Selected among the most promising artists of the Académie du Festival d’Aix, six young new talents have just been named HSBC Laureates. Under 30 years of age and originating from France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and South Korea, the 2018 HSBC Laureates are: Marie-Laure Garnier (soprano), Fleur Barron (mezzo-soprano), Trystan Llŷr Griffiths (tenor), Célia Oneto-Bensaid (pianist), Oleksandr Yankevych (pianist) and the Esmé Quartet.
Committed to the support of young talents, HSBC France is standing by the Académie du Festival d’Aix since 2006. Every year, the artistic management of the Festival selects a new cohort of singers, pianists vocal coaches and a chamber music ensemble. For the first time, two pianists from the same year group have been named HSBC Laureates, enabling the Académie to honour an existing singer/pianist duo and thus highlighting the challenges of the duo recital.
Throughout the 2018-2019 season, the HSBC Laureates will enrich the experience they have acquired during the Festival d'Aix and will perform in concert in France (at the Lille Opera and the Graslin Theatre in Nantes) and in Lebanon (for the Beirut Chants Festival). This December, in the framework of the Grands Interprètes in Toulouse, Evan Hughes - HSBC Laureate in 2016 - and Hélio Vida - HSBC Laureate in 2014 - performed The Lyrical Instinct, a highly intimate and contrasted recital which juxtaposes the sombre mystery of Schumann's lieder with the dazzling brilliance of Sibelius.
Let's get to know more about the careers and projects of the 2018 HSBC Laureates!
A graduate of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Marie-Laure Garnier is particularly fond of lieder and melody. She performs works by contemporary composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Benoît Menut, Fabien Touchard and Camille Pepin. In 2017, she won the French Melody Prize in the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition alongside pianist Célia Oneto-Bensaid. Together, they formed the Duo Nitescence and took part in the Art of recital residency of the Académie du Festival d'Aix 2018.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Fleur Barron took part in the Académie du Festival d’Aix's Mozart residency in 2017. She has sung in La Traviata (Verdi), Carmen (Bizet), Poliuto (Donizetti), Saul (Handel), The Child and the Spells (Ravel), The Italian Girl in Algiers (Donizetti) and Dialogues of the Carmelites (Poulenc). She has performed in the United States, United Kingdom and France. In 2018, she played one of the witches in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) at the Festival d’Aix.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Trystan Llŷr Griffiths won a prize at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. His singing career highlights include Così fan tutte and Requiem (Mozart), Lohengrin and Tristan and Isolde (Wagner), A Spanish Hour and The Child and the Spells (Ravel), The Elixir of Love and The Duke of Alba (Donizetti). He has performed in the United Kingdom, Austria and France. At the Festival d'Aix, he took part in the Académie's Mozart residency in 2015 and sang in The Magic Flute in 2018.
There are artists that I truly admire among the HSBC Laureates. I am honoured to be part of this great team.
Trained at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Célia Oneto-Bensaid performs in France (Philharmonie de Paris, Festival international de piano de La Roque d’Anthéron, Folle Journée de Nantes) and abroad (Italy, England, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Algeria and China). She formed the Duo Nitescence with the soprano Marie-Laure Garnier and in 2018, took part in the Art of recital residency of the Académie du Festival d’Aix. She recently recorded a solo release devoted to the music of Gershwin and Bernstein.
Oleksandr Yankevych is an accompanist at the Warsaw, Zurich and Stockholm operas. He accompanies singers at concerts in Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. His repertoire includes Carmen (Bizet), The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni (Mozart), La Bohème (Puccini), Rigoletto (Verdi), The Barber of Seville (Rossini) and Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky). In 2018, he took part in the Académie du Festival d’Aix's Mozart residency.
Because the Festival is on a such high level, it gives you a lot motivation to be also a better person, a better musician.
Formed in 2016, the Esmé Quartet won First Prize in the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition along with 4 Special Prizes. They have given concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Alpmuseum, the Kunstmuseum Villa Zanders and the Festival Musiq3, and have recorded for the NDR radio station in Germany. In 2017, the quartet took part in the ProQuartet Academy and in 2018, the Académie du Festival d’Aix's chamber music residency. In 2019, the ensemble will be touring, appearing at the Wigmore Hall as well as the Heidelberg and Lucerne festivals.
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