On Sunday at 5pm is the final round of the Soloists Competition, in the Music Department Concert Room.
Our four finalists are:
Emma Rochwerger, cello
Rebecca Howell, violin
Bethan Winter, piano
Sophie Kidwell, voice
Emma is a third-year student at Durham University studying Music on an Erasmus scholarship. Born and raised in France, she started studying music at the age of four through the Suzuki method, playing the piano and the cello. She attended the Conservatoire de Musique of Marseille from the age of seven to seventeen, where she pursued a dedicated musical education alongside the French curriculum. Following her higher education, she moved to Toulouse, where she chose to undertake a two-year intensive program of ‘classe préparatoire’ with an additional module of music. There, she combined her musical and literary studies in addition to entering the Conservatoire in which she was part of the Symphonic Orchestra during the season 2013-2015, under the baton of Pierre Bleuse. They performed a wide range of pieces, from Hersant, Dutilleux, Tchaikovsky, to Dvorak, as well as accompanying Bertrand Chamayou on Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 in La Halle aux Grains.
During her studies in Durham, Emma has been a member of both the DUOS Symphony and Chamber orchestras, as well as playing in the DOE’s production of Carmen.
Rebecca is a music finalist at the University of Durham, where she studies the violin with Kyra Humphreys, having achieved the Performance Diploma of the ABRSM in 2012, under Julia Jasinki. Recently, Rebecca has attended the Cadenza masterclass series in London and the Schreiber Violin Masterclasses in Burgundy, having also participated in masterclasses with Natalia Lomeiko, Yuri Zhislin and Caroline Baulding. She has given several solo recitals in Hexham and Middlesbrough, where she participated in the Accompany mentoring scheme, and is this year looking forward to performing Saint Saens’ Violin Concerto No.3 with the University Palatinate Orchestra, both in Durham and on their summer tour to Paris. Rebecca is soon to take up a place at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she will further her violin studies in the class of Catherine Yates.
Bethan has been playing the piano since the age of 7, taking lessons at school where she completed her piano diploma whilst in sixth form, and then at a music school in Munich before beginning her studies in Durham. She has performed as a soloist, as part of a number of ensembles, and as an accompanist in various recitals, festivals, and competitions both at home in England and abroad in Germany and Austria. During her time in Durham, Bethan has been involved with choirs, the opera ensemble, the charity committee, and running clubs. Currently in her final year at St Mary’s College, Bethan has received an offer to study for a masters in musicology next year and hopes to pursue an academic career.
Sophie is a mezzo-soprano reading Combined Honours in Arts (Music, English and German). She is very sad to be coming to the end of her degree, having spent three wonderful years singing with Durham Opera Ensemble, of which she is now President. She studies singing under Stephanie Bodsworth, and has sung in eight productions with DOE. Operatic roles include: Carmen Carmen (cover), Orpheus Orpheus & Euridice, Flora La Traviata (scenes), Dorabella Cosi fan tutte, and Proserpina in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. She has been the soloist in Fauré’s and Duruflé’s Requiems for Durham University Choral Society and has enjoyed masterclasses with Rachel Nicholls, Dame Emma Kirkby and Sir Thomas Allen. Sophie is a Samling Academy Scholar for 2015-16 and has recently been awarded the Chris Higgins Music Bursary to take part in the Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers. She hopes to continue singing next year at the Hamburg Conservatory to brush up on her German, and is very grateful for this opportunity to sing in the inaugural Soloists Competition.