Staff Accompanists

In addition to the tutors listed, our team of staff coaches and accompanists also include:

Conal Bembridge-Sayers

Conal is currently a staff accompanist and vocal coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, staff accompanist and academic tutor at the Junior Conservatoire (RWCMD), official accompanist for the Gregynog Young Musician Competition, official accompanist for the Urdd and National Eisteddfodau, and principle accompanist for the Bath Choral Society.

Recital performances have taken Conal to the Ludlow English Song Festival, Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Tenby Arts Festival, Leeds Lieder Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Oundle International Music Festival, St. Martin’s in the Field, the Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall, and St. David’s Hall, in addition to concerts for HRH Prince of Wales, Dame Shirley Bassey, and performances of The Bear at William Walton’s estate, La Mortella.

An experienced répétiteur, conductor, and chorus master, Conal also works ad hoc at Welsh National Opera, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Sinfonia Cymru, amongst others. Concerto appearances include Richard Rodney Bennett’s Party Piece with the RWCMD Junior Symphony Orchestra, and Shostakovich’s 1st Piano Concerto with the Cambrian Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Welsh Premiere of Edward Gregson’s Concertante for Piano and Brass Band conducted by the world-renowned Dr Robert Childs, with future performances of the work and a CD recording planned.

Berrak Dyer

Berrak Dyer studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then went on to study at the Solti Academy and the National Opera Studio.

Berrak has travelled widely throughout Europe and the UK taking part in competitions and giving concerts. She has worked as staff accompanist at Oxenfoord International Summer School since 2016. Berrak was the Musical Director for Pop Up Opera (2014-2018) and works as a repetiteur at Glyndebourne, Opera Holland Park, Welsh National Opera and The Royal Opera House. This year she conducts Robin Hood with the Opera Story, works as a répétiteur on Phaedra at the Royal Opera House and joins Buxton Festival Opera on Eugene Onegin.

Ewan Gilford

Ewan currently holds a full-time post at Northern Ballet, playing for rehearsals, ballet classes and tour performances.  He acts as Musical Director for the touring ballets for young audiences, including recent touring to the United Arab Emirates.

He trained at Leeds College of Music, where he gained an enthusiasm for vocal accompaniment and Opera.  He was accepted onto a Répétiteur Masters programme at The Royal Northern College of Music, sponsored by the Oglesby Charitable Trust and whilst studying, received the RNCM Schubert Prize and RNCM Lieder Prize.  Ewan was later invited back as RNCM Sir John Fisher Foundation Répétiteur Junior Fellow, acting as répétiteur for the college’s award winning production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He occasionally returns as a staff pianist within the RNCM Vocal department.

Ewan is in demand as a vocal accompanist and opera répétiteur.  Concert venues include The Leeds Town Hall and The Holywell Room, Oxford.  Ewan has worked as a répétiteur for Opera North and as an accompanist for the Hallé Youth Choirs and Orchestra and Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, as well as enjoying Outreach projects with companies including Opera North Education, Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now, Leeds Lieder Festival and Leeds International Piano Competition.

Ewan acted as founding Musical Director for Sheffield based opera company, Opera On Location, including performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Bohemé, Eugene Onegin and Tosca.  He has most recently acted as Musical Director for Manchester Opera Ensemble’s productions of Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement

Margaret Marinkovic

Margaret Marinkovic studied piano and cello prior to accompaniment at GSMD with Paul Hamburger and Peter Gellhorn. As a student, she participated in masterclasses with Hugues Cuenod, Geoffrey Parsons, and Roger Vignoles.

Margaret has coached, répétiteured and performed worldwide, and has been fortunate to work with Peter Pears, Richard Bonynge, Laura Sarti, Janis Kelly, Marianne Cornetti and Nelly Miricioiu.

Michael Pandya

Winner of the Pianist Prize at the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera Song Competition, Michael Pandya is an increasingly sought-after pianist specialising in song and chamber music. He has appeared in performance alongside many high calibre musicians including Graham Johnson, Jonathan Lemalu, Robin Tritschler, Harriet Burns and William Thomas, and has performed all across the UK, in Europe and in the USA. The past two years have also brought accompaniment prizes at the Gerald Moore Award, Kathleen Ferrier Awards, and Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards.

Michael has recently appeared in performance at the Wigmore Hall, KlavierFestRuhr, Oxford Lieder Festival, Newbury Spring Festival, Royal Overseas-League London, Hinchingbrooke Bösendorfer Series, Aberdeen Youth Festival, the Barbican Hall, Barnes Music Festival, Leeds Lieder Festival, Llandeilo Festival and several live performances on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. Upcoming engagements include recitals with cellist Leo Popplewell for the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme, recitals for Making Music with soprano Charlotte Bowden and recitals as an Oxford Lieder Young Artist alongside soprano Harriet Burns, including at the Two Moors Festival. He is also a Samling Artist, as well as being a regular pianist for the Samling Academy. He has given recitals for the Park Lane Group and the Concordia Foundation, and received the Graham Johnson Fellowship at SongFest, Los Angeles in 2017.

Michael is a Young Artist at the Bayerische Staatsoper Opera Studio for the 2019/20 season. An experienced repetiteur and vocal coach, he worked as a repetiteur for New Chamber Opera for two years, directing, coaching and conducting numerous productions. He is also a scholar of and regular pianist for the Georg Solti Accademia.

Michael studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music and University of Oxford. Teachers have included Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Michael Dussek, James Baillieu, Ian Brown, Caroline Palmer and Sholto Kynoch. Michael’s studies have been generously supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Help Musicians UK, the Leverhulme Trust, the Clumber Studio Trust and the Winifred Christie Trust.

Keval Shah

Keval Shah has quickly established himself at the forefront of a new generation of pianists, channelling his artistry into work as a recitalist, broadcaster, researcher and pedagogue. He is currently a vocal repertoire coach at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is also artistic co-ordinator of the Academy Song Circle and Academy Voices. From August 2020, he will take up the position of Lecturer of Lieder at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, where he will run the song programme within the department of Vocal Arts.

As a performer, Keval’s recent appearances include recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and St John’s Smith Square, as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe, Aldeburgh, Buxton, Leeds Lieder and Oxford Lieder festivals, and the Heidelberger Frühling. Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include performances of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch and the Goethe Lieder, as part of a long-term project to perform the composer’s complete songs. Other notable highlights of the season include Keval’s appointment as the official pianist for the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition 2019. Keval’s performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Danish National Radio (DRP2), and he has recorded for Decca Classics. His debut album, with bass-baritone Michael Mofidian, is due for release on the Linn Records label in 2021.

Away from the concert platform, Keval is active as a broadcaster and researcher. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3, and in March 2020 will host his own episode of Inside Music, discussing the music which has most inspired him and shaped his artistic vision. His particular fascination with the music of Wolf led him to being awarded an Edison Fellowship at the British Library, where he is now researching changing trends in the recorded performances of the composer’s songs, in order to better understand Wolf’s place in 21st century concert culture.

Keval read Music at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and then studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from both institutions with distinction. He completed his training as a Britten Pears Young Artist and an Oxford Lieder Young Artist, and his teachers have included Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland, and Malcolm Martineau. Recent competition successes include winning the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform in 2017, the pianist’s prize at the Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition, and the 2018 Vivian Langrish Memorial Trust Prize. 

Clare Sutherland

Clare Sutherland has considerable experience as a performer on both piano and harpsichord, in styles ranging from baroque to cabaret. She has taught at the Early Music Centre in London, Napier University, The Purcell School and now teaches at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Clare has been an examiner and mentor for the Associated Board and freelances widely across the UK and abroad. She has performed in all the major London venues and throughout Europe, most recently touring Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Chad Vindin

Chad Vindin won the accompanist prize at the Royal Overseas League Competition, the Ludmilla Andrew Russian Song Accompanist Prize at the Royal Academy of Music, and the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Accompanist’s Prize at the Wigmore Hall.

Born in Australia, Chad first studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before moving to London. He now maintains a full workload as a staff pianist and vocal coach at both the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music, London, and performs regularly across the UK and internationally.

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