Teachers at Active in Music School based in Middlesex, London, Harrow, Hillingdon. Providing Guitar, Violin and Piano lessons.
Christopher Giles (Joint Principal) completed his Masters degree in performance studies in London, having worked under the guidance of prominent performers such as Alexander Ivashkin and John Tilbury. He has given many recitals at various venues across the capital and, more recently, the West Midlands. He enjoys performing contemporary music in particular and past performances have included works by Henry Cowell, Toru Takemitsu and Arvo Part. He took first prize at the Blackheath Music Festival, London for his interpretation and performance of 'For Away', by Toru Takemitsu.
Christopher moved to Shrewsbury in 2003 to take up a position as Director of Music at a local school. During his five year tenure he oversaw countless musical projects including collaborations with the Drama department to stage musical productions such as ‘Oliver’ and ‘Oklahoma’ which typically ran for three consecutive evenings.
In 2005, together with his wife Maria Giles, Christopher founded ‘The Shropshire School of Classical Music’, which in due course was to become ‘Active in Music’. The music school has grown steadily over the years, the venue now being in London.
Maria Giles (Joint Principal) studied piano from the age of five and later trained as a pianist and musicologist at the Special Music School for gifted students (Kazan, Russia). In the following years she attended the Moscow State Conservatoire ‘P.I. Tchaikovsky’ where, after obtaining her Masters degree in History and Theory of Music, she took a three-year Postgraduate course in Musicology. She has taught solfeggio, theory and harmony in various music schools, accompanied at various ballet establishments and worked as a correspondent and editor at the Moscow classical music radio station ‘Orpheus’. She later received an offer to teach at the Central Special Music School, Moscow, where she successfully worked with many talented pupils from all over the world.
Hannah Brain (Violin lessons)
Hannah Brain was born in the Ukraine and started learning violin and piano at the age of 6. She moved to England in 2002 after completing her Diploma at the Tchaikovsky National Academy in Kiev.
Since a young age, Hannah has had a great interest in the Romantic period of music. Since coming to England she has played in masterclasses with some of the world's greatest musicians. She is a well-established chamber musician and performs regularly around London.
When she is not busy with music, Hannah enjoys travelling, socialising and the theatre. She is currently working towards her goal of making her professional solo debut in a major London concert venue.
Hannah is an experienced teacher and has a fun approach to teaching, ensuring her pupils have plenty of exciting tunes and duets to keep them motivated and enjoy learning.
Irena Radic (Piano lessons)
Presently studying at the Royal College of Music with Niel Immelman, Irena regularly performs and competes in the UK and abroad.
Both an active soloist and chamber musician, she began learning piano with Jenny Macmillan at age 3 with the Suzuki method. She later continued her studies with Lynette Stulting at the RCM Junior Department as a Tsukanov scholar and a recipient of the Wolfson Music Award. Having started her career as a Suzuki student, her teaching is very much inspired by the Suzuki method.
Irena has won awards including the Teresa Carreño Piano Prize 2014, Young Musician of the Year 2013 at both Peterborough and Oundle Music Festivals, and has twice been selected to perform at Wigmore Hall as a prizewinner in the annual Jaques Samuel Junior Department Piano Festival. She has recently travelled to Budapest, Croatia, Greece and Jersey for public performances, competitions and masterclasses with pianists including Ben Schoeman, Charles Owen, Cristina Ortiz, Gyorgy Nador, Murray McLachlan, Norma Fisher and Vanessa Latarche.
Kate Suchocka (Piano lessons)
Kate, born in Poland, has been playing the piano for twenty years, with many years teaching experience. In 2009 she qualified with a Master’s Degree with distinction in Piano Teaching and Performance from the ChopinMusicUniversity in Warsaw. In the following year she studied towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Piano Performance at the same academic institution. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in English.
Kate was employed in two specialist music schools in her home country where she taught a large number of students of different ages and abilities. Her strong interest in the United Kingdom and its culture influenced her decision in moving to London and to start her teaching career there.
Kate is a passionate tutor whose lessons focus on bringing out the students’ inner musician and her relaxed, friendly manner allows every child to realise their musical potential.
Jonatan Bougt (Guitar lessons)
Jonatan Bougt was born in Stockholm, Sweden, where he started playing the guitar at the age of 9. He studied with Margareta Frisk and Arne Lindberg in Högdalen before he began his studies for Bo Hansson at Södra Latin's Professional Musician Profile in Stockholm. After his graduation at Södra Latin in 2013 he moved to London, UK, were he now studies with Gary Ryan, Carlos Bonell and Chris Stell at the Royal College of Music.
In 2011 Jonatan won the Small Jörgen Rörby Prize from the Swedish Guitar & Lute Society (SGLS) and was awarded a scholarship and a recital at Ingesund College of Music's Recital Hall in Sweden. Since then he has gained numerous prizes such as Grisslehamn's Guitar Prize (2012), Royal Musical Academy Youth Scholarship (2012) and in 2013 he won the First Price in Young Talents Competition at Uppsala International Guitar Festival with the international jury's motivation: "For his natural musicality, professionalism, focused stage presence and technical brilliance." In 2014 Jonatan returned to the Ingesund College of Music, gaining first place for the Jörgen Rörby Prize.
Jonatan has performed in venues such as the Uppsala Konser & Kongress Concert Hall, Centro Cultural Justiçia Federal, Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm Concert Hall. His latest appearance with an orchestra was together with Södra Latins Orchestra conducted by Jan Risberg where he performed Ulrik Neumann's "Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra" and the world premiere of Gustav Alexandrie's work "Eyjafjallajökull.
Jonatan is an active chamber musician and works regularly in various projects.
Ilya Chetverikov (Piano lessons)
Ilya studied at the Gnessins Music Academy in Moscow with the well known professor of Moscow conservatoire, Prof. M.Olenev. During his studies, he has successfully taken part in several international competitions and master classes in Russia and abroad, and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras performing concertos. He also had taught children in music schools and worked as an accompanist. After completing his post-graduate course as a pianist, he went on to gain another qualification as choirmaster of Orthodox church services, and has embarked on choir conducting in many churches within Moscow.
Ilya is a dedicated musician, and enjoys working with people of all ages.
Margherita Torretta (Piano)
Margherita Torretta attended the G.Nicolini Conservatory in Piacenza, the G.Verdi Conservatory of Milan and was awarded a scholarship to attend a Master of Advanced Studies in music performance and interpretation in Lugano (Switzerland). She has also studied at the International Academy Lake Como (an institution directed and founded by the legendary pianist Martha Argerich).
Margherita has a busy concert diary, her performances gaining much critical approval. She has given recitals in many countries, including Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, France, England, Unites States, and Japan. Margherita has won first prize in more than ten national and international competitions. In addition to her concert activities, she co-operates with musical academies, including those in Rome, Milano and Munich) organising improvement courses and masterclasses.
Margherita’s other talents include psychology studies, painting, fashion design, classical dancing and travelling. Margherita now lives in London.
Rita Macanovska (Piano lessons)
Rita Macanovska started her piano studies in Daugavpils (Latvia) when she was 6. In 2001 she moved to Riga, studying at the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy. Rita was guided by professor Valdis Jancis (Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music) and took part in workshops and masterclasses (including Herzen state Pedagogical University´s prof. N. Terentyeva (St. Petersburg) and Zurich Music Academy´s prof. Hans Sikers)). Rita graduated from the Academy in 2005, acquiring a Professional Piano Teacher qualification and Bachelors degree in education. From 2005 she began work in various Music Schools within Latvia (teaching piano and working as accompanist). Rita has continued to take part in workshops and masterclasses lead by V. Jancis, A. Zandmanis, S.Osokins and others. Since 2009 she has lived and worked in London.
Johan Lofving (Guitar lessons)
Johan Löfving was born in Sweden in 1989. He graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music in London where he studied guitar with Gary Ryan and theorbo with Jakob Lindberg. At the RCM he has been awarded both the Guitar Prize and the Hilda Anderson Dean Prize.
Johan started playing the guitar at the age of nine at a local MusicSchool with Lars Eriksson. Three years later he started to study privately with the distinguished Norwegian Guitar Professor Sven Lundestad and later with Bo Hansson in Stockholm He has also participated in numerous masterclasses with guitarists such as David Russell, Eduardo Fernandez, Zoran Dukic and Paul Galbraith. In the autumn of 2010 he studied with Eliot Fisk at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as a part of the Erasmus Exchange Programme.
In October 2011 Johan was awarded the First Prize in the Young Talent Concert at the Uppsala Guitar Festival in Sweden with the following motivation: "Despite the demanding programme he did the best performance. Good control and tone. Mature playing with great expression." The performance was recorded and broadcast later by the Swedish Radio P2.
In 2012 he was awarded the Jörgen Rörby Prize from the Swedish Guitar and Lute Society as well as Second Prize in the London International Guitar Competition.
Since 2009, Johan has been performing regularly with the flautist Yu-Wei Hu as Flauguissimo Duo. They have performed in venues such as King's Place and The V&A Museum as well as in the Cadogan Hall Lunchtime Concert Series in London. They have been selected to be part of the Brighton Early Music Live! Scheme where they will be performing early 19th century music on period instruments. Johan is also playing theorbo with the Baroque Ensemble Les Nations Reunies and together they have performed many concerts across Europe.
In the UK, Johan has additionally performed in King's Place, The Sage Gateshead, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, The Forges and the Pump Rooms and Assembly Rooms in Bath. He has recently been part of baritone Thomas Guthries' production of the Schubert Winterreise as well as in the 'Playlist Series' on BBC Radio 4, hosted by pianist David Owen Norris.
His passion for new music has resulted in several world premieres of both solo and chamber works, notably by the highly acclaimed British composer and guitarist SamCave.
Johan plays a guitar made by the Norwegian Luthier Yngvar Thomassen.
Adina Ionita (Piano lessons, Groups)
Adina Ionita, born in Bucharest, studied piano from the age of six. She attended the MusicCollege "George Enescu" for 12 years as a pianist and chorister and the National Music University of Bucharest for 6 years, where, after obtaining her University Degree in Contemporary Music Composition, she achieved a Master's Degree in “Style and Contemporary Compositional Language in the XX Century”. She also worked as a correspondent and editor at the Bucharest classical music radio station ‘Romanian Radio Society of Bucharest’. After moving to Italy, Adina performed in concerts all over Europe as a pianist and singer, accompanied in various groups such as “Edipo” Operetta Company, Dinamic IV and taught at the “Euromusicvip” music school in Milan, Italy, where she worked with many talented pupils. Adina now lives and works in London.
Miguel Clavijo (Guitar lessons)
Miguel Clavijo is a young classical guitar virtuoso and recording artist who possesses a unique sound developing a reputation across Europe as a truly exciting guitar player.
Miguel has been invited to give Masterclasses at the Royal College Of Music in London and his music has been featured on BBC Radio 3 alongside with legend Path Metheny and the Kronos Quartet. His debut CD Guitar Guitar has been critically acclaimed and competed on the Grammy Awards as Best Soloist and Best New Artist and on the digital charts was the iTunes Top Album #2 and the Spotify #1 Most Popular Album and also has been filmed by the Spanish TV.
Deeply inspired by Maestro Sergiu Celibidache, Miguel started conducting sacred music before taking up the classical guitar. He started in music at an early age and began studying in Caracas with José G. Guanchez - Antonio Lauro's student - and then in Washington D.C. with Franco Platino - Manuel Barrueco's assistant - Later on, Miguel travelled to Baltimore to enrol on a GPD program at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of the John Hopkins University, made possible by a full scholarship from the institute.
By personal invitation of the artistic director, Miguel Clavijo became laureate of the "Fete de la Musique" International Music Festival, since then, he has been invited to play in New York, Paris and London; including concerts at The London National Gallery, Royal College of Music, St James's Picadilly, Victoria & Albert Museum, O2 Arena and other venues across France and Spain.
A musician of wide ranging interest and abilities, Miguel has conducted choirs and lead workshops, particularly in New York. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and has taught over a thousand students. He is very fortunate to play a Boguslaw Teryks 2004.
Minako Oka (Piano lessons)
Minako Oka was born in Japan, where she graduated from the Toho Gakuen College, Tokyo, with first class honours and has given solo recitals in her home country.
She came to London to continue her Postgraduate studies with Nina Sereda at Trinity College of Music where she was awarded a scholarship and won first prize in the Leonard Smith Duo Competition. She has since pursued her studies on chamber music and piano accompaniment as well as piano solo and has completed her Master’s degree at Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Eugene Asti.
Minako has participated in numerous projects and masterclasses by internationally acclaimed musicians. She has appeared in the Russian Music International Series at Goldsmiths University, at St Martin in the Fields, at Kings Place, at the National Portrait Gallery and in lunchtime recitals at Royal Opera House, among others.
Minako is a dedicated tutor and enjoys sharing musical ideas and imagination with her pupils. Her instruction helps pupils acquire a tension-free piano playing which allows them to develop their hearing, technique and expressiveness harmoniously and efficiently.
Francisco Vilar (Piano lessons)
Born in Porto (Portugal) in 1996, Francisco is a young pianist already acclaimed by many artists, counting many international and national prizes.
Francisco started his musical education at the age of six, continuing his studies at the Conservatorio de Musica do Porto, until graduating with the highest marks, at the age of seventeen. During this period, he was awarded at many international piano competitions, including: Alexander Scriabin Competition, Paris (2nd Prize); Fundao International Piano Competition, Portugal (1st Prize); Pacos Premium Piano Competition (1st Prize).
He began studying at the Royal College of Music at the age of eighteen, with Professor Ian Jones, (deputy head of keyboard) having, since then, always achieved amongst the top marks of his year. He has worked with many world-acclaimed pianists, including Elena Filonova, Dmitri Alexeev and Gordon Fergus-Thompson, being also hand-picked by Angela Hewitt for her summer course in 2016.
Francisco has performed in many countries across Europe, and has a significant repertoire. Chamber music forms a large part of his work, collaborating with musicians such as Robert Max, Catherine Manson and James Boyd. Francisco has also performed for many years with the Oporto Chamber Ensemble, with regular performances around his home country.
Having, in recent years, mostly worked on French and 20th century music, Francisco has been acclaimed on his very fluid technique, refined musicianship and natural sense of projection - qualities which combine to produce both compelling and highly expressive performances.
Mirela Radu (Piano lessons)
Mirela Radu, born in Romania, started learning piano at the age of seven. She graduated from the National Music University of Bucharest, where she studied Musicology and Musical Pedagogy. In the following years she continued her studies in the Early Music field and in 2009 she achieved a Ph.D. degree in Music.
Her pedagogical experience started as a piano teacher in a music school and as teaching assistant for Musicology, Music Aesthetics and Music Theory at the National Music University of Bucharest. In the same time she worked as Head of Events Department in the same university, coordinating a logistic team in the organisation of the university concerts and festivals.
In 2011 she moved to Milan, Italy, where she continued teaching piano privately to students of different ages and abilities. In the following years she taught piano to a wide range of students in London and Mumbai.
In recent years, Mirela has broadened her teaching style by obtaining Level 1 and Level 2 Suzuki certificates for piano teaching in London.
In parallel with teaching, Mirela is passionate about traditional music and participated in field research in Romania, as a part of an international ethnomusicological team. She enriched her experiences in Mumbai, India, where she took lessons in vichitra veena in 2015.
Kausikan Rajeshkumar has performed extensively across the UK and abroad, including at the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and has been broadcast on BBC television and radio. In 2009, he won the Weimar International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists, and went on to enjoy success in many other competitions, including the Parnassos International Piano Competition, the Maria Herrero International Piano Competition, the Darmstadt International Chopin Piano Competition and the Royal Overseas League Music Competition.
Kausikan was educated at the Purcell School, Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music, the Accademia Pianistica di Imola, and the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, studying with Tessa Nicholson, Ian Jones, Leonid Margarius and Eliso Virsaladze. Recent engagements include recitals in Spain, France, Norway and Germany, the Leeds International Concert Series, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Royal Festival Hall, and concerto appearances in Hanover, Germany and at St. John’s, Smith Square, London.
Louise Cournarie began the piano at the age of 3 and started her musical studies at the Toulouse conservatoire in France where she was the pupil of Francis Arrouy in piano. From an early age she developed a deep interest in baroque music and discovered the harpsichord with Yasuko Bouvard. Her first experience on stage was as a soloist in children’s operas with the Orchestre National du Capitole of Toulouse, playing the role of the cat in Brundibar by Hans Kraza, along with many others. A few years later her meeting with the French pianist Racha Arodaky, a former student of Dominique Merlet and Murray Perahia, changed her life and her approach of the music. Following her recommendation, she decided to go to Paris to study with her, supplemented by harmony classes with Isabelle Duha.
After completing her baccalaureate at 17, she obtained a piano prize with honors from the conservatoire. She was accepted into the Guildhall School of Music and Drama of London, in the class of the professor and renowned pianist Charles Owen. With his guidance she succeeded at The International Competition of Ile de France in 2012 with a 2nd prize. She studied the fortepiano with Maggie Cole as well as the continuo and conducting. At the same time, she also became a pupil of Katya Apekisheva. In 2011 she worked as the assistant director for Racha Arodaky’s recording of Bach’s Partitas. Louise graduated with honors from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and was awarded the Kathleen Bayfield Award to study at The Royal Academy of Music for a Master of Arts. She is currently the student of Ian Fountain and Carole Cerasi (harpsichord, fortepiano). Her project to focus her profile around the baroque music and classical style from Purcell, Handel, Rameau and Bach to Mozart received endorsement and support from Fondation d’entreprise SAFRAN pour la musique (France). Her interpretation of Bach’s 6th partita allowed her to win the Harold Samuel Bach Prize (2015) and to be selected to perform a solo recital at the Wigmore hall in London. In 2015, she was also supported by the swiss Fondation Clavarte.
Louise is regularly performing throughout the UK and in France, appearing in numerous festivals (Edinburgh, North London Festival, Château de Pionsat, Lagrasse, Solliès-Pont). She has had the privilege of working with many performers of international standing, such as Pascal Devoyon, Emile Naoumoff, Peter Donohoe, Paul Roberts, Emanuel Krasowsky, Joanna MacGregor, Yevgeni Subdin, Christopher Elton and Imogen Cooper.
In 2016 she was offered a place in a PhD program at the Royal Academy of Music, where she will complete a project on the interpretation of British and French baroque keyboard music on modern piano.