Classical violinist Tasmin Little is one of the world’s leading violinists and international soloists. Having studied violin from an early age, she attended the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Guildhall School of Music and concluded her studies privately with Lorand Fenyves in Canada. Her first professional debut was in 1988 with The Hallé, and since then she has performed with the worlds greatest orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Little is also a dedicated chamber musician, and an exponant of the work of the composer Frederick Delius.
She has released multiple albums, winning the Critics Award at the Classic Brit Awards in 2011 for her recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto. She was awarded an OBE in 2012 for her services to music.
Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra
Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra is a flourishing, versatile ensemble with a well-established reputation for excellence, which has been praised for its “exquisite and electrifying performances” (Bristol Post). The Orchestra’s players come from all over the City of Bristol and its environs, and share one important thing – a passion for music.
The Orchestra is well-known for its ambitious, exciting programmes and prides itself on producing concerts that are enjoyable with a warm, welcoming ambience for its audience. It also excels at promoting young, gifted musicians. The Orchestra is a registered charity, number 1150335.
Conductor Robert Weaver is a talented musician who has worked with a number of professional and high-standard amateur orchestras in the UK and abroad. In 2014, he conducted the St Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in an all-Tchaikovsky programme to critical acclaim.
Alexander James Edwards
Born in Essex, Alexander James Edwards began his career as a member of the Young Artists’ Programme at the Royal Opera House. Other companies he has worked with include the Théâtre du Châtelet, English National Opera, Gothenburg Opera, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park, the Opéra Royal de Wallonie and the Salzburg Landestheater.
Concert engagements have included performances with the Academy of Ancient Music, the BBC Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, Huddersfield Choral Society, the Israel Camerata, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oxford Philomusica, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Current engagements include Rodolfo La bohème for Lyric Opera, Dublin, and Festival Opera, Napier, Cavaradossi Tosca for English Touring Opera, Foresto Attila at the Theater Lübeck, The Puccini Scandal at the NCH, Dublin, and concerts for Raymond Gubbay Ltd, the Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
In 2011, Alexander James Edwards was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music by the Governing body of the RAM for distinguishing himself in the field of Opera.
David Ogden is a professional conductor and composer. He conducts Exultate Singers, City of Bristol Choir, the Royal Mail Choir and in his post of Head of the Bristol Choral Centre, he conducts the Bristol Schools Chamber Choirs. He is Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church, Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol. For over 25 years he has worked with numerous professional and amateur groups of all shapes and sizes in many fields of music making, including church music, concerts, musical theatre and opera, community projects, primary and secondary level educational workshops, from small children’s groups to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In his work with the BBC he has conducted choirs on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the World Service, and worked as conductor, arranger and music adviser on BBC TV’s Songs of Praise. He is religious music adviser for the BBC’s hit series Call The Midwife, and worked with the Royal Mail Choir in the BBC Two series The Choir: Sing While You Work. His compositions are published by the RSCM and White Light Publishing, and are performed in schools and churches worldwide.
City of Bristol Choir
City of Bristol Choir was founded in 1991, and appointed David Ogden as Music Director in 2000. Under his direction the choir enjoys a busy schedule of concerts and events. The choir is made up of 90 auditioned adult singers, rehearing regularly throughout the year and giving four or five concerts annually in Bristol and around the South West. Past seasons have included performances of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, Britten’s War Requiem, Symanowski’s Stabat Mater, Brahms’ Requiem, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert, Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor and the first performance in Bristol of Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi.
City of Bristol Choir has appeared on BBC television’s Songs of Praise and BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Half Hour. The choir has toured Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In Autumn 2013 the choir released its debut CD, Realms of Glory.
Bristol Choral Society
Bristol Choral Society is one of the South West’s premier symphony choruses and has been performing at Colston Hall since the choir was founded in 1889. The ensemble has a membership of approximately 180 auditioned singers, and always presents an exciting programme of music, while teaming up with world renowned soloists and professional orchestras under the direction of their conductor, Hilary Campbell. In the past the choir has accepted engagements from the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
As a society the ensemble contributes significantly to the Bristol music scene through their ‘come and sing’ events, community outreach and apprentice scheme, which aims to develop the skills of young singers, exposing them to a wide range of music. BCS also regularly stages concerts for children, showcasing classical choral music in an informal and accessible way.
British Bass-Baritone Dingle Yandell studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Brian Parsons and now studies singing independently with Jessica Cash. He is currently a Young Artist at The National Opera Studio, London and is the grateful recipient of a Sybil Tutton Opera Award administered by Help Musicians UK.
Recent operatic roles have included Don Alfonso and Figaro from scenes of the Da Ponte Operas at Opera North conducted by Aleksandar Markovic. He has recently given a recital of operatic arias for Rhinegold Live at the Conway Hall, a recital of German Lieder with Ian Burnside and a recital of English Song with Susan Bullock. For eight years Dingle toured internationally with the award-winning British ensemble Voces8. Notable performances include Tokyo Opera City and Oji Hall, Tokyo, The Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, St Petersburg, Moscow International House of Music, National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, National Concert Hall, Taipei, The Rheingau Festival, Germany, Köln Cathedral, The Minneapolis Basilica, The Wigmore Hall, Cité de la Musique, Paris, and Tel Aviv Opera House. He has also appeared regularly on BBC Radio, Classic FM and MPR and made many recordings for Signum Records and Decca Classics.
Solo concert engagements have included Bach Christmas Oratorio and Handel Messiah at Hitomi Hall, Tokyo, and with the Orchestra of Opera North, Bach Wachet Auf and Erfreut Euch at Dijon Opera House, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music directed by John Wilson at The Royal Festival Hall, Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols at Isumi Hall, Osaka, ‘The Cold Song’ from Purcell’s King Arthur with Les Inventions, Purcell O Sing Unto the Lord with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Phoebus in Purcell Dido and Aeneus with Christina Pluhar and L’Arpeggiata at The Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht.
In 2013 Dingle composed and performed the Bass-Baritone role for part-improvised opera The Lingerer by Max Perryment, one of ENO’s shortlisted mini-operas.
Portuguese soprano Susana Gaspar’s 2016 season engagements include Gilda Rigoletto for Nevill Holt Opera, Teatro São Carlos Season Opening Gala in Lisbon, Mimì La Boheme for Grange Park Opera, First Nymph Rusalka Opera de Valladolid, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum at the Cadogan Hall, a CD recording of Mendelssohn songs with Malcolm Martineau, a CD of arias and duets under Renato Balsadonna with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a recording of Semiramide with Opera Rara and return to the Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms Festival 2016). Her recent appearances include a concert performance of Rigoletto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Noseda, a recording of Mendelssohn songs with Malcolm Martineau, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Símon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel, recitals with Gary Matthewman, Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Stephen Cleobury, Cesar Franck’s Les Béatitudes and Elgar’s The Spirit of England in Lisbon and concerts in Porto under Martin André. Susana represented Portugal in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
Competition awards include the Basil Turner Prize (BYO), First Prize, Best Lied/Mélodie, Best Portuguese Song and Associação Musical do Algarve prizes in the 4th edition of the Portuguese Rotary Foundation Singing Competition (2010). She was a fnalist in the Richard Tauber Competition at Wigmore Hall (2010) and the GSMD Gold Medal Singing Competition (2009). Susana studied at Lisbon’s Music Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music & Drama (MMus), and The National Opera Studio in London (supported by the Royal Opera House).
Winner of the Czech Song Prize at the 2015 Emmy Destinn Young Singer’s Award and Finalist at the 2015 Wagner Society of England’s Singing Competition, Australian Soprano Tanya Hurst is a graduate from the Royal Northern College of Music gaining a Master of Music with Distinction under the tutelage of Nick Powell. In addition to this she holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium. During her studies at The University of Melbourne Tanya was an Associate Artist with The Melbourne Opera Studio.
Her versatility is shown by the depth of her repertoire. From Baroque to Contemporary, having been a principal Soprano for the RNCMSU Bach Ensemble to making her debut at Wigmore Hall singing 4 Primo Levi Settings by Simon Bainbridge in 2013.
Operatic credits include The Fox (Cunning Little Vixen), Marenka (Bartered Bride), Micaela (Carmen), First and Second Ladies (Die Zauberflöte), Soprano (King Harald’s Saga), Popova (The Bear) and Musetta (La Boheme). Her concert and oratorio performances have involved J. S. Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Beethoven’s 9th.
Tanya was a Finalist for the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Prize for the singing of Strauss held at the RNCM (2012). She is the winner of the Armstead Award and was a Finalist for the 3MBS Young Performer of the Year Award (2010) and consequently was broadcast on 3MBS. Tanya completed her time at the RNCM on a high after being awarded the Claire Croiza Prize for French Song (2013).