Meet the Artists









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    Stephanie Childress – Violin and Artistic Director

    Stephanie Childress – Violin and Artistic Director

    Stephanie is a 18-year-old musician from London. Born in May 1999, she started playing the piano at the age of 5 and violin at the age of six. She has just completed her second reading Music at St. John’s College, Cambridge University.

    She joined the National Youth Orchestra in 2013 and was appointed its leader in 2015. She was invited by Alison Balsom to lead the Balsom Ensemble, a group of professional baroque musicians, on her tour of Germany in December 2016. As a soloist, she has been on BBC3 Radio. Among many prizes, she was also a string finalist in both the Royal Overseas League Competition and the BBC Young Musician Strings category 2016. She currently studies with Pieter Schoeman, the leader of the LPO, and plays a Venetian violin made by Francesco Gobetti.

    Both musical theatre and opera have been two facets of the stage she has loved exploring, this lead her to coach the string section for the NYMT 2013 production of West Side Story, eventually becoming an Assistant Musical Director on their 2016 production of ‘Brass’ at the Hackney Empire. She is extremely passionate about opera having seen over a hundred productions. In January 2017, she conducted her first opera, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and conducted Lennox Berkeley’s ‘A Dinner Engagement’ in June 2017.

    Stephanie is the Artistic Director for the Young Virtuosi Festival 2017.

     

    Kanon Miyashita – Violin

    Kanon Miyashita – Violin

    Kanon is a 22-year-old Japanese violinist. She started learning the violin at the age of 4 in Osaka and made her concerto debut when she was 14. She has won prizes in several competitions in Japan, including the Osaka International Music Competition.

    Kanon moved to England in September 2013. She has completed the first year of the BA Music as well as the International Foundation Year at University of Southampton, and she led the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra in 2014/15 season. In September 2015 she transferred to the Royal College of Music in London, where she currently studies with Itzhak Rashkovsky.

    Kanon performed in the Young Virtuosi Festival for the first time last year, which has deepened her interest in chamber music even more.

    From time to time, Kanon goes back to Southampton as a soloist and as an orchestral player. Her recent concerto performances include Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (Op.64), both with the Southampton University Sinfonietta. She is also a member of the són masterclass scheme for young musicians, which provides her several opportunities to play in són, Southampton’s first professional orchestra.

     

    Geeta Nazareth - Viola

    Geeta Nazareth - Viola

    Violist and violinist Geeta Nazareth is currently obtaining her BMus in viola at the Royal College of Music in London, where she is a RCM Foundation Scholar and Soirée d’Or Scholar. Previously, she has studied in her home country of Germany in cities such as Freiburg and Hamburg, as well as at the Konservatorium für Musik in Vienna, Austria. During her time in Vienna, she received the 1st prize with excellence at “Prima La Musica” in 2003. Her career grew further when she moved to New York City at the age of 15 to study at the Manhattan School of Music. After the culmination of her studies she became a founding member of the Salomé Chamber Ensemble in 2012. She then was a founding member of the Highline Chamber Ensemble as well as the Highline String Quartet, with which she still performs regularly today. Other performances during this period included multiple concerts with Music For Life International at Carnegie Hall and the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra. Presently, Geeta works as an assistant to the artistic director at the Interharmony International Music Festival which include many solo and chamber performances. She has been principal viola for orchestral projects at the RCM, most recently for the Orchestral Masterworks concert under the baton of Martyn Brabbins. Geeta’s most recent accomplishment was her Wigmore Hall debut on March 1st 2017 with the Arcus Quartet.

     

    Findlay Spence - Cello

    Findlay Spence - Cello

    Findlay began to learn the cello at the age of eight. In 2016, he began his studies with Melissa Phelps as a scholar at the Royal College of Music in London. Findlay has performed with orchestras around the country, often as principal cello or soloist. He was principal cello of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in 2016, and performed the solo cello part in Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Piano Concerto in a worldwide radio broadcast from the BBC Proms. He has worked with world renowned conductors such as Bernard Haitink and Gustavo Dudamel and has performed in major concert halls and theatres in China. Chamber music plays an important role in Findlay’s life - he tours frequently with various ensembles. In 2017, he has concerto engagements with orchestras in Britain and he will perform for the first time in France and Spain. Demonstrating a strong commitment to new music, he has recently commissioned a major new cello concerto from renowned Scottish composer Tom David Wilson, to be premiered in 2018. Last year, Findlay attained places at five conservatoires in Britain and secured the prestigious position of Musician in Residence at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge.

    Findlay is generously supported by an Audrey Piggott Award, Dewar Arts Awards, The Cross Trust, Agar Awards, The Duncraig Educational Trust Scheme and Robertson Construction.

     

    Nelly von Alven – Guitar

    Nelly von Alven – Guitar

    Nelly von Alven (*1990) is a multi-award winning guitarist from Germany with a wide field of activities. As the winner of the RCM Guitar competition 2016 and an award holder of the Musician’s Company London, Nelly performs regulary on stage as a solist and chamber musician at national and international festivals and concert series. Besides, she is teaching and doing outreaches in schools as well. In 2015, she recorded her debut CD Canto spirituoso, which includes own compositions as well. In March 2017, she performed Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with the FSO Bielefeld in Germany as well as the UK Premiere of Germaine Tailleferre’s “Concerto for two Guitars“ together with her duo partner Luiz Mantovani with whom she founded the NOVA Guitar Duo in 2016. They already performed at the International London Guitar Festival. Further concerts for 2017 will include a concert at Wigmore Hall and the Buxton Festival.

     

    Matt Glendening – Clarinet

    Matt Glendening – Clarinet

    Matt studies clarinet with Timothy Lines and Barnaby Robson at the Royal College of Music as Chairman’s Scholar and Royal College of Music Foundation Scholar. Previously he studied at the RCM Junior Department, winning many prizes. Matt was principal clarinettist of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2016 having been a member for 4 years, performing concerts in many prestigious venues including their annual BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, and recording for Chandos. Nominated by NYO, he received the Musicians’ Company Bulgin Medal for his outstanding contribution. He is currently principal clarinettist of the University of London Symphony Orchestra, and has been awarded a place in the 2017 Britten-Pears Orchestra. In 2015 he won a place on the London Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Academy, and became Nottingham Young Musician of the Year. He won the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain’s Young Clarinettist Competition 2016 and was finalist in the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Young Instrumentalist Competition. As soloist he has performed concerti by Mozart, Copland, Spohr and Bassi. Recital venues include Southwell State Chamber, the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Room. Matt performed with ‘Young Virtuosi’ in France in 2015 and 2016.

     

    Thomas Isherwood - Baritone

    Thomas Isherwood - Baritone

    Thomas Isherwood is a 25-year-old baritone from London. Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, Thomas has completed his postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Prof Susan McCulloch, achieving a distinction on the Master of Music programme. Possessing a naturally powerful and versatile instrument, Thomas enjoys performing a diverse repertoire of music from Schubert through to Sondheim. Thomas has appeared in public master-classes with eminent musicians such as Amanda Roocroft, Julius Drake, Sir John Tomlinson, Graham Johnson & Elly Ameling as part of the Wigmore Hall 2015 season. Recent performances include the role of Happy in La Fanciulla del West by Puccini for Grange Park Opera and an evening with Alexandra Lowe & Thomas Isherwood at Chatsworth House for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Thomas was a member of the chorus for Fiddler on the Roof with Grange Park Opera, performing alongside Bryn Terfel for 10 performances in Hampshire and at the 2015 BBC Proms. Prizes and awards include the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for Young Singers, the Oncken & Alexander Young prizes at the RNCM and the 2016 London Song Festival British Art Song Prize.

     

    Hollie-Anne Bangham – Mezzo Soprano

    Hollie-Anne Bangham – Mezzo Soprano

    Hollie-anne Bangham, mezzo-soprano originally from Bristol, recently completed a Masters in music, postgraduate diploma and undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music all with a First class under the tutelage of Ann Taylor. Hollie-anne’s studies were kindly supported by the Olsgeby trust, the RNCM and the Seary trust. Awards include the Annie Riydard Scholarship for Mezzo-Sopranos and the Kate Snape Scholarship as well as a finalist for the Joaniha award and the Elizabeth Harwood Memorial prize.

    Recent Opera roles include The Abbess and La Suora Infermiere / Suor Angelica (Manchester Opera Ensemble), Olga Olsen / Street Scene (RNCM Opera), Hermia/ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RNCM Opera) and Fillipyvena/ Eugene Onegin (Opera on Location). Hollie-anne has recently performed as Witness 2 in the World Premiere of Icarus (David Blake and Keith Warner) in Montepulciano, Italy.

    On the concert platform Hollie-anne has performed the alto solos in many works including recently; Durufle’s Requiem with the Kings College Choir of Cambridge and Penderecki’s UK premiere of the Seven Gates of Jerusalem, conducted by Penderecki himself, both at the Bridgewater Hall. Hollie-anne has had the privilege of performing at the Notre Dame, Paris and as a soloist with a Ukrainian choir, in Kyiv, Ukraine under the baton of bass-baritone, Pavlo Hunka.

    Upcoming engagements include joining Garsington Opera as Young Artist 2017.

     

    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.

     
       
       
     

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