About Animo

Sarah Waycott – flute

Sarah is a versatile flautist, cellist, conductor and peripatetic music teacher based in the Forest of Dean.

Sarah's love for performing music started at a very young age. She graduated from Bath Spa University with a BMus(Hons) degree. Here she had studied flute and cello before continuing her postgraduate studies at the ‘Welsh College of Music and Drama’ where she gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. Since then she has travelled extensively in the UK and abroad, performing a wide range of music as an established freelance musician.

Sarah has satisfied her curiosity to enhance her classical training by also studying Jazz, World music and spending some time learning the Baroque flute, cello and the Viol. More recently she has ventured into modern, popular and film music and has started experimenting with electronics to layer and manipulate the sound of the flute and create new textures to her sound.

Sarah shares her enthusiasm of performing and making music by working one-to-one with her students and conducting two local community choirs.

She has a long-standing friendship and collaboration with pianist Hannah Mitchell with whom she co-founded their duo Tranquillo in 2009. Performing Classical and Classical crossover styles alongside original compositions and arrangements written for them. Tranquillo have recorded two successful albums and have performed worldwide.

Sarah was a founding member of the ELO Again Tribute Band and as their lead cellist she had the opportunity to 'let her hair down' and perform an entirely different repertoire in large venues across the UK and Europe for several years.

Sarah and Yanna created ANIMO after a shared desire to create music without any restrictions, always deferring to each other’s opinion to shape each piece uniquely. The aim is to get away from ‘leading and following’ but rather organically find a common sound. It was both their idea to make ANIMO their new venture with which to encourage more people to listen to contemporary music without barriers and for them to perform challenging, soulful music.

Yanna Zissiadou - piano

Yanna is a Greek-born concert pianist, accompanist, conductor and, since 2016, retired music teacher.

Settling in Gloucestershire in 1993 where she lives with her wife, a writer, Yanna has spent the last 26 years performing on stage both as a freelance musician and a music educator.

Yanna’s upbringing helped shape her eclectic taste in music: from Classical to Pop and Baroque to Jazz, Musicals and ‘Rebetika’, Operas and Folk music from Pontos (her family’s ancestry), Yanna’s distinctive style is to let music speak directly to the listener without labels.    

The recipient of the 'Dimitri Sgouros Prize and Scholarship' in 1987, Yanna graduated from the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki in 1988 with the 'Diploma for Piano Performance and Teaching'. She continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London where she studied piano with Hamish Milne, conducting (second study) with Denise Ham and chamber music with Malcolm Martineau. She graduated the Royal Academy in 1990 with the 'Diploma of Advanced Studies'. Yanna continued her postgraduate studies with a Master in 'Piano Performance and Literature' at the Eastman School of Music, U.S.A., where she was taught by Jeffrey Kahane.

 As a concert pianist Yanna spent 10 years performing across Greece, the U.S.A. and the UK but also toured in Europe and was lucky to have a few unique opportunities to perform in Algeria, Turkey, Bulgaria. An experienced accompanist, Yanna has played with a variety of orchestral instruments, accompanying different vocalists, choirs, Opera and Theatre companies. 

Yanna continues her solo piano career adapting to a more modern performance platform with her online YouTube channel and Soundcloud where she has begun recording Greek piano music. Her website can be found at https://www.yannapiano.com/ 

In Spring 2018 she co-founded ANIMO with friend Sarah Waycott, a contemporary flute and piano duo focusing on music written ‘from the soul’.

Sarah and Yanna created ANIMO after a shared desire to create music without any restrictions, always deferring to each other’s opinion to shape each piece uniquely. The aim is to get away from ‘leading and following’ but rather organically find a common sound. It was both their idea to make ANIMO their new venture with which to encourage more people to listen to contemporary music without barriers and for them to perform challenging, soulful music.