The Tenby Duo are formed of two undergraduate students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – Nicole Micheli (saxophone) and Lucy Samuels (cello). This unlikely pairing came about after a chance conversation in their shared home at university. They will be making their concerto debut in March 2022, performing the Michael Nyman Double Concerto for Amplified Saxophone and Cello with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Projects Orchestra. They seek to explore underperformed works with repertoire ranging from Bach to Skempton, as well as several premieres of new commissions in the upcoming months.
Since being introduced to the recorder at the age of six by Christine Jenkins, who first invited Nicole to perform at Westbury Festival in 2016, Nicole has not stopped playing and performing music, taking up the saxophone when she was ten years old.
She is about to commence the fourth year of her undergraduate at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as a scholarship student. She currently studies with Naomi Sullivan and has had tutelage from Andrew Tweed, Kyle Horch and Christian Forshaw, as well as masterclasses from international saxophone tutors including Marco Gerboni and Jerome Laran. She is a dedicated chamber musician, having won the prestigious Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Music Prize with the Yugen Saxophone Quartet. She has performed at numerous venues around Wiltshire and Birmingham including the Pump Room Bath, Wiltshire Music Centre and Birmingham Art Gallery. Next year she is hoping to commence a Master’s degree abroad.
‘Star in the making’ (Newbury Weekly News), Lucy Samuels, currently studies under Matthew Sharp at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She began her studies aged 7 under Judith Barnby through the Berkshire Maestros trust and has since participated in masterclasses with Jian Wang, Julian Lloyd-Webber and Hannah Roberts.
Her work as a cellist is far-reaching, encompassing outreach and educational programmes, orchestral work and chamber music. She currently plays with the Félicité Piano Trio, who were invited to perform at the prestigious Cadenza Music Summer School, where she received individual tutelage from Robert Max and Alexander Baillie, as well as coaching from John Thwaites, Fali Pavri and Simon Smith.
She performs also with Infinite Opera Company as their regular cellist, alongside enjoying other freelance work.
Their repertoire will be a mix of both solo and duo works for the saxophone and cello.
Duos for saxophone and cello:
Astor Piazzolla (arr. Phillips) – Libertango
Svante Henryson – Off Piste
Howard Skempton – Lullaby
J. S. Bach (arr. Henryson) – Goldberg Variations
Solo cello repertoire:
Mark Summer – Julie-O
John Hanifin – Wenonah
J. S. Bach – D minor suite
Solo saxophone repertoire:
Ryo Noda – Mai
Paul Bonneau – Caprice en Forme de Valse
Paul Maurice – Volio
Karen Tanaka – Night Bird
Photographs courtesy of Matthew Phillips