Matthew Rickard read Music at the University of Surrey where he studied the piano
with Clive Williamson. During this time Matthew developed his interest in chamber
music and ensemble playing and was a prizewinner in the annual chamber music competition
at the University. Matthew pursued his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy
of Music, studying with Michael Dussek and Graeme Humphrey, specialising in piano
Matthew currently enjoys a busy career as a chamber musician and soloist. Recent
highlights include appearances at the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, the National
Concert Hall in Dublin and concerts in France, Germany and The Netherlands. Matthew
has also recently given concerts at venues in Abbey Dore, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge,
Churchdown, Cirencester, Durham, Farnham, Guildford, Godalming, London, Oxford, Reading,
Windsor and Woking. Matthew has recorded seven CDs for the EM Records label with
the violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck. The first disc, a recording of English Violin
Sonatas by Arthur Bliss, Henry Walford Davies and York Bowen was awarded “RECORDING
OF THE MONTH” by MusicWeb International and has been described as “a complete success”
by International Record Review. Matthew’s playing on the second disc, featuring music
by Granville Bantock and Joseph Holbrooke has been described as “heroically impressive”.
Matthew has also recorded a disc of chamber musicby John Pickard for the Toccata
Classics label. Matthew has performed live on BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune” programme.
As an orchestral pianist Matthew has worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra, Moscow City Ballet and the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. As a rehearsal
pianist Matthew has worked with Constanza Chorus, Godalming Choral Society, Guildford
Opera Company, Hart Voices, Horsley Choral Society, Lloyds Choir, Royal Free Music
Society and the Rushmoor Choir.
Matthew is an experienced piano teacher and has previously taught at the University
of Surrey. He currently teaches at Longacre School in Surrey as well as having a
private teaching practice in the Woking area.
Matthew has also lived in Japan, where he worked as an English teacher, teaching
all ages of student, from three to seventy. Though safely back in the UK, he retains
an interest for all things Japanese. His other interests include photography, walking,
motor racing, eating out and travel.
Artists associated with past and future concerts at St. Peter’s, Old Woking
A first generation New Zealander, Nadia Bishara was born and grew up in Dunedin,
New Zealand, where she graduated from the University of Otago with a BSc in Physiology
and a BMus(Hons) in Voice. She then travelled to the United States where she completed
her MMus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since moving to the United
Kingdom, Nadia has studied with Raymond Connell, Linnhe Robertson and Ludmilla Andrews.
Roles in Opera include Lola in “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Apprentice in “die Meistersinger”,
the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel”, Second Lady in “The Magic Flute”, Mercedes in “Carmen”,
“Veronique in “Dr Miracle”, Nancy in “Albert Herring”, Flora in “La Traviata” and
Idamante in “Idomeneo”. Nadia has also been mezzo soloist in Handel’s “Messiah”,
Haydn’s “Nelson Mass”, Mozart’s “Coronation Mass”, Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols”,
Vaughan-Williamsʼ “Serenade to Music” and Vivaldi’s “Gloria”.
Nadia has regularly featured in Opera Gala evenings and lunchtime concerts, having
performed at local theatres and churches in Hertfordshire, including the Maltings
Arts Theatre, Rothampstead Manor and the Hitchen Festival.
For a more extensive biography and downloadable mp3s of a selection of arias, please
log on to Nadia’s website at http://www.nadiabishara.com.
Nadia appeared at St. Peter’s on March 12th 2011
Michael Jefferies studied the flute at the University of Surrey where he gained a
first in performance as well as a commendation for his final recital. Notable performances
at the university included several premieres of new works and a concerto performance
with the University Symphony Orchestra. He was also the recipient of chamber music
awards. In 2002 Michael was awarded a scholarship to study with international flautists
Anna Noakes and Wissam Boustany at the Trinity College of Music in London, where
he gained a postgraduate-diploma in performance.
As well as being a freelance musician, Michael is Head of Woodwind at Peter Symonds
College in Winchester and also holds teaching posts at Wellington College, as well
as Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire. He is the founder of the Linoi Ensemble,
which is a flexible chamber ensemble whose aim is to bring an exciting and fresh
approach to concert performance and programming.
Michael has a wealth of experience of performing at functions, weddings and events
with the Cantilena Duo (flute and cello). The duo performed aboard the prestigious
cruise ship The World for a two month period travelling from New York to the Caribbean.
He has played at many notable venues including Warwick Castle and Blenheim Palace.
Michael appeared at St. Peter’s on 23rd March 2013
Neil Hickling was born in Nottinghamshire in 1976. He began learning the clarinet
when he was 13. In 1995 Neil won a place at London’s Trinity College of Music, where
he studied clarinet and 18th century clarinet with Keith Puddy and bass clarinet
with Anthony Jennings. After gaining his Bachelor of Music degree Neil continued
his studies at the University of Surrey with Alex Allen, and was awarded a Master
of Music degree in 2000.
Neil enjoys a varied career as performer and teacher. He holds a number of school
and college appointments in and around Surrey, and has also taught at the Royal College
of Music and the University of Surrey. Among his performing activities he is a
founder member of the clarinet quartet Ensemble 4, and has performed across the UK
and abroad with them. After giving the British premiere of Joseph Vella’s ‘Contrasts
op.104’ in 2008 they were asked to perform in the Victoria International Festival
in Malta. Neil is also active as a freelance orchestral musician, and regularly
performs with the orchestra of Surrey Opera, with whom he recently worked on the
world premiere of Samuel Colridge-Taylor’s opera ‘Thelma’. Last year he performed
with the Endellion Festival Orchestra in Wagner’s ‘Die Walkure’ under the baton of
Martyn Brabbins and with the renowned Wagnerian Bass Sir John Tomlinson. Aside from
music, Neil is kept busy helping to raise his two children with his wife Claire,
who is also a professional musician.
Neil appeared at St. Peter’s on 22nd November 2014
Soprano Joanna Tomlinson sings a wide range of operatic, concert and choral repertoire.
Professional opera work includes Trincula in ‘The Tempest’ by Joe St. Johanser and
Siebel in ‘Faust’ for Guildford Opera, Echo in ‘Hansel und Gretel’, and chorus in
‘Roberto Devereux’, ‘Iolanta’ and ‘La Gioconda’ all for Opera Holland Park; ‘Fidelio’
for the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir at the BBC Proms, ‘Il Pirata’, ‘Parisina’ and ‘Ermione’
for Opera Rara; and ‘Platée’ for English Bach Festival in Athens.
Solo oratorio engagements include Magnus Lindberg’s ‘Graffiti’ at the Royal Festival
Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra, recorded for Radio 3; Beethoven ‘Mass in C’
with the Whitehall Choir under Paul Spicer and Michael Stimpson’s ‘Songs of Innocence
and Experience’ with the Exmoor Singers at St Martin-in-the-Fields as well as most
of the great oratorio repertoire including Haydn ‘Creation’, Handel ‘Messiah’, Mozart
‘Mass in C Minor’ and ‘Requiem’ and Fauré ‘Requiem’. She has given recitals at venues
in London including St James’, Piccadilly; St Sepulchre-without-Newgate and St Magnus
Joanna read Music at the University of Bristol before gaining a distinction in the
post-graduate diploma in Singing at the Royal College of Music, where she studied
with Russell Smythe. She continues her studies with Phillip Guy-Bromley.
Joanna also works as a choral singer, and recent notable performances include Elijah
at the 2011 BBC Proms with the Gabrieli Consort, Beethoven Mass in C for the BBC
Singers under Richard Hickox, and concerts for Philharmonia Voices, conducted by
great maestros including Maazel, Pletnev and Muti.
Joanna is the Musical Director of City-of-London-based choir, Constanza Chorus and
their professional orchestra, Constanza Consort, as well as director of several chamber
choirs. She teaches singing at Bedales School and The Royal School, Haslemere, enjoys
cooking and fine wine.
Loveday Singers are a choir of young adults who sing in a variety of styles from
sacred vocal music to musical theatre and arrangements of popular songs. They bring
with them vitality and spirit, which together with their musicality makes their concerts
a very refreshing and uplifting experience.
“The Organ Loft can be a lonely place, but there’s room on the bench for two”
Maureen McAllister and Robin Jackson, husband and wife organ duettists, have been
making a speciality of presenting a wide range of attractive and interesting music
in their recital tours which have taken them up and down the Country and across to
Ireland. In recent years they have played in the Cathedrals of St. Paul's, London,
York Minster, Canterbury, Chester, Chichester, Exeter, Leicester, Winchester, St.
Patrick's, Dublin, St. Anne's, Belfast, Dunblane, and Oban, The Kelvingrove Galleries
in Glasgow, The Parr Hall, Warrington, and Croydon's Fairfield Halls. In July 2005
they played in Cardiff's St. David's Hall as part of the Welsh Proms season.
Maureen McAllister studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Dr. Douglas Hopkins,
at Westminster Cathedral with Nicolas Kynaston, and in Siena with Fernando Germani,
where she was awarded two Italian Government scholarships and two Diplome di Merito.
Her recital career has included BBC Radio 3 and most Cathedrals and Town Halls in
the country. In addition, Maureen McAllister was Professor of Organ at the London
College of Music, and a Deputy Organist at Westminster Cathedral.
Robin Jackson was a prize-winner at the Royal College of Music under Richard Latham.
At seventeen he was organist at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, London, and subsequently
a Deputy Organist at St. George's Metropolitan Cathedral, Southwark. After five
years as Assistant Director of Music at Sutton Valence School, he was appointed to
take charge of student music making at the University of Bath in 1980, a post from
which he retired in July 2005. He was a member of the Panel of Examiners in Music
for Trinity College London (now Trinity-Guildhall) from 1983 to 2007.
They have two sons who are jazz musicians.
Please click here for Maureen McAllister’s and Robin Jackson’s own web page.
Maureen McAllister & Robin Jackson appeared at St. Peter’s on Saturday 11th May 2013
Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike for the verve, commitment and intelligence
of his performances, RUPERT MARSHALL-LUCK read Music at Cambridge University, where
he was also an Instrumental Exhibitioner. After receiving his first degree, he was
awarded a postgraduate scholarship to continue his violin studies with the eminent
teacher Simon Fischer and thereafter won a Distinction for his degree of Master of
Music. He now appears as soloist and recitalist at major festivals and venues throughout
the UK as well as in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland
and the USA. His discography includes CDs for EM Records and Toccata Classics and
his recordings have attracted glowing critical acclaim from the musical press, including
MusicWeb International, BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, International Record Review,
and The Strad.
As well as his busy schedule as a soloist and chamber musician, Rupert is active
as a writer and speaker on the performing aspects of music, and he has presented
lecture-recitals, seminars and masterclasses at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge
and Oxford, at University College London, and for the Centre for the History of Music
in Britain, the Empire and the Commonwealth. He is General Editor of EM Publishing,
which issues scholarly-critical editions of hitherto-unpublished works by British
composers; and he has edited a number of works for performance and recording, including
Violin Sonatas by Bantock, Bliss, Gurney, Sacheverell Coke and Walford Davies.
Surrey Cantata - '... this closely knit group of nineteen singers ...' (Surrey Advertiser)
was formed by Sebastian Forbes in May 2008, as an ad hoc vocal ensemble for singing
concerts and church services.
By intention, it is smaller than most chamber choirs,
and its exact constitution for each event depends on what is required for the occasion,
venue and programme.
Prominent in the choir's short history are their annual tours to Brittany - three
concerts each July - and regular appearances in Guildford's two biennial music festivals.
They also sing in church services, the full choir for larger venues such as Southwark
Cathedral, or smaller forces for smaller churches.
Since its inception in May 2008,
a smaller section of Surrey Cantata has often sung at special services, particularly
at East and West Clandon churches, for weddings, etc.
The choir was formed with ease, with membership drawn from several choirs that Sebastian
Forbes has conducted over the years, in particular the Horniman Singers, Guildford
Chamber Choir, and former students who sang under him in the University of Surrey
Membership for each event of Surrey Cantata is by personal invitation rather than
by audition. This process ensures that the highest musical standards are achieved
with a small number of singers. Each individual feels committed to making a genuine
contribution towards a closely integrated manner of performance.