Courtney Lewis – Guest Conductor 2018
With clear artistic vision, subtle musicality, and innovative programming, Courtney Lewis has established himself as one of his generation’s most talented conductors. The 2017/18 season will mark his third season as Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony. Highlights of the past season included engagements with the Dallas Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
Since his debut in November 2008 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, he has since appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, Washington National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and Ulster Orchestra, among others.
As a young conductor, Courtney Lewis has served as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, and Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
From 2008 to 2014, Courtney Lewis was the music director of Boston’s acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra dedicated not only to giving concerts of contemporary and established repertoire at the highest level of musical and technical excellence, but also bringing live music into the least privileged parts of Boston with workshops in local schools.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Lewis read music at the University of Cambridge during which time he studied composition with Robin Holloway and clarinet with Dame Thea King. After completing a master’s degree with a focus on the late music of György Ligeti, he attended the Royal Northern College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Mark Elder and Clark Rundell.
Frank Zielhorst – Rehearsal Conductor 2018
Frank Zielhorst studied orchestral conducting with Jac van Steen and Kenneth Montgomery at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, after studying viola with Ferdinand Erblich. In June 2013 he received his Master’s degree “cum laude” following a concert with the Brabants Orchestra (Eindhoven). From September 2014 until August 2016, Frank held the position of Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
From the moment he started conducting, Frank received opportunities to work with professional orchestras. Early engagements included for example the première of Hochzeiten by Stockhausen at the Radio Kamerfilharmonie and Charles Ives’s Universe Symphony with the Noord-Nederlands Orkest (Groningen). Being the first student to graduate from the National Master Orchestral Conducting, he has been a guest with almost all orchestras in the Netherlands, either to conduct them in concert or to receive master classes. Since his graduation, he has been invited to work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the The Hague Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Future engagements include Philharmonie ZuidNederland, Ulster Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva.
Apart from symphonic conducting, Frank has a special love for stage works. He conducted amongst others performances of Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin, L’elisir d’amore and Victor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis at different companies. He also assisted for productions of Turandot, Orfeo ed Euridice, L’enfant et les sortilèges and Intermezzo. With his own ensemble in coproduction with the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, he produced a staging of the modern one-act opera “Death Knocks” by Christian Jost and Woody Allen.
In November 2013, Frank received the prestigious Kersjes Foundation conducting scholarship, enabling him to continue developing his conducting skills.
Ryan Molloy - Composer
As a composer and performer, Ryan Molloy’s work has been performed to international audiences on four continents for over ten years, including major concert venues such as Tanglewood (U.S.A.), Lucerne Hall, KKL (Switzerland), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), Holywell Music Room (England) and Waterfront Hall (N. Ireland). In great demand as an accompanist, he has recorded over a dozen albums and his repertoire spans numerous genres from traditional Irish music to contemporary classical music. Currently a lecturer in composition at Maynooth University, he studied at the University of Oxford and latterly at Queen’s University Belfast where he completed his PhD ‘The Traditional Contemporary Dichotomy in Irish Art Music: A New Compositional Approach’ under the supervision of Dr Simon Mawhinney and Prof. Piers Hellawell.
His compositional work has won numerous prizes and has been broadcast both nationally and internationally on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Ulster, RTÉ lyric fm, Radio 1 and Ráidió na Gaeltachta as well as on BBC 2, UTV and BBC World. From 2012 to 2014, his compositional work was supported by a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship in association with Moving on Music.
In early 2016, he released a CD of his piano works entitled Innisfail, recorded by award-winning American pianist Alexander Bernstein. Other recently completed works include Gealach Chríoch Lochlann, a string quartet for BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists the Danish String Quartet, Cantaireacht for clarinettist Carol McGonnell and Seisiún, a commission from Concorde.
Past collaborations include diverse performers and ensembles such as EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble (UK), Ulster Orchestra (NI), Composers’ Ensemble (UK), Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble (NI), Konvergence Ensemble (CZ), Franziska Schroeder (AT/NI), Carla Rees (UK), Zoë Conway, New Dublin Voices, Elizabeth Hilliard & David Bremner, and Nick Roth (IE).
Aoife Miskelly - Soprano
Belfast soprano Aoife Miskelly originally studied ‘cello with Morag Stewart and was a member of CBYO and UYO sometime in the last millennium! Upon realising she would make more noise as a singer, Aoife gained a Masters Degree in Opera from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2012. During her studies there, Aoife was a Kathleen Ferrier Awards finalist, the winner of the Ber-nadette Greevy award, winner of a BBC/ACNI Northern Ireland Young Artist’s Platform Award, fi-nalist and prizewinner at the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.
During the 2012/16 seasons Aoife was employed as a principal artist for Cologne Opera where she sang roles including Gilda (Rigoletto), Gretel, Musetta (La Bohéme), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Despina (Così fan tutte), Servilia (La Clemenza di Tito), Frasquita (Carmen), Valencienne (Die Lustige Witwe), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), and Harey in the German world-premiere of Solaris by Detlev Glanert.
Aoife’s other operatic roles include Pamina, Cecily Cardew in the Irish Premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Polissena Handel’s Radamisto, and Zerlina, all with Northern Ireland Opera, Thérèse in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias at both La Monnaie and the Festi-val d’Aix-en-Provence. Recent highlights include The Woman in The Last Hotel at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House for Wide Open Opera, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hyogo Performing Arts Centre in Japan, and Eliza Doolittle for The Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. Aoife made a critically acclaimed debut for Opera North in the title role of Snowmaiden by Rimsky-Korsakov, and covered the role of Sophie (Rosenkavalier) for Welsh National Opera.
Upcoming engagements include Despina Northern Ireland Opera, Clorinda (La Cenerentola) Welsh National Opera, Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro) Irish National Opera, and Susanna Nevill Holt Opera, together with recital and oratorio performances of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, Mozart’s Requiem and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and soprano soloist in a concert of Telemann for the RIAS Kammerchor in Germany.
William Curran - Clarinet
UYO Alumnus William Curran studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. William was awarded the May Turtle Scholarship, Flax Trust Award, the first Young Artist in Residence position with Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble and a place on the inaugural Ulster Orchestra’s Professional Experience Scheme.