Ryan Drucker

Born in Belgium, Ryan is in his fourth year of the BMus (Hons) course at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Helen Krizos. He previously studied with Seta Tanyel at Tonbridge School where he was a music scholar.

Ryan Drucker

Ryan has won a number of prizes at the RNCM. Most recently, he won the Piano Recital Prize. In addition, he was a prize winner in the 2013 RNCM concerto competition and subsequently played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, Op.23 with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester in June 2014. Ryan has also been awarded first prize in the Mark Ray Memorial Prize, the prestigious Chopin Prize, the Shirley Catterall Award and the Marjorie Clementi Memorial Award for the student receiving the highest mark in the first and second year Piano Recital exam. Outside of the RNCM, Ryan was awarded second prize in the 2012 Moray Piano Competition held in Scotland.  He was also a recipient of the Yehudi Menuhin English Speaking Union Scholarship and attended the Piano Masterclass International Series at Banff Arts Centre in Canada. He has performed in masterclasses for renowned pianists including Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Andrei Gavrilov, John Perry, Kathryn Stott, Michel Béroff, Nelita True, Nelson Goerner, Pascal Rogé, Philippe Cassard and Stefano Fiuzzi.

A passionate chamber musician, Ryan attended the Pro Corda International Chamber Music Academy for many years through which he received opportunities to perform at numerous distinguished venues including the Wigmore Hall. Ryan has received coaching from Alice Neary, Hugh Maguire, Jeremy Young, Julius Drake, Kenneth Sillito, Philip Higham and Ralph Kirshbaum, and from members of the Allegri, Castallian, Elias, Škampa and Talich string quartets. Also in demand as an accompanist, he was awarded first prize in the piano section of the Elsie Thurston singing competition and the Sir John Barbirolli cello competition. In addition, he and his piano duo partner Victor Lim won the RNCM Piano Duo prize.

Forthcoming engagements include recitals in Aberdeen, Cambridge, Isle of Man, London and Manchester where Ryan will present programmes of solo, chamber and concerto works.


Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson was born in Glasgow and began learning the violin at the age of six.  He gained scholarships to both CanfordSchool and the Royal Academy of Music.  During his time at the Academy, Oliver studied the violin with Xue-Wei, conducting with Denise Ham and Colin Metters and appeared as leader and soloist with the Academy String Orchestra.  His achievements include winning the Academy Concerto Competition, the Winifred Small Violin Competition and the building of his concerto repertoire with orchestras such as the Christchurch Sinfonia, Da Vinci Ensemble, Dorset Youth Orchestra and Gli Amici Della Musica.  He is now in high demand as a recitalist with Roy Stratford and Andrew Ball with recent performances at St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. James’s Piccadilly in London.


He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in this country and abroad including the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, Dorking Philharmonia, Dorset Chamber Orchestra, Gorton Philharmonic, Hertford Symphony Orchestra, High Peak Orchestra, Manchester Beethoven Orchestra, Unley Symphony Orchestra of Adelaide, Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra and the Winchester Symphony Orchestra.  His concerto appearances range from performances of the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 at both the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and Central Hall during the Edinburgh Festival, the Tchaikovsky Concerto in Adelaide, Australia, and Mozart Concertos 3 and 5 with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra in Muscat, Oman.  With the latter orchestra, Oliver was invited as soloist for a private performance for the Sultan of Oman in his palace.  In 2015 Oliver is engaged to play the Tchaikovsky concerto in both Buxton and Dorset.  Oliver also leads a busy life teaching at The Royal School and Hindhead Music Centre in Surrey and is regularly involved in adjudicating, coaching and masterclasses.

Review of Buxton Fringe Concert 2014

This has to be one of the best concerts that HPO have given on the Fringe in recent years. Their assured playing and conductor Andrew Hodkinson’s confident direction ensured a thrilling experience.

The concert opened with Debussy’s l’apres-midi d’un Faune which reminded us how good the HPO woodwinds are. This quite short , but highly impressionistic work, was followed by Schumann’s ‘cello concerto with the wonderfully talented Miriam Brown as soloist. Still at the Northern College Miriam is rapidly acquiring a fine reputation.

The concerto was composed in 1850, which saw the start of Schumann’s decline into insanity. But there is only a hint of that in the generally lyrical music. The excellent programme notes suggested that the work is “brooding and serious” but in this performance, particularly the extended solo in the second movement accompanied by the principal ‘cello, Mary Dainton, the total effect was enchanting.

The concert concluded with Mahler’s fourth symphony. This is another demanding work for the woodwinds and the HPO woodwinds were outstanding with very carefully judged dynamics. The high spot was the fourth movement with Jane McNeill singing the beautiful song “The Heavenly Life”, music to which Jane’s lovely voice seems particularly suited.

A large audience greeted both soloists with well-deserved acclamation.

Peter Low

Miriam Brown

Miriam is a first year cellist studying with Nicholas Trygstad at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.  She has performed concertos with orchestras, including: Saint Saëns, Vivaldi double, Elgar and Haydn’s C major cello concerto.  While at secondary school at the FallibroomeAcademy, Miriam was invited to play for TedX – a popular international conference streamed live online.  In Miriam’s school years she achieved a second prize in the national competition hosted by the Lyons club, and she also took part in other competitions such as Buxton and Alderley Edge music festivals as well as Music for Youth, where she was thrice awarded the opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.

Miriam Brown

Miriam also took part in music courses to further her education, such as Gathering of the Clans with her previous teacher Sue Lowe and also Hannah Robert’s cello course.  There she played in valuable master-classes and took private lessons from Sandy Bailie, Pierre Doumenge, Anna Shuttleworth, Tim Lowe, Matthew Lowe, Leandro Silvera and Hannah Roberts.  Since being a student at RNCM Miriam has had further master-classes with Miklós Perényi, Emma Ferrand, and Steven Doane.  Recently she performed Fauré’s Elegie with the Buxton Music Society Orchestra.  Miriam aspires to complete her studies at the RNCM, spend her third year studying abroad and to further her studies with a post-graduate degree in London.

Jane McNeill

Jane had a very early introduction to music and joined the Kodaly Children’s Orchestra at the RNCM, initially as a percussionist then a flautist.  She gained a junior music exhibition award (scholarship) from DerbyshireCounty for flute tuition & played in both Area & County Youth Orchestras.  Jane studied Music at LiverpoolUniversity and performed in Choirs, Orchestras, Shows, Jazz Ensembles, and Gilbert & Sullivan.

She grew up playing and singing in the Buxton Opera Festival children’s operas and in recent years has augmented the professional chorus for concert performances of rarely performed operas.  Jane also enjoyed singing Edith in the first G&S Festival Production of the Pirates of Penzance in the early 90s.

During her senior school years Jane discovered her love of singing joined Buxton Musical Society & St John’s Church Choir, Buxton – now for over 25 years!  She’s also a member of Buxton Madrigal Singers – who don’t actually sing madrigals! – but with annual commitments of a residency at Durham Cathedral,  Masses at Buxton Opera Festival with an annual broadcast for BBC Radio 4 Morning Service.

Jane McNeill

St John’s Church Choir released a CD (available in the foyer) which includes a Buxton Festival Mass recording of a Haydn mass for two soprano voices (with Jane as Mezzo Soprano) broadcast by the BBC, and Mendelssohn’s amazing “Hear My Prayer”,  for soprano, choir and organ including the beautiful “O for the wings of a dove”.

Jane is a founder member of Susie & the Bad Habits – a quintet formed in 2003.  They took their name (and some musical inspiration) from the Sister Act films and regularly feature hits from these films in their performances.  Their taste is fairly eclectic and can be heard performing anything from the Andrews Sisters to Bach to Bob Dylan at local charity events.  They’ll be appearing as part of the Festival Fringe at St Peter’s Church, Fairfield on Wednesday evening.

Jane is delighted to be invited to perform such a beautiful work with the High Peak Orchestra.  Her last appearance with the orchestra was five years ago when she sang for an enjoyable and lively Last Night of the Proms concert.

Ben Lathbury

Recently hailed as “a charismatic performer of sensitivity and panache”, musician Ben Lathbury began playing the piano aged 6.  Born to a musical family in the Midlands in 1988, he was encouraged to take part in as many musical events and activities as possible, leading to an award for ‘Outstanding Achievement & Contribution in Music’ in 2004, First prize in the Opera Class of the 2005 Burton Competitive Vocal Festival and First prize in the Mozart Players Class at the Derby Arts Festival in 2006.  That same year, Ben moved from the Midlands to West Sussex to study for an undergraduate degree in Music at the University of Chichester, where he established himself as a pianist of note, winning second prize in Funtington Music Group’s coveted ‘Robert Headley Award’ competition in 2008 and making his début as a soloist in Chichester Cathedral as part of the University’s gala concert.


In 2009, after gaining a First class dissertation mark for his performance of Mozart’s D minor Piano Concerto and winning the ‘Robert Headley Scholarship Bursary for Higher Education’ to fund his Master’s degree in Music Performance, Ben went on to become runner-up of the first Clifford Benson piano competition at the University of Chichester and made his orchestral début with the ‘High Peak Orchestra’ in Buxton in December.  Since then, Ben has gone on to win the second Clifford Benson piano competition and regularly performs as both soloist and accompanist.  His most notable performances include engagements with the Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra (Anderson: Concerto in C) and High Peak Orchestra (Mozart: Concerto No.20 in D minor), as well as at Chichester Cathedral, Leconfield Hall in Petworth, Lordington Park House, Bognor Regis Music Club, Pallant House Gallery in Chichester during the first series of ‘Piano Proms’  and the Guildford arts festival ‘Guilfest’.

After completing his fourth year at the University of Chichester and receiving his Master’s degree in Music Performance, having majored in Classical Piano under the tutelage of the Head of Keyboard, Jonathan Plowright, Ben worked for a time as a concert pianist, piano teacher, vocal coach and choral conductor.  In 2010 he was appointed as Director of Music & Master of the Choristers at St. Margaret’s Church in Ifield and since 2013, he has been acting Head of Music at ChichesterFreeSchool.  Outside of his musical life, Ben lives in Chichester, West Sussex with his cat Persephone and enjoys performing magic, playing golf, chess and pool, swimming, driving and reading.

Harry Jepson

Coming from a musical family, Harry was interested in brass instruments from a very young age.  He was given a cornet for Christmas at the age of 8, and he never looked back.  At the age of thirteen he gained a Music Scholarship to UppinghamSchool, where he studied under Dave Price.  After Uppingham he was awarded another Scholarship to Birmingham Conservatoire.

 Harry Jepson

 Harry is currently in his fourth year at Birmingham Conservatoire, studying under Andrew Stone-Fewings who plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Jon Holland, Principal Trumpet in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.  In addition to full-time study, Harry does freelance work all over the country, ranging from large orchestral works to solo performances such as tonight’s concert.

Harry also plays in a Quintet and a ten piece band that performs regularly around Birmingham and the Midlands.  The ten piece band recently visited Whaley Bridge marching round the town as part of the Corpus Christi event centred at Whaley Hall.  A recent success was winning the Alfred Corfield Trumpet competition in Birmingham, where he played the Torelli Trumpet concerto you will hear tonight.

Anya Muston

In 2011 Anya completed her Master’s degree in violin performance with distinction.  She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Professor Yair Kless.  She also completed her Post-Graduate Diploma (with Distinction) at RNCM with Professor Kless.  She studied with the assistance of the AYO Dorothy Fraser Award, Musicians’ Benevolent Fund scholarship and she was the recipient of the prestigious international postgraduate scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  She completed her B. Mus (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium in June 2007 and was a two time recipient of the Frank Hammond scholarship while there.  She studied with Wanda Wilkomirska and Philippa Paige in Sydney.  She was awarded her L Mus A at the age of 15.Anya MustonIn 2011 Anya was the runner up in the inaugural Mathew Krel Memorial competition.  In June 2009 Anya was the winner of the RNCM Gold Medal, the College’s highest honour for performance.  Earlier in 2009 Anya won the Norman George Kreisler Violin Prize.  Anya won the Australian Concerto Competition in 2006 playing the Shostakovich Violin Concerto.  She is a multiple prize-winner at the Performing Arts Challenge in Sydney and a previous recipient of the Marcus Edwards Violin Prize.  In December 2003, sponsored by SBS, Anya was a finalist and awarded a diploma in her first international violin competition, playing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 1, in Moscow.

In December 2010 Anya performed the Bartok No 2 Concerto as soloist with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra to great critical acclaim.  She has also recently performed the Lou Harrison concerto and Prokofiev Concerto No 2 to audiences in Manchester.  She was a recitalist at the Montepulciano Music Festival in July 2009, with the Nottingham Musical Society in 2010, at the Salzburg and Gniezno Festivals in 2011 and at Chaux-de-Fonds in August 2011.  Other public engagements include performances of violin concertos by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Mendelsohn, Beethoven, Brahms and Prokofiev, solo works by Sarasate, Ysaye and Paganini and the Dvorak Violin Concerto to audiences in Prague, Budapest and Bratislava.

Anya is currently a member of the first violin section with the Hallé Orchestra.