Violin and Viola
"I believe that the violin is a replica of the soul." Itzhak Perlman
‘I just love the viola. I find its sound very touching, because it’s very close to the sound and the range of the human speaking voice. It can sing, or be dramatic, and it has a lot of emotion in it." Lawrence Power
Rudolf Balázs is a Hungarian violinist born in Budapest of a musical family. At the age of six he began his music education playing the piano. Later he changed to the violin and finished his studies at the Szabolcsi Bence Music School with distinction and started playing with the young early music scene in Budapest. He continued his studies at the Szent Istvan Conservatoire and later at the Weiner Leo Conservatoire in Budapest. Wanting to explore baroque violin technics he moved to Rome and started his private studies with the German-Italian violinist, Christoph Timpe. After spending more than a year in Italy he moved back to Budapest and had intense lessons with violinist Monika Tóth
In 2010 he began his studies at the Early Music department at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig with prof. Susanne Scholz. In November 2018 Rudolf has been awarded with his MMus Performance Diploma with merit under the guidance of Elizabeth Kenny and his violin teacher Caroline Balding at the University of Southampton.
In December 2019 Rudolf established Winchester Baroque with Creative Director Daen Palma Huse. As well as being a principal musician in the group, he acts as Artistic Director, responsible for organising a regular series of concerts with international musicians, presented in Winchester and London. The first concert of the series was a solo recital alongside Elizabeth Kenny (Royal Academy of Music, Dean of Students and Professor of lute and theorb) on the theorbo.
He appears regularly with fine English and continental ensembles including The Hanover Band, The Sarabande Consort, Orchestra Barocca Lorenzo da Ponte, The Welsh Baroque Orchestra, Barock Orchester-Harmonia dell’Arcadia Bamberg, Ensemble OrQuesta, Musica Poetica and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. He has been appointed concert master of Musica Florens since 2013 in Budapest. He has been a soloist with Salisbury Baroque. Rudolf works with Talenti Vulcanici, under the support of Il Centro di Musica Antica Pietà de’ Turchini, which discovers and revives forgotten music from the 17th and 18th Century Naples. He recorded a CD with Talenti Vulcanici for the label Outhere and appeared with the ensemble in December 2018 In Stockholm. He benefited from being taught by, and having had master-classes with, a wide range of eminent violinist across Europe. These include Caroline Balding, Simon Standage, Christoph Timpe, Emiliano Moreno, Sigiswald Kujiken, Jorge Jimenez. Such apprenticeships with master-players and professional work alongside colleagues in eminent ensembles have made him aware of a wide range of techniques that suit individual players. It has accordingly given him a strong belief in the need to address students individually to get the best from them and ensure that they enjoy their playing and progress with it. For this reason Rudolf also feels strongly about students getting into good habits with their playing practice, not only musically but also physically.
One of the important aspects of his methodology of violin teaching is to ensure that students are instructed and helped to adopt healthy postures whilst playing. These good habits need to be instilled early in order to avoid muscle strains and tensions and later damage, so that students can play comfortably and healthily, and enjoy making music (such instruction is also good more broadly in ensuring good posture for class work and other situations throughout life). As part of this aspect of his teaching he also uses exercises with elements of the Alexander Technique, yoga and breathing techniques.
His formal studies in music pedagogy, and teaching practice along with his regular playing with internationally renowned ensembles, his private teaching of young violinists and work as a concertmaster, organising concerts with peers and students at Southampton and Budapest, allows him to bring a range of experience and expertise, as well as enthusiasm, to teaching violin and coaching chamber music.
Rudolf joined the RMA in 2020.
Ekaterina combines a career of an orchestral and chamber musician with extensive violin and chamber music teaching practice.
She graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory in 2003 where she also did her postgraduate studies in contemporary music. She holds the degrees in violin and chamber music performance and in violin and chamber music teaching.
Having completed her postgraduate studies at the Moscow Conservatoire in 2005, Ekaterina became a member of the prestigious Moscow State Symphonic Orchestra "Novaya Rossiya” conducted by the celebrated Russian musician Yuri Bashmet. She stayed with them until 2014 and a year later moved with her family to London where she developed her private violin teaching practice.
Ekaterina joined the RMA in 2019 and since then has been making a valuable contribution to its Strings Department teaching the violin and coaching chamber music groups across all ages.
Ekaterina approaches teaching in a very systematic way, with a thorough focus on details and technique, thus providing her students with a firm foundation and helping them realise their full potential and achieve their musical goals. She is a highly dedicated and experienced teacher, always prepared to walk that extra mile for her pupils who develop beautifully under her thoughtful guidance.
Katya Lazareva is an acclaimed violist specialising in solo and chamber repertoire. Born in 1985 in Belarus, she is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music’s Artist Diploma course in Performance, led by the Professor of violin and viola, Yuri Zhislin. In 2012 she won a scholarship from an Anatole Mines & Anthony Elt Award towards her studies at the Royal College.
Since moving to London in 2009 she has performed at a number of solo and chamber recital venues including at Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, the Orangery in Holland Park, Beck Theatre, Bridewell Theatre, St. John’s and St. Peter’s Church in Notting Hill, St. Alfege Church in Greenwich, All Saints Church in Kingston, Guildhall School of Music and Drama; and at various festivals including “The Little Proms”, the “Earl’s Court Festival”, and with the “Schnittke” string trio in the Netherlands.
She is a member of various London orchestras, such as “I Maestri”, “London Chamber Players”, ”Arcadia Mundi’’, “Firebird” and “Russian Virtuosi of Europe”, performing at such places as Cadogan Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, St. George’s Hanover Square, St. Paul’s Covent Garden, Royal Festival Hall and St. Giles-in-the Fields Church. . She also played with “Melos Orchestra”, “London Art Orchestra” and “London Arte Chamber orchestra”. In early 2013 took part in a co-principal bursary scheme at the Rehearsal Orchestra and performed solo with the “Tudor Orchestra”, conducted by Owen Leech. In 2011, Katya played as a soloist with the “I Maestri” orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Chorzelski, in St. Mattheus Church.
From 2010 she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) where she was generously awarded a full scholarship by the Guildhall School Trust, and a full academic year scholarship by the Leverhulme Trust. While studying at GSMD, Katya took part in a number of orchestral and opera projects, including with members of the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Katya was awarded a Master’s of Music degree in Orchestral Performance.
Katya has taken part in master classes with such outstanding viola-players as Yuri Bashmet, Yuko Inoue, and Yuri Zhislin. She has also performed in orchestras conducted by such renowned conductors as Colin Davis, James Gaffigan and James Judd. In 2010-2012 she was a student of the professor and member of the Belcea quartet, Krzysztof Chorzelski. She has attended the Lake District Summer Music Academy and had lessons with Yuko Inoue, Garfield Jackson and the Chilingirian Quartet.
Katya began her musical training at the Republican Musical College at the Belarus State Academy of Music with T.P. Bodneva and then with Prof. L.L. Lastovka at the Belarusian State Academy of Music. Between 2003 and 2007, Katya was a laureate of the E. Kohu, International Music competition in Chisinau, Moldova. In 2004 she won second place at the International Competition for Strings in Kiev, Ukraine.
In 2009 Katya won 3rd prize with her quartet at the International Chamber of Music competition in Smarghon, Belarus. Katya actively took part in the cultural life of her country performing as a soloist with the Belarusian Philarmonia and as a member of the philharmonic soloists’ ensemble “Classic Avangarde”. She frequently played as a soloist with the State Chamber Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus and with the student chamber orchestra at the Belarusian Academy of Music, including at Barcelona. In 2004, Katya won an exhibition from a special president fund for the support of talented youth.
From 2004 until 2009 Katya was a student of the Chamber Music Summer School “Musica Mundi” in Belgium, where she had lessons with members of the “Kuss” and “Talich” quartets.
Katya plays viola made by luthier Luis Claudio Manfio in 2012.
Ben’s violin playing has been described by the legendary violin virtuoso Ruggiero Ricci as ‘technically and musically out of the ordinary’ and has been praised by Musical Opinion Magazine for his ‘smooth creamy sound.’
Ben has appeared live in solo performances and interviews for BBC Television, BBC Radio 2 and often on BBC Radio 3's In Tune. Born and educated in London, Ben started learning the violin at the age of 3 with Felicity Lipman. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama junior department, The Purcell School and the Royal Academy of Music London with Mateja Marinkovic and was then awarded a scholarship to study with Ruggiero Ricci at The Mozarteum, Saltzburg. During this time he was winner of numerous awards and scholarships in addition to the Making Music Young Artists Award. Notable performances include televised performances in a UNICEF Gala Concert in the Residenz Munich and a concert for HRH Prince Charles at St. James's Palace.
Ben is currently recording a series of solo violin works for both current and future release.
Commercial CD releases include Violin Alone (BWVL Records), a recording of solo violin music from Bach to the present day, Ravel & Shostakovich Piano Trios with Ibuki Trio (Claudio Records) and also an album of folk inspired works for violin and guitar with Ahmed Dickinson (Cuba Fillin Records).
Ben runs his private teaching studio in central London throughout the year and teaches at The Royal Academy of Music Junior Department and The Purcell School for Young Musicians.
Ben’s pupils (present/past) consistently win numerous scholarships, prizes in national competitions, play in and lead and co-lead the National Youth Orchestra and National Children’s Orchestra and regularly gaining places at the UK’s top specialist music schools and music colleges.
At The Purcell School his pupils have had much success, often being chosen to appear as soloist or chamber musician in the school’s Wigmore Hall and Milton Court platforms, in public masterclasses and have lead the symphony orchestra.
Soon after having finished his own studies at the Royal Academy of Music Ben was invited to begin teaching at the Junior Department. His pupils there have often lead the symphony orchestra, have won the prestigious violin prize on many occasions as well as appearing in public concerts and masterclasses.
As a result of Ben’s teaching successes he is often invited to teach on numerous international summer schools, has given performance classes working with under and post graduate students at the Royal Academy of Music as well as often being asked to adjudicate at competitions such as the Trinity Laban Concerto Competition alongside a panel of distinguished musicians.
Due to Covid restrictions Ben is mainly teaching online at present but is doing some face-to-face lessons from his home near Diss, Norfolk. He is also accepting pupils from the surrounding areas of Cambridgeshire/ Suffolk/ East Anglia regions.
Khac-Uyen Nguyen is a Vietnamese born Norwegian musician based in London, he works as conductor, violinist and educator.
Uyen is Music Director for Southwark Sinfonia Orchestra, Verdandi Camerata and East London Symphony Orchestra. He is also a sought-after teacher, many of his students are studying at Purcell School of Music, the Menuhin School of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Royal Academy of Music. Presently he teaches the violin, viola and chamber music at Center for Young Musicians in Morley College and the London Russian Music Academy. Since 2017, Uyen became Chairman for the Tymbark International Music Competition in Poland. Every summer he works as Director for the International Summer Masterclasses in Norway and Poland.
He studied the violin with Issac Shuldmann at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo and with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Uyen earned his Post Graduated Orchestral Conducting degree at Royal Academy of Music, studied with Colin Metters, George Hurst and Colin Davis. He worked as guest conductor with Klasshsche Philharmonie Bonn, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Suffolk Sinfonietta, London City Sinfonia and Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. Uyen is also a member of the El Cimarrón Ensemble based in Hallein, Austria.
Marike Kruup is an Estonian violinist based in London. She is a vibrant musician with experience and interests in both playing an teaching. She is a member of the Alkyona string quartet since March 2020. Alkyona quartet is Tunell Trust Artist and Making Music Artist in season 2020-2021 performing in the United Kingdom and abroad. She also plays with a wide range of top orchestras including Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth SO and has been a member of the Estonian Festival Orchestra run by conductor Paavo Järvi for the past 10 years.
She started her studies in Tallinn with Mari Tampere-Bezrodny. London years from 2013 took her though Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Prof. Krzyzstof Smietana) and Royal College of Music finishing her studies with three very formative years in the class of professor Radu Blidar. She was supported by several scholarships such as Cultural Endowment of Estonia and being a Sir John Stratton Scholar supported by the Arthur Bliss Scholarship.
She has been privileged to play in various masterclasses including to Maxim Vengerov, Ivry Gitlis, Alina Ibragimova and György Pauk among many. In 2018 and 2019 she participated in several Maiastra chamber music courses playing quartets along side Arisa Fuijta (Gémeaux Quartett) with masterclasses to David Waterman (Endellion Quartet) and David Takeno. She was a violinist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme in the 2017/2018 season.
Marike has won prizes in several national and international competitions. Some of her achievements include 1st Prize from the International “Gianluca Campochiaro” Violin Competition in Italy and 1st prize from the International Renaissance Violin Competition in Armenia. Marike has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and has also been broadcast and recorded by Estonian Radio and TV.
Marike is also a keen pedagogue, coming from a family of three generations of teachers. She has been teaching at the Rachmaninoff Music Academy since 2019 and has a strong class of violin students. She is closely involved with educational projects both at schools and concert halls run by different festivals, ensembles and organisations.
Dominika Anna Rosiek
Dominika Anna Rosiek was born in Poland and started her violin studies at the age of 4. Within a year she had already recorded pieces for Polish TV and Radio , took part in national & international competitions and festivals winning many prizes including a special Prize at the Russian Music Festival.
Throughout her childhood she has been sponsored by the National Sponsorship for Talented Children. In 1993 she has recevied a special invitation to perform for the Pope John Paul II in Italy. Dominika jooined The Purcell School of Music where she was awarded a full scholarship , won the Guivier Prize for outstanding string player an was awarded the Alfred Brendel Prize.
Dominika continued her studies at Royal academy of Music in London where she was also awarded a full scholarship and finished her BMUS and PGDip wit1st Class Honorus and received awards from Hattori Foundation, Martin Music Schialrships, Worshipful Company, Park Lane Group, Live Music Now and many more.She is also a prize winner of many International Competietions.
Dominika had the pleasure to study with Zenon Brzewski, Ewa-Szubra Jargon, Mateja Marinkovic,Vladmimir Spivakov, Detlef Hahn, Petru Munteanu, Eric Friedman, Marina Jaszwili, Dorothy DeLay, Ruggiero Ricci, Thomas Brandis, Joseph Silverstein,Viktor Tryetiakov, Zahar Bron, Mauricio Fuks, Sylvia Rosenberg. Krzysztof Wegrzyn, José Luis García Asensio.
All the pedagogical input has influenced her approach to Music, Instrument and most importantly teaching, Dominika is a very versitile musician and artist. She has been invited to performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many International Music Festivals such as Prussia Cove, Holland Music Sessions, Spitelfield Festival ,Verbier Academy/Festival, Zurich Master Classes, “Encuentro De Musica De Santander”, Aspen Music Festival, Menuhin Festival ,Beethoven Festival. Her London appearances include performances at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St.Johns Smiths Sqare, Queen Elisabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall.
Dominika is also very experienced Leader and an orchestral player . She is a member of Tchaikovsky Camerata ( former Russianl Virtuosi of Europe). She has Lead European Youth Orchestra, London Chamber Players, Philharmonia Orchetsra Soloists, Southwark Sinfonia, Verdandi Camerata , Co- Lead Royal Philharminc Orcehstra ,and Orchestra of Life with Nigel Kennedy.
She continues to give recitals and play chamber music across UK and Europe. Aside of her performing career she has dedicated her time to the upbrining young violinists. Teaching has been her passion since she can remember. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience . Many of her students have already won top prizes at various International &National Competitions and Festivals. In recent years she has been often invited to adjudicate many International competitions. In 2013 together with her husband Nguyen-Khac Uyen found “International Music Masterclass “ which has been running succesfully ever since in Norway, Poland and UK.
Dominika has her own Teaching studio however she also teaches at the Rachmaninoff Music Academy . Recently she started working for Music Masters as a Mentor for their new programme “PATHWAYS”.
Award-winning, Russian-born, British violinist Aleem Kandour has performed at venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, and Buckingham Palace. He graduated with a distinction masters degree from the Royal College of Music as a Derek Butler Scholar of Ms Deborah Bacon and Trustees having studied with renowned professors such as Natalia Boyarsky, Lutsia Ibragimova and Radu Blidar. Aleem plays on a Frédéric Chaudière violin made for him in 2013.
Throughout 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Aleem was regularly invited to give online recitals at the Russian Embassy in London.
In December of 2019, Aleem debuted in the Tchaikovsky concert hall (Bolshoi Zal) in Moscow, where he was invited to play alongside Maxim Vengerov for the 100th year jubilee concert of the Ipolitova-Ivanovo’s musical institute. That same year in November, he performed at the Organ and Chamber Music Hall in Sochi with the accompaniment of the Sochi State Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Valery Verona. In January 2019, Aleem took part in a Sibelius concerto masterclass under Maxim Vengerov’s baton, accompanied by the Royal College of Music Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the summer of 2018, Aleem played second violin to Vasko Vassilev (Concert Master of the Royal Opera House) for TriOperas; a celebration of women’s suffrage, Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day.
Aleem represented the United Kingdom at the Peace Concert of Hiroshima, Japan, organised by the UN in April 2013.
In 2010, Aleem was invited as a soloist to inaugurate the New Anderson Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden.
The previous year, at twelve years of age, Aleem performed with the Prague Philharmonia at the Tribute Pavarotti Concert in Petra, Jordan. He shared the stage with renowned artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, and Sting.
Aged just seven, Aleem performed his first concerto with the European Chamber Orchestra. He played Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor. In addition, he has played in countries such as China, France, Italy, and Spain.Aleem is an accomplished actor having starred in the critically-acclaimed Russian film 'Witness', 'Свидетели'. He played the leading role of “Schlomo”, a Russian Jewish violinist in Auschwitz.
As well as his love for performing, Aleem has a deep fondness for teaching. In 2019 he became a self-employed violin tutor at Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School in London where he works with beginners aged five to eleven and has successfully prepared them for ABRSM Music Medals. He also teaches privately to pupils of all ages and ability.
Aleem is currently undergoing ABRSM Music Medal Teacher-Assessor Training as well as familiarising himself with the Suzuki Method of teaching. Even though most of his violin playing years revolved around the Russian school of playing, his teaching has an applied combination of different methods and schools of technique to form a more personal, versatile and methodically structured approach for each individual.
Having lived in Russia, Jordan, and the UK before the age of twelve, Aleem is fluent in four languages: Russian, Circassian, Arabic, and English. Aleem is part of the Balagov tribe of the Southern Caucasus of Russia. Every time he appears on stage, he wears a signature ring on his right index finger with the flag of the North Caucasus. Be sure to look out for it when you next hear him play! As well as his fierce passion for violin, Aleem has a deep interest in language, philosophy, and science.