2021 Festival Artists
Ruth Padel began as a Greek scholar a t Oxford,where she played chamber music as a student and sang in the Schola Cantorum of Oxford. Today she is Professor of Poetry at King’s College London and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has published twelve poetry collections, most recently Beethoven Variations on the composer’s life and music, which draws on five years’ work with the Endellion String Quartet. Her prose include three books on reading poetry, a book on wild tiger conservation, a study of rock music and Greek myth, a wildlife novel set in India, and two books on Greek tragedy. She has recently updated The Mara Crossing, her prose-and-poems book on animal and human migration, to include work with Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj on refugees in the Greek island of Lesbos. She was the first Resident writer at Royal Opera House Covent Garden; the first money she ever earned was £5 playing viola in Westminster Abbey.
Brian O’Kane is quickly establishing himself as one of the finest Irish musicians of his generation and is in increasing demand as both a soloist and chamber musician. He came to prominence by taking first prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition and is also a former prizewinner of the Royal Overseas League Competition. a former winner of the Accenture Bursary Award and Camerata Ireland Young Musician Award. In 2008, Brian performed with Camerata Ireland in Dublin’s National Concert Hall under Barry Douglas and with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Highgrove before the Prince of Wales. He appeared again with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy at the 2009 Windsor Festival. Brian has recently been awarded the National Concert Hall of Ireland’s ‘Rising Star’ award.
An avid chamber musician, Brian has toured extensively throughout the Far East, Australasia and Europe. He has collaborated with a wide variety of artists such as the Vanbrugh Quartet, Michael Collins, Ian Bostridge, Pekka Kuusisto and Alison Balsom. He enjoys playing as a founding member of the Cappa Ensemble who are currently on the Young Artist roster of Ireland’s Music Network and as a member of the Navarra Quartet. Also a keen explorer of contemporary music, he has worked closely with composers such as Wilson, Kancheli, Auerbach and Widmann. Brian has appeared at many festivals and concert halls throughout the world, including the West Cork, Drumcliffe, Edinburgh, Verbier, Radio France-Montpellier and Clandeboye Festivals, Bridgewater Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, the Barbican, Bozar – Brussels, Suntory Hall – Tokyo and has been broadcast on RTE Lyric FM, BBC Radio 3, Radio New Zealand and Radio France. In 2012, Brian made his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland live on radio and his Wigmore Hall debut as a Maisie Lewis Young Artist. He appeared again at the Wigmore Hall in 2013 as a Kirckman Concert Society Young Artist.
An award winning graduate of both the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Brian‘s biggest influences have come from Louise Hopkins and at the International Musicians Seminars, Prussia Cove from studies with Ralph Kirshbaum, Gabor Takacs-Nagy and Steven Isserlis. During his studies, Brian was extremely grateful for the generous support of the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund and the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Brian currently plays on a Grancino cello made in Milan in 1698, generously on loan from the Cruft – Grancino Trust which is administered by the Royal Society of Musicians.
Formed in 2013 at the Royal College of Music in London, the Marmen Quartet is fast building a reputation for the vitality and vigor of their performances. In 2019 they won the Grand Prize of the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition as well as the First Prize of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, with the Haydn and Canadian commission prizes in addition. Recent engagements have taken the Quartet to the Amsterdam and Barcelona String Quartet Biennales as well as the Hitzacker and Lockenhaus festivals.
Upcoming season highlights for the Marmens include debuts at the Berlin Philharmonie, Boulez Saal and the BBC Proms as well as extensive European tours including performances in Heidelberg, Belfast, Luberon, Stockholm and Graz. Festival engagements will take the Quartet to the Lucerne Festival, Gulbekian Biennale, Wonderfeel Helsinki and Estivales de Musique en Médoc. In the US the Quartet undertakes the first visit of its two-year residency at Southern Methodist University in Dallas; a relationship that will see the Quartet work closely with the students as well as giving performances and developing new projects. Other plans include tours to Japan, New Zealand and Canada in 2022. The Quartet will perform works by Haydn and Simpson at their BBC Proms debut on 16th August, live on BBC Radio 3.
Sukhwinder ‘Pinky-Ji’ Singh is an internationally acclaimed Indian playback singer, best known for his work in Bollywood. He is perhaps most famous for singing ‘Jai Ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media.
Sukhwinder achieved his first break in Bollywood with the son ‘Aaja Sanam’ in the film Khilaaf. He later travelled in England and America to see, hear, and learn more about global music. After broadening his musical horizons, he returned to Mumbai to launch his own music career. He received great success for his song ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’, from Mani Ratnam’s 1998 film Dil Se.., composed by A. R. Rahman, written by Gulzar, and sung in duet with Sapna Awasthi.
He has been well received for providing playback singing for Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan. Of those songs, “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from Dil Se.., “Dard-E-Disco” from Om Shanti Om, “Chak De India” from Chak De! India, “Haule Haule” from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, “Marjaani” from Billu, “Satakali” from Happy New Year, and “Udi Udi Jaye” from Raees have become certified hits.
Sukhwinder has been awarded the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer at the 62nd National Film Awards for his rendition in the 2014 film Haider composed by Vishal Bhardwaj.
Annette Walther studied in Düsseldorf, Essen and London with Ida Bieler, David Takeno and Vesselin Parschkevov. At the Guildhall School for Music and Drama in London she also took chamber music classes with Sir Colin Davis and the Takacs Quartet. Further masterclasses with Michelle Auclair, Yuri Bashmet, Thomas Brandis, Jürgen Kussmaul and Charles-Andre Linale have been of lasting importance to her musical development.
Annette has been a stipendiary of the Villa Musica and the Hartmut Schuler Foundations, and in 2004 she was awarded the Artland Musikpreis.
In addition to being a founding member of the Signum Quartet, Annette regularly performs with artists such as Carolin Widmann, Nils Mönkemeyer, William Youn, David Cohen, Liza Ferschtman and Priya Mitchell at festivals including the Musikfestspielen Mecklenburg –Vorpommern, Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, Musiktage Hitzacker and Kammermusikfest Sylt.
She is a regular guest in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and ensemble musikfabrik, concertmaster of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Belgian Chamber Orchestra and the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra. She is a member of the Geneva Camerata and Ensemble Ruhr.
At the beginning of 2016, Annette was appointed as violin lecturer at the Louis Spohr Music Academy in Kassel.
Sinéad O’Halloran is quickly establishing herself as one of Ireland’s most exciting young musicians. Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Ortús Chamber Music Festival, established in Cork in 2016, Sinéad is passionate about bringing together Irish and international musicians for concerts, education work and audience development in the wider community.
An avid chamber musician, Sinéad has collaborated with musicians including Tasmin Little, Barry Douglas and the Vanbrugh String Quartet. In October 2020 she made her Wigmore Hall debut at the invitation of cellist Steven Isserlis, performing alongside Anthony Marwood, Timothy Ridout and Mishka Rushdie Momen.
Sinéad has recently been appointed the new cellist of the award-winning Marmen Quartet, having been a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) for seven years. At the invitation of Maestro Iván Fischer, she is a regular guest with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, touring extensively and performing in some of the world’s finest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Het Concertgebouw. She has also performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Spira Mirabilis, Georgian Chamber Orchestra and the iPalpiti Ensemble of International Laureates. She regularly plays under some of the world’s most renowned conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Gianandrea Noseda, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jörg Widmann and Vasily Petrenko.
Sinéad has had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s most respected cellists, including Ralph Kirshbaum, Lynn Harrell, Ivan Monighetti, Colin Carr, Raphael Wallfisch, Jérôme Pernoo, Alban Gerhardt, Natalie Clein, Thomas Demenga, Rafael Rosenfeld, Hannah Roberts, Emma Ferrand, David Strange, Cyrille Lacrouts, Péter Szabo, Antonio Lysy and Mike Block.
Sinéad currently plays on a Benjamin Banks cello c. 1780 and a baroque cello and bow generously on loan from the Royal Northern College of Music.
Tom Hankey studied the violin with David Takeno, Krzyzstof Smietana, Levon Chilingirian and Yossi Zivoni. He studied at the Purcell School, the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music.
Tom is a member (as violinist and violist) of the Aronowitz Ensemble. The group took part in the Radio 3 New Generation Artist Scheme which involved frequent performances on the radio – live and pre- recorded from venues throughout the UK, such as Wigmore Hall, The Sage (Newcastle), Bridgewater Hall and the Bath, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Kings Place, Spoleto Festival and City of London Festivals. In September 2008 the group performed in the proms chamber concert series. The Borletti-Buitoni Trust award enabled them to release two CDs on the Sonimage label.
Tom was a founding member of Ensemble Na Mara – a piano quartet and string trio. The group won the 2006 Royal Over-Seas league ensemble prize, the Tunnel prize and a Kirkman prize.
Tom recently joined the Callino quartet and looks forward to exploring the quartet repertoire. Also strongly committed to contemporary music he has given frequent first performances. As a soloist he has given many recitals and concerto performances including the Beethoven Triple Concerto, Prokofiev’s first concerto and those by Mendelssohn, Bruch, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and John McCabe as well as taking part in performances of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with the Kreisler Ensemble.
His free-lance orchestral work has included touring with Aurora Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
The Italian cellist Claude Frochaux began playing the cello at the age of six at Suzuki Talent Center, then at the Conservatory of Turin. Studies followed in Frankfurt with Michael Sanderling, where he completed his Diploma and his concert examination with the highest rating in the soloist class, as well as postgraduate studies in Essen and Madrid. He received further artistic impulses from Eberhard Feltz, Menahem Pressler, Ralf Gothoni. Claude was supported by the foundations De Sono, Live Music Now and Anna Ruths.
As a sought-after and passionate chamber musician, he is a guest at festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Mozartfest Würzburg, Beethovenfest Bonn, Heidelberger Frühling, and in other European countries and North and South America. He played at Wigmore Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt and Laeiszhalle Hamburg, and was broadcast repeatedly on the radio (BR, WDR, SWR, Deutschlandfunk and Radio Classic). Upcoming Engagements bring him among others to the Konzerthaus Berlin, Musikverein Wien, King’s Place and Wigmore Hall in London, as well as Enescu Festival Bucharest.
In addition to prizes of national competitions in Italy, he won the 1st prizes of the competition of the Polytechnic Society and the DAAD Frankfurt. In 2008, he founded Monte Piano Trio with which he won numerous international prizes (Maria Canals Barcelona, Brahms Austria, Schumann Frankfurt, Folkwang Prize) and regularly gives concerts. He also works in other groups such as O/Modernt Stockholm, Ensemble Midwest Denmark, Amici Ensemble Frankfurt, Ensemble Ruhr, and has appeared in numerous orchestras such as Bamberger Symphoniker, Spira Mirabilis and Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino.
Claude is the founder and artistic director of the Sylt Chamber Music Festival and the concert series Musica+ in Frankfurt, Germany.
Violist Meghan Cassidy graduated in 2010 from London’s Royal Academy of Music, where she had studied with Garfield Jackson. In 2007 Meghan joined the award-winning Solstice Quartet, with whom she has performed at the Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3.
She continued her studies as a pupil of Tatjana Masurenko in Leipzig, Nabuko Imai in Hamburg and Hartmut Rohde in a masterclass given in Cornwall.
Meghan has played chamber music at several European festivals and has performed with the London Conchord Ensemble, Ensemble MidtVest and the Monte and Fidelio Piano Trios. She has been guest principal viola with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. This year’s highlights include performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in which she will be principal viola.
Meghan also directs the Marylebone Music Festival in London, which she founded.
Adrian Freedman (b. 1962) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist specialising in the shakuhachi, Japanese zen flute. Adrian is a musician of extraordinary breadth. His musical journey encompasses the fields of Baroque music, contemporary and improvised music, folk-fusion, soundtracks for theatre and dance, Japanese traditional music and devotional songs.
Adrian studied music at Manchester University, Guildhall School of Music, and Kyoto Arts University. He lived in Japan for 7 years, where he studied the shakuhachi with renowned master Yokoyama Katsuya. He later lived in Brazil where he became immersed in sacred music rituals of the forest. Arising from his musical and spiritual journey, Adrian has received a collection of more than 100 original songs and chants.
As a composer and musical director, he has worked for Kneehigh Theatre, Wildworks Theatre, Scottish Contemporary Dance, Stopgap Dance Company and many others. Adrian has performed solo recitals and concerts with various ensembles at international festivals and in sacred spaces around the world.
His music is heartfelt and full of subtle dynamics that conjure an atmosphere of rarefied peace, spaciousness and delicate beauty. The scope of his music is diverse, including songs as well as instrumental music, but an ineffable sense of the sacred is felt throughout.
Singer, songwriter and composer Nicki Wells followed her 1st class honours degree in Music touring as a featured vocalist in Nitin Sawhney’s band. She has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues from London’s Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House to Glastonbury’s main Pyramid Stage. Her voice has contributed to a number of films including Andy Serkis’s Mowgli, Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, Renny Harlin’s The Legend of Hercules and was a major part of the scores of BBC Documentaries such as The Human Planet series. Her first solo album as TURYA ‘Ocean’ was released to critical acclaim in 2018.
“Blessed with an unparalleled memory for melody and vocal technique from virtually any culture, Nicki is able to easily leap from folk, French trip-hop, deep gospel, jazz or choral vocals to Indian classical or Arabic inflections as if all were emanating directly from her soul,” describes long time collaborator Nitin Sawhney who adds that: “Nicki is an entirely new phenomenon. She is truly the first global singer.”
As a Composer in her own right, Nicki has scored for Tanika Gupta’s theatrical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Howard Brenton’s play Drawing the Line, receiving critical acclaim. She co-composed the score to Khyentse Norbu’s feature film Vara – A Blessing and has also composed five of contemporary dancer Aakash Odedra’s shows, which have featured in venues like Sadlers Wells, Royal Opera House and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, (winning the Amnesty International Award for the politically conscious show #JeSuis). Nicki also composed the score to documentary film maker Koen Suidgeest’s: Girl Connected and then joined forces with renowned sitarist Anoushka Shankar to compose the score for upcoming documentary film An Officer and His Holiness.
Nicki joined forces once again with Aakash Odedra and Chinese dancer Hu Shenyuan, composing the score and also performed in the new epic production Samsara which premiered in the Melbourne Arts Centre February 2020.
Nicki is currently scoring the music to Indian Classical dancer Aditi Mangaldas’s new contemporary dance show to be premiered in India‘s NCPA theatre in Mumbai, 2021.
Over the last year, during the pandemic, Nicki has created a multitude of new material, including her much anticipated second studio album which is expected to be released in the Autumn of 2021
Matthew Barley’s musical world has no geographical, social or stylistic boundaries. His activities in performance, improvisation, crossdisciplinary projects, composition, and pioneering community programmes have developed to form a uniquely eclectic international career. He has been described as ‘the world’s most adventurous cellist’ and is as comfortable with core-classical repertoire and improvisation as he is in a night-club or the Amazon rainforest.
‘Deeply fortunate to be doing what I love, I am a magpie, finding a way to play whatever music I love – so I collaborate, improvise, juxtapose, arrange and rearrange.’ His studies were at the Guildhall School in London, and the Moscow Conservatoire, and he is a passionate advocate of lifelong learning – constantly seeking to evolve and develop the art of being a travelling musician living in a vibrant community of family and friends.
Matthew has played in many of the world’s great concert halls, given premieres by Pascal Dusapin, James MacMillan,Thomas Larcher, Dai Fujikura, Detlev Glanert and Nitin Sawhney; performed with Amjad Ali Khan, Matthias Goerne, the Labeque Sisters, Dima Slobodeniouk, Marin Alsop, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Martin Frøst and Avi Avital, and records for Signum Classics.
Matthew is married to Viktoria Mullova with whom he loves to make music, lives in London and they have three children. He plays a Cesare Gigli cello from Rome, c.1750
Stephen Kovacevich is widely recognised as one of the most revered artists of his generation. With an international career spanning more than six decades, he has long been recognised as one of the most searching interpretors – “A musician completely absorbed in his craft, his interpretations are like no one else’s and always eminate directly from the heart: musical messages of wisdom, peace, resignation, and hope” (The Washington Post).
Kovacevich is known for never being afraid to take both technical and musical risks in order to achieve maximum expressive impact. Through this, he has won unsurpassed admiration for his piano-playing, none more than from Leopold Stokowski, who famously wrote: “You do with your feet what I try to do with my Philadelphia Orchestra”.
Born in Los Angeles, Kovacevich laid the foundation for his career as concert pianist at the age of eleven. After moving to England to study with Dame Myra Hess, he made his European debut at Wigmore Hall in 1961. Since then, he has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors, including Hans Graf, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Sir Simon Rattle, and the late Sir Georg Solti.
As concerto soloist, recent and forthcoming highlights include Aurora Orchestra/Nicholas Collon, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal/David Zinman, Sydney Symphony/Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony/Sylvain Cambreling.
In recital, recent and forthcoming highlights include performances in Europe, Asia, and the United States – including the NCPA (Bejing), the Phillips Collection (Washington), the Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), and the Wigmore Hall (London). Kovacevich also performs regularly across the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand, and is a regular guest at prestigious festivals worldwide – including Lugano, Verbier, and the Mariinsky International Piano Festival (the latter by personal invitation of Valery Gergiev).
Over the course of his extensive career, Kovacevich has forged many long-standing artistic partnerships, such as that with the late Sir Colin Davis with whom he made numerous outstanding recordings, including the legendary Bartok Piano Concerto No.2 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Another such long-term affiliation is his professional partnership with Martha Argerich, with whom he regularly performs in duo on the world’s leading concert stages. Recent and forthcoming highlights for the Argerich-Kovacevich Duo include recitals at Het Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Philharmonie (Paris), Victoria Hall (Geneva), the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and the Wigmore Hall (London).
Kovacevich is a committed chamber musician, with collaborations over the course of his long career including with such luminaries as the late Lynn Harrell, Jacqueline du Pré, and Joseph Suk. Kovacevich now enjoys regular artistic collaborations with such violinists as Nicola Benedetti, Renaud Capuçon, and Alina Ibragimova; cellists Gautier Capuçon, Steven Isserlis, and Truls Mørk; flautist Emmanuel Pahud; and the Amadeus, Belcea, and Cleveland quartets.
Stephen Kovacevich has enjoyed an illustrious long-term relationship with recording companies Philips and EMI. To celebrate his 75th birthday, Decca released a Limited Edition 25-CD Box Set of his entire recorded legacy for Philips. In 2008, he re-recorded Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, exactly 40 years after his first recording of the work. This Onyx recording won him the Classic FM Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award (2009) and the Gramophone Magazine Top Choice Award (2015), to quote: “His seasoned yet fearless mastery reveals something new with each hearing…”.
The pianist Julius Drake lives in London and enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, collaborating with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and on disc. The New Yorker recently described him as the “collaborative pianist nonpareil”.
He appears regularly at all the major music centres and festivals: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Philarmonie, Berlin; the Châtalet and Musée de Louvre Paris; La Scala, Milan and Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms London.
Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 – 2003, Julius Drake was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and New York. Since 2009 he has been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales.
Julius Drake’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. His annual series of song recitals – Julius Drake and Friends – in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Iestyn Davies, Veronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside and Sir Willard White.
Julius Drake is frequently invited to perform at international chamber music festivals – most recently, Lockenhaus in Austria; West Cork in Ireland; Oxford in England; Boswil in Switzerland and Delft in the Netherlands.
Julius Drake’s many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion, from which the Barber Songs, Schumann Heine Lieder and Britten Songs and Proverbs won the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Gramophone Awards; award winning recordings with Ian Bostridge for EMI; several recitals for the Wigmore Live label, with among others Alice Coote, Joyce DiDonato, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Polenzani; recordings French Sonatas for Virgin Classics with Nicholas Daniel; of Kodaly and Schoeck sonatas with the cellists Natalie Clein and Christian Poltera for the Hyperion and Bis labels; Tchaikovsky and Mahler with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx; English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi; and Schubert’s ‘Poetisches Tagebuch’ with Christoph Prégardien, which won the Jahrpreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2016.
Julius Drake’s most recent CD’s include a critically acclaimed performance with the Scottish tenor Nicky Spence of Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared (Hyperion), ‘The Garden of Eve’ (Alpha) with the Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska, Liszt Complete Songs – vol 6 (Hyperion) with the German soprano Julia Kleiter, and Argento’s Diary of Virginia Woolf (Signum) with the English mezzo, Alice Coote.
Julius Drake holds a Professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, where he has a class for song pianists. He is regularly invited to give master classes worldwide; recently in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Utrecht, Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Vienna, and at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien.
Concerts in the coming seasons include a series to celebrate the Beethoven anniversary at the 92nd St Y in New York and a Mahler series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, recitals at La Scala, Milan with Aleksandra Kurzak, at Wigmore Hall with Alice Coote, in Barcelona with Sarah Connolly, in Berlin with Angelika Kirchschlager, at the Schubertiade, Austria with Christoph Prégardien, Ian Bostridge and Gerald Finley, , and tours in Europe with Anna Prohaska and Eva-Maria Westbroek.
After being a junior student with Grigorij Gruzman at the “Akademie für Tonkunst” Darmstadt he studied at the “Musikhochschule Karlsruhe” with André Boanain,at the “Musikhochschule Frankfurt” with Lev Natochenny and at the “Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique Paris” with George Pludermacher. 1st prize at the competition of the “Musikhochschule Karlsruhe” with piano solo in 1996, in 1997 1st prize as a Duo with violin, 3rd prize at the “Newport International Piano Competition” (Great Britain).
In 1998 1st prize at the “International Music Competition Torino” (Italy), 2nd prize at the “Kuhmo International Duo Competition” (Finnland). Radio- and TV productions; performed as a soloist for example with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the “Stuttgarter Kammerorchester”). Lecturer for piano at the “Musikhochschule Karlsruhe”.
Ian Bostridge CBE has made regular appearances at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Schwarzenberg and Aldeburgh festivals. He has had residencies at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall New York, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Luxembourg, London’s Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall. In 2018 Ian began an auspicious Artistic Residency with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the first of its kind for the ensemble.
In opera, he has performed the roles Lysander (Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Opera Australia and at the Edinburgh Festival, Jeptha at the Opéra National de Paris, Tamino (Mozart Die Zauberflöte) and Jupiter (Handel Semele) for English National Opera and Peter Quint (Britten The Turn of the Screw), Don Ottavio (Mozart Don Giovanni) and Caliban (Adès The Tempest) for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. For the Bayerische Staatsoper he has sung Nerone (Monteverdi L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Tom Rakewell (Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress) and Male Chorus (Britten The Rape of Lucretia), for the Wiener Staatsoper he has sung Don Ottavio and for the Teatro alla Scala Milan he has sung Peter Quint. He has sung Aschenbach (Britten Death in Venice) for English National Opera, La Monnaie, Brussels and in Luxembourg.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season include his return to the operatic stage at the Deutsche Oper as Aschenbach Death in Venice; a tour of the USA with Brad Mehldau; performances of Schubert’s Winterreise at the Cartagena Music Festival in Colombia; a concert tour with Lucerne Festival Strings through Slovenia and Italy; Evangelist Matthew Passion in Torino and Bajazet in Handel’s Tamerlano with the Moscow State Philharmonic.
Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard and the Aurora Orchestra with Nicholas Collon, the latter including performances in London and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Her solo recitals this season include London, Istanbul, Madrid and Washington DC.
Imogen has a widespread international career and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK and London Symphony Orchestras. She has also undertaken tours with the Camerata Salzburg, Australian and Orpheus Chamber Orchestras. She has played at the BBC Proms and with all the major British orchestras, including particularly close relationships with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia, play/directing. Her recital appearances have included Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.
As a supporter of new music, Imogen has premiered two works at the Cheltenham International Festival; Traced Overhead by Thomas Adès (1996) and Decorated Skin by Deirdre Gribbin (2003). In 1996, she also collaborated with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the premiere of the quintet, Voices for Angels, written by the ensemble’s viola player, Brett Dean.
Imogen is a committed chamber musician and performs regularly with Henning Kraggerud and Adrian Brendel. As a Lieder recitalist, she has had a long collaboration with Wolfgang Holzmair in both the concert hall and recording studio. Her discography also includes Mozart Concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia (Avie), a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall (Wigmore Live) and a cycle of solo works by Schubert recorded live and released under the label ‘Schubert Live’. Her recent recordings for Chandos Records feature music by French and Spanish composers, Beethoven, Liszt and Wagner.
Imogen received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 and was the recipient of an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society the following year. In 1997 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and in 1999 she was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. Imogen was the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Classical Music and Music Education at the University of Oxford for 2012-13. The Imogen Cooper Music Trust was founded in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty.
JORDI CARRASCO HJELM
JORDI CARRASCO HJELM
Jordi Carrasco Hjelm is a Swedish Double Bass player focusing on chamber music and free improvisation. He lives in Amsterdam where he was a Bachelor student in the class of Olivier Thiery and Rick Stotijn at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where he finished his Masters degree in Cross-Over music making with the jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis.
He performs regularly as a member of the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, the Swedish contemporary folk music band Garizim and with the Dutch improvising violist and singer Yanna Pelser. Together with young musicians from all over Europe Jordi is a founding member of the C/o Chamber Orchestra that combines orchestral playing with principles of non-hierarchical collaboration.
In 2019/2020 Jordi looks especially forward to playing Schöenbergs Verklärte Nacht in Kings Place with the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, improvising with Gareth Lubbe in the Sylt Chamber Music Festival in Germany and to playing Hindemith duets in the alps with Matthew Hunt.
Originally from New Zealand, Bryony is a graduate of the Royal College of Music, The Juilliard School, the University of Canterbury and the Pettman National Junior Academy. She is a member of the Marmen Quartet, winners of the Ensemble Section of the Annual Royal Overseas League Music Competition, Second Prize of the International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition and the Musicians Company Concerts Concordia Award. While at the RCM, Bryony won the Viola Competition and the Tagore Gold Medal and she now serves as teaching assistant to Andriy Viytovych. She keeps a close connection with home – recent visits have included performing and teaching at the International Akaroa Music Festival and recording New Zealand composer Philip Norman’s When Gravity Fails with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She freelances with various ensembles including Britten Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra and is thrilled to be joining the London Mozart Players as No. 2 Viola.
Johannes Marmen enjoys a varied, international career as a chamber musician and orchestral leader. He is the first violinist of the award winning Marmen Quartet, co-leader of the O/Modernt chamber orchestra, as well regularly guest leading ensembles such as the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Nordica and Sinfonia Cymru.
Having studied with Radu Blidar and Carolin Widmann at the Royal College of Music, supported by the prestigious ABRSM scholarship, Johannes went on to be mentored by the late Peter Cropper of the Lindsay Quartet through Music In The Round’s inaugural “Bridge” scheme.
As a composer and interpreter of contemporary music, Johannes is regularly commissioned and has recently had works and arrangements performed in the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and Berlin Konzerthaus as well as being featured on releases by Signum Records and Orchid Classics. His work ‘Waiting’ was featured on the album Sonic Philosophy, recorded by Hugo Ticciati and Henrik Måwe. Johannes was a founding member and leader of London based contemporary group Explore Ensemble.
As a touring chamber musician, Johannes regularly performs in the venues across Europe and collaborates with Hugo Ticciati, Priya Mitchell, Gareth Lubbe as well as fellow string quartet members from the Doric, Piatti, Ebene and Sacconi quartets.
Johannes’ main occupation, the Marmen Quartet, is one of Britain’s and Europe’s most promising emerging groups, having won the Royal Overseas League Competition in 2018 as well as prizes from the Concordia Foundation, the Royal Philharmonic Society and Music In The Round. They perform regularly in the main London venues, tour the U.K. extensively and play regularly at festivals abroad.
Johannes plays on a 1796 Giuseppe Gagliano.
As violinist and director Hugo imbibes all possible forms of creativity, whether it be performing premieres in Carnegie Hall, improvising with monks in India, or devising innovative programmes for O/Modernt. Alongside his passion to discover and learn from music of all ages and traditions, Hugo embraces contemporary music, performing works written for him in prestigious halls around the world.
He is also regularly asked to devise and present concerts with a unique twist at such halls, collaborating with, directing and conducting ensembles such as Basel Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and his own O/Modernt Orchestra. In 2018 he is artist-in-residence at Kings Place London and from 2019 has been appointed principal conductor of Orchestra da Camera di Perugia. Over forty works have been written for Hugo by eminent composers such as Erkki-Sven Tüür, Peteris Vasks and Albert Schnelzer. With a passion for chamber music, Hugo collaborates with artists such as Evelyn Glennie, Anne Sofie von Otter, Nils Landgren, Steven Isserlis, Angela Hewitt and Olli Mustonen.
Hugo frequently lectures on music-related subjects, most recently inspired by the work of the French philosopher, Henri Bergson.
Priya Mitchell grew up in Oxford and studied with David Takeno at the Yehudi Menuhin School and with Zachar Bron in Germany. She was then chosen as the British representative of the European Concert Halls Organisation ‘Rising Stars‘ Series, this success led to highly acclaimed tours and performances with, amongst others, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Philharmonia.
She has worked with many eminent conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Yuri Temirkanov, Richard Hickcox, Emmanuel Krivine, Heinrich Schiff and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Abroad, Priya has worked with many orchestras including the Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester. As a recitalist and chamber musician she has performed extensively at international music festivals including Schleswig-Holstein, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Kuhmo, Lockenhaus, Risør, Heimbach, Ravinia, Lugano, Cheltenham, Bath, Stavanger and Trondheim.
This year sees the 20th anniversary of Priya’s highly acclaimed Oxford Chamber Music Festival. Her artistic directorship of this unusual and much acclaimed festival inspired The Daily Telegraph to call it ‘a musical miracle.‘
In the current season Priya performs Mendelssohn Violin Concerto D minor in Stockholm, Philip Glass violin concerto also in Stockholm, Schumann Concerto in Düsseldorf, Mozart Concertos in Munich and Piazzolla’s Four seasons in Mecklenburg Vorpommern festival. She will also return to the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and many others.
The pianist and composer Hyung-ki Joo enraptures audiences
with his jovial and contagious stage presence as well as his
high-energy, virtuosic performance. The English pianist of
South Korean heritage has performed as a soloist with
renowned orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Vienna
Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Warsaw Sinfonia and the
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Alongside piano performance, Hyung-ki Joo takes on various
musical roles and develops special projects that present him
as orchestra leader, communicator, arranger and composer.
This season he appears as a conductor and pianist with
groups including the Trondheim Soloists with the programme
Keys Ringing and Strings Attached, which includes
arrangements of works by Debussy as well as his own
compositions based on works by Edvard Grieg. In 2020 he led
the UNOF (Norwegian National Youth Orchestra) in his Haydn Seek programme, which brings the
humour and elements of surprise in Haydn’s music to the fore. As a soloist, an invitation from the
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santi Cecilia under Sakari Oramo is a high point of the current
A love for chamber music has shaped Hyung-ki Joo’s musical career, and has led to cooperation with
artists including Gilles Apap, Renaud Capucon, Michael Collins, Martin Fröst, Janine Jansen, Dame
Felicity Lott, Mischa Maisky, Julian Rachlin, Radovan Vlatkovic and the Belcea Quartet as well as
members of the Alban Berg Quartet, the Artis Quartet, Meta4 and the Quatuor Ébène. The piano trio
he founded in 2001 with violinist Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne and cellist Thomas Carroll won the
prestigious Parkhouse Award in London in 2005. Their seven-year collaboration culminated in a
highly-praised recording of Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 and Frank Bridge’s Phantasie No. 1. In 2021 he
will present a new trio project with members of the Quatuor Ébène, Pierre Colombet and Raphaël
Hyung-ki Joo’s compositions have been performed by renowned ensembles such as the New York
Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin and Meta4,
and have been recorded by artists such as the pianist Shani Diluka and the Ahn Trio. His works are
published by Universal Edition and Modern Works. In 2001 Hyung-ki Joo recorded the first album of
Billy Joel’s works for piano solo, Fantasies and Delusions, for Columbia/Sony Classical; the album
stayed at no.1 of the Billboard Classical Album Charts for 18 weeks. He has also appeared in several
films, including Pianomania, Noseland and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical
A passionate communicator, Hyung-ki Joo works to inspire the next generation of musicians, himself
having been accepted by the Yehudi Menuhin school at the age of 10, before continuing his studies at
the Manhattan School of Music. In his Beyond the Practice Room workshops, he places the focus on
the joy of making music and encourages participants to explore other directions beyond “classical”
performance. He loves to work regularly with students, youth orchestras and ensembles.
In 2004 Hyung-ki Joo and violinist Aleksey Igudesman founded the duo IGUDESMAN & JOO. Their
first show A Little Nightmare Music, a combination of classical music, comedy and pop culture, took
the music world by storm. To date, their videos have been viewed over 45 million times on YouTube,
and IGUDESMAN & JOO have since given guest performances of their programmes with orchestras in
the world’s greatest concert halls and festivals. Illustrious musical guests such as Emanuel Ax,
Joshua Bell, Gidon Kremer, Viktoria Mullova, Yuja Wang and actors John Malkovich and Sir Roger
Moore have taken part in their sketches. IDUGESMAN & JOO have received commissions to create
new works for the New York Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, the Pittsburgh Symphony
Orchestra, the Düsseldorf Symphoniker and the Oslo Philharmonic. In October 2019, their joint
book Save the World was released by the edition-a publishers.
One of the most versatile and original cellists of his generation, Adrian Brendel has travelled the world as soloist, collaborator and teacher. His early immersion in the core classical repertoire inspired an enduring fascination that has led to encounters with many fine musicians at the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls. His discovery of contemporary music through the works of Kurtag, Kagel and Ligeti in his teenage years opened a new and vital avenue that he continues to explore with huge enthusiasm alongside his passion for jazz and world music. In 2014 he became a member of the Nash Ensemble of London.
Projects with contemporary composers and conductors such as Kurtag, Thomas Adès and Peter Eötvös among others inspired him to cultivate new music in his concert programmes wherever possible. A three-year project with Sir Harrison Birtwistle led to premieres of his song cycle Bogenstrich and a piano trio released on the ECM label. He also premiered York Hoeller’s cello concerto Mouvements with NDR Hamburg alongside Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Canto di Speranza.