Sussex born soprano Sophie Pullen has sung extensively as a soloist around the UK, recently performing Mozart arias with the Orchestra of St John at Smith Square, London and song premieres with the Coull Quartet at Warwick Arts Centre. Forthcoming performances include Strauss& Rachmaninov Songs with the OSJ at the Ashmoleon Museum Oxford, a Duo Russian Song Recital at Holburne Museum Bath, Finzi’s Dies Nataliswith Buxted SO, Mozart’s Requiem and New Year’s Eve concerts with the OSJ at King’s Place and Dorchester Abbey. In addition to concert work Sophie has sung a number of roles including Lauretta, Galatea, Rose Maurrant, Theodoraand Ilia and sings regularly with Cameo Opera in the south east.
An early member of Glyndebourne’s Youth Opera programme Sophie holds a 1stclass Mathematics degree and graduated with a Distinction and the Postgraduate Prize for Excellence from Birmingham Conservatoire of Music in 2013. She has sung with British Youth Opera and in a student chorus at The Royal Opera House conducted by Sir Mark Elder. A prizewinner in the Edward Brooks English Song Prize, Sophie was also a finalist in the Dean & Chadlington Competition last year and a quarter-finalist at the International Student LiedDuo Competition in Holland. Recently performed works include Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Mass in C Minor, Donna Elvira & Susanna – Opera Scenesand Bastienne – Bastien und Bastienne for Wastepaper Opera; additionally she performed the soprano solos of Carmina Burana, Elijah, Rutter’s Requiem & Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria with a range of choral societies.
with Yoko Misumi
22nd November 2014
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Iúnó Connolly- Soprano
Winner of the 2014 Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Pat Syme Award, the 2013 Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize & The International Eisteddfod Vocal Solo Competition, Iúnó is currently in her final year at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music training with Catherine Benson. Before taking up singing full time in 2010, Iúnó worked for artist management agency HarrisonParrott in London. In Autumn 2012, Iúnó completed a four month placement in Ferrara, Italy, as a student at the Conservatorio G.Frescobaldi. During this time she gained valuable experience singing in the Italian language, with her main focus being on the bel canto repertoire. Whilst in Italy she performed with italian festival "In Chorde" in numerous venues in the Emilia-Romagna region including the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara.
Recent performances include recitals at the Theatre Severn; Britten Concert, Ridotto del Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, Italy; Soprano Duo Recitals at St Mary-at-Hill, London; St Mary in the Castle, Sussex & most recently at the In & Out Club, St. James's Square, London. In oratorio she has recently performed as a soloist in Rossini's Stabat Mater, Bach's B Minor Mass and Vivaldi's Gloria. This autumn, Iúnó performed the title role in "Ninja" by Ulf-Diether Soyka and Fiordiligi (Opera Scenes).
This Spring Iúnó performed the role of Blanche de la Force in "Dialogues des Carmélites" at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham; Belinda in "Dido & Aeneas"; in a recital of Spanish classical song as part of Symphony Hall's "Beyond Classical" series; and in recital accompanied by Robin Bowman. In April Iúnó participated in British Youth Opera's Easter Workshop.
Future performances include a Russian recital at the Holburne Museum in Bath, a return to perform at the International Eisteddfod this summer, and in the public final of the 2014 Dean& Chadlington Singing Competition
In September 2014 Iúnó takes up her place at the Royal Academy of Music to study on the postgraduate Vocal & Operatic course (MA) where she has been offered a scholarship. She is extremely grateful to The Seary Trust, The Sarum St Michael Educational Trust and The Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust for their support towards her postgraduate studies.
Yoko Misumi was born in Kyoto, Japan to a musical family and started her piano lessons very early. At age 14 she received the Second Prize in the prestigious Kyoto Piano Competition. After graduating from Kyoto Music High School she moved to London, where she completed a BMus degree at Trinity College of Music, and later two postgraduate diplomas.
Misumi's concert appearances include a highly acclaimed performance of Chopin's "Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante" with the Trinity College of Music Symphony Orchestra under James Judd. Yoko has performed all around Japan and in Germany, Portugal, London, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, both as soloist and in chamber music recitals. She has appeared in such prestigious venues as Kyoto Concert Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St James's Church Piccadilly, Wigmore Hall, Adrian Boult Hall and Regent Hall. In master classes Yoko has worked with Bernard Greenhouse and Dimitri Alexeev, among others.
She is the recipient of the First Prize of the John Longmire Beethoven Competition, Second Prize of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Intercollegiate Piano Competition 2005, the winner of the Elizabeth Schumann Lieder competition 2006 and the Leonard Smith & Felicity Young Duo Competition 2007 with cellist Stjepan Hauser. Most recently she won the 2008 Alfred Kitchin Piano Competition. Currently, Yoko is the Leverhulme Scholar at Trinity College of Music, and also recipient of the TCM Founders' Prize for musical accomplishments.
Misumi is a member of The Greenwich Trio, together with the Slovenian violinist Lana Trotovsek and Croatian cellist Stjepan Hauser. The Trio, a 2008 winner of Solti Foundation Award, has been described by legendary cellist Bernard Greenhouse as the new "Beaux Arts Trio". The trio won both the first and the audience prize of the Cavatina Chamber Music Competition, a result that was followed by a series of highly praised concerts all around Europe. They are the current holders of the first prize in the Trinity Laban Chamber Music Competition and of the first and special prizes at the International Chamber Music Competition in Candelo, Italy.
The Greenwich Trio received regular coaching from Bernard Greenhouse (Beaux Arts Trio) and Stephen Kovacevich, and has received coaching from Rivka Golani, and master classes from Bernard Greenhouse, Ivry Gitlis and Klaus Maetzl (Alban Berg Quartet). Highlights from the year 2008 include concert in St. Martin in the Fields and performance of the Triple Concerto with conductor Barry Wordsworth.