Harriet Mackenzie – Violin

Wednesday 3 May 2023

“Superbly responsive playing…faultless technique and unfailing insight.” The Gramophone

Harriet Mackenzie is an internationally renowned concerto soloist and has performed across five continents. Her recordings include concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Nova and the English Symphony Orchestra and these have received international acclaim, including Five Stars in The Times (Richard Morrison); and nominated for ‘Recording of The Year’ in Music Web International: “There is a completeness, a confidence, an honesty and a consistent lyrical beauty that has moved me again and again. These qualities all emerge in Harriet Mackenzie’s utterly magisterial performance.” (Richard Hanlon).

Her recording frequently top the recordings of the year lists: her recording of the Wall of Water violin concerto was chosen by Guy Rickards, Gramophone Magazine as one of his top three recordings of 2015; her recording of Christopher Gunning’s concerto was chosen by Norman Lebrecht as one of his top recordings of 2016. Her recording of the solo Sonata by Nicholas Maw in 2020 was highly acclaimed, receiving ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone Magazine and garnering praise from BBC Music Magazine: “if you aren’t stirred by the panache of his half-hour sonata of solo Violin (1997) I’d suggest a visit to the doctor. Harriet Mackenzie is a most fearless and eloquent executant of this wonderfully inventive sonata…”. She has recorded on the NMC, Discovery, Nimbus and Dutton labels. Live broadcasts include BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and Hungarian National Radio.

Harriet has performed concertos and recitals in prestigious halls such as the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, Budapest Marble Hall, Purcell Room, Beijing NCPA, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Seoul Concert Hall, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, and Kyiv Hall of Marble Columns.  Harriet has performed as a soloist with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, 12 Ensemble, Bath Philharmonia, Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Piccadilly Sinfonietta.

As well as performing all the standard repertoire, Harriet is an ambassador for contemporary music and has created a legacy with new works. She has performed many world premieres with music specifically written for her, including Robert Fokkens’ violin concerto (premiered Southbank Centre, London); Graham Coatman’s violin concerto, (premiered Swaledale Festival); Deborah Prichard’s ‘Wall of Water’ violin concerto, inspired by the paintings of Maggi Hambling (premiered LSO St Luke’s) and Deborah Pritchard’s violin and harp concerto, also inspired by the paintings of Maggi Hambling (premiered Aldeburgh Festival); Errollyn Wallen’s Triple concerto, written for her group Kosmos (premiered Jersey Liberation Festival) and Julian Joseph’s violin concerto (premiered Salisbury International Festival). In 2016 she directed and performed Piazzolla’s ‘Four Seasons of Buenos Aires’ in the Auditorio Nacional Madrid with the London-Vienna Kammerorkester which has lead to many more performances directing and to the formation of her own string orchestra the ‘Celoniatus Ensemble’ named after her 1730 Italian violin.

A multi-faceted virtuoso, she is also fascinated by world music styles and composes and improvises in many different styles.

Harriet graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with First Class honours, M.Mus and DipRAM. In 2015, she was awarded the Richard Carne Fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music. Also in 2015 she was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) for her outstanding contribution to music. In 2022 she was honoured to be Associate Artist of Salisbury International Festival.