SOLOISTS

2019-20

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AMBER EMSON — Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (October 2019)

Amber started playing violin at the age of 5 as a pupil of Margaret Norris and later Natasha Boyarsky; in 2009 she joined RAM’s Junior Department. As a student at Chetham’s School of Music 2014-16, she won the school’s Concerto Competition resulting in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Chetham’s Sinfonia at Manchester Cathedral, and the Catherine Perkins Chamber Music Prize. Between 2016 and 2019 Amber was member of the Royal College of Music's Junior Department. She currently studies violin privately under the tutelage of Maciej Rakowski. In 2019 she actively participated in Mastercourses with Pavel Vernikov, Maurizio Fuks (International Violin Mastercourse Kronberg Academy) and Kolja Blacher (Carl Flesch Akademie Baden-Baden).
 
Prizes and awards in recent years include 1st prizes at Croydon Music Festival, Kingston upon Thames Festival of the Performing Arts, Springboard Festival in Brighton and Ealing Festival. At the Eastbourne Young Soloist competitions in 2017 and 2018, Amber was awarded the St Cecilia Bequest for the most promising performer under 18. In the same years she won the Concerto Competitions in Hastings International Festival. In May 2018, Amber won the 2nd prize at the X. International Competition for Violin and Viola "Szymon Goldberg" in Meissen. In June 2019 she won 1st prize in the National Round of Germany's "Jugend Musiziert" competition, and one months later she won 1st prize at the International Music Competition Hohenpriessnitz. 

Amber recently performed Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with the Orchestra of the City, the Sussex Concert Orchestra and with the Richmond Orchestra. Earlier in 2019 she played Paganini’s Violin Concerto No 2 with Reed’s School Orchestra at Cadogan Hall and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Sussex Concert Orchestra in Bexhill Festival. In Autumn 2019, she will perform Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra and in Dvorak’s Violin Concerto with Enfield Chamber Orchestra.

A passionate chamber musician, together with her duo partner cellist Willard Carter, Amber won the RCM JD Chamber Music Competition and performed at the Wigmore Hall in June 2017 as part of their annual Young Artists’ showcase concert. She participated in the ‘Mit Musik – Miteinander’ Chamber Music course at Kronberg Academy in September 2018. Since August 2019, she is a full member of LGT Young Soloists, performing with the group in major concert halls worldwide.

During recent years, Amber's musical activities have been supported by generous grants from Awards for Young Musicians, EMI Music Sound Foundation, Gerald Finzi Trust, Rhona Reid Charitable Trust, Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, The Loveday Charitable Trust, Miss E.B. Wrightson's Charitable Trust, National Youth Arts Trust, The Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust, Kathleen Trust, Spoff's Chamber Music Scholarships and a number of private sponsors; she is a 2017, 2018 and 2019 Junior Scholarship recipient at the Hattori Foundation.

Amber plays on a fine violin by Matthew Taylor from 1806.

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RICHARD GOWERS — Poulenc Organ Concerto (March 2020)

Richard Gowers is a British pianist. He performs extensively as a song accompanist and chamber pianist, conductor and organist.

In 2017-19 he held a scholarship at the

Richard Gowers is a British pianist. He performs extensively as a song accompanist and chamber pianist, conductor and organist.

In 2017-19 he held a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Michael Dussek and Joseph Middleton and won prizes for song accompaniment and chamber music. He has given many performances at Wigmore Hall, most recently in the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards with Stephanie Wake-Edwards, and the finals of the 2019 Wigmore Hall Song Competition with Kieran Carrel; in April 2019 he took part in Wigmore Hall’s first Liederabend of the works of Carl Loewe with members of the Royal Academy Song Circle. In duo partnership with Kieran Carrel, he was awarded the Schubert Institute UK Prize at Leeds Lieder Festival.

 

He previously studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater 'Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy' Leipzig and Cambridge University, where he was organ scholar at King’s College and graduated with a starred first class degree in Music. With King’s College Choir he performed at the major venues and festivals around the world, including in Aldeburgh, BBC Proms, Concertgebouw, Hong Kong, MDR Musiksommer, Rheingau, Vancouver and tours of the USA and China. His time at King’s culminated in the worldwide broadcast of the 2016 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and the release of his critically acclaimed disc of Messiaen La Nativité du Seigneur, which was a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’.

 

Richard Gowers is based in London, where he pursues a busy freelance schedule. As well as extensive piano collaborations, he is under demand as a concert organist. Recent performances have included festivals in Toulouse, St Albans, Germany, the USA and Australia, as well as major UK venues. He is active as a chorus accompanist for the BBC Singers, London Symphony Chorus and Philharmonia Chorus; as an ensemble member he has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, Aurora Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, King’s Consort, London Philharmonic, OAE, Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic. He is a keen conductor of choirs and orchestras, and has repetiteured for Hampstead Garden Opera, Waterperry Opera and the Royal Opera House.

 

Richard teaches at Cambridge University, Tiffin School and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, and is Director of Music at St Saviour’s Church, Pimlico. He is a passionate advocate of musicians’ rights in the current political climate, and has a weakness for dry humour and artisan crisps.

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YONG-JUN LEE — Dvorak Cello Concerto (June 2020)

South Korean cellist Yong-Jun Lee is acknowledged as a young cellist of distinction, equally at home in solo, chamber and orchestra. As a soloist Yong-Jun has performed most notably at Cadogan Hall and Dora Stoutzker Hall, Wigmore Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields. He is equally a committed chamber musician, and has appeared at Wigmore Hall, St James’ Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Colston Hall. Yong-Jun has collaborated with such artists as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Edward Gardner, Jinjoo Cho and Dominic Grier and has performed in masterclasses with Mario Brunello, Colin Carr, Sung-Won Yang, Louise Hopkins, Guy Johnston and Stephan Forck.

 

Yong-Jun Lee began his musical studies at age 5 at the Seoul Arts Centre and later studied at the Purcell School of Music with Pal Banda. Yong-Jun is a recipient of The Marjorie Gould Award to undertake his undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music where since 2016 he studies under Mats Lidström.