Jessica Cottis to conduct the RPO at the 2017 BBC Proms

Jessica Cottis is to conduct at the 2017 BBC Proms this summer, this time with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (including a work by Sculthorpe)

More information can be found here
22nd July 2017: 2pm and 6pm
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 11 & 12: works by Beethoven, Copland, Elgar, Mozart, Respighi, Ravi Shankar and Peter Sculthorpe
Kathryn Lewek soprano
Jess Gillam saxophone
Jessica Cottis conductor

About This Event

Tickets on sale 9.00am Friday 12 May

Programme to include music by Beethoven, Copland, Elgar, Mozart, Respighi and Ravi Shankar

Join rollicking ringmaster Sir Henry Wood (founder-conductor of the Proms) on an exciting adventure for all the family. Together with young performers, the Ten Pieces Children’s Choir and guests, he discovers how nature, history, dreams, love, magic and lots more have inspired composers to create musical masterpieces.

There will be one interval

Jayson Gillham – to play in Acton, Sunday June 4th, 4pm – 5:15pm

Jayson Gillham, to perform at Acton Hill Church for the first time on June 4th in an all-Bach programme.

Despite composing in the era of the harpsichord and clavichord, Bach has long held fascination for many of the world’s greatest pianists, and his Well-Tempered Clavier remains one of the great show-pieces for artistry at the piano.

Jayson has prepared an exciting program for us, mixing pieces from the Well-Tempered Clavier, with some of Bach’s thrilling organ music and piano transcriptions by some of the great exponents of piano – Rachmaninoff, Cortot and Kempf.

Full Program

Suite from Violin Partita in E major BWV 1006
(trans. Rachmaninoff)

Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp minor BWV 873
(Well-Tempered Clavier Bk II)

Prelude and Fugue in B-flat minor BWV 867
(Well-Tempered Clavier Bk I)

Toccata in G major BWV 916
Allegro e presto

Siciliano from Flute Sonata in E-flat major BWV 1031
(trans. Kempff)

Toccata in C minor BWV 911

Largo from Keyboard Concerto in F minor BWV 1056
(trans. Cortot)

Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 543
(trans. Liszt)


 4pm-5pm. Tickets: adults £6.00, concessions £5.00, children £2.00. Tickets available at the door. Crèche facilities available.

 Jayson Gillham

Born and raised in Queensland, London-based Australian pianist Jayson Gillham is recognised as one of the finest pianists of his generation. He is internationally praised for his compelling performances and relentless elegance. Jayson’s recent performances of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy, were met with critical acclaim.

After receiving numerous prizes from some of the world’s leading piano competitions, it was Jayson’s win at the 2014 Montreal International Music Competition that brought him to international attention. Jayson’s outstanding performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 was described as being performed “with such streamlined patrician elegance that he took home the 1st Prize and a string of engagements to follow.” (Huffington Post)

Jayson now performs with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors with recent and future highlights including engagements with the Sydney Symphony / Vladimir Ashkenazy, Melbourne Symphony / Benjamin Northey, Adelaide Symphony / Jeffrey Tate, West Australia Symphony / Asher Fisch, Queensland Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, the Hallé Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Eroica Ensemble, Nashville Symphony / Asher Fisch, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana and Wuhan Philharmonic amongst others.

In recital, Jayson performs at prestigious venues across the globe including the Wigmore Hall, Louvre Auditorium, Saffron Hall, Royal Nottingham Concert Hall, City Recital Hall Sydney, Melbourne Recital Centre and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre amongst others. Chamber music forms an important part of Jayson’s career with highlights including performances with the Jerusalem, Carducci, Tinalley, Brentano, Ruysdael and Flinders string quartets.

Jayson records exclusively for ABC Classics and the recent release of his debut recital album (Oct 2016) featuring works by Bach, Schubert and Chopin immediately reached the No.1 spot in both the Core Classical and Classical Crossover ARIA charts. In 2017 Jayson will record works by Medtner and Rachmaninoff with the Melbourne Symphony, and, will also feature in a documentary film about the life of Geoffrey Tozer with Jayson performing Medtner Piano Concerto No.1.

Rebecca Blenkinsop wins Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award 2017

On Wednesday 10 May 2017 the  2nd Year students at the Royal Ballet School, Upper School in Covent Garden performed a selection of their choreographies for the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award.

Nine students were shortlisted to show their choreography, collaborating with fellow dancers to direct and stage the work. Each piece was then performed to an audience, including the judging panel: Aletta Collins, Kevin O’Hare, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon.

Tait Awardee, Rebecca Blenkinsop with Tait Chairman, Isla Baring OAM

Congratulations to the 2017 winner Rebecca Blenkinsop, with her piece Fajjar. She started dancing at the age of 11 and was accepted into the Victorian College of Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. Now in her third year at The Royal Ballet School we look forward to watching this talented young dancer’s career blossom over the coming years. Rebecca’s award has been kindly donated by John Frost AM as part of The Leanne Benjamin Awards.

Please contact us if you would like to support a young Australian or New Zealand dancer.

The Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award, generously supported by Peter Wilson, was created in 1973 to encourage choreographic talent. Winners have included Adam Cooper, Matthew Hart, Michael Clark, Jonathan Burrows, William Tuckett, Christopher Hampson, Christopher Wheeldon, Cathy Marston and Liam Scarlett, all of whom have gone on to have careers as choreographers.

It is an annual opportunity for students to create their own choreography. Each student is given two formal showings with feedback from guest choreographers, and regular discussions and meeting points to reflect on the students’ progress.

For the choreographers and their contributing dancers, this learning and development process has been a rich and rewarding time. These are the first or second pieces made by these choreographers and the award performance is followed by a feedback session with one of the judges.

The school is extremely grateful to receive funding for the creative and improvisation workshops. These stimulate ideas and encourage creative development in the choreographers and their dancers. It also enables music advice, guest choreographic feedback and collaboration with professionals on design, to realise the choreographers’ ideas for costume and video projection. Our thanks go to The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation and June Drew, in memory of David Drew. We are also grateful to Peter Wilson who generously sponsors the competition.

The choreographic programme runs across two years at the Upper School, offering improvisation and choreographic strategies in a range of projects. In the 1st Year, students create short sketches on a given theme, whenever possible with live music and also see performances by visiting companies. In the 2nd Year, all students are involved in the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award.

Andrey Lebedev to play at St John’s Waterloo | May 13th 7.30pm

We enjoyed a performance by Andrey Lebedev at our annual Tait Friends event at Stoke Lodge. Here is a film of him practicing the cadenza from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez for Saturday’s concert with the Westminster Philharmonic conducted by Jonathan Butcher. 19:30 at St John’s Waterloo.

On May 13 I am performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Butcher at St John’s Waterloo. After recent ventures into more obscure concertos, returning to this work has felt like greeting a long forgotten friend.

More info:

To learn more about 2016 Awardee, Andrey Lebedev more info here

Tait creates new Endowment Fund

Thanks to a generous donation from the Australian Charity Art Auction, and with their encouragement, we have decided to create a new Endowment Fund with an initial deposit of  £10,000.

Karen Goldie-Morrison, June Mendoza AO OBE and Michael Whalley.

We wish to sincerely thank all at the ACAA for their hard work and dedication to this noble enterprise. The auctions, and other donations related to the event, raised a total of £46,000, with a net £38,000 likely to be available to the nominated charities after all costs.

HE The Hon Alexander Downer AC

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE
Sir Christopher Benson
Yvonne Kenny AM
Isla Baring OAM
Peter Box
Mark Mills

Advisory Committee:
June Mendoza AO OBE RP
Dr Margaret Mayston AM
Karen Goldie-Morrison
Nicholas Lambourn
Roger McIlroy
Belinda Syme
Cathi Taylor
Dr Robert Travers
Michael Whalley

Establish your legacy by ensuring The Tait Memorial Trust can meet the needs for young Australasian performing artists for generations to come. Your gift to the Endowment Fund will enhance the income that the Fund generates, income that helps us fund studies, pay for instruments and generally support our awardees well into the future.

We have created a new class of patron or supporter whose donations can be directed to building our new endowment fund. An “Endowment Patron” could be anyone who gives or bequeaths more than, £5,000, and their names would be recorded against the endowment fund in our records.

Endowment Patrons
Anne Longden
KarenGoldie Morrison
Michael Whalley

If you would like to add your name to our role call of Endowment Patrons by contributing to the fund, or would like to know how a bequest can be used to support it, please email James at:

The Tait Trust announces support of young New Zealand performing artists

We are delighted to announce that the Tait Trust will now support young performing artists from Australia and New Zealand.

HE The Hon Alexander Downer AC with Tait Chairman, Isla Baring OAM announcing Tait support of NZ young performing artists.

This decision is inspired by the work of the Tait Brothers who were instrumental in the development of the Arts in Australasia in the 20th Century as can be seen in the advertisement for J.C.Williamson Limited.

Over the years we have supported several young New Zealander’s due to our partnership with the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation, Bel Canto Awards, including James Ioelu and Marlena Devoe (pictured here with Australian tenor, Gerard Schneider at our 2014 Tait Winter Prom).

Marlena Devoe & Gerald Schneider | Tait Winter Prom 2014 at St John’s Smith Square

Our wish is to provide financial and mentoring support for outstanding NZ dancers, singers, instrumentalists & composers to develop international careers at the highest level.

We extend a warm invitation to all Kiwi’s living in the United Kingdom who wish to join us to help their talented countrymen. Maybe consider sponsoring an award or contribute towards our Endowment Fund.

Please contact if you wish to learn more about this exciting development, or would like to be involved.