Sergio De Simone
Guest August 11
Born in Florence, Italy, Sergio De Simone is laureate of numerous international piano and chamber music competitions, including the V. Bellini International Piano Competition, the Premio Trio di Trieste International Chamber Music Competition and the Beethoven International Piano Sonata Competition (Memphis, Tennessee). Sergio has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in Italy, Spain, France, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and the USA for prestigious concert societies. Examples include La Società dei Concerti in Milan, Amici della Musica in Florence, Sagra Musicale Umbra, Verdi Theater in Pisa, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Biennale Musica of Venice, Harris Auditorium in Memphis, Tennessee (USA), International Music Festival in Torroella de Montgrì-Barcelona, Mills College Hall in Oakland, California (USA), Settimana Musicale Chigiana, Valli Theatre in Reggio Emilia, Bellini Theatre in Catania, Winter Festival in Sarajevo, Tartini Atelier in Ljubljana and the National Theatre in Sarajevo.
He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Romanian State Orchestra, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Strumentale-Città di Prato, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana and Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Solisti di Città Lirica Orchestra of Pisa and Intersezioni Festival Orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Webb, Anton Nanut, Paul Philips, Alessandro Pinzauti, Augusto Vismara, Giuseppe Camerlingo and Daniele Giorgi, amongst others. His chamber music repertoire is vast and ranges from duo to quintet. He dedicates part of his activity to contemporary music both as solo and ensemble performer. Since 2000, he has been ‘pianist in residence’ at the Chigiana Academy in Siena for the Composition Summer Course given by Azio Corghi and Giorgio Battistelli and the Film Music Course given by Academy Award winner Luis Bacalov.
Guest August 12-13
Anthony Hewitt is regarded as one of Britain’s finest pianists, and since winning the prestigious William Kapell Competition in Washington DC, has enjoyed a prolific career spanning two decades, including concerto appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra in the U.S.A. and in the U.K with the English Chamber and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.
He has performed at most of the UK's major concerts halls, including concerto appearances at Royal Festival Hall in London and Symphony Hall in Birmingham, frequent recitals at Wigmore Hall since his debut there in 1998, and has appeared as chamber musician at King's Place and Cadogan Hall in London, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, and Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
Anthony has recorded for Decca, Naxos, Champs Hill Records, and Divine Art Records for whom he added to the catalogue the first coupling of the Liszt and Reubke a disc which was praised in International Record Review as "magisterial", a Pndia nreoc Seiovneadt aas, Gramophone recommendation.
His most unusual ‘feat’ was in 2012 when he gained the admiration of the music world and beyond by cycling 1200 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats and giving a concert every night, raising over £13,000 for charity.
Anthony trained at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Simon Nicholls and Seta Tanyel, and was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as a student of Leon Fleisher and Claude Frank at the age of 17.
Guest August 14
One of Mexico’s most talented and distinctive pianists, Patricia's busy international career has taken her from the North America to Europe and the British Isles while showcasing an extensive repertoire, stretching from Bach to the Twentieth Century and including music from Spain and Latin America.
In 1993 Patricia performed the complete Chopin Etudes Op. 10 for the Chopin Society in London and in 1994 enjoyed a notable triumph in the performing of the complete solo piano works of Ravel in two recitals at the Purcell Room in the South Bank. She has also played many times at St. John’s Smith Square, the Fairfield Halls, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’s Piccadilly, Leighton House, Canning House and the Bolívar Hall. In addition to her solo concerts she has given lecture recitals and also many chamber music concerts with a variety of acclaimed performers.
Her appearances with orchestras have included performances with the Filarmónica del Bajío, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Escuela Nacional de Música, Jupiter Chamber Orchestra, Dartford Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Orquesta Sinfónica de Coyoacán and the Hatfield Philharmonic under the batons of Luis Ximénez Caballero, Ivo Valenti, Denis East, Graham Nash, Orn Oskarsson, Miguel Bernal Matus and Howard Burrell.
Born in Mexico City, Paricia gave her first full recital there at the age of 13. In 1972, she was awarded the Munguía Foundation scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music in London. At Trinity she studied with Joseph Weingarten and graduated with Honours. She subsequently made her London debut at the Wigmore Hall in a recital that was well received by the critics.
Guest August 15
24-year-old Aïda Lahlou is an up-and-coming Moroccan pianist and one of the most exciting talents of her generation.
Aïda has collaborated with ensembles such as the Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra, Boyce Camerata, Orchestre Symphonique Royal, St John’s College Orchestra, St John’s Voices, and others. In October 2019, by performing the Schumann concerto during a three-dates tour of Morocco, she became the youngest ever soloist to play with the Orchestre Symphonique Royal (dir. Oleg Reshetkin) at the age of 20. Other recent highlights include a CD with St John’s Voices (Naxos) centered around the music of William Mathias, winning the 2019 UCPO Concerto Competition and achieving a Distinction at the 2020 Music Phenomena online competition.
Born in Casablanca, Aïda started the piano aged 5 with Yana Kaminska, winning her first international competition 3 years later. During her time in Morocco, she received training from several teachers, including Nicole Salmon-Boyer from the École Normale Alfred Cortot. At the age of 15, she was offered a place at the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey where she was able to study thanks to a scholarship from the U.K. government (Music and Dance Scheme) and a scholarship from the school itself. In addition to piano, she learnt harpsichord with Carole Cerasi, and classical improvisation with David Dolan.
Following a BA in Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, throughout which she studied with Caroline Palmer, Aïda is currently enrolled for a Masters in Piano Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Peter Bithell and Ronan O’Hora.
Described by International Piano Magazine as: “...an armour-clad player of complete technique, a thinking musician, a natural Romantic.”, Bobby Chen was a pupil of Ruth Nye and Hamish Milne at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal Academy of Music, and burst on the scene in 1996 playing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in a British tour with Lord Yehudi Menuhin and the Warsaw Sinfonia, and a recital at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the South Bank Prokofiev Festival.
Since then, he has performed as concerto soloist with several orchestras including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta, under the baton of conductors Matthias Bamert, Maximiano Valdés, Michał Nesterowicz, Sir Neville Marriner, Pierre-André Valade, Lan Shui, Jonathan Bloxham and Giancarlo Guerrero.
Recent highlights included a solo recital and performances of Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur on his 4th visit there as soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, a 2-piano recital with regular duo partner Douglas Finch on the opening day of the inaugural ‘Chetham’s International Piano Series’ at the Stoller Hall in Manchester, and solo recitals at the inaugural recital series at Bowerman Hall near Bath and at London’s St. Mary’s Perivale, Farm Street Church and Ognisko Polskie.
Since being a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year, Marie-Noëlle has played at the major London venues including the Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Fairfield Halls, St.John's,Smith Square and the Wigmore Hall. She has given concerts in the U.K. with the Philharmonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Birmingham Ensemble, Cardiff Philharmonic and with several ABC orchestras in Australia.
Marie-Noëlle has recorded recitals for Classic FM and the BBC, both for radio and television. She has also recorded a concerto for BBC2's Contemporary Mozart series, which has since been broadcast in the U.S., Canada and Australia. She has also recorded a chamber music programme for Colombian television.
Marie-Noëlle has a long-standing collaboration with the Australian String Quartet involving concerts and recordings both in Australia and Europe. has also toured Australia as a soloist giving recitals, concertos and master-classes. Recent seasons took Marie-Noelle across the globe with concerts in Scandinavia, Estonia, Russia, the Netherlands and Hungary, and she also participated in a Brahms chamber music festival in Melbourne, Australia.
Acclaimed for the originality of his concert programmes and the depth of his interpretations, Patrick Hemmerlé is a French pianist living in England. He is Clare Hall’s Musician-in-Residence and is Artistic Director of the Intimate Engagements concert series. Patrick’s vast repertoire encompasses a large body of works, including the 24 Chopin Etudes and the 48 Bach Prelude and Fugues, which he often plays in concert. He is also a strong advocate of the music by lesser-known composers, whom he often introduces to the public, either in concert, in CDs, or on his YouTube channel.
Recent engagements have taken Patrick to New York, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, and Prague, and China, as well as many festivals and music societies in England. He has published 5 CDs, which have been well received by the international press. His latest recording project, to be issued in 2023, is a pairing of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier and Fischer’s Ariadne Musica. His musicological knowledge and his capacity to clarify complex musical concepts means he is in demand as a lecturer. He has given talks for Cambridge University. Since 2021, he has been Artistic Director of Clare Hall’s Intimate Engagements series.
Patrick is laureate of international competitions of Valencia, Toledo, Epinal, Grosseto, and CFRPM in Paris. He was trained in Paris at the Conservatoire (CNR), under the tuition of Billy Eidi. He has also had lessons with Graham Scott, Ventsislav Yankoff, Eric Heidsieck and Joaquin Soriano.
Conductor & Musicianship
Described in The Times as a composer whose music is ‘almost mystical… a genuine frisson’, Darren Bloom is a London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub alumnus and was commissioned by the Orchestra to write his chamber symphony, Dr Glaser’s Experiment. He received the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize in 2016 and a commission from the Cheltenham Music Festival for his string quartet Five Brief Lessons on Physics the following year. He recently composed New Eyes for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra and Culture Mile to write Rising for a project featuring film and dance.
Darren studied at the Royal College of Music with Edwin Roxburgh, the Royal Academy of Music with Brian Elias, the Dartington International Summer School with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and has recently completed an AHRC funded PhD in composition at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Richard Causton. He co-founded and conducts the Ossian Ensemble, and has regularly conducted the London Symphony Orchestra’s new music events and recordings since 2014. Darren teaches composition and orchestration at the University of Cambridge and is Lead Tutor for Composition and Musicianship at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire Junior Department.