Fleuranne Brockway, mezzo-soprano

Updates Spring 2022

Alumni updates

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Royal College of Music alumni continue to succeed on the global stage, and are ambassadors for the College in the UK and around the world.

Awards and prizes

RCM alumni achieved success at the 66th Kathleen Ferrier Awards in December. Baritone James Atkinson reached the finals of the competition, and RCM pianists were also strongly represented, including George Ireland, Ana Manastireanu and Lucy Colquhoun.

Read more about the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in Student updates.

Mezzo-soprano Fleuranne Brockway (pictured above) has been awarded the Dame Heather Begg Memorial Award, a $25,000 grant supporting Australian early-career opera singers, established by Dame Heather Begg’s estate and provided through Melba Opera Trust.

Andrew Chen has been announced as a 2021–22 RPS Composer. Formally known as the RPS Composition Prize, the award includes a commission for the Cheltenham Music Festival. Andrew was also recently awarded the 2021 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition.

Read more about the RPS Composition Prize in Student updates.

Composer Hannah Kendall will be awarded the renowned Hindemith Prize for young composers, worth €20,000. The prize ceremony and a concert featuring her works will take place in August 2022 as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Northern Germany.

Soprano Oksana Lepska won first prize in the Mozart Singing Competition in London in February. Mezzo-soprano Maria Hegele won fourth prize.

Composer Alex Paxton won the Small Chamber category at the Ivors Composer Awards for his work Sometimes Voices.

Soprano Gemma Summerfield won the internationally prestigious Vinas Competition in Barcelona in January.

New releases

Head to Netflix to hear music by Laura Ayoub in new series Finding Ola:

Conductor Nicolò Foron has released an album with the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra titled The Forest in April, which features music by fellow RCM alumnus Jan-Peter de Graaff.

Saxophonist Alžbeta Greenwood-Byrne (née Klasová) has released her debut album, EPOCH. The album comprises a selection of music connected to important milestones in Alžbeta’s life, with each piece chosen to showcase the diversity of the saxophone.


This spring, pianist Gamal Khamis will release a CD on SOMM Recordings of works by Richard Strauss for speaker and piano with Christopher Kent (actor), including Enoch Arden and the world premiere recording of Castle by the Sea in English.

Industry news & appointments

Pianist Cyrill Ibrahim has recently been featured on the front cover of the men’s luxury lifestyle magazine Gentleman’s Journal as part of a piece on the future of British music.

Paul Keohone has recently been appointed Musical Director of The City of Glasgow Chorus.

Collaborative pianist Ella O’Neill, together with RCM tenor Laurence Kilsby, were invited to be part of the Carnegie Hall Song Studio hosted by Renée Fleming in January.

Violinist Roberto Ruisi has been announced as orchestra leader of Sinfonia Cymru.


Clarinet & Saxophone Classics, founded in 1992 by clarinettist Victoria Samek, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Clarinet Classics started as a unique specialist label and now has a catalogue of over 80 recordings, including several on period instruments by RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson. Expanding into Publications and Learning, Samek Music celebrates the single reed in all its richness and diversity.

Junior Department alumna Zerlina Vulliamy, who graduated from Oxford University last year with a First in Music and a Masters in Musicology with distinction, has been appointed Assistant Producer at BBC Radio 3. Zerlina also was invited to join Glyndebourne’s Board for Audience Development in 2021.

Performances & premieres

The Dionysus Ensemble, featuring alumni Léonie Adams, John Paul Ekins and Joley Cragg, were commissioned by the Mayor of London to present pop-up performances of Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals in London’s public spaces as part of the #LetsDoLondon campaign in October 2021, the only classical ensemble selected for this festival.

Composer Daniel Elms was commissioned to write a new piece of music for the BBC Concert Orchestra as part of Unclassified Live with Southbank Centre and BBC Radio 3. The work, Consolations in Travel, received its world premiere on 4 February 2022.

Countertenor Christopher Lowrey appeared in a live-streamed performance of Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque in December. Watch the performance on demand.

A new work by composer Lara Poe, KAAMOS, was presented at the 2021 International Rostrum of Composers. The piece was also nominated for a 2021 Ivors Composer Award in the Large-Scale Composition category.

Send your updates for the next edition of Upbeat to news@rcm.ac.uk by Friday 6 May.


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