BERRAK DYER (Musical Director) trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio. She worked on projects with Ian Burnside, Graham Johnson, and with Laura Sarti extensively. She has traveled widely throughout Europe and the UK taking part in competitions and concerts, including a masterclass with Joyce DiDonato at the Royal Opera House. She has worked as an Accompanist at Oxenfoord International Summer School and joined the Solti Academy where she worked with Pamela Bullock, Audrey Hyland, Tony Legge, Jonathan Papp, Dennis O'Neill and Angela Gheorghiu. As a repetiteur, Berrak has worked on The Magic Flute (HGO), Rape of Lucretia (BYO), Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Grimeborn), Captain Blood’s Revenge, Five Deaths and a Happy Ending (Music Director, Glyndebourne Tour), Opera Naked (Unexpected Opera), La Fanciulla del West (Opera Holland Park), Cosi fan Tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Musical Director, Pop-Up Opera). Berrak returns to Opera Holland Park this year for Lakme, continues to work with Pop-Up Opera as their Musical Director for L’Italiana in Algeri and joins OperaUpClose as Musical Director for Carmen.
JULIANE GALLANT (Assistant Musical Director) Canadian pianist Juliane Gallant holds a Masters of Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied piano accompaniment with Pamela Lidiard. She also received diplomas from the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique de Montréal, the University of Ottawa and the Université de Moncton. Juliane has worked as repetiteur: Carmen (OperaUpClose), Die Zauberflöte (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar), The Turn of the Screw, Cosi fan tutte (l’Université de Moncton) and Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro (University of Ottawa). She studied song accompaniment with Dalton Baldwin at the Nice Summer Music Academy and with Roger Vignoles at the Oxford Lieder Festival. More recently, she attended the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria, where she studied Lied with many artists, including Christa Ludwig, Julius Drake and Elly Ameling. Recent London performances include appearances at the Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, St James Church Picadilly, St James Theatre and LSO St Lukes. She is the 2013 recipient of the Accompanist Prize at the Somerset Song Prize and was a finalist in the 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Competition, held at Wigmore Hall. She now works as staff accompanist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
ALISON HOLFORD (Cello) was born and brought up in Birmingham. She read music at Huddersfield University and Trinity College of Music, studying with Sue Lowe, Anna Shuttleworth and David Kenedy. At Trinity College of Music she was principal cello in the college Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Group. Since graduating she has pursued a busy freelance career, both playing and teaching in London and the south-east of England. Her performing work includes: principal cello of St Paul’s Sinfonia; solo cello in Splinter Cell, a contemporary music group based in Canterbury that aims to mix the most challenging and virtuosic pre-composed music with free improvisation, and collaborate with other art forms including film, visual art and dance; cellist in the Arcadian String Quartet (winners of the Barbirolli Prize); and in France, principal and continuo cello of Opera de Baugé. Recently she has been the solo cello for OperaUpClose - in their production of Tosca in the West End and on tour (‘Cellist Alison Holford’s playing is so sweet that I am called again and again to listen with great attention’ - playstosee.com); and also in La Traviata ('Alison Holford is outstanding' - The Independent). She has also performed with the Manchester Camerata and Lancashire Sinfonietta. With St Paul’s Sinfonia, Alison has performed the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos (with Helen Neilson), the Brahms Double Concerto (with James Widden, violin) and the Shostakovich 1st Cello Concerto. Alison is also a long-suffering supporter of Aston Villa F.C.
THEODORE BALKWILL (Cello) began playing at the age of nine, studying at the Royal College of Music with James Halsey and William Bruce, and later at the Royal Academy of Music with Josephine Knight and David Smith. During this time he performed regularly in masterclasses, with many leading cellists such as Alexander Boyarsky, Mats Lidstrom, Alexander Bailey, Guy Johnston and many others. As an orchestral musician, Theo has performed under the baton of many esteemed conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis, and has toured with orchestras throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Theo has also worked extensively with choirs and smaller groups of singers, touring Europe and the Baltic states, culminating in the world premier of works by composer Gabriel Jackson.
NICOLE CRESPO O’DONOGHUE (Violin) From Irish-Basque heritage, Nicole was the 2009 1st prize winner in the Euskadi Young Musicians competition. Sponsored by the BBVA and the Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia, she studied her Master’s Degree and BMus Performance studies at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with Professor Mateja Marinkovic. Nicole has played under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder and Semyon Bichkov to name a few. She has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican and regularly performs with orchestras such as The Philharmonia, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Royal Opera House Orchestra. She has received Master Classes from distinguished and most renowned violinists including Silvia Marcovici, Zakhar Bron and Maxim Vengerov. Among the many concerts Nicole has played she has had the privilege of performing before King Philip and Queen Leticia of Spain and HRH Princess Anne in various occasions. She was engaged with the London performance for Wikipedia’s world 10th anniversary and was on tour as soloist with the BOS (Bilbao Symphony Orchestra). Nicole has played at many charity events working with organisations such as Cancer Research, Save the Children Foundation and Cancer Macmillan.
ROSEMARY HINTON (Violin) joined the Junior Guildhall School and Music and National Youth Orchestra (2007-2011), playing in venues such as Birmingham Symphony Hall, Leeds Town Hall, Barbican Hall and the Roundhouse. She held the position of Co-Leader for two years, as well as leading performances at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Proms in 2010 and 2011. She attended Chetham’s School of Music from 2009-2011 and studied violin with Benedict Holland and piano with Jonathan Middleton. She recently graduated with a BMus (hons) from the Royal Academy of Music. Rosemary has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and has taken part in collaborative projects with the Britten Sinfonia and London Sinfonietta. She is currently on trial with the BBC Concert Orchestra and an extra player with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Rosemary has been heavily involved with Aldeburgh Music throughout her youth and has most recently joined it’s very own Britten - Pears Orchestra. Her most notable project with the orchestra was being part of their Aldeburgh World Orchestra tour that gave performances in Munich, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall. As a soloist, Rosemary has performed violin concertos by Brahms, Bruch and Mozart as well Fratres by Arvo Part with various student run and amateur orchestras, and has competed in the Wilfred Parry Prize for Brahms Sonatas at the Royal Academy of Music. As the 1st violinist of the Stella Quartet she has performed at the Wigmore Hall, St. James Piccadilly, St Philip’s Church and amongst other venues in London and abroad. The quartet regularly perform classical recitals as well as enjoy leading educational workshops with the Brent and Camden Music service and performing with the Open Academy and Wigmore Hall Learning scheme. The Stella Quartet will begin a Fellowship with the Open Academy in September 2015.
ALYSON FRAZIER (Flute) received her MA with First Class Honours and Distinction in Flute Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, having studied with Karen Jones, Michael Cox, Patricia Morris (piccolo), Lisa Beznousiak (baroque), and Gareth Lockrane (jazz). The recipient of several merit scholarships and prize winner of the British Flute Society Young Artist Competition and the Royal Academy of Music Piccolo Competition, Alyson has been recognised as a “theatrical and compelling performer” who is “impressively accomplished with a beautiful singing tone.” Her work in outreach has been internationally recognised, including winning the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise in 2014 for her non-profit organisation, Play for Progress, which delivers sustainable therapeutic and educational music programmes for children who are victims of conflict and war. As an orchestral freelancer, Alyson has worked with the City of London Sinfonia, BBC4 Radio, and will give a solo recital series at St Martin-in-the-Fields in fall 2016. She is also a founding member of new music group Ensemble x.y. For more information visit www.alysonfrazier.com.
EMILY CALLAGHAN (Flute) studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Philippa Davies, Sarah Newbold and Ian Clarke, before completing her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music under Michael Cox, Kate Hill and Patricia Morris. Her recent orchestral experience includes St Paul's Sinfonia, Sinfonia Cymru, the Brillig Ensemble, Orpheus Sinfonia and the Orion Orchestra, and she has enjoyed performing at such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican Centre, the Cadogan Hall and the Concertgebouw. Emily is also a keen chamber and solo musician and has performed extensively across the UK, including at the Two Moors Festival, the Harrogate Music Festival and the Wigmore Hall, as well as performing concertos including Mouquet's La Flûte de Pan as part of the National Association of Youth Orchestras in Scotland.
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