The English Chamber Orchestra
The English Chamber Orchestra is the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world, its discography containing 860 recordings of over 1,500 works by more than 400 composers.
The ECO has also performed in more countries than any other orchestra, and played with many of the world’s greatest musicians. The American radio network CPRN has selected ECO as one of the world’s greatest ‘living’ orchestras. The illustrious history of the orchestra features many major musical figures. Benjamin Britten was the orchestra’s first Patron and a significant musical influence. The ECO’s long relationship with such great musicians as Slava Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, and earlier with Daniel Barenboim led to an acclaimed complete cycle of Mozart piano concertos as live performances and recordings, followed later by two further recordings of the complete cycle, with Murray Perahia and Mitsuko Uchida.
Recent tours have included the USA, Bermuda, China, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Slovenia and Austria (culminating in a concert at Vienna’s Musikverein) as well as concerts across the UK and at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, and Kings Place.
The Orchestra has been chosen to record many successful film soundtracks including Dario Marianelli’s prizewinning scores for Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, and several James Bond soundtracks, and has taken part in a variety of other film and television projects.
Katya Apekisheva is one of Europe’s most renowned pianists, in demand internationally as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. Since becoming a prize-winner in the Leeds International and Scottish Piano Competitions and collating awards such as the London Philharmonic ‘Soloist of the Year’ and the Terence Judd Award she has been marked out as a pianist of exceptional gifts, performing with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, The Philharmonia, the Halle Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, working with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, David Shallon, Jan Latham-Koenig and Alexander Lazarev.
As a recording artist, Katya has received widespread critical acclaim for her interpretations. Her recording of Grieg solo piano works in 2008 (Quartz) was chosen by Classic FM as CD of the week and selected by Gramophone Magazine as Editor’s Choice, further receiving a ‘Rising Star Award’ in International Piano Magazine and becoming Critics’ choice 2008 in Gramophone magazine. In 2012 Katya released a CD of works by Mussorgsky and Shostakovich (Onyx) and has also collaborated on several recordings with violinist Jack Liebeck including a Classical Brit winning CD of works by Dvořák and more recently a disc of Kreisler arrangements for Hyperion.
Her intense artistry and delicacy makes Katya a most sought after collaborative pianist, working with artists such as Janine Jansen, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston, Maxim Rysanov, Jack Liebeck, Boris Brovtsyn, Alexei Ogrinchouk, and Nicholas Daniel, among others. In this capacity she is a regular guest at major chamber music festivals around the world. Katya also has a highly successful and personally rewarding piano duo partnership with Charles Owen, performing regularly at festivals worldwide. Their new CD of works by Stravinsky will be released in 2016.
Born into a family of musicians in Moscow, Katya studied at the world-renowned Gnessin Music School for exceptionally gifted children under Ada Traub and Anna Kantor (the teacher of Evgeny Kissin) and at the age of twelve, Katya performed Mozart’s Concerto N0. 17 with the Gnessin School Orchestra which was recorded for Moscow Classical Radio. Katya continued her studies at the Rubin Music Academy in Jerusalem with Irina Berkovich, where she won an America-Israel Foundation scholarship and was awarded second prize at the Young Talents Competition in Jerusalem. Katya then moved to London to study with Irina Zaritskaya at the Royal College of Music, where she was the recipient of the President’s Rose Bowl, presented to her by HRH the Prince of Wales, to whom she has been asked to perform on a number of subsequent occasions.
Recent seasons’ highlights include performances at the Utrecht (Netherlands), Ancona (Italy), Leicester, Oxford, Lincoln, City of London, and Elverum (Norway) festivals, and in the Berlin Spectrum Concert Series. She recently gave an acclaimed Bach Solo recital at Kings Place, and made her Tokyo recital debut in 2014. She has continued a collaboration with the award-winning Belcea Quartet at Wigmore Hall, and with the Aviv Quartet performing piano concerti in chamber reductions. In addition she has made a concerto tour of South Africa, performing with all the major orchestras there, and performed with the Santiago Philharmonic, Wiesbaden Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and OFUNAM Orchestra (Mexico) collaborating with conductors Jan Latham-Koenig, Paul Watkins, Emmanuel Siffert and Jason Lai.
This season’s highlights include concerto performances with the English Chamber Orchestra, solo recitals at Wigmore Hall and in Glasgow (the latter was broadcast by the BBC), recitals in the Ryedale Festival at Castle Howard, the Belfast Lughnasa Festival, and duo concerts with Charles Owen. Future plans include concerts in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh and at the Lincoln Centre, New York, among others. Katya will be co-curating a piano festival with Charles Owen at Kings Place, London, in 2016.
Katya is a Professor of Piano at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Škampa String Quartet
Helena Jiříkovská - violin
Adéla Štajnochrová - violin
Radim Sedmidubský - viola
Lukáš Polák - violoncello
The Škampa Quartet is among the very finest of an outstanding group of current Czech string quartets that has represented their country in major Concert Halls around the world for twenty five years.
Through their mentors, the legendary Smetana Quartet, they trace their roots to the earliest quartets - such as the Bohemian Quartet - in a land described in the 18th century as the Conservatoire of Europe and that remains, to this day, the very cradle of European Chamber Music.
To this innate musicality they have added their own particular research to inform their understanding of the folk-song and poetry, rhythms and dance from which their native music grew - to the extent that their recordings of the quartets by Janacek and Smetana particularly are quoted as the bench-marks against which other performances are judged. This research resulted in, among other things, the production of an illustrated talk - 'Janacek and his Moravian Roots' - and led to collaboration with singer Iva Bittova which successfully crossed many musical boundaries.
Prizes at International Competitions, Awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society and others - and appointment as the first-ever Resident Artists at Wigmore Hall - marked the solidity of their early years and provided recognition which led to invitations to perform at major Festivals world-wide including Prague Spring, Schwetzingen, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein and Melbourne. These engagements included collaboration with many fine internationally recognised artists including Melvyn Tan, Itamar Golan, Josef Suk, Michael Collins, Kathryn Stott and Janine Jansen among many others.
From the beginning they have established a close relationship with BBC Radio 3 resulting in regular broadcasts from Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square, LSO St Luke's and the Chamber Music Proms.
The Škampa quartet have been award-winning recording artist for Supraphon for most of the Quartet's career. They are now also among the elite artists whose performances have been selected for release on the Wigmore Hall Live label. Education has long been an important facet of their work, and one that they find particularly rewarding. They teach in many places around the world but particularly at the Royal Academy of Music in London where they were appointed Visiting Professors of Chamber Music in 2001.
Chloë Hanslip (b. 1987) has already established herself as an artist of distinction on the international stage. Prodigiously talented, she made her BBC Proms debut in 2002 and her US concerto debut in 2003, and has performed at major venues in the UK (Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall), Europe (Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Paris Louvre and Salle Gaveau, St Petersburg Hermitage) as well as Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Arts Space in Tokyo and the Seoul Arts Centre.
Her performances have included the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Bremen Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Lahti Symphony, Moscow State Symphony, Norwegian Radio, Real Filharmonia Galicia, Vienna Tonkünstler Orchester, Hamburg Symfoniker, Czech National Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestra Regionale Toscana, Helsingborg Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Further afield her engagements include the Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Malaysia Philharmonic, Adelaide Symphony, Auckland Philharmonina and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Andrew Davis, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvi, Charles Dutoit, Michail Jurowski and Jeffrey Tate.
Chloë records for Hyperion and her first release on the label featured Violin Concertos by Vieuxtemps (Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra/Brabbins). Her CD of York Bowen Sonatas with Danny Driver received recommendations from Gramophone (Choice) and The Strad and her other Hyperion recordings include Glazunov/Schoeck Concertos and Medtner Violin Sonatas. Other notable recordings included Bruch Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra (Warner Classics) winning her the Echo Klassik Award for 'Best Newcomer' (2002) and 'Young British Classical Performer' at the Classical BRITS (2003), and a highly acclaimed recording of John Adams Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Slatkin.
Hanslip's wide-ranging repertoire spans Concertos by Britten, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Brahms, Korngold, Shostakovich, Barber, Bernstein, Delius, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Walton and Sibelius as well as contemporary works by Adams, Glass, Corigliano, Nyman, Huw Watkins, Peter Maxwell Davies and Brett Dean. A committed chamber musician, she is a regular participant in Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove and at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland. Her recital partners include Angela Hewitt, Danny Driver, Igor Tchetuev and Charles Owen.
Highlights of the 2015-16 season include concerto performances with the Royal Philharmonic, Kristiansand Symphony, Kymi Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Lahti, Flanders Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of Milan Giuseppe Verdi, Prague Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and in the USA she tours Florida with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. With regular recital partner Danny Driver, she tours Ireland and the UK.
Chloë studied for ten years with the Russian pedagogue Zakhar Bron. She has also worked with Christian Tetzlaff, Robert Masters, Ida Haendel, Salvatore Accardo, and Gerhard Schulz.
She plays a Guarneri del Gesu 1737.
The South Korean born pianist Young-Choon Park began the study of the piano at the age of four and gave her first full recital when she was seven. She played the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra at the age of nine.
The young child prodigy studied at the Juilliard School in New York and later gained the highest masters degree at the Hochschule in Munich.
She has toured extensively, giving over 50 concerts each year in Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa and the United States. She makes many return visits to major concert venues including the Birmingham Symphony Hall, St. David’s Hall in Cardiff, Belfast Waterfront Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Lincoln Centre in New York, de Doelen in Rotterdam, Frits Philips Saal in Eindhoven, Athenaeum Hall in Bucharest, Tivoli Koncertsalen in Copenhagen, Gasteig in Munich, Musikverein in Vienna and the Troldhaugen in Bergen.
International Music Festivals appearances have included the Piano Featival aux Jacobins de Toulouse; the Choregies d’Orange; Piano à Riom; Les Flaneries Musical de Reims; Haydn Festival in the Esterhazy Palace at Eisenstadt; the Festwochen Gmunden: the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival; Kultur Sommer Nordhessen; Cesky Krumlov Festival; Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival; Flanders Festival; St Olav Festival; Estoril Festival; Varna Festival; Aarhus Festival; Festival Wiltz Luxembourg; Cork Midsummer Festival and in the UK at Bath, Salisbury, Brighton, Canterbury, Chelmsford, Bury St Edmunds, Chelsea, Henley-on-Thames, Harrogate, Chichester, Swansea, Guildford, Arundel and City of London.
Young-Choon Park has broadcast for radio and television in many countries and is currently recording the complete Mozart piano concertos for Duchesne World Records in Belgium.
She has performed with many leading orchestras including the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Halle State Philharmonic, KZN Philharmonic, Hungarian State Opera, Lithuanian National Symphony, National Philharmonic of Belarus, Sofia Philharmonic, Filarmonica George Enescu, Baden-Badener Philharmonie, Filharmonia Lubelska, Slovak Philharmonic, Weiner Mozart, Karlovy Vary Symphony, Filharmonica Poznańska and the Warsaw Sinfonia.
Stephanie Gonley has a wide-ranging career as concerto soloist, soloist/director of chamber orchestras, recitalist and chamber musician. She has appeared as soloist with many of the leading orchestras in the UK, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, the Manchester Camerata, The Hallé, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Stephanie Gonley is the leader of the English Chamber Orchestra and appears with them regularly as director and soloist. She was the leader of the Vellinger Quartet for some time, and she still enjoys performing a wide range of chamber music with such ensembles as the Nash Ensemble and the English Chamber Orchestra Ensemble.
As Director/Soloist, Stephanie Gonley has performed with the English Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Oriol Ensemble Berlin, the Vancouver Symphony, the Academy Of St. Martin in the Fields, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Arensky Chamber Orchestra, Lancashire Sinfonietta and Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra.
Her concerto performances abroad have been with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Hannover Radio Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Noord Nederlands Orkest, RTE National Symphony Orchestra. Regina Symphony (Canada), Norrköping Symphony, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Regensburg Phiharmonic, and the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Her recordings include the Dvorák Romance with the ECO and Sir Charles Mackerras for EMI, the Sibelius Violin Concerto for BMG/Conifer with conductor Adrian Leaper and a CD of baroque repertoire which she directed.
Stephanie Gonley is currently Professor of Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she also studied with David Takeno. She continued her studies with Dorothy DeLay (Juilliard) and Ilan Gronich (Hochschule, Berlin).
Amongst other awards, she was a winner of the prestigious Shell-LSO National Scholarship.
Tom Poster is internationally recognised as a pianist of outstanding artistry and versatility, equally in demand as soloist and chamber musician across an unusually extensive repertoire. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music). Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has appeared in a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over 40 major works. Equally at home directing Mozart and Beethoven from the piano as in the high-octane virtuosity of Rachmaninov or Ligeti, Tom has appeared as soloist with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, China National Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Petersburg State Capella Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Two major new concertos have recently been written for Tom: David Knotts’ Laments and Lullabies, commissioned by the Presteigne Festival and premiered there in 2015; and Martin Suckling’s Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which receives its premiere in October 2016 with Robin Ticciati conducting. Other forthcoming highlights include debuts with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast and with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall.
Tom features regularly on BBC radio and television and has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms. He has given solo recitals at the Aberystwyth, Brighton, Cambridge, City of London, Edinburgh, Hay, North Norfolk, Presteigne, Spoleto and Two Moors Festivals, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. As pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists), he has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals. Tom enjoys established duo partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston and Elena Urioste, collaborates with Ian Bostridge, Laura van der Heijden, Steven Isserlis and Huw Watkins, and has performed piano quintets with the Brodsky, Callino, Carducci, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinu, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Skampa and Tippett Quartets. Highlights of the 2016/17 season include two appearances at the Wigmore Hall, curating and performing four concerts of French chamber music for BBC Radio 3 at the Roman River Festival, and a major residency at Wilton’s Music Hall as both pianist and composer.
Tom’s critically acclaimed recordings include solo discs for Edition Classics (Light and Shadows) and Champs Hill Records (In Dance and Song); three discs for Chandos with Jennifer Pike and the Doric Quartet; two discs for Sonimage with the Aronowitz Ensemble; Finzi’s Eclogue with Aurora Orchestra for Decca Classics; works by Thomas Ades for EMI; and a duo album with Alison Balsom for Warner Classics. He also regularly features as soloist on film and television soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning score for The Theory of Everything.
Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007, and the keyboard sections of the Royal Over-Seas League and BBC Young Musician of the Year Competitions in 2000.
As a composer, Tom’s recent commissions include Turn to the Watery World! for Alison Balsom, a piece about deep sea creatures which includes perhaps the first musical depiction of a blobfish; The Thoughts of Dr May, co- composed with Alison Balsom and inspired by Queen guitarist Brian May, recorded by the duo for their Warner Classics album; and The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, a chamber opera for Wattle & Daub Figure Theatre, which receives a three-week run at Wilton’s Music Hall in February 2017. A lifelong devotee of the Great American Songbook, Tom’s arrangements of Gershwin, Cole Porter and others have been extensively performed and recorded. His other passions include cheese, redwood forests, yoga, contrabassoons, bright blue skies, wild freestyle dancing and animals with unusual noses.
Described by Gramophone magazine as “one of the finest British pianists of his generation”, Charles Owen has enjoyed an extensive international career performing a wide ranging repertoire to outstanding critical acclaim.
He has appeared at London’s Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Hall and regularly gives recitals at the Wigmore Hall. Internationally, he has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Brahms Saal in Vienna’s Musikverein, the Paris Musée d'Orsay, and the Moscow Conservatoire. His chamber music partners include Julian Rachlin, Chloe Hanslip, Augustin Hadelich and Nicholas Daniel as well as the Vertavo, Takacs and Elias Quartets. He also enjoys a highly successful piano duo partnership with Katya Apekisheva. Together they are Artistic Directors of the London Piano Festival, an annual celebration of the piano held at Kings Place.
Charles studied in London at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music with Irina Zaritskaya and Imogen Cooper. His numerous awards include the Silver Medal at the Scottish International Piano Competition (1995) and the 1997 Parkhouse Award with violinist Katharine Gowers.
A regular guest at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham, Leicester and Perth in Australia, he has also performed with the Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National and London Philharmonic orchestras.
Charles’ solo recordings comprise discs of piano music by JS Bach - The Six Partitas - Janácek, Poulenc and the complete Nocturnes and Barcarolles by Fauré. Chamber music discs include the cello sonatas of Brahms,Rachmaninov and Chopin with Natalie Clein and the Stravinsky Piano Ballets with Katya Apekisheva.
Charles Owen is a Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School in London and has recently been appointed Steinway & Sons UK Ambassador.
London-born Raphaela Papadakis recently made her professional début at Garsington Opera, which was singled out as the ‘most attractive solo performance’ of the show (Financial Times). Since then, she has performed with the Royal Opera House (cover Nymph, Orfeo), Independent Opera (Anna, Biedermann and the Arsonists), and the Berlin State Opera (cover Branghien, Le vin herbé).
A Samling and CMF artist, Raphaela has made her recital début at Carnegie Hall, following an Artist Residency at the Banff Centre, Canada. She was a 2015 Vocal Fellow at the Ravinia Festival, Chicago, and is a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme artist and a Making Music Young Concert Artist. Raphaela is the 1st prize winner of the Mozart Competition, the Clonter Opera and Audience Prizes, and the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award.
Raphaela studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Janice Chapman, supported by an Independent Opera Voice Fellowship, a Leverhulme Arts Scholarship, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and JM Finn and co. She holds a first-class degree in English Literature from Cambridge.
Recent and future engagements include Pierrot Lunaire with Multi-Story, Musetta La Bohème for Vivo D’Arte, Orestilla in Porpora’s L’Agrippina for Barber Opera, and recitals with Sholto Kynoch, the Gildas Quartet, and Roger Vignoles.
Robert Howarth read music at the University of York and is fast establishing a growing reputation as director and conductor of early and classical repertoire.
Howarth’s opera engagements include Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria for Opernhaus Zürich; Giulio Cesare for Opera North; The Fairy Queen in St Gallen, Haydn’s L’Isola Disabitata for the Norwegian Opera, L’Incoronazione di Poppea with the Academy of Ancient Music at The Barbican, London and in Venice and Dido and Aeneas with The English Concert at the Buxton Festival and Birmingham Opera Company. Amongst other projects he has directed are Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria for Welsh National Opera, Birmingham Opera Company and English Touring Opera; Alcina for the Hamburg State Opera, Theater St Gallen and ETO, Monteverdi Ballo del Ingrate and Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda for the Birmingham Opera Company, Acis and Galatea with The Early Opera Company and Tolomeo for English Touring Opera. He has also directed Charpentier La déscente d’Orphée aux enfers for Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Programme, Charpentier Actéon for the Dartington International Summer School and Almeida La Spinalba for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
He was Music Director for Claire van Kampen’s play Farinelli and the King staring Mark Rylance and Iestyn Davies at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Duke of York’s Theatre.
Robert Howarth has led a number of programmes on tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment such as Messiah in Spain and Moscow; Monteverdi Vespers 1610, (recorded for OAE Released), The Glory of Venice – Gabrieli and contemporaries - and Bach Lutheran Masses. He has conducted Messiah with The Hallé Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra; St Matthew Passion with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra; Mozart, Haydn and Rameau with The English Concert; Monteverdi and Rossi with the Early Opera Company, Apollo and Daphne with The St James Baroque Players; Bach Cantatas with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and Athalia for the Ambronay Festival. He regularly co-directs La Serenissima, most recently for Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa.
Plans include his début with the Danish Radio Symphony Ochestra and return visits to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Muisc and Bilbao Symphony Orchestra plus appearances at the Bath and Cheltenham Festivals.
The harpsichordist and organist, James Johnstone, enjoys a varied musical life working mainly within the period instrument world. After studies in London and Holland James has forged a career as recitalist, chamber musician, continuo player and teacher. He is a member of a number of ensembles, currently Trio Sonnerie, Harmonie Universelle (Köln) and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra.
He was a principal keyboard player for the Gabrieli Consort and Players for 17 years taking part in their landmark recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. As a member of the chamber ensemble Florilegium for 10 years he made 10 CDs and gave concerts throughout Europe and in North and South America.
This year sees the release on Metronome of the first disc in a series of Bach recordings beginning with Clavierübung Part III, recorded on the 1739 Wagner organ in Trondheim cathedral.
James is professor of early keyboards at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Born in 1990 in New Zealand, Benjamin studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. In 2016 he won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists auditions in New York.
At the opening of the 2016/17 season Benjamin made his debut with the Royal Philharmonic and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto.
Over the last year he has appeared as soloist with Philharmonia Orchestra at Salisbury Festival, Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead, the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese L'Aquila in Italy, Sinfonia Cymru, English Chamber Orchestra and Maui Pops Orchestra in Hawaii. In summer 2016 he joined Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute in Chicago as a Fellow. Future engagements include concerts at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany, debut recitals in New York and Washington D.C. and recitals in Argentina, Chile and China.
Benjamin has given recitals and taken part in festivals across Europe including Wigmore Hall, Saffron Hall, Pedrera Hall, the Pärnu, Steirisches Kammermusikfestival, Cheltenham, Buxton, North Norfolk, Northern Chords and East Neuk Festivals. He has toured throughout New Zealand and appeared as soloist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company. His first CD for Champs Hill Records was released in 2015 and immediately went to No. 12 in the Classical Charts and was featured on Classic FM. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2013.
Previous solo appearances include the Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Cardiff Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Orchestra Wellington, Joven Orquesta Sinfónica de Salamanca, Orpheus Sinfonia and Bath Philharmonia at major venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Bath and Gstaad Festivals. A committed chamber musician, Benjamin has toured Sweden, Denmark, France, Singapore and New Zealand as a member of the Trio Boyarsky.
At the YCA Final Auditions in 2016 Benjamin was awarded the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Prize, the Embassy Series Prize, the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series Prize and the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize.
During his studies Benjamin won numerous prizes and awards including 1st Prize at the 2013 Windsor International Competition, the Development Prize from the Michael Hill Violin Competition, 1st Prize in the string section of the 2012 Royal Over-Seas League Competition and 2nd Prize at the 2011 Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy. In 2005 his CD Arcadian Strings won the Classic FM Next Big Thing Competition.
Hugely popular in New Zealand Benjamin returns whenever he is able, to give concerts and appear on radio and television. He moved to the UK in 1998 with his family to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, on the recommendation of Nigel Kennedy. He is very grateful to be awarded Honorary Membership of the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson for his commitment to children’s charities.
Benjamin plays on a Tononi violin (1709) on generous loan from a private individual.
As pianist, conductor and recording artist Howard Shelley has enjoyed a distinguished career since his highly acclaimed London debut in 1971, performing with renowned orchestras around the world. He has been closely associated with the music of Rachmaninov and has performed and recorded complete cycles of that composer's solo piano works, concertos and songs.
His discography now exceeds a landmark 150 cds, all highly acclaimed. He has appeared in several television documentaries, including ‘Mother Goose’, a documentary on Ravel which won a Gold Medal at the New York Festivals Awards. Since his conducting debut in 1985 he has worked with all the major London orchestras and many other symphony orchestras including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTE National Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, City of Mexico Philharmonic and Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland.
He has toured to Australia for over thirty consecutive years, performing now as both conductor and soloist with the Melbourne Symphony, Adelaide Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra – with the latter he has recorded fifteen volumes (and rising) for Hyperion’s Romantic Piano series. Much of his current work is now in this combined role with major chamber orchestras.
His long association with the London Mozart Players has now been recognised by the title of Conductor Laureate. Shelley has also been Principal Conductor of Sweden's Uppsala Chamber Orchestra. In addition to close relationships with the English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto in Italy, Västerås Sinfonietta in Sweden, Poland’s Sinfonia Varsovia and the St Gallen Symphony in Switzerland, with most of whom he also records, other chamber orchestras with whom he has worked include the Swedish Chamber, Zurich Chamber, Netherlands Chamber, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orchestre de Picardie and Camerata Salzburg. In 1994 HRH The Prince of Wales conferred on him an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Music and in the 2009 New Year's Honours he was awarded an OBE for services to classical music.
Iain was Organ Scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, and St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. He regularly gives solo recitals, radio broadcasts and accompanies choirs across the world. Iain has made numerous arrangements for organ, which have been recorded and performed. His arrangement of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 5 was performed at the Royal Wedding in 2011. He has composed much organ music, which has been recorded and frequently performed around the world.
Iain has given solo recitals in Reykjavik, Iceland, the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Birmingham Town Hall and in cathedrals around the UK. He performed two organ solos at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Proms in 2007. He has accompanied choirs in the USA, Japan, South Africa, Malaysia, Hong Kong, across Europe, and in the UK. In 2011 and 2013 he performed in Los Angeles for a concert of music by Schoenberg and Zeisl, which included Schoenberg’s organ work Variations on a Recitative. As an orchestral organist, Iain has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Britten Sinfonia.
Iain has made recordings as a soloist and accompanist on the Naxos, Nimbus, Signum and Herald labels. He has recorded and broadcast extensively with the BBC Singers, including comtemporary works by Michael Berkeley, Judith Bingham, Robin Holloway, John McCabe, Peter Maxwell Davies, Arvo Pärt and Judith Weir. With the BBC Symphony Chorus he recorded a BBC commission, Judith Bingham’s The Secret Garden. He recorded a television programme of Christmas music with John Rutter for BBC1 in 2011.
The King's Consort
The King's Consort is one of the world's leading period instrument orchestras and choirs. Its one hundred CD recordings have won many prestigious international awards and sold more than 1,500,000 discs. On tour, TKC has appeared in almost every European country, in Japan, Hong Kong, the Far East and North and South America. TKC’s acclaimed Choir of The King's Consort have also featured on the sound tracks of major Hollywood films. TKC's repertoire ranges from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries, encompassing a vast range of music from Albinoni to Zelenka. Most famed for its performances of baroque repertoire by Bach, Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi, and classical works by Haydn and Mozart, TKC also performs nineteenth and twentieth century music by Brahms, Britten, Gershwin, Kern, Mendelssohn, Rossini and more.
In the last 25 years Carole Cerasi has established herself at the very front rank of early keyboard players and recording artists in her field.
Carole has given recitals in major festivals throughout Europe as well as in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Colombia, Canada and the States.
Her debut CD of Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre won the 1999 Gramophone Instrumental Award; discs of C.P.E. Bach and Thomas Tomkins were received to great critical acclaim, including the Diapason d'Or de l'Année. Her next CD, J.S. Bach and the Möller Manuscript, won a further Diapason d’Or de l'Année and was runner-up in the Gramophone Baroque Instrumental Awards. Further critically acclaimed discs of works followed with sonatas by Manuel Blasco de Nebra, Bach’s English Suites, Haydn and the Art of Variations and sonatas by Scarlatti (runner-up in the 2012 Gramophone Awards). Her latest release entitled Treasures of the Empfindsamkeit explores works by CPE Bach, Müthel, Haydn and Mozart on clavichord.
Besides her work as Professor of Harpsichord and Fortepiano at the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Yehudi Menuhin School, Carole is a much sought-after pedagogue by talented students of the younger generation.
Artists who have taken part in the concerts include:-
- Cecilia Bartoli
- Kristine Blaumane
- English Chamber Orchestra
- Paul Watkins
- Chlöe Hanslip
- The King's Consort
- Lorna Anderson
- Carole Cerasi
- Škampa Quartet
- The Avison Ensemble
- Pavlo Beznosiuk
- Piotr Anderszewski
- Nancy Argenta
- Katya Apekisheva
- Borodin String Quartet
- Alfred Brendel
- Shura Cherkassky
- Kyung-Wha Chung
- Imogen Cooper
- Sir Colin Davis
- Augustin Dumay
- Emerson String Quartet
- The Endellion String Quartet
- Ilya Gringolts
- Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
- Yvonne Kenny
- Evgeny Kissin
- Sergey Krylov
- Lang Lang
- Sergei Nakariakov
- Rafael Orozco
- Cécile Ousset
- Anne Sofie von Otter
- Charles Owen
- Murray Perahia
- Maria João Pires
- Mstislav Rostropovich
- Heinrich Schiff
- Takács String Quartet
- Melvyn Tan
- Maxim Vengerov
- Ysaÿe String Quartet
- Pinchas Zukerman
- Sir Neville Marriner
- Dame Emma Kirkby
- Clara Mouriz
- James Bowman
- Michael Chance
- The Nash Ensemble
- Raymond Leppard
- Antonio Meneses
- John Thurgood
- Hannah Stone
- Amy Harman
- Stephanie Gonley
- Thomas Bowes
- Caroline Dale
- Monteverdi Choir
- The English Baroque Soloists
- Sir John Eliot Gardiner
- Kaspar Zehnder
- Howard Shelley
- Alena Baeva
- Narek Hakhnazaryan
- Anna Hashimoto
- Daniel King Smith
- Danny Driver
- Daisuke Muranaka
- Adrian Brendel
- Oliver Coates
- Alina Ibragimova
- Jakob Lindberg
- Nicholas Kraemer