THE ACADEMY of ST OLAVE’S – Anila Milaj
Anila Milaj was violin soloist in 2000, 2002 and 2006 whilst studying in England. The orchestra raised funds for the trust which supported Anila’s studies.
Anila Milaj is an active chamber musician playing in various quartets and piano trios, giving concerts, recitals and also performing in Music Festivals.
Anila Milaj was born in Fier, in southern Albania. She received professional lessons at the National Academy in Tirana from Lorenc Radovani. In 1998 her teacher sent a video of her to The Albanian Musician’s Trust who submitted it to Chetham’s School. As a result, Anila won a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, studying with Benedict Holland. Throughout her years of studying in England Anila has been supported by the Albanian Musicians Trust.
Anila has appeared as soloist with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra (winning the school’s coveted Concerto Prize in her first year), the Academy of St. Olave’s, Hertfordshire Classical Orchestra, Scarborough Orchestra, Blackburn Symphony Orchestra and also with two of UK’s leading professional orchestras, namely the Hallé and the Manchester Camerata. Anila has performed at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester several times, including performances of Ferdinand the Bull by Alan Ridout, Brahms Sonata No.2, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint Saëns and Ravel’s
In furthering her studies Anila has participated in numerous International Summer Courses and also the Wieniawsky International Violin Competition in Poland. Anila has been an active chamber musician playing in various quartets and piano trios, giving concerts, recitals and also performing in RNCM Chamber Music Festivals. She has participated in masterclasses with Ian Brown, the Endellion Quartet, Lewis Kaplan, Lorand Fennyvech, Attis Bankas and Gordon Back.
Anila is currently (in 2006) a fourth year undergraduate student at the RNCM where she studies with Wen Zhou Li.
The Albanian Musicians' Trust
When the communist régime fell in 1990 there followed a period of anarchy, and classically trained musicians were in a desperate situation. The composer Thoma Simaku and the conductor Eno Koço and their families fled to England. Academy of St Olave’s bassoonist June Emerson raised funds to support them. This led to the formation of The Albanian Musicians’ Trust in 1991.
For fifteen years the Trust supported musicians in Albania and several students who came to study in the UK at Chetham’s School and the Royal Northern College of Music. The Trust helped Albanian composers to promote their music in the outside world. The Trust also sent quantities of printed music to the starved libraries and supplied strings and other accessories to the Albanian music schools.
Musical life has now regenerated in Albania, albeit on a smaller scale. The Trust was therefore wound up at the end of 2006, very happy with what it helped to achieve. The Albanian Academy of Arts presented June Emerson an award in 2012 for her years of hard work and tireless efforts to help Albanian musicians.