RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship
Awarded by the Royal College of Music every two years to an outstanding pianist.
The Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship is named in honour of Britain’s great composer of the last century who studied piano at the Royal College of Music between 1930 and 1932 under Arthur Benjamin. The College awards this fellowship every two years to an outstanding pianist embarking on the Artist Diploma course to prepare for a career as an international soloist. The RCM provides the opportunity for the Fellow to play for some of the finest international soloists including Murray Perahia, Evgeny Kissin, Andras Schiff and Eliso Virsaladze.
The biennial Benjamin Britten Fellow Wigmore Recital commenced in 2018 in London’s prestigious Wigmore Hall and has become a landmark feature of the Fellowship.
In addition, the Britten Fellow has the opportunity to complete a project to launch their international career. Previous Fellows – from Ukraine, Russia, UK and Serbia – have produced critically acclaimed CD recordings, as well as a Music and Dance film.
Royal College of Music
The Royal College of Music is home to 840 students, around half of which come from 60 countries outside the UK. RCM professors come from across the world too, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise. This dynamic and diverse community produces outstanding performers, composers, conductors and researcher, many of distinguished international renown. The RCM’s excellence was recognised by the 2017 QS World University Rankings, in which it ranked top institution for Performing Arts in the UK and Europe.
Notable alumni are composers and performers such as Sir Hubert Parry, Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Sir Colin Davis, David Helfgott, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Lord Lloyd Webber, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir James Galway, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Gerald Finley CBE and Dame Sarah Connolly.
Regular visitors to the RCM to teach and demonstrate are Bernard Haitink, Sir Thomas Allen, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Lang Lang. Our most recent honorary doctorates include Vladimir Jurowski, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Roger Norrington, Bryn Terfel and Steve Reich
Martin James Bartlett
Martin James Bartlett, 24, is an exclusive recording artist with Warner Classics, possesses a fearless technique and plays with a maturity and elegance far beyond his years. His first disc for Warner was released in May 2019 and explores the theme of love and death in works by Bach, Liszt, Schumann, Granados, Wagner and Prokofiev. “Bartlett’s ability to think long-term, rather than give in to immediate excitement, is probably his most impressive trait. No.2 on his score card may be his unaffected delicacy of touch, colour and tone, brilliantly shown in the three Petrarch sonnet settings from Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage… Everything works to illuminate the music.” The Times, 5 Stars, June 2019 Martin James Bartlett’s early public success was as the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014. This led to engagements with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals across the country.
He made his BBC Proms debut in 2015 performing Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performed the piece with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms “Last Night” celebrations which was broadcast live from Belfast on BBC Four and BBC Radio Ulster. In the following year, he performed at Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday thanksgiving service, which was broadcast live on BBC One from St. Paul’s Cathedral. During this period he received support from the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT). In 2017, whilst still an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music, where he has studied with Professor Vanessa Latarche, Bartlett was a quarter finalist in The Van Cliburn Competition, held in Fort Worth, Texas, attracting a considerable following both live in the hall and online on Medici TV. He is now in the final year of his master’s degree at The Royal College as a Foundation Scholar. During the past season, Bartlett made his debut with the BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Philharmonia and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in ‘Classic FM Live’ at The Royal Albert Hall playing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2. At the beginning of the season, he competed in the Bad Kissingen Klavier Olympiad, winning both second prize and the audience prize. He was subsequently invited to step in to play the prize-winners concert in the Kissinger Sommer, performing Bach Keyboard Concerto No.1 and the Concerto for 2 pianos with Cyprien Katsaris. He also played recitals at the Klavier Festival Ruhr and The Riga Jurmala Fesitval, The Biarritz Festival, and returned to play at the BBC Proms. Earlier in the season, at the invitation of Sir Andras Schiff, he participated in Schiff’s public masterclass at the Salzburg Mozartwoche. In the opening weeks of the 2019/20 season, Martin James Bartlett will appear at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival and at the Piano Aux Jacobins in Toulouse. He will also make his recital debut in Paris for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Later in the year, Bartlett will make a return visit to the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Wigglesworth, and will play again with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Debuts include the BBC Concert Orchestra and the RTE Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to the Rising Star series by the Basel Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft, and to the Verbier Festival for a solo recital and a duo recital with Timothy Choi. Martin James Bartlett made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series.
Arina Lazgiian, concert pianist, was born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in 1991. In June 2019, she graduated from the Royal College of Music in London with the Artist Diploma, under Professor Vanessa Latarche. Arina has already been awarded her Master`s degree from the Royal College of Music where she was supported by a Future of Russia Scholarship. Since arriving at the Royal College of Music, she has won the RCM Concerto Competition 2017 performing Saint-Saëns’ Concerto No. 2 twice with the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra. Arina also won the Hopkinson Gold Medal for piano in 2017. She was a finalist in the Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition at Wigmore Hall in 2017.
In June 2018 Arina Lazgiian was announced as the recipient of the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship for 2018-2020, awarded by the Royal College of Music. This Fellowship, named after the renowned composer and RCM alumnus, supports an exceptional pianist who has been accepted to the RCM Artist Diploma Course. The same year, Arina was selected to go through to the final stages of The Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition for the summer of 2019 in Bolzano, Italy. In December 2018, Arina was invited by the Royal College of Music to perform at a large fundraising VIP event, the Soirée d’Or, at the Victoria and Albert museum, Raphael Gallery. In March 2019 Arina performed on France-Musiques’s programme Générations- live in Paris. In July 2019, she was invited to Majorca to perform at the International Piano Festival “Torre de Canyamel” which included the renowned pianist Arkadi Volodos. The same year in July Arina has won the third prize on ‘Flame Concours’ in Paris, France. She has recently recorded Liszt’s Dante sonata which will be the musical basis of a newly-choreographed ballet film, with dancers directed by Margaret Williams.
Between 2010 and 2015, Arina was enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory where she studied under the renowned pianist Vera Gornostayeva. Before this, she studied with Yelena Plyashkevich at the Moscow Gnessin Special Music School between 2005 and 2010. In 2005 Arina was granted an honorary award from the mayor of St Petersburg. She has performed at the Grand Hall of St Petersburg’s Philharmonic Society, the Academic Capella and the Small Hall Glazunov in St Petersburg, the Salle Cortot and the Centre Spirituel et Culturel Russe in Paris.
Her repertoire includes various compositions by Domenico Scarlatti, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikowsky, Dvorak, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Faure, Busoni, Mussorgsky, Rakhmaninov, Medtner, Scryabin and Desyatnikov
Considered to be one of Serbia’s finest pianists, Nikola Avramovic is a sought- after performer. He is graduate of both the Belgrade Academy of Arts and London’s Royal College of Music, having studied and worked in masterclasses with pianists including Ninoslav Zivkovic, Ian Jones, Ashley Wass, Eliso Virsaladze, Wei-Yi Yang, Aleksandar Madzar, Janina Fialkowska and Sophia Gulyak.
Nikola has been the recipient of many scholarships and awards. He was the First Prize winner at the EPTA Competition and the Serbia Republic Competition. He was also granted the Yamaha scholarship, Second Prize winner at the Joan Chissell Schumann Piano Competition at the RCM.
During his studying at the Belgrade Academy of Music, he got two prestigious awards: award for the most talented student at the Piano department from the fund Olga Mihajlovic and award for the most promising pianist from the fund Emil Hajek.
Nikola has performed at prestigious festivals in Serbia, United Kingdom, Estonia, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Macedonia, Czechia, Singapore, Japan and China and venues such as the Wigmore Hall, St.John Smith Square, Steinway Hall in London, Wesley Chapel in Harrogate etc.
He has given masterclasses in Europe and Asia and was the president of the Jury at the Steinway Piano Competition in Changsha(China).
Nikola has recorded for Radio Belgrade and has appeared regularly on the Serbian National Television.
He is the previous recipient of the prestigious Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship at the Royal College of Music in London, which is supported by the Philip Loubser Foundation. As part of this scholarship, Nikola has recorded the CD for Genuin Record Label in Germany which was released on 6th of March earlier this year.
Nikola is a first classical pianist on a new social media platform called Pindify.
Currently, he resides in Shanghai.
Praised for his subtle interpretations and refined technical mastery, British pianist Alexander Ullman has impressed audiences and critics worldwide with his deep understanding of the scores he interprets, his elegant touch and crystalline phrasing.
Recent highlights include performances with the NCPA Orchestra in Beijing (Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 under Markus Stenz) and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona (Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 under Josep Vicent), as well as his debuts at the Lucerne Piano Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr and Montreal Chamber Music Festival. He also made his debut with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and performed recitals in Germany (Munich, Bayreuth, Weimar and Berlin), Austria (Liszt Festival Raiding), Hungary (Liszt Academy Budapest), the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Georgia, Mexico, Korea (Seoul Arts Center) and his native UK.
The upcoming season sees his concerto debuts at Vienna’s Musikverein with the Tonkünstler Orchestra (under Yutaka Sado) and Munich’s Gasteig with Munich Symphony Orchestra (under Kevin John Edusei) – both with Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3. He makes his recital debut at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, returns to Seoul Arts Center with two solo programmes, and performs in duo recitals with pianist Teo Gheorghiu at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and with violinist Tosca Opdam at New York’s Zankel Hall.
In Spring 2019, his first album on Rubicon, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Prokofiev’s Six Pieces from Cinderella, as well as Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Firebird suites, received rave reviews.
The winner of the 2017 International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, Alexander has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Budapest Radio Orchestra and Korean Symphony Orchestra, as well as the New Jersey, Fort Worth and Montreal symphonies, working with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Giancarlo Guerrero, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Valentin Uryupin and Cristian Măcelaru. In the 17/18 season he closed the Lille Piano(s) Festival with Orchestre de Picardie under Jean-Claude Casadesus.
He has performed at Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and the NCPA in Beijing, and has been featured in the Nottingham and Oxford international piano series, on BBC Radio 3, France Musique and MDR Klassik. Chamber music highlights include performances at the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove (UK), Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades (France) and La Jolla Summerfest (US) with performers such as the Dover Quartet, violinists Barnabas Kelemen and Aleksey Semenenko, and cellist Michael Petrov.
Alexander first came to international attention in 2011 after winning the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in Budapest. From 2014 to 2017 he was represented by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT). Born in London, in 1991, he studied at the Purcell School, the Curtis Institute and the Royal College of Music, completing his Artist Diploma as the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow in 2017 (awarded by the Philip Loubser Foundation). His teachers have included William Fong, Leon Fleisher, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Robert McDonald, Dmitri Alexeev, Ian Jones and Elisso Virsaladze.
“Alexander Ullman is a great winner, a wonderful and mature young pianist who will develop even more in the coming years.”
— Piano News (January 2018)
“He heard the score with immense clarity and vision,and brought it to life as if the composer were watching over his shoulder.”
— Huffington Post (June 2014)
.“Pavel Kolesnikov is an engrossing musician. He is perhaps the most introspective and meditative pianist that I know of, and with his deep and delicate sensitivity to sound, he is able to bring out a sophisticated gradation of colours particularly in the quieter ranges of the instrument. He is a poet of the piano, rather than say, a novelist or a storyteller.” Bachtrack, October 2018
Pavel Kolesnikov became Prize Laureate of the Honens International Piano Competition in 2012, and recital and festival appearances resulting from the Honens Prize include Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, the Louvre (Paris), Vancouver Recital Society, La Jolla Music Society, Spoleto Festival USA, Canada’s Ottawa ChamberFest and Banff Summer Festival.
His recent recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations has received 5-star reviews.
Pavel has performed with the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, the BBC Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He has undertaken UK and European tours with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony and Flanders Symphony Orchestras. Pavel made his BBC Proms debut performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 2 with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland conducted by Ilan Volkov. He also joined the BBC Proms at the inaugural event in Australia. Pavel will perform his first Beethoven Concerto cycle with Sinfonia Cymru during the 2020 Beethoven anniversary year. He has given recitals at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, as part of the international Piano Series, and at Kings Place, London. He enjoys collaborating with other musicians, such as the Brahms Violin and Viola Sonatas with Lawrence Power, again at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Pavel has also given recitals in South Korea, Japan, Spain, and Germany, and at the La Roque d’Antheron festival, the Musiq3 Festival in Brussels, and the Aldeburgh Festival. He returns regularly to the Wigmore Hall in London. London-based Pavel Kolesnikov was born in Siberia into a family of scientists. He studied both the piano and violin for ten years, before concentrating solely on the piano. He has studied at Moscow State Conservatory with Sergey Dorensky, at London’s Royal College of Music with Norma Fisher and at Brussels’ Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel with Maria João Pires thanks to the generous support of Mr Christopher D Budden, the RCM Scholarship Foundation and Hattori Foundation. Pavel is the recipient of the Milstein Medal and is a RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow. Pavel was a member of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists from 2014 to 2016
Pianist Dinara Klinton was born in Ukraine and has completed the Artist Diploma in Performance course at the Royal College of Music where she was under the tutelage of Dina Parakhina. Prior to this, she was awarded a Master of Performance degree with distinction at the RCM. Upon graduating from the Moscow Central Music School, where she studied with Valery Pyasetsky, she went on her Graduate Diploma with Honors at the Moscow State Conservatory, where she worked with Eliso Virsaladze. Dinara currently holds a position of Assistant Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music.
Klinton has won many awards in prestigious international competitions, among them are Third prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, USA (2016), Third prize BNDES International Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014), Second Prize and Special prizes for the best performance of the Semi-final recital, Chopin’s composition and Paderewski works at the 9th International Paderewski Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland (2013), Second Prize at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy (2007). She has also received the Diploma for the best pianist who did not qualify into the Final of the Chopin competition in Warsaw (2015). Dinara has appeared at many international music festivals including the “Progetto Martha Argerich” Festival in Lugano, Rheingau Music Festival, Ravello Music Festival, International Festival of Piano “La Roque d’Antheron”, “Chopin and His Europe” in Warsaw, Cheltenham Music Festival, Aldeburgh Proms. Dinara has performed at such venues as Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall in London, Tchaikoivsky Concert hall in Moscow, Great hall of Moscow State Conservatory, Berlin Philharmonic, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Warsaw Philharmonic, Tokyo Sumida Triphony Hall. She has worked with orchestras such as The Philharmonia Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Musica Viva and The Moscow Virtuosi. Her performances have been broadcast by EBU, BBC2, BBC Radio3, All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.
Dinara’s debut recording Music of Chopin and Liszt was made at the age of 16 with an American label DELOS. Her second album Liszt: Études d’exécution transcendante, S. 139 was released in 2016 with GENUIN Classics, and the most recent CD has been launched in summer 2017 and is a part of renown recording series “Chopin. Complete Works on contemporary instruments”, released by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute.
RBS NADIA NERINA SCHOLARSHIP
ITA INTERNATIONAL IBSEN FELLOWSHIP
ENO MACKERRAS CONDUCTING FELLOWSHIP
GLENN GOULD BACH FELLOWSHIP
RCM BENJAMIN BRITTEN PIANO FELLOWSHIP
Martin James Bartlett
THE IBSEN ARTIST IN RESIDENCE