ED HUGHES composer, artistic director
Ed Hughes's compositions have been commissioned and performed by The Opera Group, London Sinfonietta, I Fagiolini, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra and many ensembles and soloists, including the New Music Players which he directs. His chamber opera When the Flame Dies was released by Metier/Divine Art on DVD in 2013, with reviews in Gramophone, International Record Review and Tempo. His scores to the classic silent films by Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Strike (1924), were released on a DVD set by Tartan (2007). He has been nominated four times for British Composer Awards and won the liturgical category in 2014. He is Head of Music at the University of Sussex. www.edhughes.org.uk.
HELEN WHITAKER flute
Helen Whitaker is a critically acclaimed and vibrant young flautist. Having won many awards and scholarships while studying for a Masters degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Helen now enjoys an exciting and varied freelance career. Recently this has included live radio broadcasts for the BBC, and the premiere of a new opera at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh. Helen’s interest in contemporary music began during her time as an undergraduate at the University of Sussex, and she has since performed numerous world premieres, including those by highly acclaimed composers such as Martin Butler, Michael Finnissy, and Rob Keeley. She has also worked with contemporary specialists such as the ensemble Lontano and the label Non-Classical. Her upcoming projects include a residency in London performing in a chamber opera by Michael Finnissy, and a tour of America next spring.
ALISON HUGHES clarinet
The British clarinettist Alison Hughes studied at Leeds University and at the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, Germany. She furthered her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Here she was awarded a PGDip in clarinet performance and a Professional Performance Diploma (RNCM) with distinction in chamber music. Alison continues to enjoy a varied career performing with orchestras, ensembles and as a soloist throughout the UK and internationally. She was a founder member of the Manchester-based Fell Clarinet Quartet, which won awards from the Tunnell Trust and Live Music Now. Alison's orchestral positions include Principal Clarinet with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and Principal E flat and Bass Clarinet with Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Alison is a founding member of the Mayflower Ensemble, collaborating with diverse contemporary composers and performing artists. Future recitals include Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, and 'Discovering English Chamber Music'. Alison is also an educational workshop facilitator, a qualified music therapist and the producer of Performing Arts Collaboration South.
CHRISTINA WOODS violin
Christina Woods studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Jean Harvey and completed a PGCE with commendation at Trent Park, Middlesex University. She taught with East Sussex Music Service from 1991 until 2014 including chamber, ensemble and orchestral tuition at area music centres and in East Sussex Summer School each year; she was a course leader for several years on the electric strings improvisation course. Work in schools has included whole school assemblies and presentations, group workshops and many childrens' concerts. She taught at Cumnor House School and privately.
Christina performs widely in the Sussex area and beyond as a freelance musician and as a member of folk band Wild Ride.
JOE GIDDEY cello
Joe Giddey is a freelance cellist who plays with many varied ensembles, working with orchestras, quartets, string ensembles, bands and recording sessions for film and television. Orchestral work includes Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Opera Holland Park, and New English Concert Orchestra and St Martin in the Fields Consort Orchestra. Joe has recorded for film and theatre, including 'Gospel of Us' with the National Theatre, 'Backbeat' West End show, string quartet music for Warner Bros and recently recorded computer game music for Sony Playstation. Joe is also involved with many chamber ensembles, including the Montpellier Cello Quartet. They have recently embarked on a partnership with jazz vocalist Claire Martin OBE in a sound fusion of jazz-chamber music written for the ensemble by internationally renowned musicians and composers, including Richard Rodney Bennett, Mark Anthony Turnage, Joe Stilgoe and Django Bates.
RACHEL FRYER piano (2017-)
Rachel Fryer studied in Kharkov, Ukraine, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music. She has performed throughout Britain at venues including Croydon’s Fairfield Hall and St John Smith Square and for music societies including the Beethoven Piano Society as well as on luxury cruise liners. She is passionate about keeping music accessible and at the heart of the community and is Founder and Concert Director for Music and Wine at St Luke’s, a concert series in Queen’s Park, Brighton. Rachel is a strong supporter of contemporary music and has given many premieres. Rachel has performed at Finchcocks Musical Instrument Museum, for the Brighton Philharmonic Chamber Series and worked with Glyndebourne Youth Opera. She is Visiting Lecturer in Piano Studies and Accompanist at the East Sussex Academy of Music in Lewes.
SHIN SUZUMA piano (2015/16)
Shin was born in London and developed a passion for the piano when he was still a toddler. By the age of six, he had already taught himself several pieces and began piano lessons. He soon acquired a taste for chamber music, attending many chamber music courses which led to a performance of Shostakovich's 2nd Piano Trio at the Duke's Hall and an invitation of intensive piano study with Vovka Ashkenazy. He completed his piano studies at the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Carole Presland. There, he performed in masterclasses to renowned pianists Stephen Hough and Andreas Haefliger. As well as performing solo recitals, Shin has also worked alongside dancers and actors. He was a guest artist in the debut performance of the New English Ballet Theatre and worked with singer Sarah Gabriel and theatre director Richard Williams in a performance of Poulenc's opera "La Voix Humaine".