Born in Slovenia in 1990, Nika studied at the Ballet and Music School in Maribor, the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, and the Royal Academy of Music where she is completing her studies with Lillian Watson and Jonathan Papp on the Opera Course.
This summer Nika joined Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, taking part in a new production of The Fairy Queen and in masterclasses with Thomas Hampson and Christa Ludwig. Over the last year she has performed in a production of Handel’s Messiah with Opera National de Bordeaux and sung the roles of Susanna (Marriage of FIgaro) and Fortuna and Pallade (L’incoronazione di Poppea) with RAO.
During the 2016/17 season Nika takes the roles Norina (Don Pasquale) with Slovene National Theatre and Eurydice (Offenbach’s Orfeo and Eurydice) with RAO. She gives recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival and at Wigmore Hall.
Previous concert appearances include the Klavier Festival Ruhr with Graham Johnson, Kioi Hall (Tokyo) and the Festival Maribor with Richard Tognetti.
Born in Texas, Jonathan Ware studied at the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School and at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ Berlin, where he now teaches. He won the Pianist’s Prize at Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song and Das Lied Competitions, and in 2014 won 1st Prize with Ludwig Mittelhammer in the International Hugo Wolf Competition.
Sought after as a song accompanist and chamber musician, highlights during 2015/16 included recitals in the Festival Dialogues at the Mozarteum Salzburg with Mojca Erdmann, the Munich Philharmonie and Kölner Philharmonie with Ludwig Mittelhammer, and at Wigmore Hall with Benjamin Appl, Ann Murray DBE, Michael Collins, Robin Tritschler and Ailish Tynan. He recorded for BBC Radio 3 with Peter Moore, was resident at the Verbier Festival Academy, and a mentor at the Heidelberger Frühling Festival Academy.
Future engagements include recitals with Golda Schulz at the Heidelberger Frühling Festival, and with Elsa Dreisig at the Konzerthaus Berlin. He returns to Wigmore Hall Samling Opera and the Heidelberger Frühling Academy.
Set up in 1984, YCAT provides a unique stepping stone for exceptional young artists who have the potential for international performing careers. With support from the Foyle Foundation, YCAT introduces these artists at home and abroad, bringing high quality classical performances to as wide a public as possible. YCAT is totally reliant upon the generosity of individuals, trusts and foundations, and currently receives no public subsidy.
YCAT provides its young artists with a secure management base. By offering advice, instruction and guidance, they educate the artists in strategic and long term planning, both musically and professionally. YCAT liaises with event promoters in the UK and abroad providing performance opportunities and engagements for its artists. After three to five years, YCAT aims to hand the artists on to suitable commercial management.
To present their artists to as wide a public as possible, YCAT promotes a number of high profile annual presentation concerts at venues including Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. YCAT holds annual auditions to identify exciting new talent who could benefit from the charity’s work. This rigorous selection procedure culminates in a Public Final at Wigmore Hall.
In addition to its services to young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers, YCAT has, since 1994, in a unique arrangement with the BBC, been advising the finalists of the BBC Young Musician Competition. Several of these musicians have gone on to audition to become YCAT artists.