Concert pianist, writer, lecturer, ABRSM examiner and moderator, and festival adjudicator, Anthony Williams was born in Essex and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Alexander Kelly.
Following international competition success Anthony embarked on a career as a concert pianist whilst also establishing an international reputation as a piano teacher and has since become a passionate educator of pianistic musicianship at all ages from beginner to advanced. As well as giving piano masterclasses, public lecture-recitals and seminars on performance, repertoire and the art of teaching he is involved with numerous professional development courses and workshops both in the UK and abroad.
He has given talks on piano performance for Radio 3 and is author and editor of various publications include The Best of Grade and Fingerprints (Faber) and Teaching Notes (ABRSM). His most recent and highly acclaimed book The Piano Teacher’s Survival Guide (Faber, 2017), a comprehensive guide to teaching and playing the piano, draws on his experience of teaching young beginners through to professional pianists combined with insights from his professional playing around the world as both soloist and accompanist.
He is also (very proudly) President of the Chipping Norton Music Festival.
Anthony combines his busy freelance career with a full-time position at Radley College, Oxfordshire as Head of Keyboard and Instrumental Music.
Alexander L’Estrange (b.1974) is a British composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and workshop leader of international acclaim. A Master of Arts music graduate of Oxford University, he has been dubbed “the added 9th of choral music,” a nod to his consummate fusion of the British choral tradition with jazz.
Best known for his award-winning Zimbe! series of 40-minute works for SATB choir, unison children’s choir and jazz quintet, he is the go-to arranger for world-class vocal groups such as the King’s Singers and Voces 8, while the BBC Singers are among the many groups he directs and produces in choral, jazz and crossover projects. For the ABRSM, Alexander has led countless workshops and teacher events, and for many years was a jazz examiner, trainer and moderator.
Alexis White studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Eastman School of Music, New York. The winner of many prestigious prizes and scholarships, most notably first prize in the Seventh Noyers International Piano Competition in France, Alexis has given recitals and concerto performances throughout the U.K. and abroad.
She has collaborated with many distinguished artists including Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne, Akiko Ono, Guy Johnston, Jiafeng Chen, the Sacconi Quartet, the Navarra Quartet and the Galliard Ensemble. In 2018 she was invited to give a week of masterclasses in China, followed by a recital which was broadcast on Chinese television. Alexis has also broadcast for Scottish Radio, Classic FM, Radio Suisse Romane and featured for several years as a Countess of Munster artist.
Alexis is currently Head of Keyboard at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London and teaches at the Yehudi Menuhin School. She is also an examiner for the ABRSM.
Ann Martin-Davis’s love of 20th century and contemporary art crosses all genres and this has led to a career finding new and appealing ways of presenting solo piano and chamber music.
Her work has ‘reinvigorated chamber music’ (The Times) and her innovations in this area were recognised by the Royal Philharmonic Society when her Sound Bites (Nigella Lawson recipe songs) programme was nominated alongside Glyndebourne Opera for its prestigious Audience Development Award.
Ann Martin-Davis studied at the Royal College of Music with Phyllis Sellick, where she won the College's premier piano prize, the Chappell Gold Medal. A series of awards led to a South Bank debut and she subsequently won scholarships to study with Arie Vardi in Hanover and Gyorgy Sebok at the Banff School in Canada.
At this time Ann played to the Polish composer Witold Lutosławski and her subsequent disc of his solo piano and chamber works was described, amongst other rave reviews, as ‘beautiful and exquisite’ by BBC Music Magazine. Her recently released disc of works by Ravel has also been critically acclaimed; described by Musicweb as enjoying a ‘sparkling energy.’
In addition to her playing, Ann teaches at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and was recently Visiting Scholar to the the University of Oxford.
She has been described as an ‘inspirational’ coach and presenter and during the last five years she has trained piano teachers throughout South East Asia, Australia and the UK for numerous music professional associations.
Ann is co artistic director of ‘Piano at Le Maillard’, which hosts retreats in the Charente and online workshops for pianists and teachers.
'A distinguished scholar and pianist’
Mark Tanner is a concert pianist, composer, adjudicator, teacher and writer. His performing and academic work takes him regularly to all five continents. Solo appearances include London’s Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square and 300 recitals on luxury cruise liners worldwide. Mark’s recordings spotlighted many previously unrecorded works by British composers: “Magnificent playing”, Gramophone. World première broadcasts have been given on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.
Mark has published 65 volumes of compositions, editions and arrangements for Spartan Press, Faber and Edition Peters; 40 pieces have appeared in examination syllabuses for ABRSM, TCL and LCM. Mark’s book, The Mindful Pianist, is published in English and Chinese by Faber: “invigorating and thought provoking” – Martino Tirimo. Leaping Hare Press published Mindfulness in Music in English and Spanish: “a fascinating read on many levels” – Julian Lloyd Webber. In 2020, Mindfulness in Sound was published, and Faber will be publishing Mark’s extensive guide for the self-taught adult pianist, The Piano in Black and White. Mark recently co-authored two books entitled The Advanced Pianist with Karen Marshall for Faber, and writes feature-length ‘Masterclass’ articles for Pianist Magazine.
Mark’s PhD tackled the Hungarian composer, Franz Liszt. He is a member of Mensa, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was recently a keyboard panellist for the BBC Young Musician. For ABRSM, Mark has undertaken 46 tours to all five continents; he is also a Moderator, Trainer, Reader and Presenter.
Leigh O’Hara is a reluctant member of the British music establishment as the only person, apart from Holst and Vaughan Williams, to have run the music departments at James Allen’s Girls’ School and St Paul’s Girls’ School. After many years working as a pianist and piano teacher Leigh’s career is now focussed on conducting and his role at St Paul's where he is Deputy Head in charge of community partnerships as well as music. Having completed a music degree at the University of York, where he won the department prize for outstanding musical contribution, Leigh continued his piano studies at Trinity College of Music with Simon Young, Philip Fowke and David Owen Norris before completing a masters degree at Royal Holloway, University of London. As well as winning first prize in the Weingarten Schumann Competition he was awarded the Gertrude Norman Prize and Cross Memorial Scholarship. Leigh has studied conducting with some of the most respected teachers and musicians including Peter Stark, Lionel Friend, George Hurst and Rodolfo Saglimbeni.
Leigh has been resident at Dartington International Summer School and Festival for over 25 consecutive years where he has performed as soloist and chamber musician, as well as teaching piano and conducting orchestras and choirs. As well as conducting the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras at St Paul's Leigh is musical director of Wandsworth Symphony Orchestra, Dulwich Symphony Orchestra and South London Youth Orchestra. He is passionate about community music-making and has conducted three fully-staged operas for Blackheath Community Opera (Carmen, La Boheme and Orpheus and Eurydice). Leigh is an examiner, moderator and presenter for the Associated Board and also works as an adjudicator at competitions and festivals.
Nick Oliver studied at the Purcell School and the Royal Academy of Music with Jean Anderson, followed by post graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Marjorie Clementi.
He has a varied performing career as soloist, accompanist, chamber musician and teacher. He has performed in many of Britain’s major concert venues including the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank and overseas concert tours have taken him to many European countries as well as the USA, Canada, Asia and Australia. He combines the post of Head of Accompaniment at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester with examining and presenting work for ABRSM, internationally as well as in the UK. He also serves on the examiner moderator and trainer panels.
He is a founder member of “The Commonwealth Resounds”; an organisation dedicated to promoting music and musicians across the Commonwealth and in that capacity has worked in Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, Malta and the Caribbean.
Paul Janes studied at both the Royal Northern College of Music and at Manchester University, receiving top awards from both institutions. He has also been awarded major scholarships and prizes in several national and international competitions. As a pianist, Paul has appeared in a multitude of performing roles, from solo recitals and concertos, through chamber music and accompaniment, to contemporary ensemble and orchestral work. For more than twenty five years he has been one of the regular pianists for the BBC Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras, appearing frequently in broadcasts, recordings and performances at major concert halls throughout the UK and abroad. Since the 1990s Paul has been a member of the piano teaching staff at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is an examiner, trainer, moderator and presenter for ABRSM, and was a mentor on its Certificate of Teaching course. He has travelled regularly to many parts of the world for the organisation.
Pianist Samantha Carrasco explores a diverse and flexible repertoire as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. Notable performances as a soloist have included Grieg, Schumann, Tchaikovsky No.1, Rachmaninoff No.2, Mozart K466, K467 and K488 and Beethoven 3rd and 5th piano concertos. As orchestral pianist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, highlights have included performing at the BBC Proms in 2017, Stravinsky’s Petrushka with Carlos Miguel Prieto, and broadcasting Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony live on BBC Radio 3 under Yan Pascal Tortelier. She has also contributed to live broadcasts on the radio and recordings with the BSO for Chandos and Onyx. With the recently formed Austen Trio, Samantha performed in celebrations of the Jane Austen Bicentenary in 2017. The group performed at Harvard University in 2018 and their new CD will be released later in the year.
Samantha studied piano with Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music, London, where she was awarded an Exhibition Scholarship followed by a Bmus(Hons) degree and an ARCM teaching diploma. She was later awarded the prestigious Phoebe Benham and Leverhulme Junior Fellowship. After completing a Mmus performance degree with distinction in 2008 at the University of Southampton, she completed a PhD in 2013 entitled The Austen Family Music Books and Hampshire Music Culture, 1770-1820, which studied the music collection of Jane Austen and her family.
Alongside her performing career, Samantha continues to pursue her commitment to education. She is an examiner, trainer, moderator and presenter for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, working nationally and internationally in classical music, diplomas and jazz. She presents teaching and examining seminars on behalf of ABRSM in China, the USA and the UK. Samantha is the Head of Keyboard at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, contributing heavily to the Hampshire Specialist Music Course there. Samantha participates in BSO education projects, and is also the piano consultant for King Edward VI School, Southampton. She coaches chamber ensembles and adjudicates music competitions as well as hosting masterclasses for pianists, accompanists and ensemble groups.