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Aaron Shorr

July 2020

Since settling in the United Kingdom in 1984, Aaron Shorr has established an international career as soloist, chamber musician and educator. As well as appearing as soloist at London’s South Bankin over thirty concertos, he has toured extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician worldwide. More recent performances have included tours of Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Holland, Turkey, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the United States. He has performed extensively in the United Kingdom appearing in concerti, solo recitals and chamber music concerts at the Wigmore Hall, St. Martins in the Fieldand St. John’s Smith Squareand festivals throughout Britain. He has also appeared in major European Festivals including the BBC Proms, Menuhin Festival, Munich Biennale, Hanover Expo, Paganiniana in Genoa, Venice Biennale, Instrumenta Festival Mexico, the Skopje Days of New Music, Cyprus International Contemporary Music Festival and the Istanbul Biennale. He has broadcast frequently for radio, including BBC Radio 3, BBC Scotland, Classic FM, Bavarian Radio, Swiss Classical Radio, ABC Australia, and WQXR New York.


Aaron Shorr has recorded for Naxos, Mettier, Olympia, NMCand Meridian. His recordings of Beethoven with duo partner, Peter Sheppard Skaerved, have won wide acclaim. Research on composers in Beethoven’s inner circle of friends and contemporaries has yielded modern recording premieres of works by Mayseder, Ries and Archduke Rudolph as well as unknown chamber version of Beethoven’s Third Symphony. He has also enjoyed close associations with composers and has given countless premieres and performances of works, including those by Hans Werner Henze, George Rochberg, Sadie Harrison, David Matthews, Paul Moravec, Elliott Schwartz, Jorg Widmann, Michael Alec Rose, Jeremy Dale Roberts, Judith Bingham, Rory Boyle, Marek Pasieczny,and Sidika Ozdil.


Aaron Shorr studied at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he received their most prestigious prizes for performance. His teachers have included Alexander Kelly, Solomon Mikowsky, Gary Graffman, André Watts, John Browningand chamber music with Joseph Seiger, former duo partner of legendary violinist Mischa Elman.


Aaron Shorr was a professor and researcher at the Royal Academy of Music in London since 1992 before going on head the keyboard department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2006. His students have gone on to win major prizes at international competitions including the Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Tel Aviv, UNISA, Pretoria, Rio, Brazil, Munich, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Vines – Spain, Piano Campus – Paris, Redding-Piette and the Schubert Competition in the Czech Republic. His students have also won prizes in major UK competitions, including the Royal Overseas League, Brandt, Bromsgrove, Park Lane Debut Series and the Moray Piano Competition. In 2011, he became Artistic director and Chair of the Jury for The Scottish International Piano Competition.


In 2006, Aaron Shorr was appointed Head of Keyboard at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2013, he was awarded a Professorship from the RCS and from 2013-2015, also served as Acting Director of Music at the RCS.

Ugnė Peištaraitė

July 2020

Ugnė is a PhD candidate and graduate teaching assistant for Music Performance Psychology at the Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music (RCM), where she is investigating the role of emotional intelligence for musicians under the supervision of Dr Terry Clark, Dr Rosie Perkins and Prof Aaron Williamon.


Ugnė is an RCM Doctoral Bursary and Doctor Knobel Fund Award holder, as well as generously supported by Mr Samih Sawiris, SEMPRE and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. In 2018, she graduated with a Distinction from Master of Science in Performance Science at the RCM (partly supported by Vilnius Perkūnas Rotary Club), where she investigated the relationship between emotion regulation processes and self-regulated learning in musicians. The research came out with significant findings and was presented at the SEMPRE Graduate Conference in the University of Cambridge, BFS/RMA Graduate Conference in the University of Sheffield, and at the International Symposium for Performance Science 2019 in Melbourne.


Besides that, in 2019 Ugnė was accepted and awarded a grant in a six-month MedTech SuperConnector project run by Imperial College (London), which provides support for early career academic researchers to develop and realise entrepreneurial ideas.

Having studied classical piano performance and pedagogy, Ugnė is also a collaborative pianist and educator. In 2009 she graduated from J. Naujalis Music Gymnasium (Kaunas, Lithuania), where she studied with teacher-expert Birutė Kumpikienė. She then studied for her Bachelor and Master Diplomas at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, where she was under the tutelage of Prof Aleksandra Žvirblytė. Ugnė is a laureate of several international music competitions in Italy and Lithuania, and has also participated in masterclasses with internationally renowned pianists, such as Christopher Elton, Eugen Indjic, Angela Hewitt. Ugnė participated in the Erasmus Exchange program, studying at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where she was first introduced to performance science by Dr Päivi Arjas.


As a chamber musician, Ugnė co-founded the piano trio ‘Colors’ and won several international competitions as well as performed throughout Europe. In 2015 the ensemble was awarded the Merit Diploma by Lithuanian Republic President Dalia Grybauskaitė in recognition of their achievements. As an educator, Ugnė undertook traineeship as a piano teacher and accompanist at the Braganca Music and Dance Conservatory and later as accompanist at the Lisbon Superior School of Music in Portugal. In 2015-2017, she was a piano lecturer at the annual Adult Summer Music Academy held at the LMTA.

The greatest Ugnė’s interest is music and human-being, and she is most passionate about the point where these two phenomenons merge into an act of so-called music performance, which she is investigating through various lenses of her professional life. Being a performer, educator, coach and researcher provides her with various and diverse insights from different angles into the same phenomenon. Above all, Ugnė’s main goal is to help musicians reach their peak performance.


About the lecture:

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a core element in human cognition, behaviour and social interaction. EI refers to the identification, expression, understanding and regulation of personal or others’ emotions. It holds significant potential to impact human performance, well-being, relationships and career. Recently evolving research on music performers has found that EI correlates to higher expertise, motivation and self-esteem, and lower levels of music performance anxiety. It also predicts the experience of flow and higher performance. All these components and more are integral in how musicians come to perform, interact and build careers. In the seminar, empirical research findings will be introduced and discussed in more detail (though avoiding scientific jargon as much as possible), by steering the main attention towards a real-life practical application for professional musicians.

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