MICHAEL COLLIE is a presenter of Midlands Today and on BBC Hereford & Worcester. He joined Midlands Today and BBC News in 1995, and started working as the presenter of Sunday Breakfast (7 9) on BBC Hereford & Worcester in 2012.
Michael grew up in Sheffield and studied at the University of Birmingham and the London College of Printing. After working at various local radio stations including BBC Radio Northampton and BBC WM, Michael presented Channel One News in London, before joining Midlands Today and then The Politics Show in 2007. He also previously worked on The Midlands at Westminster.
Nationally, Michael worked as a presenter of Countryfile for six years and Top Gear, where he specialised in consumer issues. Michael won a Jet Media Excellence Award for Motoring Journalism, for an expose report on car clocking in the motor trade. In the world of consumer affairs, Michael worked for seven years as a reporter then presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours, with assignments that took him across the UK, following anything from rogue traders to plastic duck races and luxury holiday homes for dogs. Michael Collie has also reported for The Today Programme, Farming Today, Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat and the BBC World Service. For two years, he also worked as a newsreader on BBC Radio 2. He has also presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4, including "The Joy of Smelling" and "The Final Victory", recorded with the Gurkhas on location in Nepal.
On television Michael is also known as the presenter of the canoeing series Paddles Up. He has reported for the BBC News Channel, voiced trails and presented live continuity fo「BBC One, worked as the voice of Noel's Telly Addicts and even appeared as a model on The Clothes Show. He has also made appearances on Channel Four's The Friday Night Project, playing the part of a television reporter. Away from broadcasting Michael has worked as a painter and decorator, a motorcycle courier, a steelworker and a commissioned Army officer. He has been a member of the Professional Speakers'Association and the Institute of Director and a patron of two local charities.
Michael·presents live concerts, and has regularly worked with orchestras such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic. He has four daughters, is an Honorary Colonel in the Army Cadet Force, enjoys driving convertibles and lives with his partner in the Cotswolds.
JACQUI DANKWORTH is one of the most highly regarded vocalists in the UK. Her concert appearances and
her stylistically diverse recordings showcase her virtuosic, seemingly mastery of a wide spectrum of genres. Known primarily as a jazz singer, Jacqui's unique musical .effortless palette also draws on folk,
soul, classical, blues, and numerous other influences. Reviewers have described her as "incomparable", "multi faceted" and " one of our finest singers, regardless of category." (Sunday Times)
Jacqui's most recent CD, Live To Love, has garnered rave reviews and features many of her own original compositions. Recent concert appearances have included New Year's Eve 2014 with the Liverpool Philharmonic, a special performance of her "Songs Of Stage and Screen" programme with the RTE Concert Orchestra, Cadogan Hall in London with members the RPO and the BBC Big Band, and as guest vocalist on Radio 2's Friday Night Is Music Night. In 2013, Jacqui appeared as Eleanor in The Opera Company's new production of Alben Berg's Lulu (entitled "American Lulu") with the London Sinfonietta. Tour dates included the Edinburgh Festival, the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, and the Young Vic in London. Recent television appearances include live performances and interviews on BBC Breakfast, the Paul O'Grady Show, and The One Show. Jacqui is constantly touring and performing with her own band throughout the UK and is currently at work on her next album, to be released in 2016.
Jacqui is also an accomplished actor, having performed leading parts with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and in London's West End. Highlights include the part of Cinderella in Steven Sondheim's London premier of Into The Woods, Sophisticated Ladies (a celebration of the music of Duke Ellington) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses with the RSC. In 2012 Jacqui appeared as Rosa in the second series ofThe Borgias starring Jeremy Irons (Showtime TV) and made a cameo appearance in the film Les Miserables directed by Tom Hooper. Jacqui has performed and recorded with a diverse array of celebrated musicians, including the Brodsky Quartet, Courtney Pine, Marvin Hamlisch, Paloma Faith, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Gretchen Parlato, Clare Teale, Georgie Fame, David Gordon, Charlie Wood, Gregory Porter, The London Symphony Orchestra, and legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea.
...the most outstanding percussion player of her generation
Simone Rebello began percussion lessons at the age of 12 and played with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain before auditioning for and being accepted at every major music college in the UK. She accepted an entrance award to study at the Royal Northern College of Music and while at the college won both a scholarship prize and a concerto award.
She graduated with Distinction in 1991 (winning several awards including the Philip Jones Award and the Gilbert Webster Prize) to embark on a solo career that has seen her recording 3 solo albums, touring extensively nationally and internationally, appearing on UK and international radio and television and winning a collection of awards and prizes including the Cosmopolitan Women of the Year in the Performing Arts.
Simone is the founder member of the highly successful BackBeat Percussion Quartet (formed in 1995) who frequently tour and record internationally. They have released 3 solo CD’s and appeared on national and international television and radio including the live TV broadcast of their 2002 Proms debut. They have won numerous competitions and awards including The Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Prize, The Park Lane Group Award, The Osaka International Chamber Music Festa and the Concert Artists Guild (USA) which led to a performance at the Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall.
Simone is also founder member of Equivox with Rob Buckland (saxes) and Peter Lawson (piano). The group released their latest CD ‘The Time is Now’ (which features several commissioned works for Equivox) in 2006 with concerts throughout the UK, Europe and an extensive tour to Saudi Arabia.
Simone was appointed Director of Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester in September 2010, however she continues to work as a solo recitalist with programmes for percussion and piano, percussion and organ.
Visit website: simonerebello.com
As a soloist, Hannah Marcinowicz was a chosen artist for the Tillett Trust Young Artists' Platform, which led to her Wigmore Hall debut in 2008. She has also given solo recitals at the Royal Festival Hall as an award-winner of the Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, and in the Purcell Room as a Park Lane Group Young Artist, where she premiered a new work by Giles Swayne to universal critical acclaim. Following the success of this recital, the Park Lane Group invited her to give a further recital at Wigmore Hall.
A former Purcell School pupil, Hannah graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied both saxophone and clarinet with Richard Addison. Whilst there, she received a Foundation Award and the Henry Ellice Lees Prize. Since leaving the Academy, she has received awards from the Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, Leverhulme Trust, Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Craxton Memorial Trust, which enabled her to continue her studies with international soloist Jean-Yves Fourmeau, at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Cergy-Pontoise in Paris.
In June 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Médaille d'Or from the Conservatoire for both Saxophone Performance and Chamber Music.
Hannah has recorded two “Classic Experience” albums with the pianist Richard Shaw for Cramer Music Limited. She was a soloist on the Countess of Munster Musical Trust Recital Scheme, and a recipient of Making Music’s Philip & Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists, which led
to engagements throughout the UK.
Hannah has worked with a number of top UK orchestras, including the London Symphony, Philharmonia, BBC Concert, London Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia and London Concert Orchestras.
As a concerto soloist, she has performed with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, and her playing has frequently been broadcast on radio and television.
Hannah has a deep and profound passion for sharing her musical skills and helping educate and bring hope to people who would otherwise never be exposed to Western Classical music. On a recent concert tour to India, she devoted all her spare time to working in the slums with children and trafficked girls – some of whom were still working in Mumbai’s notorious red light area. The Indian government granted her permission to visit trafficked children in the high-security rescue home, where she gave a solo performance and taught a group of girls to play a wind instrument. The achievement of mastering and performing a simple tune had such an impact on one particular girl that she removed her ring from her finger and placed it on Hannah’s, asking her to wear it every day so she never forgets the girls – Hannah does wear it every day and it remains one of her most treasured possessions.
Off stage, when Hannah is not busy racing around with her performances, she is most likely to be found on a tennis court, enjoying afternoon tea with good friends, or chilling out with her beloved lop-eared bunny Rufus, who has been known to accompany her on her travels!
Visit website: www.hannahsax.com
Linda Merrick has established an international profile as a clarinet soloist, recording artist and clinician. Specialising in contemporary repertoire, she has commissioned more than 40 works for her instrument by British composers, including 10 concertos, 5 clarinet quintets, and a significant number of smaller scale chamber works and works with electronics.
Linda’s catalogue of over 20 solo CD recordings includes new concertos for clarinet and concert band by Gary Carpenter, Nigel Clarke, Martin Ellerby, Kit Turnbull and Guy Woolfenden (Polyphonic), Philip Sparke (Anglo Records) and Stephen McNeff (Campion), plus concertos for clarinet and orchestra by John Mcleod (Chandos), Edwin Roxburgh (NMC) and Philip Spratley (Toccata). Her chamber music output includes premiere recordings of four new clarinet quintets with the Navarra Quartet (Naxos), a new clarinet quintet by John McCabe with the Kreutzer Quartet (Guild), Wilfred Joseph’s Clarinet Quintet (Metier), Robert Crawford’s Clarinet Quintet (Metier) and chamber works by Malcolm Arnold and John Ireland (Maestro), and by Martin Ellerby (ClassicPrint).
Linda has broadcast as a solo artist for BBC Radio 3, Radio France, DRS1, Switzerland, CKWR in Canada and Arte TV in South Korea, and performed as a concerto soloist across America, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, the UAE, and throughout the UK. She is a founder member of the contemporary ensemble ‘Sounds Positive’, with whom she has premiered over 70 works by British composers, and released 3 CDs.
Combining her performing career with work in music education, Linda is regularly invited to give masterclasses at conservatoires across the world. She currently holds the position of Principal and Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK, and is the UK representative for Howarth Clarinets.
Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. His music degree (with honours) from the University of Western Australia was followed by the Royal Northern College of Music Professional Performance Diploma with Distinction; the college’s highest award for performance. In December 2004, Craig Ogden was honoured by the RNCM with a Fellowship in recognition of his achievements. He is the youngest instrumentalist to have received this award from the RNCM.
One of the new generation’s most prominent players, Craig Ogdens’ performances have taken him throughout the UK, into Europe, the USA, South East Asia, South Africa and Australia in recital, on radio and on television. In 2010, Classic FM (UK) released ‘Craig Ogden The Guitarist’ – a fascinating collection of popular guitar works, innovative arrangements of classical favourites and new works. This CD went straight into the classical chart at no.1 where it stayed for 5 weeks and went on to spend three months in the top 5. It was the second best selling UK classical album of 2010 and has sold over 25,000 copies. Ogden followed this with another chart topping Classic FM CD – Summertime, in June this year which spent three weeks at no.1 and remained in the top ten for many months.
In season 2011/12 he returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra and will be playing with the WDR Rundfunk Orchestra in Köln and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra (Denmark) the following season. Recent performances have included concertos with the Hallé Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra (world premiere of new concerto by Ciaran Farrell), City of London Sinfonia (UK premiere of Erik Esenvalds’ “Songs of Silence”) plus English Symphony. Future plans also include commercial recordings plus broadcasts for the BBC alongside a very busy schedule of recitals throughout the UK and abroad.
Ogden’s other recordings for Virgin/EMI, Chandos, Nimbus, Hyperion, Collins Classics and Sony have received wide acclaim. BBC Music Magazine dubbed Ogden “a worthy successor to Julian Bream” and his debut solo CD for Nimbus Records of 20th Century Classics by British composers was nominated for a Grammy Award. Ogden’s Virgin/EMI release, ‘A Quiet Thing’ with counter-tenor David Daniels received universal acclaim as did the duo’s USA recital tour of the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Mostly Mozart Festivals (after which Ogden was immediately invited back to perform as soloist in the New York Lincoln Centre’s Great Performers Series).
Craig Ogden has released eight recordings on the Chandos label. His recording of all three solo Rodrigo guitar concertos with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra was greeted with wide acclaim and was recently selected as The One To Own in Classic FM magazine against distinguished competition including John Williams and Julian Bream. Classic CD concluded this recording to be “one of the most winning performances I have encountered” whilst Rodrigo’s daughter wrote: “This recording has confirmed your position among the greatest guitarists”. Ogden’s CD, Music from the Novels of Louis de Bernières featured as high as no.10 in the classical charts and was the London Daily Telegraph CD of the week, stating “this disc is pure joy”. Selling over 10,000 discs in three months it is Chandos Records fastest ever selling CD and Ogden now performs regularly with Louis de Bernières in ‘words and music’ recitals. Of Ogden’s recording of concertos by Walton, Arnold and Berkeley with Richard Hickox and the Northern Sinfonia, Gramophone Magazine wrote “All the works in this delightful collection were inspired by Julian Bream, with Craig Ogden proving a formidable successor, matching in sensitivity and flair Bream’s own vintage recordings” while The Guardian hailed Ogden as “Brilliant and persuasive”. Ogden’s most recent recordings include a CD of the solo guitar music of British composer Paul Coles on the Nimbus label, Souvenirs with mandolinist Alison Stephens (Chandos Records), a recital of Spanish Songs with soprano Patricia Rozario (Somm Records) and a solo CD of the music of Northern Irish composer Greg Caffrey.
Craig Ogden made his Royal Albert Hall debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez in a Classic FM Live concert and in May 2009 filled in for an indisposed John Williams at another Classic FM Live concert again playing the Rodrigo concerto. He has also performed concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia (with Vladimir Ashkenazy), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Northern Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, Riga Kammermusika, St’ Petersburg Festival Orchestra, English Chamber, English Symphony, English Sinfonia, Ulster Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, National Orchestra of South Africa, Lund Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), Tasmania Symphony, West Australian Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
Craig Ogden regularly appears as soloist and chamber musician at the major London venues including the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican. He has also performed at most of the main UK festivals and is the most sought after guitarist for chamber music in the UK performing with the Brodsky Quartet, London Tango Quintet, tenors Mark Padmore and Ian Bostridge, Claire Bradshaw (mezzo-soprano), Patricia Rozario (soprano), Paul Tanner (percussion), Gerard McChrystal (saxophone), Alison Stephens (mandolin) and Judith Hall (flute). Craig also frequently records for film and was featured on the British hit, Notting Hill. Ogden’s world premiere performances include a concerto written for him by Gerard Brophy (Australia) (with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra), Sun Trap (for solo guitar) by Jonathan Cole commissioned by the Britten Festival, The Hinchinbrook Riffs (for solo guitar and digital delay) by Nigel Westlake and an Alec Roth song cycle for the Chester Festival. He has also given UK premieres of guitar concertos by John Corigliano (USA), Eriks Esenvalds (Latvia) and Aaron Jay Kernis (USA). Craig Ogden premiered a new solo work by Mark Anthony Turnage at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
In 2008 Craig Ogden made his presenting debut on BBC Radio 3 in ‘The Segovia Legacy’ co-presented by Louis de Bernières and in 2011 Ogden also presented a series of interviews with artists including John Williams for ABC Classic FM (Australia). In December 2011 Ogden also presented three short videos as part of an advertising campaign on Classic FM for Emirates Airline.
Visit website: www.craigogden.com
King Edward III once said: "If you want to train a longbowman, start with his grandfather." This adage holds just as true for British euphonium soloist David Childs who was born in the Yorkshire village of Grimethorpe in 1981, to a family whose name had been synonymous with the euphonium for the last two generations. His grandfather, John was born in the Welsh valleys and was a well-respected euphonium player and conductor who inspired his sons, Robert & Nicholas to play euphonium. Robert began teaching his son David from an early age and in recent years David has emerged as one of the finest brass soloists of his generation.
In the year 2000 he broke new ground for the euphonium becoming the first euphonium soloist ever to win the brass final of the televised 'BBC Young Musician of the Year’ competition, and in the same year was awarded the coveted ‘Euphonium Player of the Year’ title, a title he won again in 2004 and still holds today. Since that time David has been instrumental in raising the profile of the euphonium in the classical world of music and has not ceased to wow audiences with his astonishing technique, extrovert musicality and engaging stage presence.
At twenty-five years of age David is in the early stages of his career, but has already toured extensively performing as a soloist in Australia, the Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and the U.S.A. He is a keen advocate of new music and has premièred six new concerti for euphonium including a Royal Albert Hall radiobroadcast of Alun Hoddinott's, 'The Sunne Rising - The King Will Ride’. David has performed on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Classic fm, channel 4 television and BBC 2 television. He has also been featured in the Gramophone, Classical Music and MUSO music magazines.
David has had the pleasure of performing as a soloist with some of the UK’s finest orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Sinfonia Cymru. He has given solo performances at a number of high profile music festivals including the BBC Proms, Melbourne International Festival, Cheltenham International Festival and the Welsh Proms. He also became the first euphonium soloist to give recitals in London’s most prestigious recital venues; the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank’s Purcell Room.
David has already achieved a great deal as a young euphonium soloist and received many awards in recognition: a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians; a Star Award from the Countess of Munster; the Musicians Benevolent’ Sir Charles Leggett Award; the Welsh Music Guild’s Leo Abse & Cohen Award; the BBC Radio Wales Soloist Award and the Harry Mortimer Award for Outstanding Achievement. As a Schreiber-Keilwerth York Artist David is leading the way for a new generation of euphonium players worldwide; he is proving the euphonium as a serious solo vehicle within the world of classical music whilst remaining dedicated to British style brass band movement. With several new commissions on the horizon, David is sure to continue raising the euphonium’s profile through his own unique performances.
Visit website: www.davechilds.com
Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs MMus FRSM ARCM LGSM RAF
Born in Stoke on Trent, Duncan Stubbs began his musical career at an early age playing bassoon in local orchestras and shows. He was also organising concerts and arranging music for his friends from the age of 14. He was awarded his music degree at York University, specialising in performance, followed by a year’s postgraduate study in Birmingham specialising in music education.
He joined the Royal Air force in 1983 as a member of the Central Band of The RAF and was commissioned as a Director of Music in 1990, being one of the youngest ever commissioned Directors of Music in all three Services. As Director of Music of the Western Band and later of the Band of the Royal Air Force College he achieved an unprecedented six consecutive wins in the Boosey and Hawkes RAF inter-band competitions. In November 2001 he was appointed Director of Music of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, a post he held for five years. During this time he was responsible for performances of several National and International premiers, also the first ever performance, with the “Royal Air Force Squadronaires”, by any military group in the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Night Club. He also initiated new opportunities and directed new ensembles thereby generating challenges for the ever rising standard of musicians being recruited into the Royal Air Force and, at the same time, maintaining the world wide reputation enjoyed by the Central Band of the RAF. He has completed 2 tours in the Headquarters where he was responsible for all aspects of Training, Administration and Manpower planning.
In addition to his RAF commitments Duncan has continued his own musical studies, becoming the first musician to achieve the Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music (Directing - Wind Band). More recently he completed a Master of Music Degree where he received both the William Primrose and Albert Thomas Howard Composition prizes for composition. As an arranger and composer he has many successful works in the catalogues of 2 international publishers.
He regularly conducts civilian wind bands, many of which have achieved national status, and he is frequently asked to coach and adjudicate at wind band festivals. He continues to play the bassoon, albeit rarely and preferably when no one else is listening. When not performing music or being a doting father he can often be found giving his ‘ears a rest’ on top of a mountain in the Lake District.
As Principal Director of Music Royal Air Force he looks forward to continuing the challenge of maintaining the musical reputation enjoyed by Royal Air Force Music Services throughout the world.
Isabelle Orford - oboe
Isabelle graduated with a first-class honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2015 and has since enjoyed dividing her time between performing and working for the Hallé Orchestra as their Youth Ensembles Administrator. Since graduating, she has freelanced with a variety of ensembles including the Hallé Orchestra, Soundscape Chamber Orchestra, Stamford Ensemble, Asyla Ensemble and Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra. During her time at the RNCM, where her studies were generously supported by the John Fewkes (Leicestershire) Instrumental Fund, and under the tutelage of Hugh McKenna and Melinda Maxwell, Isabelle was a soloist on the Wind Orchestra’s CD, ‘Roman Trilogy’, the recipient of the Gilbert/Fell Prize in the School of Wind, Brass and Percussion Solo Competition and was twice a finalist in the Concerto Competition. She is also a keen chamber musician and was a member of the Quays Wind Quintet, which comprised fellow RNCM students, throughout her college years. As well as regularly performing across the North West, the quintet reached the final of the School of Wind, Brass and Percussion Chamber Music Competition and was the recipient of the June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Prize. Having spent many happy years playing in wind ensembles within the Bromley Youth Music Trust.