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Carolyn Bolton is pictured in black and white. She is wearing a black turtleneck, the neck of which she is pulling up to her chin.

Carolyn Bolton appointed Creative Director of ENBYouthCo

Second year MFA in Dance Leadership and Community Practice student, Carolyn Bolton, has been appointed Creative Director of ENBYouthCo.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Carolyn Bolton began her pre-professional training at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities before completing her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography at the University of South Carolina. She received a full scholarship to the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance in New York and trained with Béjart Ballet Lausanne before joining Ballet Rambert in 2013. She has since had the pleasure of working with Julie Cunningham and Company and L’Opera National du Rhin and has been featured in film and television work with Marvel Studios, Apple TV, and HBO Max.

Carolyn has presented two site-specific solo works for the Operaestate Festival in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy and has been an Artist-in-Residence for both the Operaestate Festival and for The Place’s Choreodrome in London. Her choreography has been performed nationally and internationally, most notably at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, National Theatre’s River Stage, Rich Mix, Rambert’s In The Making, The Place’s Resolution, The Lowry, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and Youth America Grand Prix.

Carolyn has worked with the Centre for Advanced Training at Trinity Laban since 2019. In 2022, she was nominated for a Black British Theatre Award in the Achievement Category for Best Teacher. Carolyn has been invited as an academic tutor, guest instructor and lecturer in both ballet and contemporary styles for numerous schools including London Contemporary Dance School, Trinity Laban, Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, Mountview, Shockout Arts, The Dang and Bird College.

In 2023, Carolyn was one of nine artists/companies selected by The Place for their commissioned community projects. The proposed intergenerational work Seeking the Unseen explored the body as an archive and received excellent reception from those involved in the process. She is proud to be working with the Royal Opera House on both the Chance to Dance and Create and Dance programmes.

More about ENBYouthCo

Launched in 2012, English National ballet’s youth dance company ENBYouthCo promotes personal creativity, commitment and innovation and offers young talented artists aged 14 – 19 an opportunity to fulfil their potential and progress their dance journey.

ENBYouthCo focuses on both ballet and contemporary dance technique, reflecting the varied and diverse styles seen in English National Ballet’s repertoire. The programme offers high profile performance and creative development opportunities, including a main stage performance in London during the Company’s season, and access to a wide range of professional artists, international choreographers and creatives.

Atharv Gupta and TL Tutor Darren Bloom stand in front of a yellow wall.

Junior Trinity’s Atharv Gupta wins BBC Young Composer 2023

Junior Trinity student Atharv Gupta, aged 14, is a winner in this year’s BBC Young Composer Lower Junior category.

A biennial competition for 12 to 18 year olds across the UK who create their own original music. Winners participate in a tailored development programme, working with a mentor composer on a project with members of the BBC Concert Orchestra, culminating in a performance or broadcast opportunity. Previous mentors include Gavin Higgins, Rhian Samuel, Martin Suckling, Dobrinka Tabakova and Errollyn Wallen.

Atharv Gupta has trained with TL Composition and Musicianship Tutor Darren Bloom for the past four years, and joined Junior Trinity last year after encouragement from Darren. Having spent a year bouncing ideas off other composers, regularly performing contemporary music, and most crucially, working on his own music for the first time, his development has accelerated exponentially.

Since joining JT, he has written the opening of a symphony for a workshop with Andy Morley and the JT Symphony Orchestra (the complete work has now been commissioned by the Essex Youth Orchestra), a wind quintet called the Wild Chase for the New London Chamber Ensemble, and Demain, Dès L’Aube for the JT Composers’ Ensemble (mezzo soprano and chamber orchestra) which will be premiered at this term’s Winter Concert.

Eliana Echeverry joins LPO Young Composers programme 2023/24

Eliana Echeverry has been named as one of five London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Composers for 2023/24, a programme which supports the progression of talented young orchestral composers.

Eliana Echeverry is one of the most versatile composers and arrangers in Colombia. She studied Composition and Psychology at the National Conservatory of Colombia, and went on to complete an MMus in Composition at Trinity Laban, thanks to a scholarship awarded by the Central Bank of Colombia to the most promising young musician and the kind support of The Henry Wood Accommodation Trust Fund.

Eliana has a background in classical music, jazz, pop and Colombian traditional music. One of the main focuses of her work is the inclusion of Latin-American traditional music in her classical and jazz compositions. She collaborates with artists of different styles. Her music has been played in the USA, Netherlands, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and in the UK at the Lake District Summer Music Festival, Chichester Festival and First Light Music Festival.

Mentored by the LPO’s Composer-in-Residence, award-winning Cuban-American composer, Tania León, the Young Composers spend a season with the LPO, each creating a new work for chamber orchestra that is performed by Foyle Future First musicians and LPO players at the Debut Sounds public showcase concert at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

As well as several composer seminars, there is a three-hour workshop in the spring – a chance for composers to experiment with new ideas, talk to players and receive feedback in a constructive and inquisitive environment. This is followed by further workshop-rehearsals leading to the final concert performance in June. During the year, composers also have the chance to attend concerts, observe rehearsals, meet guest composers and get involved with the LPO’s wider education work.

Click here to findout more about the other LPO Young Composers 2023/24.

Head of Libraries, Claire Kidwell, being presented the Excellence Award for the Jerwood Library by Dr Charles Inskip

Jerwood Library wins IAML Excellence Award for the fourth time!

We are delighted to announce that Trinity Laban’s Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts has, for the fourth time, been awarded an Excellence Award by the UK & Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres. Trinity Laban’s Head of Libraries, Claire Kidwell, was presented with the award at the 2023 IAML Annual Congress at Cambridge University.

The award panel comprised a variety of academics, librarians and professional musicians and was chaired by Dr Charles Inskip, Associate Professor at the UCL School of Information Studies. The Jerwood Library’s application was especially commended for identifying key aspects of collection development and paying good attention to equality, diversity and inclusion through the collection and links to the curriculum. Other areas highlighted were well-qualified staff who engage with the wider professional field, excellent accessibility provided by a wide range of formats and detailed catalogues and a commitment to information literacy, outreach and engagement with the mechanisms of the wider institution.

The panel concluded: “The Jerwood Library boasts a tremendously impressive range of text and music resources, and a wholly involved and committed library team. This is a library that is conscious of, and takes seriously, its responsibilities both to follow good practice and to lead it. Its commitment to User Education and Information Literacy is admirable, and may be useful to others who are looking to advance their offerings in this area.”

Valentina Ciardelli holds her double bass, she is wearing a green dress and stands in front of a black background.

Valentina Ciardelli appointed as Strings Professor

We are pleased to welcome Trinity Laban alum, composer, double bassist, performer and visual artist Valentina Ciardelli as a Professor in our Strings department.

Originally a pianist, she started to play double bass in in 2010, graduating with Honours from the Istituto Musicale L. Boccherini in Lucca in October 2014. She then gained her Master of Performance (Honours) at the Royal College of Music in July 2016 and continued further studies under the guidance of Leon Bosch at Trinity Laban, where she was the recipient of scholarships from Trinity College London and the Leverhulme Trust. In 2018/19, Valentina was awarded Trinity Laban’s Carne Trust Junior Fellowship for an Individual.

Valentina has won several awards and prizes including first prize in the RCM Double Bass Competition 2016, the Vernon Elliot Double bass Competition 2018, the Vivian Joseph Classical Concerto Competition 2018, String Category and the De Simone and Partners prize in the Chamber Music Festival in Rome. Valentina also won a place with a scholarship in the Accademia Chigiana for summer 2018 with Maestro Giuseppe Ettorre.

She was finalist in important national and international competitions such as the Migliori Diplomati D’Italia (best young Italian music graduate) 2015 and double bass international competition Galicia Garcia Graves. She was selected with other sixteen young double bass players around the world to perform in the live final rounds at the worldwide double bass solo competition granted by Bradetich Foundation in Denton, Texas, at the end of August 2017.

Valentina also won several orchestral auditions such as Gustav Mahler Academy 2016 and BBC SO training scheme. She recently won the Artist in Residence at the BANFF, Alberta (Canada) that hosted her from 15 – 28 September 2019. She gave solo performances with I solisti veneti with M. Claudio Scimone. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in world renowned concert halls such as Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Argentina in Rome, St Martin in the Fields in London.

Find out more about Valentina Ciardelli here.

Photography: Discover Double Bass
Ezra Collective hold their award at the 2023 Mercury Prize

Ezra Collective win Mercury Prize

A huge congratulations to Ezra Collective who took home the Mercury Prize last night for their album Where I’m Meant to Be, the first Jazz act to do so in the prize’s 30 year history.

Ezra Collective (including TL alumni Femi Koleoso and Joe Armon-Jones) have been one of the UK groups pathing the way for the resurgence of Jazz in the UK over the last decade. As Femi Koleoso said when accepting the award, the win is “testimony to good, special people putting time and effort” into helping young people to play music. Without the tireless work of organisations such as TL partners Tomorrow’s Warriors, Kinetika Bloco, and other youth groups across the nation, this revival would not have been possible.

As longtime supporter of developing musicians, BBC Radio host and member of the Mercury Prize judging panel Jamz Supernova said Where I’m Meant to Be was an “uplifting and timely record that represents the very best of where we are now in 2023”.

Other recent TL alumni nominated for the Mercury Prize have included: Nubya Garcia, Emma-Jean Thackray, SEED Ensemble, Moses Boyd and Dinosaur.

Click here to listen to Where I’m Meant to Be.

You can re-watch last night’s awards ceremony, including live performances from: Ezra Collective, Olivia Dean, Raye, Jessie Ware, Loyle Carner and more on BBC iPlayer.

Photograph: JMEnternational/Getty
Trinity Laban Students' Union Freshers logo on an orange background.

Trinity Laban Students’ Union Freshers 2023!

Trinity Laban Students’ Union presents FR*SHERS, their take on the classic university welcome week.

The TLSU team is cheeky, wild and packed with fun, so they’ve created a welcome week that matches that, with exciting activities that are definitely something to write home about.  Just like the name, this year’s freshers week is big, bold, and a little bit naughty. Expect live music, dancing, games, delicious food, DJs, Drag and lots of glitter!

Find out more about Trinity Laban Students’ Union Freshers 2023 and book your tickets here.

Find the TLSU team at these locations on the following days and times to collect your wristbands and goodie bags!

  • Saturday 9 September – 10:00 – 17:00 at McMillan Student Village
  • Sunday 10 September – 10:00 – 15:30 at McMillan Student Village
  • Monday 11 September – 10 – 17:00 at KCC SU Office
  • Tuesday 12 September – 10 – 16:00 at Freshers Fair
  • Please note this is collection for both Full Wristband and Boat Party Wristbands. Additional Boat Party wristband collection dates will be announced soon.
Philip Carne MBE and his wife Christine cut the ribbon to the new Philip Carne Room.

Announcing Trinity Laban’s Philip Carne Room

Trinity Laban’s newest performance space is also one of its oldest – The Philip Carne Room, officially opened with a ceremony earlier this summer, has its beginnings in 1664.

The room is one of the most prominent in beautiful King Charles Court, Trinity Laban’s music campus. It has been named in honour of Philip Carne MBE and his wife Christine, prominent philanthropists, and tireless supporters of the performing arts, in recognition of their unwavering support for Trinity Laban over many years.

To officially name the room, permission had to be granted by Historic England, as it is part of one of the nation’s few and precious scheduled monuments.

Philip and Chris’ contributions to Trinity Laban over the years include support for the biennial Carne Chamber Music Competition, over 20 Carne Artists in Residence, over 44 Carne Junior Fellows, and a major donation to a capital campaign which also unlocked a vast amount of trust and foundation support.

Chair of Trinity Laban’s governors, Alan Davey, said: “Arts institutions like Trinity Laban simply wouldn’t survive without the support of people like Philip and Chris. Their extraordinary generosity in supporting TL students to realise their talent is a wonderful thing and, I hope, seen as a shining example for others to follow.”

Principal of Trinity Laban, Anthony Bowne, said: “I feel optimistic about the future when I think of Philip’s dedication to us, and to the performing arts generally. Philip is so determined to help us support and nurture talented musicians, and we are eternally grateful”.

Trinity Laban’s Head of Strings, Nic Pendlebury, said: “Chamber music at Trinity Laban simply wouldn’t be the same without Philip and Chris’ support. It is and will remain at the heart of our training here, in no small part thanks to them. They are true patrons”.

The Philip Carne Room will be used for practice, masterclasses, and public concerts for generations to come.

Philip Carne MBE, Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban, was awarded the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy in 2013; his MBE, in 2015; the Robert Maskrey Award for Philanthropy in the Arts in Wales, in 2018; along with many other honorary fellowships, honours and acknowledgments.

Alumni Round Up July 2023

In this month’s Alumni Roundup, we have a variety of news about performances, festivals, album releases and podcast episodes across both music and dance.

To start off, Dai Fujikura’s Wondrous Steps was amongst the great music featured on Modern Notebook with Tyler Kline in celebration of the 200th episode of the show.

TL jazz alum Reuben James recently released his debut album Champagne Kisses. Listen to Champagne Kisses or read about James.

Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin gave a CDR Artist Talk about their new album Archetype, their creative processes, and diverse careers at Corsica Studios on 11 July.

British saxophonist Camilla George performed “the perfect opening for jazz in the North Sea” at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2023 opening night, which celebrated its 46th year.

Xhosa Cole Quartet performed at INNtöne Jazz Festival in Austria which was held between 21 and 23 July.

The Waldstein Quartet comprising Greta Papa (violin), Daniel Pukach (violin), Natalia Solis Paredes (viola) and Miguel Villeda (Cello) performed a programme of English music at Mary the Virgin, North Stoke on 29 July.

Grammy award-winning, Emmy and BAFTA nominated composer, Lorne Balfe composed the music for The Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning opening titles. Read about how Lorne used over 555 musicians and recorded over 14 hours of music across Europe to put together the score for the movie. Lorne has since been back at AIR Studios finishing recording the score for Argylle, an upcoming spy action thriller which will be out in 2024.

Elliot Galvin released a new album policepolice with another TL alum, Martin Lee Thomson, on the euphonium. Listen to policepolice here.

Oscar Jerome led a guitar masterclass for Day 3 of Tomorrow’s Warriors Summer Runnings 23.

Here is a video of Stjepan Hauser the cellist from 2CELLOS playing his cello on fire. Read more about Stjepan and his career.

TL alum Nivanthi Karunaratne joined Queen Charlotte’s Orchestra, a 70+ member orchestra made of women of colour, to record and perform Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You, on the song’s 20th anniversary. This orchestra was created by Netflix, Shondaland, and Alicia Keys to celebrate the release of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Nivanthi recently performed Poliuto with Teatro Nuovo at the Lincoln Center Debut.

Ezra Collective‘s Where I’m Meant To Be was nominated for the 2023 Mercury Prize with FREENOW. Watch what they have to say about “representing cool jazz” below.

Onto some Musical Theatre news, May Tether will be playing Jessie in Halls the Musical which premiered at the Turbine Theatre in Battersea at the end of July.

At the beginning of July, acclaimed director and choreographer Susan Stroman’s much-lauded revival of Crazy for You celebrated its official opening at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre. Completing the company was Musical Theatre alum Jason Battersby.

Operation Mincemeat has extended its limited run in the West End yet again up until 4 November with Christian Andrews as part of the cast. They have now introduced a new loyalty scheme for repeat attenders where anyone who has watched the production at the West End twice or more can apply for £10 off per ticket when booking in groups of six, while stock lasts.


Moving onto some dance news, Sarah Hirsch and Philip McDermott, the duo are working on Magnetoreception and have collaborated with TL staff member Florence Meredith on the costume designs for their performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Dance Science alum, Kendall Baab, founder of BodyKinect explains how different muscles in the body serve various purposes in this reel on Instagram.

Dr. Gemma Harman’s ResDance podcast is now third in FeedSpot’s list of the 15 Best UK Dance Podcasts.

Dance alum Vince Virr has performed in three countries over the past three weeks and will be performing in two more. Have a look at his aerial spectacle as part of BD:Festival.

Wayne McGregor talks about his latest premiere for the Royal Ballet, his programme for the Venice Biennale and his game-changing collaboration with ABBA in RAD’s podcast, Why Dance Matters.

Elena Alava Hilgert speaks to RAD about her dance teaching experience and how dance benefits her physical and mental wellbeing.

Amy Dalton-Hardy facilitated Season 5: People Focused Producing on 31 July on the topic Start with the Why – A Value-led Approach to Producing.

Thomas Page worked with Rambert School students on a process and dance research, Connectivity towards Commonality.

Alum Kate Scanlan, who is the Creative Director and Chief Executive of East London Dance, spoke on David Watson’s new podcast, Before the Applause about navigating the evolving world of creative arts. Listen to the episode here.

Dance Movement Therapy alum Ana Sanchez-Colberg will once again serve as Artistic Director for VisionAI.R-e, which will take on the production of Festival Videodanza de Puerto Rico. Ana says they have expanded their reach to include choreographic work in VR, AI and XR. For more information click here.

Read what Zinzi Minott had to say about making art about the Windrush scandal in The Guardian.

Iris Athanasiadi collaborated with Olga Ntenta, Carolina Cury and Konstantinos Damianakis combining her love for architecture, dance and performance-making to present Witching, an immersive performance at Theatre Deli London. Witching is an ode to the mysterious, fierce, and magical creatures; women. Throughout history, women have been demonised and portrayed as witches, bringers of misfortune and evil. This performance aimed to change this narrative and celebrate the superpowers of the female body.


Coming up:

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is coming to Sadlers Wells Theatre, from 1 August until 2 September. Book your tickets to this passionate and heartbreaking performance by New Adventures.

Dance theatre alum James Pett will be choreographing and performing In The Absence at BALLET NIGHTS 2023, organised by former Scottish Ballet principal turned ballet producer Jamiel Laurence. This six-night extravaganza presents huge names in ballet this September, October, and November. Book your tickets here.

TL scholar Simone Tavoni is the Artist Director and founder of The Paisajes Piano Festival which will be taking place in Spain between 12 and 16 August. Carolina Cury, TL 2021 Gold Medal winner will be performing music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Bach, Ligeti, Brahms, and a world premiere piece by Helen Ottaway on 14 August. Find out more about the festival here.

Banner image credit: Alex Brenner

Paul Hamlyn Teacher Development Fund awarded to TL and partners

Trinity Laban, Lewisham Education Arts Network and Peoplescape Theatre have been successful in a bid of support from Round 6 of the Paul Hamlyn Teacher Development Fund. The project Moving Stories: embedding dance and drama in SEND teacher practice was one of eight UK-wide projects chosen for support.

We will be working over two years with six Lewisham-based schools: Watergate, Brent Knoll, Drumbeat, New Woodlands and the Resource Bases at Tidemill and Athelney Primary. Artists from theatre and dance will collaborate with teachers to develop a unified learning journey for everyone, with the goal to improve communication skills of young people facing high levels of disadvantage.

Communication skills are the key to unlocking young peoples’ ability to thrive as active, engaged and connected members of their communities, and combining dance and drama will ensure the activities are fully inclusive for children with a wide range of complex needs. Teachers and artists will learn from each other and spread good practice to colleagues, ensuring young people with special needs have access to a rich and exciting arts curriculum which supports their life skills.

More about Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.

Their mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.

They have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts.

Dr Ji Liu stands against a black background. He is wearing a dark suit, tie and white shirt.

Dr Ji Liu appointed as Head of Piano and Keyboard at Trinity Laban

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ji Liu as Head of Piano and Keyboard. Ji Liu combines a distinguished and multifaceted career as a pianist, composer, scholar and educator.

As an international soloist, he has performed at venues and festivals including Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, Royal Concertgebouw and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. At Classic FM‘s 25th anniversary, Ji Liu performed for His Majesty King Charles III and other distinguished guests at Dumfries House. 

Ji Liu says:I am thrilled to join Trinity Laban’s thriving keyboard department and excited to work towards our shared goal and mission in this historical and forward-thinking institution. Accepting this appointment is a great honour for me. Trinity Laban’s existing commitment to mentoring the next generation of musicians and creative leaders aligns with my long-term commitment to music education and my vision of integrating artistic pedagogy with innovative and collaborative research insights. Together with the Director of Music, Dr Aleksander Szram and all my exceptional colleagues, I aspire to foster a learning environment of excellence, progressiveness, innovation, collaboration, equal opportunity and contemporary relevance through teaching and artistic activities. I want to lead our keyboard department as an inspirational and cohesive place for national and global creative talents, developing the sustainable success of the department and the Trinity Laban community for many years to come.”

Director of Music, Dr Aleksander Szram says: We are delighted that Dr Ji Liu will be joining the international team of trans-disciplinary artists here at Trinity Laban. Ji has a multi-faceted career as a soloist, collaborator and performer-composer and will provide great inspiration to our students as they build their own fulfilling and authentic careers.”


More about Dr Ji Liu:

Ji Liu has worked with orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Beijing’s NCPA Orchestra, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, etc. He gave the world premieres of Ludovico Einaudi’s Piano Concerto Domino with RLPO and Boris Bergmann’s The Richter Scale and China premieres of Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Etudes and Frederic Rzewski’s People United Will Never Be Defeated! Variations.  

As a published composer, Ji Liu has written for orchestras, chamber ensembles and solo instruments. His 18-hour Sonata Fantasy was certified as “The Longest Ever Released Instrumental Work” by the Guinness World Record. His discography encompasses repertoires from the Baroque period to the 21st century.  

His research has been presented at institutions such as the University of Oxford, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Orpheus Institute and the University of California 

Ji Liu studied Piano Performance with Professor Christopher Elton and Composition with Professor Ruth Byrchmore at the Royal Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music (supervised by Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson) from King’s College London and received the Forrest Creative and Performance Leadership Fellowship. Shanghai FM94.7 appointed him the Inaugural Music Ambassador. Since 2018, Ji Liu has served as the Head of Performance at the Kent International Piano Course and is a visiting professor at Shenzhen University. 

To visit Dr Ji Liu’s website click here.