THE SOLOISTS

November

Helen Brackley Jones

violin

Helen Brackley-Jones has been the SSO's leader since the 2017/18 season. Having freelanced with various orchestras throughout Britain since 1998, Helen became a member of the BBC Philharmonic, leaving in 2014 to focus more on family life. She now divides her time between her young family, orchestral playing, teaching violin both at Huddersfield University and privately, and examining at the RNCM.
Solo appearances have included the Bruch violin concerto, Prokofiev’s second violin concerto and the Sibelius Concerto. Audience members may remember her solos with the SSOincluding   Scheherazad, Heldenleben and In June 2021, the Beethoven Romance.

Svetlana Mochalova

cello

Russian cellist Svetlana Mochalova and Ukrainian pianist Slava Sidorenko met
at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. A musical relationship
blossomed into a personal relationship and the couple are now married. Svetlana has performed as soloist at the Purcell Room, as well as the Wigmore and
Cadogan Halls. She works on a regular basis with Manchester Camerata.
On hearing her play at the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los
Angeles, James R. Oestreich of The New York Times said: “You had the sense that
you were listening to the future, and the near future at that.” 

Slava Sidorenko

piano

Slava has appeared as a recital and concerto soloist in the Ukraine, Germany,
Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. He has won first prize in numerous piano
competitions and made his debut in 2009 at Wigmore Hall, winner of the Jacques
Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition. Robert Beale of the Manchester Evening
News described Slava as “A young pianist set to make a major impact”.
The couple now regularly perform as a  duo,
Sveta & Slava, at venues across the UK.  Their debut CD, ‘Rachmaninoff’, was released in January 2018
featuring the Sonata for Cello and Piano and two of
the composer’s Romances.

January/February/June

Callum Smart

violin

Callum Smart has been developing an international reputation as one of Britain’s finest young violinists since, at 13, he won the BBC Young Musician strings category and became the top European prize-winner at the Menuhin Competition. 
Callum now enjoys concert appearances with the UK’s leading orchestras, including re-invitations to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In 2020-21, Callum makes his debut with the Hallé Orchestra and a Boston debut with the Lexington Symphony Orchestra performing Elgar’s Violin Concerto.

Yue Yu

viola

Yue Yu was born in Shenzhen, China, in 1997. She studied with Dr Louise Lansdown at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire before she moved to Austria in 2019 to pursue her master's degree at Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. The winner of Stockport International Young Musician Competition in 2019 Yue went on to become 1st prize winner of the Paul Hindemith Viola Concourse in 2021 in Salzburg. She currently holds a position in the Yeoman programme at the Worshipful Company of Musicians, London, and is a scholar at the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.  

Tom Hicks

piano

Hailed as an artist of ‘magnificent pianism’ with an ‘engaging personality’, Guernsey-born pianist Tom Hicks is a gold medalist in several international competitions and was a finalist in the New York International Piano Competition and a semi-finalist in the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition. 
Tom studied at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and on the prestigious joint course at The Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University, graduating with the highest mark in the history of the department. Since 2015 he has been based in America, studying with Boris Berman at Yale University’s School of Music.