Ian Wildsmith, Horn – Tait Chamber Orchestra

Young Australian horn player, Ian Wildsmith will be playing 1st Horn in the Tait Chamber Orchestra. We are delighted to welcome this young Melbournian to our newly founded ensemble at our first concert at St John!s Smith Square, Tuesday 9th December 2014 at 7.30pm.

Questions and Answers with Australian Horn player, Ian Wildsmith
(From the RNCM website)

What were you doing before you came here, and why did you decide to apply to the RNCM?

Before I came to the RNCM, I was studying in Melbourne at the Victorian College of the Arts in Australia. I had always wanted to study on this side of the world and did a whirlwind tour of English and German conservatoires with one of my high school friends in 2010, before settling on the RNCM.

What were your first impressions of the RNCM?

My first impressions were incredibly welcoming. I was able to sit down in the refectory and met a few then current French Horn students, who were very helpful in describing College life to me. I was also very impressed with the modern facilities and the wealth of programmes that were going on.

What’s a ‘typical’ day like?

It’s generally pretty full-on. In winter you often go into College before the sun rises and after the sun sets, it seems! You’re thrown into a myriad of musical ensembles in innumerable styles and situations. This is not to say that it’s all work and no play however. The College is very social and you can always find a friendly face for a coffee or a drink.

What’s your favourite aspect of being a student here?

I would probably say the depth and breadth of programmes I have participated in. From Symphony Orchestra to learning historically-informed performance practice on the hand horn, to intensive weekends featuring some of the most prominent composers of our time, the College provides you with training in all aspects of performance.

What are your main personal achievements since being at the RNCM?

Internally, I have been lucky enough to play principal horn with the Symphony Orchestra, performing ‘The Planets’ with Yan Pascal Tortelier and ‘Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ with Sir Mark Elder.

Externally, I recently have been asked to play with the European Union Youth Orchestra. In the last year I was lucky enough to have participated in the London Sinfonietta Academy, the Deutsch-Skandinavische Jugend-Philharmonie and performed Mozart’s Horn Quintet on a Vacation Chamber Orchestra tour.

What do you plan to do after your studies here?

Ideally, I’d love to work in an orchestra, whilst hopefully having an active solo and chamber career. We will have to wait and see what happens though, I’ve still got a lot of time to spend in a practice room first!


Changing Feet – A musical exploration of changing pace

Kevin Penkin, Tait Scholar @KevinPenkin at the Royal College of Music 2013 & 2014 @RCMLatest has been commissioned by the Tait Memorial Trust to write an orchestral work for our Winter Prom @StJohnsSmithSq. He has decided to write a piece for flute and orchestra which he has entitled, Changing Feet. Conducted by Kelly Lovelady with Nicola Crowe, flute and The Tait Chamber Orchestra this will be one of the highlights of our showcase of Australian talent in the United Kingdom.

Kevin Penkin, Tait Scholar
Kevin Penkin, Tait Scholar


Changing Feet is about changing pace. Leaving the world’s most isolated city to live in one of the most industrious and compact environments requires a huge mental change. This piece tries to reflect not only the mentality of someone who grew up in Perth, but the experience of moving to London and ultimately returning home back to Australia. This work explores what one could miss of Perth, be it the silence, the space or the natural beauty.

Kevin Penkin composer. 29th September 2014

Listen to a sample of Kevin’s work on Soundcloud

We are delighted that Kevin has decided to write about a subject which is so close to many of us. The change of pace…the separation from friends and family is one of the most difficult things to adjust to when you make that leap over the pond. For our young artists who travel here on their own to unfamiliar surroundings without the comfort of their usual support networks this ‘change of feet’ has a real and tangible effect on the London experience.

Over the years the Trust have assisted over 250 young Australian performing artists who have made the leap of faith to study and work here in the UK. Part of of our role is to provide financial support but also to connect them with the network of Australian’s here in London who made a similar trip many years ago. Hopefully we ease the mental change which Kevin refers to. I think we can all remember the feelings we experienced when we first arrived. We are all very keen to hear how Kevin Penkin has

Nicola Crowe - Sir Charles Mackerras Chair
Nicola Crowe, flute – Sir Charles Mackerras Chair

Tait Awardee 2014, Nicola Crowe, flute and current holder of the Southbank Sinfonia, Sir Charles Mackerras Chair, will play the flute solo in Kevin’s new work.

Ádám Szabó , cello soloist – Tait Winter Prom

Ádám Szabó  is playing with us in our Winter Prom @StJohnsSmithSq on Tuesday 9th December at 7.30pm. Adam and Yelian He will be centre stage in the second half when they play Giovanni Sollima’s, Violoncelles Vibrez! with the Tait Chamber Orchestra conducted by Kelly Lovelady

Book tickets here

Ádám was a Tait Awardee last year when he completed his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and this year is being supported again as he continues his studies with his teacher.

Ádám Szabó

Listen to Ádám Szabó  on Soundcloud

Biography – Ádám Szabó

Ádám Szabó enjoys a busy and varied career as a freelance orchestral player, chamber musician (as a member of the Darlinghurst Duo), and teacher. From December, Ádám will commence work on contract with Opera North as No. 2 Principal Cello; he is also currently on trial as a tutti member of the Hallé Orchestra. Appearances in 2014 include concerts at the Canberra International Music Festival with ACO2 and the Wallfisch Band, duo recitals in Manchester and London, and a full cycle of the Bach Cello Suites presented in association with the Swiss Church in London, to be performed early next year. In December, Ádám will perform Giovanni Sollima’s double cello concerto, Violincelles Vibrez, together with cellist Yelian He and the Tait Chamber Orchestra.

Currently based in Manchester, Ádám works regularly with Opera North, chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru (as principal cello), as well as with the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ACO2. Other orchestras he has performed with include the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Chamber Opera, Australian World Orchestra, and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ádám was born in Sydney, and completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2010, under the guidance of Zoltán Szabó and Daniel Yeadon. Upon graduating from the Conservatorium, he was awarded a Sydney Symphony Orchestral Fellowship, after which he was engaged as a contract member of the orchestra. He continued his studies in the United Kingdom, moving to Manchester to study with internationally renowned cellist and pedagogue Hannah Roberts at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating in 2014 with a Masters in Musi

Ádám Szabó


Winter Prom 2014 at St John's Smith Square

Tuesday, 9 December, 2014 – 19:30 at St John’s Smith Square

Book here

Join us as we showcase young Australian performing artists. The Tait Chamber Orchestra comprising Australian musicians in the UK, conducted by Kelly Lovelady, and Jayson Gillham, winner of the 2014 Montreal International Piano Competition will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat and Grainger’s Handel in the Strand.

Highlights also include soprano, Elena Xanthoudakis, singing Mozart’s concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te? with Jayson Gillham and orchestra; Xenia Deviatkina-Loh will play Vaughan Williams’ beautiful The Lark Ascending; Yelian He and Adam Szabo will play Sollima’s exciting ‘duel’ for two cellos and string orchestra Violoncelles Vibrez!; and Australian composer and inaugural Tait Scholar, Kevin Penkin, premieres a piece for flute and orchestra entitled Changing Feet played by flautist, Nicola Crowe.

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, we are grateful that The MacMillan Estate has kindly allowed us to give a special performance of the Pie Jesu solo from Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Requiem. Australian ballerina and new Tait Patron, Leanne Benjamin OBE, will teach the role to Sophie Moffatt, a student at The Royal Ballet School, accompanied by soprano, Marlena Devoe and pianist, Chad Vindin. Royal Ballet dancer, Calvin Richardson, will perform his own choreographic interpretation of The Dying Swan which he recently danced at the Royal Opera House accompanied by cellist, Adam Szabo and pianist, Chad Vindin.

The evening ends with the famous final scene from Act 1 of La Bohème sung by Jette Parker Young Artist soprano, Lauren Fagan, and tenor, Gerard Schneider, from the National Opera Studio.


Kelly Lovelady conductor
Jayson Gillham piano
Elena Xanthoudakis soprano
Marlena Devoe soprano
Lauren Fagan soprano
Gerard Schneider tenor
Xenia Deviatkina-Loh violin
Adam Szabo cello
Yelian He cello
Nicola Crowe flute
Sophie Moffat dance
Calvin Richardson dance

Grainger. Handel in the Strand
Mozart. Piano Concerto No.14 in E flat, K 449
Vaughan Williams. The Lark Ascending
Mozart. Ch’io mi scordi di te? Non temer, amato bene. K 505
Kenneth MacMillan. Pie Jesu from his ballet Requiem
Saint-Saëns. The Dying Swan from Carnival of the Animals
Giovanni Sollima. Violoncelles Vibrez!
Penkin. Changing Feet (premiere)
Puccini. Che gelida manina…Si mi chiamano Mimi’ & ‘O soave fanciulla’ from La Boheme



















Nicola Crowe, Flute – The Tait Chamber Orchestra

Nicola Crowe was a Tait Awardee in 2009 as the recipient of the Commonwealth Bank Australia Award. This year she is the 2014/15 holder of the Sir Charles Mackerras Chair with the Southbank Sinfonia. This is a coveted and honoured position in the orchestra which is part sponsored by the Tait Memorial Trust.

Nicola will be playing 1st Flute in the Tait Chamber Orchestra and will be featured soloist in Kevin Penkin’s new work, Changing Feet, which has been specially commissioned by the Trust for our upcoming Winter Prom.at St John’s Smith Square on Tuesday 9th December at 7.30pm.

The biography below is from the Southbank Sinfonia website.

Nicola Crowe
Nicola graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2010 with a Master of Music with distinction, studying with Simon Channing and Jaime Martin. Her studies were generously supported by The Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Tait Memorial Trust and an Australian Bicentennial Scholarship. Prior to moving to London, she was awarded the Lenore Buckle Music Scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with James Kortum.

During her time at the RCM, she was invited by the College to participate in the Castleton Festival in America, under the direction of Lorin Maazel and was also awarded the 2010 All Flutes Plus Prize in the RCM Senior Woodwind Competition and the June Emerson Launchpad Prize with her wind quintet.

Since graduating, she has joined the Band of the Royal Yeomanry as their principal flautist and played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the English National Ballet and with the Macao Orchestra.

As a soloist, she has performed recitals at St John’s Smith Square, St George’s Bloomsbury Church and as part of the New London Orchestra’s Young Performers Concert Series at the Foundling Museum. Whilst in Australia, she performed concertos with the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra, SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Conservatorium Modern Music Ensemble.

Nicola is a member of the Dr K Sextet, a contemporary music ensemble passionate about playing and promoting new music. The sextet has commissioned works by young composers living and working in the UK and abroad. The group were artists at the 2013 Cheltenham Music Festival Composer Academy and were invited to attend the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe in 2012. They have also organised their own Dr K Music Festival, have recorded works for various composers and events and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

In her spare time Nicola loves to teach her many enthusiastic young students, explore London and plan holidays to sunny and warm destinations!

Did you know? Nicola is running the 2014 Oxford Half Marathon as part of a team of 25 Southbank Sinfonia musicians and staff. Find out more >

Quickfire Questions
What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
After learning the flute for about 3 months, I announced to my family that I wanted to be a famous flautist like James Galway with not just one, but numerous golden flutes to choose from. I also thought I could combine my successful musical career with being an astronaut.

Watching my first teacher perform with an orchestra was really inspiring and she helped foster a deep love of music and desire for learning.

What is your earliest musical memory?
Trying out different instruments in our early years music class at my regional conservatorium in Wollongong, and hating the feeling of the violin strings on my fingers. When the flute came along however, I could make a sound on my first go (not as easy as it sounds!) and I told my mother there and then that that was the instrument I wanted to play.

Nicola’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by the Sir Charles Mackerras Chair.




Jakab Kaufmann – Bassoonist, Tait Chamber Orchestra

Australian bassoonist, Jakab Kaufmann is joining us at the Tait Winter Prom @StJohnsSmithSq Tuesday 9th December 2014 at 7.30pm. Jakab is continuing his studies in Switzerland with an internationally acclaimed historical bassoonist, Donna Agrell. We are delighted that Jakab will be a member of our all Australian ensemble.

Jakab Kaufmann
Bassoonist Jakab Kaufmann moved from Sydney to Basel, Switzerland in 2013 and began studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with renowned historical bassoonist Donna Agrell. He freelances with chamber ensembles and orchestras in Switzerland and the UK, playing baroque, classical and modern instruments. In August this year, he became a founding member of the London-based Ensemble Molière.




Marlena Devoe, soprano, winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Award to sing at the Tait Winter Prom

The second half of the Tait Winter Prom, Tuesday 9th December, starts with Samoan, Marlena Devoe, soprano, winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Awards singing the ‘Pie Jesu‘ from Faure’s ‘Requiem

Marlena Devoe, Soprano
Marlena Devoe, Soprano

Sophie Moffatt, dancer, will perform Kenneth MacMillan’s choreographic interpretation of this solo. Sophie recently performed for The Trust at The Leanne Benjaimin Awards at The Royal Ballet School. She ended the evening with the solo from Giselle, coached by Leanne Benjamin OBE.

Sophie Moffatt, dancer
Sophie Moffatt, dancer









Sophie will be coached by Australian prima ballerina and Tait Patron, Leanne Benjamin OBE. This video recording is of Leanne performing this piece at the Royal Opera House.

Chad Vindin, piano
Chad Vindin, piano

Chad Vindin will accompany on the piano. We are thrilled that The MacMillan Estate have kindly allowed us to perform this piece

Calvin Richardson performs, The Dying Swan at the XE Jaguar launch, London

Following his performance at the Royal Opera House in July, Calvin Richardson was invited to re-choreograph his Dying Swan and perform at the launch of the new Jaguar XE on Monday evening 8th September at Earls Court.

Calvin, who recently joined The Royal Ballet, is to dance his choreography of The Dying Swan at the Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square on Tuesday 9th December at 7.30pm. Another ballet highlight is a performance of the Pie Jesu solo from Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet, Requiem. Leanne Benjamin OBE is to coach Sophie Moffatt and prepare her for this beautiful piece for our 2014 Winter Prom

The Tait Memorial Trust is pleased to be assisting these fine young Australian artists in 2014

In 2014 Tait Awards have increased by 27% from 2013/14. This increase has largely been due to the excellent response to our new Friends scheme and the increased level of donations from our generous supporters. The names of our Friends and our major donors can be found here

With our new ‘Adopt a Performer’ scheme we have two scholarships of £5,000 per annum over three years. The aim of this scheme is to offer continuity of funding to the artists over the term of their academic studies and to link a donor directly with an awardee.

Kevin Penkin, Tait Scholar
Kevin Penkin, Tait Scholar

Last year Kevin Penkin, composer, was the inaugural ‘Tait Scholar’ supported by the Baring family. This year he continues his studies at The Royal College of Music. We are delighted that Kevin has agreed to accept our commission for a new piece of music for flute and orchestra entitled, Changing Feet, to be premiered at our Winter Prom 9th December 2014. Tait Awardee, Nicola Crowe is to play the flute solo.

Waynne Kwon, cello, Higgins Family scholar
Waynne Kwon, cello, Higgins Family scholar

Waynne Kwon, cello is the inaugural recipient of the Higgins family scholarship. Waynne is about to commence his undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Though our Partner organisations we are supporting Gerard Schneider, tenor Royal Over-Seas League; Panayiota Kalatzis, soprano and winner of the 2014 Australian International Opera Awards is the recipient of the Frank and Viola Tait Award and we continue our support of the Sir Charles Mackerras Chair at the Southbank Sinfonia. This years recipient is Nicola Crowe, flute.

Gerard Schneider, tenor
Gerard Schneider, tenor
Panayiota Kalatzis, soprano
Panayiota Kalatzis, soprano

This year we are supporting 4 singers, 3 cellists, 2 accompanists, 3 composers, 1 viola, 1 flute and for the first time we are supporting a Trio, The Darian Trio which is based in Vienna.

We have a fund of £8,000 to support The Leanne Benjamin Awards for 2014/15  This fund was the result of The Leanne Benjamin Awards launch at The Royal Ballet School and a generous donation from Lady Roberttson. These awards will be announced later this year.

Nicola Crowe - Sir Charles Mackerras Chair
Nicola Crowe, flute
Adam Szabo
Adam Szabo, cello
Sam Sakker
Sam Sakker, tenor
Chad Vindin
Chad Vindin, piano
Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson, composer
2011 IFAC Australian Singing Competition Semi-Finals
Joanna Norman, soprano
Lisa Bucknell
Lisa Bucknell, soprano
Luke Styles
Luke Styles, composer

Adopt a Performer – £5,000 per annum over three years

Kevin Penkin, composition
Royal College of Music
Tait Scholar

Wayne Kwonn, Cello
Royal Northern College of Music
Higgins Family Award

Lisa Bucknell, Viola
Royal College of Music

Michael Whalley & Karen Goldie Morrison Award

General Awards

Gerard Schneider, tenor
Australian musician showing the most promise
Royal Over-Seas League Prize

Sam Sakker, tenor
Baring Amis Award

Joanna Norman Soprano
Royal Northern College of Music
The Googie Withers Award

Chad Vindin, Accompanist


Private advanced language lessons

Alison Frilingos, Cello
Darian Trio http://www.dariantrio.com/en/
Chamber Music Masterclass Manchester, 2015

Adam Szabo, Cello

Private lessons
Thornton Foundation

Sabina Im, Piano
London Master Classes

Peter Wilson, Composer/ Piano,
Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Nicola Crowe, Flute
Southbank Sinfonia
Sir Charles Mackerras Chair

Panayiota Kalatzis, Soprano
Australian International Opera Awards
Frank and Viola Tait Award

Luke Styles, Composer
Julian Baring Award

James Ioelu, Baritone
Tait Memorial Trust Award
Bel Canto Awards
Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation

James Ioelu, Baritone
James Ioelu, Baritone


Ballet – The Leanne Benjamin Awards at The Royal Ballet School
tbc £8,000