235/60r18 103v

Kimi Makino

Kimi Makino Kimi Makino began playing the violin at the age of three, and the viola at the age of fifteen. She studied at the SOAI high school of music, Osaka, Japan, and the SOAI University of Music as a special fellow student.

After graduating, Kimi earned a master of concert degree in 2011 at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva where she was awarded the “Pierre Fernex” prize for an outstanding exam. She was then awarded a further Master’s degree in 2013 under the tutelage of Nobuko Imai and Miguel Da Silva. Kimi is currently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Garth Knox and has also studied chamber music with Gábor Tákacs-Nagy.
Kimi has won numerous awards, including 3rd prize in the 2nd Tokyo International Viola Competition and the Kyoto Aoyama Music Award. She has performed as a soloist with the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Soai Orchestra and TOHO-Gakuen Orchestra. She has participated in several festivals including the Viola Space festival, Verbier Festival Academy, ManiFest IRCAM in Paris, Festival Groba, Les Estivals de Megève and Lucerne Festival Academy.
Between 2009 and 2012 Kimi was the recipient of the ROHM Music Foundation Scholarship.

Kimi Makino appears by kind permission of the RNCM.

Charlotte Dowding

Charlotte Dowding British violinist Charlotte Dowding was born in Preston, England and has performed throughout the UK, Europe and North America. She has appeared as concerto soloist on many occasions.

Charlotte attended Chetham’s School of Music for 10 years, giving countless performances as soloist, concerto soloist and in her last year she led the Chetham's Symphony Orchestra. At 13, she was the youngest ever violinist to be selected to play in the 1st violin section of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Whilst at Chetham's she was awarded both the Graucob and the Ida Carroll bursaries.

Having attended many International courses, she has participated in masterclasses with many great teachers including: James Ehnes, Atis Bankas, Louis Kaplin, Edward Grauch, Yair Kless, Gordon Back and Burkhard Godhoff. After Chetham's, Charlotte decided to continue her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Upon taking her place, she was given the college’s scholarship as well as being made a Leverhulme Scholar. At college she has had an active role playing with and also leading various orchestras.

Charlotte was selected by the BBC Philharmonic onto their Professional Access Scheme, where she was mentored by players in the orchestra as well as acting as a fully functioning member of the orchestra, rehearsing and playing in concerts. Last year, under the guidance of Petr Prause, cellist of the Talich Quartet, the Dowding Quartet was founded. Charlotte's quartet was the recent winner of the Weil Prize and finalist in the Christopher Rowland Chamber Music Award.

Charlotte also enjoys session music and she plays and records various styles of rock, pop and alternative music. She has contributed to tracks on commercial CDs for composers such as Andrew Keeling and Tim Bowness.

Charlotte plays on a c1750 Italian Violin, which is on loan from the Benslow Trust.

Charlotte Dowding appears by kind permission of the RNCM.

Adele Xaing

Adele Xiang Adele Xiang is currently a student of Hannah Roberts at the Royal Northern College of Music. She is an international ABRSM Scholar studying on a full scholarship.

Adele was born in Melbourne, Australia and started learning the cello when she was 6, studying with Nelson Cooke. In 2010, she was accepted as a student at Chetham's School of Music and continued her studies there with Nicholas Jones.

Adele performs regularly in the UK and abroad, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Concerto performances include Shostakovich’s first cello concerto with the Maroondah Symphony and Rococo Variations with Preston Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Youth Orchestra. Adele is the recipient of the The Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust Award (2014).

She has had the privilege of playing in masterclasses with Miklos Perenyi, Frans Helmerson, Ralph Kirshbaum, Gary Hoffman, Jian Wang, Jens Peter Maintz and Natalie Clein. She has also taken chamber masterclasses with the Sitkovesky Trio, Pavel Fischer, Jeremy Young, Petr Prause, Christoph Richter and Markus Fleck from the Casals Quartet.

 Adele Xiang appears by kind permission of the RNCM

Oliver Baily

Oliver_Baily Oliver is a violin student at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he is taught by Ben Holland. He  has played for violinists such as Henning Kraggerud, Alina Pogostkina, Andrey Baranov and Sophia Jaffé, and has travelled to Saint Petersburg to study with the eminent Russian teacher Savely Shalman. He is the winner of the 2015 Helen Porthouse Paganini Prize, and was a finalist in the 2017 Norman George Violin Scholarship.
Over the past year Oliver has given performances across the UK, including a recital at the Northern Aldborough Festival and concerto appearances with the Vacation Chamber Orchestra. Upcoming concerts include a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto in York.

As a chamber musician, Oliver has given numerous performances across the UK with the Sullivan Quartet. The highlight of this was participating in the Salisbury International Arts Festival, where the quartet gave both a recital and a masterclass. He is regularly asked to play in the RNCM Chamber Music Festivals, where he has played works by C.P.E Bach, Beethoven, Dvořák, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Kurtag.

Outside the RNCM, Oliver often plays with the Hallé and is on the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra's Professional Experience Scheme. In 2015 he was invited to Malta to direct youth orchestra workshops and play with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra during the Malta International Arts Festival.
Oliver plays on an 1850 Honoré Derazey violin and is a recipient of the Peter Chase Award for Young Musicians.

Oliver Baily appears by kind permission of the RNCM

Patrick Curlett

Curlett, Patrick - Jan 2011Patrick Curlett is currently studying the violin with Levon Chilingirian at the Royal Northern College of Music. During his time in Manchester, he has received a number of solo engagements, including opportunities to perform concertos by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi, as well as recitals across the UK and in Italy.He was born into a musical family and grew up near Bournemouth. After being a member of the National Children's Orchestra and leader of the Dorset and Wessex Youth Orchestra's, he received his first engagement with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the age of just 17. During his time at College, Patrick has been an active chamber musician. As part of the Medlock String Quartet, he has enjoyed success in winning the RNCM Terrence Weil Prize and gaining a place on the ‘Live Music Now’ Scheme. After a four star review in the Guardian of a performance of Mendelssohn’s String Octet with the Edinburgh Quartet, they have since collaborated with the Allegri String Quartet for two performances of the same work in London and North Wales. He has also been leader of many of the College orchestras and ensembles, recently leading the Symphony Orchestra in the international Cantiere festival in Montepulciano, Italy. Patrick is currently finishing his Masters degree at the RNCM whilst working as a freelance musician in Manchester, varying his work from playing folk and baroque violin, to appearing regularly with the Hallé. He is currently looking forward to performing Bach's double violin concerto with the RNCM Baroque ensemble in April of this year.

Patrick is the recipient of funding from the Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust and the Emanuel Hurwitz Trust, and would like to thank them for their generous support of his studies.

Patrick Curlett appears by kind permission of the RNCM and looks forward to performing with the Manchester Beethoven Orchestra.

Midori Sugiyama

Midori02Midori was born in Japan in 1981 and started her musical education at the age of five. In 1997, she entered the Toho Gakuen School of Music where she studied with Kenji Kobayashi.

Whilst studying in Japan, Midori attended many masterclasses with eminent musicians including Z Bron, T Brandis, C Tetzlaff, S Mintz, K Takezawa, and D Schwarzberg. Midori was also awarded a special prize in the Japan Classical Music Competition and performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with a variety of different professional orchestras including the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra.

Midori graduated from the Toho Gakuen School with honours in March 2000. She then entered the Royal Northern College of Music Postgraduate course in September 2003 where she currently studies with Yair Kless. Midori has been awarded several prizes for her achievements at the college, including the Salon Prize, the Norman George Prize, and the Helen Porthouse Paganini Prize. She already got the highest Diploma in Professional performance with distinction in March 2004. Midori has participated in many masterclasses with renowned professor Donald Weillerstein, David Finkel and lan Brown.

Midori has taken part in many International Music Festivals including Sachsischer Mastercourse for violin (Germany), Bowdoin International Music Festival (United States of America) and Keshet Eilon International Violin Mastercourse and had a Masterclass with Maestro Ida Haendel (Israel) with scholarship recipient.

Midori performed Brahms violin concerto with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra this month and will give a recital at Manchester’s prestigious Bridgewater Hall in March 2005.

Midori appears by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern College of Music.

Siobhán Doyle


Siobhán Doyle is currently in her third year of undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Leland Chen. Originally from Dublin, she previously studied with Gillian Williams and Maeve Broderick. She has also participated in masterclasses across the UK, France, Corsica and Sweden with Pavel Vernikov, Svetlana Makarova, Graf Mourja, Simon Fischer, Constantine Serban, Dona Lee Croft, Krysia Osostowicz and Yossi Zivoni.

In the past year, Siobhán has performed in Iceland and China with the European Youth Orchestra and Camerata Ireland. She was leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and the Dublin Youth Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2011. Also a keen chamber musician, she performs regularly in Manchester with her piano trio. Since winning the ‘Young Musician of the Year’ award at  the Clandeboye festival in 2010, Siobhán has performed chamber music in many concerts as part of the festival each year with the International visiting artists and other prizewinners. 

Siobhán has given recitals in the RNCM and as part of the Boyle Arts Festival, Music for Wexford and Art in Action festivals. She has performed as soloist with the DIT Symphony Orchestra and the DYO Symphony Orchestra.

Following a solo performance with the Artane Band in the National Concert Hall, she was invited by President Mary McAleese to give a concert at Áras an Uachtaráin, the President’s residence in Ireland.

Siobhán Doyle appears by kind permission of the RNCM.

Hannah Roberts

Hannah RobertsHannah is one of the outstanding 'cellists of her generation. She feels privileged to have worked closely with the late William Pleeth  at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Hannah has won many awards, including prizewinning finalist in the BBC TV Young Musician of the Year, and Silver medal for a performance of the Elgar Concerto with the LSO at the Barbican during the Shell/LSO Competition. She was also declared joint winner, with composer and pianist Simon Parkin, of the International Morley College Centenary Concerto prize, playing a concerto written for her by the composer. Prestigious awards have also included the Jacqueline du Pre memorial award and the Pierre Fournier award, as a result of which she gave a highly successful debut recital at the Wigmore Hall. Among her competition successes have been the  Tunbridge Wells Young Concert Artists Competition, and the Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year.

Since making her concerto debut aged 16 at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Hannah has given numerous concerto performances with leading orchestras, including the London Mozart Players, LSO, BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Halle. She has also made frequent broadcasts for BBC radio. Festival appearances have included Chichester, Malvern, Beverley, ‘Beethovenfest’ and regular participation in the prestigious ‘Manchester International Cello Festival.  In addition to her acclaimed duo partnership with husband Simon Parkin, Hannah has enjoyed working with the late Lord Menuhin, pianist Martin Roscoe and violinist Tasmin Little, with whom she has recorded for ASV.

Hannah  led the world premiere of a new work for six ‘celli by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies at the last RNCM Manchester International Cello Festival, and plans  for the forthcoming season include several solo and chamber music performances.

 Hannah Roberts is internationally respected as a teacher whose past students include chamber musicians, international prizewinners and principal ‘cellists. She is frequently invited to give masterclasses in addition to her post at the Royal Northern College of Music . She is grateful for the use of a Giovanni Grancino ‘cello of 1695.

Eva Thorarinsdottir

Thorarinsdottir,_Eva_-_October_2009Eva was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986 and has been playing the violin since the age of three. After studying under the Suzuki technique for a few years she was entered into the Reykjavik Music School at the age of eight. Four years later Eva was offered a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music in Surrey, England, where she studied with Maciej Rakowski. Eva has performed as a soloist in venues such as Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room in London and with the Kent Music Festival and Wyastone Music Festival. She has also performed with orchestras such as the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and YMS Chamber Orchestra, and gave a performance of Mendelssohn E Minor Violin Concerto with the Jupiter Symphony Orchestra in Michael Hall, London.

She is a recent winner of the RNCM Concerto Competition where she performed Schostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 and performed the concerto with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in November 2008 as a result. Eva has also taken part in many chamber music performances all over the UK, including Spittlesfield Music Festival, Rochdale Music Festival, Wigmore Hall, Mansion House, where she played alongside Jeremy Menuhin, among many others. Eva has also led a great number of orchestras and performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and at the “Menuhin Festival” in Switzerland. In the summer of 2009 she was invited to lead an orchestra in Stresa, Italy conducted by Giandrea Noseda.

In July 2009, Eva graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a Post Graduate Diploma with distinction. She is currently continuing her studies with Maciej Rakowski on the RNCM International Artist Diploma Course supported by the Jellis bequest. Eva plays on an 1845 Joseph Rocca violin.

Eva appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music www.rncm.ac.uk

Peggy Nolan

Peggy_NolanPeggy Nolan began playing the cello at the age of seven. She is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music studying with Peter Dixon. Former teachers have included Adele O’ Dwyer, Aisling Drury-Byrne and William Butt. As a soloist Peggy has performed Saint-Saens’ cello concerto with the Dublin Youth Orchestra in venues across Eastern Europe and Faure’s Elegy with The Dublin Orchestral Players. She has given solo recitals in venues such as the John Field Room and the James Joyce centre. Peggy has also won many competitions in Ireland’s Feis Ceoil, Sligo Feis and Newpark Music Festival.

Peggy is particularly interested in chamber music. She has attended various international courses working with eminent tutors such as Dr. Hugh Maguire, Mstislav Rostropovich and Fulvio Luciano. As a member of the RNCM’s Eblana Trio she has won a number of competitions and performed extensively across Britain and Ireland, as well as at the 37th International Viola Congress in South Africa.

A keen orchestral musician, Peggy has been principal cello in many orchestras including the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the Hibernian Orchestra, Dublin Youth Orchestra as well as many of the RNCM Orchestras. She has been awarded places on the Professional Experience Schemes of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the BBC Philharmonic, and has since undertaken professional work with the BBC Philharmonic.

Peggy plays on a 1947 Petrus Gaggini cello kindly on loan to her from the Music Instrument Fund of Ireland.

Ruth Gibson

Ruth_GibsonRuth is from Dublin and began her musical studies at the age of five, studying the violin with Maria Keleman and later with Ronald Masin, transferring her studies to viola at the age of 11. In the summer of 2004 she was a finalist in the European String Teachers’ Association Young Musician of the Year, coming second overall in her category. She has twice performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in Dublin’s National Concert Hall with the Young European Strings.

In 2005 Ruth began her undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she studies with Predrag Katanic and is the recipient of an RNCM entrance award. Since starting at the RNCM she has participated in solo masterclasses with Thomas Riebl and Marco van Pagee and chamber music classes with the Endellion and New Zealand string quartets. Ruth is a regular perfomer at the College’s annual chamber music festivals, and in 2006 she was awarded second prize in the RNCM Viola Competition, and the following year was awarded first prize.

Ruth is a member of the Finzi string quartet with whom she has participated in masterclasses and received coaching from the late Christopher Rowland, the Endellion and Elias (formerly Johnston) Quartets, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Thomas Riebl and Andras Keller. Over the past two years the quartet has studied with members of the Alban Berg Quartett at the Britten-Pears International Academy of String Quartets in Aldeburgh and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. They have also attended the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in the class of Andras Keller, were selected for the Tunnell Trust Blair Athol Showcase, and from next year will be visiting students at the Instituto Internacional de Musica da Camara de Madrid in the class of the Alban Berg’s first violinist, Gunter Pichler. They are recipients of the 2009 Tunnell Trust Award and will be Quartet in Residence at Aldeburgh next February.

Ruth has completed both her ABRSM and LRSM performance diplomas and regularly gives solo and chamber music recitals in her native Ireland and throughout the North West. In 2005 Ruth was honoured to take part in a masterclass with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Xenia Ensemble Chamber Music Course in Italy, and over the last two years has taken part in the K16 International Festival in Poland, the Schumann and Brahms Festival at BBC Manchester and regularly leads the RNCM’s chamber and symphony orchestras. In the third year of her degree, Ruth was a finalist in both the RNCM’s Paganini Prize and the J&A Beare Solo Bach Competition.  This summer she took part in the Bantry Chamber Music Festival in Ireland and the Cheltenham Festival and attended the Bad Leonfelden and Apeldoorn Summer Academies in the classes of Thomas Riebl and Asdis Valdimarsdottir respectively.

Ruth Gibson appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music, www.rncm.ac.uk

Kaja Margrethe Aadne

aadne03Kaja was born in Roskilde, Denmark in 1980, and began playing the cello at the age of nine studying with Jorn Lauritzen at the Ishoj Musikskole. Three years later she was accepted on the MGK, a three year Conservatory preparatory course in Ishoj, Denmark, to study with Professor Asger Lund Christiansen.

In 1992 Kaja was selected to participate in ‘Unge Talenter’ on Norwegian Television. In 1994 she won first prize in the Berlingske Tidene Musikkoncurrence and was accepted to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 1996 where she received lessons from Professor Asger Lund Christiansen, Professor Morten Zeuthen and Troels Svane. She also received chamber music tuition form Professor Tim Fredriksen. In the spring of 1997 Kaja performed the Haydn D Major Cello Concerto with Koge Symfoniorkester. She graduated with a Diploma from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2002. In 1999 Kaja was accepted at the Musikhochschule in Lubeck, Germany where she studied for two years with Professor Troels Svane.

Kaja has been particularly active as a chamber musician and as a member of the Paizo Quartet won first prize and the audience prize at the Trondheims First International Chamber Music Conference in 2000. The Quartet were also prize winners in the Danmarks Radios P2 Koncurrense in 2002. As soloist and chamber musician Kaja has been an active participant in masterclasses with Frans Helmerson, David Geringas, Ralf Kirshbaum, Norbert Brainin, Sigmund Nissel, Gerhard Schultz and the Medici and Prazak Quartets.

Kaja has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Most memorable performances include concerts in Tivolis Konsertsal, Daimanten, Charlottenborg Slot, Frederiksvaerk Sommerfestival, Fuglsang and an extensive quartet tour of Norway in 2001. After graduating from the Royal Danish Conservatory she was employed by the Royal Danish Opera from August 2002 until January 2004.

Kaja Margrethe Aadne is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music with Professor Kim Bak Dinitzen. Most recently Kaja gave recitals at St Ann’s Church  and the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

Kaja Aadne appears by kind permission of the Principal, RNCM.

Nathaniel Boyd

Nathaniel Boyd was born in 1983 and started studying the cello at the age of four  at the Preparatory Department of the Guildhall. At the age of nine he joined the  Junior Guildhall School of Music where he studied with Selma Gokcen. He also  studied regularly with William Pleeth.

At the Guildhall, Nathaniel was principal cellist of both the Symphony Orchestra  and the String Ensemble, with which he appeared as soloist. He is passionate about  chamber music and has performed in numerous Chamber Music Festivals both in England  and abroad at venues such as St Martin in the Fields and the Barbican. Recently,  Nathaniel has taken part in masterclasses at the International Musicians Seminar  at Prussia Cove and The London Masterclasses with Ralph Kirshbaum and Karine  Georgian. In March 2002 he performed Boccherini's G major cello concerto at St  James' Piccadilly with the London Pergolesi Sinfonietta and was subsequently  invited to return as soloist.

On finishing school, Nathaniel was offered full scholarships to study at The  Royal Academy, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal Northern  College of Music. He is currently in his second year at the RNCM where he  studies with Hannah Roberts.

Nathaniel Boyd appears by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern  College of Music.

Sadie Fields

SadieFields200702Sadie Fields performs frequently throughout the UK and in her home country of Canada. Since being invited at the age of fourteen by conductor Victor Feldbrill to perform as soloist in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Sadie has been featured as guest soloist with many Canadian orchestras, such as the Windsor Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, the National Festival Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Chamber Academy, and the Toronto String Orchestra. Sadie has also been featured as guest soloist with a number of orchestras throughout the UK, recently playing the Beethoven concerto, Bruch G minor concerto, Mendelssohn concerto, Alban Berg concerto, and Vaughan Williams Lark Ascending. Upcoming performances include Chausson Poeme with the Manchester Beethoven Orchestra, and Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy with the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra.

Sadie appears regularly in solo recitals, and has been featured in the Guelph Musicfest, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society Series, the Caskey Recital Series, and the Guelph Spring Festival. Sadie has performed for the Prime Minister of Canada and for the late Pope John Paul II, and she has been featured in a national broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation playing works by Sarasate. In the UK, Sadie has appeared at many important music festivals including the Windsor Festival, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Newbury Spring Festival, and the Halifax Young Musicians’ Showcase. Sadie has also performed Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, and has appeared in London at Goldsmith’s Hall and St. Bride’s Church. Sadie has attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the International School for Musical Arts, and most recently, the Salzburg Mozarteum Summer Academy, where she was selected to perform for a former president of Germany. Sadie has also been invited to perform at the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival in 2008.

Sadie has won major awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the Leverhulme Trust, the Zochonis Charitable Trust, and the Edward Johnson Music Foundation. She was also a first prize winner of the Canadian Music Competition, a winner of the Edward Johnson Music Competition, winner of the Kitchener-Waterloo Concerto Competition, and winner of the RNCM Eleanor Warren Prize and the Weil Prize.

Prior to her studies at the RNCM, Sadie received a full scholarship to attend the Young Artists Performance Academy in Toronto, where she studied with Atis Bankas. In addition, Sadie has had lessons and masterclasses with many of the most distinguished violin pedagogues, including Victor Danchenko, Aaron Rosand, Marucio Fuks, Almita Vamos, Paul Kantor, Ivry Gitlis, Zvi Zeitlin, and Nelli Schkolnikova. Sadie won a full scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, where she now studies with Prof. Yair Kless. Sadie plays on a 1677 violin by Francesco Ruggieri, kindly on loan from the RNCM

Sadie Fields appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Sarah Fletcher

Sarah, who is now in her third year at the Royal Northern College of Music, began playing the violin at the age of four. She was taught by her mother Jean, and then from the age of thirteen went on to study with Nina Martin in Sheffield.

Sarah led the youth orchestra in her home town of Doncaster for five years and performed the Bruch Violin Concerto, Beethoven's Romance in F and Mozart's Concerto No 4 with them. She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra for four years which took her on a European tour, playing in a number of the most famous concert venues in the world.

Sarah has gained many prizes in music festivals throughout the UK. She won the Sheffield Young Musician of the Year in 1994 and reached the regional final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Twice she won the Music For Youth competition as part of a violin quartet. This led to a number of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.

Last summer Sarah was invited to participate in the International School for Musical Arts in Toronto, Canada, with her professor at the RNCM, Wen Zhou Li.

Sarah Fletcher appears by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern College of Music

Sebastien Hurtaud

Hurtaud Sebastien02

Sebastien was born in La Rochelle, France in 1979. He began studying the cello at the age of nine at the Conservatoire of La Rochelle and obtained a gold medal three years later. In 1996 he entered the Shola Cantorum of Paris in Erwan Faure's class and won the Virtuosity and Concert Diploma the same year.

In June 2003 Sebastien was awarded First Prize in M. Gamard's class at the Conservatoire Superieur National de Musique de Paris and for Chamber Music with the pianist Pamela Hurtado in Rena Scherechevskaia's class. He came to the Royal Northern College of Music in 2004 to undertake postgraduate studies with Karine Georgian.

Sebastien has performed in masterclasses with several great musicians including Arto Noras, Raphael Sommer, Alexander Rudin in the Pablo Casals Festival, Karine Georgian at the Musikhochschule Detmold, Daria Hovora in the Quinte Plus Festival in Paris. He has also performed widely throughout France and has appeared in notable festivals including St Jean Cap Ferras, Flaine, Cordes sur ciel and Deauville. He has worked with the pianists Denis Pascal and Daria Hovora and with the violinist Boris Garlitsky.

In Paris, Sebastien performed all the suites of Bach for the Festival "Musique et Patimoine" in the St Ephren Church. He has performed as soloist with the O.E.C. orchestra conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier in the great Hall of the Cite de la Musique de Paris. He also performed Haydn's concertos at the National theatre of La Rochelle with the conductor Patricia Kieffer.

Sebastien Hurtaud appears by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern College of Music.

Yoshika Masuda

Yoshika Masuda 1Born in 1986, Japanese/Australian cellist Yoshika Masuda started playing the cello at the age of five. He studied with Ryouichi Hayashi in Japan, Georg Pedersen at the Sydney Conservatorium and having been spotted by the cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, he is currently studying with Hannah Roberts at the Royal Northern College of Music, UK, on a full scholarship assisted by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He has also frequently participated in masterclasses given by Richard Aaron, Alexander Baillie, Thomas Demenga, Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, Philippe Muller and Uzi Wiesel amongst others.

Yoshika has gained his A.Mus.A and L.Mus.A diplomas (AMEB) passing both with distinction, which has led to a solo performance at the Sydney Town Hall to a packed audience. He has won numerous awards previously including two silver medals at the 2000 & 2001 Sydney Cello Award, finalist in the National Youth Concerto Competition and was a recipient of the 2005 Big Brother Scholarship. He has also performed solo with the SBS TV & Radio Youth Orchestra, Queensland Youth Symphony and the CHS Orchestra, and has appeared on ABC Classic FM Australia-wide and 4-MBS FM. Since his arrival in the UK Yoshika has won second prize in the UK's J & A Beare Solo Bach Competition and was awarded the Amy Lindley Cello Prize and has given recitals throughout England, Australia and Japan. He has also just recently appeared at the XVI Festival Amfiteatrof on the coast of Levanto, Italy, alongside Thomas Demenga in a solo recital at the historic Saint Andrea Church.

Orchestrally, Yoshika has performed frequently with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Sinfonia, Tasmanian and the Sydney Symphony Orchestras and continues to play in the Sydney Symphony when home in Australia.

This coming year sees Yoshika performing in the UK, the south of France and Croatia.

Yoshika Masuda appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music, www.rncm.ac.uk

Julian-David Erdmann Metzger

The German-born cellist Julian Metzger started his cello studies at the age of four. Since 1990 he has been living in England, where he studied with Dr. Ioan Davies, former cellist of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. In 1992, he entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied with Stefan Popov. During his four-year honours degree course, Julian Metzger won several prizes and bursaries and performed as far afield as Hong Kong, where he also recorded for Radio Television Hong Kong.

Since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mr. Metzger has been continuing his studies with Raphael Wallfisch. His duo partner is his wife, the pianist Gitanjali Ram, with who he performs regularly in Hong Kong, England, France and Germany.

Future concerts include concertos with the South-Westphalian Philharmonic, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Herts Philharmonic, as well as duo recitals and further recordings for RTHK.




Desmond Neysmith

Desmond Neysmith received his Bachelors at the Royal College of Music under  Professor Steven Doane and was subsequently offered the position of Teaching  Assistant at the University of Akron, Ohio, where he studied with the first  assistant principal of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Weiss.

Over the years Desmond has participated in many festival, including Aspen,  Dartington and most notably at Bowdoin Summer Music Festival as both the  Performing Associate and Teaching Assistant to Steven Doane. This has provided  Desmond with invaluable teaching experience. He was recently invited to give a  masterclass and recital at NOCCA (New Orleans Centre for the Creative Arts).

After winning first prize in the Texaco Sphinx Competition for Black and  Latino String Players in March 2001, Desmond gave his US Concerto debut with  the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and following that was invited to give solo  performances with Hartford, Louisiana and New World Symphony orchestras.  Many of these performances were broadcast nationally on television and radio.

Further afield, Desmond has been tireless in promoting classical music in ethnic  minorities. Due to his Caribbean background he has found himself in great demand  as a performer and representative of an all too insignificant number of  classically trained black musicians. He has given interactive workshops at  inner city schools in many US cities including New York, Baltimore, Louisiana,  Hartford and Miami. Most notably he was recently given the honour of being the  soloist with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in their first ever performance at the  Ebeneezer Baptist Church (the birthplace of Dr Martin Luther King's Civil Rights  movement) on the national holiday given his namesake.

Desmond is currently at the Royal Northern College of Music pursuing his  postgraduate studies under the tutelage of Karine Georgian. He is kindly  supported by awards from The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, The Musicians  Benevolent Fund, Myra Hess Fund, The Emanuel Herwitz Chamber Music Charitable  Trust and the KPMG Martin Musical Scholarship Fund.

Desmond plays on a Giovanni Grancino cello circa 1600 on kind loan from J & A  Beares of London.

Desmond Neysmith appears by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern  College of Music.

Oliver Nelson

OliverNelson02Oliver Nelson was born in Glasgow in 1972 and began learning the violin at the age of 6. At 12, he was awarded a music scholarship to Canford School studying violin with Richard Studt, and at 17, he was awarded an Exhibition to study violin with Xue-Wei, and conducting with Denise Ham, at the Royal Academy of Music. During this time, he was leader and soloist with the Academy String Orchestra, winning first prize in a concerto competition, thereby beginning his solo career. Orchestras which he has played with range from Gli Amici Della Musica, Dorset Youth Orchestra, Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra, Da Vinci Ensemble, Christchurch Sinfonia, Linoi Ensemble and Dorset Chamber Orchestra.

He has held teaching posts at Hindhead School of Music and currently at Sherborne School. He is a regular recitalist with Zoe Solomon and Peter Croser and has a particular specialisation in the unaccompanied repertoire. He is the leader of the Sorrentino Quartet and the Linoi Ensemble and is a familiar soloist with orchestras across the country with forthcoming performances of the Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven concerti in venues ranging from Dorset, Winchester to London

Helena Roques

 Helena Roques was born in 1980 and began learning the violin at the age of 4.  In 1991 she decided to continue her studies at Wells Cathedral specialist music  school where she was funded by a DFEE scholarship. Helena was awarded an  entrance scholarship to continue her studies at the RNCM in 1998, where  she received tuition from Richard Ireland whom she continues to study with now.  Helena graduated from the RNCM with a First Class Honours Degree in 2003.

Helena is an active chamber musician as second violin in the Stillman Quartet.  She was a finalist in the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition and  winner of the RNCM Barbirolli prize. The quartet also performed in the RNCM  Beethoven and Schubert and Mendelssohn festivals.

Helena is also a founder member of the Roques Piano Trio who perform regularly  throughout the UK and further afield, including recitals for the Lake District  Summer Music Festival, Peterborough Festival, Romiley Music Club and Bishop  Auckland Music Society. The Trio also performed at the RNCM's highly acclaimed  SchubertFest and have taken part in masterclasses with Renna Kellaway and  members of the Chilingirian and Sorrel Quartets. The Trio were winners of  the audience prize in the RNCM Granada Prize Competition.

Having led both the RNCM Chamber and Symphony Orchestras, Helena now freelances  with various orchestras in the North, including the Royal Liverpool  Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Northern Chamber Orchestra.  She continues to play with her trio and quartet and hopes to continue  her studies abroad next year.

Helena Roques appears by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern  College of Music.

Alan Smale

Alan Smale aAlan Smale is one of Ireland's best known and respected musicians. He is Leader of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, former Leader of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and is renowned as a soloist and chamber music player.

Originally from Devon, England, Alan studied privately with Harold Petts, a pupil of the great English violinist Albert Sammons, before moving to Leeds and then to London, to the Royal Academy of Music, for four years study with Clarence Myerscough, violin, and Sidney Griller, chamber music. On moving to Ireland in 1977, Alan was appointed co-leader of the then RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, quickly gaining a reputation as a soloist in his own right, and building up a repertoire of some thirty major concertos. In his early career Alan also freelanced with orchestras including Orchestra of the Royal Ballet, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Scottish Opera and the London Symphony Orchestra.

On being appointed Leader of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 1984, Alan became well known to a wider audience in many solo appearances on television, as well as directing and leading his own chamber group, the 'Degani Ensemble', (re-formed and currently undertaking tours of Ireland for the Music Network) and working with Ireland's premier contemporary ensemble, 'Concorde'. He was a frequent guest leader of the Ulster Orchestra in the 80's and 90's, and began building up an impressive list of credits on Irish and international films as Leader of the Irish Film Orchestra since 1993, a role that continues to this day.

Alan was appointed to his present position in 1994. With the RTÉNSO he has recorded the solos from Richard Strauss's tone poems 'Ein Heldenleben' and 'Don Quixote' for Naxos, and two contemporary Irish concertos, by Raymond Deane and James Wilson, (the latter written for and dedicated to him) for Marco Polo. In the current 2011-12 season, Alan is performing the Deliius Concerto for Violin and 'Cello with the RTÉNSO in February. In May 2011 he premiered the concerto by Jerome De Bromhead, which was dedicated to him, and he will record this work commercially in the near future as part of RTÉ's 'Irish Music Recording Project'.

Future plans include performances of a new concerto by Irish composer Frank Corcoran, in November 2012, and the Hindemith Concerto in 2013, as well as a major chamber music series with the Degani Ensemble in 2012. Alan had the honour of performing for Ireland's President Mary McAleese, the RTÉNSO's patron, on many occasions, and he was Leader of the orchestra for the concert marking the historic visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second to Ireland in May 2011, when he was presented to the Royal Party on stage in the National Convention Centre, Dublin.

Alan gained a Master of Arts Degree with first class honours in 2003. He plays on a Venetian violin by Eugenio Degani, dated 1896.

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson aMartin, born 1975, studied Cello under the direction of Anna Shuttleworth, a former student of Pablo Casals, Andrew Shulman, Principal Cello – The Philharmonia, and the British Soloist Alexander Baillie.

In 2000, he joined the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and moved to Dublin, where he has subsequently been appointed Section Leader (2004).  In January 2008 Martin made his Irish debut as a soloist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, performing Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 1 in A minor Op.33. He is due make his fifth appearance as soloist with the RTÉ NSO in February 2012 with Delius Double Concerto for Violin and ‘Cello, alongside the Orchestras Leader, Alan Smale.

As a soloist, Martin has given performances of Concerti by Robert Schumann, Joseph Haydn, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Sir Michael Tippett, Corelli, J Ibert, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Richard Strauss’s finest tone poem for ‘cello and orchestra ‘Don Quixote’ op.35. Several of his recitals over the past seasons have been critically acclaimed - most notably a recital of four world premieres for solo cello at the Hugh Lane Gallery - all pieces have been commissioned (with the support of the Arts Council, Ireland) from Irish Composers.

Martin has performed throughout Europe, China and the USA. 2010 saw performances on a Chinese Tour with the National Chamber Ensemble of Ireland featuring performances at the Shanghai World Expo. This tour led to the formation of Altissimo Quintet – a string quintet with two violas. Altissimo has given several concerts and has begun a recording cycle with Producer Ronan O’Reilly focussing on viola quintets by Dvorak, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Vaughan-Williams. To broaden the repertoire, Altissimo has commissioned several new works from contemporary Irish composers, including some cross-genre compositions. www.facebook.com/AltissimoQuintet

In much demand as an orchestral musician, Martin is also a regular Guest Section Leader with orchestras in the UK, recently including Opera North and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. In 2006, in recognition of his orchestral work, Martin was invited to become a member of the World Philharmonic Orchestra. More recently Martin has collaborated with Irish Composer Brian Byrne and Singer Sinead O’Connor for the title track to Glenn Close’s newest film Albert Nobbs – The song Lay Your Head Down has been nominated for  at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards.

 Later in 2012 Martin will give performances of Elgar’s ‘Cello Concerto in E minor with Ireland’s Hibernian Orchestra and recitals which will include the Delius ‘Cello Sonata as part of the 150th Delius Anniversary celebrations.

Martin plays a fine cello by Thomas Kennedy of London c.1810

New Logo