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Students return to London Palladium Stage

Musical Theatre students will sing alongside Mark Feehily in The Secret Garden

Following February’s exclusive concert production of Camelot, future stars from our vibrant Musical Theatre Department will once again share the Palladium stage with a host of talent West End performers for The Secret Garden.

Based on the classic Victorian novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the show has been adapted for stage by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marshal Norman with music by Lucy Simon. The duo were also behind Doctor Zhivago, which TL students performed at Cadogan Hall in 2019 alongside Ramin Karimloo.

The Secret Garden will play on Sunday 28 August at iconic central London theatre The Palladium.

The production also features current student Aleyna Mohanraj as Ayah and narration by TL alum Lucy Drever.

In their recent press release, Producers Lambert Jackson Productions commented –

“We are thrilled to finally be bringing this beautiful concert musical to the London Palladium. The Secret Garden has a special place in many people’s hearts. Be it as a musical, a novel, or a film, the enduring story has a way of staying with you with the timely message to live life to the full.”

To book tickets, visit

Situated in the heart of the UK’s musical theatre capital, Trinity Laban has an outstanding reputation for its rigorous and dynamic performance training, with recent graduates performing in the West End – including Trevor Nunn’s Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre – and in UK and international touring productions such as The Lion KingGhost, The Rocky Horror Show and Rock of Ages.

To find out more about studying at Trinity Laban, visit our Musical Theatre pages

Image courtesy of Lambert Jackson Productions

TL launches collaborative Covid-19 research project

A cross-faculty team of students and staff are investigating the psychological impact of virtual learning and teaching within the performing arts higher education sector.

The Trinity Laban student-staff collaborative research project began as four separate master’s projects before being brought together by programme leader Dr Liliana Araújo and further expanded to focus on students and teachers.

Now, dance science and music studentsare working together with faculty members across disciplines to understand the motivational and emotional impact that Covid-19 has on performing arts students and teachers.

This collaborative project aims to offer insights into how higher education and performing arts might engage with blended learning in the future.

Music and Dance teachers and students in higher education can take part in this research by completing a 15-minute anonymous online survey (closing date Monday 20 July).

For more information and to take part, visit the research homepage.

Image credit: Lidia Crisafulli

June Alumni Roundup

Our roundup of some of the successes of Trinity Laban alumni.

In the month of June, several alumni took on exciting new roles and projects. Alum and governor Rebecca Allen was appointed the new president of EMI Records. Rebecca’s move to the rebranded Virgin EMI comes after three years as president of Decca Records, where she worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry.

Adam Moore was awarded a prestigious Jerwood Bursary to create new work, Lewis Sharp and Patrick Webster were offered places on Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures’ Overture professional development programme and fellow dance alum Gloria Trolla announced that she will be joining choreographer Sarah Mck Fife Cie in her next production HAEAR.

Birmingham Living magazine featured an interview with dance alum Jessica Wheeler, discussing her training at Trinity Laban and her journey to becoming Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School.

Jazz alum Reuben James was announced as one of three black artists from Birmingham commissioned by Town Hall and Symphony Hall to compose musical responses on the themes of individual and systemic racism. Reuben was also featured in this article by London Jazz News, breaking down the genre-spanning tracks on new EP ‘Slow Down’ and celebrating Reuben’s host of collaborators.

Other new releases in June included Oscar Jerome’s single ‘Give Back What U Stole From Me‘, described by Earmilk as a “standout track from what promises to be a defining LP in Jerome’s journey”.

Sahra Gure collaborated with producer Neue Grafik to create a remix of her song ‘Leave Me’, while composition alum Anna Stereopoulou re-released her solo albums from 2008-2020, including her debut Dance With Me  which features pieces written during her studies.

Natalia Wierzbicka released her original track ‘Part of Me’ performed live in lockdown, Elliot Galvin released number 8 in his series of electronic compositions, ‘Modular 2’, and Shaun Thompson released Inhale, Exhale, Repeat, a new album of contemporary clarinet music, featuring work by alum Adrian Revell.

Many of our alumni continued to be celebrated and honoured for their work this month. Cherise Adams-Burnett was announced as ‘Jazz vocalist of the Year’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards, while Moses Boyd, Joe Armon-Jones and jazz eight-piece KOKOROKO were nominated in the AIM Independent Music Awards 2020.

New release To The Earth from Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur was featured on Jazzwise’s list of best new jazz albums and John Powell was awarded ‘Film Score of the Year’ by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) for his work on How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

June saw many alumni continuing to respond to and overcome the challenges that lockdown has brought.

Iyad Sughayer featuredin and performed music for BBC Arabic documentary film ‘London Lockdown’, following the lives of key workers from the Arab community in London during the pandemic.

Piano alum Simon Lasky started interview series ‘At Home With…’ where he talks to leading jazz musicians in lockdown. Watch this episode where Simon speaks to Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist and composer Tim Garland.

Stjepan Hauser released a second ‘Alone Together’ concert, this time filmed in the beautiful surroundings of Krka National Park.

Julia Testas set up online platform ‘What Is Good’, offering a variety of classes from movement practitioners around the world. Classes take place from Monday to Friday, with money raised going to all teachers on the platform as well as the Kuikuro Indigenous community in Brazil.

Leila McMillan began a new virtual residency with Dance4, where she will undertake her new project ‘Curl of Hair’. Suitable for both children and adults to participate in, find out more about Leila’s project and research aims.

Emily Jenkins moved her Move Dance Feel sessions online. The virtual sessions bring women together from all over the UK and Europe and aim to support women living with cancer, helping them reconnect with themselves and their bodies in a positive and creative dance experience.

Visual artist, choreographer and alum Anna Nykyri, premiered short film In-Between. A montage of photography and moving image, Anna collaborated with photographers in different cities around the world to capture city-scapes during the pandemic to show the effect of social distancing.

Composition alum Basil Athanasiadis released two new music videos from his time in Japan. ‘Circles’ was created from footage of downtown Tokyo and ‘Aura’ captures Hokkaido’s “overwhelming feeling of impermanence and sparseness of human presence.” Read more about Basil’s experience in his blog.

Composer and producer Richard Edwards hosted a webinar on composing music for film and art installation ‘Black Men’s Minds’, which was created to explore the voices of black men who are often missing in the conversations surrounding mental health.

Darren Royston’s Nonsuch History and Dance Company hosted the Midsummer Early Dance and Music Online Festival, consisting of two days of live music, technique classes and family friendly workshops, while Oona Doherty discussed plans for her work in the postponed Art Night festival.

Alumni who lent their musical talents to a wide range of projects this month included Serafina Steer, Emma Smith and Adam Betts in Jarvis Cocker’s new track ‘Save The Whale’, and double bass alum Conor Chaplin in Dave Story’s new album ‘Jouska’.

Jesse Kovarsky starred in the socially distanced drive-through theatrical experience American Dream Study, which was staged throughout Columbia County, New York, with audience members receiving instructions on when and where to drive and park throughout the performance.

Founded by alumni Alice Usher, Charlotte Osborn and Beatrice de Larragoiti, Gothic Opera virtually recorded and released THE GOTH CHAPTERS, composed by Stacy Garrop. The monodrama, which features piano from alum Laurence Panter, tells the tale of a torrid love affair and was shot completely in isolation.

Audiences were spoilt for choice with an array of online concerts and livestreams this month. The cast of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures’ The Red Shoes reconnected with each other and their audiences “to say one final farewell, with a flourish”. Watch The Red Shoes, From Home, celebrating the production after the tour was cut short by lockdown.

To mark the occasion of National Windrush Day, Vortex Jazz presented a new body of work by composer and arranger Renell Shaw, featuring alum Ayanna Witter-Johnson on cello.

Million Square performed in the Serious Livestream Sessions. The duo, featuring alum Duncan Eagles, performed their newest release Spirit Bloom as well as material from previous album Between Suns.

2018 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition-winner Gen Li performed a programme of Chopin and Brahms in Hastings International Piano’s weekly live-stream concert series.

Award-winning composer and harpist Ailie Robertson presented the world premiere of her new commission The Bells Are All Silent to fundraise against injustice. One of 10 premieres commissioned for the event, Ailie’s piece featured in a six-hour online concert of “non-conformist, boundary-smashing music from all over the globe”.

Utah Symphony premiered alum Dai Fujikura’s new work ‘Longing From Afar’ in an online performance recorded on Zoom.

Current masters student Thibault Blanchard-Dubois launched the Europik Music Online Festival, a series of music concerts live-streamed from the UK and France, with The Carducci Quartet opening the festival on 26 June.

Violin alum Natalia Wierzbicka gave an online concert with proceeds going to War Child and the chance for the audience to choose the programme.

James Layton, one of six winners of the inaugural Innovation Award, launched ‘Into the Ocean’ with a virtual concert streamed on the TL YouTube channel. The programme included specially commissioned work by alumni Georgina Bowden and Heather Stephenson performed by American violist Stephen Upshaw.


Coming Up

ANNE Point (alum Anne Verheij) takes dance short film event ‘Moving the Image’ online in collaboration with InShort film festival. Tune in on 7 July 19.00 BST to see the films and take part in a Q&A with the filmmakers, including Cassie Kinoshi and Miku Tsuchiya.

Later this month, Europik Music Festival will see alum and faculty staff Irina Lyakhovskaya perform on 20 July followed by piano-viola duo Ana Šinkovec and Samuel Burstin on 27 July.

City Music Foundation artist Iyad Sughayer will, circumstances permitting, perform a concert at the Wallace Collection in Manchester on 22 July.

Innovation Award winners group 202

“The TL Innovation Award 2020 offers crucial mentoring and financial support”

TL continues to champion creative entrepreneurship through a unique award that sees students pitch artistic and business projects to an expert panel and win professional mentoring and seed funding.

Now in its second year, the Innovation Award enables final-year undergraduates from across our Faculties to access professional development support. It forms part of our strategy to help emerging artists find their voice and innovate in the cultural industries, particularly important as emerging artists respond to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year shortlisted applicants had their chance to pitch to Artistic Director of Tomorrow’s Warriors and Honorary Fellow Gary Crosby OBE, co-founder of Independence Dance and alum Kirstie Alexander and Principal Anthony Bowne in a bid to win one of six awards.

We are delighted to announce that the 2020 winners are:

  • Gabriel Askew for Big Smoke Brass UK
  • Hayley Huggett for Dotty’s Dilema
  • ben leigh grosart for Root
  • Jessica Price for Eruption
  • Laura Rønning Engholm for The Homeground Project
  • Hannah Wallace for Groundmarks

Panellist Gary Crosby OBE commented –

“This award enables young artists who are testing their muscle and innovating to develop their voice. It carries on a great tradition of supporting talent that is really pushing boundaries from Trinity Laban. It is a real gift for a group of artists to be awarded it. The standard was really high this year with some serious cross art forms, which made it very enjoyable.”

Fellow panellist Kirstie Alexander commented –

“The music and dance sectors can only remain vibrant if small-scale projects by independent artists thrive, and the Trinity Laban Innovation Award offers crucial mentoring and financial support that allows awardees to realise their ideas and contribute to this vibrancy. The shortlisted projects were impressive both for their diversity and their originality, and the awardees in particular presented artistic visions that were inspiring.”

The diverse and innovative proposals span environmental issues, boundary-pushing genre development, and the power of the arts for positive change in the community.

Funded by our Higher Education Innovation Fund allocation, each winning project receives an award of £3000 to use on development and will benefit from a specially tailored mentorship programme delivered by acclaimed alumni:

Communications and Alumni Relations Manager and Innovation Award Co-founder Lucy Nicholson commented –

“Trinity Laban alumni have hugely successful careers across the creative arts industry. Last year’s mentors gave valuable guidance and support to the winners and we are delighted to have six more talented alumni to share their insights and expertise with this year’s winners.”

Designed to help students transitioning between life at Trinity Laban and launching a sustainable career in the performing arts, the award has already supported six projects. Last year’s winners have achieved remarkable things, contributing to the UK’s rich cultural landscape:

  • violinist Matthew Crisp is working to introduce youth orchestra musicians to the power of music in community settings.
  • composer Toby Carswell and percussionist Rhys Davies established The Public Bungalow, a vibrant ensemble of young professional artists whose sophisticated arrangements re-imagine pop music with a fusion twist. With an extensive roster of artists, the project gives many musicians the opportunity to record, perform and work on their craft. 
  • jazz vocalist Sahra Gure created and self-released an album of original works with three accompanying music videos that has been widely recognised by the industry including BBC, Clash Magazine and Gilles Peterson.
  • all-female dance collective Mass Hysteria collaborated with a range of artists such as fashion designers, musicians and film makers to present work at Tate Exchange in February 2020 and were recently commissioned by Trinity Laban to create in this. net as part of digital campaign #SeflIsolationCreation.
  • James Layton’s ‘Into the Ocean’ is an integrated concert and recording series that highlights the work of emerging composers. He has commissioned new work for American violist Stephen Upshaw and is producing an album that will be released later this year.
  • flautist and conductor Megan Storer established Cinematic Syncopations Orchestra as a platform for graduate players in London and to introduce a young audience to orchestral music through the performance of film scores. Following their inaugural concert, she is deveoping plans for a series of projects over the next two years and intends to establish the orchestra as a registered charity.

Head of CoLab and Innovation Award Co-founder Joe Townsend commented –

“The award fund, which has doubled this year, gives graduates more than just money to realise a project, the mentoring is a two-way learning relationship that provides a safe space for mentors and graduates to bring ideas into action and to help shape the bigger picture of music and dance.

Forward thinking and socially engaged, last year’s awardees are really starting to make a difference and a tribute to their art.”

To find out more, visit our Innovation Award webpage

If you’re interested in studying at Trinity Laban visit our study pages.


Image credit: Adam Hypki

Alan Davey CBE Announced as New Chair of Governors

Trinity Laban today announces Alan Davey CBE, Controller of BBC Radio 3, BBC Proms and BBC Orchestras and Choirs, as its new Chair of Governors. Davey replaces Dr Geoffrey Copland CBE, who has been Chair since the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP stepped down in September 2019.

Prior to his position at the BBC, where he is also champion for socio-economic diversity, Davey spent seven years as Chief Executive Officer of Arts Council England. His public positions include being former chair of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies (IFAACA).  He was awarded a CBE for services to the Arts in the 2015 New Year Honours.

Taking up this voluntary post, Alan Davey comments:

“I am thrilled to be taking the position of Chair of Governors at Trinity Laban, London’s creative conservatoire. I have long admired the innovation and creativity I have seen from Trinity Laban, its students and alumni: it is a place that creates opportunity for students from all backgrounds and across the globe and works with them to shape the future of music and dance. Arts and higher education have never been more important and I am looking forward to working with Trinity Laban to build on our success as a truly diverse, inclusive and excellent institution where great work can be done.”

Welcoming Davey as Chair, Trinity Laban Principal Professor Anthony Bowne comments:

“It is a privilege for Trinity Laban to have Alan Davey as our new Chair and we welcome his support and strong track record in cultural and creative leadership. Alan’s role as Chair will be to offer scrutiny and strategy, helping us to achieve our strategic ambitions and realise our commitments to ensuring Trinity Laban is a place where students can have their voices heard. Like us, Alan believes that culture can change the world for good. At this time of renewal and change, I know that Alan will contribute a great deal to our world-class Trinity Laban community.

We are immensely grateful to Dr Copland for his long service to Trinity Laban in governance roles and most recently of course as a most effective and respected Chair of Governors. I am pleased that he will continue to serve on the Board of Governors as Vice-Chair.”

Find out more about Alan Davey CBE

Image credit: Peter Mernagh

TL launches Change-Making Popular Music Degree

A first for conservatoire training in London, the BA (Hons) in Music Performance and Industry will produce a new generation of songwriters, producers and performers in popular music.

With alumni including Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and Head of EMI Records Rebecca Allen, Trinity Laban has earned a reputation for our future-focussed and socially engaged training, and strong industry roots.

In recent years, we have become a hothouse for the London jazz and popular music scene, with graduates such as Moses Boyd, Laura Jurd and Nubya Garcia enjoying critical and commercial success through their artistic excellence and originality.

Building on this success, the new BA (Hons) Music Performance and Industry is a three-year undergraduate programme that aims to produce change-making creative artists, providing the skills to adapt to the challenges of an ever-evolving industry.

Joe Townsend, Head of BA (Hons) Music Performance and Industry, comments –

“COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, climate crisis, Brexit and the economic challenges we face mean that every aspect of life is likely to change. The inbuilt flexibility of the BA Music Performance and Industry means we can respond to the fast-paced change of the times in which we live. This programme provides a place of learning, stability, refuge and activism with the ability to give students from all backgrounds a voice through the expression of music.

The music industry is changing rapidly; we want our students to be the changemakers.”

Designed to adapt to technological shifts in music making, and to connect directly with industry professionals, the programme will work with the industry’s gatekeepers and digital powerbase. Partnerships are being forged with festivals, venues and key players in the making of music.

Not only will students have access to a network of industry contacts, they will also take up professional placements within the industry during their studies, giving them real-world experience.

They will also be mentored by a roster of talented artists, producers and managers from the world of popular music, to inspire and enrich the learning experience.

Unbound by genre, the programme values originality, collaboration and imagination. Students are encouraged to experiment as individual artists and within a collective of peers.

Director of Music Havilland Willshire comments –

“The independent artist has an increasing powerbase and role to play in the music ecology.

“The conservatoire setting of our new BA in Music Performance and Industry offers students world-class space and facilities against a rich backdrop of musical excellence. Students will explore and build their individual creative identities in a vibrant and highly focused community of musicians and dancers, emerging to take on and shape the commercial music industry.”

Applications open in mid-July via UCAS. We welcome applications from individuals who have had alternative routes to study, as well as the standard entry requirements.

We will be hosting a virtual open day on Thursday 16 July with panel discussions, Q&As and more. To register your interest please visit our Music Open Days page.

For more information visit the BA (Hons) Music Performance and Industry course page.

Transitions DC member joins New Adventure’s Overture Project

Lewis Sharp has been accepted into Sir Matthew Bourne OBE’s 20/21 cohort of emerging dance teachers and community dance artists.

Following in the footsteps of TL alum and Honorary Fellow Sir Matthew Bourne OBE, London-born Lewis completed his BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance in 2019 before joining the Conservatoire’s flagship graduate dance company Transitions.

Now Lewis is one of 16 talented community artists to join Bourne’s professional development programme Overture, which is part of the award-winning dance-theatre company New Adventures.

Over the course of nine months Lewis will benefit from digital sessions and practical workshops designed to develop a range of professional skills that will support the next level of his career.

He will also work with inspirational guest teachers from a variety of dance backgrounds who will share their practice.

Lewis comments –

“The training I have received at Trinity Laban has allowed me to gain valuable skills and knowledge to support my career as a dance artist.

I have always admired the work that New Adventures do and am excited to be a part of this year’s Overture cohort.”

Lewis will join former classmate and TL Alum Patrick Webster in the Overture 20/21 cohort.

To find out more about Transitions Dance Company, visit the company pages.

Image credit: Chris Nash

TL’s Summer Season Goes Digital

An exclusively virtual season provides opportunities for performers, creators and audiences to encounter dance and music in innovative ways.

As a conservatoire, it is important for us to continue to create platforms for performance and enable creativity to thrive.

Building on the success of #SelfIsolationCreation, the Conservatoire’s upcoming music and dance performances will be exclusively virtual this summer, with events premiering on our YouTube channel and across social media platforms.


In a virtual edition of Dance Legends: Historical Project, second-year undergraduates recreate and reimagine significant major works by prolific contemporary choreographers including Lea Anderson, and Yvonne Rainer (led by Sara Wookey). The full-length performance premieres on 9 July at 17.00.

In July Transitions Dance Company present a film-version of their brand-new triple bill. Recorded during a preview performance on the Laban Theatre stage before lockdown, the three pieces range from graceful precision to the wry and mischievous. The works were specially choreographed by dance artist and movement director Cameron McMillan, award-winning Scandinavian choreographer/performer duo H2DANCE, and Italian choreographer and dance educator Elisa Pagani for the company’s annual international tour. Premiering on TL’s YouTube channel, the performance of short, innovative dance works will available for a limited time.

In June, our third-year dance students began a digital version of Commissioned Works, a key module that sees them working with dance artists Gary Lambert, Freddie Opoku-Addaie and Stephanie Schober to create new pieces. The results of this project will be shared later in July.

Responding to the experience of lockdown in his hometown of La Paz, multidisciplinary Bolivian artist and TL alum Mateo Dupleich Rozo has created experimental short-film hola casita (hello little house) which welcomes the viewer into moments of intimacy between his home and its inhabitants.

“The film is a poetic registry of the interactions that happen in this territory defined by the walls of a house, framing diverse kinds of life and movement that compose the kind of living that a house is. I am extremely motivated to share this film to support dancers and non-dancers to rediscover their curiosities.” – Mateo

The film premieres on 13 Aug at 17.00.


Offering tasters of what’s to come when New Lights Festival returns to its full live format in 2021, Preludes to New Lights brings seven days of exciting preludes, previews and postludes from Mon 6 – Sun 12 July. Highlights include the world premiere of Fifth Political Agenda, a new piece by Michael Finnissy written especially for postgraduate piano student Annie Li, and a first preview of Sonatina Nostalgica by Stephen Hough,written for and performed by pianist Philip Fowke.

Separated by geography, but united as a community in music, TL piano students all over the world have come together using whatever instruments and recording equipment they had to hand to perform J.S Bach’s entire 48 Preludes and Fugues. Enjoy six releases each Monday from 13 July as part of The Well-Tempered Lockdown.

In collaboration with University of Graz, our Piano and Keyboard Department presents The Art of Fugue on 23 July. The 90-minute performance sees staff, students and alumni unite to create a unique digital version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous instrumental work.

Other upcoming events include:

  • Duet for One, a unique challenge in which 15 String Department students perform duets with themselves ranging from Faure to Bartok
  • highlights from Joaquín Achúcarro’s recent masterclass
  • From My Room Orchestra’s performance of Company by Philip Glass
  • end of term highlight concerts from our Vocal and Wind Brass and Percussion departments.


It’s not just students, staff and alumni who are performing this summer. From light-touch, bite-sized dance activities to deep-dives into the listening experience, Take Part at Home offers a wealth of bespoke music and dance resources and activities for Trinity Laban’s wider community to explore.


Find out more about the digital season by visiting the #SelfIsolationCreation page.

Image credit: Belinda Lawley


student performing at new lights piano festival

Preludes to New Lights Festival 2021

TL presents a digital festival of contemporary piano and keyboard music performed and recorded in lockdown.

Watch the festival on our YouTube channel

Building on the success of the New Lights Festival 2019, students, staff and alumni are taking the Festival online this summer with a diverse range of composed and improvised contemporary music performed and recorded in homes across the world.

Curated by Douglas Finch, the Festival has earned a reputation for showcasing music of the avant-garde in all its multifarious incarnations.

Offering tasters of what’s to come when the Festival returns to its full live format in 2021, expect seven days of exciting preludes, previews and postludes.

Highlights include:

  • the world premiere of Fifth Political Agenda, a new piece by Michael Finnissy written especially for Trinity Laban postgraduate piano student Annie Li.
  • a excerpt of Sonatina Nostalgica by Stephen Hough, written for and performed by Philip Fowke.
  • a film by TL Fulbright Scholar Garrett Snedeker delving into the historical origins of the 1930 Kentucky coal mine strikes and contemporary parallels in the coronavirus pandemic in the US, with his performance of Frederic Rzewski’s Which Side Are You On?
  • Birds of a Feather, a new sonic work by Heloïse Tunstall-Behrens recorded as a collaborative group performance on Zoom.
  • a multi-media performance of Norbert Zehm’s Prelude in Turquoise by Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser, improvising alongside Norbert’s live action painting and dancer Marie Stockhausen.
  • a performance of Soosan Lolavar’s Black Dog by Trinity Laban alum Mahsa Salali

The festival also features opera transcriptions by Canadian composer Rodney Sharman for solo piano performed by Trinity Laban Gold Medal 2020 nominee Christos Fountos; a performance of excerpts from Yuka Takechi’s Winter Light performed by Yukiko Shinohara; works by Ed Cooper and Mikey Parsons; and improvisations inspired by a wide range of sources, from the landscape and nature of Sydney at Dawn, to reflections on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Head of Keyboard and Piano Sergio De Simone comments –

“We’re very excited to present this digital festival, which offers an exciting glimpse into the possibilities of 2021. It is testament to the talent and resourcefulness of our keyboard department that we can continue to provide opportunities for performers, creators and audiences to encounter new music in innovative ways.”

Films will be premiered on Trinity Laban’s YouTube channel from Mon 6 to Sun 12 July 2020 and released each day at 17.00.

For full event listings see below.

Image Mahsa Salali performing at New Lights 2019 (credit: JK Photography)

Artistic director: Douglas Finch

Curators: Roxanna Albayati, Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser and Andy Trewen

Video editing: Howard Felton

Full Programme

Day 1: Monday 6 July 2020

Facebook Event

(1) Frederic Rzewski Which Side Are You On?
Film by Garrett Snedeker
Garrett Snedeker, piano
Garrett Snedeker delves into the historical origins of the 1930 Kentucky coal mine strikes, inspiring Florence Reece’s protest song Which side are you on? Rzewski arranged this song as part of his North American Ballads. Rzewski calls upon the pianist to improvise during an extensive section of the piece, over which Garrett superimposes excerpts from his own interviews with workers amidst the Coronavirus pandemic in his hometown in Washington State.

Frederic Rzewski at 80: Directions Inevitable or Otherwise by Michael Schell

(2) Preludes Part 1
Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

James Hurst
Two Preludes

Amy Wood

Elle Lumb, piano
Daniella Abou Nassar, painting

Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser

(3) Soosan Lolavar Black Dog
Mahsa Salali, piano
Lolavar discusses her early piece with Salali, exploring how performers can approach ‘open’ works that call upon them to improvise.

“Black Dog is based on the experience of depression and its effects on creativity. There is a long history of using the term black dog to refer to depression and my starting point for this work was a painting by Francisco de Goya entitled ‘The Dog’. This work was painted on the walls of his house sometime between 1819 and 1823 while he was suffering from severe depression. The works created during this period are often collectively referred to as his black paintings.” – Soosan Lolavar


Day 2: Tuesday 7 July 2020

Facebook Event

(4) Mikey Parsons Curiosity Killed your Bubble
Marisa Muñoz López, piano
Elena Riu, director
Close but feather flock together,
A bee and a hard place,
They hatch down,
Donʼt count your chickens before to earth as pie the wrong tree,
Curiosity killed your bubble,
Fool me once shame flea,
No cigar and a hat back to the mouth,
Barking up the China shop never forgets a chip,
Greased birds,
Of feather,
Of cake,
Fool me once shame market meʼnuts an Elephant,
On you flea,
Never forgets.
-Mikey Parsons

(5) Preludes Part 2

Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

Ella Ingram
Prelude (Improvisation)
…the boy who lived
[text from Harry Potter – The Philosopher’s Stone
by J.K.Rowling]

Dominic Bentham
…good mourning

Felicity Lewis
…wood pigeon

Marisa Muñoz López
Watching the Rain
Marisa Muñoz López, piano

“I was inspired to write this piece after attending David Lefebvre Sell’s meditation sessions. In this piece I wanted to explore the different sensations one may undergo whilst watching the rain, indoors or outdoors.” – Marisa Muñoz López

(6) Stephen Hough Sonatina Nostalgica, Sonata No 3 (Trinitas)
Philip Fowke, piano
Lewis Kingsley Peart, piano
Excerpts of Sonatina Nostalgica, written for and performed by Philip Fowke, and Sonata No 3 (Trinitas) played by Lewis Kingsley Peart. With introductions by Stephen Hough.

“I’ve used serialism to destroy serialism. Serialism and The Trinity are both dogmas – both fruitful in some ways and both causing a lot of problems in other ways…” – Stephen Hough

Philip Fowke performs Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto


Day 3: Weds 8 July 2020

Facebook Event

(7) Heloïse Tunstall-Behrens Birds of a Feather

Heloïse discusses her compositional approach with Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser – how motion from the body can instigate a sonic work. Maya joins a group performance recorded on Zoom during the Covid19 lockdown.

“Birds of a Feather is a procedural work, which explores how motion from the body can instigate a sonic work. The piece evolves through four stages, with the previous stage influencing the next. Movement gives rise to sound, which gives rise to copied sounds. The choreography of the group dictates the structure of the composition, and this follows rules inspired by the flocking of birds. The performers either follow or lead each other in movements, just as a murmuration navigates its way through the skies.
“I’m interested in the way in which simple rules can generate synchronicity and cohesion when movements somehow convene, but that can just as quickly dissolve into anti-synchrony in a flash. Within such a self-organised system, where communication is only non-verbal, why and when these come about is fascinating to me.” – Heloïse Tunstall-Behrens


  • Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser, piano/keyboard
  • Billy Leach, electric guitar
  • Ines Murer, guitar
  • Roxanna Albayati, cello
  • Joshua Kaye, soprano saxophone
  • Sunniva Rorvik, paper
  • Lindsey Eastham, vibraphone
  • Xanthe Stonehouse-Pope, voice
  • Heloïse Tunstall-Behrens, viola
  • Bea Addis, movement
  • Merve Iseri, movement
  • Tanya Auclair, movement

(8) Preludes Part 3

Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

Lewis Kingsley Peart
…der Auftakt (the start)

Konstantinos Korkodeilos

Carolina Saddi Cury
Sonata (2nd movement)
Carolina Saddi Cury, piano

Andy Trewren
…down the river
(improvisation using a mic and digital loop station)


Day 4: Thur 10 July 2020

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(9) Andy Trewren The Screwed Up Piano
A short film about composer Andy Trewren’s planned gallery installation based on the life and immanent death of his extended piano.

(10) Preludes Part 4

Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

Ryszard Tan
Sarabande and Enlightenment
Elle Lumb, piano

Inès Murer
Thinking, Feeling, Playing: Words in Progress
Garrett Snedeker, piano

Annie Li

Sam Pradalie
Light Dances
Marisa Muñoz López, piano
Zoë Dominique Subbiah, dancer

“In Light Dances I wanted to create a sense of fluidity. Throughout the composition I wanted to explore moving through a series of seemingly unrelated material but for the piece to still have a coherent musical language.” – Sam Pradalie

(11) Michael Finnissy Fifth Political Agenda
Annie Li, piano
The first airing of a new piece by Michael Finnissy written specially for Annie Li.
“The piece is a kind of ‘symbolic’ biographical account of (some of) Annie’s life-experiences.”

Annie Li’s complete performance of The History of Photography in Sound, New Lights Festival, Trinity Laban, 17/06/2019


Day 5: Fri 10 July 2020

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(12) Yuka Takechi Winter Light / Ephemera for Piano inspired by Haiku Winter by Murō Saisei
Yukiko Shinohara, piano
Japanese composer Yuka Takechi talks about her work with pianist Yukiko Shinohara, who performs excerpts from Takechi’s Winter Light.

“The idea of her composition is based on cognition of time and space, and transforming elements from within genres of Japanese traditional music such as Shomyo, Gagaku and Noh.”

(13) Preludes Part 5

Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

Roxanna Albayati

Isabella Gori
to Debussy’s “Children’s Corner”

Catherine Underhill

Garrett Snedeker

(14) Rodney Sharman Opera Transcriptions
Christos Fountos, piano

Rodney Sharman discusses the inspiration and techniques behind his opera transcriptions for solo piano, and Christos Fountos performs a selection, including Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.
“Everything we know about harmony until Wagner’s time is inadequate to express Wagner’s vision of sensuality, longing and transfiguration. Isolde’s final words “höchste Lust!” is often translated as “utmost joy!”, but is literally “highest (sexual) desire”. – Rodney Sharman


Day 6: Sat 11 July 2020

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(15) Ed Cooper shadows paralysed into my back
Roxanna Albayati, cello
Ed Cooper discusses his interdisciplinary practice, which centres on liminality — the function and dimensions of the ‘in-between’. Roxanna performs an interpretation of his delicate and evocative graphic score shadows paralysed into my back.
always fracturing; frail but focused; everything is deterioration” –(direction at the beginning of the score)

(16) Preludes Part 6

Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

Markas Michmel

Frank Oliver

Mahsa Salali

Norman Jacobs
Rolf Hind, piano

“Juneteenth marks the end of the American Civil War following the proclamation on June 19, 1865 that all slaves in Texas were free. 155 years later George Floyd was the latest victim of racial discrimination in the US, asphyxiated on the street by local policeman. George Floyd’s murder quickly became a focal point globally leading to protests around the world. This piece uses the musical monogram ‘GEGEFD’ repeated in a number of different contexts including my own arrangement of the 1870s song ‘No More Option Block’.

The Beethoven quotations came unconsciously during my initial improvisation, which I was inclined to leave out in the final version until remembering that the Eroica Symphony was first introduced in Boston in 1810 by the German-born Gottlieb Graupner who a decade earlier had donned blackface and called himself ‘The Gay Negro Boy’ in what was the beginning of minstrels and minstrelsy.

It is hoped that the piece manages to reflect some of the shock, sadness, anger, confusion but also hope that is felt at this time.”


MOOT (Music of our time)


Day 7: Sun 12 July 2020

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(17) Preludes Part 7

Creative reflections in isolation.
Alluding to the improvisational tradition of ‘preluding’ in the 18th and 19th Centuries and beyond. Thoughts that come before…

Melinda Peschut

Carolina Saddi Cury, piano
Konstantinos Damianakis, electric guitar
to a brave new world

High Fantasy (excerpt) by Ryszard Tan
iii. Interlude and Improvisations
iv. Exposition
v. Final

Ryszard Tan, piano primo
Francesca Lauri Menta , piano secondo
Chiara Pagani, choreography/dance lead
Vida Sjoequist, dance
Michaela Butel, dance
Eleanor Cross, dance

Performed at Blackheath Halls as part of Trinity Laban CoLab Festival 2020

(18) Norbert Zehm Prelude in Turquoise
Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser, piano
Marie Stockhausen, dancer
Gabriel Zehm, Film editor
Austrian composer, performer and visual artist Norbert Zehm discusses his work with Maya-Leigh Rosenwasser, who performs Prelude in Turquoise and improvises with Norbert’s live action painting.


Trinity Laban Awarded Wolfson Foundation Grant

We are delighted to announce that the Wolfson Foundation have committed to awarding Trinity Laban up to £200,000 to refurbish the Faculty of Music’s dedicated percussion suite.

This substantial new grant builds on our longstanding relationship with the foundation, who awarded the Conservatoire a generous donation of £100,000 to establish the Wolfson Percussion Rooms at King Charles Court when we moved to Greenwich in 2001.

In 2013, the foundation also supported the refurbishment of the theatre at Laurie Grove, and in 2019 they renewed the annual Wolfson Music Awards programme which supports bursaries for Junior Trinity and the Instrument Fund for senior students across Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music.

Head of Music Havilland Wilshire comments –

“We are incredibly excited to receive this generous award from the Wolfson Foundation. In the current climate it is hard to predict exactly when the work on the percussion suite can take place, but we are hopeful that the award will enable newly refurbished rooms to be ready to welcome our entering cohort of percussionists in September 2021.”

Trinity Laban’s Head of Corporate Affairs Eva Woloshyn comments –

“We are very proud of and grateful for our ongoing relationship with the Wolfson Foundation which will continue to transform the fortunes of the next generation of highly gifted music students who have the artistic flair and innate ability to benefit from our specialist conservatoire training.” 

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said –

“This project is a critical investment in the future of music education in the UK, ensuring that talented individuals can flourish with access to state-of-the-art facilities. As well as building on our long and fruitful partnership with Trinity Laban, this funding also acts as a mark of solidarity and support at a challenging time for all educational organisations in the UK.”

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence​ in the fields of science and health, heritage, humanities and the arts. Their fundamental aim is to improve the civic health of society through education and research.

Since it was established in 1955, the charity has awarded over £900 million (£1.9 billion in real terms) to more than 11,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review. To find out more, visit

Trinity Laban is London’s Creative Conservatoire: an internationally celebrated centre of excellence, offering world-class training in dance, music and musical theatre, and is committed to supporting and developing a diverse intake of talented performers and creators. Learn more by visiting our study pages.


TL Launches £10,000 fund to support local artists

Go DigiTL provides one-off microgrants of up to £750 to help local musicians and dance artists create work in the digital world.

Successful applicants will be able to use the grant to invest in new equipment, professional support services or promotional materials, and will receive practical support to showcase their work online.

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has cut many of the typical income streams for the performing arts industry and has focussed artists onto building new and imaginative platforms to present their work.  Trinity Laban wants to support artists who are adapting to this challenge and relieve some of the financial burden.

Open to music and dance artists living in Lewisham and Greenwich, Go DigiTL strengthens artistic relationships between Trinity Laban and the local community and promotes a conversation around post-pandemic artistic practice.

Joe Townsend, Head of CoLab and BA Music Performance & Industry Programme Leader, comments –

“The Go DigiTL Microgrants offer crucial financial support and mentoring that will allow independent local music and dance artists to realise their ideas and contribute to the fast-changing digital landscape.”

Applications are now open and will close on Monday 13 July 2020 with awards announced week commencing 20 July 2020.

To find out more and apply, please visit the Go DigiTL webpage.