Our Team

Omar Puente

Lead Violin Tutor

Throughout his career, Omar has performed at many distinguished venues such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the Royal Albert Hall, supporting and sharing the stage with a host of other stars including Tito Puente, John Williams, Nigel Kennedy, Courtney Pine and Wynton Marsalis.

His numerous accolades include the 2017 and 2018 Lukas Award for Classical, Jazz or Folk Act of the Year, a top 10 spot for Song-line Magazine’s Album of the Year.

Nigel Kennedy has said “Omar Puente’s contribution to violin performance in the 20th and 21st centuries has now become legendary. His generous character, his commitment to good music, his enjoyment of life and his respect for his colleagues are characteristics that make him a truly great violinist.”

Born in Santiago de Cuba, Omar spent his teenage years studying classical music by day under Russian and Cuban masters, and Cuban music by night in Havana’s famous music Halls. After graduating from Cuba’s university for performing arts, Omar toured Cuba, Mexico and the United States with the José María Vitier band, led the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba (NSOC), touring Europe and Latin America and developing his recording career.  

Having maintained close ties with traditional Cuban music, Omar combines this influence with his extensive training in classical and jazz languages, resulting in a musical voice rich in energy and colour, which combines with his charismatic and overflowing personality.

Omar gives lessons and masterclasses in prestigious venues around the UK, including Trinity College, the University of West London, Cambridge University and Kumba Alpha Strings. He is an external examiner for the Guildhall Conservatoire and the published author of a book on jazz music education.


Raised by Music's Violin Tutor, Anja Milivojević

Anja Milivojević

Violin Tutor

Serbian violinist Anja Milivojević obtained her BMus and Masters degree at the Music Academy in Belgrade and has been in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, performing across Europe and Asia.

In Serbia Anja has performed with renowned ensembles including the Serbian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Contemporary Ensemble Metamorphosis, and Makris Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2022, Anja appeared with the Radio Symphony Orchestra at the River Festival Belgrade, performing alongside Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, and Željko Lučić. In 2023, Anja moved to London, working with the Tchaikovsky Camerata Orchestra and Longborough Festival Opera. Together with the violinist David Juritz she has appeared at the Dean and Chadlington Music Festival and Burton Bradstock Music Festival.

Anja has a number of years of experience as a violin professor at the Josif Marinković music school in Belgrade and currently teaches violin at the music school in Hampstead, London and with Raised by Music in Streatham, London.

James Sleigh ARCM, Hon ARAM


James began playing the viola at the age of 9. Fortunate to grow up in a part of Scotland with enlightened musical leadership and where lessons were free at school, James quickly excelled and was offered a scholarship to join the junior school of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music on Saturdays studying with James Durrant. Thereafter places in the National Youth String Orchestras of Scotland and the NYOGB further fuelled James’s enthusiasm. Another scholarship took him to the Royal College of Music and set him on a career path of orchestral and chamber music which took him all over the world, performing concerts in nearly 40 different countries

James lived for a time in Reykjavik where he played as principal viola in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, returning nearer home to join the Scottish Chamber Orchestra before eventually settling in London. 

James has worked with many distinguished musicians both in concert and in recordings across genres including pop, jazz, film and classical. Whilst still a performer James is also now a highly experienced teacher, coach and examiner. He coached the NYO violas for 19 years and taught at Eton College until 2023. James was previously on the staff of Birmingham Conservatoire and since 2002 has been a Professor of Viola at the Royal Academy of Music where he currently teaches, coaching orchestras and ensembles and examining there and in conservatoires across the sector. James has also acted as an Undergraduate Head of Year at the Academy, mentoring students in the 3rd and 4th years of study.

With his enthusiasm still undimmed, James is grateful for the opportunity to have had a life in music – one which was unimaginable to him as a young boy, and is delighted to be a trustee of “Raised by Music” for the invaluable and potentially transformational work that they do.Browse our partner-sponsored Glasses, with a variety of options to suit every taste and budget, available to buy online

Suzette Coleman, Trustee

Suzette Coleman


Suzette has been the headteacher at Raised by Music’s host school, Immanuel and St Andrew CoE Primary School since 2022. She is passionate about ensuring equal access to education and creative arts for the children and young people of Lambeth. Suzette has been an educator for 21 years. Prior to her role as headteacher, she was head of the Meteor site at Belleville Primary School and Deputy Headteacher at Belleville Wix Primary School. She studied at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and later at the Mico Teachers College before moving to London in 2007 where she continued her teaching career. 


Rosie Kilian, Founder and Trustee, Raised by Music

Rosie Kilian

Founder and Trustee

Over more than a decade Rosie has combined musical performance (viola), teaching and organising community music with a career in the UK civil service, developing a strong understanding of what it takes to nurture musicianship in young people and the significant barriers that many children face in accessing high quality music education. This experience has informed the novel concept of Raised by Music which, through daily supervised practice sessions delivered in partnership with host schools, enables children of all backgrounds to flourish as musicians on a completely level playing field. Rosie and her family live in Streatham, Lambeth.