Our Tutors at Summer School in 2022
After graduating form the University of York with a starred first in Music, Stef Conner began her career as pianist and backing singer in the Northumbrian folk band The Unthanks (then Rachel Unthank and the Winterset), performing all over the world and appearing on television and radio, including performances at the Barbican, Covent Garden Opera House, Glastonbury, Womad, the BBC Folk Awards and the Mercury Music Awards. Stef’s first gig with the band received a 5-star review from Observer critic Paul Morley and her performances with the group were consistently highly praised. Although Stef parted ways with the Unthanks in 2009, the English folk tradition, and the band’s raw and affecting approach to storytelling through song, made a huge impact on her style.
Since leaving The Unthanks, Stef has carved a niche for herself in the misty borderlands between the classical and traditional music worlds, combining the intense emotional sincerity of traditional song with jazz-infused contemporary harmony and a palette of techniques drawn from the study of ancient music and poetry. In 2014, she released her debut album The Flood, with her group the Lyre Ensemble. Showcasing beautiful new music in ancient Mesopotamian languages, accompanied by a reconstruction of the 4500-year-old Gold Lyre of Ur, the album became something of an online phenomenon, with well over a million listens on one website alone, as well as features in publications like Newsweek, New Scientist, the Guardian and fRoots. A stream of exciting and unusual performances followed at venues like the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), the Medici Institute and Museum of Archaeology (Florence), St. Edmund’s College Cambridge, St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, the Union Chapel (London) and the unveiling of the digitally reconstructed Palmyra Arch in Trafalgar Square.
As well as singing her own music, Stef has composed new works for leading jazz, folk and classical performers. Two of her compositions premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and she has also enjoyed performances in numerous venues in the UK and abroad, as well as broadcasts on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 6 Music. In 2011 she was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize for Composition and she has participated in a number of renowned composition schemes including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival’s European Composers’ Professional Development Programme, the Leverhulme LPO Young Composers’ Project, the Cheltenham Festival Composers’ Academy and the PRSF/Making Music/Sound and Music Adopt-a-Composer Scheme, as well as having been awarded grants towards creative projects by the Bliss Trust, PRSF, Ralph Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust and John Ireland Trust.
From 2014–2015 she was extremely very proud to be the first ever Composer in Residence with Streetwise Opera, a charity that uses opera to help homeless people make positive changes in their lives. Her debut opera with the organisation, People Watch, premiered at Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival in 2015. In 2014, she was named, in the ‘Music-Makers’ category, as one of the Evening Standard’s ‘1000 Most Influential Londoners’ through her work with the charity.
Hanna Marti is a musician specialising in the music of the middle ages and in re-imagining and re-creating old songs and stories. She holds a master's degree in voice from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Her artistic work explores the re-composing and re-constructing of ancient songs, texts and stories, often transmitted without melodies and/or in fragmentary form. She finds creative energy in that multi-faceted area between historical information and new composition, while employing methods typical of non-notational music traditions. In her music, Hanna Marti combines her love of ancient languages with her own musical imagination, strongly influenced by medieval modes. Imagining the context of the song gone silent, she aims to bring it back to sounding life, and express to her audiences its continuing relevance to the human experience today.
As a member of Sequentia ensemble, she performs internationally in various projects. She also performs in her own ensemble Moirai – co-directed with flautist Mara Winter – and as a solo artist. Hanna Marti lives in Northwestern Switzerland.
Elisabeth Pawelke studied voice and historical harp at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (University of Early Music) in Basle and at the Trossingen University of Music from which she graduated with a Master of Early Music degree. In addition she took singing lessons with Gundula Anders, Eric Mentzel and attended master classes given, et al., by Emma Kirkby. The scope of her repertoire comprises especially early music from the Middle Ages to Baroque, art song as well as traditional music, and musical. She also studied music pedagogy, musicology, and early German linguistics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and on a scholarship at the Basle University graduating with a Master of Arts degree. Besides she is also an academic speech and voice therapist. She is presently doing her doctorate in vocal pedagogy at the Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum of the University Augsburg, Institute for Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogy.
Elisabeth Pawelke performed with various early music ensembles such as Almara, RicciCapricci, Egeria, Estampie, The Muses' Fellows, VocaMe, and Faun. She sang and played at renowned festivals and concerts in Germany and Europe, such as The Oude Muziek Festival in Utrecht (The Netherlands), The International Messiaen Week in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Trollhättans Tidig Musik Dagar (Sweden), in the Arena van Vletingen in Gent (Belgium), the Bachtage at Wiblingen Monastery, as well as at festivals in Italy, Hungary, and Spain. She gave concerts et al., at the 150th throne anniversary of King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the Munich Residence and at the 350th anniversary of Nymphenburg Palace. She also sang in various choirs for Gregorian chant and medieval monody. She performs at concerts with various solo programmes, accompanying her singing on her harps. Together with lutenist Christine Riessner she revived English, German and Spanish lute songs of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as in ensemble the music of Bach, Handel, Purcell, and Bernier. By order of the Bavarian Administration of Palaces, Gardens and Lakes she acted as musicological advisor for the musical conception of the Historical Museum Cadolzburg and recorded pieces from the Schedel Songbook. This led to a new album with the ensemble Amara which was published by the label Naxos at the end of 2020. A CD with works by the composer Thomas Selle (1599-1663) with the ensemble The Muses' fellows was also published on the label Coviello Classics in 2021.
With the group Faun Elisabeth Pawelke recorded five CDs and two DVDs (et. al. in cooperation with Chris Blair/Abbey Road Studios London), to which she made significant contributions to composition and production. Following the publication of the CD "Outros Amores" with her ensemble Amara she, together with the ensemble VocaMe, sang hymns of Kassia, a composer and poetess in 9th century Byzantium, for a CD by the label Christophorus. With the ensemble RicciCapricci she published the CD "Perla mya cara", focussing on Italian and Spanish Renaissance and early Baroque music.