Skip to content
Loading Events

« All Events

Living Songs

4 July @ 12:45 pm 1:45 pm

£7 Adults

Tickets on the door (cash or card). Under 18s and carers go free

Doors open at 12:15 pm

Aylesbury Lunchtime Music

View Organiser Website


Jessica Summers


Notes on the performers

Living Songs was started in 2013 by soprano Jessica Summers. Living Songs recitals share the vast wealth of talent by today’s living composers through songs that they have written for soprano and piano. These songs are showcased alongside more well known classical repertoire, so that an audience can discover new song territory but return to music that they may have heard before.

Jessica Summers

Jessica has performed around the UK both in concerts and in opera. An alumna of the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme (Contemporary Performance directed by the late Oliver Knussen) and New Vocal Repertory courses (directed by Jane Manning), Jessica has performed twentieth and twenty first century music in a wide range of venues and festivals including the Three Choirs Festival, Holywell Music Room, Oxford (Pierrot Lunaire), St John’s Smith Square, Brighton Festival, York Late Music Festival, King’s Lynn Festival, Dartington Hall, Ripon Cathedral, Science Museum (London) and the St Martin in the Fields New Music Series. She has sung in several tours for English Touring Opera, for Opera North (Education) and for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Committed to singing new music, she has performed pieces such as A Mind of Winter (George Benjamin), Ring A Dumb Carillon (Birtwistle) & Beuk o’ Neucassel Sangs (Finnissy), Poems Almost of this World (Richard Causton) as well as giving the first performances of many new vocal pieces.

Jessica is passionate about music education and outreach. As an animateur, she has led a wide range
of projects for music / community organisations nationally and internationally (Belize and India). She is
the vocal consultant for the award winning Tower Hamlets Music Hub, THAMES, in London, overseeing
singing in primary and secondary schools across the borough. She has led workshops for performers
and composers at Royal Holloway University and Brunel University and teaches singing at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University.

Jelena Makarova

Jelena Makarova is an award winning Russian-Lithuanian pianist based in London. She studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Drama and at the Royal Academy of Music, where she participated in masterclasses with Pierre Laurent-Aimard and György Kurtág. She is in high demand as a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist. Performances include concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York; Mozart’s Konzerthaus, Vienna; St. Martin-in-the-Fields; St. James’s Piccadilly; St. John’s Smith Square and St. George’s Hall, Bristol. Jelena has also collaborated with the New London Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, Baltic Art Form and the Royal Ballet School. She is a co-founding member of Living Songs, Chromatikon collective and Trio Sonorité, which was featured on Women’s Radio Station as part of the Future Classic Awards.

Jelena recently performed in the Illuminate series of concerts by women composers, where she performed music by historic and living composers, including Angela Elizabeth Slater, Sarah Westwood and Lithuanian composer Zita Bružaitė. During the Covid pandemic in 2020, she performed for the Bitesize Proms online concert series run by Help Musicians UK, giving the première of a set of piano miniatures entitled “Kindred”, written and dedicated to her by Sarah Westwood. This was recorded, as
well as music by Rameau, for her upcoming album. She also gave the online première performance of
“Edge of Time” by Ruta Vitkauskaite, (co-funded by Help Musicians UK) with her ensemble Trio Sonorité
(cello, clarinet & piano). Jelena has recently been awarded a prestigious individual scholarship from the Lithuanian Cultural Council to première piano works by Lithuanian composers Medekšaitė, Bružaitė and Vitkauskaite in the UK. As well as performing, Jelena is a highly experienced piano teacher and has taught for over 15 years in east London primary & secondary schools.


Programme notes