Adjudicators' Details
Music in the Vale has been very fortunate to have had the support from the Adjudicators listed below in 2017.

We are looking for new Adjudicators each year and would welcome anyone who may be interested to contact us.
Sharon Richards:
Born in Glamorgan, Sharon graduated from the University of Wales and continued her studies at the University of Keele, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio.
She began her career as a repetiteur with Welsh National Opera Studio and went on to work for Glyndebourne Festval Opera, Opera North, English Touring Opera and Icelandic Opera, working with many eminent conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Charles Mackerras and Carlo Rizzi.
As an orchestral pianist, Sharon has performed regularly with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and from 1999 to 2001, was the accompanist of the BBC National Chorus of Wales.
Sharon is currently a Vocal Coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is Head of Keyboard at the United World College of the Atlantic.
She is also a member of the examining panel for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Angela Livingstone:
Born in Edinburgh, Angela trained at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she studied piano, harpsicord and voice. She began her professional life working extensively as a pianist and repetiteur, broadcasting frequently on BBC radio as accompanist for many singers and instrumentalists.  As an orchestral pianist and choral trainer, she has worked extensively with BBC SSO and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and was for seven years, assistant chorus master to the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, working with many orchestras and leading conductors, including: Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle and Jiri Behloavalek, amongst others. She has a strong interest in contemporary opera and works regularly with the award winning company Music Theatre Wales as repetiteur and vocal coach.
Prior to her appointment as Head of Opera Vocal Performance, Angela was for 15 years vocal coach within the Music Department at RWCMD. She established the College’s Opera Performance course, developing close and continuous collaboration with the Welsh National Opera. Within her current role, she continues to coach many singers and pianists for operatic and concert work.
She is a long standing and experienced examiner to the ABRSM and a frequent adjudicator. Angela is also a panellist for the live audition round of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and is She is a Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.
Peter Esswood:
Peter Esswood’s musical career has been of a varied and distinguished; singer, conductor, cellist, a member of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and frequent guest of the Philharmonia. As a member of the Ariosi String Quartet he appeared on BBC Television in Top of the Pops,  Everyman and Horizon. In a solo capacity he has recorded incidental music for BBC Television and Radio programmes including Timewatch, The Artist’s Eye, Doctors To Be and The Sea.

His work with orchestras has received wide acclaim and includes: Conductor in Residence for the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Symphony Orchestra, Singapore in 2006 and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Junior Department Symphony Orchestra 2007-08.  A Professor of Orchestral Training at the Royal College of Music Junior Department until 1997 and Head of Strings at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama from 1972-2012.

Peter has adjudicated at many prestigious festivals including the Audi Junior Musician, BBC Young Musician, Music for Youth, Pro Corda National Chamber Music Festival for Schools and the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, the world’s largest competitive music and drama festival. He is also a diploma examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and was Joint Artistic Director of the Lower Machen Festival, a post held for 7 years until 2017.

His work as a performer and teacher has been recognized internationally giving masterclasses and coaching in the UK and abroad including Shanghai, Helsinki, Tampere, Weimar, Switzerland and Singapore.

Peter has been chair of the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) UK Branch and member of the International Board of Directors. He continues to pursue an active career giving concerts as Conductor of the Welsh Chamber Players formed in 2012.

Simon Phillippo studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and the National Opera Studio. He is currently Head of Keyboard Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a post he has held since 2015. He was a member of the music staff at Welsh National Opera for fourteen years, where his conducting engagements included Rigoletto, Madam Butterfly, La bohème, Tosca, Ariadne auf Naxos, Il trovatore, Moses in Egypt, The Cunning Little Vixen, La traviata, Nabucco and The Magic Flute. Also at WNO Simon was Chorus Master for the first UK staging of Handel’s Jephtha and the world premiere of James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice. Other opera engagements have included Madam Butterfly and Tosca with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall; and Don Giovanni, Carmen, The Barber of Seville, Tosca and La Cenerentola as Music Director of Opera Brava. He has also worked with Opera Europa, Opera Holland Park and European Chamber Opera. In concert he has led the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestras of WNO and Opera North, Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the Helios Orchestra, of which he was Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. He has presented talks for BBC Radio 3, and at Liverpool Hope University and Rose Bruford College, and has been an Associate Lecturer at Cardiff University. Simon is a leading authority on British composer Robert Simpson, and is currently working on a new performance edition of Simpson’s piano and chamber music, published by Ricordi.