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Click on any profile below to find out more about the individual.

Staff

AYM has a small staff team who all work remotely from home.

Hester Cockcroft

Chief Executive

Hester Cockcroft

Chief Executive

Throughout my career my focus has been on helping enable young people to fulfill their potential through creativity and the arts: it’s tremendously rewarding and exciting work. In all the organisations I’ve run the common theme has been tackling disadvantage: I strongly believe that every child, whatever circumstances they’re born into and whatever struggles their families might be facing, has the absolute right to develop their talents and be supported to gain the confidence they need to find the right path for them and fulfill their potential in life.

I’ve previously led a multi art form organisation delivering creative learning programmes in schools with young people, teachers and artists, producing major collaborative performances and long-term multi-disciplinary creative team initiatives. Prior to this I led a poetry and literature agency, producing its annual festival, creative education programmes and public art and cross-art commissions. Consultancy includes evaluation of Creative Partnerships and youth arts programmes and designing contemporary literature promotions.

AYM genuinely helps transform young people’s lives and that’s why I’m so proud to be leading our mission – to give talent a chance.

Hannah Turner

Operations and Communications Director

Hannah Turner

Operations and Communications Director

Music has always been a very important part of my life and identity. I was lucky to have access to a music education, learning violin and piano from a young age. I later studied music at the University of Surrey before moving into a career in arts management.

I began working for AYM in 2015 and have enjoying being part of a such an ambitious small charity. As Operations and Communications Director I take responsibility for much of the day-to-day operations of the charity, as well as running our Annual Awards programme.  

In my spare time I am a keen songwriter and can be found at many an open mic night with my guitar.

Sanpreet Janjua

Development Manager

Sanpreet Janjua

Development Manager

I truly believe that all children should have an equal opportunity to pursue their talents regardless of their financial situation and background. So I’m thrilled to be working for Awards for Young Musicians.  As Development Manager, I have the wonderful job of looking after AYM’s generous supporters and donors. Without this support, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do and give talented children and young people the opportunity to reach their potential.

Previously, I worked at Nottingham Playhouse in a similar role raising much needed funds for the theatre’s community, education and outreach work.

AYM truly makes a difference to hundreds of children every year and I’m proud to be able contribute to this great work.

Neil Phillips

Programme Manager: Furthering Talent and Practical Progression

Neil Phillips

Programme Manager: Furthering Talent and Practical Progression

I have been passionate about music from the point I first picked up a guitar aged 14 and painfully taught myself my first few chords. Following stints in local bands I went on the study music performance and pop culture at Kidderminster College before being spotted and asked to join a professional rock band in London. I then spent the next 10 years composing and releasing music on various record labels and touring internationally across Europe, the USA and Asia. I have been lucky enough to release several albums and have songs included on the soundtracks to films and computer games.

Following this I retrained as a youth worker back in my native midlands and began working with vulnerable people from different backgrounds, helping them to overcome a range barriers. This led on to managing a local authority commissioned project supporting young carers from Worcestershire. I found my second calling in the voluntary sector and have developed a huge passion for supporting some of the most marginalised people in society, from young carers, to veterans, to young people within the criminal justice system.

I'm passionate about my work as the Programme Manager for Furthering Talent and Practical Progression as it combines the two professional elements I have a drive to work with: music and supporting people. I still compose, record and perform to this day but more as a hobby and I also sit on the committee of the Worcester Music Festival which is a huge supporter of grassroots and amateur music.

Angharad Thomas-French

Team Administrator

Angharad Thomas-French

Team Administrator

Music is an essential part of my life and has helped to shape who I am. As a child, I was lucky enough to attend an excellent local music school where I learned to play the violin. My education continued at the University of Hull, where I studied music. Performing and playing music with others still brings me immense joy.

I’m passionate about bringing the benefits of music to young people and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to reach their creative potential. From my experience of running a busy Saturday Music Programme for the London-based charity HMDT Music, I have seen how music can inspire and unite young people from all backgrounds. Charities like AYM are essential in making music accessible to everyone and supporting emerging talent. As Team Administrator at AYM, I play a key supporting role in the day-to-day management of the charity's programmes and events. 

I am delighted to be a part of the AYM team, supporting young people on their musical journeys.

Maria Hemmings

Finance Officer

Maria Hemmings

Finance Officer

I have worked in the accountancy and finance sector for over 30 years, running my own business for the last ten years. Qualified as an AAT Licenced Accountant since 2000, I bring lots of experience to AYM.

I've worked in a variety of roles for a range of clients, from the retail sector, through to advertising agencies, local government, construction and creative media; I also worked at Bristol Zoo! This variety helps keep me up to date with the constant changes in the sector and the challenges this brings.

Working with AYM has been very rewarding.  An increase in staff, budgets, reporting and donations has resulted in a very busy role. The support AYM gives to young musicians is so worthwhile and the current projects are well supported and are helping children and young people to fulfill their potential, providing vital funding for their development and enjoyment.

Local Coordinators

In each of Furthering Talent partner Music Education Hub regions we work with a Local Coordinator.

Andy Hatherly

Nottinghamshire Coordinator

Andy Hatherly

Nottinghamshire Coordinator

Music has been a huge part of my life since a very young age. I began piano lessons at the age of 5 and went on to learn Drums, Trumpet, Guitar throughout my childhood years, playing in many different ensembles, from jazz bands and ceilidh groups to church music groups. I was fortunate to have some fantastic music teachers along the way who encouraged me to continue my studies to degree level. This lead me to undertake my Music Composition and Professional Practice Degree at Coventry University, which gave me the opportunity to learn from professional composers, arrangers, conductors and performers. Whilst studying, I also co-founded a band which went on to perform in venues across the UK and live on BBC radio.

Since graduating, I have enjoyed working predominantly within the Arts and Education fields; both in schools and for arts charities and venues.  All the while I have continued making music; leading community music groups, continuing to perform, and pursuing songwriting; some of which have been professionally published and released. Almost 5 years ago I joined the Nottinghamshire Music Service (Inspire), teaching instrumental lessons in schools and more recently I joined AYM as the Local Programme Co-ordinator for Nottinghamshire which I do alongside my teaching role.

I realise that I wouldn't be where I am today without the musical education I have been fortunate enough to receive, and AYM’s ethos of helping children to have the opportunity to fulfil their musical potential, regardless of their background really resonates with me. I am pleased to be involved in the work of AYM, playing a small part in making this ethos become a reality.

Natasha Gawlinksi

Brighton and Hove Coordinator

Sarah Barton-Wales

Leicester-Shire Coordinator

Sarah Barton-Wales

Leicester-Shire Coordinator

I have been involved in Music for as long as I can remember, being lucky enough to attend a brilliant school where Music was at the heart. After learning the clarinet and piano and playing in the school concert band, I discovered a passion for singing and went on to attend stage school and study for a degree in Performing Arts and Arts Management. My career has been varied from professional musical theatre, vocals on dance records and primary school teaching to name a few! 

Education has remained a passion throughout my career and I am now absolutely loving my role as Local Coordinator for the Awards for Young Musicians’ Furthering Talent programme and as Acting Deputy Head of Service for Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub. The roles combine well to enable me to bring a lifelong love of music to young people who otherwise would not get the opportunity.  Having recently completed my Masters in Education: Teaching and Learning I am looking forward to applying some of my findings to further support as many young people, whatever their circumstance, to access music. 

In my spare time (!) you might still catch me singing with professional function band ‘Raise the Roof’ or appearing in a musical in one of Leicester’s theatres! 

Rachel Thomas

Leicester-Shire Support Coordinator

Chris Stringer

North-West Midlands Coordinator

Georgia Rose

North-West Midlands Administrative support

Georgia Rose

North-West Midlands Administrative support

My primary role at Entrust Music Service Staffordshire has introduced me to the Awards For Young Musicians Scheme and it delights me to be part of such a wonderful programme supporting Chris Stringer. Working alongside the Awards For Young Musicians scheme has been such a fantastic experience being able to watch the young people on this scheme grow in talent, experience and confidence. Unfortunately, due to my lack of rhythm I am unable to play an instrument, but I have always enjoyed watching others play; I do hope that one day I’ll be able to pick up an instrument and string together a few notes successfully but until then, I’ll be everyone else’s number 1 fan.

Shelley Gabriel

Hull Coordinator

Stuart Hazleton

Greater Manchester Coordinator

David Ross

Sheffield Coordinator

Helen Borg

Bradford Coordinator

Patrons

We are honoured to work with such an array of dedicated patrons.

Sir Simon Rattle

Founding Patron

Sir Simon Rattle

Founding Patron

Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

For some years Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, in 1980 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, stepping up to Music Director from September 1990 until August 1998.  He is also Founding Patron of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and since the early 1990s, has been a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

In September 2002 Sir Simon became Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where he remained until June 2018.

In September 2017, Simon took up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Dame Evelyn Glennie

Founding Patron

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Founding Patron

One of AYM’s founding Patrons, Dame Evelyn Glennie, CH is the first musician to create a full-time career as a solo percussionist. She performs internationally with the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles. In 1992, Evelyn performed the first percussion concerto in the history of the Proms in London, paving the way for future generations of percussionists and composers. Evelyn had the honour of a playing a leading role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in collaboration with director, Danny Boyle. In 2018, Evelyn has built upon this inter-disciplinary experience by composing the score for Gregory Doran/The Royal Shakespeare Company’s visionary new production of Troilus and Cressida and joining forces with Jazz Trio ‘HLK’ among a roll-call of other superb sound and performance artists. With over 90 international awards and honours to date, including the Polar Music Prize, the Companion of Honour and several GRAMMYS, Evelyn is also a leading commissioner of new works for solo percussion, with more than 200 pieces to her name. Her solo recording discography extends to over 40 CDs, The film ‘Touch the Sound’ and her TED speech remain testimonies to her approach to sound-creation and listening. Evelyn is committed to realising her mission – to Teach the World to Listen – while developing a public centre that ‘encourages everyone to discover new ways of listening, thereby enhancing communication and social cohesion.

www.evelyn.co.uk

Jess Gillam

Patron (and Alumna)

Jess Gillam

Patron (and Alumna)

We are delighted to welcome Award winning saxophonist Jess Gillam, an Alumna of our Awards programme, as our newest Patron of the charity.

AYM supported Jess from the ages of 13 to 17, helping with the cost of her Saturday studies at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music and enabling her to access a host of musical opportunities, including performing at prestigious venues on the charity’s behalf. In 2016, at the age of 17, Jess made history as the first saxophonist to win the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year. She then reached the Grand Final at London’s Barbican Hall, and performed Michael Nyman’s “Where the Bee Dances” with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, to widespread critical acclaim. In 2017 she made her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall, where she performed as a soloist with both the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Since becoming an Alumna of our Awards programme at age 18, Jess has continued her connection with the charity by becoming a mentor to younger musicians on our Arts Council England-funded peer-mentoring programme, Talent to Talent; now she is our youngest patron. AYM turned 20 in 2018, as did Jess!

Julian Lloyd Webber

Patron

Julian Lloyd Webber

Patron

One of AYM’s first patrons, 

Professor Julian Lloyd Webber is the Principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Widely regarded as one of the finest musicians of his generation and described by Strad magazine as ‘the doyen of British cellists’, Julian Lloyd Webber has enjoyed one of the most creative and successful careers in classical music today. As founder of the British Government’s In Harmony programme and the Chair of Sistema England, he continues to promote personal and community development in some of England’s most deprived areas. He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1994 and – in recognition of his lifelong devotion to the music of Elgar – he was elected President of the Elgar Society in 2009.

At the age of sixteen Julian Lloyd Webber won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and he completed his studies in Geneva with the renowned cellist, Pierre Fournier. Since then he has collaborated with an extraordinary array of musicians from Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel and Sir Georg Solti to Elton John and Stephane Grappelli.

Julian Lloyd Webber has premiered more than sixty works for cello and he has inspired new compositions from composers as diverse as Joaquin Rodrigo and Malcolm Arnold to Philip Glass, James MacMillan and – most recently – Eric Whitacre. His many recordings have received worldwide acclaim: his Brit-award winning Elgar Concerto conducted by Lord Menuhin was chosen as the finest ever version by BBC Music Magazine and his coupling of Britten’s Cello Symphony and Walton’s Concerto with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner was described by Gramophone magazine as being “beyond any rival”. He has also recorded several highly successful CDs of shorter pieces including Cello Song, Unexpected Songs and – together with Jiaxin Lloyd Webber – A Tale of Two Cellos: “It would be difficult to find better performances of this kind of repertoire anywhere on records of today or yesterday” – Gramophone.

Julian is married to fellow cellist Jiaxin Cheng. He was the London Underground’s first official busker and he was the only classical musician chosen to perform at the Closing Ceremony of Olympics 2012. In April 2014 Julian received the Incorporated Society of Musician’s annual Distinguished Musician Award.

www.julianlloydwebber.com

Alpesh Chauhan

Patron

Alpesh Chauhan

Patron

Principal Conductor of the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma since autumn 2017, Alpesh Chauhan is praised for his musical insights and natural rapport with the players. He is a regular guest with major orchestras including the BBC orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Orchestre National d’Île de France, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI, and the orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Born in Birmingham, Alpesh frequently appears with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where until 2016 he held the position of Assistant Conductor.

https://www.alpeshchauhan.com/

Duncan Ward

Patron (and Alumnus)

Duncan Ward

Patron (and Alumnus)

Duncan became a patron in 2012 saying: “It’s just a thrill to have quickly changed around from being a beneficiary to being able to give something back. I wouldn’t be able to be where I am or follow my musical dreams were it not for charities like AYMIt’s so important for young musicians who don’t have the means to be given those chances. It’s a privilege and a thrill. It’s really exciting.”

Sought after as both conductor and composer for an increasingly exciting range of projects around the globe, recent highlights include with the Frankfurt Radio, London Symphony, Bayerische Rundfunk, Swedish Radio, Bamberg, Trondheim and Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, BBC, Dresden and New Japan Philharmonics, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Glyndebourne Opera, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New York.

www.duncan-ward.co.uk

Ksenija Sidorova

Patron

Ksenija Sidorova

Patron

Praised as “superbly subtle and virtuosic” (The Arts Desk) and “an amazingly accomplished artist” (Classical Source), Ksenija Sidorova is the leading ambassador for the accordion.

Encouraged to take up the instrument by a grandmother steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija started to play the instrument aged eight under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown of Riga. Her quest for more exposure to both classical and contemporary repertoire took her to London where she became a prize-winning undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music studying under Owen Murray.  She subsequently received her Masters Degree with Distinction. 

In 2009 Ksenija made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall and appeared in the Park Lane Group Young Artists Showcase prompting The Times to single her out as“one of the real finds of the series”. In May 2012 she became the first International Award winner of the Bryn Terfel Foundation, and this year appears at the Royal Albert Hall as part of his 50th birthday celebrations alongside Sting.

A recipient of both the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship and Friends of the Philharmonia Award, as well as the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal, Ksenija has just been appointed a Junge Wilde Artist by the Konzerthaus Dortmund.

Ksenija regularly collaborates with Miloš Karadaglić, Juan Diego Flórez, Nicola Benedetti, Thomas Gould and Joseph Calleja. She works extensively with Avi Avital who, along with Itamar Doari, comprise the trio for the “Between Worlds” project which this year sees performances at Shakespeare's Globe, throughout Germany and on a substantial US tour (including dates in Boston, Washington and New York) in spring 2016. She has also appeared on Arte’s “Stars von Morgen” with Rolando Villazón.

Forthcoming highlights include performances of Erkki-Sven Tüür Prophecy with the NHK Symphony and Paavo Järvi; a tour with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; and concerts with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, WDR Rundfunkorchester, and at the Cheltenham and Bad Kissingen Festivals.  She makes her debut at the Vancouver Recital Series in September 2016.

www.ksenijasidorova.com

Shabaka Hutchings

Patron

Shabaka Hutchings

Patron

Shabaka became a patron in 2012.

Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups—most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors—and embracing influences from the sounds of London’s diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub. “The common theme in my career as a jazz musician has been wondering if what I’m doing is the thing that I should be doing,” says Hutchings, who studied classical clarinet at college at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. “Me learning about jazz, how to play and interpret, was always a case of just trial and error. I think where I’ve come to recently is I’ve stopped trying to think ‘Is what I’m doing valid? or ‘Is what I’m doing part of the jazz tradition?’ and just see myself as a musician.”

www.shabakahutchings.com/

 

 

Miloš Karadaglić

Patron

Miloš Karadaglić

Patron

Firmly positioned as a leading exponent of his instrument, “The hottest guitarist in the world” (Sunday Times), Miloš Karadaglić, continues to top record charts and delight audiences worldwide.

His first three releases on Deutsche Grammophon achieved major chart successes around the globe and turned him into “classical music’s guitar hero” (BBC Music Magazine) overnight. His 2014 recording of Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him “The King of Aranjuez”, while “Blackbird – The Beatles Album” (2016) was received with unanimous acclaim.

Miloš has appeared in recital at almost all major concert halls and festivals around the globe and has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. He is also the first ever classical guitarist to have performed in solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Guardian commenting: “More extraordinary by far, however, was the way a single guitarist… could shrink the Hall’s cavernous space into something so close.” The Independent concluded: “… a sleight of hand that makes Karadaglić not only a magician, but a serious and accomplished musician”.

In August 2018, Miloš returned to the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to give the world premiere of ‘Ink Dark Moon’, an exciting new guitar concerto written for Miloš by Joby Talbot. The performance, part of the 2018 BBC Proms, was received with great enthusiasm, with BachTrack commenting that “Karadaglić provided a supremely tailored performance, exploring the full range of sounds and colours.”

milosguitar.com

Tasmin Little

Patron

Tasmin Little

Patron

Tasmin Little is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (FGSM), a Vice President of the Elgar Society, an Ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, and for Youth Music, a Patron of Awards for Young Musicians, and has received Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Bradford, Leicester, Hertfordshire and City of London. In 2016, she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM) by the Academy and the University of London.
Her multi-award winning and varied career encompasses international concerto and recital performances, master classes, workshops and community outreach work. Tasmin’s discography and performance schedule reflect her wide-ranging repertoire and she has given numerous World Premiere performances including concerti by Willem Jeths, Robin de Raaf, Stuart MacRae, Robert Saxton and Dominic Muldowney. Her newly commissioned work, Four World Seasons by Roxanna Panufnik, was premiered as a live broadcast on the BBC at the start of Music Nation weekend, leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In 2008, Tasmin launched her project, The Naked Violin, aimed at breaking down barriers to classical music by releasing a free CD for download on her website, and performing in the community where music is rarely heard. Within days of the CD release, 6,500 websites had linked to Tasmin’s site and within a few months, more than half a million people had visited and downloaded. She plays a 1757 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin.

www.tasminlittle.com

Photo (c) Benjamin Ealovega

Zeb Soanes

Patron

Zeb Soanes

Patron

Zeb Soanes is a familiar, trusted and authoritative voice across BBC Network Television and Radio. Zeb joined AYM as a patron in 2013 because he’s keen to add his voice to giving young people a chance to reach their musical potential.

Zeb is a Radio 4 Newsreader and regularly puts the nation to bed with the Shipping Forecast; he was invited to read the forecast at the Olympics to a worldwide audience of over a billion. On Television his voice launched BBC FOUR, he made a film about famous voices for The Culture Show and is a regular presenter of the BBC Proms. Recently he narrated a series of documentaries for the Dr Who 50th anniversary and played the Voice of God in a special live broadcast of Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde to celebrate the composer’s centenary.

www.zebsoanes.com

Photo (c) Charlie Carter

Thomas Gould

Patron

Thomas Gould

Patron

Described as an artist who “refuses to be defined by a single genre” (The Guardian), Thomas Gould is a violinist with wide-ranging musical interests. Gould has fast established for himself a reputation as one of Britain’s foremost interpreters of contemporary music whilst also remaining dedicated to the core classical repertoire.

Highlights of his 2015-16 season included performances of Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed with Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican, Thomas Adès' Violin Concerto with Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York and with Philharmonie Zuidnederland in the Netherlands, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending at the Royal Festival Hall, and the UK premiere of Anthony Pateras’ Double Concerto for Violin and Live Electronics with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of previous seasons include performances of Bruch’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, performances of Nico Muhly’s Concerto for Electric Violin with the LA Phil New Music Group and West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the London premiere of John Woolrich’s Violin Concerto with Britten Sinfonia, and performances with pianist Alasdair Beatson of Hans Abrahamsen’s Double Concerto with Britten Sinfonia and Sonderborg Symfoniorkester.

Gould is leader of Britten Sinfonia, one of the world’s most celebrated unconducted ensembles, and frequently directs the orchestra from the violin. His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations arranged for strings by D. Sitkovetsky with Britten Sinfonia (Harmonia Mundi, 2015) was received to great critical acclaim. From 2005-2016 Gould was leader of Aurora Orchestra.

Gould’s solo albums include Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascendingwith Sinfonietta Riga (Live in Riga, Edition Classics, 2015), an album of contemporary works for solo violin (Bach to Parker, Champs Hill Records, 2014), and Nico Muhly’s Seeing is Believing with Aurora Orchestra (Decca, 2011). He has recorded two albums with the swing band The Man Overboard Quintetand several other jazz releases.

Gould trained at the Royal Academy of Music where he is now an associate. He plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin made in 1782.

www..thomasgould.com

Paul Lewis

Patron

Paul Lewis

Patron

Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire. His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D’or de l’Annee, the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. He holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill, and Southampton Universities, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He works regularly as soloist with the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras.

Professor Derek Aviss

Patron

Professor Derek Aviss

Patron

Professor Derek W. Aviss OBE was born in South London and developed his musical interests as a choirister in a local church choir. When his voice broke he looked for an alternative voice and took up the ‘Cello. Four years of study at Trinity College of Music launched him on a career as a performer and, very quickly, he also discovered the joys of being involved with music education. After six years away from Trinity, his old College invited him back to teach the ‘Cello as an occasional teacher. 37 years later Derek retired from Trinity (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) as its Executive Director, previously having been joint Principal of Trinity Laban and Principal of Trinity College of Music.

A life long passion in music education has led Derek to his present portfolio of responsibilities where, in addition to several ongoing consultancies, he is involved with many musical charities as a non-executive director and patron. He was particularly pleased to have been asked to a patron of AYM, as it gives him the opportunity to help talented young musicians to achieve a similar start in life to the one he was fortunate to have provided for him through funding from the State.

Derek Aviss was awarded an OBE for services to Higher and Music Education in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.

Trustees

We have a very active board of directors.

Lynda Beament

Trustee

Lynda Beament

Trustee

I was taken to an AYM event by a friend and was astounded at the talent and musicality of the award winners that performed that evening. I was also overcome by the experiences that the performers shared with the audience and the real difference that AYM had made to their lives. It was clear to me that without the support of AYM these exceptionally talented and very committed and hardworking young musicians would not have had anything like the opportunities that they had enjoyed. AYM had provided not only financial support to pay for instruments, specialist tuition and transport but also fantastic performance opportunities and and mentoring schemes that money just can’t buy. I was really impressed that these opportunities were being given to young people from lower income families who so often miss out.

I was also heartened to hear that AYM don’t just support the super talented! Their Furthering Talent programme is designed to identify young people in the state system who have musical aptitude but limited means to pursue it. As an amateur singer whose interest, kindled at state school, led to a lifelong passion which has been the basis of many friendships, extensive travel and much personal comfort and joy I felt duty bound to become an AYM supporter!

I have recently joined the board of Trustees to advise on communications and am really enjoying working with a great group of committed people

Chris Campbell

Trustee

Chris Campbell

Trustee

I have been a trustee of AYM since 2017.

I played the oboe throughout school and university, and was very lucky to have been at places where music was a keen interest to many of the teachers and pupils. This created a fantastic environment to enjoy music and help unlock future options for the children, both within music and outside. I was thrilled to join AYM and help support bringing similar opportunities to pupils and teachers throughout the UK.

I chair AYM's Audit & Risk committee, and currently work in the financial sector in London. I have a Masters in Mathematics from Warwick University.

Fiona Harvey

Trustee

Fiona Harvey

Trustee

I studied music at university and have spent most of my working life in the professional music sector. I run my own consultancy which covers music education policy; event and project management; operations and governance; organisational change and strategic development. I currently hold roles with the Association of British Orchestras, PRS for Music Foundation and Sound and Music. I enjoy using my extensive professional network to match people with ideas and to develop creative solutions.

I am an active musician, singing backing vocals with a country and western band; and I am an active consumer of the arts, in particular new music, theatre, art and so on.

I became a Trustee of Awards for Young Musicians because I believe that all children and young people should have the opportunity to develop and realise their potential and talent and I am proud to be part of an organisation that provides support, information and guidance to enable them to do so.

Philip Jones

Chairman

Philip Jones

Chairman

Growing up in the 60s and 70s in a family of limited financial means, I was very lucky to live in a town where children were able to learn to play musical instruments free of charge; music became a big part of my daily life, both in and outside school. It was more than just being able to play: music gave me an essential leg-up in the world, leading circuitously to a career in management consulting and latterly in property development.

Sadly most of that state support is now gone, but within the limited resources we have, AYM can still make that essential difference for those we can reach.

Michael Lewin

Founding Trustee

Michael Lewin

Founding Trustee

As a hi-fi consultant, one of Michael Lewin’s great pleasures was to show people ways to reproduce music in their homes at a quality-level which they previously had no idea could be attained. As Operations Director of the UK trade association for specialist hi-fi dealers, he helped members raise standards and provided training courses, as well as working with the press and public to promote the benefits of real hi-fi, and acting as an unofficial industry ombudsman.

Since childhood, music has played an important part in his life; he has sung as an amateur for 40 years.

He is delighted that (his uncle) Bob Lewin’s collection of violins and bows has been used not only to help talented young musicians but also to enhance the opportunities for musical education in the UK.

Michael Littlechild

Trustee

Michael Littlechild

Trustee

I have been a Trustee of AYM since 2003 and I am a full-time director of a company called GoodCorporation, which specialises in evaluating how ethically companies behave and how far they do and they say they do. I spend a lot of time travelling around the world checking out how Western companies are operating in emerging and developing countries. One of the things we look at is how they give money and in-kind support to the communities they work in.

I studied economics and modern languages. Languages are like music – there is always more to learn and you have to constantly practice them. Luckily I do a lot of my work in the languages I studied so I get plenty of opportunity.

I think I am the least musical of the AYM trustees as I have never played any instrument, though I spend a lot of time listening and going to performances, especially opera. I support AYM because of personal experience: I do not come from an educated family background and the support of my parents, teachers and many others gave me the opportunity to do everything I’ve done in both work and play; I can’t pay them back directly, but I can make a very worthwhile contribution here.

Beverley Mason

Trustee

Beverley Mason

Trustee

I have been involved with AYM since 2002, as its Chair for a while, and I’m proud to be one of the board of Trustees (they are amazing) where I lead on communications and provide oversight, strategic direction and help with events and fundraising. That’s mission critical. In practical terms, the best thing that I can do is to be a 24/7 ambassador – to promote the value of our work and to make “things” happen through connections and ideas. One thing is for sure, I am zealous about AYM being relevant for a culturally rich, diverse and changing modern society, so that not only those young people whose families can afford to pay to develop specialist musicianship skills get ahead, but also to make sure that those with talent and in most need have a good opportunity to reach their potential, excel and grow with confidence. For a hardy and ruthlessly efficient organisation like ours that means  – hats off and hands in.

It’s important to me that, as an independent charity, we keep true to our vision and keep young people at the heart of what we do, and yet maintain our agility in working with partners, policy makers and donors alike so that all our fundraising efforts are all about responding to their needs and not about running a machine. That’s what I feel we are here to do – to help those talented and dedicated young people fulfil their hopes and dreams of becoming the best kind of musicians that they can possibly be.

Elizabeth Rantzen

Trustee

Elizabeth Rantzen

Trustee

Elizabeth held a variety of strategy and business development roles in the service sector, in parallel with various trustee roles, until she decided that her interests lay firmly in the non-profit sector. She subsequently ran a grant-making charitable trust for many years and now has a number of non-executive director and trustee appointments.

She plays oboe in a London amateur orchestra and has two children who also love orchestral and chamber music playing. Watching them grow up steeped in music has made her realise with sadness that music is now far less accessible to those with limited financial means than when she was a child. She is thrilled to be involved with AYM which makes such a difference to the opportunities for musically talented children to thrive, whatever their financial circumstances.

Laurie Watt

Trustee

Laurie Watt

Trustee

Laurie Watt is someone who loves music and live music-making and wants to ensure that there’s a vibrant future for classical music. That starts with enabling young people with talent commitment and potential not to miss out on getting the best possible music education. Laurie is a Senior Counsel with Charles Russell Solicitors having joined the firm in 1972, now taking on an enhanced international ambassadorial role for the firm. Laurie also lectures on corporate governance issues and has given talks in London, Mexico, Hong Kong and Nigeria. A horn player in his spare time, he has successfully managed to combine his two passions of law and music throughout his career. Charles Russell represents a number of orchestras and other music-related organisations. “If I hadn’t played the French horn, I certainly wouldn’t have joined this firm.”
Laurie became a Trustee for AYM in 2007 and continues to serves on the boards of several music organisations including the Association of British Orchestra Trust where he is the chair, an Honorary solicitor to the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a Council member for The Royal Philharmonic Society.

Volunteers

We are hugely grateful to all our volunteers; those who give their time an ongoing basis, listed above, and the many more who support our fundraising, marketing and events on an ad-hoc basis.

Edward Webb

Volunteer Photographer

Edward Webb

Volunteer Photographer

I studied music at university and have spent most of my working life in the professional music sector. I run my own consultancy which covers music education policy; event and project management; operations and governance; organisational change and strategic development. I currently hold roles with the Association of British Orchestras, PRS for Music Foundation and Sound and Music. I enjoy using my extensive professional network to match people with ideas and to develop creative solutions.

I am an active musician, singing backing vocals with a country and western band; and I am an active consumer of the arts, in particular new music, theatre, art and so on.

I became a Trustee of Awards for Young Musicians because I believe that all children and young people should have the opportunity to develop and realise their potential and talent and I am proud to be part of an organisation that provides support, information and guidance to enable them to do so.

Stephanie Kulesza

Volunteer Opportunities Coordinator

Stephanie Kulesza

Volunteer Opportunities Coordinator

I first heard Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf  when I was five years old, and since then, music has been a huge part of my life. I was able to attend some wonderful Robert Mayer concerts for children and soon began learning the flute and piano and joining the choir at school. Eventually I studied singing for four years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama including two years on the opera course.  After several years singing professionally, in between bringing up three children, I decided to go into the administrative side of music.

I took up jobs at the London Symphony Orchestra, Harold Holt Music Management and Decca Records, then in 1999 I joined BBC Radio 3 where I worked on the Lunchtime Concerts, the Opera and the Proms Season, carrying out research for the presenters, arranging recording sessions, booking artists and liaising with agents and concert venues.  I recently retired and after having met Philip Jones at a concert I became very interested in the work of AYM.

I was so impressed by the young AYM Award winners who performed at the House of Commons, that I offered to become a volunteer. Having been so lucky with my own music education, I am really keen to further AYM’s work in helping talented young musicians and my aim is to help them acquire as wide an experience as possible of the wonderful world of music.

Julia Roth

Events Programming Volunteer

Julia Roth

Events Programming Volunteer

I started my professional life as a flautist but after about 10 years, I became doubtful about music as a lifetime career so I made a second career in management development, finally retiring in 2005.  After a hectic working life in business, I decided to use some of my free time in retirement in helping musical children, which seemed a natural extension of my own personal experiences.  I wanted everyone to enjoy the pride I felt in my first school concert, with people really listening to me! And the self-discipline needed for practising became a core life-skill.

When I started researching possible organisations that might need me, AYM stood out for many reasons: AYM is one of very few organisations which offer help to schoolchildren, as opposed to conservatoire students; it is a model of efficiency – a lot of businesses could learn some lessons; my time is very well used, as well as funds being carefully managed. On top of that AYM provides so much more than the financial awards, such as support and advice to parents and performance opportunities. I’ve been closely involved with AYM for nearly 8 years now, and I hope to continue for many more!

Sue Dorey

Events Programming Volunteer

Sue Dorey

Events Programming Volunteer

Cellist Sue Dorey studied at the Menuhin School with Maurice Gendron, and on Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange. She completed her studies with Jacqueline du Pre (her childhood hero) in London and Wolfgang Mehlhorn in Hamburg.


Sue’s long and varied career embraced chamber music, orchestral playing and teaching. Whilst still a student she founded the piano trio Trio Zingara which won the Munich International Competition, and subsequently she was the cellist of Ambache Chamber Ensemble and a member of the cello octet of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
Working with London’s busiest chamber orchestras Sue was Principal cello of City of London Sinfonia for 17 years, and for over twenty years a member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields touring the world with such distinguished musicians as Murray Perahia, Iona Brown and Radu Lupu.


Sue has always loved teaching and working with young aspiring musicians. She taught at Chethams School in Manchester, was the cello orchestral coach for over twenty years for the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools and currently is an external adjudicator at the Royal Academy of Music. It is the desire to pass on her passion and her knowledge of music which has drawn Sue to working with the young musicians of AYM.
She programmes the Sunday Music concerts at Omnibus Theatre in Clapham where she is Director of Music. omnibus-clapham.org

Roberto Beretta

Graphic Design Volunteer

Roberto Beretta

Graphic Design Volunteer

Roberto works as a graphic designer for Radley Yeldar and has been instrumental in helping to establish AYM’s sophisticated style and quality tone through a series of innovative and creative print designs for award winning AYM’s annual review documents. He works closely with Ed Webb, AYM’s volunteer photographer. Together they produced AYM's 20th anniversary printed publication "20:20".

He is happy to help AYM because he believes that his skills help the charity to raise its communications profile and in return allows him to lend support to young musicians who deserve the chance to succeed in their musical studies.

Awards Adjudication Panel

We have been very fortunate to have some amazing support from an expert panel of adjudicators. They help us determine which young musicians are most deserving of receiving an Award. Comprising a number of specialists holding senior positions within music education on a national level the panel combine many years of performance, teaching and management experience with specialist instrumental knowledge. This richness of understanding and expertise is essential in ensuring a rigorous and equitable selection process.