Warren Mailley Smith

Screen_Shot_2015-07-06_at_10.13.28Award-winning concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith made his solo debuts to critical acclaim at the Wigmore Hall, London and Carnegie Hall, New York. During 2015-16, he has been performing Chopin’s Complete Works for Solo Piano over a cycle of eleven concerts at St John’s Smith Square. Warren is in increasing demand as a solo artist having been described recently by Classic FM as “Stunning…, Fantastic…, Sensational…”. He studied at the Royal College of Music where he  won numerous post-graduate prizes and then took further private studies with Peter Feuchtwanger and the late Ronald Smith. Warren’s solo career now sees him performing in festivals and concert venues across the UK and from further afield to perform in Europe and the US. You can hear and watch his playing online.


Penelope Roskell


Penelope Roskell combines an international performing career with a post as Professor of Piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she also teaches the piano pedagogy class.  She has performed as soloist at major concert halls throughout Britain, including the Barbican Concert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. She has also travelled widely throughout the world, playing in over thirty countries in Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, Africa, Asia, and the Middle and Far East. She plays and teaches a very wide range of repertoire. Her first prize at the British Contemporary Piano Competition resulted in numerous invitations to festivals of contemporary music, including eight recitals in Hans Werner Henze’s festivals in Montepulciano and Munich. Her performances of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Shostakovich have been particularly acclaimed. She has played Mozart Concertos with numerous orchestras, including the London Mozart Players and Daniel Harding at the Barbican Concert Hall and on tour with Sir Simon Rattle. She has also played both Shostakovich Concertos in the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the Docklands Sinfonietta. She is also a committed chamber musician and has performed with many distinguished artists. Over the last twelve to fifteen years she has played piano quintets regularly with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, and plays in the Roskell Piano Trio with the violinist and cellist from the quartet. She has been a jury member on major piano competitions, including the BBC Young Musician of the Year.

Penelope Roskell frequently gives masterclasses at couses including Dartington and Chethams Summer Schools, and her Advanced London Piano Courses.  She has a special  expertise in the field of piano technique and in dealing with physical tension and injuries. She is a practitioner and the piano trainer for the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine.  Her book on all aspects of piano playing, including holistic piano technique, will be available shortly in print and digital version, published by Edition Peters.

Sanae Nakajima


Sanae Nakajima was born in Japan in 1965 and spent her childhood in New York. She trained in London at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where her teachers included Paul Berkowitz and Joan Havill on the piano and David Takeno in chamber music. Her playing won a number of prizes including the Sherif’s Prize, which resulted in her being invited to the Paxos International Music Festival. She received tuition from András Schiff, György Kurtág and Steven Isserlis at the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove, and appeared in the masterclasses of Vlado Perlemuter and Richard Goode.

As a performer, Sanae enjoyed much success early in her career as a soloist performing at venues across Britain, with concert repertoire that centred around the core classical and early romantic composers. After gaining a degree in Oriental Studies from Oxford University, Sanae shifted her focus to performing as a chamber musician, working regularly with members of world-class orchestras and ensembles. While living in Canada between 2009 and 2013, she formed the Mazari Trio with members of the Tokai Quartet, prizewinners at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and performed with Thomas Wiebe, former Principal Cello of the Toronto Symphony. In April 2011 she gave a benefit concert at the Perimeter Institute, raising $10,000 in aid of the Tsunami crisis in northern Japan. Recently she has established a duo partnership with the British violinist Simon Smith, with whom she is launching a course designed for young performers aspiring to gain experience in conservatoire-level study.

As a teacher, Sanae has held major teaching positions at UK’s premier musical institutions. She served on the Faculty of GSMD’s Junior School for 15 years, and taught at the specialist music school at Wells Cathedral School for 7 years. Many of her former students have followed her path in pursuing music as their profession, some becoming household names. Different teaching opportunities have given Sanae to develop a keen interest in working with all types of students. In 2005, she was appointed first full-time Head of Keyboard at the Dragon School in Oxford, where she managed a large department made up of 10 piano staff and 180 piano pupils, aged 7 to 12. More recently she has worked as Assistant Director of Music & Head of Instrumental Studies at Gresham’s School, overseeing the opening of the new state-of-the art Britten Building at this All-Steinway School.

Sanae is very excited to be teaching on the Easter 2018 Pianissimi Course.

Claire Weston 

Claire_27OCT11_03Claire graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 1996 where she won many prestigious prizes, including the Leslie and Dorothy Blond Award for lyric/dramatic singing and the 1998 Frederic Cox Award. She completed her postgraduate studies with Caroline Crawshaw and joined English National Opera as Principal Artist in 1999. In 2004 she won the Bayreuth Scholarship from the Wagner Society of Great Britain.
In 1995 Claire made her BBC debut with the Northern Sinfonia, in the recorded première of Britten’s Three Small Songs. During her time at ENO she appeared in The Magic Flute, Albert Herring, Janufa Ernani, Il Trovatore, Nabucco and La Traviata; as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro, as well as a staged production of Verdi’s Requiem. She sang Freia, Ortlind and Gutrune in ENO’s production of The Ring Cycle directed by Phyllida Lloyd, which then became the first classical work to be performed on the main stage at the Glastonbury Festival.  It seemed she was set for a glittering career. So what brought it to an end? Certainly her reputation was growing and she had collected prestigious awards. Ironically it was the very thing that fired her passion for music in the first place that made her reappraise her career. However glamorous may be the life of a star in one of the world’s most innovative companies, it is too easy to forget that a musician’s responsibility is, first and foremost, to share a vision of music with an audience.
Since moving to Suffolk she has joined the Music Department of Woodbridge School where she is Head of Singing, become Music Director of Suffolk Singers and has a growing list of those wishing to benefit from her gifts as a teacher. Anyone who has attended a workshop organised by Suffolk Singers and run by Claire will know how inspiring that teaching can be.

Izzy Ixer

IzzyPractising Yoga is a wonderful way to develop a calm and positive approach to all aspects of your life – work, family and leisure activities. Its unique combination of postures, breathing techniques and relaxation have made it a popular choice for improving mental and physical health.

Izzy began to practise Hatha Yoga as a teenager and it became part of her life. She qualified with the British Wheel of Yoga and maintains her skills through regular professional development and training.  She sings with two choirs and also enjoys running.

She has worked with internationally known Yoga teachers Peter Blackaby and Zoe Knott and draws on her experience of working with many different influences to lead group and individual sessions for all ages.  She is able to adapt the principles of Yoga for workplace and leisure groups,  individuals with specific health challenges, musicians and has also worked with cyclists and the Ipswich Tri-Yoga group to build strength, resilience and flexibility.

Izzy is also a qualified Coach and Mentor with the Chartered Management Institute.

Izzy’s website