Adjudicators 2023-03-01T19:24:49+00:00


David Mahoney, voice

A music graduate of Oxford University, David has enjoyed success with Classical Brit Award winning group Only Men Aloud, including performances at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special and the Royal Variety Performance.

As a conductor and producer, David has worked with artists including Matt Cardle, Kerry Ellis, Ruthie Henshall, Russell Grant, John Owen-Jones, Lucie Jones, Sophie Evans, Caroline Sheen, Ben Forster, Lee Mead, Connie Fisher, Rufus Wainwright, Tim Minchin, Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Roger Daltrey, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Petula Clark, Tony Hatch, David Arnold, Gemma Arterton and Laura Mvula.

Recent performances as conductor of The Novello Orchestra include the Wales Millennium Centre’s 10th Anniversary production Broadway to the BayLive with Pink Martini (Wales Millennium Centre), The Golden Age of Dance (Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Wales Millennium Centre), and Broadway in Concert (Wales Millennium Centre and the London Palladium).Further credits include Show Producer for the BAFTA Cymru Awards, Music Supervisor for the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations ‘City of the Unexpected’, Creative Director / Conductor for Christmas on Broadway with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Artistic Director of the Cardiff Music Festival and Producer of television productions for BBC and ITV.

Zoe Smith, piano

As an accompanist, Zoe Smith has worked extensively in the UK and internationally with singers and instrumentalists. A graduate of Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, she has performed in many of the principal London recital venues, as well as the Schubertsaal in Vienna and Sala Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico City.  She has received prizes in song accompaniment and has also specialised in flute repertoire, working in masterclasses and recitals with many leading flautists including Sarah Newbold, Alexa Still and late Alain Marion, as well as recording three CDs for flute and piano.

 Since 1999, Zoe has worked at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she is now Head of Postgraduate Programmes. As a pianist, she has performed with a range of distinguished visiting artists, including Michael Collins (clarinet), Michael Cox (flute) and Roderick Williams (baritone).  In July 2015 she was awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.  She is currently working in partnership with Ty Cerdd to research Welsh instrumental music of the 20th Century, seeking to raise awareness of this rich repertoire and promote its performance amongst musicians in Wales and beyond.  The first output of this project is a CD of Welsh solo piano music, “Welsh Impressions”, released at the 2019 National Eisteddfod.

Alison Balfour-Paul, strings

Alison has been an orchestral player for many years, first in North Germany, then in the orchestra of WNO and currently as a freelance player.

She is a committed chamber Music player, has studied early music with Michaela Comberti and has performed in various Early Music ensembles.

Alison has studied in depth the highly acclaimed Colourstrings/Kodaly teaching method and has taught at the Cathedral School in Cardiff for 18 years and has been teaching at the RWCMD since 2007. She is passionate about teaching and loves arranging concerts and performances for her own students.