2015 Artists

Founded in the fifteenth century, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is the pre-eminent representative of the British church music tradition. The Choir exists primarily to sing daily services in King’s College Chapel, but its worldwide fame and reputation, enhanced by its many recordings, has led to invitations to perform around the globe.


Stephen Cleobury CBE is Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge. His work at King’s has brought him into fruitful relationships with many leading orchestras and soloists, among them the Academy of Ancient Music and the Philharmonia. He complements and refreshes his work in Cambridge through the many other musical activities in which he engages. www.stephencleobury.com


Guy Johnston is one of the most exciting and versatile British cellists of his generation. He went on to achieve important early success through the ‘BBC Young Musician of the Year’ title, the Guilhermina Suggia Gift, the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award and he was a recipient of a ‘Classical Brit’ Award.


Navarra Quartet


Since its formation in 2002, the Navarra Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) from 2006 to 2010, they have been awarded the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, a Borletti- Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a Musica Viva tour and prizes at the Banff, Melbourne and Florence International String Quartet Competitions. The Navarra Quartet has appeared at major venues throughout the world including the Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, and international festivals such as Bath, Aix-en-Provence, and the BBC Proms.


Matthew Hunt

One of Britain’s leading clarinettists, Matthew Hunt is a distinctive musician, renowned for the vocal quality of his playing and his ability to communicate with audiences. He holds the position of solo clarinettist with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and is a member of the Sheffield based chamber group Ensemble 360. A very keen chamber musician, he appears regularly with Meta4, the Chiurascuro and Elias quartets, Thomas Adès, Pekka Kuusisto, Emily Beynon, Nicholas Altstaedt, Alina Ibragimova, and La Bande de La Loingtaine. He has also appeared as a guest of the Berlin Philharmonic as a soloist in their series at the Berlin Philharmonie Kammermusik Saal.


Alasdair Beatson

As one of the most established chamber pianists of his generation, Alasdair works in a wide and varied repertoire with some of today’s finest musicians. Recent concerts include appearances as soloist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Scottish Ensemble, and performances as soloist in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, conducted by George Benjamin. Recent festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Bath Mozartfest, Delft and Oxford Chamber Music. Forthcoming highlights include a sixth solo Wigmore Recital, performances of the complete Beethoven cello sonatas with Pieter Wispelwey, and collaborations with the Nash Ensemble and the Doric String Quartet.


Nicholas Daniel


Nicholas Daniel’s long and distinguished career began when, at the age of 18, he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and went on to win further competitions in Europe. As one of the UK’s most distinguished soloists as well as a highly successful conductor, he has become an important ambassador for music and musicians in many different fields. In recognition of this, he was recently awarded the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Music.


Ruby Hughes


Winner of both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 Handel Singing Competition, Ruby Hughes was a BBC New Generation Artist between 2011 and 2013 and studied at the Royal College of Music, making her debut at the Theater an der Wien. Recent engagements include a performance at the 2014 BBC Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.


Tom Poster


Born in 1981, Tom Poster studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music. Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has appeared in a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over 30 major works. Tom features regularly on BBC Radio 3 as soloist and chamber musician, and has made multiple appearances in both capacities at the BBC Proms.


Katharine Gowers

Violinist Katharine Gowers has performed throughout Britain and abroad, in recital and as a chamber musician, collaborating with such artists as Alfred Brendel, Imogen Cooper, Steven Isserlis, Pekka Kuusisto, Christian Tetzlaff, Denes Varjon and Lars Vogt. Her concerto appearances have included performances with the Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras and with the BBC Big Band and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Katharine has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and across many other European networks, and has recorded for EMI Classics and Somm. She studied with David Takeno at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Guildhall School of Music.

Martin Owen

Martin Owen is widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading horn players, appearing as soloist and chamber musician at some of the leading music festivals around the world. Martin currently holds the position of Principal Horn at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having served as Principal Horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years, and during the 2012/13 season, Martin was Principal Horn of the Berliner Philharmoniker on a temporary contract. Recent highlights include concertos with orchestras including the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España, The Hallé, New World Symphony and Ensemble Modern.


Robin O’Neill

Robin is Principal Bassoon of the Philharmonia Orchestra and a member of London Winds and the Gaudier Ensemble. He has been Professor of Bassoon at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music where he is currently Visiting Professor of Bassoon. He has recorded virtually the whole of the core chamber music repertoire with more than 40 CDs to his name on labels such as Hyperion, Decca and Philips. He has also performed by invitation for His Royal Highness Prince Charles the Prince of Wales.

Benjamin Griffiths

Ben was born in 1979 and at the age of nine joined the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a chorister for four years. He studied the double bass with Caroline Emery at the Royal College of Music.

In December 2012 he was appointed Principal Bass with Aurora Orchestra. He also works with a wide variety of orchestras and groups including the LSO, the John Wilson Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and the Scottish Ensemble.

Rosalind Ventris

Violist Rosalind Ventris performs as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the UK and abroad. In past seasons she has performed as a soloist at the Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room, and Bridgewater Hall. Recent appearances include recitals with pianist Lara Dodds-Eden at the Slovak Philharmonic (Bratislava), Het Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal and other Dutch venues in an International Holland Music Sessions tour, and, in the UK, at the Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields, and Aldeburgh Festival.


Julie Price

Julie Price was educated at the RNCM and Manchester University studying with Edward Warren and William Waterhouse and, later, with Roger Birnstingl in Geneva. Her first job was Principal bassoonist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She followed that with several years as first bassoonist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and then the RPO and the English Chamber Orchestra. She is now Co-Principal bassoonist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra whilst also Principal bassoonist at the ECO. She is a member of the Razumovsky Ensemble and plays regularly with other chamber groups.

Lucy Taylor

Lucy Taylor read Modern and Medieval Languages and was a choral exhibitioner at Clare College, Cambridge. She went on to study under Patricia MacMahon as a Caird Scholar on the Opera course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she won the Governors’ Recital and John Ireland prizes, and performed numerous operatic roles, including Diana (La Calisto) and Maurya (Riders To The Sea).
Lucy is now based in Cambridge. She studies with Neil Semer and is a Crear Scholar. Recent performances have included Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in King’s Chapel for the Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Duruflé’s Requiem in St Etienne-du-Mont, Paris, and Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Israel Camerata in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. She has also performed Handel’s Belshazzar under René Jacobs at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, and Handel’s Messiah with the International Festival Chorus of Beijing, Andronico (Tamerlano) and Arsamene (Serse) for Cambridge Handel Opera Group, Cherubino in the Cambridge University Opera Society’s gala production of Figaro, Mozart’s C Minor Mass for the Cambridge Music Festival, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in the Markgräfliches Opernhaus, Bayreuth and Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, and Bach’s Magnificat with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Richard Dowling

Richard is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music’s Opera Course, where he performed the roles of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’, ‘Le Prince’ in Massenet’s ‘Cendrillon’, ‘Gherardo’ in Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi’ and ‘Odoardo’ in Handel’s ‘Ariodante’.
Richard performed as ‘Glassmaker’ in Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’ conducted by Steuart Bedford, as ‘Selimo’ in Rossini’s ‘Maometto II’, and as ‘Mosquito’ in Janacek’s ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ with Garsington Opera and was awarded Garsington Opera’s 2014 Simon Sandbach Award.
Richard is a keen recitalist, winner of the Hampshire Singing Competition’s song prize and a participant in the forthcoming 2015 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. He is also an experienced oratorio artist and regularly appeared as a soloist for the Royal Academy of Music’s acclaimed Bach Cantata Series. Other notable engagements include Britten’s ‘Ballad of Heroes’ and Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ in the ‘Bridgewater Hall’, Finzi’s ‘Dies Natalis’ in Brentwood Cathedral, and Janacek’s ‘Otcenas’ in Gorton Monastery.
Richard originally studied Chemical Engineering and went on to complete a PhD in the field of crystallisation while working as a Lay Clerk at Manchester Cathedral.

Božidar Smiljanić

Božidar Smiljanić made his professional debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Captain (Eugene Onegin) under Omar Meir Wellber and, during the same festival season, he covered Police Commissioner (Der Rosenkavalier) and Doctor Grenvil (La traviata).
This season, Božidar debuts at Garsington Opera as Haly (L’italiana in Algeri) and performs Handel’s Messiah with Orquesta Sinfónica de las Islas Baleares under Pablo Mielgo. Božidar is currently in his final year on the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music with student performances including the title role in Le nozze di Figaro and The Mayor in Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night, as well as recitals as part of the Royal Academy Song Circle. Previously at the Academy, Božidar has performed Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), Luka in Walton’s The Bear and Betto (Gianni Schicci).
A regular on the concert platform, he has performed an extensive range of oratorio works and song recitals across the UK and collaborated with Masaaki Suzuki on tour in the UK, USA and Germany last season.


The composer Charlotte Bray has written for some of the world’s top ensembles and festivals, including the LSO, LPO, London Sinfonietta, Aldeburgh and Aix-en-Provence. In 2013, she was awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. Charlotte is an Honorary Member of Birmingham Conservatoire and was named as their Alumni of the Year 2014. She was also winner of the 2014 Lili Boulanger Prize. Her debut recording, At the Speed of Stillness on NMC Records was released last October. 2015 saw the première of Out of the Ruins, commissioned by the Royal Opera House Youth Opera Company, and Entanglement in Cheltenham Festival, commissioned by Nova Music Opera, written in collaboration with librettist Amy Rosenthal on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain.
Other notable achievements include Black Rainbow, commissioned and premiered by the CBSO Youth Orchestra under Jac van Steen; BBC Proms commission At the Speed of Stillness (2012) for Sir Mark Elder and the Aldeburgh World Orchestra; Invisible Cities (2012) commissioned by the Verbier Festival and premiered by Lawrence Power and Julien Quentin; and Caught in Treetops (violin concerto, 2010) with Alexandra Wood and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Oliver Knussen.


Formed in 1983 by musicians living in Islington, the Orchestra gives regular concerts in and around North London. The repertoire ranges from the early classics to contemporary works. HCO aims to provide live classical music to the highest possible standard for all who live in Islington and surrounding boroughs. The reputation of the Orchestra has enabled it to attract conductors and soloists of international repute.


The Musicale Young Artists’ Chamber Orchestra is drawn from the most senior players in the Musicale Young Artists’ Symphony Orchestra. Directed by Gonzalo Acosta and Conducted by David Johnston. Gonzalo Acosta has been Co-Leader of the orchestra at English National Opera Since 1991, and in 2007 became Associate Leader. David Johnston is a Director of Harpenden Musicale, and plays principal clarinet with the Haydn Chamber Orchestra.