Annest Davies, is an award-winning harpist from Mwnt, West Wales and is currently studying with the internationally renowned harpist and Professor of harp, Ieuan Jones, at the Royal College of Music, London.
A former pupil of Ysgol y Preseli, Annest began her musical journey at the age of 7 on the piano before progressing to learn the harp at the age of 10. A past pupil of former Royal Harpist, Claire Jones, Annest has performed at illustrious venues here in the UK and abroad, either as a member of the Claire Jones Harp Ensemble or as a soloist. At the beginning of 2022, Annest was part of ân Ensemble which recorded their first album at the world-famous Abbey Road studios.
Annest has been very successful in many Eisteddfods and competitions, including winning the London Camac Harp competition in 2021 and the Davison Young Musician Award 2021, where she had the privilege, after being presented with her prize by composer John Rutter, of performing at Ely Cathedral. In April 2022, Annest followed in the footsteps of many successful, and now professional musicians, by winning Dyfed Young Musician Award. She has performed many solo recitals including at St David’s Cathedral, Aberystwyth Music Festival, and the Fishguard Music Festival.
Gwenllian Hunting Morris
Gwenllian is in her second year reading Music at King’s College London. She has harp lessons at RAM with Professor Emerita Skaila Kanga. She also has a keen interest in choral conducting, directing the King’s College Chorus. Recently, she has recorded at Abbey Road Studios as part of the Claire Jones Harp Ensemble. Gwenllian enjoys accompanying and was thrilled to accompany her Dad in a St David’s Day concert this year at the Speaker’s House in the Houses of Parliament
Rhydian lives in Llandybie and attended Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo before going on to study A levels at Chethams School of Music in Manchester. He began tuition with Carmarthenshire Music Service at the age of 6 and also attended the Junior Conservatoire of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama from the age of 13. Rhydian has won numerous prizes at Eisteddfods and was the 2019 Dyfed Young Musician. He became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the age of 14 (their youngest player at the time) and progressed to become Principal Trombone with that orchestra. In March 2020, Rhydian reached the Brass Category Final of BBC Young Musician, and he is now a first-year student at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He would like to pursue a career in performance and has his sights on furthering his studies abroad in the future.
HarpistAnne is one of Britain’s leading young harpists and is Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales. After winning the Young Musician of Dyfed Anne went on to study at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. She received her Master’s degree from the Royal Academy with distinction, graduating with a Regency Award for notable achievement, and as the first ever harpist to win the historic RAM Club Prize. She has won numerous prizes in local, national and international competitions, including second place in the Wales International Harp Festival 2014, and reaching the string category finals of the BBC Young Musician in 2010. Anne is increasingly in demand as an interpreter and performer of new music, and has recorded and premiered new works for harp. She is a founding member of contemporary experimental quartet, The Hermes Experiment, and also greatly enjoys working with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Anne freelances with orchestras and choirs across Britain. She is also Principal Harpist with Ensemble Cymru, a group championing chamber music throughout Wales. Image Julian Dodds.
FlautistJenny studied at Chetham’s School of Music and then the Royal Northern College of Music. After graduating in 2003, she moved to London, began working professionally, and studied as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was awarded DipRAM for her outstanding final recital. Jenny has appeared as Guest Principal Flute and a piccolo player with the Philharmonia Orchestra, English National Ballet and BBC Concert Orchestra. In addition, she works regularly with orchestras across the UK. As a soloist and chamber musician, Jenny has performed to great acclaim as part of a flute and piano duo, a trio with viola and harp, and in a number of instrumental combinations with Endymion, and as such has appeared at festivals across the UK. Jenny is also an examiner for ABRSM, a job which not only takes her all over the UK, but all over the world, in countries such as Hong Kong, China and Cyprus.
ViolinistAfter graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Ruth moved to London to join Southbank Sinfonia where she led the orchestra in concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, and more recently in Michael Longhurt’s production of ‘Amadeus’ at the Royal National Theatre. Ruth has also toured the globe performing with comedy string quartet Graffiti Classics (www.graffiticlassics.com) and now runs the London String Group (www.londonstringgroup.com), providing string sections & arrangements for live bands and sessions. She has played the O2 Arena with Madness, Glastonbury with The Lightening Seeds, BBC Later with Jools Holland and MUSE, and Camden’s Roundhouse with Sister Sledge, Tito Jackson, John Newman, and Philip Bailley (Earth Wind and Fire). Ruth has performed for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and has also entertained the Kings of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
PianistJocelyn is a pianist and conductor who began her career as a cathedral chorister. She released her solo piano album in 2013 and performs internationally as a pianist and conductor. Jocelyn’s pianism has been described as “outstanding”, “brilliant” and “one-to-watch” by International Piano Magazine. Engagements have led her to perform on four continents. She has also appeared on British and German television, and has given radio broadcasts. She has performed concerti by Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt.
TrumpeterThe 2002 Young Musician of Dyfed, trumpeter Tomi Johnson, went on to study physics at Oxford University, where he was an undergraduate, PhD student, and post-doctoral researcher. Despite focusing on theoretical physics, Tomi did his fair share of musical playing and experimenting at University. He played jazz trumpet, visiting India, China and the Rotterdam and Montreux festivals with the University Big Band. Curiosity about the strange sounds coming from the other side of the orchestra eventually led him to take up the French Horn. He can confirm that it’s as hard to play as one imagines, but to this day he still juggles playing both orchestral trumpet and horn. Tomi now works as a quantitative analyst at a hedge fund in London, lives in Oxford, and plays music in whichever city he can.
HarpistFollowing her performance at the Royal Wedding, Claire Jones, former Royal Harpist, has carved a solo career as a highly acclaimed international recording artist. She now performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, and has given recitals at venues such as the Wigmore Hall (London), Cadogan Hall (London), Capitol Hill (USA), City Hall (Hong Kong) and the International Harp Festival (Brazil). Her albums ‘Journey’, ‘Girl with the Golden Harp’ and ‘Highgrove Suite’, have all reached the top of the classical charts. Claire was awarded an honorary Associateship from the Royal Academy of Music London in 2016, and is an ambassador for international jewellery company, Clogau. Photo John Oackley
Llywellyn Ifan JonesSince completing his studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Llywelyn’s career has gone from strength to strength. He has performed in over a dozen countries, including France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Finland, Spain, and of course Wales. In 2016 he performed Britten’s ‘The Rape of Lucretia’ during Mozartwoche in Salzburg. Recent performances include a UK wide tour with Russel Watson, and a concerto appearance in a St. David’s Cathedral concert alongside Gary Griffiths, conducted by Sir Karl Jenkins – hosted by the Milford Haven Music Festival. In April 2014 Llywelyn was chosen for the late Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now scheme, and this has taken him to perform in many venues across Wales, Austria and Germany. He came the attention of Classic FM who praised his work in residential and care homes as ‘a very beautiful thing to witness’.
Sarah Lianne Lewis
ComposerSarah participated in the Young Composer of Dyfed whilst studying Music and History at Cardiff University. She went on to complete a Masters in Composition at Cardiff, and has been working as a freelance composer and music copyist since 2012. She has written works that have been performed in numerous European festivals, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Cymru, Radio Television Suisse, France Musique and Deutschlandradio Kultur. In recent years she has travelled to Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland and Canada for performances of her music, and has worked with ensembles such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, soprano Sarah Maria Sun, Canadian string quartet Quatuor Bozzini, Orchestre Symphonique Ose! and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Piano & TubaEndaf participated in the Dyfed Young Musician several times, appearing in the final round on both the piano and tuba. He also competed regularly on both instruments in the National Eisteddfod and the Urdd Eisteddfod, being chosen to compete for the Blue Ribbon Scholarship on multiple occasions. His musical highlight came in 2010 when he performed the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with the Three Counties Orchestra, conducted by Emyr Wynne Jones. He still regularly plays the piano, receiving lessons from the concert pianist Iwan Llewellyn Jones. Outside music, Endaf qualified with a degree in medicine from Cardiff University in 2012. He worked for 2 years as a junior doctor in South Wales, before working abroad in Central America as an expedition medic. He is now training to be an Anaesthetist in Liverpool. His other hobbies include running and cycling, and he has run the Berlin and Stockholm marathons.
TrombonistTrombonist Paul Rowland participated twice in the Young Musician of Dyfed during the late 1990s, reaching the final once. At the time he was a member of the Three Counties Youth Orchestra, and progressed to becoming principal trombone in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales during his three-year membership. After leaving school he studied history at the University of Warwick, before moving to Cardiff to take a postgraduate course in journalism. From there, he joined the Western Mail as a trainee reporter in 2005, and 12 years later, he’s still with Media Wales. Paul was appointed editor-in-chief with responsibility for all digital and print titles in May 2016 – a role he performs in tandem with his duties as editor of WalesOnline.
Violinist & ComposerA unique performer, Aelfwyn is an international freelance violinist and composer who is on a mission to explore musical language through her instruments and voice. From session playing to aerial violin, Aelfwyn lives and breathes music. She enjoys collaborating with other artists from around the world such as Arbor Circus, Inverted Dance Company, and musicians, Muse, Eska and Antonio Forcione. She’s recently been working on a loop pedal set to explore creative avenues in electronic music. She has performed at venues and events, including the O2 and Glastonbury, Aelfwyn is also responsible for the creation of a mirror-ball violin act, Mirabelle – an LED and aerial violin act.
Clarinetist & ComposerRhys graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2005 with a first class honours degree. Although the clarinet is his first instrument, his career has developed into eclectic mix that combines working as a multi woodwind instrumentalist in musicals across the world, with working as an MD for concerts, studio and TV work, as well as extra work with professional orchestras such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Rhys is in constant demand as a composer and arranger, and he has worked at the Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff, and Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London. Rhys also composes and arranges music for his jazz band ‘RT Dixieband’, and his trio for clarinet, piano and cello, ‘Canola’
Singer & ConductorKatie studied Music at Cardiff University and Choral Conducting as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is currently consultant to the BBC Symphony Chorus, Royal College of Music and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. She adjudicates choral festivals worldwide for INTERKULTUR and is technique tutor for the Association of British Choral Directors. As a professional singer, Katie has performed internationally with London’s premier vocal ensembles including The Monteverdi Choir (also as rehearsal assistant to Sir John Eliot Gardiner), Polyphony, the Academy of Ancient Music and Tenebrae at venues ranging from the Wigmore Hall London to the Vienna Musikverein and Carnegie Hall, New York. She is now focusing her creative efforts as Artistic Director and Conductor of The Constellation Club, her own professional orchestra & choir.
ComposerThe Young Composer of Dyfed, and the opportunity it gave Jack to have his music performed, was a great encouragement to him as a young musician and composer. It helped him decide to study music at university, where he went on to complete a Masters degree in soundtrack production. Since graduating he has had a varied career, composing music for independent short films for the festival circuit, TV productions for broadcast on BBC and S4C, and YouTube videos that have had over a million hits. He currently lives near Cardiff, and works in marketing and communications. Whilst he now works in a much more corporate role, Jack acknowledges that the skills and experiences he had through YCD have helped lead him to where he is today.
TrumpeterMatthew graduated with a Masters degree from the Royal Academy of Music, London having previously graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He is a former principal trumpet with the European Union Youth Wind Orchestra and Cory Band, and was awarded the ‘Candide Award’ at the London Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Academy in 2012. By now he has performed with many of the UK’s leading orchestras including the LPO, RLPO, BBC National Orchestra of Wales RPO, Philharmonia, RSNO and WNO, to name but a few. Matt and has performed on the Elvis Presley and Harry Potter UK Tour as well as in the pit band for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s UK Tour and Wicked in the West End. Matt can be heard playing on Doctor Who, Our Girl and Cirque de Soleil. He has also performed alongside Elton John, Kerry Ellis, The Pet Shop Boys, Only Men Aloud, Bryn Terfel and many more.
ComposerAfter completing a degree in composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2015, Emily co-founded a film production company, Trapeze Film. The company specialises in working with musicians and composers, and in making their own artistic videos. One of the aims of Trapeze Film is to introduce contemporary classical music to a new audience by making it more accessible through the medium of YouTube videos. Emily has worked on projects ranging from filming bands, to arts council funded poetry films about the Coventry Ring Road, and to animating jellybeans to promote a new album of classical music. To watch videos and find out more about the company visit www.trapezefilm.com.