Cellist Yoanna Prodanova was born in 1992 in Varna, Bulgaria. Recipient of the 2017 Sylva Gelber Award (Canada) as well as the 2016 Making Music Young Artist Award she performs as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the UK, Europe and Canada. She has played concerti with the Amati Orchestra, the Banbury Symphony, the Westmount Youth Orchestra and the Sinfonia de Lanaudière. She has performed in such halls as Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields and LSO St Luke’s. Her recordings have been broadcasted live on BBC Radio 3 as well as CBC Montreal.
Yoanna holds a Bachelor degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied with Louise Hopkins and is currently pursuing her Master’s under the guidance of Rebecca Gilliver and Richard Lester. She also holds a Diplome d’etudes superieures from the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique de Montreal where she has studied with Denis Brott. She has attended the IMS Prussia Cove, the Music Academy of the West, the Banff Centre, Centre d’arts Orford and the Kronberg Academy Festival where she has worked with Ferenc Rados, Janos Starker,Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Jean-Guihen Queyras and Laurence Lesser.
As a chamber musician she has undertaken residencies at the Mozarteum Salzburg, Pro Quartet and Aldeburgh. She is also a Park Lane Group artist and is a winner of Maisie Lewis Award with the Barbican quartet who made their debut at the Wigmore Hall in 2017, as well as St John’s Smith Square under critical acclaim.
Yoanna plays on a Frank Ravatin cello kindly offered to her by the Canimex Foundation, Québec. A Leverhulme Trust Scholar, she is grateful to the Guildhall School Trust, Help Musicians UK and the John Yearly Trust for their generous support.
Mihai Ritivoiu was born in Bucharest and began piano lessons at the age of 6. In 2012 he graduated with the highest honours from the National University of Music in Bucharest, the piano class of Professor Viniciu Moroianu, and subsequently obtained his Masters’ and Artist Diploma degrees, with Distinction, from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he studied with Senior Professor Joan Havill. He also participated in masterclasses with Dimitri Bashkirov, Dominique Merlet, Richard Goode, and Emmanuel Ax, and benefited from the advice and guidance of Romanian pianist Valentin Gheorghiu.
Mihai won the Dinu Lipatti National Competition in Bucharest in 2010 and was a laureate of the George Enescu International Piano Competition in 2011. Following these achievements he was invited to record the Second Piano Concerto by Rachmaninoff for the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation, with the Romanian Radio Orchestra conducted by Gheorghe Costin. He has since played as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Romania, England, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy and Japan, performing in such venues as the Romanian Athenaeum, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, West Road Concert Hall and the Ernest Ansermet Studio.
In 2015, Mihai received the Gold Medal of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe in London, and was invited on BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune”. His performances have been also broadcast by Radio Romania Muzical, Radio Suisse Romande – Espace 2, and Medici.tv. Mihai is a City Music Foundation Artist since 2016.