Olwen was born in Palermo, Italy in 2002 and began playing the violin when she was seven. She studied with the Romanian concertmaster Iuliu Hamza until she was 15 before going to London to study with the renowned concert violinist Remus Azoitei. In 2017 she won a scholarship to study at the Purcell School with the Government’s Music and Dance Scheme. At the age of 14, Olwen had her first recital as overall and youngest ever winner at the XIV International Competition Città di Paola. She has performed in many concert venues around Europe: the Teatro Politeama in Palermo, Teatro Bellini in Catania, Wigmore Hall in London, Palazzo Stillo Ferrara, Peleș Castle(Romania) to name but a few. She has won numerous first prizes in national and international competitions. Her performance of the Bach Chaconne has been described as “very thoughtful, colourful, shapely and mature.” She has also been described as a “really compelling musical storyteller”, “virtuosic” and “bewitching”. In 2020, she was awarded a major scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
To be updated shortly
To be updated shortly
Florian Mitrea, Piano
Described by Martha Argerich as ‘an outstanding young pianist’, British-Romanian pianist Florian Mitrea was a double-laureate at the 2017 Scottish, 2015 Hamamatsu, and 2014 ARD Munich International Piano Competitions. He won the 2018 Royal Overseas League Piano Competition, and was a major prize winner at the 2018 Harbin – China, 2017 St Priest, and 2016 James Mottram-Manchester International Piano Competitions. He was the top prize winner at the 2018 New York International Piano Festival, and consequently gave his debut performance at Carnegie Hall. He was a Making Music 2017-19 Young Artist, a Kirckman Concert Society artist, and was selected to perform in the historic Manchester Mid-Day Concerts series.
2020 saw Florian give his debut solo recital at the Bozar Centre in Brussels, and his first tour as soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Previously, Florian performed as a soloist with the Philharmonia in London, Elbland Philharmonie in Dresden, Collegium Musicum in Basel, the Romanian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the George Enescu Philharmonic. In 2018 he debuted at the Lucerne, Edinburgh Fringe and Petworth Festivals. He has performed at venues including King’s Place, QE Hall at the Southbank Centre, St John Smith Square and St Martin in the Fields in London, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, and at the Dartington International Summer Music Festival and School, where he has also been the piano tutor for the last five years. Abroad he has performed in Germany at the Bavarian Radio Studios and Schwetzingen Festspiele, in Japan at the Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo and the Sonic Concert Hall in Oomiya City, in South Korea at the Seoul Arts Centre, and across his native Romania. He has performed and recorded for numerous radio broadcasters, including BBC Radio 3, BBC Scotland, SWR, BR, Radio France Musique, Radio Télévision Suisse and Radio Romania Muzical.
Florian’s debut performance with the RSNO was awarded a 4-star review by the Edinburgh Guide and the Edinburgh Music Review, and was described as ‘absorbing and masterly’. Previously, reviewers have praised Florian’s playing as having ‘stupendous virtuosity’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2017), ‘phenomenal precision throughout’ (The Herald, 2017), and presenting ‘a mixture of phenomenal technique and ravishing musical intelligence’ (The Cambridge Independent, 2018). His solo debut CD has received a 5-star review by the Piano News Magazine in Düsseldorf, was highly recommended by the Cross-Eyed Pianist blogger, was featured on BBC Radio 3 multiple times, and won the Most Popular CD of 2018 prize, awarded by the national classical music radio station in Romania. His second solo recording project, a CD of music by Beethoven and his contemporaries, is due to be recorded in 2021.
Florian trained with Flavia Moldovan and Gabriela Enasescu at the George Enescu National Music College in Bucharest, before winning a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Diana Ketler. He graduated with First Class Honours and the DipRAM Distinction, and he is now a teacher within the Piano Department. He gives regular masterclasses in Tokyo and Bucharest, where he runs his own start-up music festival. He continues his studies at the Imola Piano Academy under Boris Petrushansky.
In 2016 Florian was appointed a Kawai Global Artist, and in 2018 an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. He was also appointed a specialist piano teacher at the Purcell School for Young Musicians in 2020.