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Nømad Ensemble: Women's Words, Women's Voices

  • Leeds College of Music 3 Quarry Hill Leeds, LS2 7PD UK (map)

This concert will showcase the works of leading female composers from around the world,, performed by an all-female classical ensemble.

The programme will include Charlotte Bray’s, work for mezzo-soprano and small ensemble of flute, clarinet, celesta, marimba, viola and, cello, which brings together contemporary writing style with traditional Brazilian folk song.

Irish contemporary classical composer Ailís Ní Ríain joins us for a preconcert talk [11:45 AM] about her work, which will also feature in the diverse programme.

Dutch composer Hanna Beekhuis’ song “The two Flutes” is a setting of a poem by Li-Tai-Po in translation, for two flutes piano and voice. The piece explores communication, invoking a conversation between a flute player and a bird singing, which is understood by all the birds of the forest.

There will also be performances of works from Australian composer Liza Lim, whose music focusses on collaborative and transcultural practices, internationally acclaimed composer and turntablist Shiva Feshareki, and prolific composer Wendy Hiscocks.

The ensemble is comprised of female staff and students from the Classical Pathway at Leeds College of Music and is part of a series of events championing women in music, beginning on International Women’s Day.

Charlotte Bray Por que tu nao acorda (2015)
Liza Lim Invisibility (2009)
Hanna Beekhuis Les deux flutes (1967)
Shiva Feshareki She cried (2007)
Ailís Ní Ríain Consent #7 (2017)
Ailís Ní Ríain DON’T! (2000)
Ailís Ní Ríain Child of our Time (1996)
Wendy Hiscocks Caprice for solo violin (1990)

Rachael Buxton, Piano/Celeste
Geraldine Cassidy, Voice
Alfia Nakipbekova, Cello
Karin de Fleyt, Flutes
Naomi Perera, Flute
Sophie Smith, Marimba
Robyn Saunders, Clarinet/Bass clarinet
Simarpreet Kaur, Violin

Tickets: £5

Originally from North Norfolk, Rachael Buxton gained her degree in music from King’s College, London whilst receiving piano tuition at the Royal Academy of Music. She then went on to complete a postgraduate in piano accompaniment at the Academy. As an accompanist she has been selected for courses given by Malcolm Martineau, Graham Johnson and Martin Isepp at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and also awarded a place in the Young Songmakers’ Almanac. Rachael has been a regular staff accompanist at Junior Guildhall and Britten-Pears and her repetiteur experience includes the National Opera Studio, British Youth Opera, Birkbeck Opera and the Genesis Project. Her collaboration with the storyteller, Katy Cawkwell, culminated in projects for the Royal Opera House education department.

Rachael is currently a staff pianist at Leeds College of Music, a post she has held since 2009, accompanying and coaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students for recitals, exams and masterclasses given by artists such as Emma Johnson, Della Jones, Mary Plazas and Paul Archibald. She is also the official accompanist for the Flutes at the Barns courses and a staff accompanist at Benslow Music, including the mammoth Flute Fest which concluded with a duo recital with Wissam Boustany. Rachael combines this work with freelance performing, teaching piano at King’s College School, Cambridge and bringing up her two small, but boisterous, children.

Geraldine Cassidy was born in Dublin; she studied music and history at Trinity College, and violin and singing at the Dublin College of Music. She continued her singing studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music, at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She was engaged at the Vienna State Opera as a member of the opera studio and her first professional engagements were in Ulm and in Salzburg, playing leading roles including Konstanze (Die Entführung) Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and the Countess (Marriage of Figaro), Violetta (La Traviata) and Gilda (Rigoletto), Rosina (Barber of Seville), Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) and many more.

She then lived in France and in Switzerland where she taught singing in music schools, universities and conservatoires, before moving to the UK in 2015, where she took up her present posts as Senior Lecturer in Singing at the Leeds College of Music, and Singing Teacher for the Yorkshire Young Musicians.

Alfia Nakipbekova is a multifaceted musician: an internationally acclaimed cellist soloist, chamber musician, researcher, interdisciplinary artist and pedagogue. A winner of Outstanding Mastery of the Cello Award at the Casals Competition in Budapest, Alfia performed in major venues and festival throughout Europe, USA, Australia, Middle East and Hong Kong and has recorded major chamber music and solo repertoire that includes works by Shostakovich, Brahms, Martinu, Ravel, Granados, Tchaikovsky, Charles Ives, Prokofiev among many others. Her critically acclaimed recordings for Chandos were featured on BBC 3 and BBC 4 as well as winning several CD of The Year awards in various musical magazines, including Gramophone. Alfia is actively involved in collaborations with composers and in various interdisciplinary projects – film, theatre, dance, spoken word and cross-genre performances. As a musician and actor Alfia performed at the BAC (Raising Cellatina, with physical theatre company Gecko); Shabnan, directed by Nadia Fall (Lyric Theatre, London), More Than Words (a one-woman show at The Space, London); Cloud in Trousers (collaborating with Samantha Bloom, Edinburgh), among other projects. She toured and recorded with her ensemble Cellorhytmics in the UK and Europe, performing in the international jazz venues and festivals (Vortex, South Bank, Beauvais Cello Festival etc.) She is currently researching the development of the cello in the late twentieth century and has given lecture-recitals performing solo compositions by Iannis Xenakis at the international conferences at the Universities of Hong Kong, Radboud (Nijmegen), Birmingham, Goldsmiths, Bangor, York, Leeds, Rome and Norwegian Music Academy, Oslo. In January 2018 she presented a Nomos alpha Seminar at the Université 8, Paris as a part of the Xenakis Studies Days on invitation of Professor Makis Solomos. Alfia Nakipbekova’s book Exploring Xenakis: Performance, Practice, Philosophy, Vernon Press, will be published in July 2019.

Karin de Fleyt is an internationally-renowned flutist and soloist in the contemporary music scene, with many flute works dedicated to her. She is flutist of the HERMES Ensemble since 2000 ( and performs as a soloist as well as with many different international ensembles and music theatre companies. Karin plays the flute, alto flute, piccolo and bass flute, as well as shakuhachi and Carnatic flute.

Karin is principal lecturer at Leeds College of Music,  lecturer for the professional teacher training programma of School of Arts Gent and researcher at the Artesis Plantyn University College in Antwerp.

She is co-founder of duo NewFLow, specializing in low flutes repertoire together with Carla Rees.

Simarpreet Kaur is a classical violinist in the third year of her degree and is currently studying at Leeds College of Music under Linda Jankowska. She has previously studied chamber music with various ensemble and thus has had the opportunity to perform a vast number of contrasting chamber repertoire. Having led the Leeds College of Music chamber orchestra in the production of an original opera, “The Paradise Club” last year, she gained relevant skills of not only an ochestral leader but also of playing for an opera.

Naomi Perera is a flautist based in Yorkshire who plays across a variety of styles but is particularly interested in contemporary flute. She has been playing for over 20 years, taking part in numerous concerts and gigs, and playing with a diverse number of bands and orchestras. She has travelled extensively and spent time living and playing abroad and uses her experiences to colour and influence her music making. She is currently studying for her Masters in Creative Musicianship at Leeds College of Music and tours regularly with cosmic funk band GU-RU.

Robyn Saunders is a third year clarinettist studying at Leeds College of Music. Within the college she is a member of the Avena Clarinet Quartet, clarinettist for the New Music Collective and last semester lead the LCoM Wind Orchestra as principal clarinet. She also received the conservatoire prize for highest mark on the classical course for the second year of her degree. Outside her studies she is Musical Director and rehearsal pianist for Highflying Productions Company having just finished a run of Chicago and starting their next show Rent in April.

Sophie Smith is a Freelance Orchestral Percussionist, Timpanist, Cimbalom and Dulcimer player based in Manchester. She completed the prestigious GRNCM Joint Course (Upper Level) at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and The University of Manchester between 2012-2016, before completing the MMus (Distinction) in 2017 at RNCM.

Sophie performs regularly as a Percussionist with a variety of different Orchestras, Ensembles and Musical Theatre productions, including Northern Ballet, National Festival Orchestra, Skaparis Collective, the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival (based in Harrogate) and The Endellion Theatre Company.

In July 2018, Sophie became a member of Frazer Flintham’s production of Astley’s Astounding Adventures at the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate 250 years of the Circus. This production is currently featured as part of the ‘Theatre and Performance’ Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Sophie teaches Percussion, Drum Kit and Music Theory in several schools in the Manchester and Lancashire regions, including The Ryleys School and Scarisbrick Hall School. In addition, she organises and facilitates educational music workshops in schools, and gives private tuition.

Earlier Event: March 11
Both Sides Now feat. Beth Orton