

Alexandra enjoys recording work for TV and film, and as a keen chamber musician she is a member of the Hampden Quartet and Goldfield Ensemble. She is also excited to lead CantiaQuorum: an orchestra she has founded with her husband Alex. Now in its third year of residence at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall in Canterbury, the group enjoys audacious programming, commissioning new works, and has recently collaborated with the stunning Turner Contemporary gallery.

Hear Alexandra in: Promised Land: Italian Hour, Inspired by Elwell, Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

Jamie Campbell | violin

Jamie was born in London. After reading Music at Clare College, Cambridge he continued his studies in Vienna, London and Madrid. He divides his time evenly between his work as Principal 2nd Violin of Aurora Orchestra, as a guest leader and principal of other orchestras, and as a chamber musician. In 2004 he founded the Solstice Quartet, in which he was 1st violin, and who played together until 2013. The quartet won the Royal Overseas League Ensemble Prize in 2009 and gave their debut at the Wigmore Hall debut in the same year. He is now regularly invited to perform at chamber music festivals including Cervo- Italy, Whittington, ‘New Paths’- Beverley, Highgate and Aberystwyth.

Jamie has appeared as leader with the London Sinfonietta, City of London Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, The Dmitri Ensemble, Nevil Holt Opera and St Endellion Festival Orchestra. Highlights of 2016 included BBC Proms performances with Aurora, with Cercle de l’Harmonie and with Multi-Story Orchestra, tours to Switzerland, France, Spain, and Germany and a return to Southwell Music Festival where he is Associate Artistic Director.

In July he premiered a new concerto ‘The Fallen Elm’ written for him by Graham Ross. He has also premiered works by composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sebastian Currier, Giles Swayne, Joseph Philbbs, Richard Blackford, Kim Ashton and John Metcalf. Jamie also performs on period instruments and this year toured with ‘Arcangelo’, ‘Solomon’s Knot’ and the French-based orchestra ‘Cercle de l’Harmonie’. Jamie plays a violin made by Stefan-Peter Greiner.

Hear Jamie in: Opening Night: On This Island, A Retrospective, Under The Starry Skies, Inspired by Elwell, Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

Helen Charlston | mezzo-soprano

Helen Charlston began singing as head chorister of the St Albans Abbey Girls Choir, directed by Simon Johnson. She then went on to study music at Trinity College, Cambridge where she held a choral scholarship for four years.  Hailed a “rather special mezzo” (Music Web International), Helen appears regularly with orchestras and choirs worldwide. Recent appearances have included Mozart Requiem at the Three Choirs Festival (Philharmonia Orchestra/Simon Halsey), Bach Matthew Passion (St Paul Chamber Orchestra/Paul McCreesh), Bach Magnificat in D (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra/Stephen Layton) and Duruflé Requiem (Holst Singers/City of London Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas). This season includes Handel Dixit Dominus at the Eliat Chamber Festival Tel Aviv, Bach B Minor Mass at the Keble Early Music Fesitval and performances of Handel Messiah with Seattle Symphony and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

On the stage, Helen’s roles have included Olga/Eugene Onegin, Florence Pike/Albert Herring, Ino/Semele, Sara/Tobias and the Angel (Dove) and Dinah/Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein). Last year, she created the role of Dido in the premiere of a new chamber opera based on Virgil’s writings about Dido: Dido is Dead, by young composer Rhiannon Randle.

Helen was a scholar on the Pembroke College Lieder Scheme, led by pianist Joseph Middleton. During the scheme she received coaching and masterclasses from Roderick Williams, Joan Rogers and Sarah Connolly.  Most recently she sung Brahms Vier Duette (Op. 28) at St Paul’s Covent Garden and performed with Joseph Middleton as part of the Leeds Lieder Festival Friends showcase. Her recital programmes have included Schumann Frauenliebe und –leben, Britten Charm of Lullabies and Berg Sieben früher lieder as well as songs by Strauss, Brahms, Fauré and Ravel.

Helen is an experienced consort singer, appearing with many of the UK’s finest vocal ensembles including Fieri Consort, Alamire, The Gabrieli Consort, Polyphony, London Choral Sinfonia and her own Amici Voices, which she founded in 2012.

Hear Helen in: Come & Sing: Vivaldi Gloria

Rachel Chaplin | baroque oboe

Rachel Chaplin works with many of the leading period instrument ensembles in the UK, including the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, King’s Consort, Classical Opera and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. With these and other groups she has performed and recorded numerous works on French and German oboes from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Her academic specialism is eighteenth century German music, particularly the instrumental music of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, which was the subject of her doctoral research. Formerly a lecturer and tutor at the Royal Academy of music, Rachel continues to be involved with music education, lecturing at public events and participating in orchestral projects with schools and community groups. She lives in London with her husband, Sam and their three young daughters.

Hear Rachel in: Late-night Bach Cantatas, Gourmet Baroque

Bojan Cicic | baroque violin

As one of the rising stars in the world of period performance, Bojan Cicic is fast making a name for himself with his sensitive and virtuosic playing. In addition to being the leader of Florilegium, he frequently guest directs and performs as a soloist with groups such as the Academy of Ancient Music, European Union Baroque Orchestra, and Budapest Festival Orchestra. His recording of J.S.Bach’s Concerto for two violins with Rachel Podger was recently named the best available recording by BBC Music Magazine.

Bojan’s own group, the Illyria Consort, recently recorded their first disc with Delphian Records for release in March 2017, a groundbreaking recording of Carbonelli’s virtuosic violin sonatas. The Illyria Consort explores rare repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries from the Venetian Republic and Habsburg Empire, and have performed at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the Korkyra Baroque Festival, Laus Polyphoniae, and at the Festival de Sable.

Future projects include directing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the European Union Baroque Orchestra and performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Instruments of Time and Truth. Bojan is Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music, and plays a violin by Rugieri from the 1680s, kindly loaned to him by the Jumpstart Junior Foundation.

Hear Bojan in: Introduction to the Baroque, Late-night Bach Cantatas, For the love of coffee, Gourmet Baroque

Katherine Crompton | soprano

British Soprano Katherine Crompton studied at the National Opera Studio, having previously graduated from the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Katherine was the winner of the Harriet Cohen Memorial Prize, the McCullough Prize for Opera, the Independent Opera Scholarship and the Miriam Licette Prize. She was also the recipient of a Tutton Award and a Susan Chilcott Award.

Katherine made her professional opera debut as Chocholka The Cunning Little Vixen for Garsington Opera and since then has also performed Galatea Acis and Galatea for Opera Avignon, Opera Rennes, Centre-Lyrique Clermont-Ferrand and most recently at the Festival de Chaise-Dieu. She sang the role of Merab Saul (cover) for both Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Glyndebourne Tour. For the London Handel Festival she has performed the roles of Clomiri Imeneo and Costanza Riccardo Primo conducted by Laurence Cummings and as a Britten-Pears scholar she performed the role of Fortuna L’incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Richard Egarr. Katherine appeared at the Cantiere d’Arte di Montepulciano, Italy singing in the world premier of David Blake’s opera Icarus directed by Keith Warner.

On the concert platform she has appeared at the London Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, St. John’s Smith Square and St. Martin-in-the-fields. Highlights include The Creation at Royal Festival Hall, Brahms Requiem at Cadogan Hall, Handel Messiah and Bach St Matthew Passion Norwich Cathedral, Beethoven Ninth Symphony Winchester Cathedral and Mendelssohn Elijah St. Albans Abbey. Katherine has performed Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder several times, most recently with the Oxford Sinfonia. Katherine is a passionate recitalist and her performances have taken her to the Wigmore Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, Chipping Campden Music Festival and have seen her work with orchestras such as La Nuova Musica and accompanists Iain Burnside and Graham Johnson. Katherine especially enjoys singing a varied repertoire and has recently performed Birtwistle’s Niedecker Songs with the cellist Adrian Brendel.

Her operatic plans for the 2016/2017 season include her debut at the Royal Opera de Wallonie Liège as Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and will also sing Erste Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Longborough Festival Opera. In concert she will appear with the Irish Baroque Orchestra on tour around Ireland, at Southwell Minster for Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and at Canterbury Cathedral singing Vaughan-Williams A Sea Symphony.

Hear Katherine in: Promised Land: Italian Hour, For the love of coffee, Gourmet baroque

Andrew Dewar | organ

Andrew Dewar’s musical career started at an early age; he began playing the Organ at his local church in Yeovil (Somerset) at the age of nine. With a scholarship to Wells Cathedral School in 1996 he studied the Organ with Rupert Gough, David Sanger, David Briggs (improvisation) and Harpsichord with Dr David Ponsford. From 1999-2000 he was Organ Scholar at Wells Cathedral before moving to Germany where he studied at the Musikhochschule, Stuttgart, with Prof Dr Ludger Lohmann. Andrew is currently Organist at the American Cathedral in Paris.

Andrew has won prizes in the following organ competitions: First Prizes – Pipeworks International Organ Competion, Dublin 2014; St Albans International Organ Competition 2005 (Including Audience Prize); Bach prize, Wiesbaden 2005; Mendelssohn Competition, Berlin 2003; International Organ Competition, Landau an der Isar 2002 (Plus the Arthur Piechler Interpretation Prize); Plymouth National Young Organists’ Competition 2001. Second Prizes – Canadian International Organ Competition, Montreal 2014 (Plus the Bach Prize); Canadian International Organ Competition, Montreal 2008 (Plus the Olivier Messiaen Prize); International Bach/Liszt Competion, Erfurt 2008 (Plus the Julius Reubke Interpretation Prize); International E. F. Walcker Competition, Schramberg 2004; Organ ART Museum, Rhein-Nahe 2003; St Albans International Organ Competition 2003.

Andrew performs solo recitals throughout Europe, Russia and North America. 2015 engagements include the Cirencester Organ Festival (UK), Jeunesse Concert Series Vienna, Thüringer Bach Wochen (Germany), and the Festival Bach de Montréal. Live recordings from recent concerts can be found here. He served as a jury member at the 2015 International BACH | LISZT Organ Competition in Weimar/Erfurt (Germany).

Hear Andrew in: Organ recital: Le bon goût, Masterclass

Edward Grint | bass-baritone

British Bass Baritone Edward Grint is a recent graduate of the International Opera School at The Royal College of Music (RCM) and a former choral scholar of King’s College, Cambridge. Edward was awarded the top prize at the 24e Concours Lyrique in Clermont Ferrand in 2015, Second Prize at the 3rd International Singing Competition Pietro Antonio Cesti in Innsbruck and was a finalist in the 2014 London Handel Competition. He currently studies with Peter Savidge and is generously supported by the TF Willetts foundation.

Recent operatic engagements have taken Edward to South Korea (Eddy in Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek), France (Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea), Amsterdam (Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare), Luxembourg (Pere Akita in Catherine Kontz’ Neige), Germany (Teobaldo in Handel’s Faramondo), Aix-en-Provence (Brother in Vasco Mendonça’s The House Taken Over), Vienna (Arcas in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide), Innsbruck (Aeneas Dido and Aeneas and Adonis Venus and Adonis).

On the concert platform, Edward has performed in many of the UK’s major concert halls including Hereford Cathedral (Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Philharmonia for the Three Choirs Festival), Wigmore Hall (Bach and Kuhnau Cantatas with The King’s Consort), St. Paul’s Cathedral (Messiah and St. John Passion), Huddersfield Town Hall (Britten’s War Requiem) as well as abroad in Malta (Bach’s Magnificat with the OAE) and Spain (St. Matthew Passion with TKC).

This season, plans include the roles of Elviro in Handel’s Serse with the Early Opera Company, Sylvano in Cavalli’s La Calisto with La Nuova Musica, Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea on tour in Ireland with OTC and Peter in Birtwistle’s The Last Supper with the BBC SSO. He is also performing Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall, Vaughan William’s Sea Symphony in Canterbury Cathedral and a programme of Monteverdi’s Madrigals with Les Arts Florissants.

Hear Edward in: A Retrospective, For the love of coffee, Gourmet baroque

Johnny Herford | baritone

Johnny Herford graduated with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music Opera department in 2012, and the next year won prizes at the Kathleen Ferrier Competition and the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.

In 2015, Johnny was chosen by Philip Glass to create the role of Josef K in his opera, The Trial, in a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Music Theatre Wales. Johnny also performed the role of Josef K for Theater Magdeburg, making his German debut in April 2015. He returned to Music Theatre Wales for Peter Eötvös’ The Golden Dragon, in a production which has since travelled to South Korea, and will tour England and Wales later this year. 2017 has also seen his debut at English National Opera in The Pirates of Penzance. Other recent roles have included The Traveller in Britten’s Curlew River (Opéra de Dijon), Kuligin in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova (Opéra de Dijon), Emireno in Handel’s Ottone (English Touring Opera), and Nikitch in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Johnny recently made his solo debut at the Wigmore Hall in a programme of Ravel, Schumann and Judith Weir, accompanied by James Baillieu. Elsewhere, he has performed at the Leeds Lieder Festival, the Machynlleth Festival, the Oxford Lieder Festival, the London English Song Festival, and Lied in London.

On the concert platform he appears as a soloist in music from Monteverdi to the present day, including Bach Passions, B-Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio, Haydn Seasons, Mendelssohn Elijah, Brahms German Requiem, Mahler Rückert-Lieder, and Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs.

Hear Johnny in: Late-night Bach Cantatas, Under the Starry Skies, Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

Katy Hamilton | speaker

Dr. Katy Hamilton is a freelance researcher, writer and presenter on music. Her area of specialism is the music of Johannes Brahms and his contemporaries, and she has also published on subjects as diverse as the history of the Edinburgh Festival, the role of émigré musicians in post-1945 British musical life, and variety shows at the Wigmore Hall in the early twentieth century. She has provided concert introductions and programme notes for a host of venues including the Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms, Oxford Lieder Festival, Royal College of Music, Wigmore Hall, Ryedale Festival and St George’s, Bristol.

Katy has taught at the Royal College of Music, the University of Nottingham, Middlesex University and City Lit, and has published and assisted on several projects focussing on nineteenth-century vocal music. She has also made several appearances on BBC Radio 3, as a Brahms specialist and as part of the Record Review team. You can find out more about her work at

Hear Katy in: Talk: Love in Pen and Ink

Fenella Humphreys | violin

With playing described in the press as ‘unforgettable’ and ‘a wonder’, violinist Fenella Humphreys enjoys a busy career combining chamber music and solo work. She has broadcast for the BBC, Classic FM, and German, Canadian, Australian and Korean radio and TV. A champion of new and unknown music, a number of eminent British composers have written works for Fenella.

During 2014/15 she premiered a set of 6 new solo violin works by leading British composers including Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Sally Beamish and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, with performances at Aldeburgh, The Forge, and St. Magnus and Presteigne Festivals as well as a 2-CD recording for Champs Hill. The first of these discs was released in August 2015 to critical acclaim, and was chosen by BBC Music Magazine as Instrumental disc of the month with a 5 Star review. Concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, Fenella also enjoys guest leading and directing.

Fenella’s teachers have included Sidney Griller CBE, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ida Bieler and David Takeno, studying at the Purcell School, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf graduating with the highest attainable marks. Fenella plays a beautiful violin from the circle of Peter Guarneri of Venice, kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey. See

Hear Fenella in: Opening Night: On This Island, A Retrospective, Musical Tour of the Minster, Under the Starry Skies

William Hunt | violone

Starting his professional career as a viol player, William Hunt was a founder member of the viol consort Fretwork and for many years a member of the chamber ensemble London Baroque, in which he developed his interest in violones. He is now principal violone with the Dunedin Consort and has frequently made guest appearances as a specialist violone player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Taverner Consort and many other period instrument orchestras and ensembles.

Over the years he has held teaching posts at several music conservatories. In 1989 he launched Fretwork Editions, a specialist publisher of viol-related music, of which he is director and general editor, with a particular interest in researching the history and performance practice of the English verse anthem. In recent years he has directed residential courses and workshops both in the UK and in Europe and in 2016 he devised and organised Fretwork’s 30th anniversary project to record the complete Gibbons consort anthems.

Hear William in: Late-night Bach Cantatas, Gourmet Baroque

Stuart Jackson | tenor

Stuart was a choral scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, studying Biological Sciences, before completing his training at the Royal Academy of Music in 2013 where he studied with Ryland Davies. In 2011, aged 25 and the youngest finalist, Stuart won second prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.

Stuart was a Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2013, singing in a new chamber opera based on Britten Canticles, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, as well as Officer Ariadne auf Naxos and during the 2013/14 season, Stuart joined the Stuttgart Opera Studio and performed the title role in Gluck Orphée et Eurydice, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Gastone La Traviata, Abdallo Nabucco and Second Priest Die Zauberflöte and is currently a Classical Opera Associate Artist with whom he has recently sung Osroa in JC Bach Adriano in Siria and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni.

Plans this season and beyond include St John Passion on tour with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and Daniel Reuss, and with Vocal Consort Berlin in Koethen; Scipione Il Sogno di Scipione in a recording for the Classical Opera Company; Beethoven Choral Fantasy with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard; Messiah with both the Hallé and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras and Christian Curnyn; High Priest/ Abner/Amalekite/Doeg Saul at the Adelaide Festival; a recital programme of Britten and Vaughan Williams for Stuttgart Opera; Iro Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria for The Royal Opera at the Roundhouse; Alcesta in Cavalli Erismena for Aix-en-Provence Festival in Aix as well as on tour and a return to Wigmore Hall for a Schubert recital with James Bailleau.

Hear Stuart in: A Retrospective, Musical Tour of the Minster, Promised Land: Italian Hour, Under the Starry Skies, Gourmet Baroque

George King | jazz piano

George King is one of the most versatile pianist/composers working today. He has won numerous international awards for his classical compositions including the Gunther Bialas prize in 2012(Germany), the Barto Prize in 2010 (USA) and the Ibla Grand Prize in 2009 (Italy). He was also selected to study with jazz legends George Cables, Curtis Fuller and Dr. Billy Taylor as part of the Betty Carter scholarship programme in the USA.

His concert repertoire stretches from the Pre-Baroque era through to the modern classics of the 21st Century and his performances have taken him to the most prestigious venues in the world, including the Carnegie Hall, the Wigmore Hall, The Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, The Purcell Room and many more.

As a performer George has broadcast live on television and radio and performed in festivals all over the world. These include Glastonbury, Celtic Connections (UK), Abu Dhabi jazz festival, Golden Gate festival (USA) and WOMAD.

George is also in high demand as a jazz pianist. He regularly plays with the Andy Prior and Syd Lawrence big bands and also specialises in free improvisation and more experimental work. A solo piano free improvisation concert by George was released on ASC records in 2011 (Into the light). George has also appeared on jazz inspired albums with Jon Thorne (Watching the Well on Naim Records) and Jah Wobble (‘7’ on 30 Hertz Records). He also works with many of the UK’s orchestras including the Halle and RLPO.

Recent projects included a joint commission from the Manchester Jazz Festival and Manchester Camerata (Songs of the Caged Bird) and an album of 21st Century piano works for Odradek Records (Jubilees) which has been praised in the national and international press.

In 2016 George recorded his debut on Odradek Jazz. ‘Scenes from a life’ is an album of new compositions for Saxophone, Piano and electronics performed with Carl Raven. George also embarked on a tour of the USA with Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart.

Hear George in: Festival jazz drinks

Bethan Langford | mezzo-soprano

British Mezzo Soprano Bethan Langford graduated this year from Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Whilst studying at the School, She was the recipient of the Susan Longfield prize, Paul Hamburger lieder prize and the Violette Szabo award for English Song. She is a past winner of the John Fussell Award, and most recently was awarded the Audience Prize and Second Prize at the Clonter Opera competition. Bethan is a Samling Artist and a Les Azuriales Young Artist. She made her Wigmore Hall recital debut in April 2015, as the winner of the Concordia Foundation Founders’ Prize, and continues to be a Concordia Artist. She is a proud past recipient of the Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Award for visually impaired musicians from the RNIB, and continues to champion the work of disabled musicians in the industry.

Opera credits include Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia (Guildhall School), cover Proserpina Orfeo (Royal Opera at the Roundhouse), Noble Orphan Der Rosenkavalier (Glyndebourne Festival Opera and BBC Proms), the Hag East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon (WorkshOPERA at the Tête a Tête Festival), Nancy Albert Herring (Mid Wales Opera Young Artist Programme), Hansel Hansel und Gretel (Guernsey Symphony Orchestra), Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus (Clonter Opera) and Winifred Gurney A Soldier and a Maker (Iain Burnside, for Barbican Centre, Cheltenham Festival and BBC Radio 3). Bethan returned to Glyndebourne for the 2016 Summer season as a Lehrbuben in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. She will make her role debut as Dorabella for Bury Court Opera in 2017.

As a passionate recitalist, Bethan has performed at many leading concert venues and festivals around the UK. Recently, she opened the closing concert of the Oxford Lieder Festival, where her singing of Schubert lieder was recorded and broadcast for BBC Radio 3. She made her Wigmore Hall solo debut in March 2013, accompanied by Graham Johnson, for Sarah Walker’s 70th Birthday concert, and was thrilled to return last year. She is looking forward to a busy year of recitals, appearing again at the Oxford Lieder Festival, debuting at Aldeburgh Festival and the Ludlow English Song Weekend with Iain Burnside, and making her European concert debut with The City of Granada Orchestra.

Bethan is gratefully supported by a Tutton Award from Help Musicians UK, an EMI Music Sound Foundation bursary, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and the Worshipful Company of Skinners.

Hear Bethan in: Under the Starry Skies, Inspired by Elwell

Magdalena Loth-Hill | baroque violin

British-Polish violinist Magdalena Loth-Hill studied at Chetham’s School of Music with Jan Repko and at RCM with Itzhak Rashkovsky, Lucy Russell, Adrian Butterfield and Laura Samuel, graduating both Bachelor and Master’s with Distinction. She was awarded the 2015/16 Mills Williams Junior Fellowship at the RCM, a post she held alongside studying for an Artist Diploma in baroque violin. In March 2016, Magdalena was presented with the Mills Williams Medal.

At RCM, Magdalena was soloist in Bach’s E major concerto, Brandenburg’s 4 and 5 and the Bach Double Violin Concerto. She led the RCM Baroque and Classical Orchestras and performed live on BBC Radio 3 In Tune. Magdalena has performed with the OAE, AAM and Florilegium and has toured in Europe, the United States and Bolivia, where her two solo recitals as ‘Artist of the Festival’ officially opened the 2016 Misiones de Chiquitos Baroque Festival. Magdalena performed the Mendelssohn and Bruch concerti with the City of Carlisle Orchestra, recorded for the British Library ‘Georgians Revealed’ exhibition and for the most recent ABRSM syllabus. With her quartet, Consone, she won the 2016 ROSL Ensemble Prize, Century Fund Prize at RCM, EUBO Prize and a place on the EEEmerging programme at the 2015 York Competition.

Magdalena was Orpheus Scholar at the RCM, supported by a Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Award and the Countess of Munster Trust.

Hear Magdalena in: Late-night Bach Cantatas, For the love of coffee, Gourmet Baroque

Francesca Moore-Bridger | horn

‘Francesca Moore-Bridger delivered the all-important first horn part with finesse and an Alan Civil-like depth of tone; she is surely a star in the making.’

Francesca progressed through the National Children’s Orchestra and National Youth Orchestras of Great Britain, before reading Music at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she held an instrumental award scholarship. Following her undergraduate studies, she won a full scholarship (awarded by the ABRSM) to study at the Royal Academy of Music where she was Principal horn of all the Academy Orchestras and winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious Dennis Brain Memorial Horn Prize. Graduating with distinction, she went on to spend two seasons as the Principal Horn of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago in Chile before returning to London to continue a freelancing career.

Francesca is the Principal Horn of the Orchestra of the Swan, with whom she also works as a soloist. She performs concertos with the orchestra and in 2014 played the World Premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s ‘The Generation of Love’. Francesca is an established soloist and performed Britten’s ‘Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal’ at the memorial service for the late John Amis. She gives regular recitals around the UK both as a soloist, and chamber musician.

Francesca has also worked with many of the top London Orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Chamber Orchestra. Upon returning to the UK she spent a season working with the Welsh National Opera and now works regularly with the Longborough Festival Opera. She also works as a film session musician with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and with theatre companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Francesca is also a horn teacher at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and is a firm believer in the importance of music education.

Hear Francesca in: Opening Night: On This Island, Musical Tour of the Minster, Under The Starry Skies

Alasdair Nicolson | composer

Alasdair Nicolson was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1961 and brought up on the Isle of Skye and the Black Isle. His first musical experiences were in traditional folk music before going on to study at Edinburgh University as an undergraduate, later returning as Shaw McFie Lang Fellow. An award-winning composer, he came to prominence after winning the IBM Composers’ Prize in the early 1990s and is now regarded as one of Scotland’s most important new compositional voices alongside his contemporary James MacMillan. His work is in demand at home and abroad and he has written music for many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists in the UK, Europe and beyond. His music has its roots in old Scottish music and has been praised for its clarity, invention and emotional depth.

Works have been performed and broadcast all over the world from New York to Santiago, Tokyo to Sydney. He has worked with some of the world’s most renowned ensembles including the Nash Ensemble, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Trondheim Soloists, the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Hebrides Ensemble, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Fidelio Trio as well as many eminent solo performers. He was for many years Composer in Association with the City of London Sinfonia for whom he wrote several works. Most recently he has written an opera The Iris Murder premiered at the Cottier Chamber Project and a re-imagining of Purcell’s King Arthur for London’s Wigmore Hall. Nicolson has a strong commitment to work within education, with amateur performers, and particularly with young composers; and has made a television programme with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra about composition and written two books about composing. He is Director of the St Magnus Composers’ Course for young professional composers and Artistic Director of the award-winning Sound Inventors Project which aims to engage school children with composing he has also taught at the Britten-Pears schools in Aldeburgh.

Although he has a busy schedule writing music he has always maintained a career as a performing musician and conductor having begun his career as an opera repetiteur and theatre musician. He is highly regarded as a creative producer and is currently Artistic Director of St Magnus International Festival and was formerly Artistic Director of Bath International Music Festival where he followed in a long line of eminent musicians in artist-led programming. He also runs his own ensemble The Assembly Project which is a multi-artform performing group.

Current projects include a new piano concerto for Inon Barnatan and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, a collaboration with the Norwegian writer John Fosse for the BBC Singers and Trondheim Soloists, a new work for pianist Rolf Hind in memory of Peter Maxwell Davies and a work for organ for Christian Wilson. Artist website:

Hear Alasdair’s music in: Organ recital: Orb and Sceptre

Ceri Owen | speaker

Ceri Owen is a Research Fellow in Music at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where she’s writing about early twentieth-century British song and song performance. As a Vaughan Williams specialist she’s provided a number of introductions, talks, and reviews for the BBC. She’s also active as a song pianist.

Hear Ceri in: Talk: Let the Florid Music Praise! A Journey Through 20th-Century British Song

Rachel Robson | viola

Rachel grew up in Bridlington, where was lucky enough to learn the viola with Gillian Hogg via the peripatetic system. During her teenage years, she hugely enjoyed playing with The East Riding Youth Orchestra and Humberside Youth Orchestra, experiences which cemented her love of making music.

Since moving to London in 2000, Rachel has enjoyed working with ensembles including The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, London Chamber Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and English National Opera. She regularly plays on West End shows, such as Les Miserables and Miss. Saigon, and has performed on many film scores and pop albums.

Rachel has two small children, who she regularly brings back up north to spend time with their wonderful relatives. She is delighted to have been asked to be part of this special festival in beautiful Beverley.

Hear Rachel in: A Retrospective, Inspired by Elwell, Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

Zoe Shevlin | baroque bassoon

Zoe Shevlin studied modern and historical bassoons at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She now enjoys a busy and varied career as a London-based freelancer, playing regularly with English Concert, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort, the Sixteen, the Academy of Ancient Music, Early Opera Company, Arcangelo, English Baroque Soloists, Kings Consort, Florilegium, Classical Opera and Music For Awhile, among others. She has toured extensively in the U.K., Europe, America and South East Asia, recorded for a variety of record labels, broadcast on TV and radio and makes occasional appearances as a concerto soloist, most recently with English Concert.

Zoe gave the world premiere of Graham Sheen’s piece for Baroque Bassoon and Harpsichord, “Goodbye Mr Galliard”, which was written for her, has taught historical bassoon classes at the Royal College of Music, is a specialist external examiner at the Royal Academy of Music, and works extensively in education and outreach for Classical Opera and OAE (most memorable highlight: recording in Brighton Sewer as part of a homelessness project). She also enjoys swimming outdoors in all seasons and recently completed the Dart 10k swim in aid of WaterAid, as part of the OAE’s Watercycle project.

Hear Zoe in: Late-night Bach Cantatas, Gourmet Baroque

John Slack | clarinet

British clarinettist John Slack studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Julian Farrell and Joy Farrall, and with Israeli virtuoso Chen Halevi at the Trossingen Musikhochschule in Germany. Returning to the U.K in 2011, John has built a portfolio career as a performer, educator and administrator.

A committed chamber musician, John is a founding member of the Berkeley Ensemble which was formed in 2008 with the aim of exploring the wealth of little-known twentieth- and twenty-first century British chamber music alongside more established repertoire. The ensemble now enjoys a busy concert schedule performing throughout the UK and abroad, and is also much in demand for its inspiring work in education.

As a freelance orchestral musician, playing both clarinet and bass clarinet, John has worked with several of the UK’s leading orchestras including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In addition to his playing and teaching work, John is currently General Manager of the Berkeley Ensemble, Festival Manager of Glasgow Cathedral’s Festival 2017 and Administrator of The Purcell Singers.

Hear John in: A Retrospective, Musical Tour of the Minster, Closing Concert: 5×2

Fiona Slominska | flute

Fiona Slominska is a flautist based in the North West of England.

A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, where she studied with Peter Lloyd and Karen Jones, Fiona performs regularly with many of the UK’s leading orchestras. These include The Halle, The Orchestra of Opera North, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra and CBSO to name a few.

Additionally, Fiona has been Guest Principal Flute with Camerata Salzburg, Royal Ballet Sinfonia – The Orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet, European Union Chamber Orchestra, The Hallé, Northern Ballet, RTE Concert Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales – with whom she has performed many times live on BBC Radio 3 as well as at ‘Proms in the Park’ on the Last Night of the Proms.

Alongside her performing, Fiona is a committed teacher – She has held positions at Oundle School (2005-15) and the Junior Department of the Birmingham Conservatoire (2006-10). Currently she teaches at The Universities of Liverpool and Salford, as well as local schools.

Fiona’s enjoyment of solo performance was first ignited whilst a music scholar at Uppingham School and consolidated when she was made a ‘Young Artist’ of The Tillett Trust in 2007. Through this organisation, Fiona and pianist, Jeremy Young, gave recitals at The Wigmore Hall, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, and Beaumaris, Harrogate, Honiton and Buxton Festivals. Additional venues with other artists included St George’s, Bristol and Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

An opportunity in 2011 saw Fiona take to the stage as the ‘Blind Flute Player’ in the UK premier of Weinberg’s Opera, The Portrait with Opera North. This involved performing on stage in full costume! Fiona was also involved in Opera North’s project of Wagner’s, complete, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle).

In 2012, Fiona was joint soloist with the former Royal Harpist, Catrin Finch performing the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with the European Union Chamber Orchestra in a tour of the UK, a repeat of this concert happened in February 2016 and again in early April 2017. A wonderful tour followed in 2014, again with EUCO, with performances of Brandenburg 5, Bach Suite in B Minor and Handel Water Music Suite.

A real highlight of 2016 was performing in ‘Cream Classics’ at the O2 Academy, Brixton.

Hear Fiona in: A Retrospective, Musical Tour of the Minster, Home & Away

Connie Tanner | bassoon

Connie returned to the UK in April 2013 after 5 years in Dublin where she held the post as Associate Principal Bassoon with RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. Since her return, she has enjoyed the variety of work that freelance life offers: performing with various groups and personalities in the different capacities of performance and education. Orchestral work has included London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Opera North. She currently holds the post as Principal Bassoon with Symphony Orchestra of India, meeting bi-annually in Mumbai, to perform seasons under conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Rafael Payare and Yuri Simonov.

She was a member of the Aurora Ensemble wind quintet (winners of the Park Lane Group Award) for 5 years before moving to Dublin, performing in Wigmore Hall, Purcell Rooms and many of the UK’s annual classical music and arts festivals. Other chamber music work has included Ensemble 360 in Sheffield, Allegri String quartet (wind and string collaboration for Schubert Octet) and Galliard Ensemble.

Education work includes Junior Department of Royal Academy of Music, Wells Cathedral School and Uppingham School along with coaching bassoon sections of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain during their Easter and Summer courses.

Having spent her early training under Peter Harrison at Wells Cathedral School and as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, her undergraduate studies were taken at the Royal Academy of Music in London with John Orford and Gareth Newman. She plays on a pre-war Heckel bassoon (6000 series) which was one of a pair commissioned by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra in 1929. It came to Germany in 2002 where it was bought by a British player and brought to the UK.

Hear Connie in: A Retrospective, Closing Concert: 5×2

Andrew Tortise | tenor

Andrew Tortise was a choral scholar at Wells Cathedral and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2002.

Concert plans this season and beyond include tenor soloist for Bach St Matthew Passion with the BBC Philharmonic; Messiah on tour with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr; Birtwistle The Last Supper with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins; Mozart Solemn Vespers and Coronation Mass with the Odense Symphony Orchestra; Linfea La Calisto with La Nuova Musica and Bach Cantatas with Arcangelo, both at Wigmore Hall; and Haydn Nelson Mass with the Bach Choir. He will also return to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden to sing Marzio in Mozart Mitridate and Vogelgesang Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Recent highlights include The Spirit of the Masque in Britten Gloriana and Simpleton Boris Godunov with Antonio Pappano (also at the BBC Proms) for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw for Lyon Opera; Novice Billy Budd, Janek The Makropulos Case and Lurcanio Ariodante for Dutch National Opera; Ferrando Così fan tutte for Welsh National Opera and Lucano Poppea and Bach St Matthew Passion for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

On the concert platform he has sung Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the CBSO; Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the LSO and Sir Colin Davis; Monteverdi L’Orfeo and Vespers, and Bach St John Passion with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner; and Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with both the AAM and Aarhus Symphony Orchestra.

Hear Andrew in: Home & Away, Closing Concert: 5×2

James Turnbull | oboe

Described by The Independent as “a worthy champion” of contemporary oboe music, James has dedicated much of his performing life to promoting and extending the oboe repertoire. James has performed frequently throughout the UK and Europe including a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall in 2010. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and appeared as a soloist  in numerous UK festivals. James has released solo recordings for Champs Hill Records, Quartz Music and the ABRSM as well as featuring on a disc of Thea Musgrave’s works for Harmonia Mundi USA.

James is deeply committed to expanding the oboe repertoire. He worked closely with Michael Berkeley, John Casken, Jonathan Dove, John Woolrich, Thea Musgrave and Tansy Davies on their compositions for oboe. Composers including Patrick Hawes, Thomas Hewitt Jones and Norbert Froehlich have also written for him. James has a keen interest in researching lost repertoire and bringing to new audiences works which have been rarely performed. In 2011 he worked closely with Christopher Hogwood on preparation for a new edition of Thomas Attwood Walmisley’s Sonatinas for oboe and piano.

Aside from his performing interests, James is dedicated to broadening the appeal of the oboe and encouraging young people to learn the instrument. To this end, he has launched the website which now receives over a thousand new visitors every month from across the world. James also teaches at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and gives masterclasses across the UK.

Hear James in: A Retrospective, Musical Tour of the Minster, Closing Concert: 5×2

Oliver Walker | conductor

Oliver Walker is the Director of Music at Repton School (Derbyshire) and Musical Director of the Solihull Choral Society, roles he combines with a freelance career as a choral conductor and organist which has taken him around the world. Oliver studied Music at Keble College, Oxford, where was also an Organ Scholar, and has held organist posts at Wells, Gloucester and Chelmsford Cathedrals.

From 2010-2016 Oliver was the Head of Choral Music at Solihull School where he directed the chapel choirs in their busy routine of services, concerts and tours. Under his direction the choir appeared on 10 BBC broadcasts, gave concert tours in Normandy and Norway (including a performance of Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ in the Bergen International Festival) and twice performed with Gary Barlow in the LG arena, Birmingham. In 2011 he founded the choral outreach programme ‘Solihull Sings!’ which has since impacted on over 1000 children. In 2012 he was awarded a Civic Honours Award for his contribution to music making in Solihull.

Other educational work has included working for ten years on the Eton Choral Courses and, more recently, on The Junior Choral Courses for whom he has worked on courses in Wellington College, Cheltenham College and YK Pao School in Shanghai. He regularly delivers choral workshops and is in increasing demand as both an adjudicator and musical advisor.

Hear Oliver in: Come & Sing: Vivaldi Gloria, Family concert: The Reluctant Dragon

Christian Wilson | organ

Christian Wilson has forged a unique path as an organist, showcasing trailblazing virtuosity and profound musicianship through inspired and unorthodox programming, and championing rarely heard or forgotten masterpieces. His programmes celebrate both the historic roots and central repertoire of the instrument whilst engaging audiences through original juxtapositions with transcriptions of jazz and other genres, ranging from medieval intabulations to works by Piazzolla and Frank Zappa. Performances have met with critical acclaim at major concert venues across Europe, Australia, Russia, South Africa and the USA.

Christian’s musical career began at Westminster Abbey, where he was head chorister. He spent a year as Sub-Organist at Perth Cathedral (Western Australia) before taking up the Organ Scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford. Following a research degree (investigating the pre-Reformation English organ), Christian was awarded various prizes and scholarships to study for the solo postgraduate degree at the Musikhochschule, Stuttgart with Jon Laukvik and Ludger Lohmann. In 2012, he became the eighth person in the world to perform Francis Pott’s epic Organ Symphony ‘Christus’ (sometimes considered the “Everest” of organ repertory) with performances in Germany and the UK.

In addition to his role as Organist at the Tower of London, Christian is Director of Music at Brasenose College in Oxford, and has been Assistant Organist at Christ Church, Oxford. He is also busy as a pianist, chamber musician, teacher and musicologist. A recent recording of organ music from the interwar period – Commotio – has been particularly well received.

Future engagements include tours to the USA, Canada, various European concert dates, and a recording of the complete organ solo and chamber works of York Bowen. He is currently editing the cycle of Lady Masses by Nicholas Ludford for EECM, and the keyboard works of Austrian WWII émigré Walter Bricht (1904-1970) in preparation for an edition and recording.

Hear Christian in: Organ masterclass, Come & Sing: Vivaldi Gloria, Organ recital: Orb and Sceptre

Nick Wolmark | horn

Nick Wolmark is principal horn of Northern Ballet who, since returning from working in Guangzhou in China and Merida in Mexico, also guests as principal horn in various orchestras across the UK including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. His recent activity has taken him to Mumbai for a charity Bollywood-style extravaganza called World Sounds of Peace.

He grew up in Hull and Beverley, playing in the East Riding Youth Orchestra for many years, but now lives in a village near Cambridge with his wife and two small and somewhat rambunctious sons.

Hear Nick in: Closing Concert: 5×2