Guest Tutor, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Yehudi Menuhin School
Florence Cooke is an internationally recognised chamber musician who has performed extensively around the world. She studied at Cambridge University where she held an academic scholarship, and at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she held the Leverhulme Fellowship. Her main violin teachers were Krzysztof Smietana and David Takeno.
Florence is the first violinist of the Pasqualati Quartet, formed during lockdown, and a member of Ensemble Cymru. She has performed as a guest artist with many chamber groups such including the Navarra Quartet, Sacconi Quartet, Razumovsky Ensemble and Chroma Ensemble, and in many festivals including Wye Valley Festival and IMS Prussia Cove. She has played as principal with Arcangelo, Aurora Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia and European Camerata, and she led the Theseus Ensemble, Orchestra of St Pauls and the LPO ‘Future Firsts‘ concert. She is a guest teacher of violin and chamber music at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Junior Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.
Eugène Ysaÿe International Chair of Violin, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
'This is a most musically enriching and educationally enhancing course helping the students to become greater musicians and nurturing their development as chamber music players.
The variety of the compositions in the programming on which they work encourages the students to expand their musical experience in projecting the differing styles, colours and manner of playing according to the historical context.
The intense work towards gaining a result in a concentrated time followed by performing for the public in several different venues is the best combination of extending their talent, ability and raising their awareness and the fulfilling of their potential.'
Professor of Violin at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague
'I try to lead the courses in such a way that everyone feels equal; together we explore the meaning of every note, every phrase, and share our passion for chamber music.'
Born in Japan, Arisa studied with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she won all the available violin prizes. As a soloist of the long-established Fujita Piano Trio, she has performed extensively worldwide including at more than 120 different venues in the UK alone.
Arisa has collaborated with various artists including Joshua Bell, Martin Lovett, Alexander Rudin and Steven Isserlis with all of whom she has performed on numerous occasions including at the Wigmore Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and in Japan and in France.
Arisa has released numerous recordings (ASV and Intim Musik labels) including the Ysaÿe Solo Sonatas and Piano Trios by Takemitsu, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Ravel, Schubert, Dvořák, and Smetana. Arisa has been invited to the Open Chamber Music Seminar of the IMS Prussia Cove each year for many years and has also taken part in their national tour.
Arisa is a Professor at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in Holland. A Trustee of the AWCT, she has directed 20 of the main Maiastra courses.
Image: Pau Codina
Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Yehudi Menuhin School
'My task, with people who may never have played together before and with limited rehearsal time, is to encourage confidence in articulating ideas and to work towards the highest level of music making. The 'living' performance in which a group has the ability both to react and respond in the moment is the essence of chamber music for me.'
Akiko launched her career after winning numerous prizes in prestigious competitions including first prizes at the Menuhin, Viotti-Valsesia and Forval Scholarship Stradivarius Japan. She was also a laureate of the Concours Reine Elisabeth, Paganini and Szigeti Competition. Since then she has enjoyed performing with major orchestras including the Weimar Staatskapelle, Belgian National Orchestra, Lille National Orchestra, London Mozart Players and NHK Symphony Orchestra.
Aside from solo performances, Akiko sets great value on educational projects such as the Maiastra and Orpheus Sinfonia. In 2016, she launched a new summer violin course MusicSpace at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, in partnership with Cambridge Summer Music.
Akiko’s most recent album “Romance” with Ichiro Nodaira, featuring works including Debussy, Stravinsky, Ysaye and Wagner. The album has been highly rated by top national music publications and newspapers.
Born in Tokyo, Akiko moved to the UK when she was 12 to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Subsequently she studied with Dora Schwarzberg and Michael Frischenschlager at the University of Music and performing Arts in Vienna. Akiko is a violin professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London and the Yehudi Menuhin School.
Matthijs Broersma was born in Holland and began playing the cello at the age of four. After studying at The Yehudi Menuhin School with Louise Hopkins and Leonid Gorokhov, he continued his studies at the GSMD and the Hochschule der Künste, Bern. He received scholarships and awards from the VandenEnde Foundation, Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, The MBF and the Lyra Foundation and in 2010 he won 1st prize in the Kenneth Page Cello Competition. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed extensively worldwide, in venues such as the Concertgebouw and the Wigmore Hall. Recent highlights include a performance of the Elgar Concerto conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, and solo recitals at the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room and the Menuhin Hall.
Matthijs is also the cellist of the Gémeaux Quartett, a firmly established international prize winning Swiss quartet. Recently the quartet was guest at festivals in Germany, Austria and Sweden, performed in Hong Kong with clarinettist Paul Meyer, at Kings Place in London, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Philharmonie in Köln and at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Currently the Quartet leads an undergraduate course for string quartets at the Hochschule für Musik, Basel.
'I have been delighted and privileged to be asked to coach the young groups involved on a number of occasions. I regard the scheme as a highly imaginative, efficiently run and very effective way of giving students invaluable experience of preparing and performing chamber music concerts.
The standard of the young participants is very high and their commitment and dedication is invariably impeccable. The preparation of the programmes is carefully conceived and the leaders of the group are wonderful and experienced players and teachers, and the input of a visiting coach introduces new perspectives and ideas and energy at a critical stage. It is vital that the players get the opportunity to repeat their programme a few times which brings them an ease and confidence impossible to achieve in any other way.
The students get a taste of what it is like to prepare pieces quickly to a high level, they get to know the pieces they learn in depth, and they get to know each other and learn about how to rehearse. This is an excellent model for what some of them will find themselves doing in festivals of chamber music, across Europe.'