RCM violinist Jelena Horvat is pictured against a plain grey background, wearing dark blue, and holding her instrument.

Updates Spring 2023

Student updates

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Our students have had a busy start to 2023, with several high-profile competition successes and appointments in the industry. Here is just a small selection of their achievements.

Industry appointments

Master of Performance student David Nebel has been appointed concertmaster of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski.

Bass Jamie Woollard will join the Jette Parker Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House later this year. Also appointed to the scheme is alumnus Ryan Davies (tenor). Jamie and Ryan will be working alongside another RCM alumnus, tenor Michael Gibson, who joined the scheme in 2022.

Jamie will also cover roles in the Royal Opera House production of Handel’s Arminio this spring, along with sopranos Seonwoo Lee and Daniela Popescu.


Doctoral student Max Wong has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Bach Network UK, joining eminent Bach scholars John Butt OBE, Ruth Tatlow, Richard DP Jones and Peter Smaill.

Undergraduate violinist Mira Marton, Masters bassoonist Bruce Parris and Masters clarinettist Adam Lee have been selected to be part of this year’s Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) Academy. They were chosen following the Orchestra’s annual residency at the College in January, during which three COE members performed in Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony alongside RCM musicians and gave masterclasses.

Doctoral student Jorge Pinto Ramos is a mentee for 2021–23 on the ACTOR Mentorship Programme, which supports emerging scholars and practitioners, exploring ‘Orchestration practice in the 21st century: New methods and tools for analysing, creating, and teaching orchestration.’


Mezzo-soprano Annabel Kennedy and soprano Madeline Boreham won First and Second Prize respectively in the Royal Over-Seas League Vocal Final in February. Tenor Dafydd Jones was also a finalist in the competition.

Annabel will go on to compete in the Gold Medal Final, which will take place on 14 June.


In November, Composition for Screen student Josh Urben was accepted onto the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO)’s Film Composers Hub for 2022/23.

In January, Josh recorded his film music with the RSNO at Scotland's Studio in Glasgow, receiving instruction from leading film composers including John Lunn (Downton Abbey, The Last Kingdom), Craig Armstrong (Love Actually, Hulk, Moulin Rouge), and Blair Mowat (Doctor Who, The Amazing Mr Blunden, Nolly). He will be completing another recording session in May.

Composition student Mina Salib was awarded the Silver Medal – Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition at the Global Music Awards in December, for his compositions Light and No Heroes. Both compositions were recorded at the Belle Shenkman Studio at the College with RCM musicians. Mina was also the music producer and sound designer for the latest Bosch Commercial in the Gulf area. 

First-year undergraduate violinist Jelena Horvat (pictured at the top of the page) was awarded the 2022 Royal Philharmonic Society Emily Anderson Prize, which is presented annually to an outstanding solo violinist at the outset of their career. Past winners of the prize include RCM alumni Alina Ibragimova and Benjamin Baker, as well as current student David Nebel, who won the 2021 prize.

Flautist Caroline Wang recently won First Prize and the Le Clé d’or Cup at the Les Clés d’or International Music Competition in Paris, France in Category Supérieur (Bachelor) in flute. She also won the Third Prize in the Padova International Music Competition in Italy in the Woodwind Category (18–22 Years).

On stage

Soprano Laura Mekhail recently performed alongside Andrea Bocelli.


Junior Department success

Musicians from the RCM’s Junior Department have given several performances in the capital, including with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre.


Our young musicians have also had success in competitions internationally.

Violinist Francesca He won the Gold Prize in the Best Classical Musicans Awards, and performed at Carnegie Hall, New York and Cité de la Musique, Paris in December.



Cellist Inez Karlsson was awarded First Prize at the International Pole Star Prize Final in Gothenburg in January.


Pianist Michael Tao won Second Prize in category in the London Chopin International Piano Competition (category up to 19 years). He also won First Prize in the Coach House Piano Competition (London), and was awarded two performance opportunities: one with Alina Orchestra (organised by Yamaha Music Europe); and a solo recital at Coach House.

Send your updates for the Summer 2023 printed edition of Upbeat to news@rcm.ac.uk by Friday 12 May.



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