RNCM Wind Orchestra: Shades of Blue

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Leonard Bernstein Prelude, Fugue & Riffs *
Helena Zyskowska I Wish I Knew How to Fish
James Lee III Clarinet Concerto
Leo Geyer Vortex ^
Enrique Hernandis Martinez Las Tijeras de Matisse
Frank Ticheli Blue Shades

Mark Heron, Maria Carbosa *, Benjamin Voce conductors
Gábor Varga clarinet
RNCM Wind Orchestra

The RNCM is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far but know we need to do more as we work to create a more sustainable world. One way we can make a huge difference is to minimise the number of printed programmes and free sheets we produce each season.

This is why we’ve decided to move away from mass produced, single use print for most of our events, offering an online programme of up-to-date information instead. Additionally, many of our concerts now include a personal introduction by members of staff and students, which gives insight into the repertoire performed as well as an opportunity to get to know our community a little more.   

Where printed programmes are still required, such as RNCM Opera performances and end of term showcases, content is thoughtfully produced using limited resources. An online option is also available for those wishing to support our mission.

We always welcome feedback from our audience members and would like to thank everyone who has supported our mission so far.


Gabor Varga

Born in Hungary in 1974, Gabor Varga studied at the University of Szeged and the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest gaining his diplomas in 1996 and 1998 respectively. He graduated from the Paris Conservatoire as a Postgraduate in 2002.

His professional orchestral career began in 1995 when he was engaged as Principal Clarinet in the Györ Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1996 he became Principal of Concerto Budapest, and since 1997 he has been Principal in the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Between 2005 and 2007 he served as Principal with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra while on sabbatical from Budapest. He has also worked regularly with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra since 2001.

Winner of several national (in 1985, 1988 & 1992) and international prizes(1994, 1995 and 2001), he has since performed in more than 25 countries worldwide (including USA, Canada, Peru, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, UK, France, Spain & Italy) and appeared as a soloist in such concert halls as the Musikverein in Vienna and the Gewandhaus in Lepzig, participating in various music festivals and appearing at the most prestigious clarinet festivals.

A keen advocate of new music, he has premiered several new works of chamber music and commissioned numerous Concerti from leading Hungarian composers like Kovács, Durkó, Fekete, Szentpàli, Vajda and is continually searching for opportunities to introduce new music to the Hungarian public including the Sonata by Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Thea Musgrave’s Clarinet Concerto.

His recordings include several chamber works and Concertos by Weber and Mozart for Hungarian Radio and CD recordings of the Nielsen Concerto, Dreamdances by Kovàcs, chamber music by Drusetzky and concerti from contemporary Hungarian composers, like Gregory Vajda, Balint Karosi and Andras Gabor Viragh.

He regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, Asia, North America, South America at major universities (Beijing, Katowice, London etc.) and for the ICA and ECA clarinet festivals. His teaching career started at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 2001 as an assistant. In 2006 he taught at the NAFA in Singapore. In 2014 he joined the staff of the University of Debrecen in Eastern Hungary but later that year he was appointed Professor of Clarinet at the Tibor Varga Faculty of Musical Arts at the University of Györ.

In 2022 he was appointed Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and International Visiting Tutor in Clarinet at the RNCM.

Mark Heron

Mark Heron is a Scottish conductor known for dynamic and well-rehearsed performances across an unusually wide range of repertoire, and his expertise as an orchestral trainer.

As guest conductor he has appeared with the, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Psappha, Meininger Hofkapelle, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Pori Sinfonietta, St Petersburg Festival Orchestra and many more. He is the Music Director of the Nottingham Philharmonic and Professor and Head of Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. At the RNCM he works regularly with all of the College’s orchestras and ensembles and runs the world-renowned conducting programmes. Mark is the conductor laureate of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and for ten years was Director of Orchestras at the University of Manchester.

Dedicated to working with young musicians, in addition to his role at the RNCM, Mark has conducted ensembles from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, Tilburg & Maastricht Conservatories, the National Youth Wind Orchestras of Great Britain, Wales and Israel, Slovenian National Youth Orchestra, and many more.

Mark has a keen interest in contemporary music and has given world premieres of many important works. He has collaborated with leading composers such as Kalevi Aho, Sir George Benjamin, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Unsuk Chin, Tansy Davies, Detlev Glanert, Heiner Goebbels, Anders Hillborg, Giya Kancheli, Magnus Lindberg, Sir James McMillan, Colin Matthews, Christopher Rouse, Kaija Saariaho, and Mark Anthony Turnage. In 2018 he gave the the world premiere of Adam Gorb’s opera The Path to Heaven, and in 2006 the European premiere of American composer Daron Hagen’s opera, Bandanna. He has recorded dozens of CDs with the RNCM Wind Orchestra featuring contemporary wind repertoire on labels such as Chandos, Naxos, NMC, ASC and Polyphonic. Other recording projects have included CDs with the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and numerous radio broadcasts with BBC orchestras.

Mark studied at the RSAMD and the RNCM. Following a successful chamber music career and freelance work with many of the UK’s professional symphony orchestras, he undertook conducting studies at the RNCM and in master classes with Neeme & Paavo Järvi, Jorma Panula, and Sir Mark Elder. He worked with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra on their mentoring programme for young conductors.

Alongside his conducting engagements, Mark is recognised as one of the world’s foremost conducting teachers, and students of his have achieved notable success internationally. As well as his work across all of the RNCM’s renowned conducting programmes, he developed an elite undergraduate conducting programme at the University of Manchester, is a visiting professor to the Royal Air Force and appears often as a guest at conducting courses and master classes all over the world.

Maria Carbosa

Maria Camila Barbosa (2nd year Masters) is a young conductor and pianist from Bogotá, Colombia. In 2023 she made an acclaimed debut with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, immediately being re invited for 2024. She was awarded 2nd prize, the orchestra prize, and the audience prize in the 1st Colombian National Conducting Competition, with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Colombia. Maca studied at Fundación Juan N. Corpas and the National University of Colombia before entering the RNCM in 2022 to study with Mark Heron and Clark Rundell.

She has participated in masterclasses with the Hallé and Manchester Camerata, as well as many professional orchestras in South America, and with teachers such as Marin Alsop, Sir Mark Elder, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Antony Hermus, Ludovic Morlot, Jorma Panula and Johannes Schlaefli. As principal conductor she has worked with the Bogotá Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Benjamin Voce

Benjamin Voce (1st year Masters) was recently appointed Music Director of the Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the South West’s leading symphony orchestras. In the 2022/23 season he was the assistant conductor to Thomas Adès, working with him with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, and London Philharmonic. Having first completed a degree in Mathematics in the UK before studying music at Daniel Barenboim’s prestigious “Barenboim-Said Academy” in Berlin, Benjamin embodies the long history that these two interconnected subjects have shared together.

Versatile across all genres, he has completed an advanced diploma in contemporary repertoire conducting at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiano and in June 2023 Benjamin performed in two sold out concerts at Berlin’s Wuhlheide Arena, conducting the orchestra accompanying singer “Danger Dan” and pianist Igor Levit to a combined audience of over 30,000 people and broadcast live on national radio.

RNCM Wind Orchestra Personnel

Naomi Reilly Robinson

Isabeau Hansen
Kaoruko Takehara
Adele Bracegirdle
Matthew Jones

Anna Benton
Rebecca Corcoran

Caiwei Luo

Yuxuan Wang

Josh Pyman (solo in Bernstein)
Lewis Wood
Jiacheng Yao
Jerry Lee
Annabel Santner
Aidan Bryson

Yuting Cao

Chris Hardy

Zack Smith (Clarinet, Sop Sax)
Matthew Hodson

Samuel Nuttall (alto)
Frederic Donlon-Mansbridge

Jasmine Brown

Beatriz Carvalho
Julie Beech

Zhicheng Cao

Samuel Froggatt
Finnian Smith
Toby Johnson-Jones
Samuel Nutt
Fran Penny (bmp)

Cameron Chin-See (cornet 1)
Will Bird (cornet 2)
Alexander Browne (flugel 1)
Charlotte Nuta (flugel 2)
Devon Allen

Joseph Mahin (Lee, Martinez, Ticheli)
Tingjie Pan (Geyer, Lee, Martinez, Ticheli)

Rachel Wong
Benjamin Moss
Barney Shaw
Benjamin Copsey

Yijian Liu
Nathaniel Wardroper Hughes

Ho Wong

Man Nok Fung
Hoi Ching Kwong
Kiki Liang
Zhao Liu
Ho Yin Liu

Pam Kijoran

Tom Ellison

Duarte Colaco

Holly-Alice Morton