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Music Alumni News

Welcome to the Music Alumni News page. This is a new venture where the School of Music provides the opportunity for graduates to keep in touch with their news.

We are particularly interested to hear details of your recent career appointments and activities, professional performances, recent compositions and publications.

Please contact us on with information that you would like us to include on these pages.

Lucy van Gasse (BMus, 2002) has been nominated for a Manchester Theatre Award in the catagory of Best Actress for her role as Eileen in the UK Tour of Wonderful Town. She is currently Standby Glinda in the West End production of Wicked.

Carlos del Cueto (BMus, 2005) is Spring 2013 Assistant Conductor with English Touring Opera and has been awarded one of the inaugural Music Fellowships from the BBC Performing Arts Fund.

Michael Francis (BMus, 1997) appeared in the classical charts in early 2013 conducting the London Symphony Orchestra for a CD of Rachmaninov's Piano Concertos. The CD is available from Decca. Watch footage from one of the recording sessions here.

Eloise Nancie Gynn (BMus, MMus Composition) has had a commissioned piece premiered at the Barbican by London Symphony Orchestra.

Paul Ellison (PhD, 2010) is currently associate editor of The Beethoven Journal. His article "The Largo/Allegro from Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata, Opus 31, no. 2": Affective Tonality as a Key to Meaning is published in the Summer 2012 issue. He continues his work as lecturer in music history at San Francisco State University, and as Director of Music at Church of the Advent, San Francisco's historic Anglo-Catholic parish.

Helen Anne Gregory (nee. Shorey) (2001) has recently completed an MMus in performance at the RNCM. She sang for Clonter opera this summer, recently performed the Wesendonck lieder at Bridgewater Hall and is covering for Susan Bickley as the witch in Hansel and Gretel for Garsington this summer.

Tom Davoren (BMus, MMus Composition) has been commissioned by the RAF to write a concert overture celebrating the Olympics.

John Rea (MMus Composition) has been awarded a £12,000 Creative Wales grant from the Arts Council of Wales.

Steven Berryman (PhD, 2012) will be writing a new work as part of a project called Twelve-12-12. It will be part of a concert on 12 December 2012, featuring new pieces from 12 British artists, encompassing music, visual arts and poetry, each one drawing on material based on the number 12.

Ben Curry (PhD, 2011)
has taken up a new post as Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Eluned Parrott (BMus) has swapped the role of Community Engagement Manager at Cardiff University for a seat in the Welsh Assembly as AM for South Wales Central. She has also been appointed the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister and was named ‘Member to Watch’ at the ITV Welsh Politician of the Year awards in December 2011.

Laura Hamer (MA, PhD 2009) has been appointed Lecturer in Music at Liverpool Hope University.

Peter Linnitt (BMus, 1990) has been appointed Librarian at the Royal College of Music, following fifteen years as Music Librarian at the BBC.

Tom Davoren (BMus, MMus, 2010) was shortlisted in the Wind and Brass Band category, for the prestigious British Composer Awards 2011 given by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).

Mark Thomas was shortlisted for an Emmy in September 2011. He was nominated in the Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music category for his work for the transatlantic comedy series Episodes. Read more about the nomination on the BBC website:

Philip Cooke (PhD, 2007) had a composition - Invocation - selected by the John Armitage Memorial (JAM) and performed in London, St Andrew’s, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in 2011. The piece was also published by Novello and gained some great reviews for the Scottish performances.

Giselle Allen (BMus) performed one of the lead roles in the UK premiere of The Passenger. She played the role of Auschwitz survivor Marta in the English National Opera’s 2011 production.

Michael Francis (BMus, 1997) returned to Cardiff in November 2011 and made his conducting debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He is currently Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra.

Nicholas Reyland (Phd, 2005) has had his first book published - Zbigniew Preisner’s ‘Three Colors’ Trilogy: A Film Score Guide (Scarecrow Press, 2011).

James Garratt (PhD, 1999)
, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Manchester, is the author of a new book - Music, Culture and Social Reform in the Age of Wagner – published by Oxford University Press (2010).

Bethan Guilfoyle (BMus, MA 1973) was honoured in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list with the order of Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

Emma Height (BA, 2008) has accepted the post of Musical Director at Cardiff Male Choir (Sept 2010).

Adrian Hull (PhD in Composition 2007) has been appointed Lecturer in Performing Arts at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He will maintain his Cardiff connections as his music commissioning organisation Arcomis, which he set up in Cardiff in 2007, is going from strength to strength (see Cardiff University news story 'Breaking into the music business'). Classical Music published a profile of Arcomis, 'It's a deal', in its issue of 22 November 2008. (email 25.11.08)

Lucy Leddington Wright (BMus 2002, MA 2003), previously Orchestra Manager of the Southbank Sinfonia in London, was appointed as the Orchestra Management Assistant at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in February 2008. She is currently 'stepping up' as Assistant Orchestra Manager while a colleague is on maternity leave. (email 28.10.08)

Alex McGee (BMus 2003) has recently moved from the Oporto British School, Porto, Portugal, to teach music at St Julian's International School, Lisbon. (email 26.10.08)

Christopher Andrews (BMus 2008) and Charlotte Yuen (BA Joint Honours in Music and English 2007) both participated in the BBC Radio 3 Pianothon on 11 October 2008. Full story: Cardiff music students on BBC Radios 2 and 3.

Alison Mears (BMus 1993) has been Head of Junior Music Courses at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London since 2000. She was Principal Examiner (Theory) for the Guildhall Examination Service 2002-05 and also teaches at the RWCMD in Cardiff. (email 18.09.07)

Nia Wyn Jones (BMus 1995) is currently Head of Music at Ysgol Maes Garmon, Mold. (email 15.09.07)

Jackie Brockway (née Davies, BMus 1980) is Head of Music at Walton Girls High School for the performing arts in Grantham and runs a children's musical theatre company. (email 26.08.07)

Emma Peters (BMus 2002, MA 2003) has just been promoted to Senior Marketing Manager for the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, with particular responsibility for its concerts in the newly-refurbished Royal Festival Hall. (email 18.08.07)

Claire Lewis (BMus 2002) who, after graduation, was appointed as the Project Manager in the MAX department of Welsh National Opera, is currently the Community and Education Coordinator at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. (email 6.08.07)

Jo Newell (BMus 2007) has been appointed as the Development Officer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, as of August 2007. She will be mainly in charge of corporate support connected with student scholarships and the GSMD's new building. (email 18.07.07)

Hannah Reynolds (BMus 2004) has been appointed as Orchestra Manager for the Northern Sinfonia at The Sage, Gateshead. (email 26.06.07)

Annie Tyhurst (BMus 1991) has since her graduation from Cardiff pursued a career in music therapy. She gained her Diploma in Music Therapy at Bristol University in 2002 and has worked with projects connected to Bristol MusicSpace and the Three Choirs Festival. She has just accepted the post of Course Tutor on the very first Postgraduate Diploma in Music Therapy in India (New Delhi) and is currently completing work which will enable her to practise as a Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery. (email 24.06.07)

StJohn Weyers (BMus 1993), having continued his studies for an MMus at Liverpool University, is Director of Music at Culford Preparatory School in Suffolk, where he lives with his wife Philippa (née Hann) (BMus 1995) and their family. (email 21.04.07)

Robin Purser (BMus 2005) is currently Music Festival Assistant at the Cheltenham Music Festival, where he works alongside Nia Clark (see below). (email 26.03.07)

Nia Clark (BMus 2002) is currently Music Festival Coordinator at the Cheltenham Music Festival.

Alex McGee (BMus 2003) is currently Director of Music and IGCSE studies at the Oporto British School, Porto, Portugal. (email 12.03.07)

Andrew Matthews-Owen (BMus 1998), who after graduation studied at the Royal Academy of Music and now has a busy career as a vocal coach and concert accompanist, recently commissioned a new work from a former professor of music at Cardiff University, Alun Hoddinott. Funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the PRS Foundation for New Music, Towy Landscape (2006) was premiered on 30 September 2006 as part of the Crwth Chamber Music Series in Swansea. The 17-minute scena, to texts by John Dyer, was performed by Claire Booth (soprano), Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) and Andrew Matthews-Owen and Michael Pollock (piano duet). (email 15.02.07)

Michael Francis (BMus 1997) once again was called on by the London Symphony Orchestra to step into the breach caused by the illness of its conductor, this time the American composer John Adams. Michael conducted a complete concert of Adams' music at virtually no notice, in the Philharmonie in Luxembourg on 4 February 2007. For full details, see Michael Francis rescues LSO concert (again), in Luxembourg. (email 9.02.07)

Ceri Jones (BMus 2003) is currently Assistant Projects Manager at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London. (email 1.02.07)

Chico Chakravorty (BMus 2002) has been appointed as Deputy Orchestra Manager of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from February 2007. In Summer 2006 he worked for the BBC Proms as Business Assistant, which included organising the running of the pre-Prom talks. He was then appointed as an Orchestra Assistant with the BBC Concert Orchestra before accepting his new position with the RLPO. In the same email, Chico updated us on the recent career moves of three other recent graduates, Carol Bennett, Lucy Leddington-Wright and Emma Peters (see below). (email: 15.01.07)

Carol Bennett (BMus 2004) joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in Spring 2006 and has just been promoted to no.3 (Principal) in the Second Violins.

Lucy Leddington-Wright (BMus 2002, MA 2003) has just been appointed as Orchestra Manager of the Southbank Sinfonia in London.

Emma Peters (BMus 2002, MA 2003) is currently Marketing Manager for the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.

Michael Francis (BMus 1997) had an extraordinary 'break' on 13 January 2007 when he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, at less than 48 hours' notice, in a concert given as part of the BBC's Gubaidulina Festival at London's Barbican Centre. For full details, see Cardiff music graduate steps in for Gergiev at LSO concert, on the School's News Pages.