Matthew began to study the cello at the age of 13 and within 5 years of playing was awarded national prizes by the ABRSM for his high scores. He was subsequently accepted by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2018 as a scholarship student. Matthew is currently studying for a Post Graduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Matthew is a freelance cellist, who has a wide experience of performing as a solo, orchestral and ensemble musician. After initially studying with Barbara Grunthal in Manchester, Matthew commenced his studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Ulrich Heinen before studying with Ben Davies and Peggy Nolan. Matthew currently studies with Jennifer Langridge.
As an orchestral player, Matthew has performed with ensembles including the BBC Ariel Orchestra, the London Shostakovich Orchestra and the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. Matthew performs regularly with Nicola Benedetti in The Benedetti Foundation Orchestra.
Matthew is passionate about teaching and currently teaches cello for the Wolverhampton Music Service, The ARCO Project and as a Senior Lead Ambassador for the Benedetti Foundation. Matthew has worked closely with students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, conducting ensembles and coaching chamber music. Matthew frequently runs workshops in primary schools for the Cheltenham Festivals Musicate programme. Matthew teaches students from across the globe including Macau, Paris and Johannesburg.
Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2012 Tom has enjoyed a varied and busy freelance career combining orchestral and chamber music performance, examining and education.
As an orchestral player he has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North, Raymond Gubbay’s Manchester Concert Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva amongst others. With his reed trio, Trio Volant, he gives recitals up and down the country for music clubs and societies. Alongside this he also works as an examiner for Trinity College London as well as teaching talented young musicians for a number of educational establishments in the North West.
Since performing at the Wigmore Hall at the age of sixteen, Ryan has played in many distinguished venues throughout the UK and abroad in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and Switzerland. His performances have also been broadcasted live on BBC Radio 3 and Medici TV. Ryan graduated with an Artist Diploma and MMus with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a first-class BMus (Hons) from the Royal Northern College of Music where he was awarded the Alfred Clay Scholarship for achieving the highest mark in an undergraduate final recital. He won the RNCM Concerto Competition, subsequently playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 (Op.23) with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Previous tutors include Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe, Helen Krizos and Seta Tanyel.
More recently, Ryan performed Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3 with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall and was a quarterfinalist in the Leeds International Piano Competition. Ryan received first prize in both Brant International Piano Competition and the piano category of the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition, and was awarded the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship and the Carnwath Scholarship. Ryan was also a recipient of the Yehudi Menuhin English Speaking Union Scholarship, enabling him to attend the prestigious Piano Masterclass International Series at Banff Arts Centre in Canada. He has also studied alongside Michel Beroff, Jonathan Biss, Nelson Goerner, Richard Goode, Noriko Ogawa, Murray Perahia, Pascal Rogé and Kathryn Stott.
Away from the piano, Ryan loves to read and lives with his partner (Sarah), his food-obsessed Labrador (Winnie) and his typically self-entitled cat, Nala.
Rebecca enjoys a varied musical life, combining teaching and performing. Following the completion of an undergraduate degree at Durham University, where she was winner of the inaugural Soloist’s Competition, Rebecca undertook three years of postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music. Here, she was a winner of the Salon Prize and enjoyed the diversity of opportunities available to her. Rebecca holds a teaching position at Chethams School of Music in Manchester and at Yorkshire Young Musician’s Hull centre, and undertakes cover teaching for the RNCM’s junior department and Sheffield Music Academy. She also maintains a busy private teaching practice.
As a performer, highlights have included a tour of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden in collaboration with dance company Fertile Ground and numerous engagements as both a soloist and within orchestral and chamber music settings. She is violinist in the violin and harp pairing Duo Azure and was a recent prizewinner of the Monday Musicales concert series for the audience’s most enjoyed concert of the season. Rebecca has cultivated a strong interest in historical performance and enjoys life as a Baroque violinist as part of her freelance career. Away from music, Rebecca loves to be outdoors and can often be found on trails in the lake district, or at home baking cakes.
Rafael Onyett started playing the guitar at the age of 8 in his hometown of Leeds, Yorkshire. His initial studies were on the electric guitar and by the age of the 13 Rafael had performed with a variety of bands in some of Leeds’ most famous venues including The Cockpit, and the 02 Academy. At 13 a change of teacher introduced Rafael to the classical guitar and he spent the next five years honing his skills across a wide range of musical styles on both instruments. At 17 Rafael was a member of the Leeds Youth Jazz & Rock Orchestra. By the age of 18 Rafael had committed himself to the classical guitar having become captivated by its repertoire and the challenges of the instrument.
In 2015 Rafael won a coveted place at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) – Manchester studying with renowned performer and teacher Craig Ogden. Since studying at RNCM Rafael has performed in a variety of masterclasses with world-class guitarists including Zoran Dukic, Jacob Heringman and Stephen Goss. Rafael is a highly sought after performer in RNCM’s External Concerts and has given many solo performances throughout the UK. In February 2020, Rafael collaborated with Errollyn Wallen (MBE) on her solo guitar composition ‘Red’ prior to debuting it in an RNCM Festival showcasing her music. Rafael’s outstanding debut led to an invitation to perform at the prestigious Wigmore Hall – London in June 2021.
Rafael’s love of chamber music has culminated in numerous ensembles, most notably The Aluna Duo for Flute & Guitar, and Duo Chuva for Two Guitars. Both ensembles perform frequently across the UK, as well as developing highly successful outreach work and pedagogy. The Aluna Duo developed a series of interactive workshops in schools across Boston, Lincolnshire in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Music Service. Throughout lockdown Rafael’s ensembles have remained proactive, including a live concert streamed online from Preston Museum as part of the St Harris concert series. Currently, Duo Chuva are preparing to compete after recently reaching the semi-finals of the prestigious Royal Overseas League competition. Rafael also performs with The Chuva Collective – a larger ensemble collaborating dance and live music.
Rafael is a creative and highly committed guitar teacher with extensive experience teaching children and adults on the guitar. Rafael gained insightful experience into classroom teaching having worked with the One Education Music service as part of his RNCM BMUS degree. Since graduating, Rafael has held numerous peripatetic teaching positions in schools across Greater Manchester and Liverpool, alongside developing a network of private students. This included a position at the Cheadle-Hulme Music Academy as the resident guitar teacher. Most recently, Rafael has been working with the Yorkshire Young Musicians scheme, providing teaching cover at the Leeds Conservatoire.
Recently Rafael was awarded highly coveted Postgraduate Awards from both Help Musicians UK and Drake Calleja Trust. As an award holder, Rafael was invited to perform a solo recital at the Purcell Room – London in March 2021 (which will now take place at a later date). Rafael was also awarded The Ian Spencer Fox Guitar Bursary for further assistance to fund his RNCM Masters’ degree.