See below for this 2016's confirmed Beyond the Dots tutors, listed in alphabetical order by surname.

The 2017 Tutor Team will be announced early Spring. 


Bunty (Kassia Zermon)

Multi- dimensional artist Kassia Zermon aka Bunty is a unique force best known for pioneering underground experimental vocal loop shows and fronting UK leading Dub act Resonators. Bunty's distinctive voice has been championed by likes of Rodigan, Mark Lamar and BBC 6 taste makers Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne.

She has performed her boundlessly creative live shows at all the main UK festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival, and Secret Garden Party. Bunty has supported an eclectic mix of acts including Jamie Woon, scroobius pip, Kate Tempest and Susheela Raman. She has collaborated with world class beatboxers Dub FX, Shlomo and Beardy man and some of UK's top vocal
improvisers such as Maggie Nichols. Live Bunty uses her synths, toys, ukulele, voice, effects pedals and a mash of real and made-up languages. She whispers, bellows, beatboxes, claps and stamps producing impressive vocal harmonies for her hook heavy tunes.

'Brighton's Rising star' Nick Luscombe, BBC Radio 3 

Darren Bloom

Photo credit - ©‪kevinleighton.com

Described as ‘almost mystical… a genuine frisson’ (The Times), Darren Bloom’s music is noted for its combination of ‘evocative harmony’ and ‘raw power’.  His recent chamber symphony Dr. Glaser’s Experiment, commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra for their 2016 Futures Festival, was praised for creating ‘the impression of huge forces approaching and colliding from vast distances’ (the artsdesk.com).

Darren studied composition with Edwin Roxburgh at the Royal College of Music and Brian Elias at the Royal Academy of Music where he was awarded a Masters Degree with distinction and a DipRAM. Following his degrees, he became the first composer to hold the Manson Fellowship (RAM) for two years and spent a summer studying with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies at the Dartington International Summer School.  In 2015 Darren was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for significant contributions to his field and in the autumn of 2015 he commenced an AHRC funded PhD at the University of Cambridge supervised by Richard Causton.

A much sought-after teacher, Darren’s students have won major prizes including the BBC Inspire Young Composer Award and the Sibelius Student Composer Award and many have gone on to top universities and conservatoires.

Wissam Boustany

Born in 1960, Wissam Boustany’s international career as a concert artist and teacher has taken him to South and North America, Europe, and the Middle and Far East. In 1995, Boustany founded Toward Humanity, an international initiative using music as a catalyst to support humanitarian projects on an international scale. Born in Lebanon, Boustany began his musical studies with his stepfather, before moving to the UK in 1977. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music and with Trevor Wye at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has received many awards, notably the Silver Medal in the 1982 Madeira International Flute Competition and the woodwind prize in the Royal Overseas League Competition in the same year. He won the silver medal in the Shell/LSO competition in 1981 and second prize in the woodwind section of the first BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1978.

In 1997, he was awarded a knighthood by the Lebanese government (Chevalier de l’Ordre du Cedre) in recognition of his music and peace work. On 3 February 1998, he was presented with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.  

Joe Browne

Joe Browne is a saxophonist, violinist, composer, and music leader, based in London.

After completing a degree in English Literature, he continued to study jazz saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire and Berklee College of Music in Boston. During this time, he was lucky enough to learn from some of the greatest saxophone players on each side of the Atlantic, including Julian Siegel, Jean Toussaint, and Joe Lovano.

Upon returning from the US, Joe settled in London, where he now works as a musician and educator. He has a busy schedule as a sideman in various jazz, world, pop, and classical ensembles, and also performs original compositions with his own group, Last Summer’s Tealights, at venues across London and beyond.

Joe is also an active teacher and animateur. He has led workshops for a wide range of orchestras and educational organisations, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Wigmore Hall. His creative music projects range from small groups of young children to large scale, intergenerational, cross-genre orchestral projects. He has extensive experience working with participants with special educational needs and disabilities, and young people from challenging backgrounds. Although he works in a variety of contexts and settings, his creative workshops tend to focus on improvisation, group composition, and reactions to existing repertoire.

Sam Bullard

Sam achieved a first class honours BMus (jazz) degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2005. He studied under Tim Garland, Stan Sulzmann, and Simon Haram, amongst others. He is equally at home in the jazz and classical worlds. 

Sam enjoys a wide variety of musical work. He has performed across the world with ensembles such as the BBC Big Band, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Jazz Orchestra, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, the Michael Garrick Jazz Orchestra, and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, and worked in West End theatre orchestras such as Jersey Boys, Singin' in the Rain, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Funny Girl. With other ensembles, he has backed artists as diverse as Cliff Richard, Tim Minchin, Beardyman, Jamie Cullum, and dancers Anton and Erin. Sam has also led his own jazz quartet and performed with groups in London's most prestigious jazz venues such at the 606 Club and Ronnie Scott's. He can be heard (and in some episodes seen!) on recent BBC and ITV productions including Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge. 

Sam is a founder member of the Heritage Orchestra, a large contemporary music ensemble. With them, he performed at the Barbican Hall (London Jazz Festival) and at the Miles Davis Hall (Montreux Jazz Festival), and has recorded a varied selection of BBC Radio One and Three sessions. 

He is currently enjoying writing, performing and recording with People and Places and The Big Shake Up, a New Orleans-inspired octet. 

Sam enjoys teaching at Westminster Under School and at the Junior Trinity at Trinity Laban. He also leads occasional projects at the Guildhall School of Music and Trinity College of Music.

Gawain Hewitt

Gawain Hewitt believes that music enables and liberates individuals, communities, and society. The act of making music should be a participatory process that can bring people together and facilitate a unique form of communication.

Gawain’s ideas start with people and/or places, which remain at the heart of his creations. From these foundations, he seeks to create something that is true and representative of the people, place, and ideas he is working with. Gawain is a collaborator who constantly seeks connections between art, technology, and music: as a consumer or audience, and as a creator, whether composing, building, coding, photographing or teaching.

Gawain makes sound art that includes sonic sculptures, sonic pictures, and sonic tapestries. He also composes music and works with other artists on sound design for theatre and shows. His work has featured at numerous festivals and venues, including Ice Music Festival, Spitalfields Festival, City of London Festival, and The Roundhouse.

Vanessa Lucas-Smith

Vanessa is the cellist of the renowned Allegri Quartet. The quartet has played a key role in the British music scene for the last 60 years, making it Britain’s oldest chamber group. Vanessa is the fifth Allegri cellist, the founder being the great cellist and pedagogue William Pleeth.

A regular performer at the Wigmore Hall, QEH, Purcell room, Kings Place and at festivals throughout the world – Edinburgh, Kronberg, Orlando, Cervo, SoWeCa (Canada), she can be heard on radio – BBC 3, BBC 4, Classic FM and International stations and on TV and film as a frequent session musician.

Vanessa is on the teaching staff at Junior Trinity and various courses (Benslow, ProCorda, English Camerata Soloists), held residencies/fellowships at the Universities of Bristol, Durham, Bangor, Middlesex and Goldsmiths, and was invited to sit on competition judging panels. She currently runs ‘The Calais Sessions’ which gives musical opportunities to people currently in the ‘jungle’ refugee camp in Calais to write, rehearse, collaborate and record their music.

Her studies began as a scholarship student at the Junior Dept of the RCM and then later at the RNCM. She is prizewinner of competitions including the Royal Over-Seas League, Zinetti (Italy), Charles Hennen (Netherlands) and awarded the Sir John Barbirolli Prize for string quartet.

Polly May

Polly May is a professional mezzo-soprano and choir leader. She studied music at Edinburgh University, where she gained formal training in singing, composition, and orchestration, before heading to Trinity College of Music to further her vocal studies.

Polly has worked extensively as a soloist across the UK and Europe; she sang at the opening concert for the Edinburgh International Festival 2014 and debuted at the Proms in 2012 with the BBCSO. She has worked with conductors including Oliver Knussen and Martyn Brabbins, ensembles including BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, and BBC Concert Orchestra, and at festivals including Aldeburgh, St Magnus, Spitalfields, and CDMC in Madrid. She works regularly with professional vocal ensembles such as the BBC Singers and Exaudi, as well as with session choirs for Film and Pop.

Polly is an active choral director, bringing inspiration to a variety of groups. Not only has she worked in a number of schools helping to develop choral singing, she has also worked with a variety of amateur choirs, and coached on the Madrigals and Anthems course, with John Hancorn, at Dartington International Summer School. Polly recently set up two choirs in London: the ladies' community choir Southwest Songbirds, and the trebles' training choir Junior Songbirds. She covers a wide range of repertoire from traditional choral to gospel and pop, arranges existing music, and writes her own compositions for specific groups. She brings enthusiasm and energy to rehearsals, whilst encouraging choral discipline and precision.

Fiona McLean-Buechel

Fiona teaches violin and viola at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for the Junior Music Department in their Main and Stringtime programmes. She is a founder member of National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and an alumnus of St Mary's Music School. On leaving St Mary's she trained at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow and the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has a passion for music in all forms; combining a busy career as a performer with writing creative and collaborative national and international performance projects. Whilst on the staff at Junior Guildhall School of Music she became a proactive member of the school’s external examination and development team. She also lectured and was a professor at Colchester Institute, Goldsmith’s College, was a visiting tutor for the National Children’s Orchestra and Head of Strings for London Borough of Bexley.

In 2005 Fiona co-founded and was course director for a collaborative venture with the Dartington International Summer School, the Dartington Plus Summer Youth Strings Programme. She subsequently founded and is Creative Director of Southwest Camerata and the registered charity JUTP MUSIC whose work was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society for Education and a cover story for ESTA. Her ensembles are frequent performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and make regular concert appearances across the UK. She has been a visiting professor of violin at Dartington College and Cardiff University, lectured for the European String Teachers Association, Cardiff University, South West Sound and U3A. Her string quartet are recording artists featuring regularly in shows for BBC.

Fiona is qualified to deliver the Youth Mindfulness Kids Programme and has devised a series of workshops and seminars on the principles of Mindfulness for musicians and delivered a session on Mindfulness for performers and educators at the 2016 Music Education Expo on behalf of the Federation of Festivals.

Bruce Nockles

After studying music at York University and whilst still at the Royal Academy of Music, Bruce Nockles began playing trumpet with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies group The Fires of London, rapidly developing a reputation as an expert in the performance of contemporary music. Soon after, he also became principal trumpet of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He performs regularly with The London Sinfonietta and many other British ensembles, has worked in Europe with Ensemble Intercontemporain, KlangforumWien and was for many years a close associate and a member of Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt. He has appeared as soloist with many of the above groups, as well as with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and in the Birmingham Opera Company's acclaimed production of Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht.

Bruce Nockles has worked as a conductor assisting Franck Ollu with the Orchestra del Teatro di Bologna and with Ensemble Remix, Porto. In Britain he has conducted at The Proms, at The Southbank Centre with Endymion, for SPNM, The Manson Ensemble and at The National Portrait Gallery.

He assisted on the new opera “Thanks to my eyes” by Oscar Bianchi at the Aix-en Provence festival and most recently assisted George Benjamin in the preparation of Jubilation. He is also a composer, recent commissions including “Blast” for Bella Tromba, at the Church Stretton Festival. His ensemble piece Bass contra Bass was performed last autumn by the International Ensemble Modern Academy in the Klangspuren Schwaz Tirol Festival of Contemporary Music.

David Ogle

David is from the Isle of Man and began his studies at London Studio Centre in Theatre Dance before auditioning for Trinity Laban’s Transitions Dance Company. David has since worked with a range of companies and performed both nationally and internationally.

David tries to diversify his career and has assumed many different roles within his work, ranging from a company dancer learning repertoire, to a collaborator on a light/movement installation piece at a Design Festival. His passion for collaboration led him to work with Anna Meredith.

David began working with Anna as a choreographer on Handsfree during their time with the National Youth Orchestra in 2012. Since the success of that work, they have worked on creating other pieces including Connect It for the BBC Ten Pieces initiative in 2014, which was also performed at the Royal Albert Hall with Trinity Laban students for the BBC Proms.

For more information, please visit David Ogle's website.

Elena Riu

Elena came to the UK on a Venezuelan Government scholarship and studied with Joseph Weingarten at Trinity College of Music, where she won many prizes and awards. Elena also won a further scholarship to study with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris and was a student of Roger Vignoles and Neil Immelman.Born and bred in El Sistema, Elena’s infectious enthusiasm for ‘boundary-jumping’ (Time Out), and for bringing new music to a wider audience has brought her accolades all over the world.

Riu shares her delight in the art of touching the keyboard; there is much variety, with much consideration given to colour, balance and making the music speak, which it does eloquently. Soler’s captivating invention has in Elena Riu a wonderful advocate”. Pianist Magazine

Elena has toured extensively and has performed in all major concert halls in the UK and abroad including the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, City of London Festival, Warwick, Guildford, Chelsea and Dartington International Summer School, Montpellier Festival, Walt Disney Hall and festivals in Kenya, Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Italy, the Check Republic, Scandinavia, France, and Ireland etc. Recent orchestral appearances include the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Caracas Philharmonic.

Recent performances include the Purcell Room, the Sounds Venezuela Festival at the South Bank Centre, Sutton House, Jackdaws Music Education Trust, Anglia University, Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain with the St Paul’s Sinfonia and recitals in the Frome festival. Elena was in the jury for the BBC Young Musician of the year Piano round and is currently Artistic Director of the Homage to Catalonia festival at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she holds a Professorship.

Sam Sweeney

Voted Musician Of The Year at the BBC Folk Awards 2015, Sam has one of the most impressive CVs on the folk scene, whilst still being in his twenties. Simply calling him a fiddle player is to do him something of an injustice. He’s been playing violin since he was six and is now a highly respected multi-instrumentalist, most notably with multi-award winning cultural sensation Bellowhead. Sam is one of the key players in the current resurgence of English instrumental music and has recently been appointed the inaugural Artistic Director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble. Sam has also performed with The Full English, Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party, and staged his own critically acclaimed show Made In The Great War.

Shirley Smart

Shirley Smart is fast becoming known as one of the UK’s most versatile and creative cellists – being equally at home and well versed in Classical, Jazz and Middle Eastern music. Originally trained in classical cello under Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Janos Starker in Paris, she subsequently moved to Jerusalem, where she remained for 10 years, studying and performing a wide variety of world music from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region, as well as being highly involved with the jazz and improvised music scene. Since returning to the UK, she has quickly become known as one of the most creative cellists on the music scene and has worked with many leading jazz and world music groups, including Antonio Forcione, Gilad Atzmon, Neil Cowley, Julian Ferraretto, Kosmos Ensemble, Robert Mitchell, Maurizio Minardi, and Alice Zawadski, as well as leading her own projects. Her band Melange released its 2nd album "Via Maris" recently, and a duo/trio album is planned for 2017.

Shirley teaches Musicianship and Improvisation at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, and is a Visiting Lecturer at City University. She will also be leading the London Cello Society's "Beyond Cello" division from September 2016 - including a series of workshops in various Improvisation techniques for cellists.

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