CURRENT TUTORS (Home visits & Online) 2021/22

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ANA TORBICA
(VIOLIST / VIOLINIST /
SINGER)

Viola ; Violin ; Piano ; Aural ; Theory

Baroque violist and soprano Ana Torbica comes from a versatile family of musicians and teachers. She started her musical education by playing violin and singing in the Children's Choir of the Radio-Television of Serbia for ten years. After finishing her secondary music education in violin and voice at the Vojislav Vuckovic Music School in Belgrade, she continued her undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Arts in Niš, followed by postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied baroque viola with Jane Rogers and Nicolette Moonen, and singing with Michael Chance. During her studies, she was the recipient of the Christopher Hogwood Scholarship, the Johnathan Julyan Award in Historical Performance, the Bikerdike Allen Prize, the Royal Academy of Music Bursary, and the Andreas and Margaret Makris Matching Scholarship from the USA. In 2020 she was awarded the Master of Arts degree in Historical Performance, as well as the LRAM Teaching Diploma. Through the generous grant from the Macfarlane Walker Trust she was also able to acquire a new baroque viola by the famous luthier Jan Pawlikowski.

 

An active performer, Ana appeared with ensembles such as New Trinity Baroque (dir. Predrag Gosta), Savaria Baroque  Orchestra (dir. Pál Németh), Eboracum Baroque (dir. Christ Parsons), Musica Antiqua Neoplantensis and the Baroque Orchestra of the New Belgrade Opera. She has performed at the London Festival of Baroque Music, the Belgrade Early Music Festival, the Baroque Days in Novi Sad, the Korkyra Baroque and Varazdin Baroque Evenings festivals in Croatia, the Baroque Arts Festival in Sofia (dir. Zefira Valova), and at several international competitions where she won prizes in chamber music and singing. She also performs on a modern viola, and has appeared with the Makris Symphony Orchestra and the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Orchestra (USA), as well as with the Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra in Greece (at the 2021 Karditsa Music Festival). She is a freelance artist in her home country since 2018 and is member of the Association of Musical Artists in Serbia. She is featured on a CD recording of Buxtehude's "Membra Jesu Nostri" with New Trinity Baroque. 

 

Ana's interest in historical performance came through her work with the Belgrade and Austria Baroque Academies, as well as the Dartington International Summer School in England. She gained experience through performing and recording baroque operas and chamber repertoire, and through participating in the masterclasses with eminent artists such as Florian Deuter, Bojan Cicic, Adrian Butterfield, Evelyn Tubb, Robert Howarth, Clive Brown and Roberta Mameli. In various projects of the Royal Academy of Music she collaborated with artists such as Trevor Pinnock, Philippe Herreweghe, Rachel Podger, Lawrence Cummings, John Butt, Pavlo Beznosiuk and Margaret Faultless. She also performed with the Royal Academy Baroque Orchestra in its Bach Cantatas Series, supported by the Kohn Foundation and HM the Queen, as well as in baroque operas. As a member of the ensemble the Academy Baroque Soloists, she has performed throughout the UK. The last couple of years she has been a regular guest of the British Embassy in Serbia, where she performed during the birthday celebration of HM the Queen. 

 

As a soprano, Ana primarily performs Baroque, Renaissance and the church repertoire. In 2020 she took the role of Maddalena in oratorio ”Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo” with the New Belgrade Opera. She was the soloist in the Telemann Viola Concerto in the USA and Serbia. In May of 2021 she premiered a newly discovered Viola Concerto by J.G. Graun with New Trinity Baroque at the 16th Belgrade Early Music Festival. In September of 2021 she was featured at the concert of music and lute songs from the time of Vermier. Her activities in 2020, despite the pandemic, brought her the Best Young Artist Award from the Association of Music Artists in Serbia. As a result, she was invited to present a solo recital at the most prestigious concert hall - the Kolarac Concert Hall in Belgrade.

 

Ana is also passionate about teaching. She was the baroque strings coach at the inaugural edition of the Novi Sad Baroque Academy, where she presented a mixture of teaching methods incorporated with historically informed performance practice. In October of 2021 she joined the Herne Hill Music Studio in London as one of their tutors. She enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages, and is always willing to exchange knowledge, seeking new exciting and productive ways of learning. She has explored educational psychology, as well as Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique, visualization and different teaching schools. Having studied 2nd-study piano at her music college as a compulsory requirement, she is able to guide children to take ABRSM graded piano music exams too. The students’ happiness, acquisition of new knowledge and musical improvement are the most important things to her. Diana Cummings, the LRAM programme supervisor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, said: “Ana gave a detailed and very well-presented analysis of the baroque viola, the comparison with modern viola and how it could be taught. You have a very analytical mind and think through all the elements of teaching effectively and constructively. You are a most promising teacher, and you are exploring your potential with great enthusiasm. Well done.” 

 

A daughter of a mother who is a violinist and concertmaster, and a father trombonist, Ana is the descendant of Nedialka Simeonova, the first Bulgarian violin-virtuoso, who was praised by American critics of the 1920’s as “one of the world’s best violinists”.

 

Beside music, she enjoys sport - especially swimming and riding a bicycle.

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ILEANA COSENTINO
(PIANIST)

Piano (classical/jazz/pop/electronic) ; Aural ; Theory

Ileana Cosentino was born in Catania in 1993, where she started her musical path as a child. At the age of thirteen she started studying at the Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini of Catania. During this period she had the opportunity to study with Giuseppe Andaloro, Giuseppe Gullotta, Rosella Clini, Homero Francesh, Massimiliano Ferrati, Aquiles Delle Vigne, Jean Paul De Backer, Eric Chardon, Jean Philip Collard Neven, Federico Gianello, Igor Petrin and Violetta Egorova.
 

Her performances include a series of solo and chamber music concerts in Italy and Belgium. She won the Erasmus scholarship during her third year of the Bachelor to attend the second semester in the Conservatoire Royal de Mons in Belgium. She had the opportunity to hold many concerts and auditions in Mons, Liege, Waterloo, Bruxelles and Diest.
 

In October 2015 she consequently graduated in piano at Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini di Catania with the marks of 106/110 under the guidance of Maestro Giulia Gangi. She started the Master in Belgium concluding the first year in Conservatoire Royal de Mons under the guidance of Rosella Clini. Therefore she attended the second year of the Master in Catania under the guidance of Epifanio Comis and she graduated in October 2018.
 

Moreover she loves teaching, passing on her passion for music to her students in a way that motivates and inspires them, whether young or old, and tailoring their lessons to meet their needs and goals. Her students receive a comprehensive music education including, for the youngest, “Orff method” and body percussion as a sensorial experience in which children dance, sing and play in order to enjoy the moment of the lesson fully and connect them with their inner self.  Ileana is also a writer, thus, she loves build and improvise a story with their pupils around every piece they study and play together. She obtained in Italy the “24 CFU insegnamento nelle scuole di primo e secondo livello” (24 ECTS educational credits for teaching in school). She started giving classical, jazz and pop piano lessons as well as History of the music, Harmony and Aural music at the age of 15. She taught piano and aural music to children from 3 years old to 15 in the music school “Les petites souris” in Cuesmes (Mons) in Belgium in the 2017. Since February 2019 she is been living in London. She works as piano teacher in several piano and music agencies like Muswell Hill Piano Teachers, Orpington Music Studio, Fireworks Music School, Marie De Bry Academy, etc.

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MELIZA METZGER-GOMEZ
(SOPRANO)

Singing ; Piano ; Theory ; Aural ; Theory

Colombian soprano Meliza Metzger-Gomez recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Catherine Benson and Iain Ledingham. In 2016 graduated from the Conservatoire of Bordeaux obtaining her Diploma of Musical Studies in voice under the guidance of Sharon Coste. Meliza holds a bachelor degree from the Universidad los Andes (Colombia) in Music and Italian language and Cultural Studies.
 

Previous operatic experience include Belinda in “Dido and Aeneas” at Uniandes, Bogota, Queen of the night ”Die Zauberflote” in Concert version, Clorinda « la Cenerentola » and Adina “L’elisir D’amore” performed in a tour in Cinque Terre, Italy with Iain Ledingham, Marie "La fille du regiment", Giulietta “I capuleti ed I Montecchi” (RAM VF), Carolina in « il matrimonio segreto » , Prima sorella cercatrice « Suor Angelica » (CNR Bordeaux). In June 2017, debuted as soloist at the Auditorium of Bordeaux in the scheme of « La fête de la musique » noon recitals from the Opera of Bordeaux.
 

Oratorio repertoire include F. Beck Stabat Mater and Bernstein Mass with the Conservatory of Bordeaux Orchestra, Exultate Jubilate K.165, Mass C minor K.427 and Cantatas BW4, BW211, Purcell Te Deum with the University of los Andes Orchestra, chorus Soprano 1 on Mahler Symphony n.2 under the baton of Semyon Bychkov at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
 

As an academy student with a big interest on bringing music to the community Meliza took part in community projects with the Open Academy, working mostly with primary schools and care homes. She continues taking part on outreach projects in Colombia working with children choirs and the exploration of operatic repertoire. Future engagements include recitals at the Festival Lent in Maribor, Slovenia and The 31st international Festival Imago Sloveniae in Ptuj, Slovenia.

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RUSNĖ TUŠLAITĖ (Tutor-Plus)
(SOPRANO)

Singing ; Piano ; Aural ; Theory 

Lithuanian Soprano Rusnė Tušlaitė recently graduated from the the Royal Academy of Music with a First-Class Bachelor of Music degree with Honours studying under Professors Nuccia Focile and Marek Ruszczynski. 

Rusne was a Royal Opera House Emerging Artist at their Youth Council Steering Group sessions (2021) and has won six National and two International grand prizes in singing competitions in Lithuania. She was also awarded with entrance scholarships for both the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.

Whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music she was commended in the Historical Women Composer Prize (2018) and received the Arthur Burcher Memorial and the Toni V Fell Prizes. In 2018, Rusne represented the Royal Academy of Music at the 25th Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for young singers competition as one of the sixteen top singers across the UK conservatoires.

 

Her recent operatic engagements include the role of Tiresias in Geoffrey King’s world premiere of ‘Cantata Superba’ with the Audentia Ensemble and Susanna from Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ in the Royal Academy of Music’s Vocal Faculty Opera Scenes. Rusne looks forward to making her opera debut as the Countess in the Hampstead Garden Opera’s production of Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ in November 2021.

Rusne has previously participated in the chorus of the Royal Academy Opera’s productions of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Iolanta’, Ravel’s ‘L'Enfant et les Sortilèges’ and Massenet’s ‘Cherubin’. She often collaborates with orchestras such as the Naujamiestis brass band 'UP', the Pereksliai brass band 'Sun' and the Panevezys brass band 'Sound'. Rusne is also a member of the Philharmonia Chorus Student Scheme and has actively performed and taken part in masterclasses in Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Austria and France.

She has had the honour to work with great singers such as Michèle Crider, Dennis O’Neill, Della Jones, Tamara Novicenko, Lucy Crowe and many more. Some of the prestigious venues Rusne has performed at include the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the King George Hall, the Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle and the Grand Théatre Amiens. 

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DAMIR DURMANOVIC
(PIANIST)

Piano ; Theory ; Aural ; Theory

As an internationally sought-after performer, Damir Durmanovic has performed in venues and festivals including the Wigmore Hall, Champs Hill Studios, YPF Festival Amsterdam, Wimbledon Music Festival, Renia Sofia Audotorium Madrid, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Derby Multifaith Center, Flusserei Flums, ‘Ballenlager’ Vaduz. He has won prizes in numerous international competitions including The Beethoven Intercollegiate Junior Competition in London, Adilia Alieva International Piano Competition in Geneva and Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in Novi Sad.
 

He has performed in masterclasses with Claudio Martinez-Mehner, Dmitri Bashkirov, Pascal Devoyon, Jacques Rouvier, Robert Levin, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Tatyana Sarkisova, and chamber ensembles such as the Emerson Quartet. Damir is also a scholar at the ‘Musikakademie Liechtestein’ and regularly participates in the courses organised by the academy.
 

Damir began his studies at age of eight in his home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Maja Azabagic before continuing his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School where he studied with professor Marcel Baudet.
 

Damir is an ABRSM scholar and is kindly supported by the Talent Unlimited Scheme. He is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London with professor Dmitri Alexeev.
 

Reviews

“He aroused enthusiasm with his flawless technique, sensitivity and boldness”. Miriam Schild, Schweizer Musikzeitung 
 

“A poet speaks”. Christopher Axworthy, Christopher Axworthy Commentary