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The Pianist

Lee Jae Phang

Malaysian pianist Lee Jae Phang is a student of Graham Scott. He is currently working towards a Master of Music in Performance (MMus) degree at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester where he also studied as an undergraduate. In 2015, Lee Jae was awarded the Hilda Anderson Dean Award and graduated with a Bachelor of Music (BMus) - First Class Honours.

During his time at the RNCM, Lee Jae has received many performance awards. Most notably, in March 2015 he was a winner of the RNCM Concerto Auditions which led to a concerto appearance with the RNCM Chamber Orchestra and conductor Mark Heron in December. In November that year, he also won the annual RNCM Helen Porthouse Paganini Prize with violinist Oliver Baily and was a finalist in the RNCM Chopin Prize in 2016. As an undergraduate, Lee Jae won the RNCM’s Mark Ray Prize.

Already in great demand, Lee Jae features regularly in concerts within and outside the RNCM. He has performed in RNCM Monday Lunchtime Recitals, masterclasses and departmental festivals both as a soloist and as a collaborative pianist. Lee Jae is also a frequent performer in venues across the North East of England. His previous piano trio (Trio Lazuli) featured regularly in lunchtime and evening recitals organized by Master Musicians and appeared regularly in concert series run by music societies around Manchester and Greater Manchester. In the summer of 2017, Lee Jae will be performing again in Austria where earlier in August 2016, he won the Audience Prize and the "1st Beethoven Performance Award of the BPSE & Beethoven plus - in Altaussee Festival 2016".

Since his concerto debut in Wells Cathedral with conductor Christopher Adey and the Wells Cathedral School Symphony Orchestra, Lee Jae has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras. These include the Burnley Orchestra and the Alicante University Symphonic Orchestra (as part of Music Fest Perugia, Italy. Furthermore, in December 2016, Lee Jae will return to Leeds to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor with the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) after a successful debut performance with the orchestra in November 2015.

Lee Jae was awarded a full scholarship during the duration of his study at the Wells Cathedral School from 2007 to 2012. During his time there, he studied with John Byrne and enjoyed numerous competition successes. In 2009, he was awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Young Pianist of the Year’ award at the Mid-Somerset Festival in Bath and appeared as a soloist in a lunchtime concert at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London after being awarded joint Runner-Up at the 13th EPTA (UK) Piano Competition in May.

Masterclasses he has participated in include those given by Christopher Elton, Vanessa Latarche, Ronan O’Hora, Matti Raekallio and Bernard d’Ascoli. He has also taken lessons from Michel Beroff, Philippe Cassard, Nelson Goerner and Stephen Hough.

Lee Jae is very grateful for the support of the ‘Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Award’ and an RNCM Bursary.

stage.

Lee Jae appears by kind permission of The Royal Northern College of Music.


THE SOLOISTS

Soprano

Margaret Ferguson

Margaret Ferguson, LLCM, Dip.EMA, Dip.UCEW, Dip.SAI (Bus.). Margaret was born in Ghana, West Africa, with her ancestor, Dr. Samuel Ferguson, being a Scottish surgeon who married a Ghanaian lady and settled in Ghana. She gained a Music Diploma from the University College of Education, Winneba. After performing for many Ambassadors, High Commissioners and HRH Prince Edward, the British Council sponsored her for a Professional Performance opera course at the Royal Northern College of Music. She gained a Diploma at the European Mozart Academy, Poland, in 1997. She obtained her LLCM in 1999.

Margaret’s solo opera roles include Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cavalleria Rusticana, Dido and Aeneas, La Traviata in Italian and English and others. Her solo oratorio roles involve Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Dvorak’s Requiem Mass and Mozart’s Requiem, etc. Additional solo roles cover African Sanctus, Feel the Spirit, Stabat Mater and Child of Our Time, plus others She has sung solo in the Royal Albert Hall, and the Royal Festival Hall, London, the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, the Symphony Hall, Birmingham and other major venues. She has performed in various European cities, with the last two being Wrocław and Nowogrodziec in Poland. Margaret has performed over 1200 concerts for Music in Hospitals and is a member of their auditioning panel. She has raised thousands of pounds for various charities. She regularly sings with City of Manchester Opera and has produced a concert version of Carmen for them. Another responsibility is being Musical Director of Manchester Gospel Choir. She also teaches Ghanaian drumming, singing and dancing. She is also a member of the Voci singers.

Margaret has performed live and recorded on television and radio for the BBC, ITV and various radio stations in the UK and Ghana.

For many years she has been a nominee for Best Solo Musical Performer at the Buxton Festival Fringe. Her next concert in the Fringe will be on 14th July and with Voci on 21st July, 2017. She will also be singing with Voci in the Edinburgh Festival on 19th and 20th August, 2017. Her three personally recorded CDs are Margaret Ferguson, Unfailing Love and By Request. You can check her website for future concerts www.AfricanSoprano.com


Contralto

Helena Cooke

Helena Cooke is a freelance alto living in London, and a member of the NYCGB Fellowship Octet 2016-2017. Helena studied Music at the University of York, graduating in 2015 with First Class Honours. From 2015/16 Helena worked as a Lay Clerk with the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, and whilst there sung with numerous groups and consorts including Ensemble Pro Victoria and CUCC. Helena was a member of Genesis Sixteen's 2014-2015 cohort, and performs with choirs including the Philharmonia Voices, BBC Daily Service Singers, Sansara, Carice Singers, Exon Singers, Icosa, Mousai Singers, and the St Endellion Festival Chorus. She is also a regular deputy with Schola Cantorum of Oxford and has just begun deputising at various London churches. In 2015 she appeared on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' as part of a quartet led by Robert Hollingworth, and recorded Daniel-Lesur's Le Cantique des Cantiques with I Fagiolini. Her operatic roles have included Florence Pike in Britten's 'Albert Herring', (UoY) 3rd Lady in Mozart's 'The Magic Flute', (UoY) Storge in Handel's 'Jephtha' (CUOS) and Hippolyta in Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream (CUOS). Helena has been a lifelong member of the St Endellion Music Festivals, enjoying cameo appearances as a child (including Pickled Boy in Britten 'St Nicholas' and semi-chorus in 'Tannhauser') She now sings in the chorus, and is also an occasional soloist, performing alongside Mark Padmore, Pamela Helen Stephen and Ryan Wigglesworth in Janacek's 'The Diary of One who Disappeared' and Wigglesworth's 'Echo and Narcissus'. She performed in these at the Wigmore Hall in May 2016 Recent solo performances include Bernstein 'Chichester Psalms' (treble/alto solo), Bach's 'Magnificat' and Rossini Petite Messe Solemnelle.

Tenor

John Bowen

John Bowen began his musical training first as a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral and later as a choral scholar at Kings College Cambridge. He then sang with many of London's premier baroque ensembles including The Gabrielli Consort, Monteverdi Choir and The King's Consort before embarking on a career as a soloist. He has appeared at the Staatsoper Berlin, La Monnaie Opera Brussels, and many summer festivals including Aix-en-Provence and Innsbruck, often with Rene Jakobs singing a variety of roles in baroque opera, most notably by Handel and Monteverdi. He has recorded on the Hyperion and Harmonia Mundi labels.

John qualified and worked as a solicitor for a number of years but returned to music, and recently has performed with The English Concert at The Wigmore Hall, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tenebrae and with The Gabrieli Consort.

Baritone

David Cane

David began singing as a boy chorister in Leicester Cathedral Choir and continued to sing there after his voice had broken. Subsequently, he spent a year as a choral scholar singing in the choir of Gloucester Cathedral. Following this, he studied for a degree in Theology at the University of Cambridge whilst singing as a choral scholar at King's College.

During his time at King's, David took part in several international tours, CD and DVD recordings and TV and radio broadcasts, including the famous 'Nine Lessons and Carols' service broadcast globally on Christmas Eve. David has recently completed his postgraduate studies at the RNCM, where he studied with Peter Wilson. At the RNCM, David won the ‘Bessie Cronshaw / Frost Brownson Song Cycle Competition’ and was a finalist for the ‘Frederick Cox Award for Singing’ and the ‘Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Strauss’. Last year, he was given the ‘Brigitte Fassbaender Award for Lieder’. Recent concert performances as a soloist include Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Nelson Mass, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light Requiem. On stage David has played the roles of ‘Death’ in Holst’s Savitri, ‘Directeur’ in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias, ‘Benoit/Alcindoro’ in Puccini’s La Boheme, ‘David’ in Sondheim’s Company, ‘Starveling’ in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘Bob’ in a production of The Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti, ‘Ben’ in Menotti’s The Telephone, ‘Abraham Kaplan’ in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and ‘Don Alfonso’ in the RNCM’s production Cosi fan tutte by Mozart.

David’s studies at the RNCM were supported by the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.

David Cane appears by kind permission of the RNCM