Robin Bowman was Head of Academic Studies and then Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, between 1985 and 2008. He worked as assistant to Pierre Bernac (the singer for whom Poulenc wrote most of his songs) throughout the 1970s, and was French consultant for the London National Opera Studio for 30 years. Collaborative piano playing has always featured largely in his professional life, including many broadcasts and recordings. For twelve years he was pianist and co-director of a springtime series of chamber music concerts in St. Emilion, France. In retirement he works for the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, and at Birmingham Conservatoire, also continuing his teaching at international summer schools
Jessica Wise, soprano, studies Vocal and Opera Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire under the guidance of Catherine Benson.
She is a winner of both the Ashleyan Opera Prize and the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize (Birmingham Conservatoire), and was a semi-finalist for the Somerset Song Prize 2015. Operatic roles include Musetta La Boheme, Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Belinda Dido and Aeneas, and La Contessa Le Nozze de Figaro in Birmingham Conservatoire’s 2015 Opera Scenes. This August she will heading to Germany to perform the role of Barbarina in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro.
This spring/summer, Jessica is performing with pianist Guy Murgatroyd in venues across the Midlands and the south, including Birmingham, Newbury, Shrewsbury, Oxford and Wigmore Hall, London. In September, Jessica will commence a year of study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest having won the coveted Joseph Weingarten scholarship.
Jessica had the pleasure of performing with Robin Bowman for her Post Graduate final recital in 2014, and is delighted to be working with him again for this lunchtime concert in Bournville.
Amy graduated with distinction from the MA program at the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Josephine Knight, achieving DipRAM for outstanding final recital and the Rhoda Butt Award for achievement and contribution to the institution. Having studied previously with Professor Valter Despalj in Zagreb and Jakob Kullberg at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, she has led an exciting musical path.
Amy is currently a scholar of the String Leadership Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music. Performing regularly with the Hallé and receiving mentorship from Nick Trygstad and Emma Ferrand, Amy is recipient of the 2014 Charles Hallé Award and is very grateful for support from the Oglesby family.
Amy was the first ever instrumentalist to win the Royal Warrant Holders Aldeburgh Bursary in 2013, leading to a performance at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace and support as a Britten-Pears Young Artist, performing in masterclasses with Miklos Perenyi at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Amy performs regularly with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of the Bristol Ensemble and FeMusa, Britain’s only all-female string orchestra. She was a founding member of the Toki Quartet, who worked with composers Nicola LeFanu and Yuka Takechi, performing all over the UK and Japan. The Toki Quartet received funding from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the Holst Foundation, Daiwa Foundation and the Britten-Pears Foundation.