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Queenswood

Violin

Cihat Askin, as an international representator of Turkish Violin School, is one of the leading artists of Turkey today. Born in Istanbul, started his violin lessons at the age of 11 with Prof. Ayhan Turan, at the Turkish Music State Conservatory of Istanbul Technical University, graduating in 1989. He completed his studies in Londozzn, studying under Rodney Friend at the Royal College of Music (where he took all the major solo and chamber music awards), and Yfrah Neaman at City University (1992-96, doctorate program).Upon his arrival in Istanbul he was appointed as a violin professor in 1998 and founded the Advanced Music Research Center (MIAM) and became its first director in 2000. Presently he is as well the Director of ITU Conservatory of Turkish Music. Apart from his academic positions he is continuing to teach young musicians at his CAKA project (Cihat Askin and his Little Friends). He gave his first recital at the age of 12 and was able to play all Paganini Caprices before he was 15. After his recital in 1983 he was invited by the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra to play Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Since then Cihat became a prominent figure in the music life and has been a regular soloist with all the major orchestras of Turkey, Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA. Cihat has appeared with violinists Shlomo Mintz and Ida Haendel, conductors such as J.L.Cobos, Yoel Levi and Alexander Dimitriev and orchetras such as Lausanne Chamber, Hannover NDR and Prague Symphony, Dusseldorf, Ukraine National and Sofia Philharmonic Orchestras. A noted champion and broadcaster of modern Turkish music, Cihat has recorded extensively for Hungaroton, Kalan Müzik, Discovery, Meridian, CPO and UPR Classics.

 

Viktoria Grigoreva, was born in the Ukraine. From the age of seven she studied at the Specialist Music School in Kharkov and made her concerto debut four years later, playing Mozart's Fifth Violin Concerto with the Kharkov Chamber Orchestra. She graduated with an Honor Diploma in solo performance from the State Gnessin Music College, Moscow where she studied with Semion Mikitiansky, pupil of the legendary Professor Stolyarsky. After graduation Viktoria returned to Kharkov to continue her studies with Irina Grebneva and her competition successes in Eastern Europe led to major concert engagements. She has become a Soloist of the Kharkov State Philharmonic and Professor of the Kharkov State Conservatoire. Her repertoire rapidly enlarged with performances of the Shostakovich, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Berg, Mozart and Wieniawski concertos, as well as works by contemporary Ukrainian composers, Skorik, Szetinsky and Silvestrov. She also appeared with many leading Eastern European orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and Kharkov Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra which was combined with an active participation in chamber music and teaching at the Kharkov Specialist Music School and Kharkov state Conservatoire. In 1996 she moved to London, where she regularly performs highly acclaimed solo and chamber music concerts at the leading venues, including the Wigmore Hall, where she gave the UK premiere of Valentine Silvestrov's Post Scriptum Sonata. Viktoria currently teaches at the Royal College of Music JD. Many of her students have won prizes at prestigious national and international competitions. Recently Viktoria was appointed to be a Director of the Tsukanov Scholarship Fund, which supports young musicians from the former USSR.

 

Elena Mazor, Moscow-born Elena Mazor began her violin studies under Zinaida Gilels and graduated the Gnessin Music High School for gifted children with Prof. Irina Svetlova. Thereafter, she studied with the renowned Semion Snitkovsky and Viktor Pikaizen at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, graduating with the highest degree. A member of the Gnessin School violin Faculty for 12 Years, Elena immigrated to Israel in 1990 and now Teaches at the Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel-Aviv, the Givatayim Conservatory and the Buchman-Mehta School of Music. During the academic year of 2007-08 was teaching in the “ Scoula di Musica di Fiesole” in Florence,Italy. She has served as a judge for America-Israel Cultural Foundation, was a member of the Keshet Eilon international violin Masterclasses Faculty as well as the Portogruaro Festival, Wiener Meisterkurse, Eilat Chamber Music festival and the "Sinfonia-Scoula di Musica".

 

Itzhak Rashkovsky, internationally renowned Russian-Israeli violinist and pedagogue. Was awarded a Master's Degree by the Samuel Rubin Israeli Academy of Music, Tel Aviv, where he studied with Professor Yair Kless. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber music player in many countries. As Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music, London, Itzhak Rashkovsky has come to be one of the leading and most sought-after teachers in the UK. His students, who come from all over the world to study with him, have been winners of many national and international competitions. He has given mastercalsses worldwide and has been juror of numerous international competitions, notably Vice chairman of the jury of the 12th Henryk Wieniawski, Poland and Sion Valais, Switzerland, Hannover, Germany, Lipizer, Italy and Yampolsky, Russia International Violin Competitions. One of the founders and Music Director of Keshet Eilon Violin Mastercourse, Israel, an international summer programme for exceptionally talented young violinists, located in Kibbutz Eilon, as well as Artistic Director of the London Music Masters. His articles and editions of violin pieces were published by “The Strad” magazine. In 1998, in recognition of his outstanding services to music, Itzhak Rashkovsky was awarded by The Prince of Wales a Fellowship of the Royal College of Music. He plays the 1831 J.F. Pressenda violin through the generous loan from the Elderberry Foundation.

 

Ani Schnarch, Romanian- Israeli- British violinist, winner of the prestigious Francois Shapira, Israel and Mozart Memorial Prizes, England, is internationally regarded as one of the most exciting and versatile violinists of her generation. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Ani started performing at the age of seven. In 1974 she moved to Israel and continued her studies with Felix Andrievsky at the Samuel Rubin Music Academy, Tel Aviv University, with whom she also studied later at the Royal College of Music, London. Among Ani Schnarch's recital performances have been a highly acclaimed programme of Bartok and Ysaye at the Purcell Room and her Wigmore Hall debut in 1989, where she was invited to return numerous times. Ani has broadcast for radio and television and on the web in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Norway, Romania, the US and on BBC3 including a unique series of all Bartok's works for violin and piano. In concerto, Ani has appeared with major orchestras such as Israeli Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Jerusalem Chamber, Haifa Symphony, Israel Simfonietta, Oslo Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Malaga Symphony, Seville Symphony, Cameratta Strumentale di Milan, London Bach, Covent Garden Chamber, Moscovia Chamber, etc. at the main venues in England, France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain, the USA and Russia. She has played at the Bath, Bergen, Bowdoin, Lake District, Moscow and Windsor Festivals, to mention but a few. In addition to her busy concert schedule, Ani is in great demand as a professor of violin at the Royal College of Music, London, gives Masterclasses in Europe, USA, Canada and Israel, and has been a Juror of numerous International Violin Competitions. She is one of the founders and faculty member of the Keshet Eilon Violin Mastercourse, Israel.

 

Yin Ke is the Strings Program Leader at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, School of Young Talent. During his twenty years of teaching experience, he has crystallised a unique customization teaching methodology to harness the strength and character of each of his students. Through his teaching methods, Mr Yin has developed many of his students into outstanding young violinist. They have won top prizes in local and overseas competitions. He is often invited to conduct seminars in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

 

Zaure Zharova studied at the Central Music School and the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory under Prof. Alexander Vinnitsky. Since 2011 she is the teacher at the Central Music School. Her students are scholarship holders of Rozum, Spivakov and Rostropovich foundations and are winners of international and regional competitions. Zaure Zharova prizewinner at the international competitions: DEMYUKS, Eurasia - 2004, D. Oistrakh, Astana, Tolyatti, Uralsk, etc. She gives the concerts in Austria, Germany, Israel, Finland, Luxembourg, China, Sweden, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Belorussia and Russian cities. Since 2012 she is a member of the string quartet "ZAMM - quartet" (the First Violin) that in August 2012 became a Grand Prix winner at the International Beethoven competition (Austria). As a member of the quartette she played at "Aurora Chamber Music Festival" (Sweden), in 2013 she took part in the XI International Music Festival "The Universe of the sound", performs at the Ancient Music Festival "Music Art of Russia and Europe in VI-XIII centuries", at the project "The Night of Arts" in the Museum of Musical Culture named after M. Glinka. In 2014 Zharova Z.B. became a Grand Prix winner at the Festival of Music Teachers "Recognition" in the nomination "Master-Virtuoso". She has got the Award of Moscow Government in culture in the nomination "Young specialist". In 2015 she was the member of the board of adjudicators at the TV Festival- Contest "Russian Talents", and gave the master classes in the framework of the Festival.

 
Piano

Kumi Matsuo was born in Tokyo, Japan. Winner of the 5th Louisiana International Piano Competition in 2013, she has also won Second Prize at the 75th Music Competition of Japan in 2006, Third Prize at the 22nd Ferrol International Piano Competition in 2008 and First Prize at the 6th Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in 2012. Kumi graduated from the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and the Toho Gakuen University of Music in Tokyo. In 2007 she moved to London for her further study at the Royal College of Music where she gained an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music in Performance. Kumi studied piano with Jyoko Gondo, Mikhail Voskresensky, John Blakely and Ashley Wass and chamber music with Jan Repko. In 2008 Kumi won RCM concerto competition and gave her London debut playing Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand in Cadogan Hall with RCM Sinfonietta conducted by Peter Stark. In 2009 she played Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No.1 with RCM Chamber Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski the Queen Elisabeth Hall and in 2012 she also performed Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto with RCM Symphony Orchestra under Martin André at the Royal College of Music.

 

Luis Parés,Venezuelan/Italian pianist enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician having performed in numerous countries across Europe, Asia, North and South America. He has appeared at the most prestigious British venues, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Bridgewater Hall among many others. He has appeared with distinguished orchestras in Europe and South America and made live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RAI, Kol HaMusika Israel and Spanish radio. Luis started his piano studies with Juan Antúnez and Igor Lavrov and later studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Gordon Fergus-Thompson and Andrew Ball and also held the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship at the RCM. He was a prize-winner at many national and international piano competitions, including First Prize at the XI Ricard Vines International Piano Competition (Lerida, Spain) and Third Prize at the Maria Canals International Competition, duo sonatas category, in Barcelona. He was one of the winners of the 2006 Making Music Young Concert Artists Awards and he was a YCAT finalist in 2007. Luis performs a wide range of concertos and solo works and is a keen chamber musician, with a particular interest in the string and piano repertoire. A sought-after teacher and adjudicator, he is Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College in London, Executive Director of New Virtuosi International Violin Mastercourses and an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

 

Mikhail Shilyaev was born in Izhevsk, Russia. He started learning piano at the age of six and won several regional piano competitions at a young age. He studied in Russia in Moscow State Conservatoire, in Germany and in the UK. He has completed his Master degree at Trinity Laban under Deniz Gelenbe. He was holding a position of the Junior Fellow in Accompaniment and later became staff accompanist at Trinity Laban. As a soloist with orchestra, he has recently performed with Musikkollegium Winterthur, the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with leading conductors including Christopher Warren-Green, Pascal Rophé, Nikoloz Rachveli and Gianluca Marcianó. In July 2010 Mikhail won the Bronze Medal at the prestigious Vianna da Motta International Piano Competition in Lisbon. Mikhail has been taking part in numerous festivals across Europe including Zaubersee festival in Lucerne and Suoni dal Golfo in La Spezia, Italy. Among his chamber music partners are Boris Brovtsyn, Anastasia Kobekina and Natalie Clein. He has recently released two critically acclaimed CDs on Toccata Classics and Stone Records. His new record made on historical Bechstein has been just released by Willowhayne Records.

 

Sander Sittig studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Jan Wijn. After winning prizes at competitions of Rome, Palm Beach, Epinal and Eindhoven he started a career that took him all over Europe and other continents, performing a wide range of repertoire; piano concertos, solo recitals and chamber music. Sander Sittig has recorded solo (compositions by Mozart) and chamber music CD's. He is best known, however, as the partner of famous violinists, such as Shlomo Mintz, Ilya Grubert, Liza Ferschtman and Maria Milstein. He also frequently appears at festivals such as Marienbad Nocturnes, The Violins of Hope (Charlotte, NC) and New Masters on Tour (Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Bratislava, Budapest). Sander Sittig teaches at the Rotterdam Conservatory. He is a collaborator at summer academies such as Crans-Montana Classics (Switzerland) and isa (Austria), as well as at iClassical Academy, an organization that distributes master classes through the Internet

 

Kaoru Wada, born in Japan, Kaoru Wada is a London based pianist with a diverse career as a performer and teacher. She trained as a solo pianist at the Royal Northern College with Mark Ray, Dina Parakhina and Alexander Melnikov, followed by studies at the Musik Hochschule in Munich, Germany as a prestigious DAAD scholar with the late Prof. Franz Massinger. She later studied collaborative piano and chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Caroline Palmer and Pamela Lidiard, where she currently works as a staff pianist. Kaoru has won all the accompanist prizes at during her time at Guildhall as well the accompanist prize at the most recent Bromsgrove International Music Competition. Recent performances include a BBC 3 broadcast for the Royal Philharmonic Society as well as a Proms Extra concert, also broadcast on BBC 3. She has performed at many prestigious venues, such as the Wigmore Hall, the Gewandhaus, Barbican Hall, St James Piccadilly and St Martins in the Fields. She is a visiting piano tutor and accompanist at Eton College and Royal Holloway University.

 
Dalcroze Eurhythmics

Rebecca Spencer studied music at Birmingham University. She was then accepted on to the acclaimed specialist strings PGCE course at the RNCM whilst simultaneously continuing her post-graduate viola studies with Louise Lansdown. It was during this time that Rebecca discovered Dalcroze, and found its movement based approach to musical learning to be hugely complimentary to her instrumental development. Along with her PGCE, she gained a distinction for both her viola postgraduate Diploma recital and her Dalcroze certificate. Rebecca enjoys dividing her time between working as an instrumental and Dalcroze teacher and also as a freelance viola player. For the past six years she has taught Dalcroze at Junior RNCM, and more recently she joined the faculty at Yorkshire Young Musicians in Leeds. Rebecca has been a Director and Senior Tutor at RNCM's Young Strings, and she set up Manchester Young Musicians in 2009, running musicianship classes which integrate Dalcroze with instrumental playing. In 2012, Rebecca collaborated on a BBC cbeebies animation project, which researched the effect of combining music with authentic movement. She is much in demand as a Dalcroze teacher on residential music programs, and regularly invited to work on Pro Corda chamber music courses; the Chetham's Piano Summer School and the International Suzuki Summer School, UK.

Supervised practice

Kamila Bydlowska, Polish violinist, described as 'a true musician of today's generation' ( Lark Reviews). She studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Ani Schnarch and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, USA with Mauricio Fuks and Kevork Mardirossian. As a soloist, chamber musician and collaborator she performed in venues and festivals across Europe, America and Asia, including the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Jazz Cafe , iTunes Festival in London, KIOI Hall in Tokyo, T. Amirejibi Music Festival in Tbilisi (Georgia), UK International Tango Festival. As a concerto soloist she appeared with numerous orchestras including London City Philharmonic, Symphonia Orbitalis (Valencia, Spain), Worthing Symphony Orchestra and recently made first ever recording of William Wordsworth's Violin Concerto with Liepaja Symphony Orchestra ( Latvia) and John Gibbons for Toccata Classics. She broadcast on Classic FM ( UK), WNYC ( New York), RAI ( Italy). A winner of multiple awards, she is the recipient of the Ministry of Culture of Poland Scholarship and Artistic Excellence Award from Indiana University. Kamila holds teaching position at London College of Music.

Shiry Rashkovsky began playing the violin aged 5 under the guidance of her father, Itzhak Rashkovsky. Previously a student of Natasha Boyarska, Shiry is now undertaking her Masters with Ian Jewel at the RCM, where she is a member of the Amaryllis Fleming Quartet. Her performances have taken her across the globe and have included chamber collaborations with Vadim Gluzman, Ani Schnarch, Shlomo Mintz and Shmuel Ashkenasi. She has participated in master classes with Gyorgy Pauk, Atar Arad, Kim Kashkashian and Ida Haendel, at festivals such as the Keshet Eilon International Mastercourse and Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music Sessions. Shiry recently completed a BA in Social and Political Sciences at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where she was concertmaster of the St Catharine’s College Orchestra, the University Symphony Orchestra ‘CUSO’, Principal Violist of the university orchestra ‘CUMS I’, and laureate of the University Concerto Competition. She is kindly supported by the MMSF, the Countess of Munster Trust, and the St Catharine’s Alumni Association.

Selina Wykeham began learning the violin at the age of 8. Initially educated in London, she continued her studies at the University of Bristol where she completed a BA in Music. During this time she also studied the violin in Poland under Professor Miroslaw Lawrynowicz (Warsaw Conservatoire) and for five years participated in the International String Masterclasses in Lancut (Poland). Selina continued her violin studies under the guidance of Professor Itzhak Rashkovsky and went on to gain a Performance based Masters Degree from Goldsmiths College. Also keen to sustain and develop her ties with Polish music she completed her final dissertation on the music of Karol Szymanowski. Selina has participated in Masterclasses and Festivals throughout Europe and has given solo performances at St. John’s Smith Square, Hereford Cathedral, Opera Comedie Montpellier, amongst others. She is currently a member of the Tresca Piano Trio. Selina is also an active teacher in London and holds positions at Francis Holland School and Hill House International Junior School.

 
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