Recent Adjudicators

We have a fantastic team of professional adjudicators lined up. We thank them for continuingto be at the heart of our Festival, offering advice and encouragement so enthusiastically.

Mark Ashford

Mark is a world-renowned performer and teacher, beginning his formal musical training at Chetham's School of Music. He studied with Michael Lewin as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), graduating in 1993 with first class honours. Some years followed in… Read More >

Mark Ashford

Mark Ashford

Mark is a world-renowned performer and teacher, beginning his formal musical training at Chetham's School of Music. He studied with Michael Lewin as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), graduating in 1993 with first class honours. Some years followed in Spain with guitarist David Russell, supported by various bursaries including one from the RAM. Early in his performing career he became a laureate of several major national and international competitions including Radio 2’s Young Musician and the Julian Bream Prize. He has performed at many of the UK's most prestigious music venues, and international performances have also taken him to Europe, the Americas and the Far East. He has performed concertos with leading orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra. Mark has ten CDs to his name including the Rodrigo Concerto. His latest CD is ‘Bachianas’ with the Vida Guitar Quartet and features saxophonist Amy Green. He is currently Head of Guitar at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.

Nadia Hinson

Nadia Hinson

(Strings, Orchestras & Mixed Ensembles)
BIFF

Nadia Hinson graduated from the Royal Academy of Music afterhaving studied the violin with Manoug Parikian and the pianowith Jean Harvey. She began a career as a freelance violinist andaccompanist and co-founded the Veloce ensemble (clarinetquintet) touring Britain performing… Read More >

Nadia Hinson

Nadia Hinson

Nadia Hinson graduated from the Royal Academy of Music afterhaving studied the violin with Manoug Parikian and the pianowith Jean Harvey. She began a career as a freelance violinist andaccompanist and co-founded the Veloce ensemble (clarinetquintet) touring Britain performing specially commissioned worksand her own arrangements and compositions for that genre. Aregular recitalist for music clubs, she also performs with herfamily of musicians in the UK and in Europe. She is currently the owner and Directorof Hinson School of Music in Nottingham, and as well as being a festival adjudicatoris an international examiner for the ABRSM and a member of The Royal Society ofMusicians. Nadia is a Senior Consultant for the Performing Arts to the LEADAcademy Trust in Nottingham. She has set up composition workshops inspiringchildren to explore feelings and ideas through music and is a mentor for the Trust todevelop self-confidence and communication through learning and performance.

Peter Hunt

Peter Hunt

(Children’s Workshop)

Peter is an experienced choral trainer and conductor having worked with a wide variety of singers and choral groups for over 40 years. He studied at Dartington and London before a long career in secondary music education, later focusing more broadly on choral education. He was… Read More >

Peter Hunt

Peter Hunt

Peter is an experienced choral trainer and conductor having worked with a wide variety of singers and choral groups for over 40 years. He studied at Dartington and London before a long career in secondary music education, later focusing more broadly on choral education. He was Head of Creative Arts at Chipping Norton School for 10 years and still conducts the local Choral Society after 19 years. Until 2015 he was Head of Voice and Deputy Head of the independent music service Berkshire Maestros. Peter is the inspiration behind the VOICEWORKS publications with Oxford University Press that have transformed singing activities for many people. He has a national reputation as a workshop leader, trainer and adjudicator.

Alan MacLean

Alan MacLean

(Piano)
BIFF

After graduating with distinction from the Royal ScottishAcademy of Music and Drama, Alan continued his studies withinternationally-renowned pianists including Karl Schnabel.Although principally a pianist, he also studied 'cello and singing,and trained as a conductor. Alan is… Read More >

Alan MacLean

Alan MacLean

After graduating with distinction from the Royal ScottishAcademy of Music and Drama, Alan continued his studies withinternationally-renowned pianists including Karl Schnabel.Although principally a pianist, he also studied 'cello and singing,and trained as a conductor. Alan is much in demand as achamber musician, having played with many of the UK's leadinginstrumentalists. In 2010 he and the violist Carol Hubel-Allen formed the DuoKaradys, the pair enjoying a busy concert schedule. His recordings include EnglishMusic for Piano Duet, which received critical acclaim, followed by British Music forPiano Duet. After 20 years as Head of Keyboard Studies at The Cheltenham Ladies’College Alan left to explore a number of musical projects. Alan travels extensively,speaking and adjudicating regularly at a wide range of music events in the UK andoverseas. Alan has a busy schedule including visits to festivals and masterclasses forpianists and chamber musicians in major cities in the UK.

David Oliver

David, a former High School head teacher, was Folkworks Education Director (1993-2009) and has wide experience of delivering courses, workshops and training in folk music, song and dance. A leading Northumbrian dance band accordionist and caller, he leads The Hedgehog's Skin… Read More >

David Oliver

David Oliver

David, a former High School head teacher, was Folkworks Education Director (1993-2009) and has wide experience of delivering courses, workshops and training in folk music, song and dance. A leading Northumbrian dance band accordionist and caller, he leads The Hedgehog's Skin ceilidh band. and is creator of The Hexham Village Band. In recent years he has led community music projects across the world and in the UK. He is co-author of Folk Voiceworks (2007), author of English Accordion Music (2008), and creator of the best-selling Folkworks Session Collection. A passionate, cheerful, and engaging advocate of traditional music and dance of these islands, he loves to encourage everyone to be happy, confident and enthusiastic about participating in our great musical traditions.

Angela Rowley

Angela Rowley

(Junior and Senior Vocal)
BIFF

Angela is a graduate in German from University College, London and followed a career in teaching before embarking on voice training, working with many eminent teachers including the late Paul Hamburger. Her first experiences of public performance were at school, in choral… Read More >

Angela Rowley

Angela Rowley

Angela is a graduate in German from University College, London and followed a career in teaching before embarking on voice training, working with many eminent teachers including the late Paul Hamburger. Her first experiences of public performance were at school, in choral societies and at Music Festivals. She encourages her pupils to enter festivals for the opportunity to perform, hear peers and receive professional critique. Her hopes are that the experience will be challenging, educational and fun! For several years Angela taught singing in a large comprehensive school and later in a Sixth Form College where she formed a choir, assisted in the production of musicals and initiated the development of music in the curriculum for students with both mild and severe learning difficulties. She is a firm believer that music is an essential life skill from which no one should be excluded on grounds of ability. She has performed widely in the UK and in Germany, France and Romania and performs regularly in recital, concert and oratorio. She especially loves to sing Lieder and 20th century English song and also directs Harmony '96, a large ad hoc choir which performs major oratorios twice a year. Angela teaches privately and regularly runs performance workshops and masterclasses.

Rebecca Thomson

Rebecca Thomson

(Speech and Drama)
BIFF

Rebecca read Drama and English at Bristol University followed by a career in radio journalism, working in both drama and documentaries. After which Rebecca moved into teaching where she developed her speech and drama skills, working at schools and colleges in the South West of… Read More >

Rebecca Thomson

Rebecca Thomson

Rebecca read Drama and English at Bristol University followed by a career in radio journalism, working in both drama and documentaries. After which Rebecca moved into teaching where she developed her speech and drama skills, working at schools and colleges in the South West of England. Rebecca continues to work in a variety of educational establishments, running weekly classes, workshops and facilitating training to assist schools implement the constructive Speaking and Listening Criteria. Rebecca is also an adjudicator for The Rose Bowl Amateur Awards, reading and reviewing plays and musicals in seven counties throughout the south west.

Colin Touchin

Colin Touchin

(Youth Jazz Band Challenge and Choirs)
BIFF

Colin studied clarinet and recorder (Performer’s Diploma at age16) and earned an Oxford University music degree. Later hisinterests developed into conducting and composition. Heconducts and composes for orchestras, bands, choirs and alllevels of ensembles and has founded a… Read More >

Colin Touchin

Colin Touchin

Colin studied clarinet and recorder (Performer’s Diploma at age16) and earned an Oxford University music degree. Later hisinterests developed into conducting and composition. Heconducts and composes for orchestras, bands, choirs and alllevels of ensembles and has founded a number of groupsincluding Warwick Orchestral Winds and Spires PhilharmonicChorus, Orchestra and Youth Orchestra in Coventry. Composer-in-Residence and Conductor with various UK schools and youthensembles. He has inspired and conducted orchestras, bands andchoirs internationally, leads workshops in performance, conducting andcomposition, and is a festival adjudicator in the UK, Europe and Asia. Colin has woninternational awards with his instrumental and choral ensembles from theUniversity of Warwick.

Keith Allen

Keith Allen

(Youth Jazz Band Challenge)
BIFF

Keith was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London, then undertook post-graduate studies at Birmingham University, Kingston University, with a Master's Degree from the University of West London. He played clarinet and saxophone in numerous orchestras,… Read More >

Keith Allen

Keith Allen

Keith was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London, then undertook post-graduate studies at Birmingham University, Kingston University, with a Master's Degree from the University of West London. He played clarinet and saxophone in numerous orchestras, including working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has been Saxophone Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire; Head of Birmingham Music Service; and Consultant Editor for Faber Music Ltd. Currently he is: Music Director: Birmingham Symphonic Winds; Festival Director: National Concert Band Festival (the UK’s largest big band and wind band festival); Conductor in residence: Birmingham University Wind Band; Conductor: Solihull Youth Wind Orchestra and Advisory Board member of the London International Music Festival. His busy schedule includes adjudicating across all musical genres at numerous festivals in the UK, as well as guest conducting in Europe, America and the Far East.

Ann Bauer

Ann Bauer

(Speech & Drama)
BIFF

Ann has spent her working life in education teaching in secondary and primary schools, theatres, university and therapy teams, as well as examining drama and theatre studies. Ann ran her own drama school for many years, and has now returned to mainstream education and research.… Read More >

Ann Bauer

Ann Bauer

Ann has spent her working life in education teaching in secondary and primary schools, theatres, university and therapy teams, as well as examining drama and theatre studies. Ann ran her own drama school for many years, and has now returned to mainstream education and research. Ann trained to teach under John Hodgson at Bretton Hall, his major influence was the importance of improvisation. Ann continues to be an enthusiastic teacher of improvisation for developing all performance skills. She strongly believes in the inclusive power of drama, that it offers confidence building, team work, and the discipline of controlling body, voice – and nerves. Combining that with her love of the written word she counts herself lucky to spend her life talking about what she loves. Currently, Ann combines her teaching with doctoral research into teaching maths to young people with complex special needs – drama skills are never far away in her teaching strategies.

Liz Childs

Liz Childs

(Woodwind & Brass)
BIFF

Liz studied Flute with Gareth Morris and Piano with Graeme Humphrey at the RAM and has performed all over the world both as a soloist and orchestral/chamber musician. Her varied career includes performing with many orchestras, Quintessimo, adjudicating both abroad and in the UK… Read More >

Liz Childs

Liz Childs

Liz studied Flute with Gareth Morris and Piano with Graeme Humphrey at the RAM and has performed all over the world both as a soloist and orchestral/chamber musician. Her varied career includes performing with many orchestras, Quintessimo, adjudicating both abroad and in the UK where she is very busy as well as an extensive teaching schedule. A founder and Musical Director of the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy she is also flute teacher at Beechwood Park School in Markyate, Hertfordshire and St Francis College in Letchworth. Liz founded alongside the BWA a Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy Flute Ensemble which goes from strength to strength and which has made in 2019 its 3rd European Concert Tour with a proposed tour to Slovenia and Austria in 2021. Liz thoroughly enjoys her work as an Adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals, regarding it a real privilege to be able to encourage and inspire performers. She believes that a positive experience at a Federation Festival can change a performer’s life forever. It did hers!

Eva Maria Doroszkowska

Eva Maria Doroszkowska is an international pianist whose dramatic and colourful interpretation of the piano repertoire has earned her high acclaim. She enjoys a busy soloist and chamber performing career which takes her round the world and she has appeared on BBC and Polish… Read More >

Eva Maria Doroszkowska

Eva Maria Doroszkowska

Eva Maria Doroszkowska is an international pianist whose dramatic and colourful interpretation of the piano repertoire has earned her high acclaim. She enjoys a busy soloist and chamber performing career which takes her round the world and she has appeared on BBC and Polish television and radio. A keen interest in contemporary music has led her to work with two of the 20th Century’s finest composers, Gorecki and Per Nørgård leading to her giving the UK premier of Nørgård’s Cantica for Cello and Piano. Eva Maria won a scholarship to study piano at the Royal Northern College of Music. With awards from the Countess of Munster and government scholarships she also studied under the renowned Jasinski in Poland and took soloist diplomas in Amsterdam and Copenhagen winning many prizes and bursaries. Alongside her performing career, she is an adjudicator, gives masterclasses and workshops, teaches piano and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department, and is passionate about working with young musicians.

Donal McCrisken

Donal McCrisken

(Junior Choirs, Senior Choirs)
BIFF

Donal is a Belfast-based pianist, accompanist, conductor, examiner, and adjudicator. He read music at Queen's University, Belfast and later read a Masters at the University of Ulster. Since 1999 Donal has been conductor of Cappella Caeciliana, one of Ireland's most exciting… Read More >

Donal McCrisken

Donal McCrisken

Donal is a Belfast-based pianist, accompanist, conductor, examiner, and adjudicator. He read music at Queen's University, Belfast and later read a Masters at the University of Ulster. Since 1999 Donal has been conductor of Cappella Caeciliana, one of Ireland's most exciting chamber choirs. Under his direction they have given concerts in Northern Ireland, Europe, and the USA. The choir has recorded four highly-successful CDs and has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 4, Radio Ulster and RTE. Donal leads classes in performance at Queen's University, Belfast and workshops in the art of choral singing and direction. He works extensively with Northern Ireland Opera as vocal coach and repetiteur. He has adjudicated festivals throughout Northern Ireland, Eire and the UK. In 2013 he founded Cavehill Community Choir, a non-auditioned choir that currently numbers 160. He was the choral director/repetiteur for the exciting Belfast Opera project in June 2016, for which he was awarded the Classic FM/Musicians' Union Inspiration Award.

Luise Horrocks

(Junior Vocal)
BIFF

After studies at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music, Luise’s career as a professional soprano took her throughout the UK, Europe, America and South Africa. She has held teaching positions in both the Junior and Senior departments of the Birmingham Conservatoire and… Read More >

Luise Horrocks

After studies at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music, Luise’s career as a professional soprano took her throughout the UK, Europe, America and South Africa. She has held teaching positions in both the Junior and Senior departments of the Birmingham Conservatoire and as a visiting lecturer at Birmingham University. She runs an extensive private teaching practice, is a vocal coach on residential courses and a mentor on the CT ABRSM panel.

She has also trained and conducted the Wyre Forest Young Voices choir. Luise is a Senior Examiner for Trinity Guildhall.

Fiona McLean-Buechel

Fiona McLean-Buechel

(Strings, Orchestras, Mixed Ensembles)
BIFF

Fiona studied at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy of Music and has a passion for music in all forms. She combines a busy performing career with writing creative and collaborative national and international performance projects. She is Lead Tutor for Strings at… Read More >

Fiona McLean-Buechel

Fiona McLean-Buechel

Fiona studied at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy of Music and has a passion for music in all forms. She combines a busy performing career with writing creative and collaborative national and international performance projects. She is Lead Tutor for Strings at Trinity Laban Junior Conservatoire and a specialist strings adjudicator and examiner, including syllabus development for the Guildhall Examinations Board. Teaching posts have included the Junior Guildhall School of Music, Goldsmith’s, and the National Children’s Orchestra. She has been visiting professor of violin at Dartington and Cardiff University. In 2005 Fiona co-founded and was course director of the Youth Strings Programme at the Dartington International Summer School. She subsequently founded and is Creative Director of South-West Camerata whose work was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society for Education. Fiona has delivered sessions on 'Mindfulness for Musicians' at the 2016 Music Education Expo in Olympia, a Federation conference in Edinburgh, Musicians Union, and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Gary Ryan

Gary Ryan

(Classical Guitar)

Gary studied as a junior at the Guildhall School of Music, where he won the Director’s Prize, and later was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). In 1991 he graduated with first class honours and many awards including the Julian Bream Prize.… Read More >

Gary Ryan

Gary Ryan

Gary studied as a junior at the Guildhall School of Music, where he won the Director’s Prize, and later was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). In 1991 he graduated with first class honours and many awards including the Julian Bream Prize. Post-graduate studies followed at the RAM with an award from the Fleming Trust and was made an Associate of the RAM in 1997. Gary's London recital debut at the Purcell Room in 1994 was highly acclaimed by the critics. He subsequently performed a series of recitals for the Kirckman Concert Society at the South Bank Centre. In 1996, aged 27, he became Professor of Guitar at the Royal College of Music (RCM); he currently combines his role there as Assistant Head of Strings with a varied international career as a performer and composer. In 2013, he was awarded a Fellowship of the RCM becoming the first guitarist to be given this accolade since John Williams in 1983. Gary has also collaborated with John Williams and jazz guitarist John Etheridge to form 6 Hands. The guitar trio has since toured the UK extensively and has a new recording; further performances are scheduled for 2018. His celebrated compositions are often broadcast on Classic FM and have broadened the instrument’s appeal, combining traditional classical techniques and contemporary styles with a rich variety of musical influences from around the world.

Dave Townsend

Dave is a performer of both traditional and classical music, playing mainly English Concertina, accordion and violin, but these form only a part of a range of activities which include composition and research. He created the Mellstock Band and founded the West Gallery Music… Read More >

Dave Townsend

Dave Townsend

Dave is a performer of both traditional and classical music, playing mainly English Concertina, accordion and violin, but these form only a part of a range of activities which include composition and research.
He created the Mellstock Band and founded the West Gallery Music Association, and has also worked as musical director and stage musician at the National Theatre and the Bristol Old Vic.