Bristol proms started yesterday – what better way to kick off the week than to introduce you to our wonderful prombassadors.
After casting the net far and wide, we have found a group of local music lovers up for documenting the parts of Bristol Proms that make them excited about classical music.
Follow them on twitter (they’re using #BRISTOLPROMS), check out their projects, say hello when you come down to watch a performance and keep an eye on this blog for their daily round ups.
Meet our Prombassadors…
I’m Kwojo. I was born in London, but have lived in Bristol for ten years now. Moving here coincided with my almost unhealthy addiction to music; perhaps it was inevitable given the sheer concentration of great artists and gigs in the city. Over the last seven years I’ve fallen in love with classical music and realised it’s nothing to be afraid of! When I’m looking for musical joy the drumming of Tony Williams, the pianism of Dinu Lipatti and the voice of Otis Redding never let me down. I work in Clifton, write about music for The Monitors, tweet via @KwojoAckah and live in Bedminster with my girlfriend and my three-year-old daughter. On the odd occasions that I’m neither listening to nor writing about music, I’m following most of the sports under the sun, running a Dads’ group, or enjoying cycling.
Originally from coastal North Devon, Jake fell in love with the double bass while moonlighting in Harlem jazz clubs at the age of 11. Once back in the UK, his excitement for music developed through his teens and he regularly contributed to ‘Cassette Culture’ outfit This Window. Following a huge amount of time and effort devoted to playing and writing, he graduated from Bristol University with an MA in composition in 2012.
Since then, he has been honing his craft alongside a number of well respected and influential musical talents in the city and from further afield (including Andy Sheppard, The Insects, Reel Me Records, Dan Brown and Jimmy Galvin). As a busy record producer, composer and session player, Jake is seldom without an instrument in his hand or a pencil behind his ear. He has written a ballet, two operas and a number of chamber works (including performances at St. George’s and The Victoria Rooms) over the last 18 months. He has had works performed all over the UK and has appeared and been played on a number of radio stations including BBC 6 Music. Jake also contributes to film and TV with experience with the BBC and Channel 4 as well as recently being appointed composer in residence for Donroy Films. His portfolio of recorded works as producer is also extensive and includes a top five position in the iTunes songwriter charts alongside Mary Spender. Jake also plays bass with New Zealand outfit A Doubtful Sound who moved to Bristol following the Christchurch earthquakes of 2011.
Mark Edmundson is a freelance journalist who has written for Scotland’s arts and culture magazine The List, as well as The Scotsman newspaper, and DJ Magazine. As King Edward he is a party soul DJ at large in Bristol. Both endeavours are pursued via his blog The Hidden Crate. He has recently returned to the double bass of his youth – with as yet underwhelming results.
Tim is a primary school teacher working at a large and wonderful school in Portishead. A Bristol UWE drama graduate with a love of the arts, he has shared this passion with his pupils by directing a wide range of school productions. Working in a number of schools in Bristol and also further afield in South Korea, Tim has taken this passion for performance and focused his creative talents on helping his pupils express their own talents in the arts.
Tim’s musical interests are wide and varied, frequenting both Glastonbury and Reading Festival for many years. Tim is relatively new to the classical music scene. A Bristol Proms first timer, Tim is excited to see how his love for music of all genres translates to classical music and is looking forward to sharing these experiences and those of other audience members.
Lina B. Frank
Lina B. Frank is originally from Sweden, based in Bristol working as a Producer. She loves working with performance that really connects its audience and is highly stimulating for the senses: visually, sonically, geographically or all at once. She loves working with Circus, Dance and Theatre, with bold and brave people, explorers and visionaries at heart.
Alex studied Music at the University of Bristol and couldn’t quite leave the city after discovering its strength for creativity. She now works as the Co-director of Motion Picture Arts Ltd as a composer, music journalist and illustrator. She is currently writing an opera, reviewing classical music for Bachtrack amongst previews for Culture Whisper and has a mini exhibition of Bristol based illustrations in Tea Birds at the bottom of Park Street.
Rebecca ‘Nell’ Snell
Hello, I’m Nell. I’m a soon to be drama and creative writing student, but right now I work in a village shop out in the sticks. Please excuse me if I’m momentarily dazzled by the bright city lights. Bristol is my favourite city because it has so much creative stuff going on in so many varied venues-when someone is bored in Bristol, it’s not Bristol’s fault. It also had a strong affiliation with pirates, which is always a plus. I’m an unashamed music nerd. I was happy to discover that when you leave secondary school your peers start thinking having grade 8 cello is chic rather than detestably geeky. I’m an actor/musician/writer/composer/director/general story teller and theatre maker (aka one of those annoying ones who won’t make up their mind). I’ve just premiered an original cabaret opera about a highwayman at the Chippenham Community Festival of arts. I love live music in all forms, whether as part of a play, a full on concert or an impromptu jam between buskers. I think everyone should experience live music because it touches something primal in us and makes your heart beat faster.
Guy is an experienced tenor and theatre maker from Bristol. A recent Cardiff University Music graduate (BMus hons.), Guy was awarded The University Vocal Scholarship, The David Lloyd Prize for Singing and The Elizabeth Griffiths Prize. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Indomitable Productions, a performance company who encourages young musicians and performers of all artistic disciplines to combine, collaborate, explore and experiment with different creative forms; specifically opera, puppetry, multi-media and physical theatre. Currently studying with Ryland Davies, Guy has taken masterclasses with Robin Tritschler and Isobel Buchanan, and have also received tuition from John Hugh Thomas, Miriam Bowen, Ian Partridge, and coaching at ENO from conductor Stephen Higgins. He is a member of Bristol Opera and Tessitoura, and in addition has sung with White Horse Opera, Opera’r Ddraig, Opera Alumnus, Second Movement Opera and Guildford Opera Company. Guy has also sung with The Exultate Singers, The National Youth Choir of Great Britain, The Rodolfus Choir and has been a Lay-clerk with Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Choir. He is a regular soloist with choirs and choral societies and has great experience in the operatic, oratorio and song repertoire of a light-lyric tenor. Other interests include volunteering at Handel House Museum, conducting, composing and arranging.
Born and raised in the vibrant cathedral town of Wells, I was introduced to classical music at a young age when I became a chorister at the age of eight. I’m a keen cello player and now sing in a number of choirs. I’m looking forward to the diverse performers and performances at the Bristol Proms this year.
Raised in the UAE, I was introduced to a more Middle Eastern style of music from a young age but later discovered my fathers collection of recordings of Philip Glass Operas and have been interested in Opera ever since. After joining Wells Cathedral School my classical music horizons were broadened and I’m looking forward to the Bristol Proms broadening them further.