Meet the Team
Although I have lived in Manchester for a total of nearly 8 years - 3 of them in Didsbury, where the Festival is based - I was born and brought up in Chichester, West Sussex. My mother is from Japan and my father from Vietnam.
I started playing the piano aged 6 and have been playing ever since. I am currently studying piano performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and will be graduating this summer. Outside of performing I have a busy private teaching practice and organise concerts with my siblings in our hometown.
Although I love playing solo piano repertoire, my other passion is chamber music. My trio, the Alegría Piano Trio, was formed in 2015 at the RNCM with fellow musicians Vanessa White and Lizzie Elliott. We have had so much fun over the years performing and working together.
I am especially excited to be part of the Festival Fresco team, as our aim is to bring a fresh, new classical music festival with a focus on chamber music: a perfect combination of all the things I love! My role as Assistant Director has led me to be involved in almost all aspects of the festival (programming, planning, communications etc!) and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all the other talented and creative Fresco team members.
Manchester is my second home: to be able to contribute towards a livelier classical music scene here is an amazing opportunity for me.
Why is a man in his 60s involved with a festival all about youth? I stumbled on the first festival, in Altrincham in 2019, completely fell in love with it, and asked to be involved. So I suppose I’m the elder statesman, the wise old head or something like that.
I’m in the lucky position of having had two careers. The first was in arts funding back in the 80s and 90s, including being the British Council’s Arts Officer in France and the Arts Council’s Director of Touring.
But I was out every night, and having children made me want to settle down. So for 20 years I worked as a secondary school teacher, teaching English and Drama in an inner-city comprehensive in Coventry. For most of that time I was also a Year Head, looking after the welfare and emotional growth of around 400 children, many of whom I’m still in touch with.
As a teacher, I stayed involved in the arts. I directed (sometimes wrote) a lot of school productions, one of which I took to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and I was involved in helping to run the school choir, which won the Songs of Praise School Choir Competition in 2008.
I retired to Manchester in 2019, and I’m now trying to get involved in the local arts scene in a voluntary capacity. As well as my role for Festival Fresco, I’m Chair of Trustees for the Kantos Chamber Choir, and a member of the Hallé Choir and the St Ann’s Church Choir.
Social Media & YouTube Coordinator
I'm Radu, a Romanian pianist. I graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with both a Bachelor and Masters degree. Since graduating, I’ve been involved with teaching and performing.
I’ve been involved in Festival Fresco since its very beginning back in 2019. Having been based in Manchester for over 6 years, I felt a really close connection to this city, and wanted to do more for it and for the community here; so I was very glad when Vanessa and Tasha asked me to be part of the Festival. I’m thrilled to be involved in such an exciting project alongside an amazing team of passionate and enthusiastic people!
Chamber music has always been an important part of my musical life. I love performing and working with other musicians, learning from each other, and creating new friendships. That’s exactly what Festival Fresco is all about.
My role is Social Media and YouTube Coordinator. I’m enormously looking forward to being co-leader of the YouTube channel Fresco Online, a platform that can inspire other musicians by showing aspects of playing in chamber music groups from our musicians’ experience and perspective.
Really looking forward to this year’s festival! Stay tuned!
I’m delighted to be the joint Artistic Director of Festival Fresco with Natasha. Since the creation of the Great Bowden Music Fest, which was founded by my father Christopher White in 2014, it has been my dream to start a festival of my own.
I’m looking forward to showcasing the best of the chamber music world with my team of Fresco Musicians. One of the joys of organising my own festival is being able to recruit my friends to come and play great music together.
I’m also excited to be leading our YouTube channel which will give our audience a flavour of what it’s like to perform chamber music together through vlog-based content.
Thank you to my wonderful team for all the hard work they’re doing to make Festival Fresco a success!
I'm Natasha, a composer from Manchester, and joint Artistic Director of Festival Fresco. After volunteering with Manchester Jazz Festival for several years, I developed an interest in live events and festivals, and began to want to start one of my own. Luckily, I met Vanessa through singing in St Anns choir, and discovered we shared the same dream.
Although now a composer, my musical interest was sparked at the age of 7 when I started learning the clarinet. I went on to study at the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol, as well as the Conservatoire de Montpellier where I performed in orchestras, chamber ensembles, choirs and pit bands, and I still love performing when I can.
As a composer, my interests range from classical contemporary to electroacoustic and media music, as well as cross-platform and collaborative art. I'm excited to be leading Fresco's contemporary programme, and cannot wait to share my love of contemporary music with you, our audience.
I am thrilled to be working with such wonderful core artists and behind-the-scenes team - we couldn't do this without you!
I first met Vanessa aged 15 at school, and have known Natasha since university, so I’m really excited to be joining team Fresco!
I am a soprano and flautist from Leicestershire and studied Music at the University of Birmingham, where I was heavily involved in choral and orchestral activities, as well as being a very active member of the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society. I was the Assistant Musical Director for the G&S Society and held various marketing and choral management roles on the committee of the University Music Society.
I have performed as a soprano soloist with several choral societies and regularly play with the Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra, and the highlight of my time as a singer was when I got the opportunity to perform as a soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah under Kazuki Yamada, both with the Monte-Carlo Symphony Orchestra in Monaco and the CBSO in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
Since 2019 I have been working in the role of Children’s and Youth Chorus Officer for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, looking after their two youth choirs, having sung in the CBSO Chorus for 2 years prior. I can’t wait to be involved in my first Festival Fresco and look forward to many more to come!
I am the Festival Fresco’s resident sound engineer and have been recording and producing content for the festival since its first year back in 2019.
I am a Music graduate who specialised in recording and production as well as a wide variety of musicological and composition based modules at university. Now I work as an audio editor and mixer for broadcast media in Soho, London.
As well as coiling cables and placing microphones I am an associate composer with Festival Fresco. I have been very lucky to have had some of my works performed by fantastic musicians as part of the festival. I love working with Festival Fresco as it keeps me contact with my musical roots and champions a wide variety of music, composers and musician alike!