Consisting of three outstanding musicians, Trio Opal started their partnership in 2017. They have given concerts at St. Mary Perivale, Royal Academy of Music, Leatherhead Methodist Church as well as St Marylebone Parish Church. They regularly have coaching as an ensemble with their individual professors, violinist György Pauk, cellist Christopher Richter and the Academy’s Head of Piano Accompaniment, Michael Dussek.
Yi-Shing Cheng obtained her Bachelor’s degree in piano from the National Taiwan Normal University, where she studied with Professor Li-Chin Lai. As a collaborative pianist based in the United Kingdom since 2014, she obtained her Master’s degree from the Royal Academy of Music and is currently studying her Professional diploma under the tutelage of Michael Dussek, with the support of the Sara Krein Scholarship and the Alice Payne Scholarship.
As the winner of the Wilfrid Parry Prize Brahms duo competition in November 2016 and the first prize of Rex Stephans Schumann Lieder Accompanist Prize in February 2017, Yi-Shing is a highly active chamber musician and accompanist, performing with several outstanding instrumentalists, singers and her piano trio. She has received solo lessons from Boris Berman, Jacques Rouvier, Yu-Jane Yang; and chamber lessons from Maxim Vengerov, György Pauk, Imogen Cooper, Ian Brown, Maurice Hasson, Daniel Müller-Schott, Daniel Hope, Bengt Forsberg and Silvia Rosenberg. Recent performance highlights include a concert of Bach sonatas for violin and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, a live performance on BBC Radio 3 and a song concert at Wigmore Hall.
Yi-Shing is also a keen composer. In October 2009 she was commissioned by the Thunder Tune Music Company to compose a ten-minute piece for the Academy of Taiwan Strings, based on the Taiwanese folksong “Tao Hua Guo Du”. The piece was premiered at the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. She has also composed a production for the album “Troubadour”, which was published in December 2012 in Taiwan.
Born in 1993 in Tokyo, Eriko Nagayama is a Japanese violinist currently in her second year studying as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of György Pauk. She started playing the violin at the age of four, and for many years studied violin and chamber music at the Toho Gakuen School of Music under Koichiro Harada.
Eriko has won several awards including first prize and also the Jean Schmidt prize for outstanding musicianship at the Yokohama International Music Competition in 2015, chaired by Gérard Poulet, and also Wilfrid Parry Brahms Prize 2016 with pianist Yi-Shing Cheng at the Royal Academy of Music.
As a chamber musician she has performed at various venues including Suntory Hall, Cité Internationale des Arts, and Wigmore Hall. She has been awarded full scholarships from the Suntory Hall Chamber Music Academy for two years. Additionally, she had several opportunities to play as Leader or Principal Violin/Viola at the Toho Gakuen Orchestra and Encuentro Musica de Santander.
Eriko is generously supported by the Yellow Angel Foundation in Japan.
She has been granted a fellowship to study in London for the 2017/18 academic year by the Programme of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists sponsored by the Japanese government, which sends young artists of proven talent abroad.
She plays a violin by Januarius Gagliano, c.1780, kindly on loan from the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Joel Siepmann was born 1990 in Tübingen where he started taking cello lessons at the age of 6. During his time in Tübingen he won first prizes in the nationwide competition ‘Jugend musiziert’ in both solo and chamber music categories.
In October 2011 he started his studies with Christoph Richter at the Folkwang Undiversität der Künste. 2015 he completed his Bachelor degree with the best possible mark (1,0). In addition to his studies, Joel took part in masterclasses and had lessons with Steven Isserlis, Lynn Harrell, David Geringas, Pieter Wispelwey, Jerome Pernoo, Peter Bruns, Troels Svane and Xenia Jankovic.
In 2012 Joel won the HighPotentialClassics competition at the Folkwang Universtity of Arts and performed the Saint-Saens Cello concerto in a minor with the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester. In 2014 he took part in the Easter tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) with concerts in Thessaloniki and Abu Dhabi.
From September 2013 until September 2014 Joel received a scholarship sponsored by the Lions Club in Essen and received a scholarship from the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Foundation. In April 2014 he won the Girardet-Prize for young musicians as part of the Folkwang Prize.
During his studies in Essen Joel played in different orchestras including the Chamber Orchestra of Cologne (director Christoph Poppen), Klassische Philharmonie Bonn and in the independent orchestra “Spira Mirabillis”.
Since 2016 Joel has been a member of the “Villa Musica Akademie Rheinland-Pflaz”, which gave him the opportunity to work with renowned artists such as Peter Eötvös, Joseph Kalichstein and Isabelle van Keulen.
In September 2016 he started his Postgraduate studies with Guy Johnston at the Royal Academy of Music in London generously sponsored by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
Joel has been interested in various musical styles from an early age. He has performed as multi-instrumentalist (guitarist, cellist, pianist and composer) in different bands and groups and in theatre and video productions throughout his musical life. At the Royal Academy of Music he also started to take baroque cello lessons with Joseph Crouch to expand his musical horizons.
Joel plays on a Cello by Giulio Ettore Degani from 1906 generously loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music.