Soh-Yon Kim, Violin 1
Soh-Yon Kim was born in Seoul and started having violin lessons from the age of four, and studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Susie Mezaros and Berent Korfker. She has just finished the Artist Diploma Course at the Royal College of Music under the guidance of Itzhak Rashkovsky, where she was a Mills Williams Junior Fellow. Soh-Yon has performed in numerous concerts as soloist and chamber musician, in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Barbican Art Centre, the Sage Gateshead, the Royal Albert Hall, the Concertgebouw, Tel Aviv Opera House, the Abbey Road Studios, Menuhin Festival in Gstaad and the Bath International Festival. Soh-Yon won several prizes including 1st prize at the 12th International Violin Competition “Shabyt-Inspiration” in Astana, Buenos Aires International Violin Competition, Yampolsky International Violin Competition. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Moscovia Chamber Orchestra and Teatro Colon Orchestra with Shlomo Mintz conducting. A winner of RCM Concerto Competition, she performed Elgar Violin Concerto with the RCM Symphony Orchestra. She is a recipient of Manoug Parikian Award 2012-13, and is supported by Martin Musical Scholarship Fund 2013-14, 2014-15, Park Lane Group artist 2013-14, Tillett Trust young artist 2014-15, and winner of the Musicians Company Concerts. Upcoming concerts include lunchtime concerts at St. Martin in the Fields, and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
Henry Chandler, Violin 2
Henry Chandler was born in 1992 in London. He has recently finished the Artist Diploma course at the Royal College of Music, where he studied as a scholar with Maciej Rakowski. Henry received generous support from the John Lewis Partnership, Atwell Charity and Kathleen Trust during his time there. Prior to this, Henry read music at Pembroke College, Oxford University with an instrumental scholarship, and appeared as a soloist in the Sheldonian Theatre after winning the university’s concerto competition. He has played with numerous orchestras and conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Leif Segerstam, Sir Roger Norrington and Daniel Harding, and appeared in a masterclass with Maxim Vengerov in 2013. Past professional engagements include playing with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in London, the Oxford Philomusica on the apprentice scheme offered by the university, and English National Opera, also on an apprenticeship scheme. Henry currently leads the Zeitgeist Chamber Orchestra. In June 2013, Henry was invited to the Ashmoleian Museum in Oxford to play one of the violins on display at the Stradivari Exhibition. Before going to university, Henry studied with Roger Smith at the RCM Junior Department, where he was awarded the Esther Coleman award for ‘outstanding musician’. Henry currently plays on an eighteenth century instrument by Richard Duke of London on loan from the Harrison Frank Foundation.
Ben Harrison, Viola
Benjamin leads a varied musical career, balancing his chamber music work and orchestral projects around his enthusiasm for coaching young musicians.
At age eight Benjamin was awarded a place as chorister at the prestigious St John’s College choir in Cambridge and subsequently toured the world and appeared as soloist on many recordings. In 2000 Benjamin won a place at Chetham’s School of Music to learn violin with Jan Repko, and then in 2005 he continued his studies at the Royal College of Music as a viola player. Whilst at the RCM Benjamin learnt with Ivo-Jan van der Werff and Jonathan Barritt and was a prize winner at the International Kenneth Page Viola Competition. He graduated with honours in 2009 and then completed his Postgraduate Degree where he studied jointly with Simon Rowland-Jones and Lawrence Power.
As a chamber musician Benjamin has performed in venues throughout the UK and abroad including St James, Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-field and Bath Pump Rooms. Benjamin was finalist with the Alke Quartet in both the St Martin-in-the-field Chamber Competition and Ernest Bloch Music Competition. Benjamin has participated in master classes with the Wihan Quartet, Endellion Quartet, the Israel Trio, the Chilingirian Quartet, Ioan Davies, Philip Dukes, Lewis Kaplan, Alisdair Tait, Richard Ireland, David Waterman and Doctor Hugh Maguire and has attended International Music Seminar Prussia Cove, London String Quartet Foundation Quartet Symposia, Britten Sinfonia Lab, and King’s Place Chamber Studio. Benjamin has also played with the Arienski Ensemble in the North Norfolk Music Festival. Benjamin enjoys playing with his viola quartet Mit Dӓmpfer.
Benjamin joined Southbank Sinfonia in 2011 subsequently performing in many concerts both as orchestral player and as chamber musician. With Southbank Benjamin performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall under Vladimir Ashkenazy and at the Royal Opera House and collaborated with members of Academy of St Martin-in-the-Field and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Benjamin is enthusiastic about enlightening young people through music making and actively organises and participates in musical outreach workshops. Benjamin has worked as viola coach for the National Youth Strings Academy.
Karen French, Cello
New Zealand cellist Karen French enjoys a busy career based in London as an orchestral and chamber musician. She began playing the cello aged 9 and went on to study with David Chickering while at school and later with Edith Salzmann at the University of Canterbury, graduating with a Bachelor of Music with Honours in 2008. During this time she was awarded the Keith Laugesen Scholarship for Music and was the NZSO National Youth Orchestra principal cello. Karen then won a place to study with Mario De Secondi at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Trossingen in Germany.
In 2011 Karen was selected to play in Southbank Sinfonia. With Southbank Sinfonia Karen has performed with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra and in the National Theatre performing in Jonathan Miller’s staged version of St. Matthew Passion and at the Royal Opera House. She has performed in venues including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth hall and LSO St. Luke’s. She has also played with the Christchurch Symphony in New Zealand.
As a chamber musician Karen performs regularly with her string quartet, the Alke Quartet. They have performed throughout the UK including, St Martin-in-the-Field, St James, Piccadilly, Bath Pump Rooms and the Barbican. Karen has received coaching from Alisdair Tait, David Waterman, Krysia Osostowicz, Richard Ireland, Simon Rowland-Jones and Jackie Shave. The quartet were finalists in the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Competition and the Ernest Bloch Competition. They were participants at International Music Seminar Prussia Cove and selected for the Britten Sinfonia Lab in 2013.
Karen is grateful for support received during her studies from the Whetu/Lankhuyzen Scholarship Trust and for sponsorship of her new Hinsberger cello.