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    Performing Artists

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    Alexander Ullman

    Alexander Ullman did remarkable things in the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. He heard the score with immense clarity and vision, and brought it to life as if the composer were watching over his shoulder.

    Huffington Post, Montréal Symphony Orchestra, June 2014.


     

    Press

     

    'He displayed a delicate touch, technical finesse and graceful phrasing. His affinity for the piece came through in assured, communicative playing from its bright, fleet passages through mysterious, yearning melodies and charming, playful diversions.'

    New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Trenton, October 2012

     

    'Played brilliantly by the young British pianist Alexander Ullman... The orchestra, under Musical Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, caught Ullman's every nuance and change of mood, thus unifying the performance. The famous slow movement…is wonderful in Ullman's hands. His legato touch made you forget that the piano is basically a percussion instrument.'

    North West Texas Performing Arts review, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestr, November 2011

     

    'His performance of the Chopin fourth Ballade will live in my mind’s ear for ever: every nuance perfectly judged, poised and placed...His sound is unique.'

    Seen and Heard International, Pontino Festival Italy, 2010

     

    Biography

     

    Born in 1991 in London, Alexander Ullman studied at the Purcell School of Music with William Fong, and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Leon Fleisher, Ignat Solzhenitsyn and Robert McDonald. In 2014 he was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT). This autumn he completes his Masters in performance at the Royal College of Music with Dmitri Alexeev.

    During his studies Alexander has won numerous awards at international competitions including 1st Prize at the International Competition in Memoriam Ferenc Liszt (2011), the Lagny-sur-Marne International Competition (2013), the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists Competition (2012), and 2nd Prize at the Isidor Bajic Memorial International Competition (2014).

    Some of the works in his programme are in preparation for his participation in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in June.

    He has given concerts throughout Europe, Asia and America, taking him to venues and festivals in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark and India. Recent engagements include a tour of China and recitals at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Archive Nationales (Paris), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante, the Festival Pontino & Teatro Rossini (Italy), La Jolla Arts Festival (California), and concerts in the UK, Spain, Germany and France with the Dover Quartet.

    As a soloist Alexander has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Centre, the New Jersey and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the Oxford Philomusica, Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, Danubia and Budapest Radio Orchestras. He has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3, Radio France and MDR Classic.

    During the 2014/15 season Alexander returns to China (Gulangyu, Shanghai and Beijing), Italy and the USA to give a series of recitals. He has been invited to take part in the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany. In the UK Alexander gives recitals at the Purcell Room and Kettles Yard Cambridge and performs Liszt’s Concerto No.1 with the Cardiff Philharmonic at St. David’s Hall and Mozart with the Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra.

    Alexandra Dariescu

    Alexandra Dariescu is fast becoming one of the most recognised pianists of her generation, winning international competitions and performing to sell-out audiences at venues throughout the world.

    Royal Northern College of Music.


     

    Press

     

    “It was a pleasure to see and hear this talented and highly enthusiastic pianist, so attractively decked out in her sparkling silver gown, actually looking as if she wanted to be there...Romanian born Dariescu revelled in this wonderful music of might, breadth and resonance with deliciously sparkling playing that had real gravitas. With profound concentration Dariescu’s sensitive playing of the Andante conveyed a satisfying sense that everything was well with the world. Responsive playing from the Liverpool Phil, easily keeping their shape under Wigglesworth, exhibited their splendid glowing tone.”

    Michael Cookson, Seen and Heard International April 2013

     

    "Alexandra Dariescu, a princess among pianists, displayed exquisite touches in Mozart's Concerto in D (KV 537), nicknamed the Coronation. The composer wrote it for himself to play; bringing freshness to every bar, the Romanian guest made the solo part sound agreeably off the cuff."

    Peter Palmer, This is Nottingham December 2012

     

    "Magnificently projected playing", "enormously impressive", "very promising debut".

    BBC Music Magazine September 2012

     

    "Fleet of finger, elegant of phrase and pianistically bright, Dariescu uses rubato freely but intelligently...She brings luminescence and a sense of wistful joy."

    Music Web International August 2012

     

    "Alexandra Dariescu was amazing. This vivacious Romanian pianist has already cut her first CD, and possesses a formidable technique; so what better way to show it off than in the Chopin Preludes. She started off dangerously with No 16 marked presto fuoco – and presto fuoco is what she delivered; and there was more of the same in No 21 (molto agitato) and the allegro appassionato of the final prelude. Yet she proved herself capable of far more than mere pianistic pyrotechnics, showing her expressive skills in No 20 in C minor (largo) and the ability to make the piano sing in No 21 in B flat (cantabile). She finished with Bacchanale by one of her compatriots, Constantin Silvestri. Does the name ring a bell? Yes, he was the legendary conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and judging by this piece was no mean composer either. The Bacchanale was jolly, exuberant and wildly virtuosic, and Alexandra’s performance of it should serve as her calling card in the best circles."

    Roger Jones, Seen and heard International, 10 July 2012, live broadcast on BBC Radio 3

     

    Biography

     

    Named BBC Music Magazine ‘Rising Star’, Alexandra Dariescu made her debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York, where she joined András Schiff during his “Perspectives” residency. Alexandra performs regularly in Great Britain with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sinfonia ViVA, Northern Sinfonia and collaborates with conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Jiri Belohlavek, Ryan Wigglesworth, Andrew Litton, Andrew Gourley, André de Ridder, Jamie Phillips, Barry Wordsworth among others. She has appeared in venues all around the United Kingdom including the Royal Albert Hall, where she is the first female Romanian pianist to perform, London’s Southbank Centre, Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Brigewater Hall in Manchester, Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

    Having directed the EU Chamber Orchestra in Germany as well as Northern Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard, Alexandra toured Argentina and the Channel Islands, joined the faculty of the Geneva International Summer Festival and Academy and gave concerts in the Les Nouveaux Interprètes series in Switzerland. She appears with the Mecklenburgische Staatskappelle in Schwerin in Germany and with Durban Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa.

    Alexandra released her debut CD on Champs Hill Records in July 2012 to critical acclaim, including a 4 star review in BBC Music Magazine and top 10 best CDs of the year in Manchester Evening News. As a result, Champs Hill Records invited her to record a set of 3 discs with complete preludes starting with Chopin and Dutilleux in 2013. Committed to contemporary music, Alexandra gave the world premiere of Mesmerism, a new piano concerto written for her by British composer Emily Howard. The concerto won the British Composer Award 2012 and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Alexandra also gave the UK premiere of Dinu Lipatti’s Concertino in Classical Style with the Orchestra of St Paul’s at LSO St Luke’s, supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in London.

    Selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2008, Alexandra was a Laureate at the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland where she won the Verbier CUBS Prize. She went on to win the Guildhall Wigmore Prize and the Romanian Ambassador‘s award for her outstanding contribution to promoting Romania’s image in the UK, as well as the Prix Maurice Ravel in France. Alexandra is the first pianist to be mentored by Imogen Cooper through the Royal Philharmonic Society/YCAT Philip Langridge Mentoring Scheme and she appeared at the Cheltenham Festival in the PLMS Gala, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

    Born in Romania, Alexandra Dariescu studied in Iasi (Romania), Pocklington School and at the Royal Northern College of Music (UK) where her teachers included Nelson Goerner, Mark Ray, Alexander Melnikov and Dina Parakhina and was supported in full by the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She graduated in 2008 with distinction and the highest distinction College offers, the Gold Medal. Alexandra graduated with distinction holding a Masters’ of Performance degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London where she studied with Ronan O'Hora. She was awarded the GSMD Piano Fellowship for 2010/2011. Alexandra was also part of András Schiff’s class at the Yehudi Menuhin Festival in Switzerland.

    Bartholomew Lafollette

    Bartholomew Lafollette has recently given recitals at Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh, Leeds International Concert series, Lichfield and Paxton festivals and appeared as soloist with the City of London Sinfonia. This season he records his debut CD for Sonimage.

    Press

     

    'Bartholomew LaFollette was the young soloist in Dvorák's Cello Concerto. The concerto is on the scale of a symphony with a full orchestral exposition before the cello makes its dramatic entrance, and what an entrance. LaFollette played with huge conviction and attack, drawing an enormous range of colours from the many fabulous tunes that characterize this lovely work.'

    Newbury Weekly News, November 2007.

    'Bartholomew LaFollette was spellbinding in Sibelius' impressive and rarely-heard Malincolia Opus 20 and fully captivating in Stravinsky's Suite Italienne, before Dinicu's hora Staccato ended the evening brilliantly.'

    Musical Opinion, Purcell Room, September 2007

     

    'The Haydn cello concerto proved a stunner, not least because it introduced to Dublin an outstanding new talent in cellist Bartholomew LaFollette. He is the first recipient of ICO's Ardan award, as recently introduced patronage by the ICO for outstanding talent.'

    Sunday Business Post Agenda, National Concert Hall Dublin with ICO, April 2007

     

    Biography

     

    Born in Philadelphia in 1984, from 1997 Bartholomew LaFollette was a pupil at the Yehudi Menuhin School. In 2003 he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he continued his studies with Louise Hopkins, graduating in 2008. He was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2007 and was a Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama until 2011.

    During his studies Bartholomew won numerous prizes including the Guilhermina Suggia Gift which led to performances of Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme with orchestras throughout Europe and the USA. In 2007 he was the first recipient of the Irish Chamber Orchestra's prestigious Ardán Award which offers a young emerging international soloist a platform.

    As a concerto soloist highlights have included Haydn with the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gabor Takacs, Dvorak with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jugend Sinfonie Orchester des Landes Hessen, Brahms Double with Daniel Stabrawa and the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland, Elgar with Sian Edwards in Helsinki and a performance of the Walton at the Barbican. He has appeared at major venues and festivals throughout the UK including an IMS Prussia Cove Ensemble tour, and concerts at Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, King's Place, St. George's Bristol, the Brighton, Paxton, Sheffield and Ravinia Festivals.

    Over the last year Bartholomew has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh, the Leeds International Concert series, Lichfield, Music at Paxton and Northern Chords Festivals and appeared as soloist with the City of London Sinfonia. He also performed solo Bach with the Henri Oguike Dance Company at the ROH Linbury Studio and gave the premiere of George Lloyd's Concerto. Bartholomew regularly collaborates with the Doric String Quartet and in 2011 recorded with them for Chandos. This season he records his debut solo disc for Sonimage.

    In 2007 Bartholomew participated in workshops with the Emerson Quartet in New York culminating in a performance of Dvorak'sPiano Quintet in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has appeared in masterclasses at IMS Prussia Cove and with Steven Isserlis, and elsewhere with Mstislav Rostropovich, Alexander Rudin and Natalia Gutman.

    He is grateful for support from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund and the Hattori Foundation.

    Castalian Quartet

    Castalian String Quartet makes the simplest things we hear into the most important things we could ever want to hear.”

    Calgary Herald, September 2016

     

    Press

     

    'They seize motives with the core of their sound and press them into a service of thematic contiguity that is enviable, like an orator who knows how to convince with both passion and persuasion.'

    Calgary Herald, Banff International Competition, September 2016

     

    'Their level of ensemble inter-connectedness in the Adès and at times in the subsequent movements of Brahms and Schumann was truly remarkable in evincing a physics most rare and special, overlaid with an emotional world of similarly surpassing sublimity. There were times that I simply could not believe my ears.'

    Calgary Herald, Banff International Competition, September 2016

     

    Biography

     

    Sini Simonen began to play the violin at the age of 4 and went on to study music in Helsinki, Hannover and Basel with among others Lara Lev and Krysztof Wegrzyn.

    She has won top prizes in several major international violin competitions including the Flesch, Lipizer, Cremona and Sibelius violin competitions. She has also won first prizes in the international Brahms and Citta di Pinerolo chamber music competitions.

    In addition to the Castalian String quartet, Sini devotes her time to the love of chamber music as a violinist in the renowned Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark, one of the few professional ensembles earning their year-round living from chamber music. Before moving to Denmark she was a member of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

    Sini has played as a soloist with, among others, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. She has given acclaimed recitals in many European countries as well as USA, and has toured in Asia in a string quartet with violinist Midori.

    Her cd recordings as a soloist include Bach’s double violin concerto with Helsinki Strings (Warner) and Vivaldi’s concerto for 3 violins with Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (tacet).

    She plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin from 1760 on loan from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

     

    Daniel Llewellyn Roberts (b.1987) studied with Nigel Murray and Jan Repko. He is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, holds Masters degrees from the Royal College of Music, London (as a Yehudi Menuhin Scholar), and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover, and has twice been a Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

    As a soloist, Daniel has appeared in Hong Kong City Hall, the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, the Hindemith Cabinet, Frankfurt, and the Sudler Recital Hall, Yale University. He was the recipient of the 2009 Musicians Benevolent Fund ‘Emily English’ Award for ‘most outstanding violinist’, and the 2010 Philharmonia Orchestra MMSF ‘John E. Mortimer’ prize.

    Alongside his role as violinist with the Castalian String Quartet, he performs internationally as a chamber musician and has collaborated with musicians such as Steven Isserlis, Levon Chilingirian and the Primrose Piano Quartet.

    Daniel is in demand as both a violin and chamber music teacher, holding positions at Birmingham Conservatoire and St. Paul’s Girls’ School, London, and giving masterclasses at St. Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, and in various music schools and conservatoires in China.

    He is a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and is extremely grateful to them for the loan of a fine violin by Joseph Guarneri filius Andrea of 1705.

     

    Having studied in her native France at the Grenoble Conservatoire and the Schola Cantorum, Paris, Charlotte was awarded a full scholarship to study violin with Professor György Pauk at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where she obtained a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours and a Master of Arts with Distinction. Whilst at the Royal Academy, Charlotte also studied viola with Matthew Souter.

    Aged 16, she won 2nd Prize at the Wieniawski International Violin Competition (Junior Category) and subsequently performed as a soloist in the Maison de Radio France, the Auditorium du Louvre (Paris), the Salle Cortot (Paris), the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord (Paris) and the Festival Radio-France in Montpellier. In 2011 she made her recital debut at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, as part of the Holland Music Session’s ‘New Masters on Tour’ programme.

    As a concerto soloist, she has appeared with Orchestre National de Lorraine, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Kazakh State Philharmonic Orchestra, Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Royal Academy String Orchestra and Royal Academy Concert Orchestra, performing works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns and Schnittke.

    Charlotte is dedicated to introducing audiences to new music and regularly collaborates with the London Contemporary Orchestra.

     

     

    Christopher Graves studied the cello with Melissa Phelps at the Royal College of Music, and with Johannes Goritzki at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. He also studied chamber music with Oliver Wille at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover. His other teachers have included Bernard Greenhouse and Kate Beare. He was supported in his studies by scholarships from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund.

    Aside from his activities with the Castalian Quartet he has performed as a chamber musician at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Kings Place, and played at festivals such as the Kings Place, Heidelberg, and Middelburg festivals. As a soloist he has been heard on BBC Radio 3 playing in the BBC Proms Plus festival with an RCM chamber orchestra, and has given recitals widely in the UK and Europe.

    He has played principal cello with orchestras such as Scottish Opera and Sinfonia Cymru, and other orchestras he has worked with include Philharmonia and London Chamber Orchestra.

     

    Daniel Lebhardt

    'He brought narrative sweep and youthful abandon to the piece, along with power, poetry and formidable technique.'

    Anthony Tomassini, The New York Times, March 2016

     

    Press

     

    'Daniel Lebhardt Shows Daring Command in a New York Debut
    Liszt’s visionary Sonata in B minor is an epic fantasy lasting nearly 30 minutes, shifting from bursts of wildness to passages of profundity. Just playing it commandingly, as Mr. Lebhardt did, is difficult enough. He brought narrative sweep and youthful abandon to the piece, along with power, poetry and formidable technique. '

    New York Times, Merkin Concert Hall NY, March 2016

     

    'Pianist Daniel Lebhardt's powerful playing is 'Gift' to full house at Kleinhans Sunday’s “Gift to the Community” recital (sponsored by the Buffalo Chamber Music Society) showcased Daniel Lebhardt, a young pianist with substantial technical chops and an impressive tally of wins in numerous prestigious international competitions. The audience at Kleinhans (a full house) responded to his playing with standing ovations and bounteous applause after every piece played. He began by whipping into gear with a steely fingered approach to the opening Allegro vivace of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 16 in G major (Op. 31, No. 1)....this was a good way to lead into the next work on the program, the premiere of Tonia Ko’s “Games of Belief.” Ko is this season’s Young Concert Artist Composer in Residence, and she wrote this score specifically for Lebhardt. It took into account his prodigious skills and meshed them with her own distinct approach to create an interesting work…. Franz Liszt’s massive and powerful Sonata in B minor was, in many ways, a perfect topper for the concert….It is inarguably a great piece, one that seems tailor-made for Lebhardt and one that he embraced. '

    Buffalo News, February 2016

     

    Biography

     

    In 2014, at the age of 22, Daniel Lebhardt won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists auditions in Paris and New York. A year later he was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in London and in 2016 won the Most Promising Pianist prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition.

    Over the last year Daniel has made his debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, the Usedome Music Festival in Germany, Palais Lichtenau in Potsdam, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Steirisches Kammermusikfestival. He recorded music by Bartók for Decca and attended IMS Prussia Cove working with Ferenc Rados.

    Future engagements include recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Gardner Museum in Boston, Morgan Library in New York, the SJE Oxford International Piano Series and Nottingham International Piano Series. He continues to give recitals throughout the UK, and performs Rachmaninov Concerto No. 2 with the Auburn and Dearborn Symphony Orchestras in Washington and Michigan.

    Born in Hungary, Daniel studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest with István Gulyás and Gyöngyi Keveházi and, since 2010, at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton, and currently Pascal Nemirovski. He has participated in masterclasses with Alfred Brendel, Leslie Howard, Ferenc Rados, Natalia Trull, Maxim Vengerov and Mikhail Voskresensky.

    Concert highlights include recitals at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and the Béla Bartók Memorial House in Budapest. He has also given recitals in Austria, Japan and the USA. As a chamber musician, Daniel took part in the BBC Proms Composer Portrait of Olga Neuwirth broadcast by BBC Radio 3 in 2012 and has given recitals with clarinettist Mark van der Wiel (principal of Philharmonia Orchestra).

    During his studies Daniel has won numerous international awards including 1st Prize at the 2009 Russian Music Competition in California, 2nd Prize at the 2011 Lagny-sur-Marne International Competition in France and 5th Prize at the 2013 China International Piano Competition.

    At the YCA Auditions Daniel was also awarded the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize and four concert prizes: the Usedom Music Festival Prize, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series Prize, and the Paramount Theatre Prize.

     

    David Gordon

    "Music is my middle name"

    davidmusicgordon.com

    Press

    Biography

     

    David Gordon studied mathematics and logic before embarking on a career as jazz pianist, harpsichordist and composer.

    As harpsichordist, he plays with many of the leading baroque orchestras, including appearances at the BBC Proms, the Musikverein in Vienna, and Carnegie Hall, New York. He has also performed with violinists Andrew Manze and Nigel Kennedy, and leads the early music/jazz group Respectable Groove, whose most recent projects, their ground-breaking versions of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and of ‘Bach and the Organist’s Daughter’ have been critically acclaimed both in the jazz and early music press. His solo harpsichord recitals usually include a large element of improvisation, and he has twice appeared as guest artist and director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra at the Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway.

    As jazz pianist, he tours and records with his own international jazz trio, including festival appearances in the UK and Denmark, on BBC Radio 3 and a debut at London’s King’s Place in December 2011. In addition he regularly collaborates with violinist Christian Garrick and singer Jacqui Dankworth, and with spoken word in the jazz/poetry collective Riprap. He is also joint musical director of, and an explosive pianistic force in, the gypsy tango band Zum, which has toured Croatia, Finland, France, and the United States. In spring 2013, he premiered a specially-commissioned work at London’s Cadogan Hall he wrote for his trio and the London Chamber Orchestra.

    As composer, his jazz style interweaves with his knowledge of the baroque and vast understanding of innumerable diverse musical influences, and his works appear on around 20 CDs, with regular commissions to write for various groups, the award-winning community opera Semmerwater, written and premiered in 2009, and winner of an AMI award, being the result of one of these. A firm advocate of the power of improvisation, he believes that improvising – in groups or alone – allows us access to parts of the human spirit other forms of music-making cannot reach.

    Harriet Mackenzie

    "vibrantly intense yet hypnotic playing"

    Edward Bhesania, The Strad

    Press

     

    “violinist Harriet Mackenzie lived up to expectations and more with her sturdy vibrant tone and gift for communicating the most diverse of pieces..searing intensity...a performance full of panache...captivating”

    Catherine Nelson, The Strad

    "violinist Harriet Mackenzie is formidable"

    Simon Broughton, Songlines

    "A knock-out from start to finish"

    The Guardian

    "......violinist Harriet Mackenzie is onstage throughout like the spectre at the feast, her playing by turns tender, plaintive, mocking or jarring, signalling the mood, the atmosphere by the lake, the characters. This bold and experimental touch adds to the manic energy of the production. "

    Jersey Evening Post Jaqueline Mezec, November 2006

     

    Biography

     

    Harriet has toured Europe, America, China, South America, South Africa and Japan as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Harriet made her highly acclaimed Purcell room debut as part of the Park Lane Young Artists Series. Since then she has given recitals worldwide in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw and the Expo Dome in Japan, NCPA and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre in China. She premiered Robert Fokkens violin concerto, written and dedicated to her, at the South Bank Centre, London and in 2012 gave the premiere of Graham Coatman’s violin concerto at the Swaledale Festival, which was also written and dedicated to her. She has broadcast recitals 'live' for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and Hungarian National Radio. She frequently performs concertos both in the UK and abroad.

    Harriet graduated from the Royal Academy of Music where she was supported by numerous awards: the Musicians' Benevolent Fund, Tillett Trust, Hattori Foundation and the Manoug Parikian Award. Harriet is passionate about contemporary music and has collaborated with composers such as Anthony Payne, Mauricio Kagel, Paul Patterson, Marc Yeats and Gyorgy Kurtag. Harriet collaborated with number of musicians; the Carducci Quartet, guitarist Morgan Szymanski and with pianists Anna Tilbrook, Christopher Glynn and in the 'Sutherland Duo' with Christina Lawrie (winners of the Enterprise Music Scotland Award 2012). She is a founder member of the innovative, unique string trio Kosmos and Retorica Duo.

    2012 saw Harriet releasing three CDs - her debut CD with Retorica - an all English album released on the NMC label with the premiere recordings of pieces written for the duo by David Matthews, John McCabe and Jim Aitchison, as well as works by Rawsthorne and the debut recording of the Sonata for two violins by the esteemed composer Moeran; the second CD of Kosmos - 'Pomegranate'; and the debut recording of John McCabe's double violin concerto to be released on the Dutton label with conductor George Vass and Orchestra Nova.

    Recent performing highlights include Retorica being Artists in Residence at the Prestiegne Festival performing Paul Patterson Double concerto and recitals and a new commission by Cecilia MacDowall; a new piece for the Sutherland Duo written by Gareth Williams; concerto performances in China and South Africa. Harriet is also the artistic director of the Jersey Liberation Music Festival.

    Heath Quartet

    The Heath Quartet is rapidly emerging as an exciting and original voice on the international chamber music scene. In 2011 they were awarded a prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship.

    Press

     

    The delicate perfection of the sound was a marvel, and in leader Oliver Heath’s hands the recurring dropping figure had an exquisite tenderness [Schumann Quartet No.3].

    Daily Telegraph Wigmore Hall March 2012

    Brahms scales new heightsI never know whether to be cross or thrilled when I’m blown away by music that I know I don’t like. It happened at the Wigmore Hall on Thursday. Stephen Hough, masterly pianist (and Telegraph blogger), was paired with the youthful Heath Quartet to play the Brahms Piano Quintet. Normally this composer’s dark brown chamber music bores me senseless, but the Heath played with a demonic energy that sent Hough into a frenzy of his own. As the two of them charged at each other, the Italian lady next to me clutched my arm. And when the piece finished, she clapped like a nervous tourist applauding the pilot at the end of a turbulent flight. Honestly, I never knew Brahms had it in him.

    Damian Thompson/Daily Telegraph Wigmore Hall March 2012

    Quintessential chamber music returned to the hall soon after Christmas in the form of the excellent young Heath Quartet’s concert of string quartets by Beethoven and Schubert, with, in between, the premiere of a work commissioned by the hall from its composer in residence, Luke Bedford (b1978). Their account of Beethoven’s Quartet in E flat, Op 74 (Harp) was suavity itself, and they found the true note of hushed ominousness for Schubert’s haunted A minor “Rosamunde” Quartet (D804).

    The Sunday Times Wigmore Hall (30 Dec) January 2012

     

    Biography

     

    The Heath Quartet is rapidly emerging as an exciting and original voice on the international chamber music scene. Selected for representation by YCAT in 2008 they immediately went on to win 1st Prize at the Tromp International Competition in Eindhoven and 2nd Prize at the Haydn International Competition in Vienna. In 2011 they were awarded a prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship and in the same year undertook two complete Beethoven Quartet cycles at the Fàcyl Festival in Salamanca Spain and at Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh. The Quartet were presented with a Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award after unanimous praise from The Herald’s music critics in Edinburgh.

    Engagements this season include recitals at Wigmore Hall as part of the Emerging Talent scheme (supported by the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust), including the premiere of a new work by Luke Bedford and collaborations with Stephen Hough and Ian Bostridge. They make their debut at the Kissingen Winterzauber Festival in Germany, the deSingel Arts Centre in Antwerp as part of a Britten Day, return to the Netherlands and Banff, tour throughout Argentina and record their second CD of quartets by Janacek and Schulhoff. Future plans include a complete Tippett cycle at Wigmore Hall.

    Over the last two years the Quartet has given recitals at major festivals and venues throughout Europe including Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, Sage Gateshead, Perth and Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Musikverein, Konzerthaus and Esterhazy Palace (Vienna), Vara Konserthus (Sweden), the Schwetzinger and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals and BBC Radio 3 broadcasts from Birmingham Town Hall and Bath Festival. They have returned to Italy and the Netherlands (where they collaborated with the Tokyo Quartet and Colin Currie), were resident at the Brighton Dome and studied with Andras Schiff and Erich Hobart at IMS Prussia Cove. In 2010 they recorded their first CD at the Muziekcentrum Frits Philips and undertook a two week residency at The Banff Centre in Canada. Further afield they have given concerts in Shanghai.

    The Heath Quartet was formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music, under the guidance of the late Dr. Christopher Rowland and Alasdair Tait, with whom they continued their studies at the Reina Sofia in Madrid. During their studies at the RNCM the Quartet won all the major ensemble prizes and were Leverhulme Junior Fellows between 2008-10. Other teachers have included Gabor Takacs-Nagy and members of the Alban Berg, Smetana, Endellion, Lindsay and La Salle Quartets. The Quartet are currently Senior Chamber Music Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, supported by the Fidelio Trust.

    The Quartet has enjoyed working with several leading composers including Louis Andriessen, Sofia Gubaidulina, Anthony Gilbert and Hans Abrahamsen, the latter in a Radio 3 broadcast from the Proms. They took part in the European premiere of Steve Mackey’s ‘Gaggle and Flock’ for string octet, and received unanimous critical acclaim for their performance of Ligeti’s Quartet No.2 and Thomas Ades’ Arcadiana for The Park Lane Group at the Purcell Room.

    Oliver Heath studied at the RNCM with Yossi Zivoni and Cerys Jones studied at the Juilliard School and RCM with Nicholas Kaplan and Gordan Nicolich. South African Gary Pomeroy studied with Mark Knight at the RNCM and Christopher Murray studied at the RNCM with Hannah Roberts and Gregor Horsch.

    James Baillieu

    James Baillieu is described by The Daily Telegraph as 'in a class of his own... a remarkable pianist'.

    Press

     

    '... he was upstaged by his prodigiously gifted pianist. James Baillieu is surely the leader of the new generation of accompanists and will no doubt occupy the elite position currently held by such as Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles.'

    Classical Source Wigmore Hall April 2011

    'James Baillieu is in a class of his own, he is in the Gerald Moore/Graham Johnson bracket, a remarkable pianist.'

    The Daily Telegraph Wigmore Hall International Song Competition September 2009

    'The Pianist's Prize was awarded to that magician of the keyboard James Baillieu.'

    Musical Pointers Wigmore Hall International Song Competition September 2009

    'Expertly accompanied by James Baillieu.'

    The Daily Telegraph Wigmore Hall Allan Clayton January 2009

     

    Biography

     

    Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’ James Baillieu has been the prize-winner of the Wigmore Hall Song Competition, Das Lied International Song Competition (in both 2009 & 2011), Kathleen Ferrier and Richard Tauber Competitions. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2010 and in 2012 won a prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award.

    Over the last year James has recorded for BBC Radio 3 with the Elias Quartet, Allan Clayton and Ben Johnson. He has given solo and chamber recitals throughout Europe and further afield, collaborating with singers Jared Holt, Gerard Collett, Sir Thomas Allen, Mark Padmore, Pumeza Matshikiza, Katherine Broderick, Marcus Farnsworth, Martene Grimson, Jacques Imbrailo, Sarah-Jane Brandon and Kishani Jayasinghe. Festivals and venues have included Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Festpillene i Bergen, the City of London, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Aix-en-Provence, Derry and Norfolk & Norwich Festivals.

    During 2011 James gave several performances of Brahms’s Piano Quintet with the Heath Quartet including Spitalfields and Music in Paxton Festivals, and attended the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove working with Gerhard Schulz. Engagements this season include a concert with Annette Dasch at the Berlin Konzerthaus; recitals at Wigmore Hall including Schubert’s Schwanengesang with Ben Johnson broadcast by BBC Radio 3, and collaborations with flautist Adam Walker, cellist Timothy Lowe, mezzos Kathryn Rudge and Helen Sherman; and solo recitals in the Nottingham International and Leeds International Series. In 2012 James records with Adam Walker for Sonimage.

    An experienced coach, James works regularly at the George Solti Accademia di Bel Canto in Italy (working with Mirella Freni and Leo Nucci), is a repertory professor for the Encuentro de musica y Academia de Santander in Spain, and a music coach for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, a scholar for the Samling Foundation (working with Sir Thomas Allen and Yvonne Kenny) and has participated in the European Liedforum in Berlin.

    Born in South Africa, James graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinction in 2004. He went on to win a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. In 2007 he graduated with a Dip.RAM and received the Christian Carpenter Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He was appointed a Hodgson Junior Fellow during the 2007/08 season and in 2011 was appointed a Professor of Piano Accompaniment.

    In 2004 James participated in the International Russian Music Piano Competition in California at which, as a laureate, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Vienna International Pianists Academy, where he won the prestigious Rosario Marciano Prize.

    During his studies James won numerous prizes and awards including the Royal Over-Seas League Competition Prize. He has taken part in masterclasses with Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, Thomas Quasthoff, Kiri Te Kanawa, Philip Langridge, Jan Philip Schulze, Sherrill Milnes, Richard Stokes, Helmut Deutsch, Pavel Vernikov, Rudolf Jansen and Maxim Vengerov.

     

    Jess Gillam

    'Jess gave a great show with her hot licks, lustrous tone and winning passion.'

    BBC Young Musician 2016


     

    Press

     

    'A true inspiration, she frankly rocks.'

    Huffington Post Entertainment, May 2016

     

    'Her stage presence is charismatic, infectiously extrovert, and highly expressive as is her sound which ranged from vibrantly coloured and imaginative to haunting and delicate.'

    Bachtrack, May 2016

     

    'The exceptionally gifted young saxophonist, Jess Gillam, swung and troubadoured this smiling and catchy miniature for all it’s worth. She really should take it into the recording studio. Gillam is a lively player and physically in constant motion onstage following the momentum and swing of the orchestra even when her saxophone is silent. Her quiet playing is remarkably controlled and damask-smooth. I hope that the concert world will not lose her to the jazz world which lays competing claim to her talents and gifts (lots of clips on YouTube). She won me over with a work I love last year when she played the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto in Worthing. Let’s hear more from her please – how about Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances and the Maurice Johnstone Ballade?'

    Seen and Heard International, October 2015

     

    Jess featured as a “Rising Star” in BBC Music Magazine, September 2016

     

    Jess on cover of Music Teacher Magazine, August 2016

     

    Biography

     

    18 year old saxophonist Jess Gillam from Ulverston, Cumbria, began playing saxophone 11 years ago, aged 7.

    Jess made history as the first ever saxophonist to win the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year and after competing in the Semi Final, she reached the Grand Final where she performed a concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican to critical acclaim.

    Jess was also recently awarded Musician of the Year at the Cumbria Culture Awards presented by Melvyn Bragg. She has a busy performance schedule and has made a guest appearance with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and has performed as a concerto soloist with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra (in the same series as Nicola Benedetti, Emma Johnson and Julian Bliss). Upcoming concerto highlights include performances with the Southbank Sinfonia and the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

    Recently, Jess was the youngest of 2,600 delegates to perform at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg. She performed a recital consisting entirely of world premieres by some of the world’s leading saxophonists: Barbara Thompson, John Harle and Rob Buckland as well as one of her own compositions.

    This year, Jess is proud to be the Young Ambassador for the Ulverston International Music Festival.

    Jess was accepted into the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Scholarship in 2011 and has since won awards for demonstrating outstanding talent. She studies saxophone at JRNCM with Ruth Bourn and with Rob Buckland and gained an ABRSM Diploma aged 15. She will continue her studies full time in September at the RNCM with the ABRSM Scholarship.

    Awards for Young Musicians have helped Jess greatly with her musical development and Jess has performed in concerts for AYM in venues from the Charterhouse London to Jon O’Groats. Jess was awarded a special award from AYM as the most promising young musician in the North West.

    As well as having a passion for performance, Jess also has an interest in promoting live music and she has been running an annual concert series in her hometown of Ulverston for the past five years, bringing international names such as Courtney Pine, Snake Davis, Tommy Smith and the Apollo Saxophone Quartet. Aged 13, Jess became the youngest ever endorsee for Yanagisawa Saxophones, one of the finest saxophone manufacturers in the world. She is also a Vandoren UK Artist.

    Ji Liu

    Ji Liu studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia with Dmitri Bashkirov and the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton.

    Press

     

    'Here is a young pianist with a rare sense of inborn musicality. The London-based, Shanghai-born Ji Liu has a technique to match any virtuoso, however, it is his sensitive and unpretentious musicality that shines forth in this well-recorded debut album. How rare it is to hear a pianist satisfied with presenting the music as written and not forcing any personal idiosyncrasies on the performance… … Yes, there are too many pianists around these days, but way too few of them are anything like Ji Liu.'

    Pianist Magazine, Editor’s CHOICE 5 stars Classic FM Debut CFMD33, May 2014

    '…there was much to impress in Ji Liu’s fearless glissandos and a saturnine lyricism that attracted supernatural suggestion…. Ji Liu remained as cool as a cucumber as his fingers played with fire….this was a fine performance of a masterpiece and established Ji Liu as one to watch.'

    www.classicalsource.com / Queen Elizabeth Hall / Liszt’s Totentanz / January 2014

    'It was fitting that the concert series went out on a high with a recital by pianist Ji Liu. With a mixed programme of well-known piano standards and a few lesser known works he demonstrated skills beyond his 22 years... he performed with extraordinary concentration and understanding.'

    This is South Wales, Gower Festival, July 2013

    'Ji Liu, had his audience experiencing a whole range of emotions... The Beethoven ‘Moonlight’, Chopin Nocturnes and the Prokofiev Sonata No.7 were all despatched with consummate control.'

    thelatest.co.uk, Brighton Festival, May 2013

    'In Rhapsody in Blue….pianist Liu Ji finds comedy and tenderness.'

    Gramphone, Royal Academy of Music RAM042, September 2012

     

    Biography

     

    In 2014 Ji’s debut CD Piano Reflections was released by Classic FM and immediately went on to become No.1 in the classical charts.

    Born in 1990, Ji Liu studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2005 and 2006 he took part in the Verbier Festival & Academy where he received the Tabor Piano Award and CUBS Prize from the UBS Bank. He went on to study with Dmitri Bashkirov at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton where he completed his Masters on piano and composition. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2013. Engagements during the 2014/15 season include his debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, and appearances as soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko at the Royal Albert Hall, and in China. He gives a series of performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at Wigmore Hall, the Bristol Proms and at the Holywell Room in Oxford, and takes part in the Nottingham International Piano Series. Earlier this year Ji performed Rachmaninov’s Concerto No.2 at the Barbican and Liszt’s Totentanz at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and gave recitals at The Sage Gateshead, the Newbury Spring, Lichfield, Dart and Beaumaris Festivals.

    From a young age Ji has appeared as soloist at major venues and festivals internationally including Royal Festival Hall, Concertgebouw, Auditorium du Louvre, Salle Cortot, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, 92nd Street Y (New York), Rachmaninoff Hall (Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow), Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Hong Kong Town Hall, the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre and Stavanger Chamber Music Festival. He has performed JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Gstaad Festival and the complete piano music of Isang Yung at the Tongyeong Music Festival in South Korea.

    A hugely creative artist, Ji has worked on cross arts collaborations, particularly with visual art, including film and sand animation. Over the next few years he will be exploring the complete Schubert Sonatas and working on a multi-media approach to Schubert’s unfinished works.

    As a concerto soloist Ji’s performances have included the Ravel Concertos with the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra and the French Republic Guard Orchestra (Canada), Rachmaninov’s Concerto No.2 with the Academy Concert Orchestra conducted by Tadaaki Otaka, Mozart’s Concerto K.488 with the London String Ensemble and Beethoven Concertos with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. In 2010 he recorded Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for the Royal Academy of Music’s own label and won 1st Prize in the Sheepdrove Competition in association with Newbury Spring Festival.

    During his studies Ji won numerous prizes and awards including 1st Prize in the Brant Competition in Birmingham, the Audience Prize of the Friends of the RAM Wigmore Hall award, the Martin Musical Trust, Yamaha Music Foundation and the Hattori Foundation’s Debut Prize. Further afield Ji won 1st Prize in the 2003 Pinault Competition in New York, 1st Prize in the Ludmila Knezkova-Hussey Competition in Canada and 2nd Prize in the 2004 Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Bucharest.

    Ji has received invaluable guidance from Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Boris Berman, Paul Badura-Skoda, Imogen Cooper, Barry Douglas, Claude Frank, Richard Goode, Setephen Hough, Zoltán Kocsis, Fou Ts’ong, Lilya Zilberstein, Ida Kavafian, Pamela Frank, Yuri Bashmet and Salvatore Accardo.

     

    Jubilee String Quartet

    "This was a magnificent performance that showed for me ... the colours, the innovation, the melody, the passion, the persecution — they were all there and more.”

    Simon Broughton, Music and Vision Magazine (18th Feb 2013)

    Press

     

    "Young string quartet gives outstanding performance in the St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition"

    www.makingmusic.org.uk 28 March 2013

    "The finale was Janácek’s String Quartet No 2, Intimate Letters, played by the all female Jubilee Quartet – Janácek would probably have enjoyed that. This was the ‘Passion’ part of the programme and the girls brought out all the drama – the pleading violins, answered by a cold sul ponticello viola phrase, complete with a turned up nose from Stephanie Edmundson, and a look of steely indifference, from Lauren Steel on the cello. This was a magnificent performance that showed for me what a uniquely brilliant composer Janácek was — the colours, the innovation, the melody, the passion, the persecution — they were all there and more"

    Music and Vision Magazine 18th Feb 2013

    Biography

     

    First prize winners of the ‘Val Tidone International Chamber Music Competition’ and recipients of the Tillett Trust ‘Young Artists’ Platform’ and the Philharmonia Orchestra MMSF ‘Charles Henderson Ensemble Award’, the Jubilee Quartet was formed in 2006 at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where they currently hold a Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship. During this time, they were given instruction under professors such as Thomas Brandis, Garfield Jackson, Martin Outram, and Jon Thorne, and have received masterclasses from the Skampa and Chilingirian Quartets, Pierre Colombet, Miguel da Silva, Hatto Beyerle, and Sylvia Rosenberg.

    The quartet have performed extensively in the UK and their continental tours have included a performance in the presence of former Czech president Vaclav Havel. They also enjoy a variety of outreach work as part of the ‘Live Music Now!’ scheme.

    In May 2012 the quartet performed Chausson’s ‘Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet’ with Jack Liebeck and Katya Apekisheva at the Purcell Room, and last summer participated in the Lake District Summer Music and St Magnus Festivals.

    In November 2012 the quartet were finalists in the ‘Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition’, Weimar. Recent engagements include concerts around the UK and Italy, including a Purcell Room recital in May 2013 and in September the quartet will attend the ‘Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition’, having been preselected.

    The quartet currently play on fine instruments kindly on loan from the Royal Academy of Music for the duration of their fellowship.

    Kathryn Rudge

    'Kathryn Rudge as Carmen was the temptress to silence all temptresses. Her voice, fluid, rich and wonderfully coloured, is reminiscent of a young Victoria de los Angeles with an intuitive acting style and sheer musicianship to boot.'

    Press

     

    Kathryn Rudge, who plays Sesto, was so moving, so passionate and sang with such forthright ardour. Spectator Opera North/Giulio Cesare January 2012 Kathryn Rudge's plucky Sesto manages to be both stylish and moving.

    Financial Times Opera North/Giulio Cesare January 2012

    Kathryn Rudge made a brightly spunky and impassioned Sesto, whose duet of parting from her mother Cornelia (an eloquent and dignified Ann Taylor) was one of the evening's highlights.

    The Daily Telegraph Opera North/Giulio Cesare January 2012

    Rudge overcomes the handicap of an ill-fitting uniform to sing an absolute blinder as the boy bent on revenging his dad, as auspicious a Leeds debut as she could possibly have hoped.

    The York Press Opera North/Giulio Cesare January 2012

    ‘The star performance comes from Kathryn Rudge’s Cherubino – chaotically sexy, charismatic, totally compelling’.

    Financial Times English National Opera/Marriage of Figaro October 2011

    'It [Erika] was sung by Kathryn Rudge with her mellowest and most lustrous tone. She is a splendid actress. Already this charismatic singer, with her immaculate diction, knows how to stir the heart, and one hardly dares to predict what is to come.'

    Opera RNCM / Vanessa, May 2011

     

    Biography

     

    Born in 1986 in Liverpool, in 2004 Kathryn Rudge took up a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Susan Roper, graduating with 1st class honours and distinction. She was selected by YCAT in 2010 and over the last year has completed her studies on the International Artist Diploma Scheme.

    On graduating last summer Kathryn immediately joined English National Opera as part of the Young Singers programme, making her debut in the role of Cherubino in a new production of The Marriage of Figaro directed by Fiona Shaw. She went on to take the role of Sesto in Giuilo Cesare with Opera North and in Autumn 2012 joins Glyndebourne Touring Opera in the role of Cherubino (Le Nozze de Figaro). She returns to Wigmore Hall (3 April) and takes part in a Kathleen Ferrier centenary event at Bridgewater Hall (3 March).

    During her studies Kathryn's operatic roles included a critically acclaimed Carmen, Erika in Barber's Vanessa, Annio (La Clemenza di Tito), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Sorceress (Dido & Aeneas) and Olga (Eugene Onegin), the latter for Haddo House and the RNCM. She also covered the role of Hélène (La Belle Hélène) and sung excerpts from Handel's Ariodante.

    Over the last year Kathryn has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, the Chester and Spitalfields Festivals and taken part in masterclasses and concerts as a Samling Scholar. On the concert platform she has appeared as soloist on several occasions with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra working with conductors Vasily Petrenko, Carl Davis and John Wilson. She has sung Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel at the Royal Festival Hall, Mahler's Das Knaben Wunderhorn at Bridgewater Hall, Karl Jenkins The Armed Man with Manchester Camerata, Mahler's Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen with the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, and Berio and Hesketh Songs with the RLPO Ensemble 10/10.

    While at the RNCM Kathryn won numerous prizes and awards including a Silver Medal, the Allcard Award and the audience prize for The Prince's Prize from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, an MBF Sybil Tutton Award, the Annie Ridyard, Amanda Roocroft and Bridgitte Fassbaender awards; and the Alexander Young, Frederic Cox and Joyce and Michael Kennedy Strauss prizes. Nationally she has won a Susan Chilcott Scholarship, a BBC Fame Academy Bursary, Yamaha MFE Scholarship, Kathleen Ferrier Bursary and the Bruce Millar/Gullivar Prize.

    Martin James Bartlett

    Immensely assured, this 17-year-old artist seemed to pour his heart and soul into his eloquent and expressive playing. From start to finish, the audience were captivated. Helen Bomgardner

    Press

     

    "The wit and colour in pianist Martin James Bartlett's playing was thrilling"

    The Times, BBC Proms 2015

     

    "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue gave us the Proms debut of last year's BCC Young Musician: joining the Royal Philharmonic, the pianist Martin James Bartlett brought maximum feeling to the music and played with astonishing delicacy and punch"

    The Telegraph, BBC Proms 2015

     

    "It was the music that did the talking, with, for my money, the centrepiece being a full bodied performance of Gershwin's big bellied, nimble footed Rhapsody in Blue, with the fabulously flamboyant 2014 Young Musician of the Year Martin James Bartlett on piano"

    The Telegraph, Cheltenham Festival 2015

     

    "I was astounded at how movingly he played – a really beautiful performance. From where we sit, you can clearly see the reflection of the pianist’s hands in the black panel above the keyboard, and it’s always fascinating to see how deftly they move up and down the instrument. At the grand old age of 18, Mr Bartlett is the current BBC Young Musician of the Year. It was a highly entertaining, skillful and moving performance. We sat two rows behind his parents – not difficult to see how proud they are of him; and indeed if he continues to develop his skills he has a most amazing future ahead of him."

    Chris Sparkle, A Night with the Stats Gala Concert

     

    "Bach’s Toccata in C minor was played with detail, care and tenderness, while within the piece, changes of mood were abundant. There were some sensitive moments that were breathtaking; his imagination was pouring out, and the beautiful tones shone through. I had heard him perform Liszt’s Sonetto del Petrarca earlier this year, and had described it then as “strikingly poetic”. This time was no different, it was poetic, and offered much depth and picturesque beauty. Prokofiev’s Sonata brought a complete different dimension to this programme. Precitipato, the explosive toccata-style finale was rock’n’roll, absolutely fantastic. Martin is beyond just a young talented pianist. He has the core and essential quality and character of a performer, which attracts audiences without trying hard. He is definitely the one to watch – let’s look forward to his development in the next several years"

    Kumi Smith-Gordon, Wimbledon International Music Festival

     

    "He is a wonderfully sensitive musician with an astonishing technique and is destined for great things."

    John Gibbons, conductor, Wimbledon International Music Festival

     

    Biography

     

    At the age of 17, Martin James Bartlett was awarded the title of BBC Young Musician 2014. His winning performance of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with conductor Kirill Karabits and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, received overwhelming acclaim from Edinburgh’s Usher Hall audience and from those tuning into the live recording broadcast on BBC4 and BBC Radio 3.

    Martin began his piano studies with Emily Jeffrey at the Royal College of Music Junior Department when he was 8 years of age, and then at the Purcell School also some 5 years later. This autumn, he commenced his undergraduate studies with Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College of Music, notably as a coveted Foundation Scholar. Martin also previously studied the bassoon and the recorder, achieving Grade 8 Distinction on all three instruments by the age of 12.

    Throughout these formative years, Martin enjoyed considerable success in numerous competitions and festivals. During his time at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, Martin won the Gordon Turner Competition, the Teresa Carreño Competition, the Angela Bull Competition and the Peter Morrison Concerto Prize. He was several years running a top prize winner also in the Jaques Samuel Junior Department Piano Festival. In 2012, Martin was granted a Tsukanov Scholarship, which generously supported his final years of study at the RCMJD. During his time at the Purcell School, Martin won the Middle School Concerto Competition, the Freddy Morgan Competition, the Wigmore Competition (both solo and chamber) and the Senior School Concerto Competition. At the end of his studies at both RCMJD and Purcell, Martin was honoured to be awarded the prestigious Leaver’s Prize for Outstanding Musical Contribution, the Esther Coleman Prize and the Rosemary Rapaport Prize.

    Following his success in such competitions, Martin has given solo recital performances in the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Bolivar Hall and Novi Sad Town Hall, as well as the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Steinway Hall and Moscow’s Multi-Media Arts Hall. He has also participated in masterclasses with Lang Lang, Stephen Kovacevich, Mikhail Petukhov, Kathryn Stott, Aaron Shorr and Alberto Portugheis. In addition, Martin has organised and performed in numerous charity concerts too, to date raising over thirty thousand pounds for a wide range of deserving causes.

    Just this past September, Martin made his debut at the BBC Proms, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Ulster Orchestra at the “Last Night” celebrations, which were broadcast live from Belfast on the internet as well as BBC Radio Ulster. Martin has also very recently performed with the BSO in Bournemouth Pavilion as soloist in the opening concert of their 2014/15 Season.

    Most recently, Martin was one of 27 international artists, including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Nicola Benedetti and Alison Balsom, to be chosen by the BBC to record a cover of the Beach Boys classic ‘God only Knows‘. The song was first aired on the 8th October on all BBC TV and Radio channels and later was released as the BBC Children in Need single with the first ever collaboration between Warner, Sony and Universal music.

    Martin made his Royal Albert Hall debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2015.

    Mishka Momen

    Mishka Momen was described by the “Cambridge Summer Music Festival” as a gifted young artist and a recitalist of distinction. As the youngest student ever admitted to the Purcell School (at age six) she has already won a handful of UK and EU competitions. She has performed in masterclasses with Lang Lang, Steven Hough and Paul Lewis, to name a few, and performed at Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Merkin Hall (NY), and St. Martin’s in the Field.

    Press

     

    The programme showed what strides Mishka has been making since coming to the Guildhall to study with Imogen Cooper: Beethoven's two-movement Opus 90 with its first a minuet by any other name, and its second a Rondo which rippled on like a lullaby in an unbroken chain of semiquavers lulling the listener into a state of resigned beatitude -- both movements beautifully rounded and nuanced with no mannered exaggerations to mar their perfectly chosen tempi -- was an excellent choice for this demure interpreter. She caught to perfection the delicate play between augmentation and diminution which announces the first movement's recapitulation'

    Malcolm Troup, Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Summer Festival 2009

     

    Biography

     

    Mishka Rushdie Momen, (born in London in 1992) Described by the 2010 Cambridge Summer Music Festival as “An extraordinarily gifted young artist and a recitalist of distinction- audiences have been both enchanted by her performance and that such a young player should bring such maturity and depth to her interpretations”. She is the youngest pupil ever to have been admitted by the Purcell School at the age of six on a full scholarship where she was a pupil of Ilana Davids. Mishka has recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and had been studying externally with Imogen Cooper as her only student since 2006. She is also supported by the Hope Hambourg Musical Trust.

    Mishka won First Prize of the Piano section in the prestigious Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artists 2010 Competition. Previously, at the age of 13, Mishka was unanimously selected by the jury as the First Prize winner of the Leschetizky Association’s Gifted Young Pianists Concerto Competition held in New York. Mishka represented the UK at the first EU Piano competition in Prague in June 2009 and was awarded the Director’s Special prize for her rendition of Chopin.

    Her debut solo recital was at the age of ten following which her concert experience includes most of London’s major venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room, Barbican Centre, Britten Theatre, St. James’s Church Piccadilly, St. Martin in the Fields, Steinway Hall, Regents Hall, Spencer House and Leighton House. She has also played recitals at the Proms at St Jude’s in London, Winchester Festival, Congress Theatre Eastbourne, Holywell Music Room in Oxford, Clivedon, St Olave’s in the City of London and St. Mary’s Church Perivale. She is regularly invited to give recitals hosted by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and the Chopin Society UK. In 2010 Mishka performed in both the Chopin and Schumann Festivals in London and was invited to give a solo recital in the excellent Cambridge Summer Music Festival in July.

    Mishka has also performed abroad at the Liszt Salon in Altenburg, Germany, Merkin Hall, New York where she played Beethoven 3rd piano concerto as soloist with the Camerata New York, at the Nostitz Palace in Prague and in April 2010 gave a major solo recital at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai.

    Mishka has performed chamber music in Wigmore Hall, The Spirit of Youth in Music Festival, Rochdale, in a piano Quintet at Chamber Music Concerts in Yehudi Menuhin Hall, Surrey and St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico in 2009 and plays regularly with singers at the Guildhall.

    Morgan Szymanski

    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 recently selected as a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Young Artist Award’ by MIDEM Classique/IAMA.

    Press

     

    "What is beyond criticism is Szymanski’s playing, which is of the highest order…‘Sketches of Mexico’ is a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music."

    William Yeoman, Gramophone Magazine – August 2012

     

    "The outstandingly talented classical guitarist Morgan Szymanski brought Latin American sunshine to the Gower Festival."

    South Wales Post, July 2010

     

    "Morgan is a born communicator. He has the rare gift of being able to make his instrument sing. Any arts festival organiser should grab Morgan now, before his diary is full."

    The Irish Times, November 2006

     

    Biography

     

    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 all guitar prizes from the RCM as well as 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 immediately went on to become the first solo guitarist to be selected by Young Classical Artist Trust and was the first guitarist to be awarded a Junior Fellowship at the RCM, where he completed his Masters with distinction.

    A top prize-winner at international competitions, in 2002 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, UK, USA and Zimbabwe.

    In recent years Morgan has given recitals at major UK venues and festivals including at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, King’s Place, The Sage Gateshead, Royal Opera House, Lichfield Festival, Salisbury Festival and London International Guitar Festival. He has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Swan, Southbank Sinfonia, the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Sinfonia, the Cervantes Choir and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Morgan continues to build his international reputation with performances around the world, most recently including performances at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Mexico’s Palacio de Bellas Artes.

    Morgan’s devotion to chamber music has led to collaborations with artists such as John Williams, Celso Machado and Carlos Bonell (guitar), Mark Padmore (tenor), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Priya Mitchell (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Adam Walker (flute), the Sacconi, Doric and Carducci Quartets, Phuong Nguyen (accordion), Adam Walker (flute) and Clara Mouriz (mezzo-soprano) amongst others.

    Regularly broadcast live on TV and radio worldwide, Morgan can often be heard on BBC Radio 3. Described as ‘top class in every respect’ (Classical Guitar Magazine, 2005), Morgan’s first CD ‘The Unicorn in the Garden’, was released in 2005 including works by Iannarelli, Ritter, Ponce and Barrios as well as works especially written for him by Alec Roth. Morgan’s second CD, ‘Songs in Time of War’ (Signum), is a stunning collaboration with Mark Padmore (tenor), Philip Honoré (violin), Alison Nicholls (harp), composer Alec Roth and the words of Vikram Seth. His recordings with his ensemble Machaca, ‘Mano a Mano’ and ‘Los Ambulantes’ on Sarabande Records, have been described as ‘a jewel’ by Gramophone Magazine.

    Collaborations with composers have led to new works for guitar dedicated to Szymanski by Simone Iannarelli, Stephen McNeff, Julio César Oliva and Alec Roth whose Concerto for Guitar and Strings was premiered with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 2010.

    Morgan’s latest project is a visual and auditory journey entitled ‘Sketches of Mexico’. Released on Sarabande, this is a unique collaboration combining Mexican music from Julio César Oliva and Manuel M. Ponce and the work of twenty visual artists from the UK, Mexico, Portugal and China. Gramophone Magazine has called it ‘a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music’ with Morgan’s playing ‘of the highest order.’

    The season 2012/13 sees Morgan return tours to Mexico, China, Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales and Spain as well as return visits to London´s Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Spitalfields Festival and his debut with Dublin´s RTÉ Orchestra. April 2013 also sees the release of ´Sometime I Sing´on the Signum Label, a new CD of the music for tenor and guitar by Alec Roth.

    Morgan Szymanski plays on a guitar by the Chinese master guitar luthier Yulong Guo. He is a Live Music Now alumni, the scheme started by Lord Yehudi Menuhin to reach audiences that would otherwise have no access to live music.

    Philippa Mo

    "A little cracker"

    The Times, Richard Morrison


    Press

     

    "Philippa Mo reviewed 24 Miniatures (2000) by Laurent Perrenoud, for violin and percussion, was riveting. Philippa Mo stood stock still, playing all manner and style of phrases in all 24 keys – in snatches of less than 12 bars each. David Jackson, meanwhile, kept busy running from drum to triangle to tubular bells and many other instruments besides. The ingenuity of the writing was quite dazzling; so was the playing – the expertise of Mo’s near-instantaneous transitions from one style to another was often startling and always impressive."

    Classical Source, Kenneth Carter, 2007 – The Wigmore Hall

     

    "Carried off with exquisite point and finesse:

    The Independent, Bayan Northcott, July 2003 – St John’s, Smith Square

     

    Biography

     

    Philippa studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing with Professor Lin Yao Ji. Her studies were supported by the Belmore Woodgate Scholarship and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Since finishing her research studies culminating in the award of an MMus degree, Philippa now performs extensively as a chamber musician. She has given concerto and chamber performances all over Europe; including her acclaimed debut at the Wigmore Hall, the premiere of the revised Fugue Refractions by Jim Aitchison at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, the Beethoven Series at St John’s, Smith Square, and performances at the Deutsches Museum, Munich, Ulaan Bataar, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and The Tate St Ives in the UK and televised performances in Turkey as part of the Ankara International Music Festival with Orkestra@Modern.

    As a founding member of Convergence Quartet based jointly in London and New York, she gave recitals at Lincoln Center, New York and across London.

    She was invited as the only British musician to participate as soloist in the International Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Mongolia in 2002 where she gave a programme of new British works in the State Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Palace of Culture, Ulaan Bataar and also amongst the dunes of the Gobi Desert and at Erdene Zuu Khiid, the capital of Genghis Khan.

    A champion of contemporary music, Philippa has given recital/discussions and workshops on British music at the Central Conservatory, Beijing and at Bilkent and Hacettep Universities in Ankara, Turkey. She also regularly returns to coach students of the Kurmangazy National Conservatory of Kazakhstan in Almaty where she has given televised interviews and performance of British contemporary music.

    Philippa plays a violin by Julius Cesare Gigli from 1786.

    Rhodes Piano Trio

    Selected for representation by YCAT in 2010, last summer the Rhodes Piano Trio won 2nd prize in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

    Press

     

    Selected for representation by YCAT in 2010, in the Summer of 2011 the Rhodes Piano Trio won 2nd prize in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

    Newbury Weekly News, November 2007.

    ‘…the string highlight of the festival, for me, was the Rhodes Piano Trio in Dvorák’s Piano Trio in F minor op.65, at the Royal Over-Seas League. Although the group was only formed in 2003 at the Royal Northern College of Music, it felt as though its members had been playing together for decades. It was impossible not to be caught up in their intense, passionate playing, full of colour and variety, and there a compelling sense of discovering the music afresh with them. Violinist Michael Gurevich played each phrase as if his life depended on it, and cellist David Edmonds had some gloriously syrupy moments in the first movement, with powerful yet supple contributions from pianist Robert Thompson. This was thrilling, edge-of-your-seat playing, delivered with real sincerity, and best of all, the three performers actually seemed to be enjoying themselves’.

    The Strad / ROSL Edinburgh Fringe Festival / November 2011

    4 star review **** It is easy to tell that a group of players are entirely comfortable and practiced with one another… The audience loved this Beethoven [Archduke].

    Edinburgh Guide.com Edinburgh Fringe Festival/Royal Over-Seas League August 2011

    Musizieren auf die feine britische Art: …their music-making is of the very finest…the Dvorák [Op.65] was full of energy and the most expressive contrasts.

    Ostsee Zeitung Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern August 2011

    'A performance of suave brilliance by the Rhodes Trio, a fine ensemble, of whom one needs to hear more.'

    The Guardian, RNCM ChamberFest/Boris Tchaikovsky Trio, January 2006

     

    Biography

     

    In 2011 the Rhodes Piano Trio won 2nd Prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. Selected for representation by YCAT in 2010, over the last year the Trio has given recitals at Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, the Chester, Lake District Summer Music, Edinburgh Fringe and Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festivals. Earlier this year the Trio took part in masterclasses with Menahem Pressler, Mitsuko Uchida in Aldeburgh and with Ferenc Rados and Andras Keller at IMS Prussia Cove. Engagements this season include debut recitals at Wigmore Hall, Barbican and Schwetzinger Festspiele. The Trio are Chamber Music Fellows at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and in March are resident ensemble as part of the One to Watch series at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore.

    Formed in 2003 at the Royal Northern College of Music under the guidance of the late Dr. Christopher Rowland and Alasdair Tait, the Trio won all the RNCM's major chamber music prizes, toured Scotland as Tunnell Trust Award winners twice and won the 2008 Elias Fawcett Award in the Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Finals. The Trio has been coached by the Florestan Trio and the Ulysses Ensemble as part of the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme and studied with Andre Emelianoff at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in the USA. They have also taken part in classes with Charles Rosen, Alexander Melnikov, Gábor Takács-Nagy, members of the Chilingirian and Endellion String Quartets and the Gould Piano Trio and been taught by Ian Brown, Carole Presland and Jeremy Young.

    Over the last four years the Trio has performed widely at venues and festivals across the UK, including the Halifax Young Artist series and a residency at the Lake District Summer Music Festival. They have appeared on BBC Radio 3 and ABC Classic FM in Australia and from 2005-2009 took part in the RNCM's ChamberFests, in 2006 performing the Boris Tchaikovsky Trio to critical acclaim. Further afield they have given concerts in the USA, Australia, Lithuania and The Netherlands.

    All three members of the Rhodes Piano Trio enjoy great success individually, Robert Thompson completing his solo studies with Peter Frankl at Yale University, David Edmonds with Gregor Horsch in Dusseldorf and Michael Gurevich as a Junior Fellow at the RNCM and member of the London Haydn Quartet.

    Sophie Westbrooke

    Sophie Westbrooke, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014 Finalist

    Press

     

    "I too had picked out Sophie Westbrooke as an outstanding musician who deserves to have a great professional future."

    Mary Cohen, Mary's Music Cupboard.

     

    Biography

     

     

    Sophie began playing the recorder with her mother at the age of five, as a way of learning to read music to aid her violin and piano studies. She moved to formal lessons a year later and passed her Grade 8 at the age of nine. Sophie studies recorder with Barbara Law at the Junior Royal Academy of Music and often plays alongside 2012 BBC Young Musician Finalist Charlotte Barbour-Condini. In 2013 Sophie passed her ABRSM Performance Diploma with Distinction, and she has also gained distinction at Grade 8 on both piano and violin.

    Sophie was the second-ever recorder player to reach the Concerto Finals of the BBC Young Musician Competition, performing Gordon Jacob’s ‘Suite for recorder and strings’ arranged for chamber orchestra by David Knotts. Following the competition, Sophie has performed concertos with Henham Chamber Orchestra and National Youth Recorder Orchestra. This summer she toured Germany and Belgium as concerto soloist with the Lydian Orchestra.

    Sophie aims to expand awareness of the recorder through the performance of a wide repertoire of music from the medieval to the modern. She is experimental in interpretation, often using improvisation and different combinations of instruments to accompany her ever-growing collection of different instruments. A music scholar at Sevenoaks School, Sophie also participates in many choirs, orchestras and chamber groups. Her string quartet was chamber champion in the Pro Corda National Chamber Music competition 2014.

    A keen composer, Sophie wrote a Christmas carol 'Music of Christmas Day' which won both the Junior Carol Competition at RAM and was the overall winner of the Sevenoaks School carol competition in 2012. The following year, she was invited to compose a piano piece and perform at the Hastings International Composers' Festival alongside pieces by Nigel Hess, Stephen Warbeck and others. She is currently working on a set of pieces for recorder to premier in upcoming concerts. Sophie also enjoys studying conducting at school, where she has conducted orchestras and choirs.

    Sophie is involved in music production, and co-wrote, recorded and produced a pop album with her band, playing guitar and keyboards with a school friend on vocals and her brother on drums, raising over £800 for the charity HopeHIV. Having studied jazz piano at a young age she regularly accompanies bands and singers in local charity concerts and events. When not at school or practising, Sophie likes running and cooking.

    The Villiers String Quartet

    The masterful playing of the Villiers String Quartet left a great impression.

    Press

     

    "The Villiers are cagey about when they first got together. They needn’t be. Although it can barely be five years, they already had deep experience of playing in other ensembles. It showed throughout their programme of Beethoven, Elgar and Glass for the British Music Society of York (BMS) on Friday. For this is no quartet of young tyros. The opening Allegro of Beethoven’s Op 18 No 6 was confidently, but not condescendingly, signposted. There was an engaging serenity to the Adagio. Although its trio was a little rough at the edges, the Scherzo’s cross-accents were joyously precise. But it was the mystical melancholy which opens the finale that took the breath away, brilliantly balanced by a feather-light Allegretto. This movement rarely sounds so persuasive. Philip Glass’s Fifth String Quartet (1991) depends heavily for its effect on a rock-steady cello line. Nick Stringfellow provided that and more: a solid foundation off which his colleagues could bounce their theatricality. The potential for monotony of Glass’s minimalism was thus neatly sidestepped, the upper voices matching his commitment and concentration. After such metronomic tempos, it was a relief to encounter Elgar’s late E minor quartet, which gives the lie to the composer’s sometimes starchy reputation. In the Villiers’ hands, this was English romanticism in full flood. Especially effective were the slow movement’s heartfelt pastorale, finely chiselled, and the finale’s race for the tape. Experience will out. We shall hear more of this group."

    The York Press, November 18, 2013.

     

    Biography

     

    The Villiers Quartet is one of the most charismatic and "adventurous" quartets of the British chamber music scene (The Strad). Nothing is outside of the VQ's repertoire as they define the string quartet for the 21st century. Dedicated to the established works of Beethoven, Haydn, and Mendelssohn, they are also renowned for their interpretations of English composers including Elgar, Britten and Delius. Having toured across the UK and internationally, they have been declared "one of the best young quartets around today" (Jerry Horner, Fine Arts Quartet), and their performances of Shostakovich and Tischenko have been hailed as "masterful playing" (Classical Source).

    They have been a featured quartet in numerous festivals including the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, the Brit Jazz Fest, the English Music Festival, and the British Music Society. Known for championing the works of British composers, the VQ has been invited to present masterclasses on British music at Dartmouth College, Syracuse University, Goshen College, and the University of Nottingham. Their internationally acclaimed digital VQ New Works Competition encourages audiences to interact with contemporary music performance online, and supports the creation of new works for string quartet.

    Named after Villiers Street in London's colourful musical epicentre, the Villiers Quartet encompasses the grand and iconic spirit of the extraordinary music tradition in London. Their debut CD for Naxos, The Complete Quartets of Robert Still, was praised for their "sublimely articulate and concentrated readings" (Gramophone), and received 5-stars in Classical Music Magazine. In 2015, Somm Recordings releases their recording of Shostakovich and David Matthews piano quintets with pianist Martin Cousin, and they are the featured quartet on the soundtrack to the BBC television drama, Lady Chatterley's Lover. The Villiers Quartet are winners of the 2015 Radcliffe Chamber Music Competition and have been appointed Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Oxford for the period 2015-18.

    Trio Isimsiz

    "I've heard this trio more than once before and they seem to get better with each recital. They have consummate collective and individual talents across the board, from sound, intonation, dynamics, articulation and ensemble right through to the loftier points of interpretation and expression, with the benefit of an exemplary balance." Jonathan Lane

    Press

     

    "The Schubert B flat trio is a glorious work and the Isimsiz did justice to it…. the slow movement achingly beautiful."

    www.stringsattached.com, Brighton Dome, February 2014.

     

    "The trio (Isimsiz means “without a name” in Turkish) performed the Haydn with expressive delicacy. But the Beethoven was immediately full of tension, as if musical elastic bands connected the players. The C Minor came out sounding utterly radical and unexpected. The musicians also brought out the best in Schubert’s substantial take on the piano trio, giving it vibrancy and colour, with a beautifully played slow movement."

    The Argus, Brighton Dome, February 2014.

     

    Biography

     

    The Trio Isimsiz was formed in 2009 at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, under the guidance of Louise Hopkins, Carole Presland and Alasdair Tait.  They have undertaken residencies at the Banff Centre, Canada and Mozarteum, Salzburg, and participated in masterclasses with Andras Schiff, Steven Isserlis, Menahem Pressler, Thomas Riebl, Wolfgang Reddick, the Gould Piano Trio and Takács Quartet. In 2015 the Trio attended IMS Prussia Cove working with Ference Rados.

    Concert highlights over the last year have included recitals at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Purcell Room, Sage Gateshead, Colston Hall, Brighton Dome, the Newbury Spring, Peasmarsh and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals. They collaborated with Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester and Aleksander Madzar.

    Following a successful residency in Aldeburgh earlier this year, the Trio return for a recital in the Britten Weekend and a further residency in 2016.  They give recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid and throughout the UK. Further afield they make their debut in New York.

    All three members of the Trio Isimsiz Piano Trio enjoy great success individually.  Erdem Misirlioglu was a Concerto Finalist in the BBC Young Musician Competition in 2008, Pablo Hernán Benedí is a member of the Chiaroscuro Quartet, formed by Alina Ibragimova, and Michael Petrov represented the UK in the European Concert Halls Organisation Rising Star series during the 2014/15 season.

    Pablo Hernán Benedí was born in 1991 in Madrid.  He studied at the C.I. Padre Antonio Soler Conservatory in San Lorenzo de El Escorial and at the GSMD with David Takeno.  In 2010 Pablo became a member of the Chiaroscuro Quartet, formed by Alina Ibragimova, Emilie Hornlund and Claire Thirion, appearing at major venues throughout Europe. The Quartet’s debut recording was released in 2011 to critical acclaim.  
     
    Michael Petrov was born in 1990 in Bulgaria.  He studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the GSMD with Louise Hopkins, winning the Gold Medal in 2014.   Over the last year he has made his debut with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and English Chamber Orchestras.  During 2014/15 he gave recitals at major concert halls throughout Europe as part of his nomination by the Barbican Centre as an ECHO Rising Star.  
     
    Erdem Misirlioglu was born in 1990 in Suffolk.  He studied with Mark Fielding at the Junior GSMD and since 2008 with Martin Roscoe and Ronan O’Hora at the GSMD.  In 2008 he was a Concerto Finalist in the BBC Young Musicians Competition, performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganiniwith the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.  He recently won 1st Prize in the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe’s Intercollegiate Piano Competition.