St John’s Smith Square announces its Young Artists for 2016/17

London venue looks forward to inventive programming by young musicians, including harpist Oliver Wass


The line-up of musicians for the St John’s Smith Square (SJSS) Young Artists’ Scheme has been finalised for the 2016/17 season. The scheme, set up in 2014 to nurture new talent, gives musicians the opportunity to programme three concerts at SJSS. The six new appointments are pianist Christina McMaster, Ensemble Mirage (strings, clarinet and piano), the Ferio Saxophone Quartet, the Minerva Piano Trio, the recorder quartet Palisander, and Oliver Wass (pictured), the scheme’s first harpist.


Pianist Christina McMaster is creating a ‘mini-festival’ atmosphere at SJSS (on 25 September) with a recital of works by Bartók, Scarlatti and Ligeti, alongside an ambitious percussion piece by Fred Harper – including 120 schoolchildren. In December, The Ferio Saxophone Quartet are thrilled to be able to ‘demonstrate the full capabilities of the saxophone quartet’ with a season that includes transcribed repertoire by JS Bach, Grieg and Pergolesi.

Harpist Oliver Wass begins 2017 with a performance of Hindemith’s masterful Sonata for Harp (1939). Wass performed at SJSS, aged 11, and is delighted to return.

Next summer, Palisander takes a 500-year survey of recorder repertoire, from Tallis to Vaughan Williams, before organising a Recorder Revolution! This will show off a wide variety of instruments, ranging in size from six inches to six feet. Also in June, Ensemble Mirage tackle a challenging selection of chamber music for clarinet, strings and piano, with repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Penderecki.

‘The Young Artists’ Scheme, at SJSS, is a vital part of our mission as one of the UK’s leading concert halls,’ says SJSS director Richard Heason. ‘It is incredibly exciting to observe the young performers as they develop across the course of their involvement with the scheme and a real reward for our audiences to be able to share this process of development.’


For more information on the Young Artists’ Scheme at St John’s Smith Square, click here.