BBC Young Musician Finalist – Robert Burton – March 28th

We are excited to present BBC Young Musician Finalist – Robert Burton, who will be performing works by Marcello, Muczynski, and Debussy at The Assembly House in Norwich at 1:00 pm on March 28th. Robert will be accompanied by pianist Christine Zerafa, who is also a soloist in her own right.

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Rob Burton

Hailing from a farming family in Cambridgeshire, 19-year-old saxophonist Rob Burton won the Woodwind Category Final of BBC Young Musician 2018. He went on to secure a place in the Grand Final at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, where he performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth.

Rob is in his second year studying Classical Saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music under Simon Haram and Huw Wiggin. He was a pupil at Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon alongside studies with Paul Stevens (saxophone) and Derek Hannigan (clarinet) at Junior Guildhall, where he was a Scholarship holder. Rob has also achieved Grade 8 Distinction in Saxophone, Clarinet, Piano and Recorder.

Rob was a finalist in Junior Guildhall’s ‘Lutine Prize’ competition for three consecutive years. He has won titles of Wellingborough Young Musician of the Year and Oundle Young Musician of the Year. He was also a National Finalist in Rotary Young Musician of the Year 2016 and highly commended in the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain’s composition prize.

Highlights as concerto soloist include performances with the Huntingdon Philharmonic, Bromley Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and recently performing Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto with Silk Street Sinfonia as well as solo recitals at the Cheltenham Music Festival 2018 and Charles Wood Festival, Northern Ireland.

A keen chamber musician, Rob also enjoys playing with his saxophone quartet ‘Kumori Quartet’, his reed quintet and sax/violin/piano trio, ‘Kavinsky Trio’. He was Principal Saxophone with the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, and has played with the Junior Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra.

Christine Zerafa

London­based Maltese pianist Christine Zerafa has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in various concert series and festivals around the UK and overseas. Performances have taken her to venues in Italy, Malta, England, France, Poland, and the United States, including the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Albert Hall (Elgar Room), St John Smith Square, St Martin in the Fields, St James Piccadilly, the Malta Arts Festival and Victoria Arts Festival, amongst others. She has been described as “a natural musician” and “a musician with a warm and very communicative personality” (The Times of Malta, 2012), and has been recipient of various awards including first prize in the Malta National Bice Mizzi Competition, the RNCM Clifton Helliwell Memorial Prize, the RAM Scott Huxley prize and Eric Brough Memorial Prize. She has also been selected as a Park Lane Group Artist and a Tunnell Trust Artist for the 2016/17 season.

Christine has completed a Masters degree (MMus) in Solo Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester, under the tuition of Norma Fisher and Paul Janes, thanks to the support of the Janatha Stubbs Foundation and the Silverstone bursary. She also participated in important master class series, including the London Master Classes, the Lake District Summer Music Academy and the Tunnell Trust Coll Chamber Music week. She had the opportunity to participate in master classes with international pianists Klaus Hellwig, Leon McCawley, Barry Snyder, Nelson Goerner, Imogen Cooper, and Helmut Deutsch, amongst others. She also studied for two years with Andrea Lucchesini at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence as part of the corso di perfezionamento.

Christine is a highly sought­after chamber musician and piano accompanist. Having a strong passion for collaboration with singers and instrumentalists, she most recently graduated with a Master of Music in piano accompaniment (with distinction) at the Royal Academy of Music under the tuition of Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Ian Brown. Her studies were kindly supported by the Malta Arts Scholarship, the Gilling Family Scholarship and the Royal Academy of Music.

From September 2016 she will embark on a PhD project at the Royal Academy of Music where she will continue her work with singers and instrumentalists on the art of song and song transcription.

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