An Asian women, wearing a black dress, standing next to a grand piano, looking into the distance.

Updates Spring 2023

Alumni updates

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RCM alumni have started 2023 with a number of high-profile achievements.

Notable accolades

Nicolò Foron was announced as the winner of the 17th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition in March, becoming the London Symphony Orchestra's next Assistant Conductor.

Pianist George Harliono and RCM Junior Department alumna Mathilde Milwidsky have been named among 30 young musicians under 30 on Classic FM's 2023 Rising Stars list. 

Composer Gavin Higgins won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Large-Scale Composition in March, for his work Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra. The piece was premiered at the 2022 BBC Proms by Tredegar Band and the National Orchestra of Wales under conductor Ryan Bancroft. 

Industry appointments

Soprano Ava Dodd has been signed by artist agency Askonas Holt as a Lies Askonas Fellow.

Tenor Ryan Davies will join the Jette Parker Young Artists scheme at the Royal Opera House later this year alongside current student, bass Jamie Woollard. The pair join another RCM alumnus, Michael Gibson, who was appointed to the programme in 2022.

The Hallé has announced the appointment of Marie Schreer as its new section leader of the second violins. Marie joins fellow RCM graduate Roberto Ruisi, who was appointed leader of The Hallé in September. 

Vocal success

Soprano Julieth Lozano is through to the finals of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, representing Colombia. 

Rowan Pierce made her Royal Opera House debut in January, singing the role of Papagena in Die Zauberflöte.

Online reach

Pianist Silu Wang (pictured at the top of the page), known professionally as BiBiPiano, has achieved 1,000,000 subscribers on BiliBili, the largest video sharing platform in China. Her piano albums also have achieved over 2.6 billion streams globally. Silu's new album, Petrichor, is avaible to stream on Spotify and other platforms.

Tessa White (née Schiele), who studied horn at the RCM from 1963–65, has appeared in a YouTube performance of Michael Csanyi-Wills' The Last Letter alongside her daughter, Emily. Tessa pursued an impressive orchestral career in the 1960s and 70s as a woman brass player and used a right-handed horn due to not having a left hand.

During lockdown, Tessa was able to pursue her other love, the piano, and recorded this moving piece – a response to a letter written by the composer’s great grandmother under Nazi persecution in 1944.


On screen

Composition for Screen alumnus Gus Nicholson worked with composer David Schweitzer on the score for The Reluctant Travller, a new series with actor Eugene Levy which is now available on Apple TV+.

Innovative projects

Soprano Charlotte Hoather has produced and performed in Down the Rabbit Hole, an immersive chamber opera for children across the hearing spectrum aged 8 to 10. The opera incorporates British Sign Language and aims to make music accessible while raising deaf awareness, with performances at primary schools in Winsford, Surbiton and two deaf specialist schools in London.

The project also involves RCM alumnus and pianist George Todica, and composer Nino Russell, a current RCM doctoral candidate.


Pianist Lara Melda has recently collaborated with the Van Gogh Immersive Experience in London, giving performances amongst projections inspired by Van Gogh’s most famous paintings.

New releases

Steinway Artist Nicolas Costantinou released metavisis in January. The album features world-premiere recordings of 12 préludes for solo piano by fellow RCM alumnus Constantinos Y Stylianou, each inspired by a different work of art.

Send your updates for the summer 2023 printed edition of Upbeat to by Friday 12 May.



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