Alexandra Dariescu and Benjamin Powell join School of Keyboard Studies
We’re thrilled to announce that RNCM alumni Alexandra Dariescu and Benjamin Powell will be joining our School of Keyboard Studies in September as Senior Tutors in Piano.
Since graduating from the RNCM in 2008, Alexandra has achieved phenomenal success. In demand as a soloist worldwide, she has performed to critical acclaim with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC, Houston, Detroit, Utah, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, and European Union Youth Orchestra.
The first ever female Romanian pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 and has since appeared in some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world. In 2017 she released The Nutcracker and I, an original ground-breaking multimedia performance for solo piano with live dance and digital animation. Since then, the project has grown from strength to strength, drawing thousands of young audiences into concert halls across Europe, Australia, China, the Emirates and the US, realising Alexandra’s vision of making classical music more accessible.
A former artist of the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), Alexandra was a Laureate at the Verbier Festival Academy and received the UK’s Women of the Future Award for Arts and Culture. In 2017, she was appointed Patron of Music in Lyddington, Cultural Ambassador of Romania and an Honorary Associate Artist of the RNCM. A year later, Alexandra received the Officer of the Romanian Crown from the Royal Family and was selected as a Young European Leader by Friends of Europe as well as a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. In 2020, Alexandra received the Order ‘Cultural Merit’ in the rank of Knight by the Romanian President.
The RNCM Honorary Associate Artist said: ‘I am thrilled to be joining the RNCM School of Keyboard Studies and am very grateful to return to a place I call home, with its people who changed my life from the moment I stepped in the building and have supported me ever since. I look forward to welcoming my first class, to being part of my students’ journey, to nurture, inspire and prepare them for a career in the 21st century.’
Since winning the British Contemporary Piano Competition in 2010, Benjamin – who has a long association with the RNCM as a Staff Pianist and Tutor in Subsidiary Piano – has gained a reputation for intelligent and expressive performances with a strong commitment to contemporary music. He has performed across the UK and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, and song accompanist in venues including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Snape Maltings, Bridgewater Hall, IRCAM (Paris), and Harpa (Reykjavik). In 2014, he was appointed pianist for Manchester’s leading contemporary group, Psappha, becoming Artistic Director in 2022.
Benjamin is much in demand as a chamber musician and has collaborated with many distinguished musicians including Stefano Canuti, Leland Chen, Levon Chilingirian, Craig Ogden, Miklós Perényi, Thomas Riebl, Sophie Rosa and Eva Thorarinsdottir.
He said: ‘I’m enormously excited to have been made a principal study tutor in the School of Keyboard Studies. The RNCM has been a part of my life for more than 20 years, and my time as a student was transformative. I benefitted immeasurably from the fantastic tuition and world-class facilities, and I am beyond delighted that I will now have the opportunity to work with future generations of the RNCM piano department.’
Applications for 2023 entry are now open. Click here for information on how to apply.
22 July 2022