Adjudicators 2021-10-24T15:01:04+00:00


Mark Llewelyn Evans, voice

Welsh opera singer, author and entrepreneur Mark Llewelyn Evans trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama & the National Opera Studio, London. For over 25 years Mark has worked alongside many major names in the entertainment industry including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, David Blaine, Rob Brydon & Sir Bryn Terfel. Mark`s career has taken him throughout the world singing title roles in international opera houses, his one man show, a blockbuster movie as well as the ‘Bread of Heaven’ for The Six Nations Rugby tournament at the Principality Stadium. Mark’s debut album ‘Let the Light in’ topped the UK classical charts, and his charity single, ‘Tell my Father’ performed with the Band of the Welsh Guards became a number one in the UK, benefitting the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal.
Mark is artistic director for Opera Sark, ambassador for Loud Applause (a charity that show cases young talent). He is particularly passionate about mentoring emerging entrepreneurs and is a role model for Big Ideas Wales. In 2015 Mark founded the ABC of Opera Ltd, (THE ACADEMY OF BARMY COMPOSERS) an educational project that delivers cross curriculum opera workshops to primary schools. Since setting up “ABC” the company has delivered over 250 school workshops with a remarkable positive impact on our young learners. Mark’s first book “THE ACADEMY OF BARMY COMPOSERS – BAROQUE” was released in May 2019 with three more to follow in 2020. Discussions are already underway to turn each book into an exciting family stage show.

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.

Simon Jones, strings

Simon Jones studied at Bristol, Oxford and York universities, gaining his PhD in 2003. He was the first-ever leader of the European Baroque Orchestra, and spent the early part of his career touring and recording with many of the UK’s leading period instrument groups. He performed with, amongst others, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington and Christopher Hogwood, and at one point he held three principal seats simultaneously. From 1997 to 2004 he was concertmaster of The King’s Consort, relinquishing this post to take up the position of Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He now combines his various teaching roles with performance, including leading and recording with award-winning UK ensembles such as The Sixteen and Arcangelo.

In 2012 Simon took on the role of Head of String Performance at RWCMD, developing the course to offer a unique blend of stylistic and contextual experience, class-leading performance opportunities and high levels of mentoring and contact with internationally-renowned teachers. Simon combines this role with external consultancies, examining roles at other institutions, and diploma examining for the ABRSM. He is a trustee and council member of the European String Teachers’ Association and acted as a consultant for recordings for the ABRSM’s last violin syllabus. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and in 2016 was proud to receive a coveted National Teaching Fellowship.