Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is delighted to announce its exceptional new Junior Fellows for 2011/2012: The Benyounes Quartet (The Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for String Quartet); Holly Cook (The Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for Individuals); Duncan Ward (The Sir Charles Mackerras Junior Fellowship for Conducting).
Trinity Laban Junior Fellowships enable outstanding ensembles and individuals with an emerging professional profile to bridge the gap between full-time conservatoire-based study and the music profession. These young musicians will undertake an intensive year-long professional development period, mentored by senior members of Trinity Laban's Music Faculty, whilst working regularly with other musicians within and outside the Conservatoire.
The Benyounes String Quartet, comprising Zara Benyounes, Emily Holland (violins), Sara Roberts (viola) and Kim Vaughan ('cello), formed in 2007, and in the four years since has proved itself to be a committed, dedicated and gifted ensemble. Winners of the prestigious RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship for study abroad in 2009, Zara, Emily, Sara and Kim have recently returned from Switzerland where they have been studying at the Haute École de Musique de Genève with Professor Gabor Takacs-Nagy who describes the quartet as "very talented, open-minded, interested, and intelligent too!", praising their artistic and professional potential. In the past year alone they have performed at the Verbier, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence and Le Printemps musical de Saint-Cosme Festivals, at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and the Internationale Sommerakademie für Kammermusik Niedersachsen. In 2008 the quartet was accepted onto the ProQuartet-CEMC program based in Paris, offering them the opportunity to work with Eberhard Feltz and members of the Alban Berg and Cleveland string quartets.The quartet has won the RNCM's Ravel, Nossek and Weil Prizes and The English Speaking Union Music Scholarship in 2010.
Flautist Holly Cook returns to Trinity Laban as the Conservatoire's first Individual Richard Carne Junior Fellow. Graduating with a distinction in performance from her MMus at Trinity Laban in 2009, Holly has specialised in playing a range of ethnic flutes. Now working as a freelance musician both in the UK and overseas, Holly is an active orchestral and chamber musician and soloist. She has recently played on a range of flutes and whistles in 'The City Waites' with Lucie and Roddy Skeaping and in the onstage band in The Beggar's Opera, staged at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (June-July 2011). Numerous festival and venue performances include a recent series of concerts in Saudi Arabia with the Vesuvio Wind Quintet (April 2011), the 6th Henri Tomasi Wind Quintet Competition in Marseilles (February 2011) and the Park Lane Group Composers' Symposium at the Royal Festival Hall. Holly was also featured in an interview in Muso Magazine with Ayre Flutes in 2009. During this Fellowship year, Holly will further her research into ethnically-inspired works for the flute, expanding her repertoire on a range of ethnic instruments and recording ethnic flute works. She will also be collaborating with other musicians, particularly flautists, percussionists and composers, on music inspired by ethnic instruments, organising events both to perform these works and promote new pieces.
Conductor and composer Duncan Ward is also returning to Trinity Laban, having studied in the Junior Department for four years, before completing his BMus. In May 2010 Duncan conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a public masterclass with Valery Gergiev. He has additionally been selected for the Lucerne Festival Academy masterclass with Pierre Boulez and the 2010 Sir George Solti International Conductors' Competition with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Music Director for the newly founded Kaleidoscope Orchestra, he has also worked with the International Contemporary Ensemble in New York, LSO strings for a concert in their UBS Soundscapes Eclectica Series, the Barbican Young Orchestra, Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, Tallis Chamber Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchestra in a masterclass with David Zinman in Zurich. Rapidly emerging as a leading young British composer, Duncan Ward won the 2005 BBC Young Composer of the Year competition, and was formerly Principal Composer for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Signed by Peters Edition, his first published work Kerala Reverie received its American premiere at the WASBE Conference in Cincinnati in July 2009.
Former Trinity Laban Junior Fellows include critically-acclaimed names from the chamber music world such as the Elysian, Brodowski, Carducci, Badke and Solstice Quartets, the Sitkovetsky Piano Trio and the conductors Tom Hammond and Michael Young.
Trinity Laban wishes to express its thanks to the Richard Carne Trust and to the late Sir Charles Mackerras (President of Trinity Laban 2000-2010) for their generous support which makes these Junior Fellowships possible.