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Sam Jackson sitting n front of full length windows

Trinity Laban Board Member announced as new BBC Radio 3 Controller

Sam Jackson (Image: Carsten Windhorst)

We are proud to announce that Trinity Laban Board Member Sam Jackson has been appointed as BBC Radio 3’s new Controller, with Alan Davey, Trinity Laban Chair of Governors, handing over the reins.

In his new role, Sam will be driving the strategy for the UK’s leading classical music network, as well as having creative and managerial responsibility for the running of the whole station.

“I’m thrilled to be tasked with driving Radio 3 forward, with the help of brilliant people across the BBC and the wider music sector”, said Sam Jackson on his new appointment.

Known as one of the industry’s most respected leaders, Sam started his career as a runner for the BBC Proms, moving on to work extensively across broadcasting and the recorded music industry, including running three national radio brands: Classic FM, Smooth and Gold. Named by The Hospital Club as “one of the 100 most influential and innovative people working across arts, culture, and the creative industries”, Sam brings a wealth of experience in senior leadership roles, most recently as Executive Vice-President of Global Classics & Jazz for Universal Music Group.

Coming full circle, in his new role Sam will also be leading on the delivery of the annual BBC Proms, the world’s biggest classical music festival, ensuring the network and the BBC Proms remain at the forefront of cultural life in the UK and across the world.

Sam commented on the honour and enormity of the task: “BBC Radio 3 is unlike any other station: a network delivering ambitious, unique content, with live classical music at its core. This ambition, quality and diversity must stay at the heart of everything Radio 3 and the BBC Proms deliver.”

Lorna Clarke, BBC Director of Music, welcomes Sam saying: “I’m delighted that Sam will be joining us as Controller of Radio 3, leading the strategy for classical music across the BBC. Sam’s track record in broadcasting, love of classical music and inspirational leadership will be crucial to the BBC’s ongoing commitment to bring great music to everyone.”

Sam will work alongside David Pickard, Director of BBC Proms, and Simon Webb, who was recently announced as the BBC’s first Head of Orchestras and Choirs. At Trinity Laban, we are extremely enthusiastic about this extraordinary team and look forward to seeing what Sam and his colleagues create.

You can follow Sam Jackson on Twitter here.

Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Round Up December 2022

A considerable number of alumni were involved in original and exhilarating performances last month, including the Fountains of Mojitos performance by Evi Demetriou in Athens, presented at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation on 13 December. 

2CELLOS, Croatian duo Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser, performed their final live concert together at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Additionally, Stjepan announces his first-ever solo worldwide tour for 2023 and discussed with Forbes the ‘Superpower’ that enables him to tap into his creativity.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty production at Sadler’s Wells Theatre received exceptional reviews for its fairytale twist of Aurora and vampires.

John Savournin directed the pantomime retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale, Rumpelstiltskin, at Charles Court Opera. An excellent script for both young and old.  

Duncan Ward conducted the prestigious Metropolitan Opera on 16 December for the opening performance of Magic Flute. 


TL alumni released new and authentic music last month. Génia Chudinovich released her new single Evocations, with the album being accompanied by a series of breathing techniques and yoga postures to support Génia’s work of Piano-Yoga. In a completely different genre, Animai released a new electronica single, No Enemy.

Onto some brilliant London jazz news, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Reuben James, and Daniel Casimir perform imaginatively reworked tunes in Blue Notes: Re-imagined II. 

Heloise Werner, who was featured in The Times’ 10 best classical records of 2022, also released her Sable and Snow suite, premiered on Radio France on 9 December. 

Speaking of phenomenal albums, Ezra Collective’s (Joseph-Armon Jones, Dylan Jones, and Femi Koleoso) Where I’m Meant To Be made the magnificent Bandcamp’s Best Albums of 2022. Their first single, Victory Dance, is a song that gets mentioned in The story of jazz in 2022: A year end listening party. 


Having achieved exceptional accomplishments in December 2022, our alumni have been featured in some brilliant articles, including Harriet Stubbs in Musical America’s Professionals of the Year list. 

News flash: the brilliant Cassie Kinoshi received a grant of £15,000 from the PRS Foundation Composer’s Fund to create her new work in celebration of Caribbean and West African culture. Congratulations Cassie!

Standout nomination went to Protein Dance (director, Luca Silvestrini), who featured in The Stage Awards 2023 following being shortlisted for Community Project of the Year. 

John Sturt has receieved an impressive commission by Choir and Organ magazine as one of the six New Music composers to write for choir or solo organ in 2023.  

After nearly 50 years of committed and devoted teaching, Christine Croshaw retires from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.  

We sadly learned that record producer, arranger, conductor and jazz pianist Kenny Clayton passed away. You can read about his extraordinary contributions to the music world here. 


In other news. . .  

Rachel Lancaster, the artistic director of Cirque du Soleil, shares her experience of working with the team for their production of KURIOUS. 

Punchdrunk Enrichment has produced a theatrical pop-up project, The Lost Lending Library 

Milana Zaric and her husband, Richard Barrett, will present new works at the North Wales music festival 

Liza Bec’s Roborecorder in the Museum of Science and Industry exhibit Turn It Up: The Power of Music, will be premiering up until 21 May 2023. Liza has also been featured in the New Scientist and is releasing a new single in January. 

Ezra Collective (Joseph-Armon Jones, Dylan Jones and Femi Koleoso) will be performing in the Hong Kong’s Clockenflap Festival 2023 in a line-up led by Arctic Monkeys and Phoenix.  

Catch the Hermes Collective (Héloïse Werner with Shiva Feshareki) performing at the Barbican on 26 January 2023.  

Ballet Lorent’s (Liv Lorent) 30th anniversary season begins in January as they present a piece that explores how we use clothing to play with and explore identity in a performance of The Becoming 

Luca Silvestrini’s Protein Dance tours with The Little Prince to rural community spaces as well as arts venues, starting in February. 

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet will be on tour in 2023. 

Close up of hands playing a wind instrument

The Gold Medal 2023

Celebrating Trinity Laban’s outstanding musicians

The Gold Medal is an annual showcase where seven finalists are nominated by the Heads of Department for their high level of creativity and musicianship, receiving a Director’s Prize for Achievement and giving them the opportunity to compete for the renowned award.

The evening is an exclusive chance to listen to Trinity Laban’s extraordinary students on the brink of promising careers from the departments of Strings, Jazz, Composition, Piano & Keyboard, Wind, Brass & Percussion, Vocal Studies and Musical Theatre, showcasing diverse professionalism from across the conservatoire’s Faculty of Music. The winner is announced later that evening, with audience members having a chance to vote too.

The seven finalists are:

Reuben Browne, Musical Theatre

Lewis Chinn (Tuba), Wind, Brass & Percussion

Nathen Durasamy, Composition

Rebecka Edlund (Jazz voice), Jazz

Harold Gordon-Smith (Guitar), Strings

Kyle Hutchings, Piano

Juliet Wallace, Voice

The competition is judged by a panel of Trinity Laban staff and industry experts, which in previous years has included President of EMI Rebecca Allen and Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation and Honorary Fellow and Visiting Professor of Double Bass at Trinity Laban Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE.

Last year’s Gold Medal was won by soprano Olivia Bell, who wowed the judges with her emotive performance and bold choice of contemporary repertoire.

Join us next month and witness seven exceptional young artists performing a mix of jazz, classical and contemporary music as they compete for Trinity Laban’s most prestigious prize.

When: Wednesday 1 February 2023

Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

Time: 19:00

Book early to avoid disappointment.


Students smiling and laughing wearing graduation caps and gowns

Graduation Class of ’23 and Honorary Fellowship awards

A huge congratulations to all of our students who graduated last term. Over 340 students from our Music, Dance and Musical Theatre faculties celebrated their talent, creativity, and hard work at TL’s Graduation Ceremonies on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 December 2022.

Students smiling and laughing wearing graduation caps and gowns 

We were also delighted to award a number of Honorary Fellowships to outstanding industry professionals and members of the TL community: Dr Roger Wolman, NHS Consultant in Rheumatology and Sport & Exercise Medicine, Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado, TL alumni and former Co-artistic Directors of Candoco Dance Company, Sarah Kemp, Chief Executive of Trinity College London for the past 14 years, and Gilles Peterson, established BBC Radio broadcaster, DJ and record executive. 

The Honorary Fellows were nominated for incredible achievements throughout their careers. Dr Roger Wolman for dedicating his time to treating and supporting injured dancers and for his pioneering research into dance injuries, Gilles Peterson for championing new music, particularly jazz, and supporting and promoting young artists, Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machad for pushing the boundaries of how dance is viewed and  increasing accessibility and diversity within the artform, and Sarah Kemp for the commitment and devotion to Trinity College London during her time as CEO from 2008 to 2021.

This year’s Honorary Fellowships were presented by Professor Anthony Bowne, TL’s Principal, and Havilland Willshire, TL’s Director of Music.

A special thank you goes to our inspiring guests of honour, Luca Silvestrini, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning company, Protein Dance, and Sam Jackson, TL Governor and Executive Vice President, Global Classics and Jazz at Universal Music Group.  

From L to R: Pedro Machado, (Hon Fellow & TL alumni and former Co-artistic Director of Candoco Dance Company), Professor Anthony Bowne (Principal - TL), Stine Nilsen (Hon Fellow - TL alumni and former Co-artistic Directors of Candoco Dance Company), Dr Roger Wolman (Hon Fellow & NHS Consultant in Rheumatology and Sport & Exercise Medicine), Alan Davey CBE (Chair - TL) & Luca Silvestrini (Artistic Director, Protein) holding scrolls and wearing graduation robes

From L to R: Pedro Machado, Professor Anthony Bowne, Stine Nilsen, Dr Roger Wolman, Alan Davey CBE and Luca Silvestrini.

Sam Jackson, Geoffrey Copeland, Gilles Peterson, Sarah Kemp, Professor Anthony Bowne and Havilland Willshire standing outside holding scrolls and wearing graduation robes

From L to R – Top step: Sam Jackson and Geoffrey Copeland. Bottom step: Gilles Peterson, Sarah Kemp, Professor Anthony Bowne and Havilland Willshire.

Gilles Peterson eloquently expressed what the award meant to him: “It’s a huge career highlight for me being made a Fellow of Trinity, following in the illustrious footsteps of legends such as Ravi Shankar and Norma Winstone. And the first DJ to get a Fellowship too – truly honoured.” 

On receiving their award, TL alumni and former Co-artistic Directors of Candoco Dance Company Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado commented: “We are very grateful for receiving the honorary fellowship from Trinity Laban, where we met and became friends in 1993, and value it as an acknowledgement of the work we did together with an amazing team of artists and colleagues at Candoco Dance Company during our time as Artistic Co-Directors 2007-2017.”  

Even though both days saw Trinity Laban facing extreme weather conditions and train strikes, the event was an incredible success and a special day to be treasured by all participants, staff, students, and family members.   

MA Creative Practice student, Lauren Auyeung, joyfully said on graduating: “I’m excited to now be in charge of my own schedule, taking the reins of my art and and making exciting new connections.”

Image credits: JK Photography 

Collage of musicians and dancers

Announcing Trinity Laban’s Spring Season 2023

Be entertained and inspired by innovative and inventive moments during our Spring Season. We have a jam-packed live and digital programme running from January – March, celebrating new works and contemporary voices. 

Highlights include Trinity Laban Gold Medal Showcase 2023 (1 Feb, 19:00), U.Dance 2023: London Regional Platform (26 Feb, 19:30) and our Rush Hour Chamber Music Series (8 Mar, 18:00), plus competitions galore and beautifully inspiring choreography. 

At the prestigious Trinity Laban Gold Medal Showcase 2023, witness seven outstanding young artists, all recipients of the Director’s Prize for Excellence in their own department, as they compete for The Gold Medal 2023. 

We have an eclectic array of superb music, starting with the ever-popular Symphony Orchestra Side-by-Side (13 Jan, 18:00) opening the Spring Season with Sean Matthew conducting Trinity Laban’s Symphony Orchestra as they perform Holst’s The Planets alongside staff members. We magnificently move onto Trinity Laban Big Band & Jazz Orchestra (25 Jan, 19:30), directed by Winston Rollins, performing music by some of the most influential and prolific arrangers of Big Band repertoire. Trinity Laban’s Brass Ensemble (27 Jan, 13:05) is also one not to be missed, with a beautiful lunchtime concert in the atmospheric Old Royal Naval College Chapel, featuring performances from John Wallace, The Wallace Collection and Trinity Laban’s Brass Ensemble. 

Be inspired by choreographers of the future with the skilful and versatile final year dancers’ New Choreography Now: BA3 Choreography Mixed Bill (24 Jan, 19:30). Take visionary originality from our these contemporary dance students as they present BA3 Commissioned Works (9 Feb, 14.30 & 19.30, 10 Feb, 14.30 & 19.30), which has been developed through intensive periods of creative exploration with renowned choreographers Joel Brown, CandoCo Associate Artist, Zoi Dimitriou, and Akeim Toussaint Buck.

For a unique performance, check out this free Lunchtime Concert: Raphael Wallfisch & John Butt (20 Jan, 13:05), an event featuring the 5-string ‘violoncello piccolo’, the early cousin of the modern cello! 

Celebrate the diversity of youth dance from across London by joining U.Dance 2023: London Regional as they perform a range of styles at a national festival that brings together some of the most ambitious talent across the country. For more youth opportunities, expect a large cast of participants from our Children’s Creative Dance Show 2023 (25 Mar, 15:00 & 16:30) performing with enormous energy and commitment in our annual Spring Dance Show. 

We said there were competitions galore and you will not be disappointed. Along with The Gold Medal competition above, prepare to be astounded by extraordinary talent as they compete for distinguished prizes. 

Trinity Laban Soloists’ Competition Final 2023 (8 Feb, 19:30)

Lillian Ash French Song Competition (9 Feb, 09:30)

The Vivian Joseph Classical Concerto Competition (27 Feb, 9:30)

The Alfred Kitchin Competition (2 Mar, 09:30)

The Daryl Runswick Competition (17 Mar, 18:00)

The Vera Kantrovitch Prize For Solo Strings (6 Mar, 09:30)

The Wilfred Hambleton Clarinet Competition (15 Mar, 17:00)

The Roy Pleasance Competition For Solo Voice (30 Mar, 09:30)

For full listings, ticketing info and booking visit our events page. We look forward to seeing you soon.  

Seated graduates in robes and mortar boards

Alumni Round Up November 2022

Alumni released exceptional new music this month. Ezra Collective’s new album Where I’m Meant To Be released on November 4 to great reviews in the Guardian and Gigwise. Their single No Confusion, featuring Kojey Radical, also released this month. 

Tomorrow’s Warriors’ new album I AM WARRIOR released this month. Many alumni have been involved in writing and performing it, including Sheila Maurice-Grey, Camilla George, Rosie Turton, Mark Crown, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Mark Kavuma, Cassie Kinoshi, Femi Koleoso, and Benjamin Burrell. 

Xhosa Cole’s new album Ibeji was reviewed in The Arts Desk. 

Ben Ramsden released to care, his debut album, this month – expanded from his TL showcase piece, the album was commissioned by KORDA after the Gold Medal award in 2019. The album also features fellow alumni Irene Katsenelson and Cristina Cooper. 

Laura Jurd’s Ornette Variations, recorded with London Sinfonietta last year and also featuring Cassie Kinoshi, is now available on YouTube. 


Alumni have starred in spectacular performances throughout November. The EFG London Jazz Festival ran this month. Alumni featured prominently – Xhosa Cole, Sam Jewison, Cassie Kinoshi, Emma-Jean Thackeray, Rosie Turton, Conor Chaplin, Nikki Iles, Elliot Galvin, and Mark Lockheart all performed. Trinity Laban students also took to the stage at The Vortex. 

Ezra Collective performed an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. 

Cassie Kinoshi’s new composition grey cloud premiered at Nouveaux Horizons festival. 

Lea Anderson directed Shuffle this month, a dance trio performance at Arnolfini, Bristol. 

Prologue Opera’s Becoming Carmen impressed at The Stables Theatre in Hastings, with Eleanor Strutt as Associate Director. 


Alumni shone in interviews and features in the media this month. Femi Koleoso gave this interview for Hypebeast on playing in Ezra Collective and Gorillaz, and featured in The Evening Standard. 

Ayanna Witter-Johnson features in a new ‘Residency’ series for Scala Radio. Ayanna also featured in this interview for I Care If You Listen. 

Camilla George featured in an On Rotation article from Jazz Revelations, with Kokoroko’s Something’s Going On featuring in her list.  

BBC Sport interviewed Shortbread, a prospect for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the sport of breaking. 

Corrie Dick gave this interview in The Scotsman on “outsider jazz”. 

Luca Silvestrini wrote this piece for Metro on immigration to the UK. 

Xhosa Cole and Camilla George feature in this Guardian article on the UK jazz scene. 

Oscar Jerome was interviewed in the Evening Standard. 

Laura Jurd’s recent release The Big Friendly Album features on Jazzwise’s list of the best albums for December and January, which was published this month. 


Competitions and awards successfully featured several alumni. Nardus Willams won the Rising Star award at the International Opera Awards. 

Ezra Collective won Best Jazz Act at the 2022 MOBO Awards. 

The BBC Young Jazz Musician competition final took place on Sunday 20 November. The panel featured Camilla George, Emma-Jean Thackeray, and Ayanna Witter-Johnson, and current student Luke Bacchus was one of the finalists. 


Coming Up: 

Levedy Ensemble, winners of the 2020 Carne Competition, are giving two Christmas concerts this season, in Kennington and Orpington. 

Check out Trinity Laban’s exciting Christmas season. 

Wide shot of Trinity Laban student Symphony Orchestra

Trinity Laban students awarded Royal Philharmonic Society Instrument Purchase Grants

We are delighted that three Trinity Laban BMus Year 2 students are recipients of Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrument Purchase Grants 2022. 

Originally established by the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation, the grant serves to ensure young musicians can train on good quality instruments. This year the Royal Philharmonic Society supported 18 students from eight UK music colleges by providing a total of £16,000 in grants.

Read on to find out about our student recipients. 


Morgan Key, Cello

Morgan is studying cello with Professorial staff member Naomi Butterworth and received a £1000 grant towards his instrument. 

As well as studying cello, he is also a Saturday assistant at Junior Trinity in Musicianship and Improvisation classes. Outside of TL he works with children on Pro Corda residential strings courses and runs school workshops to introduce students to classical music. 

Morgan also plays in the Orpheus string quartet, performing at venues around the UK. 


Olivia Hughes, Jazz specialising in Trombone

Olivia is studying Jazz at TL and is focusing on both tenor trombone with tutor Trevor Mires, and bass trombone with tutor Richard Henry. She received a £1000 grant towards a bass trombone.   

Olivia joined the Aldeburgh Young Musicians in 2018 playing both types of trombone after establishing a musical background on euphonium. 


Dexter Wong, Trombone  

Dexter received a grant of £900 towards a trombone, which he will use in his studies with Professorial staff member Philip White. 

Dexter is the principal trombone of several orchestras and bands, including the London Euphonia Orchestra, the Hong Kong Joint University Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Joint University Symphonic Band. He is also currently performing as the resident guest principal trombone of the Hong Kong University Philharmonic Orchestra and Hong Kong University Symphonic Band. 


Congratulations to all our student recipients and thank you to the generosity of RPS in supporting them in their studies and future careers. 

Interested in studying music at Trinity Laban? Download our digital prospectus here.