Saturday 16 June 2018
In 2016, at the age of 17, Jess Gillam made history as the first saxophonist to win the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year. She then reached the Grand Final at London’s Barbican Hall, and performed Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth to widespread critical acclaim.
In summer 2017, Jess made her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall, where she performed as a soloist with both the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jessica Cottis and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart.
Concerto highlights include appearances with Southbank Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and a showcase performance with the Manchester Camerata as well as a concert with Sinfonia Cymru and Gábor Takács-Nagy. She frequently gives recitals throughout the UK. Last year, Jess gave the premiere of a piece written for her by Jeremy Holland-Smith on BBC Four’s Choir of the Year, and has made a guest appearance with Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra.
Jess studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with an ABRSM Scholarship, and is mentored by John Harle. She has appeared on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 (Woman’s Hour), BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio Cumbria, who have made a programme about her. In 2015, Jess was awarded Musician of the Year at the Cumbria Culture Awards.
Jess has been featured as a Rising Star in BBC Music Magazine as well as being a James Naughtie interviewee. She is a Vandoren UK Artist, and became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones aged 13. Jess is a patron for Awards for Young Musicians and promotes her own series of concerts, bringing international talent to her hometown of Ulverston.
Jess is very grateful for the support she has received from the Young Classical Artists Trust. She is signed to HarrisonParrott and Polyarts for worldwide management.
The Turkish pianist Zeynep Özsuca has performed worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. Born in Ankara in 1984, she began piano lessons at the age of four and continued her studies at Ankara Conservatory of Hacettepe University. After winning Istanbul Symphony’s Young Soloists Competition in 2001, Zeynep moved to the United States to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory under Prof. Peter Takács. She then majored in accompaniment and vocal coaching at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin, with Prof. Alexander Vitlin, and graduated with an MA in 2013. Zeynep currently lives in London and pursues her career as concert pianist and repetiteur.
Zeynep has worked with conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Halsey, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Antonio Pappano, and acted as rehearsal pianist for singers Magdalena Kožená, Rolando Villazón, Gerald Finley, Annette Dasch, Michael Schade to name a few. She has been working as a repetiteur and orchestra member in renowned opera houses and festivals like Staatsoper Berlin, Aix-en-Provence Music Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. As a chamber musician, she has performed on prestigious stages including the Berlin Philharmonie, Palau de la Musica Valencia, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as live radio broadcasts on Deutschlandfunk, Deutschlandradio, RBB Kulturradio (Germany), RNE (Spain) and BBC 3 (UK). She also regularly appears in concert with her wind and piano sextet Berlin Counterpoint.
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