Alla SirenkoAlla Sirenko was born into a musical family of teachers and musicians. Her mother was a professor of Flute in the Lviv conservatoire (Ukraine) and her Cousin Vladimir Sirenko is the chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev.
She started to study piano from the age of 5 years old, and since then she has regularly given concerts as a pianist.
Alla started to teach piano, when she was 17 years old, while she was a student at the Music College of Lviv. She continued her studies as a concert pianist and a piano teacher at the Ukrainian State Conservatoire of Kiev, where she obtained her Higher Education Diploma with distinction.
She also studied piano at the Moscow Conservatoire with Yakov Milstein, and organ at the Estonian State Conservatoire with Hugo Lepnurm, where she obtained a Diploma for Higher education as an organist Alla also studied organ in Cambridge with Peter Le Hurry and Ann Page and has a Diploma in composition from the Lviv State Conservatoire, as well.
After her studies, Alla was invited to work with the Lviv Philharmonic Society in Ukraine as a concert pianist, accompanist and a composer.
Alla currently lives in London and is combining busy concert and composition careers along side her ever growing teaching practise. She has taught piano for 10 years at Cirencester College, Dean Close private School in Cheltenham, and composition at Stanford University Campus in Oxford. She regularly gives lectures on the History of Music and adjudicates piano competitions internationally. Alla also gives Master Classes on Piano and Composition techniques
Andrew SackettAndrew has had a wide and varied musical career which has included genres from classical to jazz and musical theatre to rock and pop. He was born in Sheffield and at an early age had piano lessons from Fanny Waterman. After moving to Lichfield he took organ lessons at the Cathedral with Jonathan Rees-Williams. He entered the Royal Northern College of Music in 1982 and studied organ with Eric Chadwick, Gordon Stewart and Gillian Weir, and piano accompaniment with Jack Brymer’s life long accompanist, David Lloyd. Whilst at college in Manchester he was Organ Scholar at the Cathedral and in
1987 was appointed Assistant Organist at Carlisle Cathedral. During his time in Carlisle he conducted ‘Wigton Choral Society’ and was Chorus Master for ‘Cumbria Rural Choirs’ working alongside Sir Charles Groves and David Hill.
In 1989 Andrew moved to Tewkesbury Abbey where he directed the Choir of the Abbey School. As well as singing the weekday services in the Abbey, the choir made several CDs, broadcast on BBC Radio and TV and toured extensively throughout Europe and USA. He conducted the highly acclaimed Malvern Chamber Choir ‘Aldwyn Voices’ and was also in demand as a recitalist and accompanist.
After eleven years at Tewkesbury, Andrew decided to move into a rather different field of music and in September 2000 was appointed Musical Director for ‘Holland America Cruise Line’. During his time at sea he was Musical Director for several Grand Voyages as well as the 2008 Golden Anniversary 114 day World Cruise where he worked with a gamut of acts ranging from opera singers to the Osmonds!
Having visited every corner of the world, and after several thousand nautical miles, Andrew decided to return to ‘terra firma’. In September 2008 and, he spent a term at Westminster Abbey Choir School as Acting Director of Music where he was responsible for the choristers’ musical education. He is now in great demand as a freelance musical director, pianist, organist and repetiteur. He works as musical director for the theatre production companies ‘Epic Creative’, ‘SG Productions’, ‘Blue Star Productions’, and ‘Lumion Productions’. He is also MD for ‘Movies and Musicals’, a show he devised with two West End Singers, which is currently touring the UK.
Andrew is conductor of ‘Freshfields Choir and ‘CMS Chorale’ and is Assistant Director of Music at St Peter’s, Eaton Square. He also has a jazz trio and plays keyboards in a Dire Straits tribute band!
Gillian FordGillian graduated with the highest honours as both a French horn player and pianist from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, studying piano accompaniment with Graham Johnson OBE and the late Geoffrey Parsons CBE. Concert work has taken Gillian all over the world, most recently Hong Kong, Penang, Barbados, Cape Town, and Banff, Canada where she has performed with her ensemble The New London Piano Trio to critical acclaim. She has recorded for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM (Platform Live) and Channel 4 Television.
Since 1999 she has been the Director of Classical Connections, and is responsible for programming and providing all the opera concerts on board P&O and Fred Olson cruises.
As a repetiteur Gillian has worked with English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Holland Park Opera, as well as the vast majority of the British touring opera companies. Distinguished singers with whom she has worked include Felicity Palmer, Marie McLoughlin, Catherine Malfitano, Ann Murray, and Kathryn Harries, with whom she has recently released a CD – Can’t Help Loving.
She is now much in demand as a teacher, & has taught at the prestigious Eton College and top-ranking Tiffin School. All of this is in addition to her busy concert schedule – both here, abroad and at sea!
Jenny TrewJenny Trew was born in Swansea and won a scholarship to study at Chethams School of Music in Manchester. She continued her studies at The Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton and won several prizes including the John Ireland prize. She then specialised in accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she was awarded the Accompaniment Prize and the Mitchell Foundation Bursary.
In concert she has recently appeared in recital at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, played in the Royal Albert Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and in various recitals abroad in countries such as Italy, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia and Russia.
She has appeared extensively on radio and TV most recently in Channel 4s Late, Late Show. With Opera Interludes she accompanied performances of Verdis La Traviata at the Palace in Valetta for the President of Malta and at the Villa Carlotta on Lake Como. She has also accompanied performances of Mozarts Cosi fan Tutte in the UK and Germany.
Harry OggA recent graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, is active as a Conductor, Pianist, Vocal Coach and Repetiteur. As a pianist, he has studied with Wilfred Murray and Michael Dussek and now studies principally with Simon Lepper. His work has been a rich mixture of solo playing (he gained a distinction in his DipABRSM aged just 16, and was winner of the Louis Watt Soloist prize aged 18), chamber music and accompaniment (prize winner as accompanist for the Cambridge University Song Prize). Harry has acted as repetiteur/vocal coach for numerous operas and musicals in London and Cambridge, even being called into Glyndebourne to repetiteur at a day’s notice in April of this year.
As a conductor, Harry is founder and Artistic Director of his own London-based orchestra, Sinfonia d’Amici, which has now had over a dozen projects in London, as well as its own opera festival in the South of France. In Cambridge, Harry won the University Conducting competition in his 1st and 2nd years, giving him the opportunity to assist Sir Mark Elder, Sir Richard Armstrong, Libor Pesek and Martin Yates in his 2nd and 3rd years.
Future plans include working as an assistant conductor at Glyndebourne in 2013, working as cover conductor for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in 2013 and working as a guest conductor for various orchestras, including the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra., a recent graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, is active as a Conductor, Pianist, Vocal Coach and Repetiteur. As a pianist, he has studied with Wilfred Murray and Michael Dussek and now studies principally with Simon Lepper. His work has been a rich mixture of solo playing (he gained a distinction in his DipABRSM aged just 16, and was winner of the Louis Watt Soloist prize aged 18), chamber music and accompaniment (prize winner as accompanist for the Cambridge University Song Prize). Harry has acted as repetiteur/vocal coach for numerous operas and musicals in London and Cambridge, even being called into Glyndebourne to repetiteur at a day’s notice in April of this year.
As a conductor, Harry is founder and Artistic Director of his own London-based orchestra, Sinfonia d’Amici, which has now had over a dozen projects in London, as well as its own opera festival in the South of France. In Cambridge, Harry won the University Conducting competition in his 1st and 2nd years, giving him the opportunity to assist Sir Mark Elder, Sir Richard Armstrong, Libor Pesek and Martin Yates in his 2nd and 3rd years. Future plans include working as an assistant conductor at Glyndebourne in 2013, working as cover conductor for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in 2013 and working as a guest conductor for various orchestras, including the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra.
Melanie SpanswickMelanie Spanswick is a classical pianist and writer. She studied at the Royal College of Music in London where she won many prizes including the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff prize for ‘the most outstanding postgraduate pianist of the year’ and obtained an MMus(RCM), GRSM (Hons), ARCM and a DipRCM. Melanie studied the piano with Patricia Carroll, John Lill and Tatiana Sarkissova.Melanie has performed all around the world including concerts in Canada, USA, Bermuda, Spain, Russia, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. Performances in the UK include the South Bank Centre, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall and CBSO Hall.
She has broadcast on Classic FM, Radio 3, CBC Radio and Swedish and Spanish Television and has made two solo recordings; ‘Liebestraume’ (2002 for Opera Omnia) and ‘Another Stage’ (2007). Melanie has performed for the Queen Mother and Danish Royal family amongst others.
Festival appearances have included Cheltenham, Windsor, Southwark, Prussia Cove, Guelph (Ontario) and The International Liszt Festival in Hamilton (Ontario). At the Liszt Festival, Melanie performed in the North American premiere of Liszt’s Bunte Reihe. She has been described as: a ‘pianist of style and substance’ (Dr Alan Walker, Author of the definitive 3 volume biography of Franz Liszt) and ‘she draws from the keyboard an unfailingly rich supply of colours’ (Musical Opinion).
Melanie has taught at Reading University and the Royal College of Music Junior Department and she has examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She has been fortunate enough to perform solo classical and cabaret shows on luxury cruise liners around the world, frequently appearing on the QE2 and the QM2. Writing has always been a passion for Melanie and she regularly reviews concerts and writes articles for various music websites and magazines.