Paulo Lopes was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where he started playing the piano at the age of 6. At the age of 9 he was awarded a scholarship to the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon to study music and the arts. He joined the Conservatoire Nacional de Lisboa at the age of 12 where he became a student of Leonor Leitão-Cadete for several years. He then came to London to continue his studies in music and the arts. He has studied at the Guildhall School of Music with Norman Beedie and with the Spanish pianist Maria Garzón. In 1997 Paulo was admitted as Licentiate, Trinity College London.
He has given various piano recitals throughout the country and abroad. He has also played several times in aid of Amnesty International, at the University of Essex and at the Southwark Cathedral in London.
Recently hailed by the press as ‘surely the finest singing actress this country has produced’, Yvonne Howard began singing with the Staffordshire County Youth Choir and her busy international career began immediately after she graduated with distinction from Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, where she studied with Joseph Ward. She is much in demand in all areas of stage and theatre work and due to her extreme versatility, vocal and dramatic flexibility and her extended vocal range. Yvonne is equally at home in recital, oratorio and opera and from Handel via Rossini to Verdi, Elgar, Richard Strauss and Wagner. Her career to date has included regular appearances with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Opera North, all of Britain’s major orchestras and in major concert halls and Opera houses of the U.K. Europe, Japan, Brazil, Israel, and more recently the U.S.A. Conductors with whom she has worked include Haitink, Groves, Menuhin, Andrew Davies, Thieleman, Edo de Waart, Sir Colin Davies. She has also sung Strauss’ Four Last Songs, the role of Amneris in‘Aida’ at the Royal Albert Hall and on tour, followed by returning to New York to sing Edwige in Handel’s Rodelinda , the role of Assunta in Menotti’s Saint of Bleecker Street at the Spoleto Festival in Italy,’ The Bartered Bride’ ,‘Die Zauberflote’ with the ROH and ‘Barber of Seville’ ENO, as well as singing the Angel in the ‘Dream of Gerontius ‘ in New York and Boston U.S.A.
Peter O’Connor was born in Liverpool where he studied flute with Judy Fenton as a winner of a City of Liverpool Scholarship, before gaining a place at the Royal Northern College of Music. Peter has worked with most of the major orchestras in England and Scotland and along with Mary Morley formed Rubato, a flute and harp duo to great critical acclaim. He has recorded both for radio and television and can frequently be heard playing the flute in TV series and films. Peter collaborated with Sir George Martin and Gordon Giltrap on his album Candles for BBC TV. He has played in many West End shows, including Aspects of Love, Brigadoon and The Sound of Music. He has worked extensively with the London Concert Orchestra, London Pops Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Peter is an experienced and committed flute teacher, teaching at Oundle School, Kings College School, Cambridge, and Linton Village College.
Maria Garzón was born into a medical family. She studied music in Spain, Austria, Germany and UK. Her international career took off in 1984 when she was chosen by the RTVE to represent her country at the music year in Amsterdam. She has performed in many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Barbican, she has taken part in several international festivals including Salzburg, Carthage and Thessaloniki. When she’s not travelling Maria lives in the UK and Greece.
She has recorded for the major radio stations (BBC, classic FM, WDR, RAI, RTVE, NBRC) and has been instrumental in the rediscovery of the works of the composer J. L. Dussek. She has recorded his piano concertos with the Neues Renisches Kammerorchester for WDR-KOCH, and the first complete cycle of his piano sonatas (six CDs).
Her recording of the piano works of Elgar was made with the support of the Elgar Society in the UK and features the first ever recording of the piano version of the Enigma Variations.
Other recordings include Ullmann’s Piano Sonatas 4, 5, 6 and 7, the piano works of Rodrigo, an album of piano variations and an album of Spanish music for piano which won the British retailers association prize for best CD of the year.Maria is an honorary member of ILAMS and a Fellow of the RSA.
Danielle Perrett is widely recognized as one of the UK’s finest harpists whose performances and recordings have been critically acclaimed. She enjoys an extremely varied career which, in addition to performing, involves teaching, examining, adjudicating, giving master classes in the UK and in many countries around the world.
Danielle has performed for some of the highest profile events and people. She has played on many private occasions for the Royal family at Buckingham
Palace and at the Palace of Versailles, Paris. As a concerto soloist she has performed at major international concert halls, such as the Musikverein in Vienna and the
Wigmore Hall in London. Danielle’s solo recital and
orchestral career spans the globe, from Britain to the USA, Australasia, SE Asia, Africa and all over Europe. She gives masterclasses and workshops to harpists around the world. She composes, edits and arranges harp music, and has researched the instrument and its 18th & 19th Century repertoire, specialising in solo and chamber music on both period and modern harps.
Her many recordings have been highly acclaimed, most notably her recording of music by 20th Century English composer, Edmund Rubbra. Danielle has broadcast internationally as well as appearing in several films, including BBC’s TV film of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion and Simon Schama’s documentary Rough Crossings.
In addition she is a qualified Pilates teacher which she teaches to harpists and other musicians as well as to the local community.
Peter Wild was born in Sydney, Australia. From an early age he showed a great aptitude for the piano and after his family returned to England he began to develop a serious relationship with the instrument, leading to his enrolment at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and subsequently at the Royal Academy of Music in London. An interest in teaching emerged quite early on and he combined his work teaching in the Junior Department at the Royal Academy with the development of his own teaching practice. In later years he became very much involved with the work of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and having served for a number of years on the national committee for the Private Teachers’ Section he was subsequently appointed Warden of the Section, serving his one year tenure in 2008 – 2009. His work as an accompanist played an important part in his early career and performances include recitals for BBC Radio, Granada Television and on the South Bank in London.
He is now based in Cheshire where he is a much sought-after teacher and consultant in piano teaching. He tours in this country and abroad as an examiner and adjudicator. His examining experience extends over twenty five years during which time he has worked as examiner and moderator for the WJEC examination board and as a senior examiner and piano consultant for the faculty of the London College of Music at the University of West London. Currently he is an Associate Chief Examiner at Trinity College, London. In 2014 he was awarded honorary membership of Trinity College. Peter can be heard performing on a variety of Trinity CD recordings and has had a number of educational piano pieces published. His repertoire ranges from the early baroque to 20th century composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Darius Milhaud. Peter is the most recent addition to Stoke Music’s garland of musicians of excellence.
Charlotte de Rothschild
Charlotte de Rothschild’s career has taken her all over the world. With her wide knowledge of the song repertoire, from different eras, countries and genres, she has created some wonderful themed programmes; the best known being the “Family Connections” programme which traces the musical history of her forebears with music by, and anecdotes about, the composers who were friends, teachers or ancestors of the Rothschild family during the 19th and 20th Centuries. Other themes presented in major concert halls or Festivals include “A Bouquet of Flower Songs” (arranged by the season) with which Charlotte toured Japan and India in the Spring of 2012 and did so again in Japan in July 2014 and “A Magical Evening”, a collection of British songs released on the Nimbus label as “Fairy Songs” with the harpist Danielle Perrett. Recently, Charlotte’s concert schedule took her to Taiwan, Japan, India and the U.S.
After performing in Japan for over twenty years, she recorded a CD of classical Japanese songs called “A Japanese Journey”. She was the first foreigner to have recorded this music in the native tongue and as such was hailed as a pioneer and she has promoted the beauty of these songs all over the world. Her newest Japanese song CD “Hana wa saku” , is a collaboration with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Michael Collins. They will tour Japan in April 2017.
Eugénie Degan was born in southern France and studied music from an early age. She graduated as a Baroque cellist from the Paris Schola Cantorum in 1999 having studied with the renowned cellist Erwan Faure and became a Bachelor of Music at the Paris Conservatoire in 2000. After some years playing in symphony and chamber orchestras as well as teaching the cello, Eugénie changed direction and enrolled in a course to become a violin maker at the London Metropolitan University, where she graduated in 2005 with Distinction. She continued her training in different well known London workshops such as those of J. P. Guivier and F. Leonhard, then she continued her repair and restoration apprenticeship for a further 3 years with Peter Ratcliff in his Brighton workshop. Thanks to her work and experience in Brighton she was able to become a Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholar in July 2007 following a full restoration project on a 1670 violin from Thomas Urquhart of London. Eugenie continues her work as a violin maker, and when time allows, still enjoys playing freelance in some of the London Orchestras and as a soloist as she is in the presentation today.
Margaret Bateson was born in Cumbria and now lives in London. A gifted child, she started playing the piano at the age of five. By the time she was six she had already passed her first exam with honours. Her piano studies continued with private lessons until she was awarded the Charles Vincent scholarship to train at the Trinity College of Music, London. After several years study at this college she was awarded a further scholarship, this time from the British Council, to study at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, and at the Kodaly Pedagogical Institute. She has had a fruitful and varied career giving concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and Conway Hall, as well as broadcasts for the BBC and coaching for the Cologne Opera in Germany. Her music making has taken her all through Europe and North America, she also toured India extensively.
She became established in London as a teacher and following a period at the Newham Academy of Music she now works as a professor of piano at the City Literary Institute in London.