15 September 2021

New Beginnings

After more than a year of working online we are overjoyed that live activities are resuming and we couldn’t think of a better way to start than with our flagship Samling Artist Programme.

Held for the first time at Marchmont House in a new creative partnership, eight young artists – six singers and two pianists – spent an intensive week receiving coaching and guidance from our stellar leadership team.

We welcomed conductor Sir Mark Elder, who joined us for the first time, along with our Patron, Sir Thomas Allen, soprano Yvonne Kenny, actor Alex Jennings and staff pianist Samling Artist Lana Bode. Our artists told us that after such a difficult year, they took inspiration from the week and valued the support that they received from our leaders and from each other, both in the formal classes and in the downtime over shared meals.

Our singers and pianists also received a rare opportunity to explore songs with the composer who wrote them when Jonathan Dove joined us. Jonathan also previewed the duet song cycle Man, Woman, Child which we have commissioned from him to celebrate our 25th anniversary and shared insights into its composition process.

Samling Artists soprano Alexandra Lowe, tenor Filipe Manu and pianist James Baillieu will give the world premiere of the cycle at Wigmore Hall on Sunday 7 November 2021. They will be joined by mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately, bass William Thomas and pianist Ian Tindale for a programme of song in English that draws on the themes of Man, Woman, Child.

In September, we are holding live auditions in London and Glasgow for our 2022 Samling Artist Programme, following a first round of online submissions. We look forward to returning to Marchmont House in November and February when we hope we can invite audiences to join us.

Samling Academy

Following auditions held live online in March, we look forward to meeting our 30 Samling Academy singers for six days of workshops and masterclasses in October. After leading online masterclasses in 2020, soprano Joan Rodgers CBE will join us in person this year, along with Music Director Caroline Dowdle, vocal coaches Patricia MacMahon and Samling Artist Miranda Wright and a team of outstanding Samling Artist pianists. The six days of training will end with a concert of songs, arias and ensembles at Sage Gateshead, and we hope that you will be able to join us there to support our younger singers as they return to the stage.

Samling Artist Programme

We held the week under strict Covid security protocols and thus were not able to hold public events. However, we filmed the final masterclasses. Watch a preview below, or see the complete films here:


Header image: Sir Mark Elder with Samling Artists pianist Leo Nicholson and bass William Thomas. Photo credit: Mark Pinder

‘It was a pleasure to welcome these eight supremely talented young musicians and the distinguished team of leaders, who filled Marchmont House with music. We’re immensely excited about our future plans with Samling Institute as part of our dream to make a home to makers and creators, so we’re looking forward to the next stages in our partnership.’

Hugo Burge, Director, Marchmont Farms Limited