Laura Rickard (Artistic director and violin)
British violinist Laura Rickard is a versatile young musician who enjoys bringing music to the widest possible audience. She recently graduated with a First-Class Honours degree from the Royal Academy of Music studying with Professors Erich Gruenberg and Remus Azoitei having previously spent a year reading music at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Laura enjoys an active performing career with recent performances of concertos by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Sibelius and she gave her international debut with the Michoacan State Symphony Orchestra.
As a keen orchestral player Laura spent two years as co-leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, was leader of the Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra and has taken part in side-along projects with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic. Laura also studied baroque violin with Nicolette Moonen and was chosen to join the RAM Baroque Soloists on a joint tour with the Juilliard School as well as performing at Wigmore Hall with Rachel Podger.
Laura also enjoys chamber music and has participated in masterclasses with Levon Chilingirian, the Henschel Quartet and the Brodsky Quartet. As a member of the Verano String Quartet, Laura was a laureate at the San Miguel International Competition. In 2015 Laura formed the Mila Piano Trio who recently gave their St. John’s Smith Square debut and were finalists of the St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music competition. She held a fellowship at the 2014 Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, USA and was invited to the Orpheus Chamber Music Festival, Vienna 2015-2017.
Laura grew up in Romsey and attended Romsey Abbey Primary School, she played in Romsey Area Schools String Orchestra, led Hampshire County Youth Orchestra and was on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course at Peter Symonds so is delighted to be Artistic Director and founder of the Romsey Chamber Music Festival.
Ziteng Fan (piano)
Chinese-born Finnish pianist Ziteng Fan is a versatile musician who has appeared in solo recitals and chamber music concerts in the UK, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Belgium and China. She has performed as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Camerata and the Helsinki Junior Strings. She has also appeared in various festivals, including Musica Nova Helsinki, SibaFest and Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Festival. Her musical career has been supported by a number of scholarships from organisations, such as Dartington Hall Trust, Finnish Wihuri Foundation and Martin Wegelius Foundation. She was twice selected as “Young Artist of the Year” by Zonta International and Finnish Rotary club respectively.
Ziteng is a prize winner in several piano competitions, e.g. the Helmi Vesa Piano Competition in Helsinki, Finland, in both 2012 and 2015, and the Chopin 200th Anniversary Piano Competition in China in 2010. Her recent recognitions include the Else Cross Prize and a high commendation at the Sterndale Bennett Prize in the UK.
Her career in music began at the age of four, studying piano with Professor Chaoming Chen from the Shenyang Conservatory in China. After moving to Finland with her parents at the age of seven, she studied under Hanna Kamensky at the Northwest Helsinki Music Institute before joining the Junior Department of Sibelius Academy in 2000. Under the tutorship of Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna and Juhani Lagerspetz, she graduated from Sibelius Academy with distinction in BMus in 2013. She moved to the UK in 2015, and between 2015 and 2017, she studied under the tutorship of Professor Hamish Milne at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated with distinction in MA in 2017.
Over the years, Ziteng has also participated in masterclasses with renowned pianists such as Arie Vardi, Menahem Pressler, Matti Raekallio, Olli Mustonen, Martin Canin, Pascal Devoyon, Pascal Nemirovski, Erik T. Tawaststjerna, Liisa Pohjola and Ivari Ilja.
Ziteng is also a passionate and active chamber musician. Her piano trio, the Mila Piano Trio, made their debut at St. John’s Smith Square and St. James’ Piccadilly in London in the 2016/17 season and regularly gives concerts and workshops across the UK. They have been recently awarded a very high commendation and a high commendation in the Isaacs and Pirani Piano Trio Competition and the Historical Women Composers Competition in London, UK.
American violinist Alexandra Gorski began her studying violin aged 4, under the tutelage of her mother, Ludmila Tsyganova. Within a few years, she began her performance career, annually winning the American Fine Arts Festival and leading a series of solo recitals in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Weil Recital Hall, and The German Cultural Centre. Alexandra made her solo debut in 2012, after attending the Klaipeda International Music Festival where she won the concerto competition, and a few months later performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto at Boston’s Jordan Hall. An avid admirer of contemporary music, Alexandra has premiered the works of several composers including Robert Sirota, Paul Patterson, and Marti Epstein. She enjoyed regular lessons from Magdalena Richter, Yuri Mazurkevich, Dr. Ayke Augus, and Joseph Silverstein. A keen orchestral player, Alexandra joined the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra at age 6 with whom she performed for 12 years and led her to complete 6 international tours. She has performed alongside conductors Frederico Cortese, Sir Mark Elder, Marin Alsop, Semyon Bychkov, James Newton Howard and Trevor Pinnock, amongst others.
After moving to London in the autumn of 2013, Alexandra began her undergraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music under Professor Philippe Honoré. Throughout her course, Alexandra performed regularly with the Academy Symphony, playing in notable venues around London; including The Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall. In 2016 she founded the Euterpe Quartet, who won second place in the Delius Prize in 2016 and completed a residency in Mallorca, Spain. Other recent chamber music highlight includes performing with The Royal Academy soloists in a programme of Schubert and Tchaikovsky in the Wigmore Hall in 2017.
Alexandra is currently completing her Masters degree at the Academy, enjoying regular performances and around London, and teaching her own studio of young musicians.
Alexandra plays on a custom-made violin by Boston based Luthier, Andrew Ryan.
Joseph received his musical education at the Purcell School and at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded numerous prizes: the Worswick Scholarship, the Sidney Griller Memorial Prize, the Amadeus Scholarship and the James Wright Award. He enjoyed playing as principal viola in many of the Academy’s ensembles, and as a member of the Academy’s ‘Soloists Ensemble’, recorded Haydn’s Notturno No. 8 under the baton of Trevor Pinnock for Linn Records. In 2016, Joseph travelled to Sao Paulo to represent the Academy at ‘Campos Do Jordao Festival’, which is the largest classical music festival in South America. As a chamber musician Joseph was appointed ‘Fellow of Chamber Music’ at the Academy in 2016/17, and has appeared alongside the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall, and the Doric Quartet at the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Joseph now freelances across the U.K and abroad, appearing with ensembles such as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, and Manchester Camerata. He also enjoys teaching for London Music Masters
Lydia Hillerudh (cello)
Born in Stockholm in 1993, Lydia Hillerudh started playing the cello at the age of seven under the guidance of Elisabeth Lysell-Bjermkvist. In 2012, Lydia was awarded a scholarship to study for her Bachelor’s degree with professor Mats Lidström at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated with a first class honours degree in 2016. She graduated with Distinction from her Master of Arts degree in 2017, also awarded from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with renowned cellist Robert Cohen. She was a Worswick scholar during her Master studies, and was also awarded the Sir John Barbirolli Prize at the Academy in 2014. She recently appeared on BBC Radio 3 with contemporary chamber music ensemble ‘An Assembly’.
An eager chamber musician, Lydia is the cellist of the prize-winning Tritium Trio, of which she is a founding member, together with clarinetist Jernej Albreht and pianist Joseph Havlat. They won the Harold Craxton prize in 2017 and the Isaacs/Pirani Trio prize in 2015, at the Royal Academy of Music, and were also selected as Park Lane Group Young Musicians for the 2015/16 season. They were also awarded the Audience Prize at the coveted St-Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition in 2017, and they have recently been selected as Chamber Music Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music for the 2017/18 season.
The Tritiums regularly perform across London and the UK, with recent concert appearances in venues such as St John’s Smith Square, St James’s Piccadilly, St-Martin-in-the-Fields, and Colston Hall in Bristol. They have recently recorded their first CD at Turner Sims in Southampton, which includes music by John McCabe, John Ireland, Giles Easterbrook, and Kenneth Leighton. The CD is set to be independently released early 2018. In the summer, they will be performing at the Darlington International Festival, as well as working with Eleanor Alberga and Oliver Knussen on the advanced chamber music composition course.
Lydia is a dedicated teacher and teaches the Primary Years Programme at Centre of Young Musicians (division of the Guildhall school of Music), and an ever-expanding class of private cello students across London. She is also a cello tutor for the music charity ‘Play for Progress’, who provides music tuition for unaccompanied refugee minors in East Croydon on a weekly basis.
Lydia is also an avid arranger, having had her arrangements for cello ensemble played at most concert venues in Stockholm, as well as across Scandinavia.
Matilde Loureiro (violin)
Born in Lisbon, Matilde Loureiro regularly performs across Portugal as well as further afield. She has recently performed at Fundação C. Gulbenkian, Foz Palace, Belém Cultural Center, and Palácio Fronteira in Lisbon, the Casa da Música in Porto and the Nogueira da Silva Museum in Braga. She has also performed in the Netherlands, Italy and France and the Czech Republic (at the Rudolfinum in Prague) and in Brazil (at Theatro da Paz in Belém).
Matilde studied with Luís Cunha at National Music Conservatoire in Lisbon, before moving to study with Ilya Grubert at Amsterdam Conservatory where she graduated with honours in 2016. She also enjoyed regular lessons with Eliot Lawson and Maria Milstein and has recently joined the class of Esther Hoppe at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Alongside her regular studies Matilde regularly attends masterclasses: she has recently benefited from classes with Gerhard Schulz, Liviu Prunaru, Tatiana Samouil, Philippe Graffin, Gérard Caussé and Svetlin Roussev, at academies such as International Music Seminars (UK) and Académie Ravel (France). She is a currently a Fellow of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Matilde has been a prizewinner at many major national and international competitions including Jeunesses Musicales in Belgrade, Fundão competition / Pará Government special prize, Concertino Praga and Prémio Jovens Músicos. She has also been awarded special prizes at Summer Classics Festival in Lisbon, Stift Festival in Holland and Portogruaro Festival in Italy.
Matilde plays on a 2007 Christian Bayon violin.
Gerardo Mendez (viola)
Gerardo Mendez was born in Morelia, Mexico and studied viola at the Conservatorio de las Rosas with Maestra Gellya Dubrova before gaining a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music under Jonathan Barritt. Gerardo has previously held positions as co-principal of the Michoacan State Symphony orchestra and principal of the University of Michoacan chamber orchestra and has recently taken part in concerts with different RCM Historical Performance ensembles in the UK and France while having lessons with Pablo de Pedro Cano and Annette Isserlis. Gerardo is grateful to be supported in his studies by the H.M.D. Meyer Violin Prize.
Ben Michaels (cello)
Cliona Ni Choileain (cello)
Clíona Ní Choileáin is a London based, Irish cellist. Clíona began her studies in Cork at the age of four and has travelled across Ireland, the UK, Italy, Spain and the USA performing. Clíona is an honours graduate from the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Emma Ferrand. She has also recently completed her Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music under Felix Schmidt.
Clíona is very passionate about chamber music; she is currently a member of the Mila Piano Trio. The Trio were finalists at the 2018 St Martin-In-The-Field’s Chamber Music Competition. They perform regularly throughout the UK and had their St John’s Smith Square Debut in 2016. The Trio is currently working with Adrian Brendel through Chamber Studio at King’s Place. She has also performed at renowned festivals such as The Bantry International Chamber Music Festival in 2007 and 2011, and the Lake District Summer Music Festival in 2012 and 2013. Clíona performed at Wigmore Hall in 2015 for a study day of the chamber music of composer Edwin Roxburgh, of which the composer said ‘The virtuosity was one thing, but the artistry which you brought to the piece was stunning’. Clíona is a multi-genre artist and she is currently working with digital music producer Wilma Archer on his upcoming releases.
During her time at both the RNCM and RAM Clíona has become dedicated to working in community music and outreach. She is currently a fellow at the Royal Academy of Music’s outreach department, Open Academy. Clíona has previously organised music workshops for people with Dementia in residential homes in Ireland, while raising money for Alzheimer’s Ireland. She is currently working as a workshop leader and support musician for early years educational programs.
Emma Roijackers (violin)
At the age of seven Emma started to play the violin. and first teacher was Evert Sillem. At the age of twelve she started the young talent program at the Sweelinck Academie of Amsterdam with Prof. Lex Korff de Gidts. Emma graduated from Amsterdam Constervatory having studied with Prof. Ilya Grubert.
She joined the national Prinses Christina Competition multiple times, where she received several different prizes. Each year she participates in a lot of music courses and masterclasses, in Holland, Italy, Portugal, Austria and Sweden. Where she had lessons with for example: Gerhard Schultz, Emmy Verhey, Moshe Hammer, Eliot Lawson, Alissa Margulis. In 2012 she received the prize (‘Laberté Hoedemaker ) at the Peter de Groote Festival for encouragement of her playing. She performed several times in Holland’s greatest hall: the Concertgebouw. In the recital hall during lunchconcerts and during the finals of the Entrée chamber music competition. And in the Main hall as concertmaster of the ‘Groot Entrée orchestra’ with soloist Hannes Minnaar.
Apart from the courses, she received masterclasses from great musicians such as Leonidas Kavakos, Jaap van Zweden and Gordon Nikolic. In 2013 she performed Mozart’s ‘Sinfonia Concertante’ with orchestra in Utrecht.In 2015 she got accepted as one of the twelve participants to the course ‘Crans-Montana Classics’ in Switzerland..
Emma enjoyes all kinds of projects and has experience in various ensembles apart from the ones she works with on a regular base. This includes orchestra projects, mostly classical, but also jazz, film music and more contemporary music.
Emma is playing on a beautiful instrument build by Carlo Giuseppe Testore (Novara, ± 1665 – 1716), provided by the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
Amy Roberts is a British oboist with a rich and varied career. She has recently featured as guest principal with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and she has performed all over Europe with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. Other orchestras include Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Hallé, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
She is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician having recently recorded the Villa Lobos Concerto Grosso and performed concertos by Albinoni, Haydn, Mozart, Bellini, Martinu and MacMillan. Her quintet ‘Moriarty Winds’ perform across the UK in a variety of concert and educational contexts and are proud to have been Chamber Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music and resident ensemble for Wigmore Hall Chamber Tots.
She recently graduated from The Royal Academy of Music where she received a 1st Class MA with Chris Cowie, Ian Hardwick and Melanie Ragge. Previously she studied on the prestigious Joint Course between the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester studying oboe with Jonathan Small and baroque oboe. She received a 1st from both institutions and won the 2015 RNCM Concerto Competition. Whilst at the Academy she also won the Evelyn Rothwell Oboe Prize, Janet Craxton Memorial Prize and Barry Grimaldi Prize.
Mila Piano Trio
The Mila Piano Trio is a UK-based ensemble who met whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music in 2015. Recent performances have included debuts at St. John’s Smith Square and at St Martin in the Fields as finalists of the 2018 Chamber Music competition, as well as performances across the UK and Portugal. The trio enjoys playing wide ranging repertoire from classical to contemporary and have won prizes in the Isaacs and Pirani Competition and in the RAM’s historical women prize.
The Mila Piano Trio is also involved in educational work, recently working with Water City Music giving workshops and concerts to students in Southwark. They will be continuing their educational work in 2018 with workshops in London, Cotswolds, Winchester and Romsey as part of this festival.
Graduates of The Royal Academy of Music, their chamber music tutors have included Amandine Savary, Levon Chilingirian, Michael Bochman and Felix Schmidt and have received masterclasses from Guy Johnston and Sun-Won Yang and Alasdair Beatson. The Mila Piano Trio is currently a member of ChamberStudio at Kings Place where they are mentored by Adrian Brendel. They have also been attending MusicWorks with Catherine Manson and James Boyd and look forward to further masterclasses within the scheme during 2018.