Soloists

Richard Jenkinson, 2024

Dr Richard Jenkinson is a cellist, conductor, and teacher.  Richard started to play the cello at the age of five and upon leaving school he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.  He graduated with Distinction in 1994 and was awarded the Guildhall’s coveted Gold Medal for a performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto in the Barbican.

Richard was principal cello for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1998 – 2016, working with Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons, among others.  In May 2012 Richard joined the Dante String Quartet as a cellist and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place and on several live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, in addition to touring France and Japan.  He is the conductor of various amateur and youth orchestras, and received a PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2019 for a thesis on the music of Zoltán Kodály.

Ella Taylor, 2023

Winner of Second Prize at the 2020 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Ella Taylor is a soprano with a passion for performing contemporary music and works by women and gender nonconforming artists. They are a graduate of the University of Sheffield and the Royal Academy of Music, as well as a previous Young Artist at London’s National Opera Studio.

Anna Harvey, 2023

Born and raised in Sheffield, former Tapton pupil Anna Harvey studied at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, and since 2018 has been a resident soloist at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, where she has sung many of the major mezzo-soprano roles.

Felicity Hayward, 2022

Felicity grew up in Leeds and is now based in London. She studied Opera at the RWCMD, and Vocal Studies at Trinity Laban, graduating with First Class Honours and winning the Silver Medal.  Combining her solo career with consort work, Felicity regularly travels to Ireland to perform with Chamber Choir Ireland in Dublin, and in the UK with groups such as Polyphony and the BBC Singers. Felicity is a passionate exponent of new music, most recently for the Theorbo Today project; creating new music for theorbo (large lute!) and voice.

Fenella Humphreys, 2020

“Fenella Humphreys captures the music’s wistful cantabile to perfection, producing a golden tone in all registers with the utmost sensitivity to where every phrase is moving.”
The Strad Magazine

Thomas Kelly, 2019

Prize winning young British Pianist and alumnus of the Purcell School and Royal College of Music.

Felicity Hayward, 2018

Classical Soprano and graduate of Trinity Laban and RWCMD, Felicity sings  with groups including the Chamber Choir of Ireland, BBC Singers, Chamber Choir of London and upper-voice vocal consort Philomel.

Sarah Thornett, 2017

Sarah plays regularly with the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, RPO, Ulster Orchestra & English National Ballet.   She also works as a freelance recording artist for Live TV and Radio broadcasts and Game/film music session recording.

Alexander Ullman, 2017

Praised for his subtle interpretations and refined technical mastery, British pianist Alexander Ullman has impressed audiences and critics worldwide with his deep understanding of the scores he interprets, his elegant touch and crystalline phrasing.

Abel Selaocoe, 2016

South African cellist Abel Selaocoe is redefining the parameters of the cello. He moves seamlessly across a plethora of genres and styles, from collaborations with world musicians and beatboxers, to concerto performances and solo classical recitals.

Benjamin Frith, 2015

Sheffield-born Benjamin Frith is a classical pianist.  He  won several awards early in his career, including the Gold Medal at the 1989 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Israel and the Dudley Piano Competition aged only 14. He has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Polish National Radio, and the BBC Philharmonic.

Robert Ashworth, 2014

Robert has been Principal Horn with the Orchestra of Opera North since 1978.  He has made several appearances as soloist and is a regular chamber music player.  He is an active member of both the British Horn Society and the International Horn Society