2011 Susan Chilcott Scholar
Awarded: funding for further studies/career development
Ashley Riches studies on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He holds a scholarship from the Guildhall, a Sybil Tutton Award administrated by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Myra Verney Recital Prize from the Worshipful Company of Musicians and the John Hosier Award. In 2009 he received an Ian Fleming award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund and was the winner of the Guildhall School Aria Competition. Previously, he studied English at Cambridge University, where he was a member of the King’s College Chapel Choir under Stephen Cleobury.
In concert he has given performances of Mozart Requiem with David Hill and the Bach Choir in the Royal Festival Hall, Britten War Requiem with Jan Latham-Koenig and Novaya Opera, Moscow and also with David Hill, Beethoven 9th Symphony and Brahms German Requiem with Stephen Cleobury, Fauré Requiem with Sir David Willcocks and Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs with John Rutter. He has given song recitals at Barbican Hall, the City of London Festival, Chelsea Schubert Festival and Ludlow Festival.
His operatic appearances include the title role in Don Giovanni, Marcello La Boheme, Sid Albert Herring, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Father Hansel and Gretel and King Mark Le Vin Herbé by Frank Martin.
Future plans include Haydn’s The Seasons in Winchester Cathedral, Brahms Requiem, Mozart Requiem and Elgar The Dream of Gerontius with David Temple in London’s Barbican Hall, Mozart Requiem with Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge at King’s Place, Faure Requiem King’s College Cambridge and Ibn-Hakia in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at the Guildhall School.
(Updated July 2011)
Dr Ahmad Sarmast: RPS Honorary Member and founder of Afghanistan’s first national music school in Kabul.
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Over 130 new works have been commissioned by or dedicated to the RPS since 1813. Nearly half of these were commissioned since 2000.