Danny Driver (Piano)
The international critical acclaim that Danny Driver’s recordings and performances have generated over recent years has cemented his reputation as one of Britain’s most respected and versatile pianists. Described variously as ‘bold, exuberant and precise’ [The Guardian] and of ‘impeccable technique and musicianship’ [Gramophone], he has earned two Gramophone Award nominations, a National Public Radio Top 10 Award and, most recently, Limelight Magazine’s Instrumental Recording of the Year 2014 Award for his recording of Handel’s Eight Great Suites. [Read more…]
Kate Valentine (Soprano)
Scottish Soprano Kate Valentine studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. A Samling Foundation Alumna, her numerous awards include the Glyndebourne Anne Wood/Joanna Peters Award, a Sybil Tutton Award, a Susan Chilcott Scholarship, and Scottish Opera’s John Scott Award. She has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with English National Opera, where, as part of their prestigious Harewood Artist Scheme, she has performed; Cathleen Riders to the Sea, First Lady The Magic Flute, Elisabeth Zimmer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers (a co-production with the Young Vic), Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Countess Almaviva the Marriage of Figaro (a role which she has also performed in Italian for Glyndebourne Tour and Scottish Opera) and Mimi La Boheme. [Read more…]
Listen to Kate here
Caroline Dowdle (Piano)
Festival Pianist-in-Residence Caroline Dowdle was born in South Africa and studied music at the University of Cape Town, where she was taught by the eminent chamber musician Lamar Crowson. There she qualified with a Masters in Music before moving to England to study at the Royal Northern College of Music as a solo pianist, under Renna Kellaway. She was awarded a fellowship in accompaniment at the college, a post which she held for 2 years, before moving to London to begin her career as a freelance pianist. [Read more…]
Anna Dennis (soprano)
Described by the Times as a “delectable soprano and a serene, ever-sentient presence”, Anna studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Noelle Barker. Notable concert performances have included Britten’s War Requiem at the Berlin Philharmonie, a programme of Russian operatic arias with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Thomas Ades’ Life Story accompanied by the composer at the Lincoln Centre’s White Light Festival in New York, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney Opera House and with Concerto Copenhagen in Amsterdam, and Haydn’s Schöpfung with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. Her BBC Proms appearances include performances with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Damian Thantrey (baritone)
Damian read law at Clare College, Cambridge and qualified as a lawyer before studying singing at the Royal College of Music with Margaret Kingsley. On leaving the RCM, Damian was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal and held the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship, continuing his studies with Paul Farrington. Recent roles include Count Ludovic in Sondheim’s Passion at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, Deputy Mayor (Roy Fiction) in the Royal Opera House premiere of Turnage’s Anna Nicole, Apollo Orfeo Opéra National de Lorraine and Salle Pleyel, Paris, Lun Tha The King and I, Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince Into the Woods, Franz/Lee Sunday in the Park with George, Ralph Kiss Me Kate and Mr Lindquist A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris [Read more…]
Listen to Damian here
Jonathan Gunthorpe (baritone)
After reading English and Russian at Leeds University, Jonathan gained an MA in Music at Birmingham Conservatoire. He then studied at the Royal College of Music, where he also held the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship, before attending the National Opera Studio. Roles include English Clerk Death in Venice for La Scala, La Monnaie, the Concertgebouw and English National Opera, Nachtigall Die Meistersinger, Angelotti Tosca and Giant Gentle Giant for the Royal Opera House [Read more…]
Leigh Woolf (Mezzo Soprano)
Leigh Woolf, mezzo-soprano, studied singing as both undergraduate and postgraduate at the Royal College of Music, London. As a student she was widely acclaimed, winning many prizes in German Song, English Song and interpretations of Bach and Handel before graduating with a prestigious first class diploma in both recital and opera. She currently studies voice with Paul Farrington and is a Samling Foundation Scholar. [Read more…]
Robert Murray (Tenor)
Robert Murray studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Operatic roles include Tamino Die Zauberflote, Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Agenore Il re Pastore, Belfiore La Finta Giardiniera, Jacquino Fidelio and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the title role in Albert Herring for Glyndebourne Touring Opera; Offenbach’s Vert-Vert , Piquillo La Périchole and Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress for Garsington Opera; Ferrando Cosi fan Tutte for Opera North; Male Chorus Rape of Lucretia for Den Norske Oper and the Nantes Opera; The Simpleton Boris Godunov, Tamino, Toni Reischmann Henze’s Elegy For Young Lovers, Idamante Idomeneo, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, and Steuermann Der Fliegende Hollaender and Frederic in Pirates of Penzance for ENO. [Read more…]
Charlie Bicknell (No Angel)
Charlie Bicknell became a household name playing ‘Delilah’ in BBC2’s This Life and subsequently starred as Scout in Ben Elton’s West End hit Popcorn. Continuing to work as an actress for the National Theatre and rep around the UK, Charlie then moved into cabaret, performing all over the world. Recently she received the accolade as being “The finest living exponent of Brecht” from Dudley Winterbottom, Chelsea Arts Club. [Read more…]
Patrick Craig (Conductor)
Patrick Craig is a conductor, countertenor, harpist, teacher and lecturer . He is a Vicar Choral at St Paul’s Cathedral and has sung almost a thousand concerts with world-renowned ensemble the Tallis Scholars. He is also a member of The Cardinall’s Musick who won the Gramophone Record of the Year award for their recording of William Byrd’s Infelix ego. Patrick Craig began conducting as Organ Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. It was here that he first staged a concert of music for women’s voices featuring Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, which he also accompanied on the harp. On arriving in London to take up a place as a countertenor at the Royal College of Music, he formed Aurora Nova. Working with the finest female choral singers in London he was afforded unique opportunities as a conductor. Aurora Nova became the first all-female professional choir to lead Sunday worship at St Paul’s Cathedral. He led them on their first tour of USA, and also conducted the City of London Sinfonia in a series of Orchestral Masses at St Paul’s. [Read more…]
Ian Shaw (Organ)
After studies at Cambridge and in Amsterdam and an early career in cathedral music, Ian Shaw was a repetiteur at Scottish Opera from 1997 until 2008. During this time, he was responsible for many piano-accompanied tours all over Scotland – and, on one occasion, Bermuda. Other companies for whom he has worked include BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Opera North, Northern Ballet Theatre, D’Oyly Carte Opera, European Chamber Opera, Crystal Clear Opera and Dorset Opera.
Since returning to London, he was worked with English National Opera, as a coach with British Youth Opera and the National Opera Studio and with many choirs, including the Bach Choir and the BBC Singers. Outside London he has been involved with a number of productions for Music Theatre Wales as well as Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands, the Hezarfen Ensemble in Istanbul and the Calabash Foundation in Trinidad.
Away from music, he recently gained a Masters degree at Goldsmiths College, his research interests including the evolution of Black theatre in the UK and the value of stand-up comedy in prison. Compositions include a song cycle for Rebecca Bottone, A Breath of Nothing, and choral commissions from St John’s College Cambridge and Magdalen College Oxford. His work has been described as ‘redoubtable’ by The Scotsman and ‘sometimes amusing’ by the Dean of Durham.
Elysian Piano Trio – Jane Hughes (Piano), Emily Sun (Violin), Jane Lindsay (Cello)