Archive - 2016 Meet The Artists









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    Barbican String Quartet

    Barbican Quartet

    Amarins Wierdsma – violin
    Ionel Manciu – violin
    Christoph Slenczka – viola
    Yoanna Prodanova – cello

    The Barbican quartet was founded in 2014 by violinists Amarins Wierdsma and Ionel Manciu, violist Christoph Slenczka, and cellist Yoanna Prodanova in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where they study individually with David Takeno and Louise Hopkins. The young quartet regularly performs in the UK and Europe in such halls as the Barbican Hall, Milton Court Hall, Casa de Musica (Porto), St James's Piccadilly and Ashmolean Museum, and will make their Wigmore Hall debut in 2017 thanks to the Maisie Lewis Foundation Award. Winners of the St James Quartet Prize, the Barbican quartet are Park Lane Group artists and have appeared in such festivals as the IMS Prussia Cove, Harmos Festival (Portugal) and the Young Virtuosi Festival 2016. The quartet has undertaken residency at the Mozarteum Salzburg in 2015 and has been selected by ProQuartet to participate in the 2016 masterclasses scheme. The Barbican quartet are thankful to the Belcea Quartet Charitable Trust which allows them to receive coaching from members of the Belcea quartet. Their mentors also include Alasdair Tait, David Waterman, David Takeno, Levon Chilingirian, Rita Wagner and Ferenc Rados.

     

    Amarins Wierdsma – violin

    Amarins Wierdsma – violin

    Amarins, born in 1991 to conductor Oane Wierdsma and clarinetist Nancy Braithwaite, she began playing the violin at the age of two. From 1996 until 2009 she studied with the reknown violin pedagogue Coosje Wijzenbeek. During this time she also played in the string ensemble The Fancy Fiddlers. In 2013, she received her Bachelor's degree at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where she studied with Vera Beths. In her first year at the conservatory, Amarins starred in the Documentary, 'Lost in Music' by Jaap van Eyck, representing the classical department of the school. In 2013 Amarins started studying at the Guildhall School of Music with David Takeno where she is perusing a master of performance degree. As well as being a very active chamber musician, she has also performed as a soloist with orchestras in concertos by Bruch, Bach, Vivaldi (concerto for 4 violins with Eva van Haaften, Rosanne Philippens and Janine Jansen) Brahms, Mendelssohn and Sibelius. In April 2013 Amarins was awarded the third prize at the Dutch national violin competition Oskar Back. The jury complimented her on her large stage presence, personality and her interesting playing, which was full of temperament and spirit. Amarins is the first violinist of the London based Barbican String Quartet.

     

    Ionel Manciu - violin

    Ionel Manciu - violin

    Ionel was born in Bender and raised in Chisinau, Moldova. At a young age he had his first violin lessons with Tamara Caftanat and later Galina Buinovschi at the musical lyceum C.Porumescu in Chisinau. His official debut was at the age of ten with the Chisinau Chamber Orchestra. He has won numerous prizes at international competitions such as Remember Enescu and Paul Constatinescu in Romania. Nedyalka Semeonova, M.A.G.I.C. and Vasco Abadjiev in Bulgaria. New Names in Russia and Mikhail Strikhardj in Ukraine.

    Ionel has participated in numerous concerts in Chisinau, St.Petersburg, Bucharest, Iasi, Hakovo, Sofia, Moscow, Minsk, Pori, Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and London – some of which with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (London), The Chisinau National Chamber Orchestra in the Organ Hall and The Philharmonic Orchestra of G. Enescu. Ionel is currently studying on scholarship at the Guildhall school of Music and Drama with professor David Takeno.

     

    Stephanie Childress – violin

    Stephanie Childress – violin

    Stephanie, born in London, is a 17 year-old violinist. She started playing the piano at age 5 and violin at six. In October 2015 she began her first year at St John's College, Cambridge University, reading Music.

    Stephanie attended the Royal College of Music Junior Department from 2008 to 2015 studying violin, piano and voice, she led both the Symphony and the Chamber Orchestras.

    Stephanie has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician and at such venues as Saddler's Wells, Elgar Room and Wigmore Hall.

    Having joined the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2013, Stephanie was co-leader in 2014 and Leader for the 2015 season. She currently leads the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra.

    She was a prize-winner at the 2014 Sevenoaks Young Musician of the Year and Abingdon Concerto Competition and also won the LSO String Academy Candide Award for Outstanding Performance. She was a Finalist at the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition in 2015 having also received First prize for under-18. Stephanie received the Martin Scholarship Fund/Sidney Perry Award for 2015/2016.

    Stephanie was a finalist of the Royal Over-Seas League and of the Strings Category of BBC Young Musician 2016. She is Assistant Music Director for the NYMT Musical BRASS this summer and is also their Youth Ambassador.

     

    Kanon Miyashita – violin

    Kanon Miyashita – violin

    Kanon started learning the violin at the age of 4 in Osaka, Japan. When she was 8, she also began to receive her musical education and have orchestral experiences in Soai Junior Conservatory of Music. It was at the age of 14 that she made her concerto debut, performing the Violin Concerto No.2 (1st mov.) by Wieniawski with Eufonica Orchestra in Osaka. She has won prizes in several competitions, including the Osaka International Music Competition and the Student Music competition of Japan.

    Kanon came to England in September 2013, and completed the first year of the BA Music as well as the International Foundation Year at University of Southampton. She led the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra last academic year. Last September she transferred to the Royal College of Music in London, where she currently studies with Itzhak Rashkovsky, being supported by the Albert Cooper Music Charitable Trust. She recently performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto (Op.64) with Southampton University Sinfonietta under George Jackson.

    Kanon participated in many summer master classes such as the New Virtuosi International Violin Mastercourse in Hertfordshire (UK) in 2015, and the International Music Academy in Nice (France) in 2010; and received lessons from Mario Hossen, Boris Garlitsky, and Ludwig Müller.

     

    Christoph Slenczka – viola

    Christoph Slenczka – viola

    Christoph was born 1992 in Germany and began playing the violin at the age of 5. He has studied the violin with Prof. Conrad von der Goltz as a fellow of the Bayerischen Frühförderklasse, a program for gifted young musicians. In 2010 he decided to change to the Viola and started to studying with Prof. Thomas Riebl in the University Mozarteum Salzburg where in his second yar won the 3rd prize In the Mozarteum international competition. He has participated in master classes with Hariolf Schlichtig, Barbara Westphal, Ivry Gitlis, Tatjana Masurenko, Hartmut Rohde and Nils Mönkemeyer. And has received further guidance from Rainer Schmidt and Reinhard Goebel. As a chamber musician he performed with musicians such as Enrico Bronzi, Giovanni Gnocchi, Esther Hoppe and Wolfgang Redik. He performed several times in the Salzburger Kammermusik Festival and was invited to play alongside Nicolas Altstaed, Pekka Kuusisto, Ilya Gringlots, James Boyd, Benjamin Schmid and others at the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus. In 2014 Christoph performed the Tabula Rasa by Arvo Pärt as Soloist with the Sinfonieorchester der Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. He is currently studying in the master program with Prof. David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Christoph plays a Viola made by the German luthier Bernd Hiller.

     

    Thomas Congdon - viola

    Thomas Congdon - viola

    Tom started playing Violin at the age of seven then switched to Viola aged seventeen and currently studies with Gina McCormack at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Tom has also previously studied with Diana Cummings and Susie Meszaros and has participated in masterclasses with Nobuko Imai, Thomas Riebl, Atar Arad, Graham Oppenheimer and Henk Guittart. Tom has performed in various ensembles including the Sinfonia Cymru, Skipton Camerata, National Youth Orchestra of Wales and RNCM Symphony Orchestra, performing in venues such as Berlin Konzerthaus, St. David's Hall and the Sage Gateshead. At the Royal Northern College of Music Tom has been principal viola of RNCM Concert Orchestra and the RNCM String Ensemble. As a keen chamber musician, Tom has performed in chamber concerts around the UK and was invited to perform Mendelssohn's String Quintet Op.87 with the Montford String Quartet at the 2015 Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Italy. Tom is also a member of the Mathias Quartet, which was chosen to represent the Royal Northern College of Music at the finals of the Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition in London. They were also finalists in the Nossek Prize and have received tuition from Gabor Takac-Nagy, Levon Chilingirian and James Clarke. Tom plays a 1953 Ernest Voigt Viola, which was purchased with the help of the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation.

     

    Yoanna Prodanova - cello

    Yoanna Prodanova - cello

    Yoanna was born in 1992 in Varna, Bulgaria. She is currently studying Cello with Louise Hopkins at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has previously studied with Denis Brott at the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique, Montreal, where she has performed solo with the Westmount Youth Orchestra and the Sinfonia de Lanaudiere. Passionate about chamber music, Yoanna regularly performs in various ensembles and has recently appeared at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Hall in London, Casa de Musica in Porto and the Tonhalle Zurich. Yoanna also enjoys collaborating with composers and has premiered works for solo cello as well as several chamber pieces. Her performances have been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 and CBC Radio 1 Montreal.

    Yoanna has participated in several renowned festivals such as the Music Academy of the West in California, the Banff Centre in Canada and the Kronberg Festival in Germany. She has worked closely with cellist Raphael Wallfisch on several occasions and has played in master class for Janos Starker, Jean-Guihen Queyras and Laurence Lesser among many others.

    Yoanna's studies are generously supported by the Guildhall School Trust.

     

    William Clark Maxwell - cello

    William Clark Maxwell - cello

    William was born in 1996 and attended St George's School in Windsor Castle. He began his cello studies at the age of 7 with Susan Lowe. He gained a place in the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain at the age of ten where he was awarded the prize for the best audition nationwide. At 13 he won a music scholarship to Eton College where he led the cellos in both the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra and was the prize-winner in several cello and piano competitions. He undertook tours of China and of the Czech Republic and Poland with the Eton College Symphony Orchestra, and with them, at the age of 17, he performed the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1.

    He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from 2012-2014 and performed in Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the London Promenade Concerts.

    William spent the year 2014-2015 studying the cello at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, as a pupil of Professor Enrico Bronzi.

    He is now in his first year studying music at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he performs as a piano accompanist, as well as a cellist in chamber concerts, opera productions, a string quartet and as first cellist in the Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra.

     

    Jess Ryan - double bass

    Jess Ryan - double bass

    Jess began having Double Bass lessons when she was 15 and joined National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain when she was 17. She is currently completing her fourth year undergraduate at Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Kevin Rundell, and has just accepted her place on Guildhall's Orchestral Artistry Master's course. She regularly leads various young professional orchestras including Janus Ensemble, Young Musician's Symphony Orchestra and Barbican Chamber Orchestra, and is leading Guildhall's Opera orchestra in their November production of Le Donne Curiose. Recent international engagements have taken her to play in California, India and Singapore. She also recently sat principal for Musique Cordiale's production of Tosca in Seillans and principal for the recording of Pink Floyd's Endless River album at Abbey Road Studios. In '13 Jess premiered 'and the crowd (wept) at the Tete a Tete festival.

     

    Jennifer Coleman - soprano

    Jennifer Coleman - soprano

    Jennifer is a soprano studying on the Masters of Performance course under the tutorlage of Janis Kelly at the Royal College of Music in London, and previously the Graduate Diploma at the same institution. She is an RCM Award Holder supported by a Big Give Award. Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree with honours at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (RNCM) studying with Sandra Dugdale. In 2008, she completed the Arts Educational Schools: One Year Foundation Course in Musical Theatre recognised by City University. Jennifer has won numerous awards including the Mavis Bennett Award for Grand Opera and the John Lightfoot Award for Musical Theatre at Maidenhead Music Festival. Most recently, Jennifer won a Musical Odessey Prize while taking part in masterclasses with the acclaimed British soprano Susan Bullock in Nafplio, Greece. She was awarded commended in the 2016 RCM Lieder competition, and a finalist in the RCM English Song Competition.

    In May this year Jennifer released her first full length album 'Songs of Love' following the success of her debut E.P. 'Simple Gifts' that she released in 2014. Future engagements for 2016 include the title role in Handel's Theodora with the RCM Oratorio society, and the roles of Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, and Frasquita in Carmen with Dartington International in August.

    A recent career highlight includes performing as a soloist on the Cabaret Stage at Latitude Music Festival 2015.

     

    Kumi Matsuo - piano

    Kumi Matsuo - piano

    Kumi was born in Tokyo, Japan. Winner of the 5th Louisiana International Piano Competition in 2013, she has also won Second Prize at the 75th Music Competition of Japan in 2006, Third Prize at the 22nd Ferrol International Piano Competition in 2008 and First Prize at the 6th Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in 2012.

    Kumi graduated from the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and the Toho Gakuen University of Music in Tokyo. In 2007 she moved to London for her further study at the Royal College of Music where she gained an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music in Performance. Her study was supported by the Charles Napper Award, the Russell Gander Award and the Rohm Music Foundation.

    In 2008 Kumi won RCM concerto competition and gave her London debut playing Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand in Cadogan Hall with RCM Sinfonietta conducted by Peter Stark. In 2009 she performed Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No.1 with RCM Chamber Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski at the Queen Elisabeth Hall. She also performed Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto with RCM Symphony Orchestra under Martin André at the Royal College of Music. In 2014 she gave her New York debut at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall.

    Kumi has played solo and chamber music in UK, USA, France, Holland, Poland, Romania, India and Japan and performed as a soloist with orchestras such as Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Banatul Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Constanza Symphony Orchestra and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recently finished the Anthony Saltmarsh Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music.

     

    Matt Glendening - clarinet

    Matt Glendening - clarinet

    Matt studies clarinet with Anthony Bailey and piano with Neil Roxburgh at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where he is principal clarinettist of the Symphony Orchestra. He is also principal clarinettist of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. In 2015 he was awarded a place on the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Academy.

    In 2015 Matt became Nottingham Young Musician of the Year, won the Royal College of Music's Gordon Turner Memorial Competition, and became Carlton Male Voice Choir's Music Maker. Currently he's a finalist in the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Instrumentalist Competition.

    Matt's many solo and chamber music performances include Spohr's Fourth Clarinet Concerto and Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with the Orchestra of the Restoration, and Bassi's 'Fantasy on Themes from Rigoletto' with the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra. He has given recitals in the 'Classical Coffee Mornings' series in the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Room and in the 'Live at Lunch' Series at Nottingham Theatre Royal. Earlier this year Matt performed at the launch concert for the Southwell Music Festival, where he will give a recital in August 2016.

    Matt has been awarded a scholarship to study clarinet at the Royal College of Music from September 2016.

     

    Rebecca Watt - oboe

    Rebecca Watt - oboe

    Rebecca is a second year Master's student at the Royal College of Music. She is an RCM scholar generously supported by a Douglas and Hilda Simmonds award and the recipient of a RCM progress award for 2015-16. In June 2014 Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and she currently studies with Olivier Stankiewicz, David Theodore and Christine Pendrill. As an orchestral musician Rebecca has gained a wealth of experience from her studies, which has included a gala concert with singers from Opera Australia at Buckingham Palace. Rebecca currently holds the position of Principal Cor Anglais with the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and has been accepted on to the RCM/BBSO pathway scheme for this academic year. She also holds the reserve place for the LPO Foyles Future Firsts Scheme for 2015-16. In 2014 she successfully won an apprenticeship with the RSNO, which has led to several professional engagements with the orchestra. In October 2015, Rebecca performed Simon Holt's Sparrow Night for solo oboe and ensemble at the Royal College of Music under the direction of Tim Lines. As a chamber musician Rebecca has been lucky enough to be involved in a large variety of chamber projects. Highlights include a performance at the Scottish Parliament as part of a quintet with John Wallace MBE and performances of Mozart Gran Partita with the RCM Wind Ensemble.

     

    Francis Goodwin - piano and Festival Assistant Manager

    Francis Goodwin - Festival Assistant Manager

    Francis, born and raised in Southport, first took an interest in music around 10 years old. Francis gained a place to study piano and clarinet at the junior RNCM in Manchester where he continued studying for 7 years under Manola Hatfield and Ben Powell. Following his childhood education, Francis continued his studies at RWCMD with pianist Graham Caskie and has since participated in masterclasses with Nelson Goerner, Stephen Kovacevich and Zhang Zuo.

     
       
       
     

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