Hester dart- they/them
I am a mezzo currently in my final year of an MMus at Trinity Laban, under the tutelage of Neil Baker. While I have been a singer in various forms throughout my life, my interest in a musical career was first nurtured at Pimlico School in London, which was then a comprehensive with a well regarded music programme. My first study there was violin, and I enjoyed playing in string quartets and folk banks while I was at school. When I was 14 I joined the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, which I played in until I was 18. The LSSO was undoubtedly a hugely beneficial experience for me; I loved being part of a full size symphony orchestra, playing interesting and challenging music and having the opportunity to tour overseas. However it was also the first time I was confronted with the vast inequalities in music education, being one of only a handful of students who came from a non-selective state school.
I went on to do a History BA at Leeds University where music took a back seat as I prioritised political activism; fighting back against austerity, neo-fascism and the climate crisis. After graduating, I worked in the ‘gig economy’ for a number of years and decided to train seriously as a singer. I started my master’s degree in 2020, going part time in my second year so that I could work alongside my studies. As a trans and queer artist, I am a passionate advocate for greater diversity in the classical music world and welcome all opportunities to collaborate with artists who experience marginalisation and exclusion.