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Sam Jackson sitting n front of full length windows

Trinity Laban Board Member announced as new BBC Radio 3 Controller

Sam Jackson (Image: Carsten Windhorst)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can follow Sam Jackson on Twitter here.

Trinity Laban student playing the viola

Jerwood Foundation gives annual grant to TL’s Strings Department

Jerwood Foundation has given an annual grant to Trinity Laban for the Jerwood International Chair of Violoncello and Chamber Music at Trinity Laban for three years and Trinity Laban String Ensemble: Jerwood Concerts and Tour over two years.

This grant has enabled us to employ Raphael Wallfisch as our International Chair of Violonchello and Chamber Music from the academic year 2022/23. Raphael Wallfisch is one of the most celebrated cellists performing on the international stage.

Trinity Laban String Ensemble concerts and tours will commence in 2023 and will feature TL students, giving them the benefit of industry facing experience.

Image credit: John Hunter

headshot of Hao Zi Yoh

Introducing TL’s Bagri Foundation Scholar 2022/23

London’s creative conservatoire is delighted to announce Hao Zi Yoh as the new recipient of the Bagri Foundation Scholarship. The Malaysian-born pianist joined Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music on the one-year Artist Diploma Programme this September.  

Supported by the Bagri Foundation, talented young musician Hao Zi Yoh will study within Trinity Laban’s internationally celebrated Keyboard Department. The Artist Diploma is an ideal bridge to the music profession for advanced students who have already completed a postgraduate programme. During this academic year, she will further develop her technical, musical and entrepreneurial skills, work with fellow artists and study under renowned-pianist Martino Tirimo. 

The Bagri Foundation Scholarship

The Scholarship is part of the Foundation’s mission to encourage emerging artists from Asia to develop their work, especially those in need of additional financial support. Established in 1990, the Bagri Foundation is committed to individual excellence in the arts. It works collaboratively across artistic disciplines to engage and inspire, raising the visibility of artists and experts from across Asia and the Diaspora. 

As a Bagri Foundation Scholar at Trinity Laban, Hao Zi will continue to cultivate her distinct and individual artistic voice through performance, mentoring and collaboration to confidently enter the music world with a highly evolved professional profile and portfolio. 

Hao Zi’s plans

On being awarded the scholarship Hao Zi Yoh comments –  

“Being an international student, funding has always been a huge concern especially as a musician, where countless hours are spent in a practice room before performing to an audience.   

The Bagri Foundation Scholarship has been crucial in providing me the opportunity to further explore and widen my horizon as an Artist Diploma student, learning from incredibly experienced professors and still take part in international competitions and performances throughout the year. This would not be possible without such generous scholarship to aide my journey as a growing musician. I am immensely grateful.” 

Making a real difference

Trinity Laban’s Director of Music, Havilland Willshire comments –  

“Trinity Laban is a leader for international development in arts education and innovation, and we are proud to continue to work with the Bagri Foundation to further our commitment to widening access for talented and dedicated international students. Our relationship with the Foundation is highly valued and of huge importance to us in helping to support young performing artists from Asia.” 

Alka Bagri, Trustee of the Bagri Foundation says –  

“The Foundation is pleased to continue our partnership with Trinity Laban with the Bagri Foundation Scholarship. With our roots in education, we are excited to continue this legacy and to make a real difference to the artists we support. We cannot wait to see how Hao Zi develops her talents on the Artist Diploma programme and look forward to working with her and Trinity Laban throughout the academic year.” 

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


Image credit: Andreea Tufescu

photo of Aleksander Szram

TL appoints Dr Aleksander Szram as new Director of Music

London’s Creative Conservatoire has appointed Dr. Aleksander Szram as its new Director of Music, following an extensive international search. 

Aleks will take up the position in February 2023, following current Director of Music, Havilland Willshire’s retirement at the end of this year. 

Aleks joined Trinity Laban’s teaching staff 15 years ago and is currently Programme Leader of the BMus and Foundation programmes, a Reader in Performance Studies and a Senior Teaching Fellow supervising creative practice PhDs. 

Trinity Laban’s Principal, Anthony Bowne, said:  

“I am very pleased that Dr. Aleks Szram has been appointed as the new Director of Music at Trinity Laban. I am confident that Aleks’ passion for the conservatoire, inclusive leadership style, and vision for the future will equip him to lead our Faculty of Music to further successes as we continue to deliver the objectives of our strategic plan. 

“Aleks will be a worthy successor to Havilland Willshire who, since 2018, has led our Faculty of Music with generosity, collegiality and an unwavering commitment to educational excellence.” 

Dr. Aleks Szram, said:  

“I am delighted and honoured to become Trinity Laban’s new Director of Music. I am looking forward to working with our extraordinarily talented staff and students and building upon on our rich history of innovation while providing an inclusive environment that supports all our students to achieve success.”   

Trinity Laban’s Director of Music provides strategic, artistic and educational direction and leadership for the Faculty of Music and ensures that its programmes, performance activities and business plans are implemented effectively.  


black and white photo of Luke Bacchus, finalist of BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022

TL student in final of BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022

Congratulations to Luke Bacchus, 4th year BMus (Hons) Jazz piano student, for reaching the final of BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022. The prestigious event celebrates some of the UK’s most talented emerging jazz performers.

The biennial celebration of the most talented up-and-coming musicians on the British jazz scene, BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022 returns with a live final at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 19 November.

Luke is one of five shortlisted finalists – aged 20 to 23.  They will showcase their talents accompanied by the acclaimed Nikki Yeoh’s Infinitum trio.

The Live Final

Staged in collaboration with the EFG London Jazz Festival, the Final will be broadcasted on BBC Four on Sunday 20 November from 8pm, presented by Jamz Supernova and Huw Stephens, both DJs and broadcasters.

All five young musicians will present a 14-minute set from the standard jazz repertoire. And each performance will include at least one piece composed or arranged by themselves.

The judging panel are saxophonist and composer Camilla George, pianist, composer and producer Bill Laurance, and member of global phenomenon Snarky Puppy and vocalist Claire Martin, OBE. Plus, TL alumni, multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Emma-Jean Thackray and composer, singer and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

Suzy Klein, BBC Head of Arts and Classical Music TV, said: “We are delighted to support some exceptional new British jazz talent, and to share their inspiring performances with audiences at home. It is such a privilege to shine a light on these rising stars, supporting them as they take their first steps in their careers in the music industry.”

2020 Winner

2020 winner, TL alum and jazz tutor, pianist Deschanel Gordon, is building a successful career performing in the UK and beyond. Only last month he featured on Reader’s Digest’s list of 50 Inspirational young UK jazz artists and composers to listen to as part of their profile piece on the UK jazz scene.

Where to watch and listen

As well as to the coverage on BBC Four, BBC iPlayer will host the Final for 12 months after initial broadcast, and BBC Radio 3 will broadcast event highlights on Saturday 3 December as part of J to Z, also on BBC Sounds.

Tickets for the live Final at the Queen Elizabeth Hall can be bought here.

Good luck Luke!

Interested in studying Jazz? Head to our Jazz pages to learn more.

Wide shot of Trinity Laban student Symphony Orchestra

Trinity Laban students awarded Royal Philharmonic Society Instrument Purchase Grants

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

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

Read on to find out about our student recipients. 


Morgan Key, Cello

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

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

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


Olivia Hughes, Jazz specialising in Trombone

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

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


Dexter Wong, Trombone  

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

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


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

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

montage of photos promoting Trinity Laban's autumn music and dance events

Launching TL’s Autumn Season 22

Running from September to December, Trinity Laban’s autumn season includes an experimental festival of new music and performance in response to the climate crisis, a musical comedy murder mystery, two birthday anniversary celebrations for composers Leonardo Salzedo and Mike Gibbs, the concert and album launch of Rūtsu: Chamber Music 2.0, and a masterclass focusing on Polish composers. 



Taking place across various spaces at Kings Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College, Rude Health Composition Festival (12-16 Dec) is an experimental festival of new music and innovative performances from Trinity Laban’s acclaimed composition students. This year the festival presents creative responses to the climate crisis, so expect the unexpected with installation, multimedia events and music at the cutting edge of sound. 



Trinity Laban’s BA Musical Theatre third year students, perform Holmes, Ebb and Kander’s musical Curtains, a comedy send-up of backstage murder mystery plots, set in 1959 Boston, Massachusetts. When Jessica Cranshaw, the supremely untalented star of ‘Robbin’ Hood of the Old West’ is murdered during her opening night curtain call, it’s up to Lt. Frank Cioffi, a police detective moonlighting as a musical theatre fan to solve the case and save the show, without getting killed himself of course!   

6, 7, 8, 9 Dec at 7pm 

Sat 10 Dec at 2.30pm & 7pm  

Laban Theatre 



Join us for two exhilarating performances at Blackheath Halls from Trinity Laban’s BA (Hons) Music Performance and Industry students (4 Nov). Creative Strings Ensemble: A Better Place, (6pm, Great Hall) is a concert of creative voice and strings performance featuring poetry, improvisation and creative repertoire and in collaboration with BMus Strings students, and Life Is A Song (7.30pm, Hearn Recital Room) for a night of innovative, fresh and harmonious live music. 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Leonardo Salzedo, Richard Crabtree, professor of viola at Trinity Laban, will play The Viola Concerto, accompanied by Trinity Laban students and conducted by Leslie Howard, a close friend of Salzedo’s. This celebration concert, at Conway Hall (24 Sep, 6pm), also features Baritone Geoff Williams who will sing from the song cycle The Lotus Eater Abroad as well as other works by Salzedo. 

Conducted by Ralph Allwood, Trinity Laban Old Royal Naval College Chapel Choir perform evensong which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (28 Sep, 4pm), from The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College.   

Trinity Laban String Ensemble perform works by Daniel Kidane, Schoenberg, and a new work by one of Trinity Laban’s composers in the surroundings of the Great Hall, at Blackheath Halls (14 Oct, 6pm). 

Chamber music is the backbone of teaching and learning at Trinity Laban, so join us for Rush Hour Concert at Blackheath Halls (12 Oct, 6pm) featuring the Carne Trust Junior Fellow Chamber Ensemble and Waldstein String Quartet. They will be paired with a performance of Dvorak’s Piano Quintet, with Irina Lyakhovskaya performing side by side with an ensemble of Trinity Laban students.  

The concert and album launch at Blackheath Halls for Rūtsu: Chamber Music 2.0 (18 Oct, 7.30pm), from Anna Astesano (Harp) and Valentina Ciardelli (Double Bass), explores the deep connections between the influences of Japanese art on Western culture and vice versa. With a talk beforehand (6.30pm), the album features music from Ravel, Stravinsky and Puccini and contemporary compositions, notably Mr Hirano’s Elegy dedicated and composed for the duo. 

Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra present a diverse programme of established repertoire, contemporary music, and a newly composed work at Blackheath Halls (27 Oct, 7.30pm) then return to play side by side with Trinity Laban staff (2 Dec, 6pm) to perform two works by Coleridge-Taylor. 

Expect spellbinding storytelling and haunting melodies as Trinity Laban vocal students perform scenes from operas in and around King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College (28 Oct & 8 Dec). And Dominic Ellis-Peckham directs an evening of choral performance at Blackheath Halls (15 Nov, 7.30pm) on the theme of journeys, featuring traditional and folk songs performed by Trinity Laban Undergraduate Chorus and Trinity Laban Show Choir. 

TL Jazz Orchestra celebrate Mike Gibbs’ 85th birthday year, with a two night residency, conducted by Mike and Josephine Davies, at the Vortex Jazz Club (14 & 15 Nov, 7pm & 9pm). 

Our Masterclass: A Focus On Polish Composers (7 Nov, 5pm) at Kings Charles Court, Royal Naval College , includes Trinity Laban students performing works by Polish composers, with masterclass mentoring from Agata Szymczewska (violin) and Wojciech Szymczewska (piano) supported by The PWM Edition, Poland. 


Winter Celebrations 

As the festive season approaches, our young Junior Trinity students perform in their annual Winter Concerts on the stage of Blackheath Halls (26 Nov, 1pm & 7pm) and the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir stage their annual Christmas concert at The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College (12 Dec, 7pm). 

There’s also a special performance from Cirque de Pierrot’s all-women Pierrot Ensemble, (14 Dec, 6pm) at Blackheath Halls, who will be presenting the full Schoenberg and Lee cycles based on the sad clown, Pierrot, as part of Trinity Laban’s Rush Hour Chamber Music Series.  


For full listings, ticketing info and booking visit our What’s On page.

headshot photo of Ailish Tynan

Prize-winning soprano joins TL as the International Artist in Voice

We are excited to announce that The Hearn Foundation has generously agreed to fund celebrated Irish soprano, Ailish Tynan, as the International Artist in Voice at Trinity Laban.  

Ailish will be joining us in September to provide expert coaching and feedback to TL’s Vocal Studies students. The Hearn Foundation’s generous gift will fund nine sessions across the year, for the next three academic years. She will also work with students on a mini concert, once a year, with one student receiving a bursary award of £500.  

Ailish won the 2003 Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, was a member of the prestigious Vilar Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She was also a BBC New Generation Artist, where she recorded and performed prolifically with the BBC orchestras and in recital. 

Recent engagements include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Leeds Lieder and New Paths Music; Finzi In Terra Pax with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Orff Carmina Burana with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Mahler Symphony No.4 with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; and her return to Garsington Opera as Despina in Così fan tutte. 

Ailish joined our judging panel for the final of the Carne Trust Chamber Competition in June, hosted for the first time in front of a live audience, after its launch had been impacted by the pandemic. 

On hearing the news, Ailish announced on social media –  

“I am thrilled to say that I’ve been appointed International Artist in Voice for Trinity Laban. I could not be more delighted and can’t wait to start in September and join the fantastic team already doing brilliant work.” 

Interested in studying Vocal Studies at Trinity Laban? Find out more here. 

The Trinity Laban Innovation Awards 2022 Winners all sitting together on a grassy bank. They are 12 females in total, all looking ahead and smiling.

Announcing our TL Innovation Award Winners 2022

The award provides final-year students with a platform to grow as creators, offering significant support in the form of professional development and seed funding so awardees can realise their artistic and business ideas.

Now in its fourth year, the Trinity Laban Innovation Award forms part of the conservatoire’s strategy to help emerging artists develop their voice and innovate in the cultural industries.

We’re pleased to announce that the 2022 winners are:

  • Phoebe Noble, Natasha Spencer Levy, Ellie Drayton and Holly McConville (Musical Theatre) for 13 Months Theatre
  • Shaye Poulton Richards (Music) for Upon A Mother’s Death
  • Iolla Grace (Music) for InsideSound
  • The Grounding Project: Ruby De Ville Morel, Mila Fernandez and Melissa Heywood (Dance) for The Water Series
  • Ashley Lim and Isabelle Long (Dance) for Transcendance
  • Ebony Robinson (Dance) for Diversity in space and styles

The awardees impressed expert panellists Chief Executive of Black Lives in Music Charisse Beaumont, Creative Dance Consultant Theresa Beattie OBE, and Trinity Laban Principal Anthony Bowne with diverse and innovative proposals that span cultural history, boundary-pushing genre development, and the power of the arts for positive change in the community.

Anthony Bowne comments –

“The panel and I were incredibly impressed by the creativity, ambition and scope shown by applicants across dance, music and musical theatre. The Trinity Laban Innovation Award is one of the many ways in which Trinity Laban is nurturing entrepreneurial and project management skills in early career artists and strengthening our connections with the wider industry.”

Charisse Beaumont comments –

“I was impressed by the calibre of the applicants this year. Each demonstrated not just creativity and innovation but the willingness to use their project to impact society. I am deeply inspired and encouraged by the fact that this is just the beginning of their career as future leaders.”

Theresa Beattie comments –

“I was impressed by the entrepreneurial ideas of the students and how each finalist made the case through their presentation as to how they could make a positive civic impact with Innovation Award investment.”

Funded by our Higher Education Innovation Fund allocation, each winning project receives an award of £3,000 to use on development. They will also benefit from a specially tailored 10-month mentorship programme delivered by acclaimed Trinity Laban alumni, who will share their expertise, including:

  • Flautist and music educator Nicola Tagoe 
  • Artistic Director of Studio Will Dutta and Co-Head of Artist Development at Sound and Music Will Dutta (BMus Piano 2008) 
  • Presenter, workshop leader and narrator Lucy Drever, who is Associate Artist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Head of Musicianship at the Benedetti Foundation, and an Ambassador for the Britten Pears Arts Community team. (BMus Voice (mezzo soprano) 2013) 
  • Dance and movements specialist Yukiko Masui who has worked with international contemporary dance companies such as Art of Spectra, Cathy Waller Company, Christopher Marney and Vuyani Dance Theatre. (DDS 2009; MA Dance Performance 2011) 
  • Matthew Harding, artistic director for Urban Interface Dance UK and the founder and director for Wolfpack Dance Collective UK. (MFA Choreography 2019) 

Since its inception in 2019, the Trinity Laban Innovation Award has already supported 18 forward-thinking and socially engaged projects conceived by winners who have achieved remarkable things, contributing to the UK’s rich cultural landscape. These include:

  • Composer, musician and artist James Layton who founded Into the Ocean, a London-based recording and concert series showcasing experimental new music including an album of works for solo viola in collaboration with Stephen Upshaw.
  • Multicultural all-female dance collective Mass Hysteria who has created work for Tate Modern, The Place’s Resolution Festival 2020 and V&A’s Friday Late series.
  • Producing Artistic Director Hayley Huggett, who set up Tilley Peacock Productions, creating shows and workshops for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Trinity Laban Innovation Award Co-founder, Joe Townsend comments –

“Now is the time for finding fresh ways of working together. In these uncertain times, the arts are more important than ever. Fuelled by energy and imagination, combined with Trinity Laban’s excellent creative approach to training, we are proud to support these fabulous artists as they launch their careers in music, dance and musical theatre. There are more collective projects than in previous years, which is a testament to our belief in collaborative working.”

The award 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.

Dance artists Emma Greene and Sunniva Moen Rorvik used their 2021 award to support their project exploring experiences of dance of the African Diaspora in the London Borough of Lewisham. They comment –

“The Trinity Laban Innovation Award gave us the opportunity to make important connections within the local community. The support from our mentor, really helped us to take on this new challenge with confidence and we are forever grateful for the opportunities that we have had since receiving the award.”

To find out more, visit our Innovation Award webpage.

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

Image credit: Juno Snowdon

Trinity Laban student playing the viola and smiling

Introducing new viola staff

Following Raphael Wallfisch’s appointment as International Chair of Violincello and Chamber Music, we are delighted to announce that Alexandru-Mihai (Sascha) Bota, Malcolm Johnston, Milena Simovic and Stephen Upshaw are joining the conservatoire’s roster of accomplished professional musicians, educators and artists as full-time members of teaching staff. 

Of the new appointments Professor Nic Pendlebury, Head of Strings comments –   

“I am very excited to welcome Milena, Malcolm, Sascha and Stephen into our already illustrious Viola department. They are all fabulous musicians and teachers and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and a breadth of complementary skills joining Richard, Rivka and Roger to create one of the most dynamic choices of teachers in the country.” 

Accomplished American violist Stephen Upshaw has enjoyed a close relationship with the conservatoire since holding the Trinity Laban Carne Trust Junior Fellowship 2016-17, returning frequently to deliver masterclasses and workshops.  

With a strong interest interdisciplinary collaboration, he led a project for CoLab 2022 which saw Stephen and fellow Solem Quartet musicians work alongside TL string composition and dance students to co-create Bela Bartok Now: Song & Dance. Inspired by the quartet’s Beethoven Bartok Now concept, which uniquely reimagines classical works with music from composers of today, it wove together existing music from Bartok, Beethoven and living composer Jasmine Morris, culminating in an hour-long performance side-by-side at Blackheath Halls. 

Stephen is a member of the innovative Solem Quartet and London’s Riot Ensemble and has worked closely with many of today’s leading composers, including John Adams, George Benjamin and Errollyn Wallen. A noted interpreter of contemporary music as both a soloist and chamber musician, Stephen’s teaching will focus on this repertoire.  He comments –  

“In recent years I have had the pleasure to work regularly at Trinity Laban with The Solem Quartet, Riot Ensemble and on individually designed projects focused on collaboration and innovation. I am thrilled to be joining the music faculty professorial staff and look forward to creating opportunities within the department to nurture and encourage students in what it means to be a 21st century musician. I am excited to develop a class of violists who are hungry to delve into the world of contemporary music and who are ready to take advantage of the many unique and creative offerings the Trinity Laban curriculum provides.” 

Equally at home as a violinist and violist, Serbian musician Milena Simović has an illustrious international career of concerto, recital and chamber music performances. Her playing has been praised in the press as jaw-dropping, seductive and exciting. Milena is also a resident viola and a chamber music coach at the annual Culture Festival in Sardinian town of Santulussurgiu. 

On her appointment at Trinity Laban, Milena comments –  

“I am tremendously excited to be embarking on this new chapter at Trinity Laban from September 2022. I look forward to joining force with students and colleagues, finding new ways of expression and joy in music-making.” 

Newly appointed by the Oculi Ensemble and joining the professorial staff of Trinity Laban from this September, Alexandru-Mihai (Sascha) Bota has quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after viola players in London. Since relocating to the UK in 2017, Sascha has been in high demand as soloist, chamber musician and guest principal with symphony and chamber orchestras alike.  He joined the Navarra String Quartet in 2018 and Britten Sinfonia in 2021 as co/and leader of the viola section.    

On his appointment, Sascha comments – 

“I am deeply honoured and thrilled to be joining the professorial staff at Trinity Laban Conservatoire! It is a humbling opportunity for me to share the knowledge and inspire young talented viola players from all over the world in their search for truth and beauty in music.” 

Malcolm Johnston currently holds the Sub-Principal viola chair in the London Symphony Orchestra, working with the world’s greatest conductors including Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti, and Sir Simon Rattle. He is also Principal Viola with the European Camerata and has appeared as Guest Principal Viola with the Royal Opera House, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. 

As a chamber musician, Malcolm was a member of the award-winning Amernet String Quartet from 1990, performing globally and holding residencies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, LSU and The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. More recently, he has worked as guest violist with the Leopold String Trio, the Falk Quartet and participated in the Chamber Music series at the Wigmore Hall with the LPO Chamber Players. 

A sought-after educator, Malcolm served as a visiting professor at Trinity Laban for several years. Several of his former students now hold prominent positions in orchestras around the UK. 

Malcolm comments –  

“I’m looking forward to joining the professorial staff team at Trinity Laban. There is so much on offer at the conservatoire, and I am very excited to be able to be part of that, focusing on all forms of viola playing with special emphasis on the orchestral world.” 

Find out more about studying at Trinity Laban.

Image credit: John Hunter

Raphael Wallfisch

Raphael Wallfisch appointed as International Chair of Violoncello and Chamber Music

World-renowned cellist Raphael Wallfisch has joined the conservatoire’s dynamic strings department to teach on the prestigious Artist Diploma Programme and provide chamber music coaching across the Faculty of Music.  

Trinity Laban’s String Department comprises leading professionals and acclaimed artists from a wide variety of backgrounds. The latest addition to the talented teaching team is Raphael Wallfisch, one of the most celebrated cellists performing on the international stage.  

Having honed his craft studying with distinguished tutors including Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, Wallfisch has played with many of the great orchestras worldwide and at major festivals such as the BBC Proms, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh.  

Wallfisch has an extensive discography, having recorded nearly every major cello work, and has worked with leading British composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and John Tavener. He also has a long-standing and distinguished duo with pianist John York and tours with his very successful piano trio, Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch. 

With a passion for teaching, London-born Wallfisch is also in demand globally as a respected educator. He has taught at Zürich Hochschule der Kunst in Switzerland and is currently a professor at Royal College of Music.

In his new role as International Chair of Cello and Chamber Music at Trinity Laban, Wallfisch will deliver one-to-one teaching on the conservatoire’s selective Artist Diploma programme from September 2023, and lead masterclasses and chamber music coaching starting later this year. 

On joining Trinity Laban, Wallfisch comments –  

“I am delighted and greatly looking forward to becoming International Chair of Cello and Chamber Music at Trinity Laban. It is an honour to be involved with gifted musicians from all over the world at such a high level.” 

Trinity Laban’s Director of Music, Havilland Willshire, comments –  

“We are delighted to welcome the celebrated cellist Raphael Wallfisch to Trinity Laban’s vibrant strings department as International Chair of Violoncello and Chamber Music. Raphael is recognised the world over as a successful soloist and chamber musician and we are thrilled that our students will have the opportunity to work with him regularly. We hope that Raphael will enjoy the Trinity Laban environment immensely.” 

Nic Pendlebury, Head of Strings at Trinity Laban, comments –  

“Chamber music is a core focus of string training at Trinity Laban, and it’s important for us to work with musicians and educators who are active in the profession, which is why it is so brilliant to welcome Raphael Wallfisch to our talented roster. The appointment expands our world-class teaching and enables us to continue to support our students to develop an enquiring musical mind and the technical security necessary to flourish as an artist in the 21st century.” 

In addition to sharing his expertise with students, Wallfisch will act as a global Ambassador for Trinity Laban, representing the conservatoire abroad as he continues his illustrious and wide-ranging performance career. 

Find out more about studying at Trinity Laban.

Image: Raphael Wallfisch (credit: Bill Knight)