Beryl Pankhurst was born and educated in Liverpool and, after a brief career in banking, she took up a place at the Royal Manchester College of Music where she studied piano, organ and accompaniment. Having obtained the GRSM Diploma with Recital Endorsement, ARMCM with Distinction, and the Pinson Prize for Bach playing, she moved to Harrogate to a teaching post and has lived here ever since.
Although Beryl has performed as a soloist on many occasions, her main passion is in accompanying. She has been the official accompanist for the Harrogate Choral Society for more than thirty years, during which time she has taken part in many of their performances, including Carmina Burana, Rio Grande, Petite Messe Solennelle, Messiah, African Sanctus and The Armed Man. She is also currently the accompanist for Knaresborough Choral Society, and plays for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
Her extensive career includes playing for many distinguished soloists and she works regularly with members of Opera North. She is in much demand for festival and examination accompanying and for leider recitals etc.,and enjoys being repetiteur for an annual Choral Summer Course. Her musical taste is very varied, being equally at home playing light music and piano duet recitals.
Christopher Pulleyn is a collaborative pianist, répétiteur and vocal coach. He regularly works with some of the largest arts organisations in the country and studies with Michael Dussek, Head of Accompaniment, at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Since 2013 he has worked with Opera North’s Youth Ensembles, playing for concert performances and working with them on a number of creative projects and productions including Kurt Weill’s ‘Down in The Valley’ for the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Stephen Deazley’s ‘Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Roadshow’ for the Tête à Tête Festival, playing continuo for ‘The Selfish Giant’ an original production devised by Justin Doyle for the Children’s Chorus, adapting arias and recitative from Handel osperas to a story by Oscar Wilde, and most recently a new commission from Will Todd to commemorate the Word War 1 Centenary.
He works regularly as a répetiteur for Opera North on their many outreach programmes and productions, including The Magic Flute, Cavelleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, and the UK Premiere of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. He has performed continuo and piano on numerous occasions with Skipton Camerata and the Orchestra of Opera North. He recently recorded a new oratorio ‘The Holy Face’ by local composer Philip Wilby with Black Dyke Brass Band, Halifax Choral Society and Sheffield Philharmonic Choral Society, and was the répétiteur for a new chamber opera, ‘Ice Cream’ by Russell Sarre and Ian McMillan, the premiere of which was performed as part of Bradford Festival 2017.
Chris is the pianist-in-residence for Greenhead College, Huddersfield. He is the Assistant Musical Director for Bradford Festival Choral Society, and has played for most of the biggest choral societies around the region including Huddersfield Choral Society and Leeds Philharmonic Chorus. He recently worked with Simon Halsey and the BBC Proms Youth Choir on their Proms 2018 performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, and a new commission by Eriks Esenvalds. He also works with Glyndebourne, Leeds College of Music, the University of Hull, and the University of Huddersfield.
In 2018, he launched the &Piano Music Festival in Huddersfield, an annual series of collaborative piano chamber concerts, to offer more professional music concerts in the town, introduce new audiences to live classical music, and showcase both new and established artists with a connection to the region.