AYM Chamber Weekends are a chance to focus intensively on repertoire in small ensembles and through this, gain the skills needed to rehearse and perform Chamber Music. This weekend, led by Kay Stephen (viola), will involve studying music from Telemann to Debussy to George Crumb to Salina Fischer. Alongside discovering and learning the music, AYMs will develop their experience of working with other musicians in small ensemble settings, their aural skills, understand how to rehearse effectively, and more. Kay will be joined by Anna Brigham (strings), Joe Richards (percussion) and Holly Melia (flute), who will all collaborate together with the AYMs.
About the artists
Kay is from Aberdeen and took up the viola alongside violin early in her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She completed postgrad at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, followed by an International Artist Diploma in string leadership, with the Hallé Orchestra. In 2010 she joined the Gildas Quartet as their violist and for nearly ten years performed with them all over the world, including in South Africa, China and Australia, in addition to most of the major UK concert halls and many times on BBC Radio 3. The quartet was awarded the ‘Audience Engagement’ award at the International Franz Schubert and Modern Music Competition in Graz in 2018, in recognition of their bold and creative approach to programming. Kay is currently violinist and violist with the Jacquin Trio, with with whom she won the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition in 2016. Kay has performed with ensembles such as the Elias, Navarra and Edinburgh quartets, the Manchester Collective, Ensemble Deva and Red Note Ensemble and as guest leader of the Florian and Aurea quartets. Formerly co-principal viola with the Manchester Camerata, she appeared many times as principal and as soloist with the orchestra. She has been invited as guest principal viola with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as co-principal with the BBC Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia and the Britten Sinfonia, and with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. She also performs as violinist with orchestras such as the London Contemporary Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Hallé and the Gabrieli Consort. In 2018 Kay joined twelve piece cross-genre ensemble, Propellor for their residency at Snape Maltings.
Anna Brigham is a violist and violinist from Cornwall. She is a versatile and committed chamber musician; as the violist of the Florian Quartet and violinist in the Fortescue Duo she has performed throughout the country, including Prussia Cove, Kings Place and St Martin in the Fields. She has appeared several times as a guest with the Dante Quartet, and has collaborated with other ensembles in Sweden, Belgium and France. After completing an academic music degree at the University of Birmingham Anna went on to study at the RNCM in Manchester, where she obtained a Masters degree with distinction. She studied with Krysia Osostowicz and Pavel Fischer. She has worked with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera North, and regularly plays with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Anna’s varied freelance career also encompasses playing with a folk band, shows with Michael Bublé, several concerto appearances and projects with Kaleidoscope; a dubstep orchestra. She is also heavily involved with musical outreach and, as part of the prestigious Live Music Now scheme, has led many sessions in special schools, a residency in a school for children who have been expelled, and concerts for people with Alzheimer’s. Upcoming projects include playing in hospitals, concerts with the Multi-storey Orchestra, and work with the new charity ‘Music for Kenya’
Born in Ilkley, Yorkshire, Holly Melia graduated with a first class honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music having studied with Katherine Baker, Richard Davis and Wissam Boustany. She began playing the flute at the age of eight, winning a scholarship to study at Chetham’s School of Music in 2003. As a solo artist, Holly was a finalist in the 2013 Royal Overseas League competition. She has won the RNCM concerto competition (2010 and 2013), the RNCM Gold Medal – the highest award for performance at the RNCM (2010), the British Flute Society Performance Plus competition, the Craxton Memorial Award and the Martin Musical Scholarship. In 2007 she was a woodwind semi-finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. Holly is a member of Tempest Flute Trio, winners of the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition 2013. The ensemble won the Nonclassical “Battle of the Bands” competition resulting in an album deal on the Nonclassical record label. They performed as featured artists in the National Flute Association annual convention in Las Vegas, the British Flute Society convention in Manchester and have toured Switzerland where they opened the Lucerne chamber music series. Orchestral credits include performing with the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, English National Ballet, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hallé, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Welsh National Opera Orchestra.
After two years of training at the prestigious Purcell School of Music, Joe was awarded a scholarship at the Royal College of Music. Having graduated with First Class Honours, he continued his studies for a Masters in Performance, receiving a Distinction as an Ian Evans Lombe and Mary Dobson Scholar. Joe has performed all over the UK and abroad in a huge array of musical contexts; ranging from work as a contemporary solo artist, to that of an orchestral, chamber and West End musician. He has appeared with numerous ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, frequently featuring on national radio and television. Other collaborations include work with such internationally renowned musicians as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Mark Ford, Daniella Ganeva, We Spoke Ensemble, Plus-Minus Ensemble and Nebojsa Zivkovic amongst many others.
Find out more | Key contact
Tilly Gugenheim – Producer, AYM