Loosely connected to the jazz world but realistically inhabiting her own realm, Alice Zawadzki is a vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer based in London, with considerable repute as “a genuine original” (The Guardian), and a distinctive and individual presence on the creative European music scene. Alice’s rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) create a sound which draws upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel with the legendary Lillian Boutté who took Alice under her wing and on tour as a teenager, an extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions, “all propelled in a voice of velvet suppleness and gutsy emotional power” (The Arts Desk). She performs extensively as both a soloist and as a collaborator, with headline performances at major UK venues and festivals, including the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, the London Jazz Festival, the Vortex, Celtic Connections, and internationally at festivals from Taipei International Jazz Festival (Taiwan) to Coventry Calling (Massachusetts, USA) to Sűdtirol Jazz Festival (Italy), Ottawa Chamber Music Festival (Canada), Musicá Impopular (Brazil), Usina Del Arte (Argentina) and many more.
The SDSM Harriet's Trust String Quartet in Residence. The Freeman String Quartet is a driven young ensemble formed in 2017 at the Royal Northern College of Music. During their first year, the Freeman Quartet won the RNCM’s Nossek chamber music competition with their performance of Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op. 12, and in their third year won the RNCM’s Hirsch prize for their performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 132. Since forming in 2017, the Freeman Quartet have received coaching from some of the worlds leading chamber musicians including: Donald Grant, (Elias String Quartet) David Waterman, (Endellion String Quartet) and Petr Prause, (Talich String Quartet). The Freeman Quartet have performed in the RNCM’s annual Chamber Music Festival since 2017, and in 2018 were invited to be the Quartet in Residence at the South Downs International Summer Music Festival, where they had the opportunity to work with members of the Benyounes String Quartet as well as giving the closing performance of the festival performing works by Smetana and Haydn in St. Andrews Church, Alfriston Sussex. They have performed at many venues across the UK and have given concerts for the Manchester Chamber Music Society and the Lake District International Music Festival. The Quartet are delighted to have been invited to attend two chamber music courses in 2021, including the Delft International Music Festival in Holland, and the Chilingirian Chamber Music Course in Sussex, for which they have been awarded a full scholarship. In September 2020, the Freeman Quartet were appointed as the RNCM’s Studio Quartet, and were also one of the winners of the Tunnell Trust Awards.
Jack was born in 1985 and grew up in his native London, attending Westminster School and the Hall School, Hampstead, where he got into acting . From Oxford University he went to study acting at LAMDA but left when he was spotted and cast as Benvolio at the Globe Theatre, taking part in other productions there, as well as at the Orange Tree, Richmond and the Royal Court. Here he was seen by casting director Andy Pryor who got him into television, with a small role in the period drama 'Dancing on the Edge' and a more substantial, recurring part as Freddie, daft son of the house in 'Blandings'. Now an established television face he has appeared in the likes of 'Poirot' and the remake of 'Poldark'.
The London born pianist, Jeremy Young, performs throughout the world as a chamber musician and soloist. He has appeared in recital at the Lincoln Center (New York), the Herbst Theater (San Francisco), Esplanade Concert Hall (Singapore), Jin Mao Concert Hall (Shanghai), National Concert Hall (Dublin), and performances have taken him as far a field as Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan much of the USA and Europe. He has performed at the Mecklenburg -Vorpommern (Germany) and Graz (Austria) international music festivals amongst others and in the UK he gives concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, South Bank Centre and appears in festivals including Lake District, Harrogate, Brighton, Petworth, Endellion, City of London and Dartington. Jeremy has made broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, RTE Lyric FM, BBCTV, Channel 4, S4C, Hong Kong Radio 4, CCTV (China) and radio in USA, Kazakhstan, Russia and much of Europe. His recordings are available on EMI Asia, Decca, Meridian, Signum and Somm record labels. A founder member of Ovid Ensemble and the Manchester Piano Trio, Jeremy works alongside such artists as the cellists Li-Wei Qin and Karine Georgian, violinist Mengla Huang, violists Thomas Riebl and Simon Rowland-Jones, the Navarra, Talich and Finzi String Quartets and with singers Roderick Williams, Pamela Helen Stephen and Daniel Norman. Jeremy Young studied as a scholar at the Purcell School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. His piano teachers included Professor Christopher Elton, Frank Wibaut and Vladimir Ovchinkov. He studied chamber music under the guidance of the Amadeus String Quartet, Andras Schiff and Joseph Seiger at the Royal Academy of Music, Menahem Pressler at the Banff Center of the Performing Arts in Canada and with Dr. Christopher Rowland at the Royal Northern College of Music. Now also an internationally recognised teacher, Jeremy has given classes at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Singapore, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Sibelius Academy in Finland, Conservatorio di Verona, Hsingchu University in Taiwan, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the European Chamber Music Academy. He acts as an external examiner for institutions including the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Manchester University. He holds the position of Senior Piano Tutor and Head of the International Chamber Music Studio at the Royal Northern College of Music and teaches chamber music at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, UK. Jeremy is the co-founder of South Downs Summer Music Festival in Sussex, England. In 2007 Jeremy was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) for distinguishing himself in his profession.
Kit Downes is a BBC Jazz Award winning, Mercury Music Award nominated, solo recording artist for ECM Records. He has toured the world playing piano, church organ and harmonium with his own bands ('ENEMY', 'Troyka' and 'Elt') as well as with artists such as Squarepusher, 'Empirical', Benny Greb and Sam Amidon. He has written commissions for Cheltenham Music Festival, London Contemporary Orchestra, Ensemble Klang at ReWire Festival, the Scottish Ensemble, Cologne Philharmonie and the Wellcome Trust. Kit performs solo pipe organ and solo piano concerts - and also plays in collaborations with saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, composer Shiva Feshareki and with the band 'ENEMY'. He is also currently working with violinist Aidan O'Rourke, composer Max de Wardener and in an organ trio with Reinier Baas and Jonas Burgwinkel. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he himself studied and now holds a Fellowship.
Lewis Wright is one of the world’s finest vibraphonists, with a unique sound and approach to the instrument, performing internationally as a virtuoso improviser and recording artist. He has been the recipient of various awards including Ensemble of the Year in the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards with ‘Empirical’ and the Worshipful Company of Musicians prize in 2011 as well as multiple Downbeat magazine award nominations. He has performed at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall and has been a featured soloist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra. He can also be heard featuring on tracks by artists such as Hugh Masekela, Tony Allen and Melody Gardot. Also an accomplished drummer, he has recorded and performed with artists such as Michael Kiwanuka, Joss Stone, Nerina Pallot and Emily King.
Magnus Johnston is recognised as one of the most distinguished chamber musicians of his generation. A member of both the Navarra String Quartet and the Aronowitz Ensemble, Magnus has been a recipient of two Borletti-Buitoni Trust Awards and a place on BBC Radio 3ʼs New Generation Artists Scheme. Aside from his dedication to chamber music, Magnus has been in demand as Guest Leader and Principal of orchestras such as the Royal Opera House, Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Scottish and Australian Chamber Orchestras. As a chorister of the choir of Kingʼs College Cambridge, Magnus toured extensively at a young age, going on to win a scholarship to Chethamʼs School of Music in Manchester and later the Royal Northern College of Music. Magnusʼ passion for chamber music led to the birth of the Aronowitz Ensemble, a unique chamber group of string sextet & piano. The ensemble made their debut performance to a sold out St Johnʼs Smith Square in 2004, and have since enjoyed a busy touring schedule along with frequent live broadcasts & studio recordings for BBC Radio 3. Magnus plays a Hieronymus II Amati violin (1693), made possible by the incredible support of his parents and many other investors. In his spare time Magnus loves nothing more than to escape into the countryside on his beloved bike! He ran the London Marathon twice for his brother Rupert to raise money for the Brain Injuries Rehabilitation Trust.
English tenor Nick Pritchard made his Royal Opera debut in 2016 as Matthew (Pleasure). He returns in the 2017/18 Season to sing Amphinomus (The Return of Ulysses). Pritchard was born in West Sussex and studied at New College, Oxford, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Awards include the Eric Joseph Shilling Prize (RCM) and the London Bach Society Bach Singer’s Prize. Operatic engagements include Aquilio (Adriano in Siria) for the Classical Opera Company, Prologue (The Turn of the Screw) for Opera Holland Park, Telemaco (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria) for Iford Arts and Acis (Acis and Galatea) for Handel House and La Nuova Musica. Further roles include Paolino (Il matrimonio segreto), Albert Herring, Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Lucano (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Torquemada (L’Heure espagnole). Pritchard performs widely in concert, engagements including King Arthur with Early Opera Company at Wigmore Hall, Bach’s Mass in B minor with John Eliot Gardiner, Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall and with the Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, Bach’s cantatas for Ensemble Pygmalion and Raphaël Pichon, Bach’s Magnificat with Laurence Cummings and The English Concert, Monteverdi’s Vespers with Daniel Hyde, On Wenlock Edge for BBC Radio 3 and the world premiere of Gabriel Jackson’s Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ with the choir of Merton College, Oxford.
Cellist Pierre Doumenge enjoys a busy career divided between solo work, chamber music and teaching. From 2001 to 2005 he was a member of the Dante String Quartet performing at major venues in Europe and making regular radio and commercial recordings. Pierre has also worked as guest principal cellist of the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Passionately fond of chamber music, Pierre regularly explores and performs the repertoire with artists such as Pascal Rogé, Daniel Hope, Lars Vogt, Pekka Kuusisto, Lawrence Power, the Belcea and Allegri Quartets and The Nash Ensemble. He has appeared at many European festivals (Aldeburgh, Bath, Plush, Kuhmo, Paunat, La Hague, Nuremberg, Bucharest), and frequently attends the Open Chamber Music sessions at IMS Prussia Cove in Cornwall, joining their tour of England in 2003. Pierre is also a regular performer at the Joy of Music Festival in the Hong Kong City Hall. He has recorded for the Dutton, Meridian and Hyperion labels to great critical acclaim. In 2008 he was chosen to be the official cellist of the Menuhin International Violin Competition, playing the Ravel Sonata with the nine semi-finalists. Pierre taught cello and chamber music at the Yehudi Menuhin School from 2003 to 2009 and was recently appointed as Associate Deputy Head of Strings at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He gives annual masterclasses at the Oxford Cello School, the International Cello Courses UK, the Violoncello Society of London, Cadenza Summer Course at the Purcell School, the West Helsinki Music Institute (Finland), the Conservatoire Royal de Mons (Belgium) and the Szymon Goldberg Seminars in Toyama (Japan).
Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music). Tom has performed over forty concertos ranging from Bach to Ligeti with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, China National Symphony, Hallé, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Petersburg State Capella Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Thierry Fischer, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Tom features regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms, and his exceptional versatility has put him in great demand at festivals across the world. His pas- sion for bringing wonderful musicians together, and for creative and innovative programming, has led him to found the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, an ensemble with a flexible line-up and an ardent commitment to diversity, with forthcoming residencies at Wigmore Hall and Cheltenham Festival. Tom is pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists) and Aronowitz Piano Trio. He enjoys established duo partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston, and Elena Urioste, and also collaborates with Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis, Matthew Rose and the Carducci, Danish, Navarra and Skampa Quartets. Tom has recorded for BIS Records, Champs Hill Records, Chandos, Decca Classics, Edition Classics, EMI and Warner Classics, and regularly features as soloist on film soundtracks, includ- ing the Oscar-nominated score for The Theory of Everything. He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007 and the keyboard section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 2000. Tom is also a successful composer and arranger, and a lifelong fan of animals with unusual noses.