Noted for her ‘powerful flair’ and ‘elegant exactitude’, Hannah Schneider is assistant conductor of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra (2018-2020) and founder and music director of Oxford Alternative Orchestra. She conducts professionally in Russia, the UK, the United States, and the Ukraine, including engagements in 2019-2020 with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, Yakutsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Chelyabinsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Kaluga Young Symphony Orchestra, Smolensk Regional Philharmonic Orchestra, So&So, and Ballet Hartford (USA).
She studied violin performance at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory until an injury prompted her to change direction and earn a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Russian literature. She found her way back to music when Valery Gergiev hired her as one of his personal administrative assistants at the Mariinsky Theatre in 2015. Through his mentorship and encouragement as she worked on programming, tours, and festival assisting, she also began to turn her attention to conducting, and started training in St Petersburg with Leonid Korchmar. Gergiev continues to be one of her most important mentors. In addition, she is coached by Karen Kamensek, and has participated in masterclasses with Paavo Järvi.
In 2016, she won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford, where she is currently finishing her doctorate in Soviet Opera, focusing on the canon of composer Rodion Shchedrin.
Originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, Sasha completed a BA/BMus at the University of Auckland, with majors in performance bassoon and history. She spent eight years with the Auckland Youth Orchestra as principal bassoonist, serving two years on the executive committee and travelling to Berlin with the group to perform at the Young Euro Classic music festival in 2011. In 2016, she completed an MA on the Parisian reception of Tamara Karsavina, the prima ballerina of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, before moving to Russia to spend three months at the European University at St Petersburg as a graduate associate. She is currently in her third year at Oxford, working towards her DPhil in History, supported by a Clarendon Fund scholarship and a Women in the Humanities award. Her thesis explores the sensory worlds inhabited by women in Paris and St Petersburg in the early twentieth century.
Sebastian holds a BA from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where he studied cello with Elisabeth Meissl-Pfefferkorn and choral conducting with Alois Glaßner and Johannes Hiemetsberger, and was deputy president of the Student’s Union 2015-2017. From 2016 until 2019, he was a member of the Grammy-winning Arnold Schoenberg Choir. With the choir, he performed in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in opera productions by directors such as Robert Carsen, Claus Guth or Tatjana Gürbaca, as well as in concert under conductors such as Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Cornelius Meister or Stefan Gottfried at Vienna’s Musikverein and the Salzburg Festival. He has performed in various European cities, as well as in the US and China. Sebastian particularly enjoys participating in music education projects and programs that combine music and other art forms, and has a special love for great new music by 21st century composers. At Oxford, he reads for a second undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Harris Manchester College.
A third-year Music undergraduate at Oxford University, Miranda is currently working on a dissertation examining the ways psychoanalytic theories can be applied to visual art and music from Fin-de-Siècle Paris. She has been studying the violin, piano and singing since a young age and holds an Instrumental scholarship at Worcester College. She spent three years leading the West England Youth Orchestra and a year studying violin at the Royal Academy of Music. Miranda is the Musical Director of Oxford University’s original all-female a cappella group, The Oxford Belles, for which she writes arrangements and recently directed a music video with Webb Street Studios named ‘That’s My Girl’, focusing on inter-sectional feminism. Miranda has performed in events such as the International Women’s Day Conference at the law-firm Doughty Street Chambers, REACH Water’s International Conference, Oxford Pride, as well co-arranging The Oxford Belles’ Edinburgh Fringe show in 2018. Miranda co-founded and led the band February Tide as songwriter, singer and bassist from 2015-2017 with which she released an EP. This sparked an interest in writing and she has since gone on to composing and arranging in various styles. Miranda is currently a college ambassador for UN Women of Oxford.