NIKA GORIC

Born in Slovenia in 1990, Nika studied at the Ballet and Music School in Maribor, the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, and the Royal Academy of Music where she is completing her studies with Lillian Watson and Jonathan Papp on the Opera Course.   She was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2016.

This summer Nika joined Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project, taking part in  a new production of The Fairy Queen and in masterclasses with Thomas Hampson and Ann Murray.  Over the last year she has performed in a production of Handel’s Messiah with Opera National de Bordeaux and sung the roles of Susanna (Marriage of FIgaro) and Fortuna and Pallade (L'incoronazione di Poppea) with RAO.

During the 2016/17 season Nika takes the roles Norina (Don Pasquale) with Slovene National Theatre and Eurydice (Offenbach’s Orfeo and Eurydice) with RAO.  She gives recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival and at Wigmore Hall.

Previous concert appearances include the Klavier Festival Ruhr with Graham Johnson, Kioi Hall (Tokyo) and the Festival Maribor with Richard Tognetti.

Winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award, baritone GARETH BRYNMOR JOHN studied at St John’s College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music where, in his final year, he won the Royal Academy of Music Patrons’ Award. He recently studied at the National Opera Studio where he was supported by the Royal Opera House, Richard Carne Trust, and Chris Ball. He will make his debut with Welsh National Opera singing Schaunard (La Bohème) in Spring 2017.
Most recently, he sang Sharpless (Butterfly) for Bury Court Opera and at the Anghiari Festival in Tuscany, and Pallante (Agrippina) for Iford Arts Opera. With English Touring Opera, he sang Edoardo in Donizetti’s The Siege of Calais, and understudied Marcello (La bohème). He has also understudied Silvio (I Pagliacci), Cecil (Maria Stuarda), Roderick (Usher House) and Man/Ephraimite (Moses und Aron) for Welsh National Opera. His core role at the National Opera Studio was Don Giovanni. With the Royal Academy Opera, his roles included Eugene Onegin, Claudio (Béatrice et Bénédict) with Sir Colin Davis, The Ferryman (Curlew River), Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte), and Sir Thomas Bertram (Mansfield Park, Jonathan Dove). Other roles include Papageno (The Magic Flute), Sid (Albert Herring), Theseus (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Shadwell Opera, Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro) for the Amersham Festival, Gendarme (Les Mamelles de Tirésias), and Hymen and Sleep (Fairy Queen). He created Carl in Gervasoni’s “Limbus Limbo” which premièred at the Strasbourg Festival Musica.
Gareth has performed extensively on the concert platform, including with a number of the UK’s leading orchestras and ensembles including The Philharmonia, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players. Highlights include Elijah with the Really Big Chorus at Birmingham Town Hall; Carmina Burana with the Bach Choir at the Royal Festival Hall, and with Hertfordshire Chorus at the Barbican; Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall; Faure’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall; Dream of Gerontius with the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus; Bach’s St Matthew and St John Passions; Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and Alexander’s Feast; Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony; Rachmaninoff The Bells; and Britten’s War Requiem at Guildford and Chichester Cathedrals. Gareth is part of the Songsmiths, and regularly sings in the London English Song Festival. He has also given recitals at St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Barber Institute, King’s Place, King’s Lynn Festival, North Norfolk Music Festival, Haddo Festival, Buxton Festival and Leeds Lieder. His recording of Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen with Trevor Pinnock was recently released by Linn Records.

MASAYUKI TAYAMA, one of today's most accomplished pianists, is much in demand across Europe and Japan. He first came to prominence when he won First Prize in the Takahiro Sonoda International Piano Competition in Japan, followed by numerous top prizes in Europe, including the Birmingham International Piano Competition. Tayama studied at the Toho University of Music in Japan, and subsequently in London on a Fellowship from the Japanese Government, where he was awarded the Performer's Diploma with Honours from both the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

His first London solo concert appearance was in 2002 at the South Bank's Purcell Room, and he gave his debut recital to a sell-out audience at the Wigmore Hall in 2007, both of which were met with critical acclaim. His Tokyo debut recital at Toppan Hall in 2005 was broadcast on Nikkei National Radio in Japan, and he was a featured pianist on BBC Radio, UK, in October 2012. Tayama's performances of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3 with Osaka Symphonika at The Symphony Hall in Osaka, twice on the same day in July 2006 were hailed as 're-inventing the image of Rachmaninov'. He made his USA debut in January 2006 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, where the recital was broadcast live on the Internet.
 
Tayama regularly gives solo recitals at eminent London concert venues such as the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank's Purcell Room. His recent performances with orchestra, notably at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Fairfield Halls, St John's, Smith Square and the Last Night of the St Jude's Proms, include all the Piano Concertos by Brahms and Rachmaninov, collaborating with conductors including Stephen Bell, Adrian Brown, Darrell Davison, John Gibbons, Levon Parikian, Brien Stait and Vladimir Valek.
 
He has earned an enviable reputation as a Rachmaninov specialist, and is currently in the midst of a project to record Rachmaninov's complete works for solo piano. His first recording of the two Sonatas won the accolade 'Best Recording of the Month' in Stereo magazine, and his second CD of the complete Rachmaninov Etudes-Tableaux and Morceaux de Fantaisie followed to critical acclaim. The third disc of the two sets of Variations has been chosen as a 'Tokusen-ban' (Specially Selected and Recommended) by Record Geijutsu, Japan's most authoritative classical music and review magazine.
 
Tayama is much sought after as a teacher and adjudicator. He is a Professor at the Elmitt Piano Academy, where he gives regular Master Classes and Lecture-Recitals. He is one of the youngest faculty members at Chetham's School of Music, and regularly gives solo recitals and Master Classes at the Chetham's International Summer School and Festival for Pianists.