Nicola Benedetti - Violin

"Benedetti has the gift of communication in spades”
The Independent

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has captivated audiences and critics alike with her musicality and poise.  Winner of the Classical BRIT Award for Young British Classic Performer in 2008 and an exclusive Universal/Deutsche Grammophon artist...

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...she has recorded four critically acclaimed albums reaching No 1 in the Classical charts.  In recent seasons Nicola has performed with most of the UK’s major symphony orchestras from the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and worked with many international orchestras in Europe, the US and the Far East.  Nicola has also taken part in many prestigious events, including a performance at Windsor Castle for her Majesty the Queen, at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, and the G8 Summit at Gleneagles.

Howard Blake – Composer

"...a master of big-scale composition."
Classic FM Magazine

Howard hit stardom with his amazing film scores from the Duellists written for Ridley Scott to the Pink Panther Strikes Again for Henry Mancini, as well as The Snowman. He has worked with the greatest film directors and been recognised with many awards including at the Ivor Novello awards...

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and the special Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival. Howard is composing a Liberation Fanfare to be performed in Jersey at the Festival.

Carlos Bonell – Guitar

"A Masterclass in Magic"
BBC Music Magazine

A regular soloist with the world's leading orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, Carlos' recordings are regarded as some of the best ever and include Hollywood soundtracks as well as a Grammy nominated recording with John Williams.

Sergey Braga

Sergey Braga - Tenor

Sergey Braga, born in Russia in 1970, graduated from Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, from vocal class of world-known tenor Constantin Pluznikov and baritone Stanislav Bureev. During his time there, he performed as a soloist in the Opera Theatre of Conservatory; sang in a range of operas, including: Bazilio and Curzio in Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro'...

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...Lenskij in Tchaikovsky's 'Eugeny Onegin'; young gipsy in Rachmaninov's 'Aleko'; Liykov in Rimsky-Korsakov's 'The Tsar's Bride'; Faust in Gounod's 'Faust'.

Since 1995 Sergey has been a soloist for the Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after M.P. Mussorgsky. He performed in a number of operettas at Saint-Petersburg Theatre of Musical Comedy, including as Kamil de Rossiljon in Lehar's 'Merry widow'; Alfred in Strauss's 'The Bat'; Arlekin in Leoncavallo's 'The Buffoons'; Lakzi in Kalman's 'Gipsy – premier'; Adam in Zeller's 'Birds' seller'.

From 1999, he collaborated with musical theatre 'Zazerkalje', singing parts such as Nemorino in Donizetti's 'Love drink'; Rudolf in Puccini's 'Bogema'; Vodemon in Tchaikovsky's 'Iolanta'; and Tomino in Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'.

In 2005, he was invited to the Moscow musical theatre 'Gelicon – Opera' singing Ljukov in Rimsky-Korsakov's 'The Tsar's Bride'; Prince in Dvorzhak's 'The Mermaid'; and Hoze in Bizet's 'Carmen'. He also performed on tour with 'Gelicon – Opera' theatre in 'Carmen' and 'The Bat' in Israel and USA. Sergey has collaborated with a range of world-class conductors and has a wide cantata-oratory and romance-song repertoire and has toured internationally with concerts and performances.

Natalie Clein - Cello

Natalie Clein's exceptional musicality has earned her a number of prestigious prizes including a Classical Brit Award.

Since her concert debut at the BBC Proms in 1997, she has performed as a soloist with all of the UK's top orchestras under Sir Charles Mackerras, Gennardi Rozhdestvensky, Sir Andrew Davis and Heinrich Schiff to name but a few.

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Natalie is also in great demand as a recitalist and chamber musician and has performed at major venues nationally and internationally, each summer taking part in the world's great international chamber festivals.

Daniel Cohen - Conductor

"A keen musical intelligence"
Daniel Barenboim

From working with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Kammerphilharmonie Graz to the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, this multiple award-winning young conductor is a rising star tipped for the very top of the musical world.

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Daniel has worked and studied with Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, George Hurst, Colin Metters and Sir Colin Davies. He won first prize at the Admont International Conducting Competition in Austria,and the Aviv Competition in Israel, the 'Yuri Ahronovitch prize'. Daniel has recently made his Queen Elizabeth Hall Debut with the Eden Sinfonia, of which he is music director and founder.

Michael Collins – Clarinet

"5 Star"
BBC Music Magazine

The Artistic Director of the Liberation Festival is one of the great clarinettists of the classical world. His dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship have made him one of today's most sought-after soloists. Awarded the Lifetime Achievement award...

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Ilona Domnich - Soprano

"A voice of silken beauty"
Opera Now

One of the most exciting young Opera singers of today, Ilona was plucked by the legendary diva Vera Rosza from St Petersberg to study at the Royal College. Her heartfelt warmth in performance has led to concerts with the BBC Concert Orchestra, a BBC DVD and countless accolades.

Phillip Dukes - Viola

"Philip Dukes... World Class, and perfect technical mastery"
The Strad

As a concerto soloist, Philip Dukes has appeared with the all the major UK orchestras including BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Hallé, The Philharmonia, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Mozart Players and the Ulster Orchestra, amongst...

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many others and in 1995 Philip made his BBC Promenade Concerto début returning frequently over the following years. Philip is also Professor of Viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Artist-in-Residence at Queen’s University Belfast, Artistic Director of Marlborough College and Artistic Director of the Festival International de Musique de la Hague in France. Philip Dukes was unanimously elected a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in recognition of his success as an international viola soloist, and is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

On the 20th March, 2011, Philip will perform an anniversary concert on an Archinto Stradivarius Viola (RAM Collection) celebrating 20 years since his 1991 début recital at The Purcell Room.

Leonard Elschenbroich - Cello

"an extraordinary and unique gift"
Anne Sophie Mutter

Since winning the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival for his performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter under Christoph Eschenbach, 24 year old cellist Leonard Elschenbroich has been widely regarded as one of the most important and original German cellists...

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of his generation. In recent years, the winner of the Borlettti-Buitoni-Trust and long time protégé of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation has caught the attention of today's greatest international conductors such as Valery Gergiev and Christoph Eschenbach. A passionate chamber musician, he has performed with Katia & Marielle Labéque, Helene Grimaud and Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica. This Summer Leonard will give his American debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Guy Johnston - Cello

"Lovely burnished and varied sound."
New York Times

One of the leading cellists of his generation, Guy was the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2000, led the 2001 Opening Night of the Proms and won a Classical Brit Award. He performs with many of the world's greatest orchestras including the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, St.Petersburg Symphony, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and has undertaken tours of Japan with the Osaka Philharmonic.

Ola and James Jordan - Dancers

"Ola won Strictly in 2010"

BBC Strictly Come Dancing stars Ola and James Jordan have won major honours for their dancing and firmly established their credentials as some of the most popular dancers on the hit show. They are notable for their passionate Latin American performances.

Harriet MacKenzie

"Full of panache... Captivating"
The Times

Harriet has toured Europe, America and Japan as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Harriet gave her highly acclaimed Purcell Room recital debut as part of the Park Lane Young Artists Series. Since then she has given recitals in prestigious venues...

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such as the Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouwe and the Beers Van Berlage Hall in Amsterdam, the Marble Hall in Budapest, Leeds International Concert Series, the Lysenko Hall of Marble Columns in Kyiv, the Expo Dome in Japan - which was broadcast on Japanese National television. Harriet premiered Robert Fokkens violin concerto, written and dedicated to her, at the South Bank. She has broadcast recitals 'live' for BBC Radio 3, Radio London, Classic FM and for Hungarian National Radio. Harriet regularly gives concerto performances in the UK and abroad.

Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for over 40 years. The career of this award winning journalist has embraced an impressive variety of programmes on both radio and television for both Commercial and BBC stations in Britain, America and Australia.

The scope and quality of her work has been recognised by the Royal Television Society...

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who entered her into their Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2002 she was voted European Woman of Achievement and in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2004 she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to Broadcasting, Charity and the Arts. Trained as a journalist in her home town of Plymouth, Angela worked for both BBC Plymouth and the ITV station Westward Television before joining BBC National News in 1973. She was appointed the first woman journalist newsreader in l975 and made two memorable appearances in the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Shows.

Angela was a founder member of the commercial breakfast service TV-am in 1982 and in 1984 moved to America to work for CBS in Boston.

She has presented a wide variety of programmes from hard news and current affairs, to quiz shows and magazine programmes for both BBC and Commercial radio and television. Titles include Come Dancing; Top Gear, the Antiques Roadshow, Masterteam, Crufts Championship and The Holiday Programme. She currently presents the antique based programmes Cash in the Attic and Sun Sea and Bargain Spotting for BBC1 and remains committed to a number of charities, including the British Red Cross of which she is Vice President.

Alexander Sitkovetsky - Violin

"One of the Stars of the New Century"
The Strad

Alexander, born in Moscow into a family with an established musical tradition, made his concerto debut in Montpellier at the age of eight. Lord Menuhin was his inspiration throughout his school years and they performed together on several occasions including at St James' Palace.

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He now performs with orchestras across the world from the Royal Philharmonic to the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Alexander has recorded for Angel/EMI, and Decca including the Bach Double Concerto with Julia Fischer. He is in much demand with chamber music partners including Julia Fischer, Janine Jansen, Misha Maisky, and Julian Rachlin.

Clare Teal - Vocals

"This is as good as they come"

Yorkshire born Clare Teal is one of the most successful Female British jazz singers in decades with a string of albums behind her.

As a teenager, Clare was "obsessed with the singers of the 30s, the 40s and 50s," whilst her peers were listening to Nik Kershaw and Simon Le Bon!

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Following a stint of jingle writing and jingle performing in the style of Madonna, Billy Holiday and even Tina Turner, Clare bumped into a pianist she had met years earlier during her Billie Holiday episode in her earlier years. By 2004 she had signed with the Sony Jazz label, which spawned what would become her breakthrough, Top 20 hit album, 'Don't Talk' and the rest is history.

Aside from a very busy touring schedule, column writing and working on her new project 'Clare Teal Sings 'The Great British Songbook', Clare continues to present Clare Teal on Sunday, Big Band Special and Friday Night Is Music Night for Radio 2. She is also continuously involved with both the recording for Children in Need (BandAGEd) and the TOGS cruise supporting it.

Wu Qian - Piano

"richly coloured, majestic, a dreamy lyricism."
The Independent

Selected as one of Classical Music’s brightest young stars in 2007 by the Independent, the young Shanghai musician Wu Qian received scholarships to study at the Menuhin School and then the Royal Academy of Music.  A multiple award and prize winner, when only 15, Qian performed a Mozart Piano Concerto in the Queen Elizabeth Hall...

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London, and the Saint-Säens Piano Concerto No 2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Since then she has gone on to perform at international festivals and concerts halls across the world from the Royal Festival Hall, London to the Steinway Halls in New York.