Oliver Nelson & Vasilis Rakitzis
Notes on the performers
Oliver Nelson MA (Mus) (Open) FRSM CCAD was born in Glasgow and began learning the violin at the age of six. He gained a music scholarship to Canford School and an exhibition to the Royal Academy of Music. During his time at the Academy, Oliver studied the violin with Xue-Wei and conducting with Denise Ham and Colin Metters, graduating with distinction in the Fellowship diploma, and a further distinction in his MMus degree. His achievements include winning the Academy Concerto Competition, appearing as leader and soloist with the Academy String Orchestra, and the building of his concerto repertoire with numerous British orchestras.
Oliver has since been in high demand as a duo recitalist with some of Britain’s finest pianists including Andrew Ball, Julian Jacobson, Bela Hartman, Nigel Hutchison, Richard Ormrod and Vasileios Rakitzis, with recent performances ranging from St.Martin-in-the-Fields in London to Chichester Cathedral. Oliver is also a busy chamber musician, both as an artist in ‘cellist Jamie Walton’s North York Moors Chamber Music Festival and as a member of Trio Damira with Hartman and Mischa Lezdkan.
Greek soloist and chamber musician, Vasilis Rakitzis, is a Doctor of Musical Arts* from City University London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the Conservatories of Athens and Amsterdam. A pupil of Popi and Maria Efstratiadis, Martin Roscoe, Naum Grubert, and Caroline Palmer, he also participated in masterclasses with Paul Badura-Skoda, Boris Berman, Martino Tirimo, and Leonidas Kavakos.
Vasilis regularly appears in piano recitals and chamber music concerts in Greece and England, and he has also performed in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. As a concerto soloist he has performed with the State Orchestras of Athens and Thessaloniki, the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Greece (E.R.T.), and the Symphony Orchestra of the City of Athens. Vasilis was a prizewinner in national and international competitions, and he was awarded the prestigious ‘Eleni Tim. Mykoniou’ prize by the Academy of Athens. He currently resides in London and also teaches piano at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham, and The Royal School and the Hindhead Music Centre in Haslemere (Surrey, UK).