Emily Gray – mezzo-soprano
Award-winning mezzo-soprano Emily Gray achieved success at an early age when she was named BBC Radio 2 Choir Girl of the Year 2000, leading to a number of television appearances including Songs of Praise, ITV Calendar, BBC Look North and radio interviews with Radio 2, 3 and Women’s Hour. She went on to record the album ‘Passiontide’ for Naxos. Reaching number 8 in the classical charts, Emily was nominated for two Brit Awards and described as “the thinking man’s Charlotte Church”. This was followed by a UK arena tour to audiences of twenty to thirty thousand.
Emily now regularly sings in and around London both as a soloist and as a member of various vocal groups. She also runs vocal and sight-reading workshops for community choirs in the North London area and for the staff at Google’s London office. She recently recorded another album due for release in 2016 and is currently continuing her training under Linda Hirst at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Anthony Bailey – clarinet
As a clarinettist Anthony is associated with the London Mozart Players, with whom he has performed many times – including on CD recordings and in the Concert Hall. He has also performed regularly with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, (including at the BBC Proms,) and the English Chamber Orchestra.
He is a member of the Chinook Clarinet Quartet, with whom he has regularly performed throughout the UK in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, and the Bridgewater Hall. The quartet have recorded two CDs and performed live on BBC Radio and TV.
Anthony is a founder member of the Tippett Ensemble, a professional group of alumni from the Wiltshire Youth Orchestra, formed in 2012. Recently they performed Beethoven Septet and Brahms Clarinet Quintet.
Anthony as also been the leader of the British Clarinet Ensemble since 2000 with whom he has recorded several CDs, and toured Europe, America and Japan.
Since 2004 he has been the conductor of the SymphonicWind Orchestra at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, performing in many concerts with repertoire including his own works and arrangements, including and arrangement of Shostakovitch Piano Concerto no.2 and the London premiere of Chaises Musicales by Anthony himself.
He is the Musical Director of the East Anglian Single Reed Choir, a woodwind coach for the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. He recently made his debut conducting the Colne Philharmonic Orchestra and the Suffolk and Essex Concert bands.
As a composer, Anthony recently completed works for the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain, an SPNM commision for the BBC Singers and two orchestral pieces for the Philharmonia Orchestra.(One of which was conducted by HRH The Prince of Wales.)
He has recently also made his debut with the Essex Concert Band.
Anthony’s first opera, The Black Monk (which her adapted himself from the Chekhov short story,) was premiered in 2003 to public acclaim by the Sirius Ensemble at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.
He was the director of the Jonas Foundation Music School, London between 2006-2011, and now runs his own music school in London for the Willow Tree Trust.
Rossitza Stoycheva – piano
Rossitza is an accomplished solo performer and is also an active chamber music player. Born in Bulgaria, Rossitza started playing the piano at the age of five; she studied at the Sofia School of Music and at eight made her debut with the Collegium Musicum Orchestra. While still at school, she won a number of competitions in France, Italy and the Czech Republic. She was also awarded a special prize from the Alex de Vries Foundation in Antwerp.
She has played a number of recitals in Germany, Spain and Belgium. Rossitza has performed as a soloist with the Bulgarian Radio Orchestra, the Antwerp Chamber Orchestra, and the Sofia State Philharmonic Orchestra and has also made recordings for the Bulgarian National Television and Radio.
Rossitza came to London in 1990, having won a scholarship for a postgraduate course at the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Phyllis Sellick and Gordon Fergus-Thompson. In 1994, Rossitza was a finalist of the BBC Radio 3 Young Artist’s Forum.
A couple of years later, Rossitza made her debut at Carnegie Weill Hall in New York and appeared with Sir Georg Solti at a gala concert in the presence of HRH Duchess of Kent.
Rossitza regularly performs as a soloist and as a piano duo with Mikako Hori. Their 2008 concert tour of Bulgaria received critical acclaim and they appeared on Bulgarian National Television as part of the Apollonia Festival.
Gerard Cousins – guitar
Gerard Cousins offers a classical guitar concert with a difference: His unique balance of repertoire and sense of improvisation has seen him widen the appeal of the nylon strung guitar.
His new CD of original compositions has seen his music spread to the mainstream with plays on Sky TV, BBC Radio 6, Radio 3 & an hour long special on BBC Radio Wales. He was a recently a classical finalist on Sky TV’s ‘Guitar Star’ programme where his music was seen by a whole new audience.
A graduate of the University of Leeds and Enschede Conservatorium (The Netherlands), Gerard Cousins is a highly trained musician with a meticulous eye for detail combined with a composer’s analytical insights, yet his performances demonstrate a freedom and sense of improvisation which clearly communicates his love of music and the beautiful sound of his guitar.
He has performed in many festivals and concert halls around the world, from the Purcell Room and Milton Court in London to Europe, South America and the Middle East. He has released 4 CDs on his own record label, each one focusing on a different area of music from traditional Spanish repertoire to his original compositions and unique re-imaginings of traditional Welsh music.
His compositions have featured in films and TV and are performed by other guitarists all around the world. His latest guitar arrangements of choral works by Grammy award-winning composer Eric Whitacre are due to be published by Chester Music soon.
“It is obvious that Cousins is a formidable player…hair-raisingly difficult arpeggio patterns…hypnotic arrays of patterns and harmonies…beautiful and different…wonderful creations…yet the music sounds effortless which proves what an excellent musician Cousins is,” Classical Guitar USA
“Gerard Cousins is a rare beast, a classical player who has broken free from the bounds of his training to make new music. He is technically remarkable… His nylon strings are played with precision and verve…the beauty of the tune and the playing are all that matters” HiFI+
David Braid – composer
The music of Welsh, London-based composer, David Braid, has been performed internationally in Europe and the Americas and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Major UK performances include Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, King’s Place, Wilton’s Music Hall, 1901 Arts Club, amongst others.
Steve Reich said of David’s work: “Morning – Integration of voice with string quartet beautifully done – particularly first entrance. Writing for instruments is solid and sounds very good to me. Very honest stuff”.
Recordsinternational.com said in a review of David’s recent CD with Toccata Classics (David Braid: Chamber and Instrumental Music): “These recent chamber works represent the mature style of an intensely self-critical composer who acknowledges a wide diversity of enthusiasms and influences, which have been thoroughly absorbed into a personal idiom”.
David studied at The Royal College of Music from 1990-94, taking joint-first study in Composition with Edwin Roxburgh and Guitar with Charles Ramirez; also attending George Benjamin’s composition classes. David subsequently undertook postgraduate composition study with Robert Saxton at The University of Oxford (St. Anne’s College) and at The Cracow Academy of Music.
He is also the recipient of a number of awards including The John Longmire Prize for Composition and the Jack Morrison Prize for Guitar, both at the Royal College of Music.
Recording of David’s second CD of chamber/instrumental/vocal works was released late 2017 to strong critical acclaim:
“He has a voice all of his own, however, a voice that is often intimate, reveling in whispered confidences,” Fanfare Magazine.
“… the refined simplicity of Braid’s music is really captivating and it is a real pleasure to hear music which is immediately engaging to the ear. Highly recommended,” Frances Wilson.
Recently completed works include his 3rd Symphony.
His works for guitar (songs, solos, duos & chamber music – including all Braid Ensemble repertoire) are published by Les Productions d’OZ. His music for brass, woodwind and percussion are published by Experianza Music, and his works for lute are published by Paris-based Le Luth Doré.