Richard Watkins – Horn
Richard Watkins – Horn
“It’s a fine vehicle for Watkins, who played it with great warmth of tone, lyrical refinement and understated virtuosity. Salonen and the Philharmonia, meanwhile, made much of Turnage’s heady, if occasionally dense textures.” The Guardian
Richard Watkins has become one of the most sought-after horn players of his generation and is well-known as a concerto soloist and chamber music player. He was Principal Horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1985 until 1996, and is currently a member of the Nash Ensemble and a founding member of London Winds and the Transatlantic Horn Quartet.
Richard has appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious venues in the UK, Europe and the USA, and has worked with conductors such as Giulini, Sawallisch, Salonen, Slatkin, Sinopoli, Rozhdestvensky, Andrew Davis and Mark Elder. His extensive discography includes recordings of the Horn Concertos by Mozart (IMP), Malcolm Arnold (Conifer), Glière and Ethel Smyth (Chandos), as well as Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (DG) and Poulenc’s Chamber Music for Horn (Hyperion). In recital, Richard regularly performs at the Wigmore Hall with singers such as John Mark Ainsley, Ian Bostridge and Mark Padmore, and with pianists Barry Douglas, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles and Ian Brown.
Richard is closely associated with promoting contemporary music for the horn. He has given premières of concertos by Maxwell Davies, Osborne, Lindberg, Muldowney, Lefanu, and Colin and David Matthews. Recent premières include Bleak Moments by Mark Anthony Turnage for horn and string quartet, Colin Matthews’s Time Stands Still for horn, violin and piano, a performance of Colin Matthews’ Horn Concerto at the 2006 BBC Proms, and a horn quintet by James MacMillan which was première d at the 2007 Cheltenham International Festival. Most recently he played Eleanor Alberga’s Shining Gate of Morpheus at the 2019 Arcadia festival recording the work for Navona shortly afterwards.
“Lizzie Ball lit the place on fire with her solos” San Francisco Chronicle
Named as one of the most 50 inspirational women of 2018 by The Daily Mail ‘Femail at 50’ feature, and awarded an honorary degree from the University of Derby for her services and contribution to classical music, Lizzie is recognised increasingly for her refreshing and unique approach to classical music performance. Her creation of Classical Kicks, a unique brand of energetic reinvigorated classical music shows at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, has seen continued success. She is also known for her solo violin/vocal collaborations with numerous artists such as British violin superstar Nigel Kennedy (as a soloist with him and leader of his Orchestra of Life for 8 years), and legends Jeff Beck and Brian Wilson (as a featured frontline band member), Brit pop legend Bryan Ferry and more recently as lead violin for Ariana Grande and Hugh Jackman. Performance highlights include headlining at Madison Square Garden NY for Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, several critically acclaimed US-wide tours, and directing the historical Palestine Prom for BBC Proms 2013 in the Royal Albert Hall. Her brand new co-production with Producer/Writer/Director Emily Blacksell Corrido-A Ballad for the Brave a musical and visual storytelling of the life and times of Frida Kahlo received widespread acclaim at its premiere alongside the V and A’s celebrated Frida Kahlo Making Her Self Up exhibition.
Lizzie is passionate about outreach projects and has given hundreds of workshops for various orchestras and projects over the years, involving visits to a wide range of establishments from private boarding schools to Pupil Referral Units, and loves working with young people. More recently Lizzie has been working locally with the brilliant Sheffield Music Hub on a number of projects, including an original commission for a piece for Electric violin and orchestra called The Lone Star in partnership with Hugh Sykes Charitable Trust. This piece was composed by Andy Smith together with the children of 6 schools of over 200 children in the Sheffield area who all also participated in the concert premiere of the piece in December 2017 in Sheffield Cathedral. Lizzie has also become Ambassador for PRISMA, a charity founded by her colleague Morgan Szymanski to help children in need in Mexico by providing arts workshops to rural underdeveloped areas of Mexico. So far the project has reached over 15,000 children in just two years of existence.
Lizzie has been regularly director of the Mikroorkestra – a young and exceptionally talented group based in Vilnius, founded by accordion virtuoso, Martynas Levickis. Before lockdown in 2020, Lizzie was a special guest artist in an Arena Tour of Lithuania with Martynas and the orchestra, performing to audiences of over 20,000 in Martynas’ spectacular audio-visual production ‘Cinema Live’.
Karen Jones – Flute
Karen Jones – Flute
Karen is equally well known as concerto soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and orchestral player. She is constantly in demand by composers and conductors alike with solo engagements including the Royal Wedding, a world première by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, several blockbuster movies and the London Sinfonietta’s 50th anniversary concert at the Royal Festival Hall. A member of the European Youth Orchestra at fifteen, subsequent student successes include Finalist in BBC TV’s Young Musician of the Year, a Fulbright Scholarship, Harkness Fellowship to study in New York and the Gold Medal in the Shell/ London Symphony Orchestra Prize. She was appointed principal flute of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at 25, a post she held for 5 years before returning to London to pursue her diverse career.
Karen has been a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London, for the last ten years and is frequently invited to give masterclasses as far afield as South America and Asia. She was elected FRAM in 2021.
Callum Au – Trombone
Callum Au – Trombone
“The remarkable young arranger, Callum Au, is already a master.” The Guardian
Callum Au is a professional trombonist, composer, orchestrator, and arranger. Based in London, Callum has worked with some of the UK’s top big bands and orchestras, and has fast made a name for himself as one of the UK’s finest young musicians.
Callum was privileged to be taught in his youth by veteran trumpet player Terry Reaney, pianist Brian Harrison, and top UK jazz trombonist Mark Nightingale. He was a member of Bill Ashton’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra from 2005 – 2010, during which time he played lead trombone and was one of the band’s principal arrangers.
Callum works as a trombonist and principal arranger at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, alongside illustrious bandleader and clarinettist Pete Long. In this post, he has worked with many of the world’s top professional jazz and commercial artists, including Joss Stone, Seth MacFarlane, Jason Robert Brown, Liane Carroll, Tim Minchin, Peter Erskine, and two thirds of the Spice Girls!
Callum is active as a freelance trombonist and has worked with many of the top ensembles in the UK, including the John Wilson Orchestra, Echoes of Ellington, and in the pit of several West End shows. In 2014, he performed at the BBC Proms Battle of the Big Bands in the James Pearson Big Band, where he also contributed several of the arrangements.
As a freelance composer and arranger, Callum has written or arranged music for a huge variety of ensembles and artists, including the BBC Big Band, Jamie Cullum, the RTE Concert Orchestra, Clare Teal, and the Swingle Singers. Callum is in high demand for his orchestration skills, and has arranged music for several major touring shows including ‘Lorna Luft: The Songbook of Judy Garland’, ‘The UK Salutes Frank’, and ‘From Rags to Ritzes: the Irving Berlin Story’. Callum has also arranged and orchestrated a variety of TV, film and library music including the film ‘A Royal Night Out’ starring Emily Watson & Rupert Everett.
In 2014, Callum was selected as one of seven up-and-coming arrangers from around the world to participate in the Metropole Orchestra Arrangers’ Workshop, where he worked with composer/ conductor Vince Mendoza, and vocalist Gregory Porter. Since then, Callum has been invited to work with the Latvian Radio Big Band, in a project arranging the music of J.S. Bach for big band, featuring accordion soloist Ksenija Sidorova.
Callum is the orchestral manager and musical director of the Callum Au Big Band, which features some of the finest jazz musicians in the UK. The band released its debut album ‘Something’s Coming’ in 2012, which featured as its centrepiece a suite of music based on the musical ‘West Side Story’. The band has also worked on an arrangement of George Gershwin’s masterpiece ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, which premiered at Ronnie Scott’s in 2014 and featured pianist James Pearson. Callum also performs with his jazz quintet, co-led by baritone saxophonist Richard Shepherd, and inspired by the Brookmeyer/Mulligan group.
Callum is the trombonist and principal arranger for the ‘Close To You’ ensemble, a collaboration between the acclaimed Tippett Quartet and the James Pearson Quintet. A unique chamber ensemble featuring both jazz and classical elements, this hand-picked group explores the canon of the Great American Songbook, working with top vocalists Matthew Ford, Claire Martin, and Anna-Jane Casey.
In Autumn 2014, Callum was appointed as the guest MD of the Leeds College of Music Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, where he directed the band through his West Side Story Suite for a term. Callum has also directed workshops with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and his arrangements are played in many schools and colleges around the world.
In his free time, Callum likes tropical fish, Asian food, Star Trek, and strategy games.
Sophia Rahman – Piano
Sophia Rahman – Piano
“The piano concerto is full of detail and deftness. Sophia Rahman, known for her deep velvet playing in late-Romantic music, shows that she can be just as articulate when adopting a more brittle and brilliant style”. The Daily Telegraph
Sophia Rahman made the first UK recording of Florence Price’s piano concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She has recorded Shostakovich’s piano concerto Op. 35 with the Scottish Ensemble for Linn Records and over thirty-five chamber music discs for a host of international labels including CPO, Guild, Resonus, Dutton/Epoch, ASV and Champs Hill.
Sophia has appeared in recital with distinguished musicians including cellist Steven Isserlis, violinist Augustin Hadelich, oboist Alex Klein, clarinettist Karl Leister and tenor Mark Padmore, as well as working frequently with her partner the violinist, violist and conductor Andres Kaljuste.
Sophia has coached junior chamber music at the Sibelius Academy, Finland and Lilla Akademien, Sweden, and on courses she has specially designed at the Arvo Pärt Centre for young Estonian chamber musicians and for those entering the brand new Tallinn Music and Ballet School. She is also known for her work as a class pianist at IMS Prussia Cove where she has played for the classes of Kim Kashkashian, Atar Arad, Thomas Riebl, Hartmut Rohde and, for more than a decade, Steven Isserlis. Her interest in this field began as a class pianist for the legendary William Pleeth at the Britten-Pears School.
After early tuition with Antonietta Notariello, Sophia studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School under Peter Norris, with additional guidance from Vlado Perlemuter and Louis Kentner.
She took a first-class honours degree in English from King’s College, London and completed her piano studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Alexander Kelly and Malcolm Martineau.
She was the winner of the Royal Overseas League’s Accompanist Award and the Liza Fuchsova Memorial Prize for a chamber music pianist in consecutive years.
Sophia is the Artistic Director of the Whittington Festival in Shropshire.
“Fretwork is the finest viol consort on the planet” The London Evening Standard
In 2021, Fretwork celebrates its 35th anniversary. In these last three and a half decades, they have explored the core repertory of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell, and made classic recordings against which others are judged.
In addition to this, Fretwork have become known as pioneers of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned over 40 new works. The list of composers is like the role call of the most prominent writers of our time: George Benjamin, Michael Nyman, Sir John Tavener, Gavin Bryars, Elvis Costello, Alexander Goehr, John Woolrich, Orlando Gough, Fabrice Fitch, Peter Sculthorpe, Sally Beamish, Tan Dun, Barry Guy, Andrew Keeling, Thea Musgrave, Simon Bainbridge, Poul Ruders, John Joubert, Duncan Druce & Nico Muhly.
The group now frequently presents programmes consisting entirely of contemporary music.
They made their Carnegie Hall debut in February of 2010, and now tour the United States most years.
In that year, they also curated a week-long concert series of concerts at Kings Place. The culmination of this week was the world premier of ‘The World Encompassed’ by Orlando Gough, a 70-minute piece describing in musical terms Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80.
In 2011, The National Centre for Early Music, in collaboration with the BBC, hosted a competition for young composers to create a four-minute piece for Fretwork. They workshopped the shortlisted pieces at the NCEM in York in October, and then the winning entries were premiered in Kings Place in December 2011.
Thomas Bowes – Violin
Thomas Bowes – Violin
“…warm, contemplative and deeply rewarding performances.” Wholenote
Thomas Bowes is one of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished violinists – as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster and artistic director.
His concerto work in the UK, Germany and the USA has included performances of the Elgar, Walton, Britten and Szymanowski concertos. At the invitation of the late Lady Walton, Tom spent three weeks on Ischia studying the history and score of the Walton concerto. His subsequent critically acclaimed recording of the work (along with the Barber concerto) reveals a special connection to Walton’s music.
Tom undertook an extensive ‘Bach Pilgrimage’ in 2013, giving fifty concerts of the unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of JS Bach in churches across mainland Britain and raising over £20,000 for various charities. His recording of the works is due for release in early summer 2018 when he will again be making a Bach Pilgrimage across Britain. Further Pilgrimages are planned for every year.
Tom’s partnership with his wife, the composer and pianist Eleanor Alberga, has played a significant role throughout his career. As the duo “Double Exposure” they toured extensively across the USA, made a ground-breaking trip to China in 1997 and gave regular performances and broadcasts in the UK. The Duo established a reputation for adventurous programming and regularly performed commissions and world premieres of American and British composers.
As an enthusiastic champion of the music of Eleanor Alberga, Tom gave the world premiere of her first Violin Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Joseph Swensen. A second Alberga concerto is in the midst of composition and a premiere is planned for the 2019/20 season.
Chamber music has been a major part of Tom’s artistic life – he was the founding leader of the Maggini Quartet – and between 2003 and 2016 he was the Artistic Director of the Langvad Chamber Music Jamboree in northern Denmark. More recently, with Eleanor Alberga, he founded the music festival Arcadia in north Herefordshire, England. Central to the ethos of both festivals is to bring fresh, authentic and vibrant music making to local communities and their audiences.
Equally at home in the commercial recording studio, Tom is in great demand as soloist and concertmaster and works closely with many of today’s most eminent film composers. Amongst numerous film credits are such hit-movies as the Bond films “Spectre” and “Skyfall”, The Hunger Games trilogy, “The King’s Speech” and “The Da Vinci Code”. Tom is privileged to own and play a violin by one of the great Cremonese makers – a splendid 1659 Nicolo Amati.
The Fidelio Trio
The Fidelio Trio
The performances are absolutely wonderful…stylish virtuosity…instinctive brilliance.”
BBC Radio 3 Record Review
The …virtuosic Fidelio Trio… (Sunday Times) are Darragh Morgan, violin, Tim Gill, cello and Mary Dullea, piano. Shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the Fidelio Trio are enthusiastic champions of the piano trio genre, performing the widest possible range of repertoire on concert stages across the world; they are broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3, RTÉ Lyric FM, WNYC, NPR and featured on Sky Arts documentaries; they have an impressive list of commissions and first performances from the leading and newest composers and have a large discography of highly acclaimed recordings.
Since their debut at London’s Southbank Centre, they have appeared at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, at festivals from Brighton and Cheltenham to St. Magnus, and from Gregynog to Huddersfield. They regularly perform across the Irish Sea at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Kilkenny Festival and Belfast Festival at Queens as well as overseas in Shanghai, Porto, Paris, Venice, Florence, Johannesburg, New York City, Princeton, San Francisco and Boston.
Their extensive discography includes Ravel and Saint-Saëns for Resonus Classics; Philip Glass Head On; Korngold and Schoenberg (Verklärte Nacht arr. Steuermann) for Naxos; the complete Michael Nyman Piano Trios for MN Records; multiple releases on NMC, Delphian Records including portrait CDs for composers such as Luke Bedford and Michael Zev Gordon. Their recent release of French Piano Trios for Resonus was a Gramophone Magazine Critic’s Choice.
Keen to ensure the future development of the piano trio, The Fidelio Trio work closely with composition and performance students at institutions across the UK and all over the world including the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, NYU, NAFA Singapore, and Stellenbosch Conservatorium South Africa. They have been artists-in-residence at St. Patrick’s College Dublin City University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the State University of New York, SUNY.
The Fidelio Trio are constantly commissioning new works, giving first performances, and importantly, further performances to introduce them into the repertory. Composers that the trio have worked closely with include Toshio Hosokawa, Charles Wuorinen, Johannes Maria Staud, Michael Nyman, Gerald Barry, Donnacha Dennehy, Joe Cutler, Evan Ziporyn, Simon Bainbridge, Judith Weir… to name but few.
Inspirational musicians, The Fidelio Trio have collaborated with include Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Richard Watkins (horn), Joan Rodgers and Patricia Rozario (soprano), Rachel Roberts (viola), and with spoken word, author Alexander McCall Smith and T.S. Eliot prize-winning poet Sinéad Morrissey.
2017/18 saw tours of USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and China, many festival appearances including a Schubert cycle at Kilkenny Arts Festival. Collaborations included new piano trio commissions from Kevin Volans and Alexander Goehr and a world premiere recording of two works by Philip Glass for his label Orange Mountain. They continued their residency at the National Concert Hall in Dublin; undertook a further tour of China and recordings included Gerald Barry’s Chamber Music for Mode Records and a second instalment of French Piano Trios (Chausson, Fauré and Satie) for Resonus Classics. 2018/19 season sees multiple performances of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto including with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, a further USA East Coast tour, a BBC broadcast recital for Spitalfields Festival and multiple CD releases.
They are Artistic Directors of their annual Winter Chamber Music Festival at Belvedere House, Dublin City University and continue to be passionate in their advocacy for the piano trio across the world.
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
“…a shimmering string of musical jewels..” The Guardian
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is one of the world’s foremost new music ensembles. Over three decades, BCMG has developed the music of today for the audiences of tomorrow. The ensemble has commissioned over 175 pieces of music from the world’s finest composers and emerging international talent. Many of the works have been commissioned through its innovative pioneering Sound Investment crowd-funding scheme to which over 500 donors have contributed more than £300,000; many of these works have subsequently found their way into worldwide repertoire.
BCMG was founded by Simon Clugston and Ulrich Heinen, musicians from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, in 1987, with Sir Simon Rattle as Founding Patron. Since then, BCMG has reached over 10 million people in concert and through broadcasts. The Group performs regularly at CBSO Centre, Symphony Hall and Town Hall Birmingham, Wigmore Hall in London and at the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival. To this day, BCMG maintains a close link to the CBSO and regularly works with CBSO’s Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
International tours have included visits to the USA (Library of Congress), Mexico, India and venues across France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. The Group is regularly heard in concert on BBC Radio 3, and has recorded extensively. Recordings include discs of works by Thomas Adès, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Benjamin Britten, and a Grammy Award-nominated recording of Gerald Barry’s opera, The Importance of Being Earnest, for NMC Recordings. Recent releases include Wilde Lieder Marx.Music on Coviello and Howard Skempton’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a series of recordings devoted to British composers including BCMG’s late Artist-in-Association Oliver Knussen, Julian Anderson and Charlotte Bray (all on NMC) and a disc of the works of Elliott Carter on Ondine.
BCMG’s work both inside and outside the concert hall has earned it many awards and accolades. Over the last decade it has been shortlisted for: ITV’s South Bank Show’s Classical Music Award; the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Ensemble Award and BBC Music Magazine’s Chamber Award. Its long-established Learning and Participation programmes actively engage young people in composing and performing, and have earned BCMG nationwide recognition (in 2016, the Group was highly commended in the Family Arts Festival Awards).
In partnership with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, BCMG has created the NEXT Music Study Programme in Contemporary Performance, an innovative programme of study which supports early career musicians who want to dedicate their professional career to contemporary music. It is the only programme in the UK providing intensive, year-long training in contemporary music performance practice, offering musicians an unprecedented opportunity to learn from some of the most exciting performers and composers working today.
David Juritz – Violin
David Juritz – Violin
“…aching lyricism of David Juritz’s performance: exceptionally clean and focused in tone but spiced up with an almost shameless profusion of swooning portamentos – naked expression held in the grip of an icy control.”
The Strad Magazine
David Juritz is one of the most versatile violinists currently working in the UK, dividing his time between solo performances, directing, chamber music, working as guest leader with many of Britain’s finest orchestras and leading his own group, the London Tango Quintet.
David Juritz was born in Cape Town, South Africa and, after winning a scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, came to London to study at the Royal College of Music with Hugh Bean and Jaroslav Vanecek. During his time at the RCM he won all the major prizes for violin including the college’s highest award, the Tagore Gold Medal.
On leaving the RCM he joined the English Chamber Orchestra. From 1991 to 2010 he was the leader of the London Mozart Players, the longest serving leader in that orchestra’s history. He made many appearances as soloist and director with the LMP, including his debut at the 2006 BBC Promenade Concerts.
He has directed the Royal Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Mozart Festival Orchestra as well as many other ensembles. From 2010 to 2012 he directed the Johann Strauss Orchestra on nationwide tours to widespread acclaim.
In 2010 he was invited to become one of the inaugural members of the Quartet of Peace, playing on instruments dedicated to South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize winners, in a series of concerts in Cape Town, Leipzig, Liverpool, London and Paris. Other recent performances have included appearances as soloist and director at the Tonhalle in Zurich, performances of the Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos with the Shin Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Tchaikovsky concerto with the London Concert Orchestra at the Barbican, the world premiere of ‘Tales from South America’, a new tango concerto written for him by Cecilia McDowall and concerts directing the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland.
His recording of the Vivaldi Four Seasons, re-released by Nimbus Alliance in 2012, has been widely hailed by critics as one of the finest interpretations of that much-recorded work. David’s recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, released on the same label in May 2011, was also warmly received by the music press.
In 2005 he took on the role of director of the Burton Bradstock Festival in Dorset. In 2007 he took a five-month sabbatical to busk around the world. On the 60,000 mile journey through 50 cities in 24 countries on six continents, he paid for the entire journey with his busking earnings by playing Bach on the streets. He used the trip to launch Musequality, a charity supporting music education projects for disadvantaged children in developing countries. He remains deeply committed to encouraging young musicians in the developing world. In 2011 he travelled to Kurdistan to spend two weeks coaching young musicians of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq.
David plays on a violin made by J.B. Guadagnini in Piacenza in 1748.
Alexander Goehr – Composer
Alexander Goehr – Composer
The combination of mystery and transparent musical language compels attention—as did the edgy, controlled performance—even as the core meaning remained a puzzle. This was one of the best kinds of musical experiences, where one wants to hear the music repeated and get closer to the mystery at the center.
New York Classical Review
“Unburdened by ideology and technical schemata, Goehr’s works fly free of their conceptualisation with the energy of pure artistic discovery. What he most values in his technical devices is an ability to throw up felicities of part-writing or reiterative rhythm which may be cultivated for their independent strangeness and beauty. Such trouvailles lend his music a very personal flavour even as they unlock the fragrance of the past.” Paul Driver 2009
Alexander Goehr, composer and teacher, was born in Berlin on 10 August 1932, son of the conductor Walter Goehr, and was brought to England in 1933. He studied with Richard Hall at the Royal Manchester College of Music (where together with Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Maxwell Davies and John Ogdon he formed the New Music Manchester Group) and with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod in Paris.
In the early 60’s he worked for the BBC and formed the Music Theatre Ensemble, the first ensemble devoted to what has become an established musical form. From the late 1960’s onwards he taught at the New England Conservatory Boston, Yale, Leeds and in 1975 was appointed to the chair of the University of Cambridge, where he remains Emeritus Professor. He has also taught in China and has twice been Composer-in-residence at Tanglewood.
He has written five operas: Arden Must Die, Hamburg 1967; Behold the Sun, Deutsche Oper 1985; Arianna, lost opera by Monteverdi, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 1995; Kantan & Damask Drum, Theater Dortmund September 1999; Promised End, derived from King Lear, London 2010; and a music theatre Triptych (1968-70). His orchestral works include four symphonies, concerti for piano, violin, viola and cello and other orchestral compositions, which have been commissioned and performed by major organisations and leading conductors. He had a particularly close working relationship with Oliver Knussen, who has premiered and recorded several works.
Many of his works have been commissioned by the BBC and feature regularly at the Proms. The year of Goehr’s appointment at Cambridge coincided with a turning point in his output with the composition of a white-note setting of Psalm IV. The simple, bright modal sonority of this piece marked a final departure from post-war serialiasm and a commitment to a more transparent soundworld.
Goehr found a way of controlling harmonic pace by fusing his own modal harmonic idiom with the long abandoned practice of figured bass—thus achieving a highly idiosyncratic fusion of past and present. The output of the ensuing twenty years testifies to Goehr’s desire to use this new idiom to explore ideas and genres that had already become constant features of his work, such as the exploration of symphonic form (Sinfonia (1979), Symphony with Chaconne (1985-86), Eve Dreams in Paradise (1987-88), Colossos or Panic (1991-92). However these years’ output is also characterised by a number of ambitious vocal scores.
A common feature of many of the vocal compositions of these years is the choice of subjects that function as allegories for reflection upon socio-political themes: The Death of Moses (1992); the cantata Babylon the Great is Fallen (1979) and the opera Behold the Sun (1985). But there are also non-political works: the cantata Sing, Ariel (1989-90), that recalls Messiaen’s stylized birdsong and sets a kaleidoscope of English poetry, and the opera Arianna (1995), written on a Rinuccini libretto for a lost opera by Monteverdi, is an exploration of the soundworld of Italian Renaissance.
After productions of his opera Kantan & Damask Drum (1997-98) in Dortmund and London, Goehr devoted himself almost exclusively to chamber music. Through the chamber music medium Goehr gains an unprecedented rhythmic and harmonic immediacy, while his music remains ever permeable by the music and imagery of other times and places. A series of quintets for different combinations began with Five Objects Darkly (1996) and grew with a Piano Quintet (2000); …around Stravinsky for violin and wind (2002); a Clarinet Quintet(2007); and most recently, from 2008, Since Brass nor Stone… for string quartet and percussion (2008), a memorial to Pavel Haas. The set of piano pieces Symmetries Disorder Reach (2007) is a barely disguised baroque suite; Marching to Carcassonne (2003) flirts with neoclassicism and Stravinsky, and Manere for violin and clarinet (2008), based on a fragment of medieval plainchant, is a typical foray into the art of musical ornament.
Goehr returned to the operatic medium with the opera Promised End (2008-09), based on Shakespeare’s King Lear, performed in 2010 by English Touring Opera. And there has been more orchestral music: TurmMusik (2009-10), with Nigel Robson and the BBC Philharmonic conducted by HK Gruber, and When Adam Fell (2011-12), commissioned by the BBC to celebrate his 80th birthday, with the BBC Symphony conducted by Oliver Knussen. His most recent work, To these sad steps (20011-12), to texts by Gabriel Levin, was premiered by Christopher Gillett and BCMG conducted by Oliver Knussen in September 2012.
Alexander Goehr is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a former Churchill Fellow, and the 1987 BBC Reith Lecturer. His archive is curated by the Berlin Akademie der Künste. Much of Goehr’s music is available on the NMC label, the latest release comprising Colossos or Panic, Little Symphony and The Deluge, conducted by Oliver Knussen. A new disc of orchestral music was released by Naxos in February 2013. Collections of his writings can be found in ‘Finding the Key’ (Faber & Faber 1998), and in ‘Fings ain’t wot they used t’be’ (Berlin Akademie der Künste and Wolke-Archive 2012). Discs of orchestral music on Naxos and chamber music on NMC were released in 2013 and further recordings are planned on Resonus.
Andrew West – Piano
Andrew West – Piano
“Technically and interpretatively the finest accompanist in Britain” The Independent on Sunday
Andrew West has developed partnerships with many of the country’s leading singers and instrumentalists.
His duo partners include Emma Bell, Emily Beynon, Florian Boesch, Alice Coote, James Gilchrist, Susan Gritton, Emma Johnson, Robert Murray, Christopher Purves, Hilary Summers, Marianne Thorsen and Roderick Williams, and they have performed at major festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh. Andrew received the inaugural Gerald Moore Award for Accompanists, and for several years he acted as official accompanist to the Steans Institute for Singers at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.
He appears regularly with the tenor Mark Padmore. Their concerts have included recitals throughout Europe and staged performances of Schubert’s Winterreise at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Lincoln Center, New York. At the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival they gave the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s song-cycle, Songs from the Same Earth, subsequently programmed in Amsterdam, Cologne and Wigmore Hall. They opened the 2016/17 recital series at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.Andrew has been one of the artistic directors of the Nuremberg International Chamber Music Festival since 2005. The festival has produced four of Britten’s chamber operas and promoted a wide range of British music, from Purcell to Adès, performed by leading European singers and instrumentalists. The 2017 Festival features music based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot.
He is Chairman and Artistic Director of the Kirckman Concert Society, which for over 50 years has auditioned exceptional young musicians and offered them London debut recitals at the Southbank Centre or Wigmore Hall. He also served on the jury of the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Competition.
Recordings include Lieder by Strauss, Marx and Bruno Walter with Emma Bell for Linn; music by Les Six with Emily Beynon for Hyperion; Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with Robert Murray, for Stone Records; and most recently a three-volume CD of the English Lyrics by Parry, featuring Sarah Fox, James Gilchrist, Susan Gritton and Roderick Williams.
As a duo pianist he has appeared at the City of London and Cheltenham Festivals with pianist Cedric Tiberghien. He was also closely involved with the Michael Clark Dance Company’s Stravinsky Project, performing the two-piano version of The Rite of Spring with Philip Moore, and in a 2008 production of Les Noces at the Barbican and Lincoln Center, New York. Andrew’s partnership with flautist Emily Beynon led to their Hyperion recording of the complete works for flute and piano by the French composers Les Six, and they have also given trio recitals with cellist Paul Watkins at the Purcell Room and the BBC Chamber Music Proms. Emily and Andrew have appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Wigmore Hall.
Andrew has worked with violinist Sarah Chang in Britain and Ireland, and performed with cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras at many of the major European halls. His piano quartet Touchwood released its first CD, of works by Chausson and Saint-Saëns, in 2000, and this was subsequently chosen as CD of the Month by the Daily Telegraph. He won second prize at the Geneva International Piano Competition and has since made solo tours of South Africa, South America and the United States.
Andrew has an MA (Hons) from Clare College, Cambridge, where he read English before studying under Christopher Elton and John Streets at the Royal Academy of Music. He was Pianist-in-Residence at Lancaster University from 1993–99.
Jon Carnac – Clarinet
Jon Carnac – Clarinet
“Carnac’s full tones could really stand out when needed, but for most of the Concertino he’s part of the team, another high compliment from friend to friend.” The Artsdesk
Jon Carnac regularly plays Guest Principal Clarinet with the country’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and 10 Downing Street with ensembles including London Winds, Soloists Of The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra and the Belcea Quartet. He frequently broadcasts as a chamber musician and soloist on BBC Radio 2 and 3.
Jon recently premiered Mark-Anthony Turnage – Concertino with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Jon’s commercial experience includes film scores, jingles and recordings with John Williams, Howard Shore, Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand, Howard Goodall, Howard Blake, Jerry Goldsmith, Barrington Pheloung, Karl Jenkins, Wynton Marsalis and The White Stripes.
Jon is a passionate Arsenal fan, and holds a Season ticket for the Emirates Stadium!
Steven Devine – Harpsichord
Steven Devine – Harpsichord
“One cannot ignore the immensely intelligent and impeccably placed keyboard continuo work of Steven Devine.” International Record Review
Steven Devine enjoys a busy career as a music director and keyboard player working with some of the finest musicians and was recently praised in The Gramophone for “fantastic touch and élan.”
He is the Co-Principal keyboard player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and also the principal keyboard player for The Gonzaga Band, Apollo and Pan, The Classical Opera Company and performs regularly with many other groups around Europe.
He has recorded over thirty discs with other artists and ensembles and made six solo recordings. His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Chandos Records) has been received critical acclaim – including Gramophone magazine describing it as “among the best”. The complete harpsichord works of Rameau (Resonus) has received five-star reviews from BBC Music Magazine and Steven’s latest recording of Bach’s Italian Concerto has been voted Classic FM’s Connoisseur’s choice. Future releases for Resonus include the Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach.
He made his London conducting debut in 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall and is now a regular performer there – including making his Proms directing debut in August 2007 with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has conducted the Mozart Festival Orchestra in every major concert hall in the UK and also across Switzerland. Steven is Music Director for New Chamber Opera in Oxford and with them has performed repertoire from Cavalli to Rossini. For the Dartington Festival Opera he has conducted Handel’s Orlando and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. He is currently conductor and Artistic Advisor for the English Haydn Festival in Bridgnorth.
Steven works regularly with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, Trondheim Barokk, the Victoria Baroque Players (BC, Canada) and Arion Baroque Ensemble (Montreal).
He teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London and is Early Keyboard Consultant to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Royal Welsh Colleges.
Oliver Webber – Baroque Violin
Oliver Webber – Baroque Violin
“Oliver Webber deserves a knighthood for services to period violin performance. He is a fount of historical knowledge…his sound gleams like metal in moonlight.” The Gramophone
Oliver has had a passion for the music of Monteverdi and his contemporaries since his student days in the Hague. He has been a been a key figure at the heart of historical performance for 20 years, and can be heard in concert and on disc with many of the UK’s best known period instrument ensembles: he is the leader of Ludus Baroque (Edinburgh) and principal and guest leader with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, The London Handel Orchestra, the Early Opera Company and the Hanover Band.
As a soloist he has performed on violin, viola d’amore and violino piccolo at major London and British venues, as well as festivals throughout Europe such as the Festival Paganiniano di Carro in Italy, and Vrijdag van Vredenburg in Utrecht. He is also frequently called upon as a leader and director abroad, with De Swaen, Amsterdam and Barokkanerne, Oslo and in 2012, he led the string band for Andrew Parrott’s ground-breaking recording of Orfeo.
Much in demand as a chamber musician, Oliver is a member of the Parley of Instruments, Passacaglia, Abbandonata and the London Handel Players, whose recent recordings for Somm have been described as “performances that are perfection itself, with a dazzling beauty of tone and of phrasing”.
Almost uniquely among performers, Oliver makes his own gut strings; with luthier George Stoppani he has helped to re-string several baroque orchestras (including the Gabrielis) in the light of the most recent historical research. He is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and lectures throughout Europe on various aspects of historical performance. He is currently engaged in a project to re-create the Italian violin band of the 17th century in all its original glory: the Monteverdi Violins are the first part of this enterprise; other research interests include ornamentation from 1580 to 1850, and historical violin and bow holds. Bringing the fruits of scholarly research to life on the concert platform is a driving force behind his work.
Oliver lives in London with his wife and 2 sons, although they spend as much time as possible in the mountains of Liguria.
Mark Padmore CBE – Tenor
Mark Padmore CBE – Tenor
“A recital brings together two Schubert masters….It’s difficult to avoid superlatives when writing about Mitsuko Uchida and Mark Padmore. Especially when it comes to Schubert.” New York Times
Mark Padmore was born in London and studied at King’s College, Cambridge. He has established an international career in opera, concert and recital. His appearances in Bach Passions have gained particular notice, especially his renowned performances as Evangelist in the St Matthew and St John Passions with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Simon Rattle, staged by Peter Sellars.
A highlight of Mark’s 2021/22 season is a residency at Wigmore Hall where he celebrates his relationship with pianists Till Fellner, Imogen Cooper, Mitsuko Uchida and Paul Lewis. He will also appear in recital in Brussels with Simon Lepper, Madrid with Kristian Bezuidenhout and in a six-concert US tour with Mitsuko Uchida.
Other appearances in this busy season include a staged Britten War Requiem at the Liceu Barcelona, Evangelist St Matthew Passion at the Bayerische Rundfunk conducted by Simon Rattle, and directing performances of St John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment.
Mark recently appeared in a new Royal Opera House, Covent Garden production of Britten’s Death in Venice, where his performance was described as a “tour de force” and “exquisite of voice, [presenting] Aschenbach’s physical and spiritual breakdown with extraordinary detail and insight”. Other opera roles have included the leading roles in Harrison Birtwistle The Corridorand The Cure at the Aldeburgh Festival; Captain Vere in Britten Billy Budd and Evangelist in a staging of St Matthew Passion both for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the world premiere of Tansy Davies Cave with the London Sinfonietta.
In concert Mark performs with the world’s leading orchestras. He was Artist in Residence for the 2017/18 Season with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and held a similar position with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for 2016/17. His work with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has involved projects exploring both Bach St John and St Matthew Passions and has attracted worldwide acclaim.
His extensive discography includes Beethoven Missa Solemnis and Haydn Die Schöpfung with Bernard Haitink and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on BR Klassik and Lieder by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart with Kristian Bezuidenhout for Harmonia Mundi. Other Harmonia Mundi recordings; Schubert cycles with Paul Lewis (Winterreise won the 2010 Gramophone magazine Vocal Award); Schumann Dichterliebe with Kristian Bezuidenhout (2011 Edison Klassiek Award) and Britten Serenade, Nocturne and Finzi Dies Natalis with the Britten Sinfonia (ECHO/Klassik 2013 award).
Mark was voted 2016 Vocalist of the Year by Musical America and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Kent University in 2014. He was appointed CBE in the 2019 Queens’ Birthday Honours List.
Mark is Artistic Director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.
Sholto Kynoch – Piano
Sholto Kynoch – Piano
“Kynoch’s accompaniments are beautifully sensitive, flexible and transparent throughout…These are all refreshing and unfailingly engaging performances.” Gramophone
Sholto Kynoch is a sought-after pianist who specialises in song and chamber music. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, which won a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2015, cited for its ‘breadth, depth and audacity’ of programming. In July 2018, Sholto was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in the RAM Honours.
Recent recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, the Zeist International Lied Festival in Holland, the LIFE Victoria festival and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Opéra de Lille, Kings Place in London, Piano Salon Christophori in Berlin and many other leading venues nationally and internationally. He has performed with singers including Louise Alder, Benjamin Appl, Sophie Daneman, Tara Erraught, Robert Holl, James Gilchrist, Dietrich Henschel, Katarina Karnéus, Wolfgang Holzmair, Jonathan Lemalu, Stephan Loges, Daniel Norman, Christoph Prégardien, Joan Rodgers, Kate Royal, Birgid Steinberger, Anna Stéphany and Mark Stone, amongst many others.
Together with violinist Jonathan Stone and cellist Christian Elliott, Sholto is the pianist of the Phoenix Piano Trio, an ensemble that has been praised for creating a ‘musical narrative of tremendous, involving depth’. In recent years, he has curated several series of recitals at the National Gallery, including their ‘Monet and Architecture’ exhibition in 2018. He has recorded, live at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the first complete edition of the songs of Hugo Wolf. Other recordings include discs of Schubert and Schumann lieder, the complete songs of John Ireland and Havergal Brian with baritone Mark Stone, a recital disc with Anna Stéphany, and several CDs with the Phoenix Trio.
“He has all the virtuoso velocity and firepower, and then some.” BBC Music Magazine
Pianist Daniel Grimwood is a performer of international renown, combining an exceptional talent, rare versatility and refinement, with an inquisitive personality.
With a repertoire ranging from Elizabethan Virginal music to the works of living composers, he enjoys a solo and chamber career, which has taken him across the globe, performing on the most prestigious concert platforms, including the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room in London, Saffron Hall, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Symphony Hall Birmingham, the Sage Gateshead, the Three Choirs Festival, the Rachmaninoff and Gnessin Halls in Moscow, the Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as venues in Germany, Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Estonia, Taiwan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Lebanon and Oman.
His musical interest started as a 3-year-old playing next door’s piano, and from the age of 7 he was performing in front of audiences. His training continued with Graham Fitch at the Purcell School, where he also studied violin, viola and composition, giving him a broad appreciation of classical music, and later with Vladimir Ovchinnikov and Peter Feuchtwanger.
Although primarily a pianist, he is frequently to be found performing on harpsichord, organ, viola or composing at his desk. Grimwood is a passionate exponent of the early piano, and has given a recital of Chopin’s Etudes on the composer’s own Pleyel piano.
As a solo recording artist his growing discography ranges from Scriabin on Somm Recordings to Algernon Ashton, a world premiere recording on Toccata Classics. His discs of Liszt and Chopin, performed on an 1851 Erard piano, received a unanimous chorus of praise from the press; the Liszt album was Daily Telegraph CD of the week and Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. He was the first artist to record on the Edition Peters Sounds label, the complete Fauré Nocturnes album was released to excellent reception in The Sunday Times, which was followed by a disc of solo piano works by Adolph von Henselt, described as “a blizzard of dazzling pianism” by the Observer.
Daniel Grimwood regularly performs on live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, and has been featured in BBC Four’s TV documentary series “Revolution and Romance”. His media work continues with performances and video masterclasses in the “Piano Masterworks” collection on Tido Music, a new iPad app launched in 2016.
Stephen McNeff – Composer
Stephen McNeff – Composer
“ Beyond the Garden…an extraordinary experience.”Opera +
Stephen McNeff studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and did post-graduate work at the University of Exeter. He began his career working in theatres throughout Britain and he became Associate Director at the University of Manchester’s Contact Theatre. He went to the Banff Centre in Canada as composer in residence writing a number of music theatre works before becoming Artistic Director of Comus Music Theatre in Toronto. There he won a Mavor Moore Award for his opera The Secret Garden. On his return to Britain he won a Scotsman award at the Edinburgh Festival for his opera Aesop, written with long-time collaborator, the Cornish poet Charles Causley.
His relationship with the Canadian Brass resulted in a Brass Quintet and he arranged numerous albums – including those with the Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic Brass. As his reputation grew in England his work was performed in major concert hall like the newly opened Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, but it was his quirky take on T S Eliot’s The Wasteland – presented operatically as a film noir thriller – that grabbed the attention of the London critics at the 1994 Covent Garden Festival.
He went on to write a number of other music theatre works including Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe, Slump (based on the cartoon strip by novelist Will Self) and, with the award winning poet Alice Oswald, Passions. In 2004 his opera Clockwork (based on the book by Philip Pullman) was a major success at the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The Royal Opera House commissioned him to write Gentle Giant, a work which has been revived twice and is in the ROH repertoire. In 2007 he won the British Composer Award for his opera, Tarka the Otter.
Although specialising in opera and music for the theatre and voice he has written important instrumental pieces, including a Cello Sonata, a Piano Quintet and a large range of works for wind ensembles of various kinds. Ghosts, his first major success in this genre, has been played extensively in Europe, Japan and the USA and been recorded twice. The Royal Northern College of Music recorded a portrait album of his wind music, Image in Stone, available on the Campion label and other recordings of wind music recordings feature the University of Indiana on the Klavier label.
A long relationship with the Unicorn Theatre produced many new scores, notably his music for a series of plays based on Beatrix Potter’s children’s stories. These have been very successfully made into the Beatrix Potter Suites recorded on Chandos by the BBC Concert Orchestra with Imelda Staunton.
In 2005 he became Composer in Residence with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra where principal conductor Marin Alsop gave premieres of three new symphonic works, Heiligenstadt, Secret Destinations and Sinfonia. Other works for the BSO included Weathers for chorus and orchestra, and Echoes and Reflections, premiered by Yan Pascal Tortelier. He also completed works for the BSO’s new music ensemble, notably LUX and Counting 1 and 2 (premiered in an exchange with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ensemble 10/10). The Chalk Legends, an opera oratorio with over 200 performers, was commissioned by the BSO for London 2012.
Other orchestral commissions include Near Avalon for the Ulster Orchestra and a Double Percussion Concerto for the ODuo and BBC Symphony Orchestra (both Radio 3 commissions). His new orchestration of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande was performed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and was unanimously praised by the London critics as a landmark development in approaches to the opera. It was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. For Rambert Dance he adapted Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges into Seven for a Secret and in 2012 there was a transatlantic revival of a newly revised version of The Secret Garden at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the Banff Festival of the Arts.2013 saw the release of two very warmly received new CDs. Madrigali Dell’Estate features mezzo soprano, Clare McCaldin, singing Italian themed works, while the release on Dutton Epoch is of four major works from his time as composer in residence with the BSO.
His Concerto for Flute and Wind Orchestra was premiered by the Lambeth Wind Orchestra in April 2014 and revived five performances in the first year with more scheduled. The Concerto for Oboe and Strings was first heard at the Presteigne Festival (‘filigree swerves of texture redolent of an almost baroque, Italianate sensibility’, according to Tempo Magazine) while his new orchestration of Carmen for Mid Wales Opera was greeted with great enthusiasm. Steph Power in Wales Arts review said, “McNeff’s Carmen is recognisably Bizet (via Saint-Saëns and Ravel), but breathes quite another smoky atmosphere: Kurt Weill’s burlesque, ironic cabaret. With guitar and splash cymbal, saxophone and muted trumpet, McNeff opens the door to a rich and intriguing Carmen as direct social critique”.
Recent new works include The Darkling Serenade for the British Clarinet Ensemble, premiered in Madrid last year (published by Maecenas). His latest choral work A Half Darkness will be premiered by Chamber Choir Ireland at the Wexford International Choral Festival and then tour Ireland, while another new choral work, Everyone Sang will be premiered in Dorchester and in Germany in the autumn. Meanwhile his new opera, Banished will be first performed by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in June and a new song cycle for Mark Padmore and Morgan Szymanski (a Radio 3 commission) will be heard as part of a BBC lunchtime concert from the Wigmore Hall in September. Vivienne, McNeff’s five-star rated one women song-cycle opera for Clare McCaldin, is now released on the CD Notes from the Asylum on Champs Hill Records.
Nigel Osborne – Composer
Nigel Osborne – Composer
“Nigel Osborne is one of Britain’s best-kemp musical secrets.” The Guardian
Nigel Osborne was born in 1948.
He studied composition at Oxford with Egon Wellesz and Kenneth Leighton, and in Warsaw with Witold Rudzinski. While in Poland, he co-founded one of the first live-electronic performing groups in Eastern Europe, and worked at the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, the beginning of a special relationship with electroacoustic music which continued with residencies at IRCAM in the 1980s and many works in the live electronic medium. The core of his output, however, is ensemble music, which issued from a number of long-term collaborations: for example with the Ensemble 20jh of Vienna, with the London Sinfonietta, the Nash Ensemble, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia. Larger orchestral pieces include Sinfonia 1 for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and for the Philharmonia Orchestra The Sun of Venice.
The theatre has always been an important focus for him. There has been a celebrated series of music/dance collaborations with the choreographer Richard Alston – Apollo Distraught, Wildlife, Zansa, Mythologies – and in opera and music theatre he has worked closely with the director David Freeman in works such as Hell’s Angels, Faust, Morte d’Arthur and the trilogy Sarajevo. In response to the last of these, he was invited in 1995 to create the first opera of the war in Sarajevo, Evropa, with a libretto by Goran Simic. Other work in the theatre has included Terrible Mouth, and The Electrification of the Soviet Union.
Osborne is currently Reid Professor at the University of Edinburgh, and advisor to the charity War Child, responsible for the implementation of a humanitarian aid programme in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Alec Roth – Composer
Alec Roth – Composer
“This is highly original music that, in truth, sounds like no other. There is no doubt that Alec Roth’s music, both in this work and in others, whilst refusing to duck the thornier issues that confront us, seems calculated to make us glad to be alive.” Musicweb
The seeming paradox is characteristic of Alec Roth’s music – somehow timeless, yet refreshingly new. Appealing to a wide audience, its surface simplicity is welcoming, while its underlying richness and depth reward repeated listening. Some of this can be explained by his unconventional background as a composer.
Born near Manchester in 1948 of German/Irish descent, his family were not musical, but at the age of five the serendipitous gift of an old upright piano set him on his way. Throughout school, university and a series of jobs (research scientist; teacher of maths; film animator) his creative energies were increasingly channelled into amateur music-making. These years laid the foundation of his approach to composition – practical, flexible, pragmatic. But at the age of 28 he decided that his intense sense of vocation demanded a more formal study.
Durham University provided a sound traditional training, and he specialised in conducting. “I’m still basically self-taught as a composer, but by learning scores to conduct them, I was having composition lessons with the likes of Haydn, Holst, Ravel etc.” A conducting career beckoned. But an invitation to study at the Academy of Indonesian Performing Arts (ASKI) in Surakarta proved irresistible.
“My biggest turning point – personally, as well as musically – was going to live and study in Java. The aim was to learn gamelan, but the experience profoundly challenged my thinking about my own musical culture”. On his return he founded the Gamelan Programme at London’s Southbank Centre. But he also determined to return to composition, applying his new ideas to the sounds and traditions he had grown up with. This soon became possible in an unexpected way.
In the 1980s British orchestras and opera companies were developing new approaches to education and community outreach, and Roth found himself in demand as a workshop leader. Education work led to commissions: Arion and the Dolphin (1994) for English National Opera’s Baylis Programme; All Summer in a Day as Opera North’s Associate Composer (1994-6); and Earth and Sky (2000) for children’s choir, commissioned by the BBC for the Proms.
Wider recognition came with each new work, and by the early years of the new millennium he was able to support himself full-time as a freelance composer.
Notable performers of his music have included the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields (four commissions including Departure of the Queen of Sheba), London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Allegri String Quartet, Voices8, The Sixteen, and the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral. His music has been programmed at major UK venues and festivals; broadcast on BBC Radio and Television; recorded on the Hyperion, Signum, Nimbus and other labels; and since his signing by Edition Peters in 2015, is increasingly heard around the world.
Three long-term working relationships lie at the heart of Alec Roth’s creative development:
His reputation as a choral composer results from a long, fruitful and happy association with Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra, in such works as Earthrise and A Time to Dance.
The subtleties of his vocal music in works such as My Lute and I and A Road Less Travelled have been inspired by the tenor Mark Padmore and guitarist Morgan Szymanski, for whom he has also composed a concerto and solo pieces.
His many collaborations with the writer Vikram Seth include a four-year sequence of works co-commissioned by the Salisbury, Chelsea and Lichfield Festivals (2006-9) featuring the solo violin of Philippe Honoré, including the oratorio The Traveller. Seth’s book The Rivered Earth (2011) describes their creative partnership, including an account of “the pleasures and pains of working with a composer”.
In 2015 a Finzi Trust Scholarship enabled a sabbatical in Leipzig to study the cantatas of J S Bach as an inspiration for his own work.
Elaine Delmar – Vocals
Elaine Delmar – Vocals
“Among the multitude of jazz singers in Britain today, there is not one who can surpass Elaine Delmar.”
Born in Hertfordshire, UK, Elaine was raised in a strong musical environment, her father being the renowned trumpeter Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson, a leading influence in the jazz and dance band movement in Britain from the 1930s onwards.
After initially studying classical piano, Elaine found a natural progression in singing and became a vocalist in her father’s own band at sixteen. It was soon apparent that her vocal talent and natural affinity with the stage would lead her to triumph in many areas of the entertainment world.
Elaine’s experience is indeed wide and diverse. Her first theatre appearance was in a revival of Finian’s Rainbow in the late 50’s at the New Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool. She then became a member of a group called The Dominoes before starting her career on the London stage, appearing in Cowardy Custard at the Mermaid Theatre and No Strings at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Although best known for her later starring role in the musical Bubbling Brown Sugar at The Royalty Theatre, London, she also had notable success with Kern Goes To Hollywood, appearing in both the London and Broadway productions. Elaine also received critical acclaim as a straight actress for her role in A Map Of The World at the prestigious National Theatre. She has made many appearances on TV and radio and featured in Ken Russell’s film Mahler as the Bohemian Princess.
Elaine’s recording career began in the early 60’s when she recorded various albums for one of her early champions, producer Denis Preston of Lansdowne Records. The first was an EP titled A Swinging Chick featuring the wonderful talent of Victor Feldman. Amongst her other albums, Elaine has also released the highly-acclaimed Elaine Sings Wilder, a tribute to one of America’s lesser-known composers, Alec Wilder. This album has become something of a collector’s item. The pianist and musical director on this record was Colin Beaton, one of Elaine’s mentors and early musical influences. She later went on to make a double album for Denis Preston entitled Elaine Delmar and Friends featuring Tony Coe, Alan Branscombe, Eddie Thompson and Pat Smythe, another great influence on Elaine’s musical life.
Elaine’s more recent recordings ’Swonderful, Nobody Else But Me and But Beautiful – all feature Brian Dee; the much-respected jazz pianist and accompanist with whom Elaine worked for over 20 years. In 2013, Elaine received the APPJAC SPECIAL AWARD FOR JAZZ from Michael Connarty MP at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards at the House of Commons.
Elaine is equally at home whether entertaining a concert audience or performing in the more intimate cabaret/small theatre setting. For example, she has appeared in concert with Andy Williams (Free Trade Hall, Manchester) and Michel Legrand with the London Symphony Orchestra (Royal Albert Hall, London). In cabaret, her performances have included appearances at The Ritz Hotel, London, as well as on the QE2 and numerous other cruise liners around the globe. In recent years Elaine has been the star vocalist in such touring shows as Let’s Do It saluting the music of Cole Porter, and the musical celebration By George, It’s Gershwin.
Elaine’s popular appearances at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Club in London have shown her to be remarkably adaptable in a jazz setting, having worked here at different times with such jazz giants as Herb Ellis, Benny Carter and Stephane Grappelli. Her recent season and her live album at Ronnie Scott’s evidence a singer who remains in the prime of her performing life. By popular demand, she regularly headlines at the club.
Helen Charlston – Mezzo Soprano
Helen Charlston – Mezzo Soprano
“…the star of the show…like the best of desserts, her voice is creamy with a hint of sharp fruitiness…she wowed the audience.” Music OMH
“…superbly conveyed by Thomas Kemp who conducts with unerring perfection.” Musicweb
Thomas Kemp is an acclaimed conductor renowned for his innovative programming and passionate advocacy in concerts and recording. The Guardian recently commented “…an extraordinary performance… with a fluency that came over brilliantly under the baton of Thomas Kemp.”
Thomas is the Music Director of Chamber Domaine, which is at the forefront of ensembles focusing on 20th and 21st century music. He regularly directs Chamber Domaine in festivals and concert series in the UK, Europe and North America including Edinburgh, Cheltenham, City of London, Huddersfield Contemporary, Aldeburgh, Vale of Glamorgan, Kuhmo, The Proms and Brighton Festivals. The ensemble has made regular appearances at Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre and have had residencies at Bargemusic, New York; The Schoenberg Centre, Vienna; The Victoria and Albert Museum and Gresham College, London.
Thomas has a distinguished discography with the ensemble including world-premiere recordings of Benjamin Britten, Frank Bridge, Arthur Bliss, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Arvo Part, Henrik Gorecki, Ned Rorem and Judith Bingham. The Times recently praised the ensemble for its “superb artistry…with pungent playing from Chamber Domaine under the baton of Thomas Kemp.”
Thomas is regularly in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the UK and Europe. Recent engagements include guest conducting with The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, RTE National Symphony, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
An acclaimed exponent of late nineteenth and early 20th century repertoire, recent engagements include groundbreaking concerts in the UK and Asia with The Orchestra orf the Age of Enlightenment conducting the 1925 film version of Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier.
Thomas was a featured artist at the Oxford Lieder Festival conducting Mahler and Strauss with the OAE and outstanding vocalists Toby Spence, Dietrich Henschel and Louise Alder. The Spectator commented “It’s supremely, exhaustingly virtuosic writing…the OAE con- ducted by Thomas Kemp gave their all…” Seen and Heard praised the performances for their “marvellous sweep.”
The critical edition of Der Rosenkavalier prepared for these performances will be published in 2022 by Schott and will be recorded for Resonus Classics.
In Spring 2019, Thomas toured Ireland with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim. Bachtrack commented: “Kemp kept a tight rein on the orchestra with sharp rhythmic drive…beautifully shaped and poised.”
Thomas has worked with many of the world’s leading contemporary composers and has given numerous world and territorial premieres including Judith Weir, Thomas Adès, Judith Bingham, Charlotte Bray, Arvo Pärt, Ned Rorem, David Horne, Huw Watkins, Brian Ferneyhough, Alexander Goehr, Mark Simpson, Magnus Lindberg, Danny Elfman, Brian Elias and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Thomas recently conducted the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage – Concertino for Clarinet with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Thomas conducted Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions in April 2022 premiering works by Deborah Pritchard, Stevie Wishart, Brian Elias, Daniel Kidane, Joseph Phibbs and Michael Price that ran alongside performances of Bach – Brandenburg Concertos. The concerts received 5 star reviews in the national press.
He made his operatic debut in a new production of Cosi fan tutte for Opera Holland Park with the City of London Sinfonia to widespread praise. “Cosi fan tutte was conducted with real shape and nuance by Thomas Kemp…Altogether this was the most original and idiomatic attempt on this ungraspable work London has seen in a long time.” Opera Now.
Thomas is the Artistic Director of Music@Malling – an international festival that promotes the works of contemporary composers alongside classical, jazz, world, film and vocal music. Founded in 2011, the festival is held each September in historic venues in and around West Malling, Kent and has a year around outreach programme that engages hundreds of young people in creative activities. Music@Malling was recently featured the annual international roundup of The Best Classical Concerts in The Artsdesk. In 2022, the festival features the music of Eleanor Alberga, Howard Skemtpon and Deborah Pritchard.
From 1989-92, Thomas read music at St.Catharine’s College, Cambridge and went on to study violin and chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where from 2000-2014 he worked as a professor. He has given masterclasses, conducted and coached ensembles in conservatoires and universities worldwide.
From 2003-2007, he studied conducting at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm with Jorma Panula, Paul Mägi and Alan Gilbert sponsored by The Swedish Academy.
Thomas has enjoyed an international career as a soloist, concertmaster, and chamber musician with many renowned orchestras and ensembles and has led many recording sessions for TV and film in London. The Strad recently commented: “He displays a remarkable variety of tone in playing that’s lyrical yet assertive, and there’s a real sense of sincerity to his glowing interpretations.”
“A virtuoso stunt of technique and imagination…exuberant commitment.” The Times
Under its artistic director, Thomas Kemp, Chamber Domaine has become internationally recognised for its virtuosity and its ambitious and distinctive approach to programming – illuminating the music of the 20th and 21st Centuries. A project based orchestra, its programmes feature outstanding musicians that bring passion and commitment to a diverse repertoire that makes the music of today come alive whilst placing it into its historical context. In a recent review The Times praised the ensemble for its “superb artistry.”
Chamber Domaine has worked with many renowned contemporary composers and has given World and territorial premieres in numerous concerts and recordings that span nearly two decades including highly acclaimed recordings of Mark-Anthony Turnage, Ned Rorem, Judith Bingham, Arvo Part, Jean Sibelius, Benjamin Britten, Frank Bridge and Mozart. Forthcoming releases include recordings of Brian Elias for Signum and Richard Strauss for Resonus.
The ensemble regularly collaborates with leading figures from across the arts world to create unique and culturally significant events.
A trailblazing ensemble, Chamber Domaine are in demand at leading festivals and concerts series in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America including Brighton, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, City of London, Edinburgh, Brighton Festivals and have regularly appeared at The Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre. The ensemble has developed groundbreaking residencies at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The Arnold Schoenberg Centre, Vienna, Gresham College, London and Bargemusic, New York.
Since 2011, Chamber Domaine has been the resident ensemble for Music@Malling giving concerts and delivering a year-around outreach programme that has engaged thousands of young people from across Kent in creative activities – building audiences from scratch and introducing new music to new audiences.
In April 2022, Chamber Domaine performed Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions with new works by Brian Elias, Deborah Pritchard, Stevie Wishart, Joseph Phibbs, Michael Price and Daniel Kidane. The performances received 5 star reviews in the national press and were described as “metaphysical brilliance'” by The Artsdesk.
In 2023, Chamber Domaine will be collaborating with Deborah Pritchard and Maggi Hambling.
With its innovative programming, collaborations, outreach and recording, Chamber Domaine is in the vanguard of music-making today: a flexible and dynamic ensemble that brings music alive and creates new audiences.
“An articulate musician with zest, spontaneity, technical assurance and a lovely sense of line…a major talent.” BBC Music Magazine
Since his concerto debut at the age of ten, the award-winning English ‘cellist Richard Harwood has performed concerti and chamber music in major venues including London’s Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Musikverein (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Alte Oper (Frankfurt), Thomaskirche (Leipzig), Auditorium du Louvre (Paris) and Alice Tully Hall / Lincoln Center (New York).
As concerto soloist, Richard has worked with conductors such as Mark Wigglesworth, Case Scaglione, Stanislav Kochanovsky, Michele Mariotti, John Wilson, Okko Kamu, Marko Letonja, Douglas Bostock, En Shao, Shuntaro Sato and Yehudi Menuhin, and with numerous orchestras including The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, RTÉ National Symphony, RTÉ Concert, Auckland Philharmonia and the Ural Philharmonic.
As chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Jerusalem and Endellion Quartets, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Olivier Charlier, Guy Braunstein, Benjamin Schmid, Alena Baeva, Ilya Gringolts, Pekka Kuusisto, Vilde Frang, Chen Halevi, Julian Bliss, Martin Roscoe, Peter Donohoe, Gottlieb Wallisch and Julius Drake, among others. Richard was cellist of the Sitkovetsky Trio from 2014-2016.
He is regularly heard on BBC, having made his BBC Radio 3 debut at the age of thirteen with a live recording of the Elgar Concerto. He has also given live performances on other radio networks including Classic FM, Radio France, MDR, RTÉ and Radio New Zealand.
Richard’s discography includes a debut disc for EMI Classics; recorded with pianist Christoph Berner, Composing Without The Picture (Resonus); a solo album of concert works written by film composers, and Christopher Gunning’s Cello Concerto recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. On screen, Richard can be seen and heard in Phil Grabsky’s 2009 documentary In Search of Beethoven and is regularly featured as a soloist on movie soundtracks, most recently in Patrick Doyle’s score to Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express.
Contemporary music is important to Richard and he’s premiered solo works written for him by Dominic Muldowney, Martin Butler, Christopher Gunning, Alex Heffes, Fernando Velázquez, Benjamin Wallfisch and given the European premiere of David Horne’s Zip with the composer at the piano. In recent years, he has developed a close association with Judith Weir and regularly performs her Unlocked for solo cello.
Richard was appointed principal cellist of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the beginning of 2018. He has also been a principal of the John Wilson Orchestra, and guest principal at the London Symphony and RTÉ Concert orchestras.
Richard began his studies with Joan Dickson, before continuing with other eminent teachers such as Steven Doane, David Waterman, Heinrich Schiff (University of Music and Dramatic Art, Vienna) and Ralph Kirshbaum (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester). He complemented his studies by taking master classes and lessons with Mstislav Rostropovich, Janos Starker, Steven Isserlis, Boris Pergamenschikow, Miklós Perényi, Bernard Greenhouse, Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartet), William Pleeth, Zara Nelsova and Ferenc Rados.
He has won many major awards ever since 1992 when he became the youngest ever winner of the Audi Junior Musician Award. Richard won the 2004 Pierre Fournier Award and, in that same year, also became the first British ‘cellist ever to be awarded the title “Bachpreisträger” at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition, Leipzig 2004. Among many other accolades, he received the special “mention” prize from the jury at the Rostropovich Competition, Paris in 2005.
Richard enjoys teaching and has given masterclasses at the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Bruckner University (Linz), in addition to other teaching and summer course coaching.
Richard plays a ‘cello by Francesco Rugeri, dated 1692.
“Bradbury is wholly alive to these touches of colour and character…nicely capturing the physical thrill of Piatti’s often spectacular fireworks as well as the wholly fitting bel canto warmth of Bradbury’s more lyrical playing.” The Gramophone
Adrian Bradbury was principal cello in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain before winning scholarships to Churchill College, Cambridge (where he read Veterinary Science and Music) and then to the Royal Academy of Music. After further study in Berlin he developed an international career in chamber music as the cellist in Composers Ensemble (winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society Chamber Award, 2002), Jane’s Minstrels, Trio Gemelli, Touchwood Piano Quartet and Chamber Domaine, giving world premieres of solos, duos, trios and quartets by Thomas Adès, Judith Bingham, Tansy Davies, Dai Fujikura, Hugh Wood and John Woolrich.
Adrian is a regular guest principal player with orchestras including London Sinfonietta, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera and Welsh National Opera and is Cello Tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of GB.
His research into ensemble synchronisation, in collaboration with Professor Alan Wing, was published by the Royal Society and led to invitations to curate the ‘Music and Brain’ series at the 2010 Aldeburgh Festival and to appear as speaker on BBC Radio 4’s ‘PM’ and ‘Today’ programmes and as soloist on BBC Radio 3’s 2015 ‘Why Music?’ weekend.
Together with pianist Oliver Davies, Adrian has recently recorded the complete operatic fantasies of the 19th Century cello virtuoso Alfredo Piatti on the Meridian label which have received excellent reviews.
“A work that takes one’s breath away.” The Gramophone
Deborah Pritchard won a British Composer Award for her solo violin piece ‘Inside Colour’ in 2017. She has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, released commercially by NMC, Signum and Nimbus and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Singers, Manchester Camerata and the English String Orchestra.
As a synaesthetic composer she has worked with numerous visual artists including Maggi Hambling, Hughie O’Donoghue and Icelandic sculptor Steinunn Thorarinsdottir. Her violin concerto ‘Wall of Water’ after the paintings by Maggi Hambling was performed at the National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing Theatre and held to critical acclaim by Gramophone as a ‘work that will take ones breath away’. She also paints music and has been commissioned a series of ‘music maps’ for the London Sinfonietta, described in The Times as ‘beautifully illustrated…paying visual homage to those wonderful medieval maps of the world.’
She studied composition with Simon Bainbridge for her MMus Degree in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded her DPhil from Worcester College, Oxford where she studied with Robert Saxton. She currently teaches composition tutorials at the University of Oxford. She was composer in residence at the Lichfield Festival, 2016 through the Sound and Music Embedded scheme and her work features in the ‘Hitting the right note: Amazing Women of the Royal Academy of Music’ exhibition on display at the Royal Academy of Music.
“This music will enhance anyone’s life: if you’ve ever wondered if good string quartets are still being written, here’s proof that they are.” The Artsdesk
With her 2015 Last Night of the Proms opener Arise Athena! Eleanor Alberga cemented a reputation as a composer of international stature. Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Chorus and conducted by Marin Alsop, the work was heard and seen by millions.
Her music is not easy to pigeon-hole. The musical language of her opera Letters of a Love Betrayed (2009), premiered at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury stage, has drawn comparisons with Berg’s Wozzeck and Debussy’s Pelleas, while her lighter works draw more obviously on her Jamaican heritage and time as a singer with the Jamaican Folk Singers and as a member of an African Dance company. But the emotional range of her language, her structural clarity and a fabulously assured technique as an orchestrator have always drawn high praise.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Alberga decided at the age of five to be a concert pianist, though five years later she was already composing works for the piano.
In 1970, she won the biennial Royal Schools of Music Scholarship for the West Indies which she took up at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano and singing. But a budding career as a solo pianist – she was among the 3 finalists in the International Piano Concerto Competition in Dudley, UK in 1974 – was augmented by composition with her arrival at The London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1978. Under the inspirational leadership of its Artistic Director Robert Cohan, she became one of the very few pianists with the deepest understanding of modern dance and her company class improvisations became the stuff of legend. These in turn led to works commissioned and conceived for dance from the company, most notably the piano quintet Clouds (1984). Alberga later became the company’s Musical Director, conducting, composing and playing on all LCDT’s many tours.
The orchestral works, Sun Warrior (1990) written for the inaugural Women in Music Festival and her dramatic adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1994) for large symphony orchestra and narrators, premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in 1994 with Franz Welser Möst and the LPO, helped build her growing reputation. In 2001 she was awarded a NESTA Fellowship for composition.
2001 also saw the completion and premiere of a highly praised first Violin Concerto, written for Thomas Bowes and commissioned by The Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Joseph Swensen. A second violin concerto entitled Narcissus was premiered in 2020. Also written for Thomas Bowes, it was premiered with the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra in Wroclaw, Poland and conducted by Joseph Swensen.
Chamber music, both in the more traditional form of three String Quartets and a Piano Quintet, and for more unusual line-ups, abounds. An unfolding series of Nocturnes – notably, Shinning Gate of Morpheus and Succubus Moon – featuring horn and oboe respectively with string quartet, is an expanding project. Works for voice have more recently come to the fore with a luminous setting of George Herbert’s The Glimpse and most recently the song cycle The Soul’s Expression to poetry by George Eliot, Emily Bronte and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; both premiered by the baritone Jeremy Huw Williams.
Other recent works include Awed Light its Chant Entrances for Chorus and piano. It was commissioned by and premiered at the 2019 Dartington Festival with Joanna MacGregor and the festival chorus to text by the poet Alice Oswald. 2019 also saw the completion and premiere of the first portion of a large tripartite piano sonata Seraph. Entitled Presence, it was performed by Alberga herself at the 2019 Arcadia Festival.
Alberga now lives in the Herefordshire countryside with her husband the violinist Thomas Bowes and together they have founded and nurtured an original festival – Arcadia. In 2019 a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award was presented to Eleanor for composition. This year she is to receive the honour of ‘Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music’.
The Marian Consort
The Marian Consort
“…exemplary performances…perfect blend without a note out of place.” MusicOHM
The Marian Consort is a Gramophone Award-nominated vocal ensemble, recognised for its innovative presentation of a broad range of repertoire. Led by founder and director, Rory McCleery, The Marian Consort performs across the UK, Europe and North America, and features regularly on BBC Radio 3.
Praised by The Scotsman for ‘performances that glow with golden purity and soul’, the group is composed of the very best singers performing one to a part, allowing clarity of texture and subtlety of interpretation that illuminates the music for performer and audience alike.
The Marian Consort’s repertoire encompasses music from the fifteenth century to the present day, with a particular focus on exploring lesser-known works. TMC is committed to creating new music, and has commissioned leading British composers including Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gabriel Jackson, Cecilia McDowall, and Matthew Martin.
The Marian Consort is a pioneer of projects which move beyond the confines of the traditional concert, bringing music of the past to today’s audiences. TMC has toured Breaking the Rules by musician and playwright Clare Norburn, a concert drama exploring the life and crimes of Carlo Gesualdo, to LSO St Lukes, Lichfield, Buxton, Cheltenham, Bath and Lammermuir Festivals, garnering five-star reviews.
The Marian Consort collaborates with ensembles including the Carducci Quartet, Berkeley Ensemble, Rose Consort of Viols, Illryia Consort, the Choir of Merton College, Oxford, and Ludus Baroque, in repertoire ranging from Byrd to Monteverdi and Arvo Pärt to Michael Berkeley. TMC has released ten recordings to critical acclaim, praised for ‘precision and pellucid textures’ (The Times) and for ‘drawing the listener in by quiet persuasion and musical intelligence of the highest order’ (The Guardian).
Recent performance highlights include concerts in the Bascule Chamber underneath London’s Tower Bridge; a debut performance in Estonia at the 24th Kuressaare Chamber Music Days; a residency at the Cambridge Early Music Festival; a concert at the Misteria Paschalia Festival, broadcast on Polish National Radio; and a UK tour to celebrate the group’s tenth anniversary. The Marian Consort made its inaugural tour of the US and Canada in October 2018, and will tour Japan in autumn 2021.
“Iain Mackenzie is a star…awesome ears, technique and delivery.” Claire Martin OBE
Coming from a pedigree of British jazz musicians to have passed through the Guildhall School of Music, Iain Mackenzie is one of the most in demand jazz, lounge and big band singers in the UK. Performing with world class orchestras and big bands, including those of the BBC and RTE, Iain is currently the principal male vocalist for the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra, and leader of the Ronnie Scott’s Singers – The iTones.
You may know Iain from his collaborations with Club Des Belugas, Tape Five and JoJo Effect. Having co-written and recorded close to 100 tracks with these giants of Lounge, NuJazz and Electro Swing, his tracks have been released on over 100 compilation albums.
Iain’s voice can be heard featuring on a vast amount of publicity and adverts on TV, radio and online. He has also worked widely with vocal harmony groups including Voxtet, The Magnets, The New London Jazz Voices and with jazz legends Kenny Wheeler and Abdullah Ibrahim. Other credits include Sandie Shaw, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Susan Boyle, Joss Stone and Mica Paris.
Whilst performing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s, The Ritz and The Maine in Mayfair, Iain is also touring with Leo Green for Tony Blackburn’s Sounds of The 60s, live Radio 2 show and with The BBC Big Band – The Music of James Bond… and Beyond!
Morgan Szymanski – Guitar
Morgan Szymanski – Guitar
“A player destined for future glories” Classical Guitar Magazine
Described as ‘a player destined for future glories’ (Classical Guitar Magazine) Morgan Szymanski has been highlighted as ‘One to Watch’ by both Gramophone Magazine and the BBC Music Magazine. A featured artist on the cover of Classical Guitar Magazine, Morgan Szymanski was selected as a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Young Artist Award’ by MIDEM Classique/IAMA.
Born in Mexico City in 1979, Morgan Szymanski started playing the guitar at the age of six. Early studies at the National Music School (Mexico) and the Edinburgh Music School led to a scholarship to study under Carlos Bonell and Gary Ryan at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, graduating in 2004 with first class honours. During his studies he won guitar prizes at the RCM as well as being awarded scholarships from the Tillett Trust, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Wall Trust, FONCA and a scholarship to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He went on to become the first solo guitarist to be selected by the Young Classical Artist Trust and was awarded a Junior Fellowship at the RCM, where he completed his Master’s degree with distinction.
A top prize-winner at international competitions, Morgan won first prize at the National Guitar Competition in Mexico. Performances as a soloist and with orchestras have taken him to concert halls and festivals in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, China, Chile, France, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He is included in the Mexican Foreign Office publication “El Mundo en las Manos” for his contribution as an ambassador of music and Mexican culture overseas.
In recent years Morgan has given recitals at major UK venues and festivals including the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, King’s Place, The Sage Gateshead, Royal Opera House, and London International Guitar Festival. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Orchestra of the Swan, Southbank Sinfonia, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Sinfonia, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Cervantes Choir and the Coro de Madrigalistas de Bellas Artes in Mexico’s Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Morgan is a resident artist at Beaminster Festival in Dorset, of which Sir Neville Marriner was patron.
Morgan continues to build his international reputation with performances around the world, most recently including performances at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Queens Hall (Edinburgh), Luxembourg Philharmonie, National Concert Hall (Dublin), Vienna Konzerthaus, Festival de México and Festival Cervantino. In 2018 he toured South Africa with guitarist, James Grace.
Morgan can be heard frequently on BBC Radio 3 and broadcast Alec Roth´s Concerto with the Britten Sinfonia and Mark Padmore live. He recorded Alejandro Basulto ´Jig Variations´ with the Shakespeare Sinfonia for Tocatta Classics in a recording celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Anglo-Mexican Foundation. He also performed Frida Kahlo’s only known song with Lizzie Ball at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His recordings on Sarabande Records have been described as “top class in every respect” and as “a jewel” by Gramophone Magazine. Of Szymanski’s “Sketches of Mexico”, Gramophone Magazine wrote “a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music” with Morgan’s playing “of the highest order”. He has recorded the works of Alec Roth for the Signum label with tenor Mark Padmore. His latest recording, “El Arbol de la Vida” was supported by the Mexican Arts Council and includes nine world premieres written especially for him.
Morgan’s devotion to chamber music has led to collaborations with singers Dame Ann Murray and Mark Padmore, guitarists John Williams, Carlos Bonell and Celso Machado, Alison Balsom (trumpet), Harriet Mackenzie and Lizzie Ball (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Adam Walker and Alejandro Escuer (flute) and the Sacconi, Doric, Amici, Carducci, Cremona, Carlos Chávez and Odeion Quartets.
Numerous composers have dedicated works for Morgan including, Michael Nyman, Alec Roth, Stephen McNeff, Simon Rowland-Jones, Simone Iannarelli, Deborah Pritchard, Paul Coles, Ivan Moseley, Marcela Rodríguez and Julio César Oliva.
He is an alumni of Live Music Now! , the scheme started by Lord Yehudi Menuhin to reach audiences that would otherwise have no access to live music. In 2016 he founded PRISMA, an artistic outreach programme aimed at taking workshops in music and the performing arts to socially disadvantaged and remote areas in Mexico. This project has benefitted over 16,000 Mexican children.
Morgan is much in demand as a teacher and has given masterclasses at top conservatoires worldwide including the Royal College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music (Cardiff) and Trinity College of Music as well as conservatoires in China and Mexico.
Morgan Szymanski plays on a guitar made by the Italian luthier Luciano Lovadina.
Greta Mutlu – Violin
Greta Mutlu – Violin
Based in London, Bulgarian violinist Greta Mutlu is enjoying a busy and versatile career.
Recent highlights include taking part in Steve Reich’s 80th birthday celebration tour with the Colin Currie Group, collaborations with composer Deborah Pritchard and filmmaker Theresa Thomas, and a tour of America with Scottish Ensemble.
A prizewinner in national and international competitions, Greta has appeared as a soloist from a young age in her native Bulgaria, throughout Germany and France, as well as the U.S. and Canada. In masterclass and privately, she has worked with Mauricio Fuks, Leonidas Kavakos, Sir Roger Norrington, Gabrielle Lester, the late Jeanne Lamon, and Leon Fleisher.
Greta’s passion for chamber music has led to her taking part in the Cleveland Institute of Music Intensive Quartet Seminar, Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Chamber Studio at Kings Place, Le Domaine Forget, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival, and St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford University. Her mentors include David Waterman, members of the Cleveland and London Haydn Quartets, and Noah Bendix-Balgley.
In high demand as an orchestral and ensemble musician, Greta performs with the London Symphony Orchestra, Aurora, English Chamber Orchestra, 12 Ensemble, the Colin Currie Group, and Scottish Ensemble. She frequently contributes to recordings for film and television in London’s legendary studios.
Since August 2021, Greta has been a full-time band member in the West End production of Hamilton.
Greta is a graduate of Bulgaria’s National Music School where she studied with Blagorodna Taneva. A former pupil of renowned American pedagogues Andres Cárdenes and Paul Kantor, she holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Glenn Gould School, and Carnegie Mellon University.
James Pearson – Piano
James Pearson – Piano
“Pearson is in shattering form on these sessions” Sunday Times
James Pearson is one of the country’s most respected musicians. His work covers all genres of music, especially contemporary music, jazz and classical. He graduated from the Guildhall School, having completed his degree and the Advanced Solo Studies Course. Whilst at college he studied with Robert Saxton, Francis Shaw, Peter Bithell and James Gibb.
James has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks. Classic FM broadcast his concert of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, and BBC Radio 2 broadcast his performance of the Gershwin Piano Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue. He was the pianist in the Steve Martland Band. His work as a Jazz musician has taken him all over the world. Earlier this year, the James Pearson Trio was invited to play a four night run at New York’s Birland Jazz Club. His fine piano playing and arrangements can be heard on over 50 albums.
Amongst the many artists James has worked with are Dame Cleo Laine, Maria Ewing, Marian Montgomery, Petula Clark, Kevin Spacey, John Wilson, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Joseph Horowitz, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ray Davies, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney.
He is the Artistic Director of Ronnie Scott’s, London.
Howard Skempton – Composer
Howard Skempton – Composer
“Skempton’s harmony is nothing if not explicit and precise, and he wrings maximum effect from a pared minimum of matter . . . The pieces contain nothing they do not need, and nothing could be subtracted without loss . . . Skempton composes essences, and they go straight to the heart.” Tempo
Howard Skempton was born in Chester in 1947, and has worked as a composer, accordionist, and music publisher. He studied in London with Cornelius Cardew from 1967, who helped him to discover a musical language of great simplicity. Since then he has continued to write undeflected by compositional trends, producing a corpus of more than 300 works.
In May 2005, Skempton’s Tendrils for string quartet was awarded the prize for ‘best chamber-scale composition’ by the Royal Philharmonic Society, and in December 2005 it won in the chamber music category at the annual British Composer Awards. Skempton won a second British Composer Award in 2008 for The Moon is Flashing, a song cycle for tenor and orchestra.
Skempton’s works have been commissioned and performed by many leading artists and music organisations including the BBC, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Bash, OKEANOS, New Noise, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Ensemble 10/10’. Skempton was commissioned as part of the New Music 20*12 Cultural Olympiad project, where his piece for the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers was performed in Kingston and played on BBC Radio 3 as the first music of 2012. It was heard again at the Spitalfields Festival in June 2013.
Recent commissions include two from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group — a work for oboe and string trio, Field Notes, and a setting of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner for baritone Roderick Williams and ensemble — and a Piano Concerto for John Tilbury commissioned by the BBC for a premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2015.
Skempton is an Honorary Professor of Music at De Monfort University and teaches at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Rebecca Saunders – Composer
Rebecca Saunders – Composer
“Rebecca Saunder’s compositions focus the ear on minute gradations of timbre and intonation, and turn her performers into Zen masters of attention and focus.” The Guardian
With her distinctive and intensely striking sonic language, Berlin-based British composer Rebecca Saunders (b.1967) is a leading international representative of her generation. Born in London, she studied composition with Nigel Osborne in Edinburgh and Wolfgang Rihm in Karlsruhe.
Saunders pursues an intense interest in the sculptural and spatial properties of organised sound. chroma I – XX (2003-2017), Stasis and Stasis Kollektiv (2011/16) are expanding spatial collages of up to twenty-five chamber groups and sound sources set in radically different architectural spaces. insideout, a 90-minute collage for a choreographed installation, created in collaboration with Sasha Waltz, was her first work for the stage and received over 100 international performances. Most recently in 2017, Yes, an expansive 80-minute spatial installation composition, was written for Musikfabrik, Donatienne Michel-Dansac and Enno Poppe for the extraordinary architectural spaces of the Berlin Philharmonie and the St. Eustache Cathedral in Paris.
Since 2013, Saunders has written a series of solos and duos for performers with whom she has collaborated closely over many years, including Bite (2016) for bass flute, Aether (2016) for bass clarinet duo, dust (2017/18) for percussion, O (2017) for soprano, hauch (2018) for violin, and Flesh (2017/18) for accordion. She has simultaneously pursued her keen interest in works in the concertante form, writing a double percussion concerto Void (2014), a trumpet concerto Alba (2015), and both Skin (2016) and Yes (2017) for soprano and large ensemble. Alba and Void marked the close of a triptych of works which also includes the violin concerto Still (2011). In 2016, her extended violin concerto Still (2011/16) was performed in collaboration with the choreographer Antonio Rúz, the dancers of Sasha Waltz & Guests, Carolin Widmann, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and Sylvain Cambreling. In 2018 her double bass concerto Fury II was choreographed by Emanuel Gat in collaboration with Ensemble Modern as part of the Story Water project.
Saunders’ music has been performed and premiered by many prestigious ensembles, soloists and orchestras including Ensemble Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble Dal Niente, Asko|Schönberg, the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble Recherche, ICE, the Neue Vocalsolisten, Ensemble Remix, SWRSO, WDRSO and the BBCSO, amongst many others.
Her compositions have been recognised with numerous international prestigious awards, including the 2019 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (following one of the Young Composers’ Prizes of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation in 1996), the ARD und BMW musicaviva Prize, the Paul Hindemith Prize, four Royal Philharmonic Society Awards (for Stirrings Still in 2008, Fletch in 2013, Skin in 2017, and Yes in 2019), four BASCA British Composer Awards (for Solitude in 2013, Alba in 2016, Skin in 2017 and Unbreathed in 2018), and the GEMA Music Prize for Instrumental Music. In 2015, Saunders received the Hans und Gertrud Zender Foundation Prize and the prestigious Mauricio Kagel Music Preis. Accordionist Teo Anzellotti’s CD, …of waters making moan, which included Saunders’ eponymous work, won the German Record Critics’ Award of the Year for 2016.
Saunders is in great demand as a composition tutor and teaches regularly at, amongst others, the Darmstadt Summer Courses and at the Impuls Academy in Graz. She was professor of composition at the Hannover University of Music, Theatre and Media. She lives in Berlin and is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and the Sachsen Academy of Arts in Dresden.
Saunders’ music has been published by Edition Peters since 1997.
Matthew Owens – Organ
Matthew Owens – Organ
“…marvellous…the playing is full of sensitive insights.” The Gramophone
Matthew Owens is a conductor, composer, and organist. He is Music Director of the Ulster Consort, a new professional vocal and instrumental ensemble for Northern Ireland, and Associate Director of the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, in Michigan, USA. Previously, he was Organist and Master of the Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh (1999-2004), and Organist and Master of the Choristers at Wells Cathedral (2005-2019). Under his leadership, Wells Cathedral Choir was named by an international jury for Gramophone as the best choir in the world with children, and the sixth greatest overall. From 2019-2022, he was Director of Music of Belfast Cathedral, where he re-established the choir as a professional adult ensemble, winning international acclaim for its work: “it could well be the finest all-adult standing choir of its kind anywhere, with near-perfect vowel harmony, blend, enunciation, nuanced awareness of phrase and an exceptional, bright and pure soprano group.” (Gramophone).
Matthew served as President of the Cathedral Organists’ Association (2010-13); he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians in November 2012; and in October 2017 he was made a Prebendary (Canon) of Wells Cathedral “for outstanding service” to the Diocese and the Cathedral. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in October 2020.
He was educated at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester; The Queen’s College, Oxford; the Royal Northern College of Music; and the Amsterdam Conservatorium. Studying with Gordon Stewart, Margaret Phillips, and Jacques van Oortmerssen, he won all the major prizes in the diplomas of the Royal College of Organists and the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. As an organist, Matthew has given recitals in Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the USA, and throughout the UK.
He has guest conducted, among others, the London Mozart Players, English Symphony Orchestra, Southern Sinfonia, Scottish Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, Brook Street Band, and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. As a conductor he has made over 30 CDs with major labels, and now records exclusively for the award-winning label, Resonus Classics.
As an educator, he has directed choral workshops and summer schools throughout the UK and abroad – including Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, New Zealand, and the USA; he was Tutor in Organ Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (1995-2001); and has contributed academic papers and publications on choristers and on contemporary sacred music (OUP; Journal of Voice; Open Book Publishers).
Matthew has championed new music, particularly of British composers, conducting over 200 world premieres, including works by leading composers ranging from Jools Holland to Sir James MacMillan, and John Rutter to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. He is Director of the Cranmer Anthem Book (launched in October 2017); a project that will set all 88 Collects from the Book of Common Prayer to music, by some of the world’s finest composers. As a composer himself, Matthew is published by Oxford University Press, Novello, and the Royal School of Church Music.
Robert Irvine – Cello
Robert Irvine – Cello
“Irvine responds to each piece with the same sincerity, imagination and technical assurance: lovely playing, captured in warm, natural sound.” The Gramophone
Robert Irvine was born in Glasgow and at the age of 16 was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music (RCM) where he studied with Christopher Bunting and Amaryllis Fleming. While there he won most of the major prizes in chamber music and solo playing.
After leaving the RCM, he studied with William Pleeth and Pierre Fournier, before joining the Philharmonia Orchestra as sub-principal cello.
He also worked extensively at Aldeburgh, forming the Brindisi String Quartet and working closely with Sir Peter Pears as continuo cellist and as principal cellist of the Britten Pears Orchestra. At this time, he toured much of Europe with the Brindisi Quartet, making numerous festival appearances and broadcasts.
He left the Philharmonia in 1988 to take up the position of principal cello with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, touring extensively. In 1990 he returned to Scotland to take up the post of principal cellist with Scottish Opera Orchestra, and founded the Chamber Group of Scotland with Sally Beamish and James MacMillan, performing and broadcasting a wide range of both chamber and solo music.
He is artistic director of the Red Note Ensemble.
He has broadcast frequently as soloist and chamber musician on BBC television and Radio 3, including several live performances on “In Tune.”
He is a founder member of the Da Vinci Piano Trio, who play and broadcast widely in the UK, and also performs regularly with Allan Neave, guitar.
He has performed concerts and recitals throughout the UK, including the Cheltenham Festival, St Magnus Festival, Aldeburgh, Gloucester, Norwich, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, as well as several European festivals and at the International Musicians Seminar (IMS) Prussia Cove.
He has recorded several critically acclaimed CDs, including the cello works of Sally Beamish for the BIS label, Dallapiccola solo works, the cello music of Giles Swayne, and the Rachmaninov and Shostakovich sonatas for the Delphian label. His disc, William Sweeney, Tree O’Licht went on to receive a 2011 BASCA composer award. At the recent Scottish Awards for New Music, Robert won two prizes, Best Recorded New Work for his album Songs and Lullabies and New Music Performers of the Year for his work with Red Note Ensemble.
He is a senior professor of Cello and Chamber Music, and Head of Cello Studies at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire (formerly RSAMD) in Glasgow.
Roger Chase – Viola
Roger Chase – Viola
“The performances excel. Roger Chase’s playing is remarkable.” American Record Guide
Born in London, Roger studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Shore and in Canada with Steven Staryk, also working for a short time with the legendary Lionel Tertis.
He made his début with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1979, and has since played as a soloist or chamber musician in major cities throughout the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Middle East, India, most of Eastern and all of Western Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa.
He was a member of many ensembles including the Nash Ensemble for more than 20 years, the London Sinfonietta , the Esterhazy Baryton Trio, the Quartet of London, Hausmusik of London, and the London Chamber Orchestra, and has been invited to play as principal viola with many major British orchestras and others in North America and Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has recorded for EMI, CRD, Hyperion, Cala, Virgin, Dutton, Centaur, Naxos and Floating Earth Records, demonstrating his diverse interests by playing with a folk group on an amplified viola, as a soloist on an authentic instrument and as an exponent of the avant-garde.
Roger has taught in the UK at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School and the Royal Northern College of Music. He has been a professor at Oberlin College, and currently teaches at Roosevelt University in Chicago and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
Oscar Perks – Violin
Oscar Perks – Violin
Oscar not only triumphed over the immense technical difficulties but also gave a coherent and committed account of the whole work…he was on commanding form.” The Tab
Oscar enjoys a varied career as a violinist and chamber musician, while also pursuing an interest in composing and arranging. Since 2014 he has been a member of the Dante String Quartet, sharing the role of first and second violin. Major projects with the quartet have included performances of the complete Beethoven and completed Shostakovich Quartet cycles, and a venture to record all of Stanford’s eight string Quartets.
Having started playing the violin at the age of five, Oscar was awarded a place to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School three years later where he had violin lessons with Hu Kun and Simon Fischer. Oscar went on to read music at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he studied composition with Robin Holloway. He then gained his masters at the Royal College of Music under Lutsia Ibragimova.
Oscar has had the opportunity to perform as a soloist at many leading London venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Royal Festival Hall and Kings Place. His performance of “Above earth’s shadow” by Michael Finnissy was broadcast live on BBC radio three.
In addition to his work as a performer, Oscar coaches chamber music at the Guildhall school of music and drama, and also teaches violin at the Yehudi Menuhin School. He also directs a summer chamber music festival in Langvad, Denmark, which takes place every year in July.
Julian Warburton – Percussion
Julian Warburton – Percussion
Julian Warburton has acquired an international reputation as soloist and is particularly renowned for his work in contemporary chamber music and opera. His rise to prominence began whilst still a student in 1996 he was asked to perform MacMillan’s Veni Veni Emmanuel at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. The following year he won the final of the prestigious YCAT competition at the Wigmore Hall and under their management went on to perform as a soloist throughout the UK, Europe, South America, India and China. He made his BBC Proms solo début in 2001 performing Rebonds by Iannis Xenakis to huge critical acclaim and was short-listed for the RPS Instrumentalist Award shortly after.
Renowned for his musical versatility he frequently collaborates and performs with international artists including Korean dancer Lee Kyung-eun, New York experimentalist Marc Ribot, South Indian Percussion Gurus Selvaganesh and Vinayakram, the Modified Toy Orchestra, Richard Alston Dance Company and most recently the National Dance Company Wales with choreographer Eleesha Drennan.
During his career he has enjoyed a close working relationship with many Composer/Conductors, notably Thomas Adès and Oliver Knussen. In 2011 he was invited by Knussen to play in the hugely successful concert performances of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with among others Ian Bostridge and Angelika Kirchschlager, of which the Aldeburgh performances were recorded and have been released on Virgin Classics.
Recent highlights include the European Première of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the world première of Mark Bowden’s concerto Heartland with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, followed by fully choreographed performances at the Royal Opera House (Linbury) and Millennium Centre Cardiff with National Dance Company Wales.
Julian studied postgraduate Advanced Instrumental Studies during 1996/97 at the Guildhall School and has been Professor of Percussion and Director of Ensemble there since 2009.
Junyan Chen – Piano
Junyan Chen – Piano
Junyan was born in 2000 and is a Chinese pianist ambitiously balancing her playing between solo and ensemble work. She just graduated with a First-Class Honours degree and the Principal’s Award at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of the Head of Piano, Professor Joanna MacGregor CBE, full scholarships supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Bicentenary scholarship which awarded to a very small number of students to celebrate the Academy’s Bicentenary year in 2022, and she will continue her full scholarship study in the Royal Academy of Music for her Master’s degree. Her previous study was completed in the Middle School of Shanghai Conservatory under the Head of Piano, Professor Weiling Chen.
As a soloist, Junyan enjoys performing a very wide range of repertoire, from classical masters to twentieth century and contemporary music. She has played across China and as well as Japan, Italy, UK and Spain in prestigious venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, Steinway & Son Hall, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall, Guangzhou Grand Theatre, Xiamen Concert Hall and Takatsuki Gendai Gekjio. She has worked with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and the XinZhu Symphony Orchestra. She performed and live-streamed on Classic-FM Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.4 with Edward Gardner and the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, and she had her début with Barry Wordsworth and the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra this year, with the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major. This December sees her début solo album of music by living composers including Sofia Gubaidulina, Unsuk Chin, Fazil Say and Eleanor Alberga.
Junyan has had the honour to work closely with conductor Zhang Liang, composers Eleanor Alberga and Mark-Anthony Turnage, and in masterclasses with Thomas Kreuzberger, Paul Badura-Skoda, Christopher Elton, Tomas Vasary, Yevgeny Sudbin,Tamara Stefanovich and Adrian Brendel. She regularly performs with the cellist Hugh Mackay, and she just had her début with the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall.
At the 2018 City of Vigo International Piano Competition, Junyan was the winner of the Silver Medal, People’s Choice Award, Best Spanish Composition Performance Award, and City Award as the youngest and the only female competitor in the Final. She was the prize winner of all the piano categories at the Osaka International Music Competition in 2016, as well as winning the prestigious Osaka Prefecture Governor’s Award and the University of Music and Performing Arts in the Vienna Awards.
John Anderson – Oboe
John Anderson – Oboe
John Anderson is currently Professor of Oboe at the Royal College of Music where he holds a fellowship and where he studied with Terence MacDonagh. He plays regularly in studios recording music for film and other commercial projects and is busy with chamber music commitments.
He has over 40 years experience as a symphony orchestra principal oboist in ensembles including the Philharmonia , BBC Symphony and Suisse Romande orchestras. He has recorded the major oboe concerto repertoire including two versions of the Strauss and Mozart concertos as well as chamber music and solo repertoire with piano and guitar. His recording of Venetian baroque concertos with the Philharmonia is featured regularly on classical music radio in this country and abroad. . As a soloist he has performed world wide including performances at the Carnegie Hall and the Philharmonie in Berlin.
John Anderson holds a BA in social sciences from the Open University and is keen cricket supporter.