Foyle - Štšura Duo


Michael Foyle (violin) and Makshim Štšura (piano)

Praised for 'playing of compelling conviction' (The Daily Telegraph) and 'astonishing mutual feeling, understanding and responsiveness' (Seen and Heard International), the duo won the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Duo Competition and the Salieri-Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in 2015. Since then, they have given recitals in Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Buckingham Palace, Bridgewater Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and for the New York Chamber Music Festival. They have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, NPO Radio 4 and Estonian Klassikaraadio.

Michael was BBC Young Musician of the in Year 2008, won the Royal Overseas League String Competition in 2013 and the Netherlands Violin Competition in 2016. He recently completed his studies at Vienna Konservatorium and this season is Guest-Leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Hallé. Maksim won the Steinway-Klavierspiel-Wettbewerb in 2004, the Estonian Piano Competition in 2008, and the Intercollegiate Beethoven Piano Competition in 2013. He is currently completing his doctoral studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

The duo have a website -

Concert 8 July 2017

Richard Strauss (1864-1949): Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major Op. 1

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): Sonata for violin and piano FP119

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953): Five Melodies for violin and piano Op. 35a

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992): Le Grand Tango for violin and piano, arr. Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931)

Brel Song Academy

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Amanda Roocroft - soprano, Joseph Middleton - piano

Beatriz Santos, Elizabeth Reeves, Beatrice Acland, Issy Bridgeman - sopranos

Charles Cunliffe - baritone

Ella O’Neill, Keval Shah - piano

Welsh Soprano Issy Bridgeman has just completed her second year at the Royal College of Music, under Amanda Roocroft and Andrew Robinson. She has previously studied for a year at the Royal Welsh junior conservatoire in Cardiff, and looks forward to continuing her studies at the Royal College of Music. 

Charles Mathieson Cunliffe, 21 years of age, is an English baritone who has recently completed his first year as an undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music. He studies with Giles Underwood and Joseph Middleton. Previously, he was bass choral-scholar at Peterborough Cathedral under the direction of Steven Grahl. 

British soprano Beatrice Acland has just graduated from the Masters in Opera Performance course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she studied with Lorna Anderson and Ingrid Surgenor. In September Beatrice is looking forward to covering the role of Donna Elvira in British Youth Opera’s Don Giovanni. 

Portuguese soprano Beatriz Santos, 20 years old, is currently studying English Literature at Clare College, Cambridge. In the academic year 2016-17 she sang in Clare College Choir, touring in the USA and South East Asia, and recently took part in the Pembroke Lieder Scheme, a programme coached by Joseph Middleton. 

American soprano Elizabeth Reeves recently graduated with a Master’s in Performance from the Royal College of Music in London, where she studied with Amanda Roocroft, David Rendall, and Simon Lepper. In the autumn, she looks forward to continuing her studies at the Welsh International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill.

Ella O’Neill has just graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with first class honours, and will continue her studies in September at the Royal College of Music. There she will be doing her Masters in piano accompaniment with Simon Lepper and Kathryn Sturrock. Upcoming highlights for the summer include an opera gala at St-Martin-in-the-Field’s, a concert of Butterworth songs to remember veterans of the Battle of the Somme in collaboration with the Halle orchestra, and a production of La Boheme with Barefoot Opera.

Keval Shah has just graduated from the Royal Academy of Musyic, where he studied with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau, and Audrey Hyland, and he will begin a Fellowship there in September. He is an Oxford Lieder Young Artist, a Britten Pears Young Artist, and a member of the Academy’s Song Circle, with whom he will make his debut at the Wigmore Hall next season. 

Concert Saturday 15 July 2017

Issy Bridgeman - soprano, Ella O’Neill - piano

Mozart: Als Luise die Briefe, K. 520

Wolf:  Lebe wohl, No.36 from Mörike Lieder

Wolf:  O wär’ dein Haus, No.40 from Italienisches Liederbuch

Quilter: Dream Valley, Op.20, No.2 from 3 Songs of William Blake

Charles Mathieson Cunliffe - baritone, Keval Shah - piano

Quilter: Go Lovely Rose from 5 English Love Lyrics

Butterworth: Loveliest of Trees from Shropshire Lad

Somervell: Into My Heart from Shropshire Lad

Vaughan-Williams: Silent Noon from House of Life

Finzi: Who is Silvia? from Let Us Garlands Bring

Beatriz Santos - soprano, Ella O’Neill - piano

Granados: La Maja Dolorosa I, II, III
Dring: Song of a Nightclub Proprietess

Elizabeth Reeves - soprano, Keval Shah - piano

Debussy: C’est l’extase from Ariettes oubliées

Hahn: L’heure exquise

Rimsky-Korsakov: Vostochnïy romans (The Nightingale and the Rose)

Grieg: Jeg elsker dig!

Sibelius: Var det en dröm

Grieg: Ein Traum

Beatrice Acland - soprano, Ella O’Neill - piano

Strauss: Ständchen

Strauss: Allerseelen

Rachmaninoff: Harvest of Sorrow

Rachmaninoff: Before my window

Bridge: Love went a riding

Academy of French Song and Opera

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Course Leaders: Florence Daguerre de Hureaux, Caroline Dowdle, Jean-Paul Pruna

Pianist: Jâms Coleman

AFSO held their fourth summer course at Brel in August and gave a concert on Friday 25 August 2017.

Therese Ahlbeck is a soprano currently studying at the University College of Opera in Stockholm. She first trained as a pianist but decided to switch to opera and classical singing at the age of 19. She has sung Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Vadstenas old theater, Emmie in Albert Herring at the University College of Opera. Therese loves opera but her heart belongs to lieder and mélodies, especially the Swedish ones.  

Alejandra Gomez, mezzo,studied at Sociedad Internacional de Valores de Arte Mexicano, 2013 where she earned the "Placido Domingo Scholarship" for three years. She recently sang the roles Carmen by Bizet and Charlotte from Werther by Massenet with Artescenica Opera at Saltillo, Mexico. She is now a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. 

Betty Makharinsky, a British-Russian soprano, is currently studying for an Artist Masters at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. She trained as a violinist before becoming a singer. She has recently sung 2nd Lady and 2nd Spirit in the Magic Flute as well as Belinda in Purcell's Dido & Aeneas. Betty is a keen recitalist and consort singer.  

Elspeth Marrow (mezzo) recently graduated from the Royal College of Music in London. Operatic roles include Dorinda, Acis and Galatea (RCM Aldeburgh Residency), Mrs Grose The Turn of the Screw (Euphonia Opera), Getrud Hansel and Gretel(RCMIOS), Polinesso Ariodante (LHF & RCMIOS), Florence Pike Albert Herring (RCMIOS), Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Madame de la Haltière Cendrillon, and Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly. Elspeth will be singing the role of Prudentia in Haydn’s Applausus with Classical Opera in 2018.

Alexandra Nowakowski, a Polish-American soprano, is a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where she has performed the roles of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Musetta in La bohème. Alexandra won 1st Prizes in the Gerda Lissner Vocal Foundation Competition in New York city, the Violetta DuPont Opera Florham Competition and the American Council for PolishCulture's Marcella Sembrich Competition. 

Alys Roberts is a Welsh soprano who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music Opera school. Alys started singing in the Welsh folk tradition. At RAO, Alys has performed the roles of Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers, Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Pannochka in Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night, and Amore and Damigella in Monteverdi’s Poppea. She has also sung with WNO in their Welsh Language opera Gair ar Gnawd by Pwyll ap Sion. 

Born in North Wales, Jâms Coleman (pianist) is an Oxford Lieder Young Artist and a Samling Artist. He has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Oxford and Leeds Lieder Festivals, and Three Choirs Festival with artists including Sir John Tomlinson, James Gilchrist, Andrew Kennedy and Nicholas Mulroy. He has performed concertos by Mozart, Chopin, Brahms and Beethoven. He was a Choral Scholar and read Music at Girton College Cambridge and studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Concert Friday 25 August 2017

Noble Seigneurs, salut! (Les Huguenots, Meyerbeer) - Alejandra Gomez

Le sommeil; Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu; Les anges musiciens (La Courte Paille, Poulenc) - Alys Roberts

Sa main depuis hier (Hamlet, Thomas) - Therese Ahlbeck

Mandoline; Green (Fauré) - Betty Makharinsky

Villanelle (Dell’Acqua) - Alexandra Nowakowski

Letter Scene (Werther, Massenet) - Elspeth Marrow

Romance (Rachmaninov) - Jean-Paul Pruna, Caroline Dowdle, Jâms Coleman

Jungfru Blond och Jungfru Brunett (Stenhammar) - Therese Ahlbeck

Gweddi Pechadur (Morfydd Llwyn Owen) - Alys Roberts

Bell Song (Lakmé, Delibes) - Alexandra Nowakowski

Flower Duet (Lakmé, Delibes) - Alys Roberts, Elspeth Marrow

Johnny (Cabaret Songs, Britten) - Elspeth Marrow

Country Gardens (arr. Grainger) - Jâms Coleman, Jean-Paul Pruna, Caroline Dowdle

Granada (Lara) - Alejandra Gomez

Zelkova String Quartet and friends

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Caroline Pether, Ed Pether (violins), Alex Mitchell (viola), Jonathan Pether (violoncello)

Hattie Mitchell (viola), Petr Prause (violoncello)

The Zelkova Quartet made a second visit to Brel in late August 2017 with new members and 'friends' allowing them to play sextets as well. After a week of hard work with their tutor Petr Prause they gave a concert at Brel on Saturday 2 September 2017.

Winners of the 2017 St Martin's Chamber Music Competition, the Manchester-based Zelkova Quartet was formed at the Royal Northern College of Music under the guidance of Petr Prause, cellist of the Talich Quartet. The original quartet were the first musicians to perform at Brel, in September 2011.

Recent performances include recitals at St Martin in the Fields, St John's Smith Square, Moscow's Rachmaninov Hall and the Bridgewater Hall for the Manchester Midday Concert Society. The group wasselected for the ChamberStudio Study Programme 2016/2017, which enabled them to work with the highly esteemed chamber musician Simon Rowland-Jones. The quartet were delighted to have been selected to attend the prestigious International Musician's Seminar at Prussia Cove April 2017. 

The quartet takes its name from the beautiful Zelkova tree, which varies enormously in appearance depending on its species.

Concert Saturday 2 September 2017

Josef Haydn (1732 - 1809): String Quartet in E Flat Op 20 No 1

Franz Schubert: Quartettsatz in C Minor, D703

Mark-Anthony Turnage (1960 - ): Returning, for string sextet

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): String Sextet No 2 in G

Arcos String Quartet


Laia Braun, David Lopez (violins), Ana Alves (viola), Kristiana Ignatjeva (violoncello)

The Arcos Quartet is a young string quartet based in London. Formed in 2014 the quartet has regular coaching with the Head of Strings at the Royal College of Music, Mark Messenger, and masterclasses with other renowned musicians such as Andras Keller, Christoph Richter, Jan Talich, Pavel Fischer, Raphael Todes, Nicholas Jones, and Graham Oppenheimer.

As first-prize winners of the annual RCM String Quartet Competition in 2015, the Arcos Quartet has been praised in recent concerts in Europe such as the Chipping Camden Music Festival, the Manchester String Quartet weekend, the Lucca Classica Festival in Italy and the Ipswich School Festival of Music. In 2015, the Arcos Quartet was awarded the Boconnoc Music Award and travelled to Cornwall for a quartet residency. The four members hail from different countries in Europe and are recipients of many scholarships, awards and numerous prizes in international competitions.

Concert Friday 22 September 2017

Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809): String Quartet in G, Op 76 No 1

 Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971): Three pieces for string quartet

Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918): String Quartet in G Minor, Op 10

Helen Sherman, Alexandra Lomeiko, and Gamal Khamis


Helen Sherman (mezzo-soprano), Alex Lomeiko (violin), Gamal Khamis  (piano)

Helen Sherman studied in Sydney and at the Royal Northern College of Music. She represented Australia at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Helen is a Samling Scholar, associate artist for Classical Opera and YCAT alumnus. Recent engagements include Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) and Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte) for Opera North. Her concert appearances have included performances at Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and St. John’s Smith Square. 

Born in 1991 in New Zealand, Alexandra Lomeiko moved to London where she has been very active both as a soloist and a chamber musician. She has most recently studied at the Royal College of Music.where she was an RCM Lark Scholar, supported by a Leverhulme Studentship and by awards from the Countess of Munster Trust, Hattori Foundation, Drake Calleja Foundation, Help Musicians UK Foundation and the Martin Music Scholarship Fund.

Gamal Khamis studied mathematics at Imperial College London, and then music at the Royal College of Music. He first performed at the Wigmore Hall aged 10, and now pursues a varied career as a soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician, winning the pianists’ prize at this year's Ferrier competition He is a member of the Lipatti piano quartet.

Concert Friday 29 September 2017

Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)

A Charm of Lullabies, Op 41

Cradle Song (Sleep, sleep, beauty bright)

The Highland Balou (Hee Balou, my sweet wee Donald)

Sephestia’s Lullaby (Weep not my wanton)

A charm (Quiet! Sleep! Or I will make Erinnys whip thee with a snake)

The Nurse’s song (Lullaby baby)

Johnny (from Cabaret Songs)

Bela Bartok (1881 - 1945)

Violin Sonata No 2 in C Major, Sz 76

Molto moderato - Allegretto

W. A. Mozart (1756 - 1791)

Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio; from La Clemenza di Tito

Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)

Zigeunerlieder, Op 103

He, Zigeuner, greife in die Saiten (Hey Gypsy, strike the string)

Hochgetürmte Limaflut (High and towering river Rima)

Wißt ihr, wann mein Kindchen (Know ye, when my love is fairest of all)

Lieber Gott, du weißt (Dear God you know how often I have rued this)

Brauner Bursche führt zum Tanze (Brown the lad, blue-eyed the lass)

Röslein dreie in der Reihe (Rosebuds three)

Kommt dir manchmal in den Sinn (Art thou thinking often now, my love)

Rote Abendwolken ziehn (Rosy evening clouds)

William Walton (1902 - 1983)

At the haunted end of the day, from Troilus and Cressida

Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

Divertimento, from Le Baiser de la Fée, transcribed by Stravinsky and Dushkin

Sinfonia: Andante - Allegro sostenuto - Andante - Vivace

Danses suisses: Tempo giusto

Scherzo: Allegro grazioso

Pas des deux - Adagio; Variation: Allegretto grazioso; Coda: Presto