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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.

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
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.

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.

Hannah Horton holds up her Jazz Award certificate. She is wearing a black top and has short curly hair.

Hannah Horton wins Parliamentary Jazz Award

Congratulations to TL alum Hannah Horton who won the Jazz Education Award at All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards!

Hannah Horton is a melodic maverick, visionary jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and journalist. Star of UK jazz, her music is rooted in jazz, folk and funk. Her established individual and sophisticated sound is edging through boundaries and creating waves worldwide.

An official Henri Selmer Artist, graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Trinity Laban, and member of award-winning Women In Jazz Media, Hannah works the jazz world in her own authentic way. Her most recent album Inside Out has received critical acclaim worldwide and she continues to wow audiences with her creative playing, alongside her charming personality on stage.

Today Hannah provides inspiration of her own by running J Steps – a new band initiative designed to nurture the talent of musicians who identify as female or non-binary with its main aim being to balance a historic lack of representation of women in jazz.

J Steps is a jazz ensemble for female and non-binary improvising musicians based at the Saffron Centre for Young Musicians. The players are Grade 6 and above and are taught jazz harmony and improvisation, playing standards and originals. J Steps have performed at EFG London Jazz Festival and Saffron Hall foyer and invite new players who want to learn more about jazz in a comfortable and supportive setting.

A round of applause also for Janine Irons of Tomorrow’s Warriors, who was awarded the Services to Jazz Award. It could not be more deserved!


See the full list of award winners here.

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Elaine Delmar

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Gary Husband

Jazz Album of the Year: Jo Harrop and Paul Edis, When Winter Turns To Spring

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Ubunye

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Sultan Stevenson

Jazz Venue of the Year: Jazz at the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen

Jazz Media Award: The Jazz Rag

 PizzaExpress Live Jazz Photographer of the Year: Monika S. Jakubowska

Jazz Education Award: Hannah Horton, J Steps, Saffron Centre For Young Musicians, Saffron Walden

Services to Jazz Award: Janine Irons

Special APPJG Award: Tony Haynes and the Grand Union Orchestra

Far away orchestra in front of archway

New BMus Programme Leader Announced

Trinity Laban welcomes Dr Emilie Capulet to Trinity Laban as the new programme leader for Trinity Laban’s BMus. Emilie takes over from Dr Aleksander Szram, who took on the role of Director of Music in February.

Dr Emilie Capulet, a white woman with long dark hair, smiling at the camera

Dr Emilie Capulet

Emilie is an award-winning pianist, lecturer and musicologist with a versatile interdisciplinary background that crosses over from music to literature, and from historical enquiry to innovative multimedia performance. Emilie is committed to enhancing the student experience by bringing together theory and practice in order to create an inclusive and interdisciplinary curriculum, leading students to rethink the way we approach the histories and contexts of music performance today. Read more about Emilie’s background.

Aleksander Szram, Director of Music, says:

I’m delighted to be handing the BMus over to Emilie, whose extensive and broad-reaching experience marries brilliantly to Trinity Laban’s values. I know that she will create a culture that embraces the diversity and individuality of our students, encouraging and instilling collaboration and curiosity into the heart of the programme. She will ensure that the BMus continues to respond to the vast opportunities of the global music industry, allowing our students space to finetune their creative identities and build confidence for their future careers.

Camilla George stands against a bright orange background. She is wearing a white shirt and colourful skirt. She is holding her saxophone and looking to her left. Camilla has been nominated at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2023 for 'Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year'.

Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2023 nominees announced

Congratulations to TL alumni, staff and partners: Camilla George, Hannah HortonAmy Gadiaga, Julian Siegel, Kevin Le Gendre, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Janine Irons on their nominations at the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2023.

This year’s nominees recognise a wide-range of musicians, organisations, venues and jazz media, who have made an impression in the past year. The winners will be announced on 4 July.

John Spellar MP, Co-Chair of APPJG, said: “These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and energies of the great musicians, educators, promoters, record labels, jazz organisations, blogs, jazz magazines and journalists who helped kept jazz flourishing. These shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in its 18th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honour the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are grateful to PizzaExpress Live for supporting the event.”

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Jazz Vocalist of the Year
Emma Smith
Jo Harrop
Georgia Cécile
Elaine Delmar

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year
Alcyona Mick
Art Themen
Camilla George
Gary Husband

Jazz Album of the Year
Ubunye: ‘Ubunye’
Trish Clowes: ‘A View with a Room’
Jo Harrop and Paul Edis: ‘When Winter Turns To Spring’

Jazz Ensemble of the Year
Alex Hitchcock and Ant Law Quartet
Julian Siegel Big Band

Jazz Newcomer of the Year
Sultan Stevenson
Amy Gadiaga
Hannah Horton

Jazz Venue of the Year
The Verdict, Brighton
Jazz at the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
Magy’s Farm, Dromara, County Down, NI

Jazz Media Award
Kevin Le Gendre
Jazzwise Magazine
The Jazz Rag

Jazz Education Award
Tomorrows Warriors
Hanna Horton: J Steps, Saffron Centre For Young Musicians, Saffron Walden
Karen Gourlay: Head of Leeds Junior Conservatoire

Jazz Photographer Award
Monika S. Jakubowska
William Ellis
Tatiana Gorilovsky

Services to Jazz Award
Janine Irons
Danielle White
Tony Haynes and the Grand Union Orchestra

Héloïse Werner stands in front of a fence covered to multi-coloured festoon lighting. She has long blonde hair and is wearing a black jumper.

Héloïse Werner appointed Associate Artist at Wigmore Hall

Congratulations to TL MMus graduate Héloïse Werner who has been appointed as an Associate Artist at London’s Wigmore Hall.

The soprano and composer, who has been a familiar face to Wigmore Hall audiences since her debut there in January 2021, premiered her new work Les Leçons du Mardi at the hall earlier in March during one of her two appearances there for International Women’s Day. These performances with The Tippett Quartet and as part of her experimental quartet The Hermes Experiment are still available to watch online.

She will hold the position of Associate Artist for five seasons and appear at the hall at least once a year during the period. She begins this journey on 2 March 2024 in a concert featuring a new work of her own with mezzo soprano Helen Charlston, harpist Anne Denholm and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen.

Héloïse’s debut album Phrases, which was released in 2022 on Delphian Records, received acclaim from: Sunday Times (10 Best Classical Records of 2022), BBC Music Magazine, The Times, Gramophone, and many more.

As a soprano, Héloïse has recently made her debut with the London Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, CBSO, Nash Ensemble, and at The Grange Festival. She will be singing the role of Madame DuVal in the upcoming production Sarah Angliss’ new opera Giant at the Aldeburgh Festival 2023.

As a composer, Héloïse has written for the CBSO, Aurora Orchestra, Clare Choir Cambridge, Maîtrise de Radio France, London Handel Festival, violist Lawrence Power, bassoonist Amy Harman, violinist Hae-Sun Kang (Festival Présences), pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen (Lucerne Festival), CoMA (CoMA Festival), The Gesualdo Six, The Bach Choir, mezzo-soprano Marielou Jacquard, pianist Kunal Lahiry and mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, amongst others.

Image credit: Emma Werner
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.