Fumiko Miyachi (b.1979) is a composer and pianist. Her music is a colourful melting pot of driving rhythms, vibrant harmonies and multicultural influences of her European/Japanese background. Fumiko’s pieces have been performed by artists from across the world including Opera North, the BBC Singers and many more. As a pianist, she specializes in performing contemporary repertoire and has premiered and performed many pieces by composers including Michael Finnissy, Laurence Crane, Joe Cutler and Louis Andriessen to name a handful.
Kate Halsall is a pianist developing and commissioning new music for a variety of projects. She has performed widely in the UK and internationally including for Aldeburgh Music, Ockham’s Razor Aerial Theatre Company, Kings Place, hcmf//, Michael Clark Dance Company, Marte Festival Malaga, Tête à Tête Opera, Banff Centre Canada, Timezones Festival Italy. She has performed with a number of ensembles including Piano Circus (02-12), Southbank Sinfonia, Andrew Poppy’s Sustaining Ensemble, Dark Inventions and most recently formed Galvanize Ensemble.
Paul Mocroft has been singing since he joined his church choir aged 10. From 1990 to 2000 he was a member of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus and with them sang in all the major venues and festivals across Europe. He is now a regular soloist with choirs across the Midlands singing all of the standard oratorio repertoire. He has given many recitals of English song with John Jenkin and completed his vocal studies at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2005.
John Jenkin is an accomplished organist and pianist with many years’ experience of accompanying choirs, solo singers and instrumentalists. He works as a piano accompanist in the Vocal Department at Birmingham Conservatoire and is Assistant Organist at St Alban’s Church, Highgate, Birmingham.
The Montpellier Duo is a vibrant ensemble made up of young musicians, Julia Liang and Alexander Kirk, who are both scholars studying for a Masters degree at London’s Royal College of Music, where they graduated from in June 2015. Both originally from Gloucestershire, they jointly received Cheltenham Music Festival’s Keith Nutland Award and went on to begin their collaboration at the RCM, where they receive guidance from Dr. Felix Andrievsky and Sasha Rozhdestvensky. They have performed together at many prestigious venues throughout the UK, including Cheltenham Town Hall, the Pittville Pump Room and the Parabola Arts Centre as part of the Cheltenham Music Festival. Their most recent engagements include recitals for the Painswick Music Society and Burgh House in London. In Summer 2016, they were also selected to participate in a masterclass with Lewis Kaplan. The duo is keen to present works which are lesser known to the public, in particular British composers, recently focusing on the Sonatas of Arnold Bax, John Ireland and Arthur Bliss.
Allan was born in Leeds and was a pupil of Fanny Waterman before continuing his studies with Deni Matthews, Viktor Merzhanov and Guido Agosti.
He made his debut at the age of ten with the Halle Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli, and while still in his teens appeared at the Edinburgh Festval with the N.Y.O. and at the Promenade Concerts. At the age of eighteen he became the first British student to study at the Moscow Conservatoire.
In a career spanning fifty years he has played with all the major British orchestras working with famous conductors including Haitink, Solti and Sargent. He has touredwidely abroad, most notably returning to the former Soviet Union – from Archangel to Yerevan.
In the U.K. his impressive list of BBC broadcasts included chamber music with string quartets, piano trios and horn trios as well as numerous solo recitals.
His recordings are equally wide-ranging in repertoire, including concertos with the London Philharmonic, the Elgar and Bridge Piano Quintets with the Coull Quartet and solo discs of Chopin, Mozart and Chabrier.
He currently lives in Bristol.
Antonia Gentile is a classically trained soprano and a graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire. Antonia currently studies under the tuition of Neil Baker and is pursuing a career in opera. Her most recent operatic roles include The Governess (The Turn of the Screw) and 1st Boy (The Magic Flute). Antonia is passionate about contemporary music and is perhaps best known for performing music written for voice and guitar. In 2015 Antonia embarked on an ambitious project with Mēla Guitar Quartet, recording unpublished and previously unrecorded works of Stephen Dodgson for the Stephen Dodgson Society.
Vickers Bovey Duo’s performances have been described as ‘beautifully effortless’ (Mark Eden) and ‘with truly uncanny unanimity’ (The Daily Telegraph). Julian and Dan first met studying at Birmingham Conservatoire where they both received First Class Honours and the Principal’s Prize, continuing their studies with a joint Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, London, graduating with a Distinction in July 2016.
Winners of multiple awards, the duo have recently been selected for the Tillett Trust Young Artist Platform, which will see them make their Wigmore Hall debut in 2017, the 2017 Park Lane Group concert series at St John’s Smith Square and have also recently been selected for the Concordia Foundation Young Artist Scheme. In June 2016 they won the Royal Academy of Music’s Club Prize, the most prestigious competition at the Academy, and will give their prize winners recital in January 2017. The duo were also selected for IGF’s Young Artist Platform in 2014 and have performed extensively around the UK, including at Wigmore Hall, St. James’ Piccadilly, Kings Place (London Guitar Festival), The Sage (North-East Guitar Festival), Bath Guitar Festival, Shrewsbury Guitar Festival, Colston Hall (Bristol) and live on BBC Radio 3.
United by a love of new and contemporary music, the duo have commissioned and premiered numerous works, including a first performance of Joe Cutler’s Everyday Music at London Guitar Festival in 2014. The duo also have a long term collaboration with Ryan Probert, whose transfixing large scale works Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and Eight Views of the Four Seasons have been performed over thirty times, in concert halls, libraries, factories and schools. Ryan’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji formed the duo’s debut CD, released in April 2016.
Julian and Dan’s studies are made possible with substantial grants from Help Musicians UK, Blythe Watson Charitable Trust and the Countess of Munster Postgraduate Awards, with Julian receiving further assistance from the Prince Philip Trust Fund and RBWM Arts Fund.
Naoko Mitsumori has appeared in England many times, both as organist and as pianist since 2001. There are few who give both piano & organ concerts. She is, therefore, a unique & talented musician.
Ms. Mitsumori studied piano at Kyoto City University of Arts and at Senzoku Gakuen University with Professor Max Egger, and on summer courses in Europe, gaining the piano accompaniment medal of the Académie Internationale de Musique Maurice Ravel in France in 1988. She is now frequently engaged as staff accompanist for vocal summer schools in England.
As a pianist, she has given numerous recitals and concert performances, including concertos with famous orchestras, quintets, and with European string quartets, duo with Robin Bowman, etc. She performed solo- & duo-(with Mr.Bowman) pieces by two Japanese contemporary composers at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2006.
Since 2013 she has performed three times in Bournville Meeting House (twice as pianistand once as organist, returning for an all-Bach programme in 2016) Ms. Mitsumori also teaches piano at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto and at Hyogo-prefectural Nishinomiya Highschool.
Since 1991 Ms. Mitsumori has also devoted herself to organ playing, studying first with Professor Masaaki Suzuki at Kobe Shoin Women’s University, and with Professor Ullrich Böhme both in Japan and at the Thomas Church in Leipzig, where she has also performed as basso-continuo organist. She now organizes Prof. Böhme’s church organ music courses in Japan. She also studied with Professor Piet Kee in Holland, appearing there twice as recitalist.
Ms. Mitsumori has given organ recitals in Japan, Hong Kong and England, and joined some orchestras and choral societies, too.
john Humphreys studied in London and Vienna. He made his Wigmore debut in 1972 and since then has played throughout the UK, abroad and on BBC radio with his piano duo colleague, Allan Schiller. Together they have recorded Busoni and Schubert for Naxos. John was assistant head of piano at Birmingham Conservatoire from 1982 to 2009. In 1998, he was awarded the ARAM from the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his distinguished contribution to music.