Sir Mark Elder


“We all have music in us somewhere. Future Talent aims to provide opportunities in music for all young people. Where we find the talent we hope to provide the resources for it to be nurtured. What better way to involve young people in 21st Century Britain? We read almost on a daily basis that music is being neglected in our schools and that the opportunity for our children to experience top-quality music making is, at best, restricted.

Future Talent hopes that one day, it will be the norm for all children across the UK to have equal opportunities in music. And that those who have the talent and wish to make a career in music will have been supported and encouraged by Future Talent. This is why I endorse the work of Future Talent wholeheartedly and will follow the growth and development of this charity with interest and eager anticipation.

Nicholas Robinson

Co-Founder and Chairman

"We created Future Talent in 2004 to make a difference to the lives of very special and talented young musicians from challenging backgrounds but never dreamed we could achieve so much and make such an impact on their lives and the music landscape. We have had the privilege of watching many of these young people grow, not only as musicians but also into young adults with a sense of purpose, enthusiasm and confidence."


Sir Mark Elder CH CBE


Sir Mark Elder is Music Director of the Hallé. He enjoys close associations with the London Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He was Music Director of English National opera from 1979 to 1993 and has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras. He has appeared annually at the Proms in London for many years including in 1987 and 2006 in the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms. He has appeared regularly in many of the most prominent international opera houses, including Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Opéra National de Paris, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Glyndebourne and was the first British conductor to conduct a new production at the Bayreuth Festival.

Sir Mark was knighted in 2008, awarded the Companion of Honour in 2017 and the CBE in 1989. In May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. He received Gramophone Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for his Hallé recordings of Götterdämmerung, The Dream of Gerontius, The Kingdom and Elgar’s Violin Concerto.

In April 2011, he took up the position of Artistic Director of Opera Rara. He was appointed Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.

Alexander Armstrong

Alexander Armstrong is an English actor and presenter, best known as one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller and as host of the BBC TV game show Pointless. Aside from his television career, he has a keen interest in music, and presents a weekly show on Classic FM. He is also a classically trained baritone and has released several vocal albums.

Dame Judi Dench CH DBE FRSA

Since playing Ophelia in Hamlet at The Old Vic Theatre over 50 years ago, Judi Dench has garnered wide popular and critical admiration for a career marked by outstanding performances in both classical and contemporary roles. She has won numerous major awards – including an Academy Award, ten BAFTA Awards and seven Laurence Olivier Awards – for work on both stage and screen. In recognition of her many achievements, she received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1970, became a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in 1988, and in 2005 was awarded a Companion of Honour.

Danielle de Niese

The Australian-born American singer regularly appears on the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages and has an exclusive recording contract with Decca. For her debut solo album, Handel Arias, de Niese was named New Artist of the Year at the 2008 ECHO Awards, received the 2008 Orphee D’Or in France, and was nominated for the 2009 Classical Brit Award for Female Artist of the Year.

Sir James Galway CBE

Sir James Galway is regarded as both the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire and a consummate entertainer. As one of the most televised and recorded classical artists performing today, Sir James has made himself a legend, a modern musical master whose virtuosity on the flute is equalled only by his limitless ambitions and vision.

Lady Jeanne Galway

An accomplished flautist, Lady Jeanne Galway graces the international platforms with her eloquence and virtuosity. Alongside her successful career as a soloist, Lady Galway is also an accomplished chamber musician, touring regularly with her trio Zephyr. Appearing as the premiere Flute Duo Partner with her husband Sir James Galway, the two delight audiences and bring a rare freshness to the platform, unique to the music world.

Lesley Garrett CBE

Lesley Garrett, CBE, is Britain’s most popular soprano, regularly appearing in opera and in concert, on television and CD.  She has 13 solo albums to her credit, and has won both critical acclaim and the affection of millions of fans and music lovers. Internationally Lesley has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

Guy Johnston

Born in 1981, Guy Johnston began cello lessons at the age of 5 and has become a fast-rising star on the international concert stage. He was a chorister in the world famous King's College Choir, Cambridge. Since his extraordinary debut in London at the BBC Proms, where he played the Elgar Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, he has enjoyed much success with international orchestras and conductors in the UK and Europe. He also regularly tours to Japan.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Since being crowned BBC Young Musician in 2016, Sheku has been in constant high demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide, and had a particularly meteoric rise during 2018: in January, his debut album Inspiration, released on Decca Classics, reached number 18 in the Official UK Album Charts and number 1 in the Classical chart; May saw Sheku play at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and, a month later, he was the recipient of two Classic BRIT Awards, winning Male Artist of the Year and a Critics’ Choice award. Sheku has done much to support young musicians. In 2018, he donated £3,000 to his former secondary school, enabling ten other pupils to continue their cello lessons. He is also an ambassador for London Music Masters.

Tolga Kashif

London born Tolga Kashif is regarded as one of the most diversely talented musicians of his generation, with success ranging from a critically acclaimed CD of Richard Strauss tone poems to the musical direction of the BBC Children in Need’s Platinum-selling Perfect Day. Tolga studied conducting and composition at the Royal College of Music, then later at Bristol University.  Tolga’s overseas engagements as a conductor have been many and varied, and since 1989 he has also been an established composer.

Sting CBE

An incredibly versatile artist, Sting has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist and as a member of The Police.  He has received more than 16 Grammy awards for his work, and countless other plaudits including an Oscar nomination.  His song Every Breath You Take is one of the most played records in history. As an actor Sting has appeared in many films, TV productions and on Broadway.  For over 25 years he has been an active humanitarian, supporting Amnesty International and establishing the Rainforest Foundation with his wife Trudie Styler.  Sting has supported Future Talent since its inception.

Joby Talbot

Joby Talbot studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  His music is widely performed on international platforms including the Royal Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the Palais Garnier and the Royal Albert Hall. He works with artists as diverse as the King’s Singers and Ute Lemper, and also has his own performing ensemble which showcases his chamber music, often involving live collaborations with visual artists.

Ben Weston-Conway

Future Talent alumni Ben is the founder of Vital, a strategic marketing and communications consultancy for the creative, cultural and digital sectors. He has helped businesses, charities, entrepreneurs, politicians and universities to develop brand and communicate more effectively. In addition, he works with young musicians at the start of their international careers to develop strategy, engage new audiences and raise capital for bespoke projects. In a previous life, Ben performed extensively as a trumpet player with artists such as Mumford and Sons, Katharine Jenkins and Russell Watson. He holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy from Durham University and a Bachelors from the Royal Northern College of Music.

Chloë Hanslip

Chloë Hanslip is an established international violinist, and has been a dedicated mentor for Future Talent since 2016. Prodigiously talented, she made her BBC Proms debut at fourteen and her US concerto debut at fifteen and has performed at major venues in the UK (Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall), Europe (Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Paris Louvre and Salle Gaveau, St Petersburg Hermitage) as well as Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Arts Space in Tokyo and the Seoul Arts Centre.


Katharine Kent


Katharine taught music at a primary school in East Hull for 13 years where she saw first-hand how low parental expectations, financial instability and limited guidance combined with lack of opportunities for the musically gifted child in state education meant that countless young people were missing out on a career in music. Something had to be done! Consequently Future Talent was founded by Katharine and the charity’s Chairman Nicholas Robinson in 2004.

Nick Robinson

Chairman and Co-Founder

Nick was Headmaster of King’s College School in Cambridge and helped Katharine Kent to launch Future Talent in November 2004. Music has always been a major part of Nick’s life.  He enjoys singing and orchestral conducting and has founded two orchestras for young musicians, one in Sussex and one in London.

Gregor Bamert

Gregor joined Aviva Investors as Head of Real Estate Finance Origination In 2015.  Previously he spent 14 years at Barclays where he held a number of roles in both investment and corporate banking. Gregor comes from a family of musicians and holds an MA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from Oxford University.

Charles Beer

Charles was a partner at KPMG for 20 years specialising in taxation. Music has always been an important part of Charles’s life. He is a keen amateur pianist and singer with a passion for early and baroque music.

Krystyna Budzynska

Krystyna is the Director of Primary Academy at RAM. She sits on the Music and Education Committee of the London Music Fund and is Artistic Consultant for Kuumba Youth Orchestra. As a working musician she teaches, performs, mentors, collaborates and supports musicians of all ages.

Khosro Ezaz-Nikpay

Khosro is Managing Director of two start-up companies – Zendegii Ltd and Enjoin Partners. Before embarking on his entrepreneurial endeavours, he was a senior Partner with McKinsey & Company in the UK and Germany Offices. Khosro received a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University.

Francesca Filippini Pinto

Francesca was General Manager for Christie’s South Kensington and Head of Development for The Photographers’ Gallery, the largest public institution in the UK exclusively dedicated to photography. She holds a Business Degree from Bocconi University in Milan, a CEMS Master in Management from HEC University in Paris and a Masters in Contemporary Arts from the University of Glasgow.

Glenn Manoff

Glenn is Senior VP Communications & Brand at Trustpilot. At O2 & Telefonica, he was Director of Social Business & Sustainability for Europe and Director of Corporate Affairs in the UK. There he founded Think Big, a £100 million multi-year programme empowering thousands of young Europeans to drive their ideas for social change to fruition and learn critical digital skills. Glenn was also part of the team that re-launched the former Millennium Dome as The O2 and was named the UK’s top communications professional in 2007.

Alexandra Whiston-Dew

Alexandra is a solicitor at Mishcon de Reya with a broad range of experience advising on contentious and non-contentious matters focussed around her specialism in commercial litigation, active reputation management and media law for high-net-worth individuals and companies.

Jonathan Worsley

Jonathan is Chairman of Bench Events and  one of the founders and co-organisers of leading conferences for the hotel investment industry and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum in Dubai. Jonathan sits as a shareholder and board director of STR Global, a global benchmarking company with some 50,000 participating hotels.