Sarah Thurlow, Saul Picado, Carla Santos, Nancy Johnson, Miguel Fernandes


Biographie Sarah Thurlow, Saul Picado, Carla Santos, Nancy Johnson, Miguel Fernandes


Sarah Thurlow
studied at the Royal College of Music where she was a pupil of Robert Hill, Michael Harris and Andrew Marriner. She went on to study with Theodore Oien at the Aspen Music School, thanks to an English Speaking Union Scholarship, and with Hans Deinzer in Italy, as part of the RCM Mills Williams Junior Fellowship. She founded the ensemble Contemporary Consort, which has performed at the Cheltenham and King's Lynn Festivals, and for the Park Lane Group. As a soloist she has performed concertos with the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Philharmonia, and has given recitals at the Purcell Room and the Bridgewater Hall. She now freelances with orchestras including the RPO, LSO, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and she can also be heard on the soundtracks of Harry Potter and Star Wars - Attack of the Clones!

Saul Picado
Born in Portugal, Saul started having music lessons at the age of 6. With 10 years old Saul became a student at the Conservatório Regional de Castelo Branco, where his piano studies began. During his time at the Conservatory he was awarded twice the First Prize in the Competitions “Lopes Graça” and Third Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Beira Baixa in the 2005 International Piano Competition “Cidade do Fundão”.

In 2010 he graduated with distinction in Solo Piano, Chamber Music and Accompaniment at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra, where he studied piano with professor Alexei Eremine.

In 2011 he was awarded the 2nd Prize in the “Prémio Jovens Músicos” Competiton (Portugal) – Solo Piano category. At the same year his chamber music ensemble, Dryads Duo (formed together with Portuguese violin Carla Santos), was awarded the 1st Prize at the same competition ("Prémio Jovens Músicos") - Chamber Music category. Since then, the Dryads Duo have performed in the major concert halls across Portugal, including Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Casa da Música and Centro Cultural de Belém. Dryads Duo’s first CD was recorded in September 2012.

In November 2011 he was also awarded a "Highly Commendation" in the Guildhall of internal Contest School of Music & Drama "Beethoven Piano Prize".

In 2012 he gave the inaugural recital of the Concert Series "Explicação da Ausência" in Castelo Branco, Portugal and he was invited to give the inaugural recital of the "Piano Cycle EDP 2013 " in Suggia Room at Casa da Música, Oporto, Portugal.

Saul obtained his Masters Degree in Performance in 2012 from Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he studied with professors Peter Bithell and Martin Roscoe. During the Masters he was awarded scholarships by Steinway & Sons and the Steel Charitable Trust and the HWE & WL Tovery.

In order to continue working privately with professor Peter Bithell, Saul was awarded in 2012 and 2013 a scholarship by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Between 2012 and 2013 Saul studied also with portuguese pianist Pedro Burmester.

For the academic year of 2014/2015 he was awarded the Gilbert & Eileen Edgar Junior Fellowship in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music.

As a performer Saul Picado works regularly both as soloist and chamber musician giving recitals mainly in Portugal and in the UK. His repertoire is varied, going from Baroque to Contemporary Music.

Apart from his work as a concert pianist Saul has been teaching the piano in London and was offered a place at Windsor Piano School in 2014.

Carla Santos
Portuguese violinist Carla Santos was awarded in 2009 a place at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, studying with Professor Radu Blidar for her Master Degree in Performance. In the year 2011-2012, as an RCM Scholar, Carla Santos pursued her studies for an Artist Diploma, with the same teacher. During these three years, Carla joined the RCM Symphony Orchestra, where she had the opportunity to work with some renowned conductors, such as Diego Masson, Sian Edwards, Rory MacDonald, Mikk Murdvee, Franck Ollu, Vladimir Jurowski, Lorin Maazel and Bernard Haitink.

Carla Santos was admitted in 1995 into the Conservatório de Música Calouste Gulbenkian in Aveiro, in Ana Sofia Mota’s class.

In 2003, she joined the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Santa Maria da Feira, where she was indicated as concertino. In 2006 she played twice as a soloist with this orchestra, under the direction of the conductor Ernst Schelle.

Carla concluded her Conservatory studies with the maximum classification in 2004, having received the Fundação Pascoal Award for best instrument student in that year. In the same year, she performed Bruch’s Concerto No 1 with Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, under the direction of Daniel Rowland.

In 2005 she was admitted at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra in Lisbon, where she studied with Ágnes Sárosi and graduated in 2009. During this period, Carla collaborated with several orchestras including Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Orquestra de Câmara de Sintra, Lisbon Film Orchestra, Orquestra Académica Metropolitana and Momentum Perpetuum, having worked with many conductors including Alberto Lysy, Jean-Marc Burfin, Joana Carneiro, Martin André, Jean-Sebastian Bureau, Pablo Heras-Casado and Michael Zilm.

December 2008 she played as a soloist with her school’s Orchestra, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto nr 4.

Carla participated in numerous Masterclasses given by Gerardo Ribeiro, Valentin Stefanov, Sebastian See-Schierenberg, Max Rabinowitsj, Daniel Rowland, Aníbal Lima, Angel Sampedro, Radu Unguereanu, Gilles Apap, David Frühwirth, Marco Rizzi and Liviu Prunaru.

Carla Santos is a member of the Dryads Duo, together with Portuguese pianist Saul Picado.

The Dryads Duo, formed in 2010, participated in the 25th edition of the “Prémio Jovens Músicos” Competition in Portugal (2011) and was awarded the First Prize.

Since then, the Dryads Duo has performed in the major concert halls across Portugal, including Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Casa da Música and Centro Cultural de Belém.

Also in September 2012, they presented their first CD with works by Janáček, Ravel and Enescu. In London, they have performed at St Peter’s – Notting Hill, St Mary Abbots and Norfolk House Music Room at The Victoria & Albert Museum, St. James’ Piccadilly and St. Martin in the Fields.

Future engagements of the Duo include recitals in Aylesbury, London and Bordeaux.

“…When studying in London, I had the pleasure to work with an amazing and inspirational teacher, who was able to polish my artistic self in a very special way, making me the musician I am now. Because of this, I know the importance of a good teacher in a student’s life. It is my duty as a teacher to inspire students to explore and express their inner-self in the most artistic possible way, always respecting their uniqueness. That is why teaching is something I feel very passionate about, considering it also very rewarding.”



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