Our Soloists

Yoanna Prodanova
Cello

Concert: Dvořák Cello Concerto, 24th October 2021

Yoanna Prodanova is originally from Varna, Bulgaria and currently based in London, she is performing internationally and enjoying a busy schedule both as a solo cellist and a chamber musician. Her recent concerto performances include Haydn C major with the RAM Chamber Orchestra led by the Doric String Quartet, Elgar with the Amati Orchestra and Dvorak with the Surrey Philharmonic.
 
Yoanna’s debut solo recording which includes works by Janacek, Fauré and Chopin for Linn Records came out in 2020. She has also recorded the Brahms clarinet trio for Orchid Records with pianist Somi Kim and clarinettist Joseph Shiner. After having studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, Yoanna obtained her Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2019 she graduated from the prestigious Advanced Diploma course at the Royal Academy of Music where she was a Bicentenary Scholar. A passionate chamber musician, Yoanna regularly performs with pianist Mihai Ritivoiu. The duo are currently Tunnell Trust artists. She is also the cellist of the Barbican String Quartet, winners of the 2019 Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition and 2020 Young Artists in Residence in St John Smith’s Square. The quartet made their Wigmore Hall debut in 2017 thanks to the Maisie Lewis Award.

Fenella Humphreys
Violin

Concerts with SELO:
Walton Violin Concerto, 8th December 2019
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, 14th and 18th October 2018
Korngold Violin Concerto, 26th March 2017
Sibelius Violin Concerto, 29th March 2015
Bruch Violin Concerto, 5th July 2014

Fenella performs widely as soloist. Her first concerto recording, of Christopher Wright’s Violin Concerto for Dutton Epoch with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Martin Yates was released in 2012 to great critical acclaim, including selection as ‘Orchestral Choice CD’ in a 5 star review in the BBC Music Magazine. Fenella has collaborated with artists including Alexander Baillie, Pekka Kuusisto and Martin Lovett, and is regularly invited by Steven Isserlis to take part in the prestigious Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove. Konzertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, she also enjoys guest leading and directing. A number of eminent British composers have written works for Fenella both in her own right and as a former member of the Lawson Trio. During 2014/15 she will premiere a set of 6 new solo violin works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gordon Crosse, Sally Beamish, Adrian Sutton, Piers Hellawell and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Fenella studied with the great Sidney Griller CBE, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ida Bieler and David Takeno at the Purcell School, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf where she was awarded the highest attainable marks both for the ‘Diplom’ exam and the ‘Konzertexamen’ soloists’ diploma. Fenella plays a beautiful violin from the circle of Peter Guaneri of Venice, kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey. www.fenellahumphreys.com

Teuta Koço
Soprano

Concert with SELO:  Romantic arias and Mahler Symphony No. 4 on 7th July 2019

Teuta Koço studied piano and singing at Chethams's School of Music, then singing at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and the CNIPAL Opera Studio in Marseille, France. She is the winner of numerous prizes including the John Scott Award for Scottish Opera, the Leonard Ingrams Award for Garsington Opera, the Frederic Cox Award, the Elizabeth Harwood Prize as well as gaining second prize at the Centre for Contemporary Opera International Competition in New York, leading to her Carnegie Hall, New York debut with a recital of 20th and 21st century music.

Teuta currently teaches singing at Goldsmiths, University of London and piano and singing at Norland Place School in Holland Park as well as privately.

Charlotte Wooley
Clarinet

Concert with SELO: Finzi Clarinet Concerto, 4th December 2017

Charlotte is a regular player with the South East London Orchestra (SELO), having been one of the founding members of the orchestra back in 2012. Charlotte began playing the clarinet whilst at school, and has played extensively with amateur orchestras and chamber groups ever since.

She attended Oxford University from 2001 – 2010, studying physics, and while there was a regular principal player with both the Oxford University Orchestra and the Oxford Millennium Orchestra. On completion of her studies she moved to London to become a Civil Servant in the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Her current role is in development and delivery of the MOD science and technology programme.

Along with SELO, currently Charlotte plays and performs with the Oxford Spezzati Soloists & Orchestra, the City of London Symphonic Winds and the LIPS quintet.

Jake Muffet
Baritone

Concert with SELO: Mahler, Rückert Lieder, 16th July 2017

Jake Muffett was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire where he attended The King’s School Grantham. Jake graduated from the University of York with a BA (Hons) in Music and received an MMus in vocal performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Jake is currently continuing his postgraduate studies on the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he receives vocal tuition from John Evans. His studies are generously supported by The Laurin & Arthur Glaze Trust, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Serena Fenwick, the Grantham Music Club and the Grantham Choral Society.

Jake recently made his major London solo debut at the Royal Albert Hall in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the English Festival Orchestra, The Really Big Chorus and Bob Chilcott. Jake was also part of the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival chorus where he understudied the role of Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and performed a principle role in Glyndebourne Youth Opera’s production of Lewis Murphy’s A Garden Dream. Jake was one of the 2014-2015 Monteverdi Choir apprentices and has performed with the group on a regular basis since completing the apprenticeship and has also appeared as a soloist with the group on various occasions. In September 2017 Jake will be singing the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with British Youth Opera conducted by Lionel Friend.

Sarah Westley
Cello

Concert with SELO: Elgar Cello Concerto, 4th December 2016

Since being awarded the title of BBC County Young Musician of Hereford and Worcester, Sarah has enjoyed a busy international career as a freelance orchestral, chamber and solo cellist. Her orchestral experience is extensive, having toured as principal with The Soloists of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Brandenburg Sinfonia, with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and with Birmingham Royal Ballet. As a chamber musician, Sarah has travelled the world performing recitals with cruise lines and performs internationally with The Crystal Palace String Quartet. As well as her classical experience, she has recorded, toured and performed with Tinie Tempah, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Michael Ball, Andrea Bocelli, MIKA, Jeff Beck and Katy Mellua, and has performed as principal and soloist in London’s West End shows. Sarah has also performed on Strictly Come Dancing, X-Factor, and toured and recorded with the Grammy nominated show ‘Inala’ with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

In addition to her performing career, Sarah is an active teacher and trained workshop leader and was recently awarded her PGDE and Qualified Teacher Status.

Sarah completed her degree at Trinity College of Music, studying with Joely Koos and Tim Gill, and her Postgraduate Diploma and LRAM teaching diploma at The Royal Academy of Music with Josephine Knight and baroque cello under Jennifer Ward Clark.

Miriam Sharrad
Voice

Concert with SELO: Mahler, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, 2nd July 2016

Miriam Sharrad attained a Bachelor of Arts and Creative Arts, before making her debut with the Australian Opera Studio in 2004 where she trained with Gregory Yurisich. In the United Kingdom, Miriam has worked with the English Touring Opera, Grange Park Opera, Renard Productions, Opera South East, Opera Holland Park and has performed Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) for The Mastersingers, conducted by David Syrus, Schwertleite (Die Walküre) with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) with the Edinburgh Opera Players. Most recently, Miriam performed the roles of Mrs Galloway in The Opera Room’s, The Invited, (part of the Grimeborn festival) and a much lauded Dinah from Trouble in Tahiti with Director, Keiko Sumida. She will reprise the role of Dinah later this year as well as singing Martha and Swai Phillips in the new opera, The Butt by Susie Self.

Manus Noble
Guitar

Concert with SELO: Rodrigo, Concierto de Aranjuez, 22nd May 2016

Multi-award winning classical guitarist Manus Noble studied at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. He gave his debut performance at Cadogan Hall at the age of 19 and is in high demand as a performer. Read Manus’ full biography

Fung Lam
Composer

Concert with SELO: Fung Lam, In Search Of, 20th March 2016

Described by The Independent as a composer who “has a distinctive voice”, Dr Fung Lam holds the distinction of being the youngest Chinese composer and the first Hong Kong composer ever commissioned by the BBC.  He has to date written over ten orchestral works, including three commissions for BBC Radio 3 and two commissions for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2012, Endless Forms was premièred by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo at the BBC Proms, taking his music to a global audience.   An excerpt from Evening Standard’s review reads, “… Lam, working with a carefully constructed minimum of material, shapes his musical world with dreamy individuality.”

He was the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composer-in-Residence with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.  In 2015, Quintessence, written in celebration of the orchestra’s 40th anniversary, was taken on tour and performed in several major European cities, under Jaap van Zweden.

Other performers of his music have included the London Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert, Tokyo Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Born in Hong Kong, Lam studied composition with Martin Butler, Michael Finnissy and Michael Zev Gordon at the Universities of Southampton and Sussex in UK, and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in composition from the latter in 2012.  In the same year he received the Young Artist Award from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

www.funglam.com

Felicity Vine
Clarinet

Concert with SELO: Mozart, Clarinet Concerto in A major, 6th December 2015

Felicity graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2007 with a Masters degree, having been awarded scholarships to study there for both undergraduate and postgraduate study with Timothy Lines; she has since been a freelance clarinettist, working with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra in concert, in the studio and on tour. As a soloist Felicity has performed the Mozart, Nielsen, Weber and Crusell Concertos.

Natalie Church
French Horn

Concert with SELO: Saint-Saëns, Morceau de Concert, 4th July 2015

Those regulars at our concerts will recognise Natalie as our principal horn. Together with our conductor David Smith, she helped to start the orchestra in 2012. Although more experienced with orchestral playing, we are excited to invite her to perform solo with the orchestra before she leaves us to return to her homeland of Australia. Natalie began playing the horn at the age of 12, continuing her musical education following studying the piano and singing in her local choir. She played 3rd horn with Melbourne Youth Orchestra from 1992-1999, and toured North America with them in 1998, where she got to see back-stage in Disneyland. She completed a Bachelor of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999, and played with numerous ensembles and musicals in Melbourne, the highlight being a double brass ensemble on top of Flinders Street Station at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999! She arrived in London in 2000 and quickly developed a playing career with the West London Sinfonia, Kew Wind Orchestra and Kensington Symphony Orchestra, as well as small ensembles performing at weddings, at park bandstands and summer fairs. She has performed Schumann’s Konzertstück for 4 horns on two occasions, and the London Horn Sound’s Titanic Fantasy. (Unfortunately just the once: listen to it, it’s awesome!) When Natalie isn’t busy organising the orchestra, she spends time with her husband, their 24 month old daughter and at her day job in the office, which isn’t quite as rewarding as playing the horn. Natalie and her family are preparing to relocate to Sydney, Australia, in August. She is very sad to say “goodbye” to SELO and wishes them the best of luck in the future.

Victoria Small
Oboe

Concert with SELO: Lennox Berkeley, Sinfonia Concertante, 30th November 2014

Victoria began playing the oboe at the age of nine. Having achieved her Advanced Certificate at an early age, she decided to take music to a higher level, studying for a Bachelors Degree at the University of Southampton. After completing her degree, she undertook a Masters Degree course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Gordon Hunt, Richard Simpson and Andrew Knights. An enthusiastic performer both in orchestral and chamber music ensembles, Victoria has toured extensively, visiting France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, Norway, Ireland and the Czech Republic. She has performed in many prestigious venues throughout Europe, including the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, St David’s Hall Cardiff, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Mark’s Basilica Venice, St John’s Smith Square and Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. Victoria has participated in performances broadcast on Italian Radio. She was also part of the London premiere of two chamber works by the Scottish composer, James MacMillan, which were broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. She has worked alongside acclaimed musicians including, José Cura, Jonathan Lemalu, Hayley Westenra, The Priests, Jennifer Pike, David Owen Norris and James Bowman. Victoria has also worked as a member of The Works, a project directed by David Owen Norris with whom she recorded a CD of both Mozart and original compositions by David Owen Norris; part of which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and later performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Victoria is a founder member of The Britannic Ensemble, a chamber ensemble which performs a diverse range of repertoire across a wide musical spectrum and is particularly interested in encouraging an appreciation of the music of British composers.

Sarah Denbee
Voice

Concert with SELO: Lennox Berkeley: Four Poems of St Teresa of Avila, 9th March 2014

Sarah gained a Masters in Performance with Distinction from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in 2012, generously supported by the Kathleen Roberts Scholarship. Whilst at Trinity, she was awarded the Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize for Oratorio & Cantata, and she won the 2012 Roy Pleasance Competition. Sarah recently performed at the Isabelle Bond Gold Medal at Kings Place, Trinity’s most prestigious award for solo performance, and was a Director’s Prizewinner. Sarah enjoys balancing a mixture of opera, oratorio, recital and choral singing. Opera credits include Fanny Price in Jonathan Dove’s ‘Mansfield Park’, Marcellina (Figaro) in Germany, roles at the Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Tilly in the UK Premiere of Stephen McNeff’s ‘The Secret Garden’, Dorabella (Cosi), and the Sorceress (Dido). Other highlights include a masterclass with Ann Murray (Wigmore Hall) and with Steuart Bedord on Britten’s ‘Phaedra’, European tours with the Monteverdi Choir (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), soloist in the London Handel Festival, and a mentor scheme with the Royal Opera House Chorus.

Charlotte Bettle
Flute

Concert with SELO: Nielsen, Flute Concerto, 24th November 2013

Born into a musical family, Charlotte soon developed an interest in the flute and began taking lessons at the age of six. Through her teenage years she played with Bedfordshire Youth Orchestras and appeared as a soloist performing Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.5, and on the television series Howard Goodall’sBig Bangs, playing the piccolo. She also received the accolade of being invited to perform with the International Millennium Youth Orchestra as their principal flautist. Charlotte studied for a BA (Hons) in music at the University of Southampton and graduated with first class performance marks. Charlotte went on to complete a Masters degree in Performance, for which she gained a distinction. At Southampton, Charlotte studied flute with Kathryn Thomas and piccolo with Barbara Brown, together with performance guidance from David Owen Norris. Most recently she has studied with Michael Cox. As a soloist Charlotte enjoys exploring a range of material for the flute. She particularly enjoys chamber music and is a founder member of The Britannic Ensemble (flute, oboe and piano). Charlotte dedicates much of her time to education work, teaching from beginner to postgraduate level, and is the founder of PrimoMusic, an independent music practice working with young children from birth to eight years.

Anna Smith
Violin

Concert with SELO: Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending, 27th April 2013

Anna read music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and then continued her violin studies as a postgraduate scholar at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied with Erich Gruenberg and graduated with the prestigious Dip RAM. She has also won awards from the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Anna is currently a member of the 1st Violin section of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the violinist of the Elgin String Trio and the Notting Hill Piano Trio. For five years, Anna was the violinist of the Lawson Piano Trio, who were Leverhulme Junior Chamber Music Fellows at the RAM and with whom she performed regularly in recitals and masterclasses nationwide, as well as at the Kuhmo International Chamber Music Festival in Finland where they won the Kees Wiebenga Diploma for the best performance at the festival. She now performs chamber music with the Elgin Trio and as a guest with groups such as the Emanuel Ensemble, Merchant Quartet, Surrey Soloists’ Ensemble and Ensemble MP3. Anna has worked with many of the country’s finest orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Philharmonic and Concert Orchestras, Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony and Ulster Orchestras and the Orchestra of English National Opera. She has performed as guest Principal 2nd Violin with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestras, as co-leader of the London Gala Orchestra, and as leader of Sinfonia Cymru, 4Strings and the Nonesuch Orchestra. She was recently appointed leader of the Jersey Chamber Orchestra. She is also very interested in pursuing projects outside of classical music and has recently performed in a number of live recordings for BBC Radio 1 with groups such as The Kooks, We Are Scientists and Cajun Dance Party, as well as participating in improvisation projects with folk music groups from Iran and Turkey and the tango group Tango a 3. Anna plays on a violin by Joseph Gagliano, thanks to a generous loan from the Abbado Trust.

Christopher Walters
Clarinet

Concert with SELO: Weber, Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat, 23rd September 2012

Christopher Walters graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2002 and has performed with the European Union Youth Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English National Opera and Cape Town Opera. He has performed as a concerto soloist with Southbank Sinfonia, Hertford Symphony Orchestra and students from the Royal College of Music. He spent two years teaching music in a secondary school in Nairobi, Kenya, and regularly goes back to coach the country’s fledgling National Youth Orchestra. Aside from performing, Chris is editor of Music Teacher magazine and has written about music and music education for a variety of newspapers and magazines.