This year's guests

(in order of appearance)



Roman Kosyakov, piano


Roman Kosyakov is a Russian concert pianist and Ambassador for Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. He is a laureate of many nationals and international competitions: 2nd prize in UK Piano Open International Piano Competition (London, 2020), 1st prize and the Orchestra Prize of the 14th Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (2018), performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; 4th prize in the 1st Saint-Priest International Piano Competition (Saint-Priest, 2017); Gold Prize of the 3rd Manhattan International Music Competition (2018); 1st prize and the audience prize in the 10th Sheepdrove Piano Competition (2018).
As part of “Fitzroy Piano Quartet” Roman won the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition string ensembles section in January 2020.
Roman was born in a musical family and made his orchestral debut at the age of 12 performing Mozart’s Concerto No.23 in A Major. In 2012 he graduated from the Central Music School in Moscow, where he studied with Farida Nurizade and then in 2017 from the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatoire with Vladimir Ovchinnikov. Since 2017, he has continued his studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on a full scholarship with Pascal Nemirovski.
Roman’s performance career includes engagements in prestigious venues and festivals across the UK, the US and Europe such as Kings Place, Cadogan Hall London, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Sursa Performance Hall in Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana (US), St. Magnus Festival in Orkney, Brighton Festival, Battle Festival, North Norfolk Music Festival and European Chamber Music Academy Leipzig. He is regularly invited to perform with the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In January 2019 Roman received “The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire - Silver Medal” by the Musician’s Company in the UK, became a member of Musician’s Company Yeomen Young Artists’ Programme and was invited to represent and launch the 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition at The House of Commons in London. Roman is a winner of The Denis Matthews Memorial Trust award, Kirckman Concert Society Artist Prize and is a scholar of the Drake Calleja Trust.
Roman is regularly invited to join the piano faculty at the Berginos Summer Piano School in Bergamo (Italy) giving sets of lessons and masterclasses with esteemed artists including Pascal Nemirovski, Michel Beroff, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Boris Slutsky, Louis Schwizgebel and Norman Krieger.
In Summer 2019 Roman recorded a debut CD for “Naxos” with works by Liszt which was released in late 2020.



Laura Snowden, guitar

Hailed a ‘string sensation’ by BBC Music Magazine, British-French guitarist and composer Laura Snowden is acclaimed for her ‘poise and intensity’ (Guardian) and playing of ‘extraordinary depth’ (Strings, Classical Music Magazine).
Laura studied with Julian Bream, during which time she gave two concerts at Wigmore Hall featuring premieres of his recent commissions. This led to international recognition and festival debuts across Europe, China and the US, as well as concerto debuts with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and Münchener Kammerorchester, and a recording of Lisa Streich’s guitar concerto Augenlider with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester.
As a composer, Laura’s music has been performed at Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Sadlers Wells, commissioned by the Park Lane Group, Birmingham Symphony Hall and International Guitar Foundation, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Hong Kong Radio 4. Described by Classical Guitar Magazine as ‘linking guitar’s past, present and future’, Laura’s eclectic musical output has ranged from producing arrangements for Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink to giving dozens of world premieres by composers including Julian Anderson, Errollyn Wallen and Olli Mustonen.
She has also collaborated closely with her folk group Tir Eolas; after releasing their debut album Stories Sung Truths Told, the band toured numerous UK shows and festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Bestival and Shakespeare’s Globe at the invitation of John Williams. Laura’s international concert appearances have included the Guitar Foundation of America, New York Classical Guitar Society, Long Island Guitar Festival, Upstate New York Guitar Festival, Altamira Hong Kong International Guitar Symposium, Uppsala International Guitar Festival, the Volterra Project in Italy and the Guitar and Lute Festival in Sweden.
Alongside classes at various festivals and universities, she has given classes at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Brussels Conservatoire, Mannes School of Music and Manhattan School of Music.
She held the position of Assistant Guitar Teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School between 2014 and 2020.
Laura was born in York to a French mother and English father, and grew up in Cornwall, Devon and Sussex with Celtic folk music. At the age of sixteen, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, following a donation from the Rolling Stones; she went on to study at the Royal College of Music.
Her guitar is made by Christopher Dean. Laura's website



Maxim Calver, cello

Award winning British Cellist Maxim Calver made his concerto debut in Symphony Hall, Birmingham as part of the Grand Final of BBC Young Musician 2018. His performance of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four, was praised for its ‘natural ease’ and ‘emotional lyricism’. Earlier in the competition he won the Strings Category, performing works by Lutoslawski, Brahms and Stravinsky.
Throughout his young career Maxim has been invited to perform widely around the UK. His concerto highlights have included a performance of Brahms Double Concerto in Cadogan Hall, London as well as appearances with the Orpheus Sinfonia, Bath Symphony Orchestra, Stockport Symphony Orchestra and Maidstone Symphony Orchestra. Recital highlights have included performances at Norwich Assembly House, St. James’s Church Piccadilly, Southwold Arts Festival and Wimbledon International Festival, where his performance of Delius’ cello sonata was singled out for its ‘depth of tone and passionate intensity’ (Planet Hugill, 2014). Upcoming highlights include an appearance at East Neuk Festival, Scotland and performances of Shostakovich Cello Concerto no.1 in Maidstone and London.
Originally from Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk, Maxim studied with Maja Passchier before moving to the Yehudi Menuhin School to study with Thomas Carroll. He currently studies at the Royal College of Music with Professor Melissa Phelps, where he is proud to be the Hargreaves and Ball Trust Scholar supported by a Herbert Howells & Thomas Fielden Scholarship. Maxim is also a Hattori Foundation Junior Award recipient. Throughout his studies he has participated in masterclasses with leading cellists including Steven Isserlis, Heinrich Schiff, Julian Lloyd Webber, Paul Katz and Guy Johnston.
Also a committed chamber musician, Maxim has performed in many leading venues including Wigmore Hall and St. John’s Smith Square. He has also appeared at the Lewes Chamber Music Festival, Klosters Music Festival and the East Neuk Festival, where he will be returning in 2020. In 2018, Maxim toured the Netherlands as part of Trio Pantoum, which included a performance of Ravel’s Piano Trio broadcast live on Dutch radio from the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. He has also released a CD of Schoenberg’s String Quartet no.1 recorded with fellow participants of the chamber music course, MusicWorks.
Maxim is grateful to the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) for their generous support in their aftercare scheme for BBC Young Musician finalists.
Maxim plays an Alberto Aloyisius Blanchi cello, dated 1906. Maxim's website



Stephen Stirling, horn

Stephen Stirling is a renowned horn soloist. Since studying at the Royal Northern College of Music with Ifor James and later with Julian Baker, he has worked mostly in the rather rarefied world of chamber music. He enjoys an enormously varied career travelling all over the world, particularly relishing playing in unusual and far-flung places.
He has broadcast concertos on BBCTV and Radio 3, and appeared with orchestras such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestra of St John’s, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Richard Hickox, Sir Neville Marriner, Heinz Holliger, Iván Fischer and Douglas Boyd. His recordings of the complete Mozart Horn Concertos with the City of London Sinfonia are frequently broadcast on Classic fM. He has also recorded the virtuosic Double Horn Concertos by Vivaldi. Gary Carpenter’s marvellous new Horn Concerto was written for him and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and given its world and broadcast premiere in April 2005. Other recent first performances have included solo works by Martin Butler and Stephen Dodgson.
Stephen has a world-wide reputation as a chamber musician being in constant demand at festivals in the UK and abroad. He is a member of Endymion Ensemble, The Fibonacci Sequence, Capricorn, Arpege and the New London Chamber Ensemble.
His many critically acclaimed CDs include the first recordings with Endymion, of York Bowen’s Horn Sonata and his beautiful Quintet for Horn and Strings, and Mozart’s entire output for wind ensemble with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. CDs of horn quintets by Stanford and Dunhill have just been released. His second recording of the Brahms Horn Trio, with the Florestan Trio, was nominated for a Gramophone award and in the USA, Fanfare described it as the equal of any recording whether modern or ‘Golden Age’. Spring 2007 saw the release by Deux-Elles of Horn – rare works of chamber music featuring the horn, with the Fibonacci Sequence.
Stephen is a professor at Trinity College of Music, London, on the faculty of the Yellowbarn Summer School in Vermont and a seasoned participant at the Dartington International Summer School.



Tom Norris, violin


Tom graduated from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1994, and went on to study in Banff, Canada before joining the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as Principal 2nd Violin. Since returning to London, Tom has been a principal violinist of the London Symphony Orchestra performing regularly in festivals and concerts across the globe. Alongside life in the orchestra, Tom has collaborated with countless musicians, ranging from the Schubert Ensemble to Roger Daltrey and The Who. He has recorded with Nanci Griffith, Elvis Costello and Andrea Bocelli, and formed the Puertas Quartet, who’s debut CD was critics choice in the Strad Magazine. He collaborated with Manu Delago and Living Room in London, and released his own album as a singer/songwriter in 2010. Tom has been a member of the LSO since 1997 and is Co-Principal Second Violin in the Orchestra. He is also a member of the Puertas Quartet, formed in 2009, which was critics choice in this month’s Strad magazine, for its recording of music by Ravel and Tchaikovsky. Tom is also a singer, songwriter and composer, writing for TV and film. He released his debut album, Edge Of The World, in 2009.



Kirsten Jenson, cello


Kirsten studied in London at the Guildhall School of Music with Louise Hopkins and Leonid Gorokhov, and then in Scotland and Switzerland with renowned soloist and pedagogue Johannes Goritzki. She performed the Schumann Cello Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the City Halls, and during her studies won numerous prizes and awards include the RSAMD Concerto Competition, the CSI Concerto Competition in Lugano, the Helen Winning Memorial Prize at the Tunbridge Wells International YCA Competition, and the Scottish A. Ramsay Calder Debussy Prize. She has taken part in international concert series and festivals throughout Europe, Indonesia, Japan and the US, including IMS Prussia Cove, The London Masterclasses, and the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival. Kirsten was awarded Best British Cellist at the 2016 International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso.
Kirsten has a busy freelance career, combining session work and private teaching with her love of solo and chamber music. In 2014.
Kirsten was cellist of the Fontanelli Quartet, who were selected as Park Lane Young Concert Artists. From 2014 - 2016 she was cellist of the Ragazze Quartet in Holland, with whom she released two albums under the label Channel Classics, performed regularly on live TV and radio, and at major venues including the Royal Concertgebouw. Kirsten then joined the London-based Dulcinea Quartet, who held the Carne Fellowship at Trinity College in London from September 2016, alongside multiple tours to Japan and a collaboration with Geidai Music University.
Kirsten has played with the historic Allegri Quartet a number of times to cover their cellist’s maternity leaves, and has coached on the chamber music senior course at Procorda. Alongside other projects, Kirsten plays with various London-based chamber ensembles, including the urban innovative music group Project Instrumental, and Anima, a chamber ensemble playing contemporary music alongside animated films. Kirsten plays with The United Strings Of Europe, and guests regularly with chamber ensembles throughout the UK and Europe.



Tanya Avchinnikova , pianist and soft pastel artist

Tanya was born in 1988 in Minsk, Belarus and was a graduate of the Belorussian State Academy of Music in the class of Professor Valery Shatsky. After completing her Master's degree she continued postgraduate studies at Ural State Conservatoire in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Tanya combines concerts with teaching. From 2016 to 2018 she lived in China and taught piano at Nanchang Normal University (Jiangxi province) and was a member of the jury of many national junior piano competitions in China.
She has given masterclasses in Italy (Bergamo, 2019) along with such performers as Vladimir Ovchinnikov (Russia), Michel Beroff (France), Pascal Nemirovski (France).
In 2018 Tanya came to the UK to study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Pascal Nemirovski.
Being a musician, Tanya has always had a craving for art. She works with soft pastels in a realistic style and specializes in painting water in all its forms. "A dream of being closer to the sea, to be dissolved in its freshness, to be able to observe a miracle of water translucency, all this makes me create it on paper. Musical life is full of emotions; water is a powerful thing which keeps emotions in balance, these two things are deeply integrated into each other."
Tanya is also a big fan of electronic music and loves composing sound tracks to her soft pastel works and representing them together as music videos.



Trevor Burley, cello, organ & dulcitone

Trevor studied the cello with George Isaac in Cardiff, and subsequently with Leonard Stehn at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
His varied and successful freelance career has taken him around the world with London Orchestras, through many residences in London's West End theatre world, to ballet at Covent Garden , chamber and symphonic work on London's South Bank, and even a foray into pop music with the rock group Suede.
In recent times Trevor has revived his passion for organ music, and performs regularly in many Churches near his home in Oxfordshire, he is also a practising Craniosacral Therapist.

About us

Now in its sixth year, the West Meon Music Festival

brings world-class chamber music performances to rural Hampshire.The West Meon Music Festival is run by the Primrose Piano Quartet, Susanne Stanzeleit, Dorathea Vogel, Andrew Fuller & John Thwaites

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