Nicola Summerscales and Havilland Willshire

Saturday 1st June 2024 1:45pm – 2:30pm

Nicola Summerscales – Flute and Havilland Willshire – Piano


Ralph Vaughan Williams Suite de Ballet
I. Improvisation II. Humoresque III. Gavotte IV. Passepied

Olivier Messiaen Le Merle Noir

Enqrique Granados The Maiden and the Nightingale for solo piano

Charles Marie Widor Suite for Flute and Piano Op. 34 No 1
I. Moderato II. Scherzo III. Romance IV. Final


Nicola Summerscales is a prominent freelance flautist featuring as a chamber and orchestral musician throughout the UK. Alumni of Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, Nicola graduated with a BMus Hons and a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction studying with Michael Cox, Kate Hill, Patricia Morris and Karen Jones.

Nicola performs regularly in live, televised and broadcasted performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera, Scottish Opera and English Chamber Orchestra. Highlights include performances at the BBC Proms, Britten Pears Festival, orchestrations of film scores such as Jaws and The Nightmare before Christmas.

A prize-winning chamber musician, Nicola founded the Nephele Ensemble and they were a featured Park Lane Young Artist and winner of the Tunnell Trust. A firm supporter of Contemporary music, they commissioned works from Timothy Salter, Stuart MacRae and Colin Riley which were premiered to critical acclaim in the Purcell Room. Nicola frequently performs with the chamber ensemble Symphonia Academica and is also an ABRSM Examiner and visiting flute teacher at Beaconsfield High School.

Havilland Willshire studied piano with Rsyzard Bakst and accompaniment with Clifton Helliwell at the Royal Northern College of Music and Music Education at the University of Manchester. He held the post of Coordinator of Metropolitan Wigan Instrumental Music Service for nine years before accepting the position of Head of Junior Conservatoire of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2000. Following a year as Head of Music Education in 2008 he became Dean of the School of Music in 2009. In 2014 he was appointed Assistant Director and Head of Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and more recently, Director of the Faculty of Music in November 2018, a post he held until early 2023.

A dedicated teacher, he taught for a number of years at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music Junior School and continued to teach at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Trinity Laban. Currently he teaches at Cheltenham College. He also enjoyed an active concert career as soloist and chamber musician including live broadcasts and recordings for BBC Radio and is the duo partner for the violinist Pip Clarke.

Next week’s concert our last in the current series is Luna Duo – Amy Butler and Graziana Presicce, piano four hands

Apple Sellers Duo

Saturday 25th May 2024 – 1:45 – 2:30

Martin Purdy- Piano, Ian Mayer – Double Bass


“To The Beggin’ I will go”
“The Cockerham Devil”
“Mother in the Graveyard”
“Bold Riley”
“Richard of Alderley”

and much more …..

The Apple Sellers Duo will be performing a mixture of narrative songs, some traditional and some more modern, including re-workings of old northern folk songs such as ‘To The Beggin’ I Will Go’ and ‘The Cockerham Devil’. Along the way we will encounter an American spiritual ‘Mother In The Graveyard’, Merseyside shanty ‘Bold Riley’, a song about the true story of a travelling Cheshire troubadour whose harp ended up in a museum until the woodworm ate it away, ‘Richard of Alderley’, and far more besides.


The Apple Sellers are a contemporary folk duo that incorporates elements of modern classical and traditional spiritual music to create immersive musical performances. It is a unique approach that has seen them gain standing ovations at both folk festivals and classical music events. Indeed, their reputation has grown purely off the quality of their live performances.

The duo consists of the popular musician and storyteller Martin Purdy, frontman of the award-winning Greater Manchester folk outfit Harp & a Monkey, and gifted multi-instrumentalist Ian Mayer from Chetham’s School of Music.

The pair, who bonded over a shared passion for the power of great musical storytelling, have created an evocative aesthetic underpinned by piano, double bass and strong harmony vocals. They are as drawn to the darker narrative tones of Johnny Cash as the instrumental meditations of Philip Glass.

As for the name? Well, as the pair first met as volunteers at a community orchard and usually rehearse in a cider press, there could only really be one title for their creative partnership!

Andy Green from Radio Warrington will be interviewing Martin Purdy, pianist, from the Apple Sellers Duo and it will be aired on the radio this week. Full details will be on Facebook once they are known.

Next week’s concert – Nicola Summerscales (flute) and Havilland Willshire (piano)

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