James Henshaw – Conductor
James is a promising young freelance conductor. In August 2015 he started as Assistant Chorus Master at English National Opera working with the world-class chorus, orchestra and new Music Director Mark Wigglesworth. In the summer of 2015 he worked as Staff Conductor for English Touring Opera where he assisted on Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais and Il furioso as well as La Boheme which he was lucky enough to conduct four times.
James studied Music at Clare College, Cambridge where he was a choral scholar and award winner as both conductor and pianist. Having graduated with a Distinction in Repetiteuring from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he assisted Mark Wigglesworth at the Aldeburgh Music Festival on Owen Wingrave whose cast included Susan Bullock, Janis Kelly, Jonathan Summers and Richard Berkeley-Steele. He also assisted Mark Wigglesworth at the Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Last summer he worked with Ivor Bolton on Monteverdi’s Orfeo as Chorus Master at the Bayerischer Staatsoper.
James founded and runs his own orchestra in Notting Hill called The Outcry Ensemble devoted to giving a world premiere at every concert with recent performances ranging from John Adams’ Chamber Symphony to Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 – Jupiter.
He has been Music Director of Ashtead Choral Society since September 2013. Recent concerts have included Brahms’ Requiem with soloists Stephen Gadd and Sally Harrison, and Mozart’s Requiem with the London Gala Orchestra.
Stephen Ridge MA (Cantab) LTCL – Rehearsal accompanist
Stephen is originally from Wigan, and began to play the piano at the age of seven. After winning two national awards whilst still at school, Stephen obtained his performer’s diploma shortly before going to Queens’ College Cambridge to read modern and medieval languages. Whilst at university, Stephen also developed his singing, and appeared as a choral and orchestral conductor. After university, Stephen also spent 12 years in the London Symphony Chorus, working, in London and abroad, with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Sir Colin Davis.
Stephen’s wide-ranging solo repertoire ranges from Bach to the present day. As accompanist, he has worked with many singers and instrumentalists, including works such as Rachmaninov’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, and the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss.
Stephen has also given a number of recitals of piano duet and two-piano music with his duo partner Simon Phillips, particularly featuring works by Rachmaninov, Ravel and Brahms.