Lasham Festival Players 2020
Oboe & Artistic Director
Josh Hall is a freelance oboist based in Manchester having graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Jonathan Small & Jenny Galloway. He previously studied at Birmingham Conservatoire with George Caird, Jenni Phillips & Richard Weigall. He has worked with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Skipton Camerata, Welsh Chamber Orchestra & Mowbray Orchestra and has participated on schemes with the Hallé Orchestra, whom he performed with, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. During his time in Birmingham he performed as Principal Oboe with the CBSO Youth Orchestra & Academy.
As a soloist, Josh has performed Strauss’s Oboe Concerto with the Wirral Symphony Orchestra, Finzi’s Interlude for Oboe & Strings as part of the Fondazione Cantiere in Montepuliciano with the RNCM String Orchestra.
During his studies Josh has participated in a number of masterclasses with international artists including Francois Leleux, Jonathan Kelly, Alexei Ogrintchouk & Nicholas Daniel. He has also attended masterclasses in Klausen, Italy with Nick Deutsch & David Walter.
Alongside performing Josh has a real passion for chamber music and is currently Artistic Director for the Lasham Music Festival in Hampshire.
Born in Chichester, Imy Luc started learning the piano aged 6. She then attended the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and for sixth form she gained a place at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. After this she was invited to study with the Italian pianist Carlo Grante in Italy and did so for two years. Currently she is studying with Dina Parakhina at the Royal Northern College of Music and has recently finished her undergraduate degree. She will continue at the RNCM for her Masters degree, for which she has been awarded an entrance scholarship.
Whilst at the RNCM she has had the opportunity to have masterclasses and lessons from many renowned pianists including Boris Berman, Jean Efflam Bavouzet, Katherine Stott, Piers Lane, Philippe Cassard and Martin Roscoe. She has also been awarded several prizes including the Shirley Cattarall Prize and the RNCM Chopin Prize for the best playing of Chopin.
Imy is an experienced performer and has given many recitals around the UK. She has performed in major venues such as St.George’s Hall in Bristol, Wigmore Hall, Wales Millennium Centre and the Bridgewater Hall. She made her concerto debut at the age of 17 with the Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mozart's Piano Concerto no.9.
She is also in high demand as a chamber musician, collaborating with a variety of instrumentalists and singers for recitals around the UK. In March 2019 she won the prize for best accompaniment in the RNCM Bessie Cronshaw and Frost Brownson Song Cycle Competition and the RNCM Chris Petty English Song Competition. During her time at the RNCM she formed the 'Alegria' Piano Trio who perform together regularly and were finalists in the RNCM Beethoven Chamber Music competition. In June 2019, she took part in the Lasham Music Festival where she performed several major chamber music works including Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time and Elgar’s Piano Quintet.
Outside of performing, Imy teaches piano privately and regularly organises concerts with her sister Maria. Imy is also the assistant director of a new music festival, Festival Fresco, set up by her trio partner Vanessa White. The festival's aims include providing a platform for upcoming young musicians and composers, making classical music more accessible and providing outreach projects to include the more vulnerable people in the community. The festival is based in Manchester and its surrounding areas.
Jody Smith recently graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a First Class Honours degree and is now a freelance violinist based in Birmingham. As a soloist she has performed in venues across the UK including Symphony Hall, Brangwyn Hall and Birmingham Town Hall. Awarded the Cowen Prize for violin in her first year of study, Jody then went on to win the Norman George Violin Scholarship Competition in 2018.
At the age of 14, she became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed with them for 3 years under conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, John Wilson and Edward Gardner. Jody led the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mahler 5 which was later broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and in the same year she went on to lead the orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall and the 44th Cantiere Internazionale D’arte, Montepulciano. Jody has performed with the Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic both during and after the Professional Experience Schemes, and recently joined the Manchester Camerata on their tour to India.
As a chamber musician, Jody performed in the RNCM Chamber Music Festival for 3 years running, whilst receiving coaching from Levon Chilingirian, Leonard Elschenbroich, Stephan Picard and Sara Bitlloch, and in March she will be performing contemporary string quartet works in the Dada Festival, Liverpool.
Eva Richards graduated with a First Class Honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2018, where she studied with Nicholas Trygstad. She is currently pursuing her MA in Cello Performance with Anthony Arnone at the University of Iowa.
In November 2018, Eva performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor with the Ulster Orchestra in the final of the Flax Trust Music Awards, for which she was awarded the audience prize. Eva performed in the Wigmore Hall in November 2017 in the final of the Irish Heritage competition. Eva was selected to participate in the 2017/18 Ulster Orchestra Professional Experience Scheme as well as the 2018 RTE National Symphony Orchestra Mentoring Scheme. She has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
Eva also has a keen interest in chamber music and was awarded a ‘Playing for Peace’ Scholarship to the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire. She has had masterclasses with Alisa Weilerstein, Paul Watkins, Karine Georgian and Steven Doane and studied with Andrès Díaz as part of the 2016 Camerata Ireland Academy at Clandeboye Festival. In 2013 Eva was the winner of the Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year Competition.
Megan completed her undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2018 and has continued her postgraduate studies at the institution under the tutelage of Steven Wilkie. During her studies Megan has an active freelance career performing regularly with ensembles such as Manchester Concert Orchestra, Skipton Camerata and Docklands Sinfonia as well as performing as the solo violinist for the Carpenters Story UK Tour and the Illegal Eagles.
During her studies she has performed with conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Sir Mark Elder, Jac Van Steen, En Shao & Anthony Hermus. Megan has worked as principal second violin in projects with leading violinists James Clarke and Pavel Fischer and has performed in side-by-side projects with the Hallé Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. She has also participated in masterclasses with artists such as Yossi Zivoni, Henk Guittart & Verokia Eberle.
Alongside performing Megan is an active educator and in 2017, was the recipient of the Leverhumle Scholarship Internship Award with RNCM Young Strings. Megan is also the acting director, music teacher and events manager of the award winning Olympias Music Foundation, a charity which delivers free music lessons to primary schools in Greater Manchester.
Steph Yim began her musical studies at Chetham’s School of Music in 2006 before being awarded a scholarship in 2013 to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with John Bradbury, Nicholas Cox and Lynsey Marsh. During her time at the RNCM, Steph completed an Erasmus semester at the Kunst Universität in Graz, Austria. In 2017, she spent a year at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt with Laura Ruiz Ferreres. She is currently finishing her postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on the Orchestral Artistry Course working closely with the London Symphony Orchestra. Steph is generously supported by a Guildhall entrance scholarship, Countess of Munster Trust and Help Musicians UK as an Ian Fleming Award Holder.
Steph has participated several high profile masterclasses with Andreas Ottensamer (Berlin Philharmonic), David Howard (LA Philharmonic), Michael Collins and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Steph has been featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Proms with the National Youth Orchestra GB and RNCM and has played under the baton of notable conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Sir Mark Elder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Nathalie Stutzmann and Gianandrea Noseda. In 2015 she was also chosen to participate in the Penderecki Academy in Poland after working with Penderecki on the UK Premiere of his 7th Symphony.
In 2017, Steph toured as an academy member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe to Baden-Baden, Germany and the BBC Proms and as Principal Clarinet of the RNCM Symphony Orchestra at the 42nd Cantiere Internazionale D’arte, Montepulciano. She was also invited to the Järvi Academy/Pärnu Music Festival working with the Estonian Festival Orchestra.
Most recently, she has performed professionally with the Ulster Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic as part of live concert broadcasts on Radio 3 and rehearsed with the London Symphony Orchestra. Steph is currently principal Eb Clarinet in the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and is on the extra player lists for the Hallé Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic.