This month’s Last Friday features two young musicians called Sarah Parkes Bowen (flute) and Oliver Cuttriss (piano).
Sarah Parkes Bowen studied an Mperf at the Royal College of Music, studying flute with Gitte Marcusson, Simon Channing and Rachel Brown, as well as piccolo with Kathleen Stevenson. She was a Fishmongers’ Company Beckwith Scholar and a TalentAid Award holder (Masonic Charitable Foundation).
Whilst at the RCM, highlights included playing as principal flute with the RCM Symphony Orchestra and performing at the Fishmongers’ Company’s Annual Livery Concert hosted by Princess Anne where she began the concert, solo. Sarah has recorded at Abbey Road Studios and performed in venues including Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square, the V&A and the RA in London, as well as across continental Europe including The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Sarah is a passionate teacher and teaches flute, piccolo, recorder and music theory, privately in-person and online.
Hailing from Burgess Hill, Oli Cuttriss began playing the piano at the age of nine, alongside the oboe and electric guitar. A versatile musician and venerable sight-reader, he has won numerous local competitions, performed in masterclasses with Danny Driver, Lindsay Garritson and the late Peter Katin, for an original musical at the Edinburgh Fringe and in countless other functions involving the keyboard. He graduated from Royal Holloway in 2016 with the Alice Dougherty Chaplin Prize for Performance before going on to work at Bishopsgate School and St George’s School, Windsor Castle until 2019. More recently, with the unexpected aid of the Covid lockdown, he completed a livestreamed 24-hour piano recital in a bid to financially support a Performance Masters degree at the Royal College of Music, which he completed with Distinction.
Sarah and Oli began performing as a Duo when in May 2023, due to illness, Sarah found herself short a pianist for an imminent recital. Oli stepped in and due to excellent sight-reading skills and knowledge of the flute repertoire, did a fabulous job. They have been performing recitals together since then, across London’s churches, libraries and care homes. This is their first recital together of 2024, exploring flute and piano music by female composers from France, Italy and the USA.