Festival Director / Violin
British violinist Freya Goldmark (b.1996) enjoys a busy career as a soloist, chamber musician and director.
Beginning violin lessons aged four, by her mid teens Freya had performed as a soloist across the UK, Europe and Asia, making her concerto debut aged 13 at the Rachmaninov Institute, Russia. Since then, she has enjoyed a burgeoning career performing as a soloist at many celebrated UK venues including Cadogan Hall, Elgar Room Albert Hall, St.John’s Waterloo, Mansion House and The Purcell Room. These appearances include performances of concertos by Beethoven, Mozart, Sibelius, Bruch, Goldmark, Vivaldi and Bach.
Freya regularly collaborates with many brilliant musicians throughout the UK and further afield. As a chamber musician she has played at Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Cadogan Hall, Kings Place, West Road Concert Hall, The Purcell Room, and Elgar Room, Albert Hall. Freya is regularly invited to join ensembles throughout the UK - she has recently been touring with Scottish Ensemble and is guest principal of Cambridge Philharmonic for their Spring 2023 season.
In Autumn of 2022 Freya became the new first violinist of the Ligeti Quartet. The quartet have been at the forefront of modern and contemporary music since their formation in 2010, breaking new ground through innovative programming and championing of today’s most exciting composers and artists. The quartet have a busy year ahead which started with an appearance on BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show on 7 January. The Quartet’s upcoming performances include Steve Reich’s Different Trains at Kings Place in May, an autumn tour to Canada, and multiple performances at Aldeburgh Festival this June featuring fifteen world premieres co commissioned by Britten Pears Arts, BBC Radio 3 Bourgie Hall and the quartet themselves.
Freya is passionate not only about performing music but also bringing it to as many people as possible and she began organising concerts in her early teens. She now regularly directs and brings together groups of other musicians. Freya founded The Stamford International Music Festival when she was only 19. This chamber music festival takes place in the town in which she grew up. From 2019-2021 Freya was director of Cambridge Summer Music Festival, the youngest person to take on this role in the Festival’s 45 year history. Her time with CSM included bringing over 120 musicians to Cambridge for 31 concerts in July 2021.
Freya graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2018 where she studied as a Foundation Scholar with Maciej Rakowski, who taught her from the age of ten.
Freya performs on her Camilli of Mantua violin c1740.
In 2021 Charlotte was a prize winner in the inaugural Young Classical Artists Trust (London) and Concert Artists Guild (New York) 2021 International Auditions.
Recent highlights include appearances at Wigmore Hall, a BBC Prom with the dynamic 12 Ensemble (a string collective of world classchamber musicians), and a performance of the Franck Piano Quintet at the Gstaadt Festival with Alina Ibragimova, Lawrence Power, Sol Gabetta and Bertrand Chamayou. Her debut album for Champs Hill records of music for solo violin is due for release later this year.
An avid chamber musician, Charlotte has taken part in Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove, the Santander Encuentro Festival, East Neuk Festival, the Musethica Festivals in Zaragoza and Berlin, the Evian Festival in France and Stift Festival in Holland.
She is leader of the Quatuor Confluence, First Prize-winners at the Trondheim Int. String Quartet Competition and are currently young artist in residence at the Fondation Singer-Polignac in Paris. The Quartet studies with Mathieu Herzog (founder member of the Quatuor Ébène).
Charlotte enjoys playing a wide variety of repertoire, including more rarely heard solo concertos by Panufnik, Vasks and Joachim, the latter which she has performed, alongside Bernstein’s Serenade, with the Budapest Concerto Orchestra conducted by András Keller.
Born in France, this summer Charlotte completes her Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music in London with Alina Ibragimova. Prior to this she studied in Montpellier, and with Natasha Boyarsky at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey.
She has participated in numerous masterclasses with world-renowned teachers including Ana Chumachenco, Zakhar Bron, Pavel Vernikov, Maxim Vengerov, and András Keller. Charlotte is a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme Artist.
Charlotte is currently playing on a Giovanni Battista Rogeri, kindly loaned to her by the Swiss foundation Boubo-Music.
Sofía Gómez Alberto
Violin / Viola
Sofía Gómez Alberto is a Spanish violinist and violist based in London. Born in 2000 in Zaragoza, she started learning the violin at the age of 5 with Valeri Gazarian. In 2017, Sofía moved to London to further her studies at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Anna-Liisa Bezrodny. At the end of the year she was awarded the Lutine Prize, as a result of which she performed as a soloist with the orchestra of the School.
In July 2022, Sofía completed her undergraduate studies at the Royal College of Music with Lutsia Ibragimova and Yuri Zhislin, graduating with First Class Honours. She was also awarded the Viola Prize at the 2022 RCM Viola Competition. Throughout her studies, Sofía has participated in masterclasses with artists such as Maxim Vengerov, Mari Tampere-Bezrodny, Alina Ibragimova, Tanja Becker-Bender and Valentina Korolkova.
Passionate about chamber music, Sofía has played with various ensembles, performing around Spain, Germany, Estonia and the UK. Back in 2017, Sofía took part in the Musethica Mastering Performance Program in Zaragoza, for which she has been reinvited as a violist for the year 2022/2023.
Orchestra also has a very important part in her life, and she has taken part in several youth orchestras and festivals such as the European Union Youth Orchestra, Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, LGT Young Soloists and the Cuban-European Academy.
Sofía is currently in her first year of Master of Performance at the Royal College of Music, studying under Itzhak Rashkovsky and Nathan Braude. She is an Antonio Brosa Award Holder, and is grateful to have received the ABRSM Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award, a St Marylebone Educational Foundation grant and an AIE Grant to support her studies.
Sofía plays on a Nicolò Gagliano violin and a Joseph Hill viola, both kindly on loan from the Royal College of Music.
Edgar Francis is a dynamic and versatile musician, with a passion for performing that involves him in all aspects of the viola. He has performed in leading venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kolner Philarmonie and The Royal Festival Hall. As 1st Prize Winner at the 2021 Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition, his debut album will be released on Champs Hill records.
Edgar started his musical journey with Sheila Nelson, before studying with Matthew Souter at Wells Cathedral School. He is currently studying for a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music with Hélène Clement. While at RAM he has won 1st Prize in the Wilfrid Parry Prize, as well as receiving a Regency Award, the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Prize and the Olwen Doreen Leyshon Prize.
Edgar has attended festivals such as IMS Prussia Cove, Mendelssohn on Mull, North Norfolk Music Festival, Southwell Music Festival and Kinnordy Chamber Music Festival, and has performed on BBC Radio 3. Orchestrally, Edgar enjoys playing with a variety of groups, including Sinfonia of London, Aurora Orchestra and O/Modernt. Also in demand as a soloist, he has played solo recitals at venues such as Powderham Castle and the Millennium Centre.
Edgar plays on a 2012 Mario Miralles viola, generously on loan from RAM through the Calleva Foundation. He is a recipient of a 2022 Hattori Foundation Senior Award. Upcoming projects include Yellowbarn Summer Festival and Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music.
Connie is an exciting British Violist, performing across Europe as a soloist and leader, and internationally as a chamber musician.
Connie has a wealth of chamber music experience and enjoys putting together collaborative chamber concerts. Her artistic and conceptual approach has been largely influenced by musicians she has played with at festivals and residencies, namely Yellow Barn, Maiastra, AIMS, Lac Leman, Llandtwitt and Zermatt Music Festival. Having performed as a soloist in the 2019 and 2022 IMS Prussia Cove seminar concerts, Connie frequently attends the IMS Open Chamber Music sessions. This year, Connie’s performances as a soloist in the Schiermonnikoog festival prompted an invitation to perform at the Het Concertgebouw. Last year, Connie featured in the album Soliloquies with Maria Hegele and Anna Szalucka, playing Frank Bridge’s Songs for voice, viola and piano.
Based in Amsterdam, Connie is a member of the Marigold Piano Quartet who last year made their debut concert at the Concertgebouw de Vereeniging in the Netherlands and who’s members are often invited to play concerts as a string trio. The quartet stands for a passionate and sincere approach to the chamber music repertoire, playing works from all different periods. They are supported by the NSKA scheme and are strongly influenced by Eberhart Feltz who has been an encouraging mentor. Connie was previously the violist of the Ebenos and Serpentine Ensembles, both of whom explored a combination of wind and string repertoire. She has also performed at Wigmore Hall as a member of the RCM Chamber Musicians, given multiple concerts with the Sepia Quartet and premiered contemporary chamber music with the Echo Ensemble.
As a leader, Connie enjoys playing in a wide variety of groups ranging from chamber to symphony orchestras. Her inspiring experiences performing with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, O’Modernt Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Octave Ensemble, 12 Ensemble, and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic led her to found the Seida Ensemble. The ensemble have made notable performances as an unorthodox unconducted twelve piece string group, which uses music as a force of activism, connectivity and community, and aims to broaden the classical music landscape whilst bringing hope and change to the wider society.
As a violinist she has regularly played with the Capital Orchestra which engages with popular and jazz culture and collaborates with emerging artists, creating innovative methods of musical development. She has also worked closely with popular artists and producers such as Joy Crookes, Max Pope, Hilts and Ezra Lloyd Jackson, broadening her interest of composing and collaborating. Connie has a particular interest in raising money for Sarcoma UK. For instance, in March 2019 she gave a solo recital in London, and in 2020 performed a virtual concert of Britten’s Lachrymae with Bradley Wood.
At the age of nine Connie Pharoah gained a place at the Royal Academy of Music to study the violin with Erica Graigner de Sa and viola with Jacky Woods. Subsequently, she won the John McAslan Violin Prize, the Viola Prize and the Lower Strings Prize. Currently she is studying for her masters degree at the Conservatoire van Amsterdam with Nobuko Imai and Marjolein Dispa. Previously, she studied with Andriy Viytovych, Bryony Gibson-Cornish and Gabrielle Lester at the Royal College of Music where she completed her Bachelor with a first class degree. While there Connie performed as principal violist for all the college orchestras, won the Viola Prize in her second year, and received memorable masterclasses with Lawrence Power, Maxim Rysanov, Antonello Farulli, Isabelle Villanueva and Jennifer Stumm.
Connie is generously supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. She plays on a Charles Coquet viola and an Emmanuel Carlier bow.
Praised for the “elegance of his technique, overall sound and natural poeticism” (Strad Magazine), Maxim Calver made his concerto debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall, Birmingham as part of the Grand Final of the BBC Young Musician Competition 2018. In high demand as a soloist across the UK and Europe, in October 2021 Maxim made his European Concerto Debut in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (Grosse Saal), where he performed Schumann’s Cello Concerto.
Maxim has performed as soloist in many other leading venues across the UK and Europe, including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, Kulturcasino Bern and the Apex, Bury St. Edmunds. He has recently performed as concerto soloist with the Bath, Stockport, Ipswich, Maidstone and Young Musician Symphony Orchestras, the Orpheus Sinfonia and Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra amongst many others. Last seasons recital highlights include appearances at the Menuhin Hall, Norwich Chapel Concert Series, St. James’ Guernsey and others. In 2022 he was selected as a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme Artist for the 2023/24 season.
His upcoming highlights include a wide variety of solo and chamber concerts with venues including Vienna Musikverein (Brahms-saal), Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room and a return to Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (Grosse Saal). He will perform recitals across the UK including a debut recital at the Kings Lynn Festival and his upcoming concerto performances include performances both Elgar and Shostakovich cello concertos.
Originally from Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk, Maxim started the cello at the age of 4 with Maja Passchier before moving to the Yehudi Menuhin School to study with Thomas Carroll aged just 8 years old. He currently studies at the Royal College of Music with Professor Melissa Phelps, where he is proud to be an ABRSM Scholar for his postgraduate studies. He has received masterclasses from many of the worlds leading cellists including Heinrich Schiff, Guy Johnston, Julian Lloyd Webber, Paul Katz and most recently with Gary Hoffman as an ‘active participant’ at the Kronberg Academy cello masterclasses and with Steven Doane at the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Cornwall.
A passionate chamber musician, Maxim has appeared at many festivals across the UK and Europe, including the International Pau Casals Festival in El Vendrell, Klosters Winter Music Festival, Lewes Chamber Music Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Stamford International Chamber Music Festival. He has also appeared as a chamber musician in leading venues across Europe including St. Johns Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin (Grosse Saal) and a live radio broadcast from The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Maxim is extremely grateful to have received support from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Drake Calleja Trust, Hattori Foundation and the Young Classical Artists Trust for their generous support in their aftercare scheme for BBC Young Musician finalists.
Maxim plays an Alberto Aloyisius Blanchi cello, dated 1906.
Latvian cellist Peteris Sokolovskis is enjoying a freelance career as a chamber musician, orchestral player and very occasionally a soloist. Just before the world ended, Peteris managed to perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Barnet Symphony Orchestra and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra . As guest principal Peteris has played with the Netherlands Philharmonic and Trondheim Symphony Orchestras and is a regular in the London Symphony Orchestra and Aurora Orchestra. Peteris was a member of Kremerata Baltica for 4 years, touring extensively throughout Europe, North and South Americas and Asia. As a chamber musician Peteris has performed in festivals in Europe and South America. Peteris is a regular teacher at the Oxford Cello School and La Mariette Junior Course in France and he regularly works with the LSO outreach programmes and Multi-Story Orchestra.
Cellist Eliza Millett is a graduate of the University of Oxford, attaining First-class Honours in Music, and of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied cello with John Myerscough. Eliza has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in a number of UK venues and festivals such as the Lake District International Festival, Mendelssohn on Mull Festival, Wigmore Hall, IMS Prussia Cove, St John's Smith Square and St James Piccadilly.
She is a founder member of the award-winning Echea Quartet, currently Chamber Music Fellows of the Royal College of Music and recent winners of the Royal Overseas-League Chamber Music Competition (2021). The quartet has appeared at international festivals in Argentina, Aix-en-Provence, Ireland and at the Banff Centre in Canada, as well as performing and winning the ‘Tremplin’ award at the Philharmonie de Paris’ String Quartet Biennial (2020).
Eliza is also the artistic co-director of SmorgasChord, an arts festival based in Oxford with new music at its heart, whose mission is to explore unexpected connections between musical and literary cultures, both local and global. It is composed of a small and flexible group of artists who come together each year to explore, define and communicate a new artistic vision. Highlights of SmorgasChord 2022 festival will feature artists such as Mark Padmore, Andrew West and Vitor Ferandes.
Born in Liverpool, Anna is a recent Masters graduate of the Royal College of Music, having studied with Richard Hosford, Tim Lines, Janet Hilton, Peter Sparks and Barnaby Robson.
Anna’s musical journey began as a chorister in the Liverpool Metropolitan Girls’ Choir, later joining the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral as a choral scholar. Having played the clarinet in the Liverpool Youth Orchestra and Ensembles and learned with Janet Crossley, at the age of 15 Anna went on to study clarinet at the Junior RNCM with Anne McNaught. Anna was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra before going to study at the Royal College of Music.
During her studies at the RCM, Anna was a Wilkins-Mackerras scholar, winner of the RCM Solo Woodwind Competition and RCM Clarinet Prize and has been a runner-up in the RCM Concerto Competition. As a member of the RCM Symphony Orchestra, Anna has had the opportunity to work with conductors Vladimir Jurowski, Rafaele de Payere and Sir Antonio Pappano.
Since graduating Anna has performed with the Hallé Orchestra and performed in chamber festivals and series around the UK. In 2020, Anna worked with musicians of the London Song Festival performing Argento’s To Be Sung Upon the Water and performing on BBC Radio 3.
Anna has participated in festivals both at home and abroad including Voksenaasen Summer Festival, British Isles Music Festival and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute. In 2019, Anna was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West working with artists such as Claire Chase, Marin Alsop, Thomas Ades, Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Joseph Havlat was born in Hobart, Australia, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Prof. Joanna MacGregor from 2012 -18, where he received his BMus and MMus with distinction, including awards for exceptional merit in studentship and the highest recital mark for a postgraduate pianist. Joseph has performed in major concert venues around the UK and in Europe, America, Japan and Australia as a soloist and as part of chamber groups. In 2019 he was made a Young Artist at St. John’s Smith Square, a Kirckman Young Artist and also was awarded the first prize in the keyboard section of the Royal Overseas League Music Competition. He is also a Young Artist of the Oxford Lieder Festival alongside fellow Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean, with whom he works regularly in both standard and contemporary Classical spheres. He frequently works as a chamber musician, having performed with musicians such as James Ehnes, Jack Liebeck, William Bennett and Steven Isserlis, and is also a member of the LSO percussion ensemble with whom he has released a CD on the LSO Live label, including the premiere recording of John Adams’ two-piano work ‘Roll Over Beethoven’. Passionate about modern and contemporary music, he is a founding member and original artistic director of contemporary music collective Ensemble x.y. During his time studying he gave performances of concertos by Ligeti, Messiaen, Stravinsky and others, which has since led him to collaborate with such composers as Thomas Adès, Michael Finnissy, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Gerald Barry, Thomas Larcher and Hans Abrahamsen. He is also an avid composer, having written for the aforementioned ensembles, and views his compositional work as intrinsic to his musical development and interests. In 2021 he played Adès’ ‘In Seven Days’ with the LSO under the baton of the composer, and appeared with the BBC Philharmonic giving the premiere of Robert Laidlow’s piano concerto ‘Warp’, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Most recently, he has recorded Steve Law’s Piano Concerto with the RSNO for release by Parma Recordings. Current post-Covid projects include the performance and subsequent recording of all of Finnissy's piano concertos with conductor Jack Sheen, a short album of piano music by William Marsey, and the writing of a song cycle on texts of Australian poet Gwen Harwood.
Joseph Havlat was born in Hobart, Australia, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Prof. Joanna MacGregor from 2012 -18. He is currently a Young Artist at St. John’s Smith Square, and in 2019 was made Young Artist of the Oxford Lieder Festival alongside fellow Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean, and was the winner of the keyboard section of the ROSL music competition. Aside from work as a soloist he is also a keen chamber musician, performing frequently with his clarinet trio, the Tritium trio, and also the LSO percussion ensemble. Passionate about contemporary music, he is a founding member and artistic director of contemporary music collective Ensemble x.y and is also an avid composer.
Joseph Havlat is a pianist and composer from Hobart, Australia. In 2019 he was made a Young Artist at St. John’s Smith Square, the Oxford Lieder Festival, and was also awarded the first prize in the keyboard section of the Royal Overseas League Music Competition. He frequently works as a chamber musician, having performed with musicians such as James Ehnes, Jack Liebeck, William Bennett and Steven Isserlis, and is also a member of the LSO percussion ensemble with whom he has released a CD on the LSO Live label, including the premiere recording of John Adams’ two-piano work ‘Roll Over Beethoven’. Passionate about modern and contemporary music, he is a founding member and original artistic director of contemporary music collective Ensemble x.y, and has collaborated with such composers as Thomas Adès, Michael Finnissy, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Gerald Barry, Thomas Larcher. In 2021 he played Adès’ ‘In Seven Days’ with the LSO under the baton of the composer, and appeared with the BBC Philharmonic giving the premiere of Robert Laidlow’s piano concerto ‘Warp’, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Most recently, he has recorded Steve Law’s Piano Concerto with the RSNO for release by Parma Recordings. He likes ferns.
Elizabeth Bass is an international award-winning harpist based in the U.K, with a reputation spanning the breadth of London’s various musical scenes. Elizabeth graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2017 with her First Class Bachelors Degree and has since embraced the variety of settings that playing the harp can take her to, from BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall to pop sessions at Abbey Road Studios. In the Spring of 2022 Elizabeth was appointed Section Principal Harp of the BBC Concert Orchestra - a position she shares with Anne Denholm. Alongside this position Elizabeth continues to freelance with orchestras such as the City of London Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Royal Northern Sinfonia.
Studying at the Academy with Skaila Kanga - someone who made their mark in all areas of the profession, from major film recordings to Wigmore Hall recitals - further ignited Elizabeth’s love of the eclectic U.K. music scene, and upon graduating Elizabeth quickly took trials with major orchestras, worked with leading contemporary music groups, recorded at all the major London studios and performed for televised gigs with the likes of Quincy Jones and Barry Manilow. Orchestral tours have taken her to New York’s Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein and Frankfurt’s Alter Oper.
Elizabeth is very proud to be a member of Her Ensemble, the U.K’s first female and non-binary orchestra. This dynamic ensemble showcases incredible yet underrepresented works by female composers spanning several centuries, as well as working with contemporary artists from various genres. Despite being busy establishing herself as an ensemble player, Elizabeth has remained dedicated to solo and chamber music and has been an artist on the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme and a 2020 winner of Making Music’s Philip and Dorothy Green Award. These awards have lead her to explore and share exciting programmes of solo harp music at major festivals across the country, as well as performing as a duo partner with Flute and Oboe, and in trios with Viola and Flute.
During both her school and conservatoire years Elizabeth competed in many national and international competitions, studying and memorising hours of repertoire and travelling to the USA, Israel and Wales to compete. Prizes include the Silver Medal/Second Prize in the USA International Harp Competition (2016), 1st Prize at the North London Camac Harp Competition (2014) and an International Lyon and Healy Award (2013). Elizabeth’s deep commitment to the harp as a solo instrument came from her inspirational teacher as a teenager: the passionate, international prize winning harpist, Eleanor Turner. After graduating from the Academy Elizabeth wanted to refine her technique further and study with some of her favourite artists, with a particular interest in a specific school of French harp playing. Elizabeth therefore studied privately with Sivan Magen in Helsinki and then later at the Conservatoire Nationale Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, in the world-renowned harp class of Isabelle Moretti.
Elizabeth has a deep interest in the social and cultural role of music, and believes strongly in the importance of music education and the transformational power of exposure to music. These interests have lead her to become an artist for Live Music Now (2018-22), taking the harp into hospitals, care homes and special needs schools; to give workshops for music students at secondary schools, sharing insights into the multifaceted working life of a UK musician, giving efficient practice tools and talking about the psychology of performing; to give workshops on writing for the harp to composition students at universities; to coach young harpists at the National Children’s Orchestra of GB. Elizabeth also teaches the harp privately from her home in Bedford.