Cosima Soulez Larivière, violinist

Franco-Dutch violinist Cosima Soulez Larivière is already building a name for herself having been awarded numerous prizes – 2018, third prize as well as the prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned work (Rebecca Saunders ‘Hauch’) at the International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition in Germany; 2017, first prize at the Bartok World Competition in Hungary; 2015, first prize at the Brahms Competition in Austria and third prize (no first prize was awarded) and the Bach prize at the Postacchini Competition in Italy.

She was born in Paris and from a young age was taught by Igor Volochine. When she was 8 years old, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England where she became a pupil of Natasha Boyarsky. Currently, she is studying at the Musik Hochschule in Hanover with Prof. Krzysztof Wegrzyn.

Concerts have brought her all over Europe as well as to Japan and Singapore (Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, Franz Liszt Academy). Cosima has great interest in modern and contemporary composers and as such has recently been performing violin concertos by Vasks and Gubaidulina. Upcoming are participations at Heidelberger Frühling and the Festival de Pâques. Additionally, she enjoys playing chamber music and playing alongside her brother, violist Sào Soulez Larivière.

Cosima has participated in master-classes with, among others, Salvatore Accardo, Ana Chumachenko, Mihaela Martin and Leonidas Kavakos.

She became a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Centre in 2016. In 2018, she took part in ‘Chamber Music Connects the World’ at the Kronberg Academy (Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis, Christina Tetzlaff) and was in the same year invited to the Verbier Festival Academy where she was given the APCAV Award. In 2019 she became a fellow at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute.

She is a recipient of the ESU Music Scholarship, UK (2015), the Live Music Now Hannover e.V. Scholarship, Germany (2015-2019), the Deutschland Stipendium (2016) and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2017-). Since 2018 she is a fellow at the Young Artists Foundation GmbH, Germany. As of 2019 Cosima was admitted to the Academia Walter Stauffer in Italy (Salvatore Accardo).

She plays on a G. Grancino 1675 kindly on loan to her by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

Jean-François Carrière, Cellist

Canadian cellist Jean-François Carrière is a student at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg in Austria where he studies with Prof. Enrico Bronzi. He began his cello studies in Montreal where he studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Johanne Perron.

In his current school of study, he has had many opportunities to perform in several masterclasses with, among others, Laurence Lesser, David Finkel, Gary Hoffman, Philippe Muller, Heinrich Schiff and Paul Watkins. Moreover, Jean-Francois has participated in many distinguished summer music festivals. These include the Heifetz Institute (2017), Kronberg Festival (2015), Domaine Forget (2014), and Morningside Music Bridge (2011). 

As a solo cello performer, Jean-François was invited to perform Haydn’s Concerto in D with the Orchestre Symphonique de I’lle in Montreal last December. He also performed the Rococo Variations with the I Musici conducted by the late Yuri Turovski in 2011 in Montreal. Most recently, he was awarded the first prize at the 2018 Edition of the Mainardi Cello Competition at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg.

Aïda Lahlou, pianist

Born in Casablanca in 1998, Aïda started the piano at the age of 5 with professor Yana Kaminska, winning her first international competition 3 years later. In 2013, she was admitted with scholarships from both the U.K. government’s Music and Dance Scheme and the school itself to the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School (in Marcel Baudet’s class), becoming its first Moroccan student. Aïda currently studies piano with Caroline Palmer (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) whilst reading Music at St John’s College, Cambridge.

Aïda is the recipient of numerous prizes in national and international level piano competitions. Most recently, she was awarded a 2nd prize at the Baku International Classical Music Competition for young performers from the Islamic World and she was awarded a First Mention in the International Piano Competition Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem.

She has performed in venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Hall of Organ and Chamber Music in Baku, the Royal Overseas League in Edimburg, St John’s Church in Wimbledon, BOZAR Hall in Brussels, Robert Samut Hall in Valetta, Centro Cultural San Carlos in Ibiza, Théâtre National Mohamed V in Rabat and Théâtre 121 in Casablanca. She was invited to perform in festivals such as the Printemps des Alizés (Essaouira) or Festival International de Musique de Carthage (Tunis). In October 2019, she was invited to play the Schumann Piano concerto in a 3-dates concert tour
across Morocco with the Orchestre Symphonique Royal, thus becoming their youngest ever soloist. Future projects include a virtual, interactive lecture recital around Beethoven’s ‘Pastorale’ sonata op. 28 for TGSP Indonesia, and concertos and recital performances in Carthage, Cambridge and Paris, if pandemic allows (!).

She has participated in masterclasses with music pedagogues of international renown such as Roberte Mamou, Edith Fisher, Hyung-Ki Joo, Yoheved Kaplinsky, John Rink and Robert Levin. Occasionally, she has played the harpsichord in the Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra, instrument she studied with Carole Cerasi.

Aside from her activities as a pianist, Aïda has experience as an opera director, having put on Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Trinity College Chapel last November. She is currently preparing for a production of Handel’s Rinaldo in January 2021. Aïda greatly enjoys teaching and workshopping students of all abilities and ages about music but also more general issues of performance, communication and practice.

Sophia Prodanova, violinist

London-based violinist Sophia Prodanova comes from a family of musicians and began her studies at the National School of Music and Dance Arts – Plovdiv, Bulgaria. When she was 16 she won a bursary to continue her education at the Yehudi Menuhin School near London. There she studied with Diana Galvydyte and Jenna Sherry and had the chance to work with musicians such as Natasha Boyarsky, Andras Keller, Alina Ibragimova and Carole Cerasi.

She is currently studying modern violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with David Takeno, baroque violin with Pavlo Beznosiuk, chamber music with Krysia Osostowicz and improvisation with David Dolan. She has participated in masterclasses with Robert Levin, David Waterman on chamber repertoire and with Dorothee Oberlinger and Robert Ehrlich on early music repertoire.

Sophia is a founding member of string quartet “Portorius”, as well as the early music ensemble “Apollo’s Cabinet”. Over the last few years Sophia has had the chance to be the leader of the following orchestras and ensembles: Opera Orchestra, Baroque Orchestra, Cantata Project and Musical Orchestra of the Guildhall School, Fidelio Orchestra, Camerata N5, co-leader of Orion Orchestra. Together with Apollo’s Cabinet she is a winner of the Brian Nisbet Early Muic Prize at GSMD and a recipient of the Brighton Early Music Festival Young Ensemble Scheme.

In 2019 and 2020 Sophia was part of the Spira Mirabilis project, performing Haydn and Beethoven symphonies with historical instruments. As an improviser she is currently part of a research team including professors from the GSMD and scientists from Imperial College, London and the Tokyo Institute of technology, Japan. She has performed in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Cadogan Hall, Conway Hall in London, the Centre of Fine Arts BOZAR in Brussels and Konzerthaus Berlin.

Sophia’s violin was made in 2012 and presented to her by the Bulgarian luthiers Eva and Christo Marino – Cremona/Italy. Her education is generously sponsored by The Guildhall Trust and The Kathleen Trust.