In 2019 we were awarded charity status by the OSCR (charity number SC049216). Find out more about our five founding Trustees below:
Henrietta Bredin is deputy editor of Opera magazine and editor of publications for Garsington Opera. Her career in opera began with English National Opera, where she worked as a dramaturg and as co-founder of ENO’s Contemporary Opera Studio, commissioning and giving world premieres in collaboration with the Almeida Theatre of works including Powder Her Face by Thomas Adès and Siren Song by Jonathan Dove. For Opera North and Welsh National Opera she has produced over 100 programme books and her articles and interviews have appeared in The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Spectator, Opera, and in theatre and opera programmes.
As production co-ordinator on staged orchestral projects she has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the conductors Richard Hickox and Esa-Pekka Salonen, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski. She has devised and written narrated song recitals around the lives and loves of the composers Richard Strauss and Charles Gounod that have been performed at numerous festivals. A late-starting singer, she first attended the Oxenfoord International Summer School in 2017 and is now a committed annual returnee.
In a very mixed career, Elisabeth Hutchings’ longest periods of employment were with the University of Edinburgh (1966 – 1972), the Scottish Arts Council (1972 – 1994, with breaks) and Edinburgh and Haddington Sheriff Courts (1996 – 2006). When Elisabeth retired in 2006 she became actively involved with Edinburgh U3A, and served on its Committee from 2010 to 2016; and is currently Secretary of the Edinburgh Local Group of Freedom from Torture.
Elisabeth’s son Sam was a professional musician who worked as a Staff Accompanist at Oxenfoord International for several years before his death in 2012; he is commemorated there by the Sam Hutchings Pianist Prize, and Elisabeth and her husband regularly attend Oxenfoord concerts with a special interest in meeting and hearing each year’s recipient.
Patricia MacMahon has earned a reputation over many years as a singer, teacher and vocal coach. Throughout her singing career, Pat specialised in concert, recital and oratorio work, frequently recording for the BBC. In Scotland she sang regularly with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and appeared often at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Pat taught singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for nearly forty years (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), receiving an Honorary Fellowship in 2000 and an Honorary Doctorate in 2013, and has taken many masterclasses, including visits to the Royal College of Music, London; Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester; Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff; the Samling Foundation Masterclass; the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; in Portugal (Oporto, Aveiro and Vila do Conde); and at Lake Placid Institute International Voice Seminar, USA. She has adjudicated and examined throughout the UK and as far afield as Hong Kong and Singapore.
Stewart Wilson (Chairman)
Stewart Wilson was born and educated in Edinburgh at George Watsons College. In his early career he worked for the Civil Service at The Scottish Office in Edinburgh and for the European Commission in Brussels. In 1998, he was appointed CEO of COSCA (the professional body for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) moving on to be the CEO of Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland. Recently he became the Manager of a small community mental health project and now enjoys working part time.
His principle leisure activities are choral singing and sailing, very occasionally an extremely dusty French Horn gets an airing. He has 2 (nearly) grown up children.
Originally from Canada, Nicolas Žekulin moved to the UK in 1999, working initially for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the International Artist Managers’ Association and then Scottish Opera. In 2005, he joined the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as Head of Artistic Planning, growing the programme of visiting artists, concerts and projects as well as overseeing scheduling for the incredibly diverse performance calendar at Scotland’s third busiest music venue. Since February 2017 he has had the honour of being the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, working with a dedicated team to deliver world class experiences for talented instrumentalists in jazz and classical music.
Nick studied Classical singing at the Universities of Calgary and Toronto, performing extensively with the likes of Tafelmusik Orchestra and Opera Atelier, while also hosting an early morning jazz radio show. He is proud to also be a trustee of the world-leading Scottish Ensemble, and the ground-breaking Nevis Ensemble. In his spare time he enjoys running, chasing after his energetic young son and keeping up with his wife Karen Cargill’s international singing career.