Welcome to the New Members of Our Emerging Artists Scheme

Earlier this year, we opened applications to our Emerging Artists Scheme, working with emerging and early career artists from a range of genres and backgrounds. We’re delighted to announce the artists who will be taking part in 2024/25, and you can read more about them and their plans for the coming year below.

This scheme is generously supported by by the Jeremy Howarth Foundation.


Three musicians in red with string instruments

We are called The Portrait Players because we curate programmes which present portraits of both historical and fictional characters, offering the audience an alternative listening perspective to music played on period instruments. 

We are really excited about the opportunity to perform at Stoller Hall and grow our audience. As we enter our second year as an ensemble we will hugely benefit from the experience and guidance of the staff for our upcoming projects, including a song cycle commission! 


As for our name, we all trained in ensemble singing at the University of York, and the name is a hark back to the Jack Lyons Concert Hall in the music department there, where we did many of our first momentous performances. 

“We are so excited to be a part of the Stoller Hall Emerging Artists Scheme this year. To be given a platform at such a prestigious venue, and the license and support to freely create, is such an invaluable opportunity for any ensemble or artist at their outset. We hope to use this as a chance to experiment with our medium of solo voices, and find new ways to connect with a new audience.” 



A saxophone quartet, standing outside with instruments

We found that other Saxophone Quartets have links with Greek mythology, but we felt it was fitting to find our own identity and character in the music that we play and that’s how we came across Akiko. The name Akiko comes from the Japanese word for Light or bright child (when given as a name for someone). When we first suggested it, among others, this was the name that stuck. We all love to create, perform and find joy in music and believe that music brings light into our lives especially when there are many issues that the world is facing at the moment, so Akiko seems very apt. 

The Stoller Hall Emerging Artists scheme will open doors to new opportunities Akiko wouldn’t have been able to think of doing without the help provided such as commissioning and recording new Saxophone repertoire. We want to show off how versatile and amazing this instrument is and with the Saxophone being relatively modern, we would love to continue the legacy of this wonderful instrument in chamber music and add to the rather limited repertoire already available. With professional as well as financial help, we believe this scheme can help us do this and build a great platform to continue to go forward in the future. 



A string quartet performing on stage

Our name, Vulva Voce, symbolises the empowerment of women’s voices from across history. It’s celebrates that we play music created by women and underrepresented composers, including our own original material and specially commissioned works. 

Vulva Voce are so honoured to have been chosen as participants in the Emerging Artists Scheme for 2024-25. As early career artists, we know how valuable it is to learn as much as possible about the business side of the arts, as well as developing ourselves as players. The mentoring and connections we hope to gain from the scheme will help us to keep building on our knowledge and ultimately to bring music by women to as many diverse audiences as possible. 



Singer Rylan Gleave, wearing headphones next to a microphone

It’s lovely to be returning to Manchester as a Chetham’s alumni, and I’m thrilled to be coming back with a set of varied and eclectic musical experiences that inform the art I now make. I’ve worked hard to find my voice, and I’m hoping that the Stoller Hall’s Emerging Artist Scheme will help me find my feet as a solo performer blending genre and disciplines.


Keep an eye out for these artists performing in concerts across our 24/25 season!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *