Alena and the Rayworths
Cumbrian flautist and flute teacher, John Rayworth, was Membership Secretary of the British Flute Society, dealing with applications to attend the big international flute convention in Manchester in 2006. Among the many applications from all over the UK and beyond was one from a Russian lady, Alena Lugovkina, who he assumed to be a mature adult. When the day of the Convention arrived, to his amazement it was an unaccompanied 16 year-old girl who turned up at reception and cheerfully introduced herself. She had made the journey alone from Moscow to attend the William Bennett flute course in London, immediately followed by the Convention in Manchester.
After the Convention John kept in regular email contact with Alena, establishing a lasting friendship. After she won a full scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in 2007 she often came to stay with John and his wife Gillian during the holidays. Ultimately they became like a second set of parents to her and subsequently she has paid many visits to her second home in Cumbria, despite now leading a busy international career. Her 'English parents' have attended many of Alena's London recitals and were proud to attend her Masters Degree graduation at Guildhall, London. In the course of this career she started playing with the Danish violinist, Niklas Walentin, and in July 2017 they got married at Armathwaite Hall in the Lake District where, for the first time, Alena's English 'Mum and Dad' had the joy of meeting her Russian parents for the first time.
Programme details on our concerts page.