The 2012-2013 Apprentices

Violin


Italian-born Beatrice Scaldini received her early musical training at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence, receiving a violin diploma with honours. She furthered her studies with Mateja Marinkovic (modern violin) and Walter Reiter (baroque violin) at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded the Newby Trust Scholarship and the Nancy Nuttal Early Music Prize.

Beatrice performs with ensembles including the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Hanover Band, Concerto Italiano and Academia Montis Regalis. She was a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra, Montis Regalis Youth Orchestra and the European Baroque Academy, Ambronay. She also featured on BBC Radio 3 with the young ensemble International Baroque Players.

A dedicated chamber musician, Beatrice won the Fenton House Ensemble Competition with Ensemble Caravaggio, securing recitals at prestigious venues and festivals including Handel House Museum, Finchcocks, Hatchlands, the Tudeley Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Handel Festspiel Göttingen.

Davina Clarke is a versatile violinist and is equally enthused by playing Bach as she is Birtwistle. She enjoys working with the International Baroque Players, Wallfisch Band, and the London Contemporary Orchestra, this year also touring extensively as co-leader with the European Union Baroque Orchestra, under Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Enrico Onofri and Alexis Kossenko. Following these tours, she has established her own baroque ensemble comprising players from all over Europe. She has also recently started working with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as part of the Ann and Peter Law Scheme.

Davina has just completed a Masters degree in historical performance at the Royal Academy of Music with Distinction, where she was a Golden Charitable Trust Scholar, studying under Simon Standage and Rachel Podger. Accolades include the Mica Comberti Bach Prize (Highly Commended), the Roy Burcher Prize and also the Tebbutt Exhibition Award. She was also awarded a DipRAM for an outstanding Final Recital earlier this year. Previous to this, she was a McMynn Scholar at The University of Manchester where she read music and has since graduated with a First Class Honours, the Proctor-Gregg Performance Prize and the Hargreaves Academic Award. Davina is grateful to the Stradivari Trust and Vec Acorn Trust for their generous support.

Born in Mexico City, Rafael Becerra began his musical studies at the age of 8 with his mother, and then with Professor Ivo Valenti in the University of Mexico (UNAM). He continued with Professor Serguei Gorbenko, before moving to Basel to take studies in baroque violin with Chiara Banchini.

In Europe he has had the opportunity to work with many well-known artists like Christophe Coin, Chiara Banchini, Amandine Beyer, Herve Niquet, Edoardo Torbianelli, Alessandro de Marchi, Luigi Mangiocavallo and many others.

He has taken part in different music festivals around the world such as the Haendel Akademie, Texas Music Festival, Innsbrucker Festwoche and the festival of ancient music in Brugges, Belgium. In 2010 he was selected to participate in the Academia Montis Regalis performing in the major venues in Vienna, Italy, Austria, and Belgium.

Currently he studies with Amandine Beyer at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and divides his time between romantic, classical and baroque performance.

Viola


Viola player Geoffrey Irwin studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Martin Outram and later at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Jane Rogers. He has played with several leading early music groups, including Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Gabrieli Consort, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as part of the Anne and Peter Law OAE Experience. Also a keen chamber musician he is a member of Flackton Duo with harpsichordist Masumi Yamamoto, and plays with flute quartet Tromlitz Ensemble. As a ‘modern’ player he plays with Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, and appears on the new music CDs Big Noise, Gilbert and Wahoola. He teaches the viola at Latymer School in North London.

Maja Wegrzynowska was a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, where she currently holds a Meaker Fellowship. Maja has been invited to many international festivals where she has worked with Yuri Bashmet, Zakhar Bron, Lars Anders Tomter, Rainer Schmidt, and Natalia Shakhovskaya. She has also received lessons from the members of the Guarneri Quartet, Mozart Piano Quartet, Hagen Quartet and Takacs Quartet. In June 2010, 2011 and 2012 Maja was invited to Japan to Alan Gilbert's festival.

Maja is the winner of the Martin Musical Scholarship, Bache Prize, Harold Craxton Prize, and the prize at the Academie Ravel, as well as the scholarship of the Academia Chigiana, Special and 2nd Prize at the Viola Players Competition (Poland) and a scholarship of her native city, Bielsko. Maja is also an active baroque violist. She has performed with Rachel Podger, Trevor Pinock, and Margaret Faultless. As part of RAM Baroque Soloists, she performed at Wigmore Hall, recorded for BBC Radio 3 and took part in the Royal Society of Arts Concert hosted by Prince Charles at St James’s Palace. Maja’s Monteverdi apprenticeship follows placements with the London Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Cello


Carina Drury grew up in Dublin and began learning the cello at the age of nine with Nora Gilleece. In 2003 she was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with Philip Sheppard and baroque cello with Jonathan Manson. She was chosen to participate in the Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience in 2008.

Her orchestral engagements have included performances with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, La Serenissima and Armonico Consort. She has also been involved in numerous outreach projects with the OAE and Sinfonia Viva. Carina performed as principal cello with the European Union Baroque Orchestra in 2010.

A keen chamber musician, Carina was a founding member of Ensemble Caravaggio, which won the Fenton House Ensemble Competition in 2010. Carina enjoys a varied musical life and has performed with the Heritage Orchestra, and with shadow puppet artist Matthew Robins at the Little Angel Theatre, Royal National Theatre and Barbican Theatre.

Jonathan Rees has appeared as cellist and gamba player with ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Players and Dunedin Consort. He has performed in the BBC Proms, the Spitalfields Festival, London Handel Festival, Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Camden Roundhouse, and many other venues around Europe. He has recently given solo recitals on modern cello in the Lichfield Festival and Leeds International Chamber Music series and has appeared several times on BBC Radio 3, notably as soloist in a portrait of Colin Matthews as part of the 2010 Proms. Jonathan is originally from Bristol. He studied Modern Languages at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, before studying baroque cello and gamba with Jonathan Manson, and modern cello with Mats Lidstrom, at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He graduated in 2010 with First Class Honours and was awarded a DipRAM in recognition of an outstanding final recital.

Poppy Walshaw was a Continuo Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with Alison McGillivray and Louise Hopkins. She read Music and Natural Sciences at Cambridge University then studied cello with Alexander Baillie at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen, gaining her postgraduate diploma with the highest possible mark.

Poppy has worked with the Academy of Ancient Music, English Concert, Gabrieli Consort and Players, Al Ayre Español, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. As a Continuo cellist, she has played with St James’ Baroque in Westminster Abbey for many BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, and for the Early Opera Company, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Classical Opera Company, Arte dei Suonatori, and European Union Baroque Orchestra.

Poppy has performed Vivaldi concertos with La Serenissima at the Spitalfields, Canterbury and Beverley festivals, and with Fiori Musicali and the International Baroque Players.

Double bass


Pippa Macmillan graduated in 2011 from the Royal Academy of Music with a First Class Honours degree in Baroque double bass, having studied with Chi-chi Nwanoku. She is now on a 2-year Masters in Historical Performance at the Juilliard School in New York.

Pippa performs regularly with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment including at Glyndebourne, the BBC Proms and abroad, and was a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra in 2011, undertaking five tours around Europe and in Turkey. She is a former principal double bass of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the European Union Youth Orchestra, and is currently principal double bass with the Orchestra of St Paul's, Covent Garden.

Soprano


Emily Armour is finishing as a scholar at Trinity College of Music. Her strengths lie in consort and baroque music. Career highlights include being soprano soloist in Judas Maccabaeus for the London Handel Festival, performing the Monteverdi Vespers one-to-a-part with the Greenwich Baroque Orchestra, a mentoring scheme with The Sixteen, a choral scholarship at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, crooning jazz in Bordeaux and Christmas carolling to Her Majesty’s horses at Buckingham Palace. Her forays into opera include scenes as Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and more ethereal roles such as Siren One and Witch Two. Emily has performed as a guest soloist for choral societies around the country with repertoire including Bach B minor Mass, Handel Messiah, Fauré Requiem, Mass in C by Beethoven and Haydn Little Organ Mass. Emily has regularly performed for BBC Radio and gives regular recitals for her growing fan base. www.emilyarmour.co.uk.

Born in Italy and raised in France, Ellen Giacone started as a pianist and violin player before turning to singing at 17. In 2011 she completed her professional degree of classical singing with Robert Expert in Paris. Since 2005 Ellen has sung with various baroque ensembles in France and Switzerland. Performing several times under the direction of Ton Koopman in Paris and New York, she was praised for her interpretation of Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day in the New York Times. She recently recorded an album of French motets (Anima Christi) with her baroque ensemble Athénaïs. Her repertoire also includes a variety of solo concert work (Fauré Requiem, Handel Messiah, Mozart Great Mass in C minor) and operas (Purcell Dido and Aeneas, Mozart La finta giardiniera, Stravinsky Rossignol, Poulenc Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Britten The Turn of the Screw). Currently living in London, she speaks Italian, French, Dutch and English.

Mezzo-soprano


Sarah Denbee is currently a postgraduate student at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, generously supported by the Kathleen Roberts scholarship, and studying with Ameral Gunson and Robert Aldwinckle. She is a member of the Mentor Scheme between Trinity and the Royal Opera House Chorus, and holds the Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music diploma and a First Class Honours degree in Music & Italian from Bristol University. Sarah enjoys balancing a mixture of choral, oratorio and opera singing, with particular interests in Baroque and contemporary music. Some past performance highlights include BBC radio premieres of works by Gabriel Jackson and Richard Allain (soloist with choir), the role of Dorabella in Mozart Cosi fan tutte for Hampstead Garden Opera, and alto soloist in a concert for the London Handel Festival. Sarah is absolutely delighted to have been accepted as a Monteverdi Choir Apprentice, and she can't wait to begin!

In 2010 Eleanor Minney gained a First Class Honours degree in Vocal Studies from Trinity College of Music, London, where she studied with Mary Wiegold and Robert Aldwinckle. She was also awarded the 2009 College prize for Cantata and Oratorio for her performance in Bach St. John Passion.

Recent operatic roles include Lucretia (Britten The Rape of Lucretia), Florence Pike (Britten Albert Herring UK Tour), Amanzio (Handel Giustino) and Second Witch (Purcell Dido and Aeneas). Other concert highlights include Mozart Requiem (St. Martin-in-the-Fields), Mozart Coronation Mass (St. John’s Smith Square), Bach St. John Passion, Magnificat and Vergnügte Ruh, Durufle Requiem, Karl Jenkins Imagined Oceans, Vivaldi Gloria, Handel Messiah, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Haydn Missa Sancti Nicolai, and on a tour of Denmark, Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri.

Eleanor has also appeared several times as a soloist for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Choir, including the world premiere of Tavener The Beautiful Names, and Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur Les Cantique de Cantiques at the 2010 BBC Proms.

Eleanor is also an accomplished consort singer. She is a permanent member of the choir of St. George’s Hanover Square and performs regularly with various other ensembles, including Collegium Vocale Gent, Tenebrae and the BBC Singers.

Eleanor is currently based in London, where she studies with Alison Wells.

Counter-tenor


Gordon Waterson is currently finishing his undergraduate degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, studying under Linda Hirst and Robert Aldwinckle. At Trinity Laban he sings with the Chamber Choir under the direction of Stephen Jackson, and is a Dame Susan Morden scholar at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, under the direction of Richard Tanner. Gordon also sings with the vocal ensemble Blossom Street, and fronts experimental improvisation ensemble The Raw Stories Collective. As a soloist, Gordon recently performed the title role in Handel Rinaldo with Trinity Laban Opera Company under the direction of Nicholas Kraemer, and the role of Refugee in scenes from Jonathan Dove Flight. Gordon has also performed as a soloist in much of the standard oratorio repertoire. He regularly gives recitals across London and deputises in various churches and cathedrals in the city. Gordon is thrilled to have been accepted onto the Monteverdi Choir Choral Apprenticeship scheme and looks forward to a challenging and enjoyable year ahead.

Alto


Katie Schofield Biography to follow shortly.

Tenor


Originally from Northern Ireland, Peter Harris graduated from the University of Oxford in 2011 where he read Music and held a tenor choral scholarship at The Queen's College. Having primarily been a percussionist throughout his time at school, it was at university that Peter began to focus on singing. Solo engagements included Handel Messiah with The Queen's College Choir and Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri with Oxford Baroque under Jeremy Summerly. Peter is currently enjoying his first year as a lay-clerk at Gloucester Cathedral under Adrian Partington. Recent performance highlights have included solos in Coleridge-Taylor Hiawatha's Wedding Feast with Bristol Choral Society, working regularly with the Corelli Orchesta, singing with the chorus of the Mariinsky Opera in a performance of Mahler Eighth Symphony under Valery Gergiev, and solos in Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien with the BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer.

Bass


Nicholas Mogg was educated at the Manchester Grammar School, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Clare College, Cambridge. He read music and was a choral scholar in the renowned Choir of Clare College under Tim Brown and Graham Ross, with whom he sang in numerous broadcasts, recordings, and tours to Europe, Israel, the USA and Australia.

Nicholas has given recitals across Cambridge and in 2010 was a prize-winner in the inaugural Cambridge Song Prize, which saw him make his London debut in May 2011. Previous operatic roles include Bartley, Riders to the Sea (CCMS Opera); Starveling/Moon, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shadwell Opera); Dr Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro (Cambridge University Opera Society).

Recent engagements include the bass solos in The Creation and Nelson Mass by Haydn, Christus in Bach St Matthew Passion, and the role of Dr Falke in Strauss Die Fledermaus. In the summer he will sing the bass solos in The Creation across France.