Address: Vancouver, BC Canada

Professional Biographies

Click on a name below to view their biography. 


Elizabeth Carmack

Elizabeth Carmack completed her MA from King's College London with a thesis on The Resurgence of Arthurian and Grail Motifs in 19th Century English Poetry. At the same institution she started a PhD dissertation on Metaphysics and Music in Shakespeare's Romances which remained incomplete. Elizabeth teaches critical thinking and academic writing at Simon Fraser University. She lectured in English Literature, as well as specifically on Shakespeare, at Moscow State University in Russia and Tsinghua University in China. Inspired by her sister's Catherine Carmack's research work at Cambridge University, Elizabeth became passionate about the link between music and freedom. As a result Elizabeth conceived of the Cambridge Music Conference in 2000 and has since been the artistic director. Parzival's Grail Quest: Healing for Our Time is the tenth event in fourteen years.

Janet Danielson

Janet Danielson is a Vancouver-based composer and music theorist. Her compositions include an opera, The Marvelous History of Mariken of Nimmegen, and a number of works combining Western and Chinese instruments. She has taught courses in music theory, analysis, music and culture, and composition at Simon Fraser University and at Vancouver’s Regent College. Recent publications include a chapter in Bearing Witness: Perspectives on War and Peace from the Arts and Humanities. Her Cambridge Music Conference commission, Truth Threatens Mercy Threatens Justice Threatens Peace for SATB chorus and oboe d’amore, was premiered in 2012 in Vancouver. Upcoming projects include a chapter in a forthcoming book on neo-Calvinist philosophy and the arts, a suite of works for piano trio and percussion to be premiered in Tennessee, and realizations of the earliest known compositions in Canada by Ursuline nuns.

William Forward

Born in London on 26th October 1949, William spent his childhood in a variety of countries in Europe and the Middle East. His education included three years at a Steiner School in Norway and he holds an MA in modern languages (German and French) from Magdalen College, Oxford. After a 10 year spell in steel trading, financial services and international banking, he retrained as a Waldorf teacher and has been a teacher at Michael Hall in Forest Row for the last 30 years, where in addition to German and French he has taught the Parzival main lesson.

Eric Klein

Eric Klein was educated at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. His career as a performing artist, composer, conductor, teacher and trainer started in New York City. As a violinist he has performed with many famous musicians including Yo Yo Ma, Henry Mancini, Dionne Warwick and the great jazz singer, Mel Torme. He has led youth choirs and orchestras and produced a television piece on secondary school music in the USA. In the UK in recent years Eric has been a Head of Music, started a music programme at an FE College for pupils with SEN, written and directed music for a production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and has been running workshops and training on many aspects of music and the music curriculum. He is a director of the Academy of Gospel Music. Eric Klein returns to the 2014 London Grail Conference after having contributed to the Cambridge Music Conference/s in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

David Newbatt

David Newbatt is an artist and teacher who lives and works at a Camphill Community for young adults with special needs in Aberdeen, Scotland. He has worked extensively with the theme of Parzival, and is the author of Parzival - The Quest for the Holy Grail published by Wynstones Press in 2004. 

Geoffrey Norris

Geoffrey Norris is an actor, storyteller and Speech and Drama teacher. Trained in London he has performed and given workshops internationally since 1979 and is a master teacher of Steiner’s Creative Speech technique. He is currently teaching Speech and Drama at the Eurythmy Academy in the Hague Holland, is a theatrical consultant and actor/singer with Schola Wegaity Poland performing Gregorian Liturgical Dramas, touring Ishtar – Eurythmy in dialogue, with colleagues in Holland as well as performing Water Islands with eurythmist Maren Stott and musician Alan Stott.

Nigel Osborne

Nigel Osborne was born in 1948. He studied composition at Oxford with Egon Wellesz and Kenneth Leighton, and in Warsaw with Witold Rudzinski. While in Poland, he co-founded one of the first live-electronic performing groups in Eastern Europe, and worked at the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, the beginning of a special relationship with electroacoustic music which continued with residencies at IRCAM in the 1980s and many works in the live electronic medium.

The core of his output, however, is ensemble music, which issued from a number of long-term collaborations: for example with the Ensemble 20jh of Vienna, with the London Sinfonietta, the Nash Ensemble, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia. Larger orchestral pieces include Sinfonia 1 for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and for the Philharmonia Orchestra The Sun of Venice.

The theatre has always been an important focus for him. There has been a celebrated series of music/dance collaborations with the choreographer Richard Alston - Apollo Distraught,WildlifeZansaMythologies - and in opera and music theatre he has worked closely with the director David Freeman in works such as Hell's AngelsFaustMorte d'Arthur and the trilogySarajevo. In response to the last of these, he was invited in 1995 to create the first opera of the war in Sarajevo, Evropa, with a libretto by Goran Simic. Other work in the theatre has included Terrible Mouth, and The Electrification of the Soviet Union.

Osborne is currently full-time Reid Professor at the University of Edinburgh, and advisor to the charity War Child, responsible for the implementation of a humanitarian aid programme in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Jinny Shaw

Okeanos' primary focus is to reach out to new audiences, create opportunities for young composers, and initiate pioneering performance events, often collaborating with other art forms.

Having premiered over 100 new works, including commissions from Robin Holloway, Howard Skempton, Judith Weir, Nicola Lefanu and Judith Bingham, they have been at the forefront of many young composers' careers; Lynne Plowman, Dai Fujikura, Chikako Morishita and Basil Athenasiadis to name a few. 

They recently gave an all-Knussen chamber music programme as part of Institute of Musical Research's Oliver Knusssen conference. They have also played at Kings Place, and the Warehouse participating in 5 BMIC Cutting Edge Series. Residencies have included Dartington 2009 in celebration with Japan-Uk150, Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Oxford Brookes Universities. They have given workshops and performances at Oxford & Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Bath Spa and Cardiff Universities. Earlier projects include collaborations through SPNM and the Asian Music Circuit with koto soloist Etsuko Takezawa; and also with artist Katharine Dowson and Textural Space exhibition curator Lesley Millar. 

This February they give their debut at the Barbican in a concert as part of BBC Radio 3's Total Immersion weekend featuring the music of Dai Fujikura. 

Okeanos has featured on Radio 3's 'Here & Now' and their recordings broadcast on Australian and UK radio. The recently released NMC Debut Disc series features music by Dai Fujikura and has been acclaimed worldwide 

Lesley Shrigley Jones

As an Associated Board Scholar Lesley Shrigley Jones studied the cello, viola da gamba, piano and singing at the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. She went on to win awards from the Deutscher Akademische Austauschdienst  and the King Edward V11 Foundation, which enabled her to join the masterclasses of Antonio Janigro at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, from where she achieved the highest honours in performance.

Since giving her debut recitals at the Purcell Room, with pianist Martin Roscoe, and at the Wigmore Hall, with pianist Roger Vignoles, Lesley has played throughout the British Isles, Europe and Latin America. She has broadcast on BBC, ITV and French radio and appeared in Paul Tortelier’s Master Class series on BBC2.

As a member of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ avant garde chamber group “The Fires of London”, she received a standing ovation for her performance of “Vesalii Icones” at the Queen Elizabeth hall.

Lesley has persued her commitment to the contemporary by giving several first performances by Denisov, Wilfred Josephs, Maxwell Davies, Wearing, Skempton ,Weir and Camilleri and has recorded works by Charles Camilleri.

She will be giving a world premiere of “The Great Wheel of The Sun” by Lambert in May 2010.

Current projects include an invigorating collaboration with the Russian pianist Yekaterina Lebedeva in “Fusion”, where film and music seamlessly combine,  performances of the six solo bach Suites with co-performer, international organist, Robin Walker and Lesley’s partnership with Antony Saunders, lieder accompanist par excellence, with programmes entitled “Cello In Song”, “The Romantic Cello” and “Cello Time Travel”.

Her latest recording is available from

Howard Skempton

Howard Skempton was born in Chester in 1947, and has worked as a composer, accordionist, and music publisher. He studied in London with Cornelius Cardew from 1967 and Cardew helped him to discover a musical language of great simplicity. Since then he has continued to write undeflected by compositional trends, producing a corpus of more than 300 works - many pieces being miniatures for solo piano or accordion. Skempton calls these pieces "the central nervous system" of his work.

Skempton's catalogue of works is also as diverse as it is long, ranging from pieces for solo cello (Six Figures, 1998), and guitar (Five Preludes, 1999), to the Chamber Concerto for fifteen players, the Concerto for Hurdy-Gurdy and Percussion, and Lento, premièred by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in 1991, and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov at the 2010 BBC Proms.

In May 2005 Skempton’s Tendrils for string quartet was awarded the prize for ‘best chamber-scale composition’ by the Royal Philharmonic Society, and in December 2005 it won in the chamber music category at the annual British Composer Awards. Skempton won a second British Composer Award in 2008 for The Moon is Flashing, a song cycle for tenor and orchestra commissioned by the BBC which was premièred by BBC NOW and James Gilchrist at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in September 2007 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Many of Skempton's compositions have been recorded, including the hugely successfulLento for orchestra on the NMC label by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the piano works performed by John Tilbury on the Sony Classical label, and Shiftwork by Ensemble Bash, also on Sony Classical. 2001 saw the release of Guild of The Flight of Song, an acclaimed choral collection performed by the choir of Queens' College Cambridge under James Weeks. Vocal group Exaudi released a disc of Skempton's choral music in September 2007, also on the NMC label. The recording, entitled Ben Somewhen, also featured chamber works performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.The Cloths of Heaven, a recording of Skempton’s choral music by the Exon Singers, was released on Delphian Records in June 2008, and in 2011 Mode Records releasedBolt from the Blue a disc featuring Skempton's piano and choral works.

Works have been commissioned and performed by leading artists including the BBC, Kathryn Tickell, New Noise, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's 'Ensemble 10/10'. A work for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Only the Sound Remains, for viola and ensemble, was premièred in February 2010 in a Skempton portrait concert. Other recent commissions include a choral work, Song's Eternity for the 2010 Aldeburgh Festival, and Skempton is taking part in the New Music 20*12 Cultural Olympiad project - He will be writing a piece for eight church bells for the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers which will be performed to mark the opening of Spitalfields Festival at Christ Church, London, in June 2012.

Joan Sleigh

Joan Sleigh was born in 1962 in Hermanus, Cape, South Africa. As the second daughter of Julian and Renate Sleigh Joan enjoyed a happy, harmonious childhood in Camphill. Her schooling was partly Waldorf and partly state education. After graduating from high school she moved to Germany for 13 years where she had four children and then did the Waldorf teacher seminar in Witten/Annen. She then returned to South Africa in 1995 and worked in the Michael Oak Waldorf School for 18 years, as well as in the Center for Creative Education, training teachers.

Having grown up in Camphill with Anthroposophy and having attended and studied Waldorf Education, Joan became an active part of the anthroposophical work in Cape Town. In 2011, she  took on the position representing South Africa in The Haag Circle of the Pedagogical Section at the Goetheanum in Dornach.

In 2012 Joan was asked to consider joining the Executive Council at the Goetheanum, which she then did in March 2013. Part of her responsibility is in the field of Studies and Further Education, especially Anthroposophical Studies in English. Another aspect of her work is linking with the English speaking Anthroposophical Societies throughout the world. 

Alan Stott

Alan Stott (piano) studied at Dartington College of Arts in South Devon with the accompanist Dr Ferdinand Rauter (co-founder of the Anglo-Austrian Music Society), London, and pianist Robert Kolben, Munich. Alan toured with the Munich Eurythmy Stage Group from 1977 to 1980. He is co-founder of the Anderida Ensemble, which came into being in 1985. He established a Duo with the virtuoso cellist Robert Davey in 1994. Alan has performed in several Cambridge Music Conferences and Grail Conferences. Howard Skempton and Nigel Osborne have written pieces for him and his artistic partner Maren Stott (eurythmy). Their current programme “Water Islands” with Geoffrey Norris (recitation and acting), with music by Debussy was premiered at the Goetheanum, Switzerland and has toured the UK, Ireland, Europe and New Zealand.

Maren Stott

Maren Stott graduated in eurythmy from Nuremberg Eurythmy School in 1982. She moved to England and toured Britain and Europe with Ashdown Eurythmy till 1986. Subsequently she taught in the London School of Eurythmy, touring with the London Stage Group and Anderida Ensemble from 1991 to 1994. Maren performed and directed eurythmy in Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas (Portal Productions) which toured Europe and the USA. In 2001 she began the Bach Project with Professor Paul Robertson (Partita in D minor for solo violin) which toured Europe and the UK. Since 1991 she teaches and performs with Eurythmy West Midlands. In 2010 Maren completed her MA in Eurythmy Performance from Alanus University Alfter/Bonn.

The invitation from Elizabeth Carmack to participate in the Cambridge Music Conference in 2001 has led to the Grail Conferences in Cambridge, London and Vancouver. Maren has received new commissions for oboe, oboe d’amore, harp, cello, and piano by composers Nigel Osborne, Howard Skempton and Kate Waring resulting in unique collaborative work.

“The challenges to find new ways in eurythmy to search for and reveal the healing potential in the contemporary idiom of commissioned works has inspired and enriched my on-going research to expand the possibilities of my art. To collaborate with the composers and performers continues as an abiding inspiration; I attempt to find a way to reveal the human search in their music, where, for me at least, they enable me to catch and articulate some glimpse of light from another world.”

Klaus Suppan

Klaus Suppan was born 1981 in Graz, Austria. He studied jazz and improvisational music, as well as music and media technologies, at Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria. Klaus studied eurythmy at the Individual Study Programme at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. Currently he teaches eurythmy within the context of Course Studies and Further Education at the Goetheanum, as well as the Academy for Art and Anthroposophy. He is part of the Kairos Project Ensemble and is the director of the Academy for Art and Anthroposophy in Dornach, Switzerland.

Philip Thatcher

Philip Thatcher taught history, English and drama for seventeen years at the Vancouver Waldorf School and served as General Secretary for the Anthroposophical Society in Canada from 2004 to 2011. He is the author of The Raven Trilogy, a retelling of the Parzival story through Native North American characters, and continues to be active as an adult educator.

Kate Waring

Kate Waring was born in Louisiana where she earned a bachelors degree in flute performance and a masters in composition at the state university, studying with Dinos Constantinides, before moving to France where she earned her doctorate at the Sorbonne in 1984. Her main professor was Iannis Xenakis. She then spent 17 years in Bonn, Germany where she instigated and was artistic director of several music festivals during her time there. After years of perseverance, the home of her festival was the prestigious Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn, which was inaugurated in 1992. Waring's American Music Week was the first series to produce musical events there. She has composed in all genres and had performances worldwide. In the new year, her opera Are Women People? will be performed in Cambridge, England, where she has lived since 1997.

Andrew Wolpert

Andrew Wolpert works at the Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar in Stuttgart, Germany and the Steiner Seminar in Budapest, Hungary. He gives courses, seminars and lectures on Language, Literature, Renaissance Art, and Parzival also in Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden and Japan.

Ursula Zimmermann

Ursula studied Eurythmy with Elena Zuccoli from 1975 to 1979 in Dornach. She then actively taught in the Elena Zuccoli School of Eurythmy until 2000. Today Ursula works at and carries responsibility for the Kairos Centre of Eurythmy. She teaches eurythmy courses in Switzerland and abroad, but also within the College for Studies and Further Education at the Goetheanum. She possesses professional expertise from her longstanding work on the Goetheanum Stage as well as her continuous independent artistic projects since 1990. She heads the Kairos Project-Ensemble which often appears within conferences at the Goetheanum.