Skip to main content

Author Archive

Moses Boyd wins MOBO for Best Jazz Act 2015

Rising jazz star drummer and Trinity Laban alumnus Moses Boyd has won a MOBO award for his innovative duo Binker and Moses, with tenor saxophonist Binker Golding.

This year has already seen the release of the debut Binker and Moses album ‘Dem Ones’, in addition to two albums by Boyd’s band Moses Boyd Exodus. He has also been gigging with numerous jazz stars, including Soweto Kinch, and touring Vietnam with acclaimed jazz vocalist Zara McFarlane. This MOBO Award marks another milestone in Boyd’s early musical career, after he claimed the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Young Jazz Musician award in 2014.

Moses Boyd is just the latest in a series of Trinity Laban jazz alumni receiving awards in recognition of their outstanding talent, paving the way for successful careers in music. Recent examples include Laura Jurd, Elliot Galvin and Peter Edwards, among others.

Gen Li wins distinguished intercollegiate piano competition

Prodigiously talented young pianist Gen Li has won the 19th Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition, vying with the best candidates from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, The Royal Academy of Music and The Royal College of Music.

Gen Li became the second Trinity Laban student to win the contest within three years, a remarkable accomplishment in light of such strong competition. Li is currently undertaking the Independent Study Programme (Advanced) at Trinity Laban, after completing his MMus and Postgraduate Artist Diploma under the guidance of Deniz Gelenbe. He has won numerous competitions, awards and scholarships at Trinity Laban, including the Soloists’ Competition, which saw him perform with the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra at Cadogan Hall conducted by Martin Andre.

Claire Mera-Nelson, Director of Music at Trinity Laban, commented: “I’m delighted that one of our outstanding students, Gen Li, is the winner of the 2015 Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition. Throughout his studies at Trinity Laban Gen has consistently displayed exceptional focus and dedication. I know that he has greatly benefitted from the support of his teacher Deniz Gelenbe, and – building on his already impressive list of accolades – anticipate that this most recent success will only set the tone for the continued development of his future career.”

Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition winners get to play two high-profile concerts, at the Wigmore Hall and at the Fazioli Auditorium in Italy. In addition, an official CD release is produced from recordings of the concert at the Wigmore Hall.

Listen to the just-crowned Gen Li performing on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune (1:36:00):

You can read Gen Li’s student story on the Trinity Laban website.

Trinity Laban staff and alumni head to Switzerland

On Saturday 10 October, Trinity Laban dance artist Alison Curtis-Jones travels to Switzerland to perform two new works with her company Summit Dance Theatre. 

The works are recreations of Rudolf Laban’s Dancing Drumstick and Ishtar’s Journey into Hades, which were originally choreographed in Monte Verita in 1913, at Laban’s School of Movement. They will be performed at the Teatro Del Gatto in Ascona and filmed by German television company ARTE.

Summit Dance Theatre were winners of the prestigious Swiss Dance Award “Dance as Cultural Heritage” for 2014-15. All of the dancers are either alumni or current members of the Faculty of Dance: Robert Keates, Charlotte Pook, Claire Victoria Lambert, James Kay, Andy Race, Fred Gehrig, Verena Schneider, Ellen Jeffrey and Ingvild Olsen. Collaborators include Producer and fellow alumnus Nunzia Tirelli, composers and musicians Oli Newman and James Keane, and costume designer Mary Fisher.

This has been a busy year for Ali Curtis-Jones in Europe. Most recently, in July she was invited to the Dalcroze International Conference in Vienna, where she taught a master class and presented a paper on the impact of the Dalcroze method on Rudolf Laban’s dance theatre practice.

You can follow the activity of Summit Dance Theatre on Facebook.

Alumnus Laura Jurd announced as BBC New Generation Artist

Rising star jazz trumpeter and composer Laura Jurd, who graduated from Trinity Laban in 2013, is one of just seven international young artists selected for BBC Radio’s enormously prestigious BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme.

The scheme was established in 1999 to help ‘support young musicians on the threshold of an international career’, and nurtures the finest young talents from across the globe. Selected artists are afforded numerous performance, recording and broadcast opportunities, and benefit from BBC Radio 3’s international music industry affiliations. Previous artists have included the likes of Alison Balsom, Natalie Clein and Colin Currie.

Laura Jurd is the first jazz artist to be selected for the scheme in three years. Already in her short career she has received numerous accolades, including the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition and the Worshipful Company of Musicians Jazz musician of the Year Award. Laura has been commissioned by the London Jazz Festival and the BBC, and is also a member of the genre-bending improv quartet Blue-Eyed Hawk, who released their debut album Under the Moon in 2014. She has received great acclaim for her two solo albums, Landing Ground and Human Spirit.

Connect It in the Park!

Trinity Laban music and dance students took to the Hyde Park stage on Saturday evening, as part of the Proms in the Park celebrations.

Students Joy EffiongRoss NewtonEllie Tapper and Lori Williams joined Anna Meredith and alumnus David Ogle to lead an enthusiastic crowd of 40,000 in a massed performance of Connect It for body percussion.

Created by composer Anna Meredith and choreographer David Ogle, Connect It is one of the BBC’s Ten Pieces, an initiative created to open up the world of classical music for primary schoolchildren.

Trinity Laban students and alumni performed Connect It at the two BBC Ten Pieces Proms earlier in the summer, and this was such a success (“the highlight of an ebullient night” – The Times) that the piece was brought back for Proms in the Park, which coincides with the Last Night of the Proms.

You can view the performance (and join in at home!) via the BBC iPlayer.

Trinity Laban student impresses piano legend

Trinity Laban student Giulio Potenza has just returned from Lugano, Switzerland, where he had been invited to perform by legendary Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich.

Argerich, who is known for her generous support of young musicians, first heard Giulio perform in 2014. She was so impressed that she offered him a solo recital in the 2015 edition of her Martha Argerich Project, which includes concerts and masterclasses and serves as a showcase for outstanding musical talent from around the globe.

At his recital on 15 June, Giulio performed Janacek’s Sonata 1.x.1905 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. For the grand finale, he joined forces with Trinity Laban piano professor Gabriele Baldocci, who is an Ambassador for the Martha Argerich Project, and himself performed four times during the event. Their performance of Schumann’s Ballszenen was a big hit with the enthusiastic audience.

In addition to his solo recital, Giulio was also selected to take part in a performance of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, performing with world-famous pianist Daniel Rivera. Also taking part in that recital was a third Trinity Laban pianist in the shape of José Menor, Trinity Laban Junior Fellow in Piano Accompaniment.

Trinity Laban Director of Music Claire Mera-Nelson commented: “This is just the latest in a long line of successes for our pianists, who are making a real impact on the world stage. Trinity Laban is firmly established as a world-leading centre for piano study, and I’m looking forward to hearing about further success from Giulio, Gabriele, Jose and our other extraordinarily talented students, staff and Junior Fellows.”

All the performances received a wonderful reaction from both audience and critics, and were broadcast live on radio and online. For more details, please visit the Lugano Festival website.

Giulio Potenza was supported in 2014-15 by a Jacqueline Williams Scholarship. This scholarship was generously set up by Jacqueline Williams, a music alumnus, through a bequest in her will for the provision of an endowed scholarship.

Dancing in Denmark

This week, students from Trinity Laban’s Centre for Advanced Training in Dance (CAT) are in Copenhagen, presenting a new work as part of the young people’s performance platform at the 13th World Congress, Dance and the Child International (daCi). 

The 20 students are performing a piece commissioned from Lee Smikle which takes a personal look at what makes us us. Layering material created using their own unique fingerprints as stimuli, the dancers explore and share their identities through movement.

The talented young performers are also taking part in classes and creative sessions with over 365 other participants from 32 countries. Elsewhere in the conference, Trinity Laban staff members Veronica Jobbins (Head of Learning and Participation, Dance) and Emma Redding (Head of Dance Science) are presenting papers as part of the Professional Forum.

Trinity Laban’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) offers young people with exceptional talent and potential in dance the opportunity to access high quality training. The challenging and supportive programme of classes provides intensive and rigorous dance training taught by a highly experienced team of professional teachers and artists. It aims to actively seek out and identify talented and motivated young people who have the potential for a career in dance and to guide them as they make decisions regarding their furture training and higher education.

Phil Meadows wins Jazz Rising Star Award at London Music Awards

Many congratulations to jazz sax alumnus Phil Meadows, who has won the Jazz Rising Star Award in the London Music Awards, announced last night (Thursday 11 June 2015) at Camden’s Roundhouse.

Phil was nominated along with three other alumni – Leo Richardson (also in the jazz category), Laura Jurd in the composition/ songwriter category and pianist Mikhail Shilyaev as classical rising star.

The London Music Awards, which were set up by the Mayor’s Music Fund, celebrate the achievements of London’s aspiring musicians. The nominees were selected as the most promising musicians the capital has to offer and were judged by the London Music Award’s judging panel, which included composer and Trinity Laban staff member Errollyn Wallen MBE.

Phil also won the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award in 2013, and is involved in a myriad of exciting projects. As a saxophonist he performs with the Phil Meadows Group, whose acclaimed debut album Engines of Creation toured throughout the UK with support from Jazz Services. Phil is also the musical and artistic director of the 20 piece Engines Orchestra, a community of musicians who come together to challenge conventions and push the boundaries of creative music making. Their first album, Lifestyles (2014), attracted rave reviews, including four stars from John Fordham in the Guardian, who called the album “inventive and expressive”.

Trinity Laban’s world-leading Jazz Department is a vibrant community of teachers of international repute and talented students, intent upon developing their music with skill and individuality. Our jazz students are much in demand, and regularly invited to perform at leading venues and festivals in London and beyond.

Photo: Phil Meadows