Dean of Crossover

Geoff Westley

Geoff has been Music Director for The Bee Gees,  major West End musicals & Sanremo Festivals.
Collaborations include:  The Carpenters, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Leo Sayer, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Everly Bros, Vangelis, Gerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, Marvin Hamlish, Henry Mancini and James Bond movies.
As arranger/composer/conductor he has worked with the LSO, RPO, Philharmonia, Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma, Brno Philharmonic, Budapest Symphony Orchestra and many others.

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Cello Visiting Professor

Ayanna is a composer, songwriter and cellist.
She studied Classical Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and MA at Manhattan School of Music in USA.
She is winner of the Apollo Theatre’s famous Amateur Night, whose previous winners included Ella Fitzgerald and Jimi Hendrix.
Notable performances include opening for the MOBO Awards “Pre-Show” in 2016, and playing the Royal Albert Hall. Toured with Anoushka Shankar and Courtney Pine, recorded with Akala and composed for the London Symphony Orchestra.

The Ayoub Sisters

Violin & Cello Visiting Professors

Sarah and Laura Ayoub are a multi-instrumental musical duo that arrange and perform instrumental versions of well-known pop and classical works.
Their debut album reached No.1 in the Official Classical Artist Albums Chart and were nominated for Classic Brits and Global Awards.
They have performed concerts across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Royal Albert Hall, London Palladium, Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Cairo Opera House and Dubai Opera.
Both have had solo performances with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and many others.

Beibei Wang

Percussion Professor

Beibei is an international soloist and composer for classical, contemporary, experimental, traditional, improvisation, electronic, jazz, pop.
She tours in the Edinburgh International Festival, Lucerne Festival, Bach Academy Musikfest Stuttgart, Colour Scape Music Festival.
She has collaborated with BBC Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Germany), Santa Cecilia Orchestra (Italy), Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
She has a MMus at Central Conservatory of Music (China) and the Royal Academy of Music (UK).

Benet McLean

Violin Professor

Benet is pianist, guitarist, vocalist, violinist, writer, arranger and producer.
He studied classical violin at Royal College of Music.
He has recordings with Partikel, Laura Mvula and Mahalia, Andy Davies, Benjamin Croft, Nathan Britton.
He toured with Omar, Julian Joseph, Sir Simon Rattle, Dave O’Higgins, TY, Steve Williamson, Carleen Anderson, Jean Toussaint, Tommy Smith, Cleveland Watkiss, Yellow Station Blue, Phillip Bent, Orphy Robinson, Kevin Haynes, Roachford, Maxi Jazz and Loose Tubes.

Carleen Anderson

Voice Visiting Professor

Carleen is a composer, writer, music dramatist, producer and performer.
She has bi-annual residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, Choir Director for the BBC Singers and UK Vocal Assembly at the Royal Albert Hall.
She was nominated for JazzFM Innovation of the Year.
She studied classical and jazz music performance at Los Angeles City College (LACC) and the University of Southern California (USC). Anderson also studied Creative Literature at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

Monique Klongtruadroke

Voice Professor

Monique is a coloratura soprano of Italian/Thai heritage. A top graduate in Opera Singing from the Venice Conservatoire in Italy, she has a singing career spanning four continents. She was invited to sing for the King of Thailand, and in several Thai Royal Command Performances. Praised by OPERA UK magazine for singing the role of Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute),  leading roles in the World Premieres of the first Thai language Opera The Lunchbox (IHOS Opera) in Australia, and opera-ballet Bhuridat (Opera Siam International) in Thailand. With teaching experience at Thailand’s top universities in Voice and Italian Diction, she divides her activity between UK, Thailand and online.

Joanna Forest

Classical Crossover Soprano –
Visiting Professor

Joanna is a Classical Crossover Soprano who made chart history by becoming the first independent artist to reach No.1 in the Official Classical Artists Album Chart with a debut album.
As a best selling recording artist Joanna has No.1 classical albums across The Official Chart, Amazon and iTunes. Joanna has also achieved 4 Classical No.1 Singles.
Joanna presents ‘Classical Gas with Joanna Forest’ on’ Great British Radio’ and has a monthly column for Classical Crossover Magazine.

Russell Painter

Music Theatre Professor

Russell is an English Tenor and Opera coach sitting in the Board of Directors of Equity Uk.
A Master graduate from Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Ian Kennedy, Russell’s Opera credits include Tamino (The Magic Flute), Title role in Albert Herring, Don Basillio (The Marriage of Figaro), Don Jose (Carmen), Count Almaviva (The Barber of Seville) Gaston (La Traviata) and Roman’s Isabella and the Pot of Basil at Covent Garden and Buxton.
Russell has also a large experience with the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, with many principal roles including The Defendant, Marco, Frederic, Hilarion, Ralph, Captain Fitzbattleaxe, Richard Dauntless, Earl Tolloller, Duke, Alexis, Nanki-Poo and Box.

James Brandon Lewis

Saxophone Professor

James is a saxophonist, composer, recording artist and educator.
He has played with Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang, William Parker, Hamiet Bluiett , Hamid Drake , Ravi Coltrane , Jimmy Heath Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Joe Lovano Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman among the others.
He leads numerous ensembles, Founder of Poetry Music Ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders.
He studied at Howard University, MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Filomena Campus

Voice & Theatre Professor

Filomena is a jazz vocalist, Theatre Director and Academic.
She has collaborated with top jazz artists, including Orphy Robinson, Rowland Sutherland, Cleveland Watkiss, Huw Warren, Byron Wallen, Jean Toussaint, Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Guy Barker, and the London Improvisers Orchestra,
She has a MA in Theatre Directing. She has been a visiting lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, East15 Acting School, University of Essex, Kingston University, Bucks New University, and UCL.

Kansley & Lidert

Music Theatre Performance & Production

Kurt Kansley and Oliver Lidert have worked extensively in the theatrical industry onstage as performers and behind the scenes in production and creation of new Musical Theatre. Credits: CONFESSIONS original musical (The Other Palace, 2018), HAS#ED OUT original musical (VCA Australia, 2019), HOME GROWN – A Songbook Series (Chapel Theatre Australia, 2018), THE SONGS I’LL NEVER SING (St. James Theatre, 2015), Threepenny Opera (co-directed, WAC, 2017). Kansley & Lidert’s song ‘Is That Ok’ was recorded and is sold on music streaming services, all proceeds go to TheatreMAD. Also, their song ‘More Than Words on a Page’ was selected for 10to4’s new musical RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. Kansley & Lidert’s original musical FABLE was shortlisted for the 2021 Stiles & Drewe mentorship prize.

Nani Noam Vazana

Ladino Singing &
Song-writing Professor

Nani is the world’s first original Ladino singer-songwriter. Classically trained, Nani composed music for BBC4 and NPO documentaries, she chairs of the Amsterdam Artist Collective and founded Why DIY Music and Nova Productions.
Nani has performed on major stages worldwide, including Richmond Folk Festival USA, Montana Folk Festival USA, HUE Festival Vietnam, Manchester Jazz Festival UK, the Kennedy Center USA, Jodhpur RIFF festival IN, Jazzahead DE, North Sea Jazz NL, Roccella Jazz IT among others. The Dutch NPO network released a documentary about her musical work in 2018.

Meg Morley

Piano Professor

Meg is a pianist, composer and improviser within diverse artistic genres (silent film, contemporary dance and ballet, solo piano, contemporary jazz ensembles and electronic music)
She studied classical music at the University of Southern Queensland, received a Postgraduate Diploma in Jazz Improvisation at Melbourne University.
She was awarded the “Exceptional Talent” by Arts Council England in 2018.

Omar Puente

Violin Visiting Professor

Omar studied classical music at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana. He was former First violin of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.
He has toured with Buena Vista’s Ruben Gonzales, supported Tito Puente, Ibraham Ferrer and Omara Portundo.
He has collaborated with John Williams, Kirsty MacColl, Jools Holland and Eddie Palmieri, Winston Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, Simon Bolivar Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Nigel Kennedy, Eddie Palmieri at Queen Elizabeth Hall, and with several members of the Buena Vista Social Club.

Rowland Sutherland

Woodwind & Flute

Rowland has an international career as a soloist, composer and arranger in jazz, classical, contemporary, pop and world.
Artists that he has collaborated with include David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Flora Purim, Carla Bley, Manu Dibango and Airto. rowland.htm

Shanti Paul Jayasinha

Trumpet & Composition Professor

Shanti has recorded with Kenny Wheeler, Bobby Watson, Tim Garland, The Brand New Heavies, The Stereophonics and Basement Jaxx.
He has performed in concert with members of the Buena Vista Social Club, including Ruben Gonzales and Cachaito, Frank Emilio Flyn’s ‘Los Amigos’, Wayne Shorter, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra.
He tours the UK and Europe with
Alex Wilson, supporting the Afro-Cuban Allstars, the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and recorded on Alex W’s CDs.

Silvio Zanon

Voice Professor

Silvio has had leading roles of Verdi’s and Verismo”s repertoire worldwide, including “La Scala” in Milan, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, «Staats Oper» in Vienna, “Liceu” in Barcelona, “Bunkamura” in Tokyo, “Megaron” in Athens.
He studied with Giuseppe Scandola and Luciano Pavarotti.
He is Founder and Director of the Opera Academy «Progetto Voce».
He specialized in production and dramaturgy at the Stabile Theatre of Veneto and is the winner of “Primo Palcoscenico” international competition people/1407/

Dele Sosimi

Keyboard, Vocal and Afrobeat Professor

Dele is a musical director, bandleader, rhythm keyboard player and keyboard soloist of Femi Anikulapo-Kuti and the Positive Force and former member of the Fela’s Anikulapo-Kuti’s Egypt 80.
He has toured and performed at major jazz festivals, from Montreux to the North Sea Jazz Festival to the Montreal Jazz festival.
He was Afrobeat music consultant for the London production of Fela! at the National Theatre.
He is an educator and instructor in Afrobeat (via his Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Foundation).
He is founder and leader of the 15-piece Afrobeat Orchestra.

Kuljit Bhamra MBE

Tabla & Indian Composition Professor

Kuljit is a platinum composer, record producer and tabla player.
He is the inventor of the Indian Drum Notation system, allowing musicians and teachers from other cultures to play and compose for Tabla, Dhol and other Indian drums.
He has composed and directed the music for productions at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Royal National Theatre and Shaftesbury Theatre in London, Royal Festival Hall, Theatre Royal Stratford, Riverside Studios and Theatre Royal Windsor.
He was awarded MBE For services to Bhangra and British Asian Music, and an honorary Doctorate by the University of Exeter.

Talvin Singh OBE

Tabla & Composition Professor

Talvin is a producer, composer and tabla player, composer of fusion of Indian classical music and drum and bass; Indian and Asian electronica.
He has collaborated with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Björk, Madonna, Massive Attack, Blondie, DJ Spooky, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, Jay Z and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
He is winner of ‘The South Bank Prize’ and ‘The Mercury Prize.
He was awarded the OBE by the Queen for his service to the music industry.

Tania Chen

Contemporary Experimental Piano Professor

Tania is a grammy nominated sound artist, free improvisor, and interdisciplinary contemporary pianist and composer.
She has collaborated with artists including Steve Beresford, Andrew Poppy, John Tilbury, John Edwards, Mark Sanders, Rhodri Davies and film-maker Jayne Parker.
She has had concerts in the US, UK, Asia and Europe, at venues including Tate Modern, GaleGates (Brooklyn, NYC), The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (Berlin), the Purcell Room, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum
She has been broadcast on KPFA radio, Berkeley and BBC Radio 3

Kate Shortt

Cello Professor

Kate is a cellist, pianist, vocalist and workshop leader through varying genres.
She is the winner of Performer of the Year award at the London Palladium.
Artists she has worked with include Gary Kemp of Spandeau Ballet, Take That and Simon Le Bon, Jocelyn Pook, Christine Tobin, Phil Robson, Liam Noble, Roland Sutherland, Orphy Robinson and Beibei Wang.
Education work includes workshops with the London Symphony Orchestra and she performs her own show in renown cabaret venues including Edinburgh Fringe, Vortex Club, the King’s Head in Islington, Jermyn Street Theatre and the Covent Garden Festival Club.