VMS Staff

Marco Galvani - Deputy Director of Music

Marco Galvani is a composer and educator based in London. Choral music has been at the core of Galvani's musical output, including commissions for accompanied and a cappella ensembles alike. His work On Christmas Morn was performed by The Sixteen in venues such as Glyndebourne, Cadogan Hall, Sage Gateshead and Birmingham Symphony Hall during their Christmas Tour 2017. Galvani was subsequently commissioned for Stella Caeli by The Sixteen, which was released on CORO in 2018.

Since 2014 Galvani has been working as an Associate Composer with SANSARA resulting in the recent Resonus Classics release 'Invisible Cities', a single composer feature disc including commissions from The Queen's College Choir, Oxford, and Southern Cathedrals Festival, alongside electronic refractions. This sequence of choral works includes pieces from the beginning of Galvani's collaboration with the choir up to the present day, with the album blending electronic and acoustic sounds.

Galvani's recent work has furthered this combination of analogue and digital, including projects such as Play the Stars, commissioned in association with theatre company Leo&Hyde for Liverpool Light Nights 2021 in collaboration with virtual reality artist Rosie Summers. Similarly, Galvani performed live electronics and synthesizers for his sci-fi opera Helena alongside singers and performers from Zeitgeist Ensemble, as part of the Tête à Tête festival 2021. This opera expanded on themes explored in Galvani's second opera Autopilot Saves Model S from 2017, performed at the Oxford Maths institute by Faded Ink Productions, which concerned recent developments in AI and transportation technology.

Frank Zielhorst - Musicianship Tutor

Frank Zielhorst enjoys an international career as conductor and educator. He held the position of Principal Conductor of Sinfonia Viva in Derby and served as Young Conductor in Association with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Frank works regularly with orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ulster Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra The Hague (Netherlands), the Prague Symphony Orchestra (Czech Republic) and the Orquestra Clássica do Sul (Portugal). He enjoys a special relationship with BSO Resound, a professional disabled-led ensemble.

Frank has been appointed guest teacher for orchestral studies at the Royal College of Music and Musicianship Tutor at the Yehudi Menuhin School. He regularly conducts the student orchestras at the Leeds Conservatoire and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Frank is a devoted advocate of music for young children and throughout his career he devoted a large portion of his time to education and outreach work. At Sinfonia Viva, he focused on cultivating creativity: young people composing their own texts and songs, which were orchestrated overnight and performed by the young people together with the orchestra. In school concerts with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, he helped develop songs and body percussion pieces that pupils would perform with the orchestra as part of their concert experience. Frank works as a peripatetic teacher at Sharnbrook Academy in Bedford and runs his own private music academy in Northwood, Greater London, where he teaches piano, violin, viola, conducting, orchestration and music theory.

Having been praised for his “crisp and vibrant style” (Bournemouth Echo), Frank’s conducting has been found to “bring out a clear and broad scala of colours and atmospheres” (De Volkskrant).

Allison Stringer - Violin Tutor

Allison Stringer is a violinist, interdisciplinary artist and creative practitioner. She specialises in Classical, Contemporary and Interdisciplinary Music and is a Classical and Scottish Music educator. Allison is currently undertaking a PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland/University of St. Andrews studying the Scottish Composer Alexander Campbell Mackenzie (1847-1935). She holds a Masters degree in Violin Performance from Codarts University for the Arts, studying under Gordan Nikolić, and an Honours Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, studying under the Penderecki String Quartet.

Allison began the violin at the age of 2 ½, later taking up the piano and viola, and has been ensconced in music since. She is an active performer and has appeared in festivals and toured in an orchestral setting throughout North America, Europe and the UK. She has performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Gergiev Festival Orchestra in Rotterdam, the Doelen Ensemble, as a soloist premiering jazz inspired new compositions with the Fifty Fiddles Orchestra and as a soloist premiering The Lost and the Damned by Canadian composer Adam Hakooz at De Doelen, Rotterdam. Allison has worked as a session musician in the Folk and Indie Music scene and has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Amanda Palmer and Daniel Martinez.

While Allison is a trained and active performer, she is heavily involved in UK’s specialist music education programmes. She is the Director of Music of the Lochaber Music School in Fort William, she works as a violin teacher at St. Mary’s Music School, runs a Saturday violin school in Edinburgh, works as an external assessor for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is extremely excited to have joined the VMS and VMS Pathways programme at the Yehudi Menuhin School in 2023

Rebecca Herman - Cello Tutor

Rebecca Herman studied with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York) and with Josephine Knight at the Royal Academy of Music (London), supported by major awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Help Musicians UK. Rebecca subsequently held the Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship and the Meaker Solo Fellowship at the Academy, which included the 12-month loan of the ‘Segelman’ Stradivarius cello.

As a Park Lane Group Young Artist, Concordia Foundation Young Artist and founding member of the Castalian Quartet, Rebecca performed at major UK venues, including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, the Purcell Room, and the Cheltenham and Edinburgh Festivals. As a freelance orchestral cellist, Rebecca has worked all over the world with ensembles including the Philharmonia, the BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Britten Sinfonia, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Rambert Dance and English National Opera.

Alongside her active performing career, Rebecca is currently pursuing doctoral studies in performance psychology at the Royal College of Music, investigating the impact of mindfulness training on performance anxiety. Her PhD is supported by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Rebecca has been invited to present her research at the International Mindfulness Conference in Aarhus (Denmark) and the International Symposium for Performance Science in Warsaw, (Poland) and she recently published an article reconceptualising performance anxiety in the Frontiers in Psychology journal.

Rebecca is a passionate advocate of challenging taboos and misconceptions around performance anxiety, and of supporting young performers to manage the demands of elite performance. She has delivered performance psychology workshops for young musicians in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Junior Artists’ and Foyle Future Firsts’ schemes, at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, the Royal College of Music, Wells Cathedral School and the Street Orchestra of London.

Rebecca has a 2-year-old son and a golden doodle, and enjoys experimental cooking, Klezmer music, swimming in the sea and challenging misogynistic assumptions around parenting. Rebecca is very excited to be joining the VMS team in January 2024!

Ron Abramski - Piano Tutor

Ron Abramski is a concert pianist and educator who has performed internationally to great critical acclaim, receiving standing ovations in the UK, USA, Germany and Canada. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 In-Tune, in Germany on NDR2 and recorded the Premiere Sonata by Pierre Boulez for SWR2. In the USA he has broadcast live from the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago on WFMT radio, with a recital in Raleigh, North Carolina being made into a feature on WCPE Radio.

In the UK he has performed in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and throughout Germany including at the NDR Radio Philharmonic in Hanover, the Gasteig in Munich, the Bedburger Festspiel and the Baden State Opera. His CD “Concert for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano” with the Abramski Trio was released in 2008 and from 2009 to 2011 he was a regular chamber music partner of clarinet virtuoso Wolfgang Meyer which brought him great inspiration.

Ron has given world premieres of the Piano Concerto (written in 1961) and Au contraire for clarinet, bassoon and piano (2023) by composer David Forshaw, and the Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano by British-German composer Nigel Treherne at the Pforzheim Opera House in Germany.

In recent years, Ron has turned much of his attention to the pedagogic teaching of young pianists and is delighted to be joining the VMS programme in 2023. He is a big proponent of the democratisation of knowledge through the internet and is excited to be guiding some of the most gifted young pianists regardless of location.

Ron Abramski studied under legendary pedagogue Maria Curcio from a young age, as well as many other wonderful teachers including Marlene Fleet, Cristina Ortiz, Charles Hopkins and Prof. Fany Solter. He holds degrees from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe where he completed a Masters degree specialising in contemporary analysis.