Lawrence Power

Lawrence Power - viola

Considered one of the leading violists today, Lawrence combines a busy career performing as both soloist and chamber musician. He regularly performs with some of the worlds greatest orchestras, most recently at the Proms last month with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Jarvi. Also in New York with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia,Royal Concertgebouw, Melbourne and Sao Paulo Orchestras. As well as recent recitals in San Francisco, Verbier Festival, London, Washington and Rotterdam.

He has recorded extensively for the Hyperion label, his most recent recording being a critically acclaimed disc of French Viola Music. He regularly collaborates with composers and has premiered works written for him by composers such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, James MacMillan, Thomas Larcher, Huw Watkins and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

Future plans include appearances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Swedish Radio, Gothenburg SO, Warsaw Philharmonic. As well as Artist residencies with Aalborg Symphony and Turner Simms Hall where he will be resident for two seasons. Lawrence plays a viola by Antonio Brenzi from 1590.

Annabelle Meare

Annabelle Meare - violin

As principal 2nd violin with both the Philharmonia and the English Chamber Orchestra Annabelle has toured and recorded extensively. She is in much demand as a guest principal and has worked with the Halle, London Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras As an active chamber musician she has performed at venues such as Wigmore Hall and Berlin Philharmonie with such groups as Kungsbacka Trio, ECO Chamber Ensemble, Nash Ensemble and the Vertavo Quartet. Annabelle plays a violin by Francesco Goffriller.

Simon Crawford-Phillips

Simon Crawford-Phillips - piano

Simon Crawford-Phillips has established an extraordinarily varied career as soloist, chamber musician, lieder accompanist and most recently as a conductor. Performances this season include recitals from Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw and the Royal Festival Hall together with artists such as Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood, Mark Padmore, Lawrence Power, the Elias Quartet, Kungsbacka Piano Trio and the Colin Currie Group. As a conductor he makes his debut with Musica Vitae, Dala Sinfonietta and Västerås Sinfonietta and returns to the Swedish Radio Orchestra as well as assisting Daniel Harding at the Verbier festival. He has recently given world premieres of music by Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage as well as working alongside Sofia Gubaidulina, Simon Holt, Colin Matthews and Huw Watkins. In June 2010, Simon was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. He holds a teaching positions at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama. CDs due for release this year are on the Hyperion, Channel Classics and LSO live labels.

Bjørg Lewis

Bjorg Lewis - cello

Bjørg Lewis is one of Norway’s most esteemed cellists. As a soloist, she played with the Oslo Philharmonic as well as many other orchestras throughout Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Baltics. Bjørg is a founder member of the Vertavo String Quartet, an internationally acclaimed ensemble, which has received numerous awards including Norway’s prestigious Grieg Prize. A busy performance schedule takes Bjørg throughout Europe, North America and Japan. A regular participant in international chamber music festivals, Bjørg has also been invited to join the Nash Ensemble on several tours in the past two years. She has been Artistic Director of the Elverum Festival in Norway since 2001 and of Midsummer Music since its inception in 2009.

Natalie Clein

Natalie Clein - cello

British cellist Natalie Clein has built a distinguished career, regularly performing at major venues and with orchestras worldwide. Her playing has been praised for its “astonishing range of colours and ... wide variety of expressive styles” (Gramophone Magazine).

She is an exclusive recording artist for Hyperion and has recorded the two Cello Concertos by Camille Saint-Saëns as well as Bloch’s Schelomo and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to great critical acclaim. A solo disc with works by Bloch, Ligeti and Dallapiccola was released on 27 Janaury 2017. She has previously released 3 discs for EMI.

Her performances have taken Natalie Clein to orchestras including the Philharmonia, Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Montreal Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, New Zealand Symphony and Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires. She has performed with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Sir Roger Norrington, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leonard Slatkin, Stéphane Denève and Heinrich Schiff.

A keen recital and chamber performer, she has recently performed Bach’s Complete Cello Suites in London, Southampton and Oxford; and has curated a series of four concerts for BBC Radio 3 at LSO St Luke’s. She is the proud artistic director of her own chamber music festival in Purbeck, Dorset.

She regularly works with contemporary composers such as Thomas Larcher, Brian Elias and Dobrinka Tabakova and has also curated and been involved in cross-disciplinary projects with the dancer Carlos Acosta, writer Jeanette Winterson and director Deborah Warner amongst others.

In 2015, Natalie Clein was appointed Artist in Residence and Director of Musical Performance at Oxford University for 4 years. She will curate a concert series in the context of this position.

Huw Watkins

Huw Watkins - piano

Huw Watkins was born in Wales in 1976 and studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Julian Anderson at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. In 2001 he was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, where he later taught composition. He is currently Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

Watkins’s growing body of orchestral works includes the widely acclaimed Violin Concerto (2010) for Alina Abragimova premiered by BBC Symphony Orchestra with Edward Gardner, and two commissions from the London Symphony Orchestra, London Concerto (2005) and the Flute Concerto (2013)for Adam Walker, premiered under Daniel Harding in 2014. In 2017, the Hallé Orchestra commissioned Watkins’ Symphony, premiered under Music Director Sir Mark Elder.

A wealth of chamber music is central to Watkins’ output, complementing his parallel career as a pianist. His solo violin Partita (2006) was written for Alina Ibragimova and the viola Fantasy(2006) was written for Lawrence Power. Among works for his brother Paul Watkins is Blue Shadows Fall (2012-13), commissioned by Chamber Music Society Lincoln Center. Long-time supporters the Nash Ensemble commissioned a Horn Trio, and his String Quartet for the Carducci's was a commission from the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society.

Watkins' vocal works include In my craft or sullen art (2007) for tenor and string quartet, premiered by Mark Padmore and the Petersen Quartet at Wigmore Hall in 2006 and Five Larkin Songs (2009-10) for soprano and piano, which won a British Composer Award. More recent vocal works include Remember (2014) for soprano and string orchestra written for Ruby Hughes, and Four Sonnets (2014) for tenor and piano premiered at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 by Mark Padmore and the composer himself.

Ruby Hughes

Ruby Hughes - soprano

Ruby Hughes began her musical studies as a cellist graduating from the Guildhall School of Music in London. She went on to study voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Munich and the Royal College of Music, London, graduating in 2009.

She made her debut at Theater an der Wein in 2009 as Roggiero in Rossini's Tancredi, returning as Fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. She has performed Euridice in L'Orfeo at Aix-en-Provence Festival, Sandrina L’infedelta delusa and Narcissa-Philemon und Baucis at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, The Indian Queen at the Schwetzinger Festival, and Rose Maurrant-Street Scene at the Opéra de Toulon.

In the UK she has performed major roles with English National Opera, Garsington Opera, The Opera Group, Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera. She also appeared in Sir Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre.

Ruby is a passionate recitalist & works closely with the pianists Julius Drake & Joseph Middleton. As a champion of women composers, she recently recorded ‘Heroines’: a disc dedicated to 17th century women composers for the BIS label, with long-term collaborator Jonas Nordberg, for release in 2017.

She made her US debut in 2015 in a recital with Julius Drake at The Frick Collection in New York and in the 16/17 season will make her Carnegie Hall recital debut to include a commission by Huw Watkins.

Highlights of the 16/17 season include Anders Hillborg’s Lontano in Sonno with BBC Philharmonic, a song cycle written for her by Judith Weir, Handel arias and duets with Ian Bostridge and WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, a tour with B’Rock Belgium Baroque Orchestra, and a debut with Music of the Baroque, Chicago. She will also be recording a disc for Chandos records with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment dedicated to Guilia Frasi, Handel’s lyric muse as well as Mahler’s 2nd Symphony for BIS records with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vanska.

Chris Brannick

Chris Brannick - percussion

Chris Brannick is a founder member of the internationally renowned percussion group ensemblebash, and holds both a maths degree from Imperial College, London, and an honorary music degree from the Royal Academy of Music. He performs as both a soloist and chamber musician, and was principal percussion for Glyndebourne Touring Opera for 15 years, before leaving to concentrate on chamber music.

Chris’ musical interests include Ghanaian music, the frame drumming of North Africa and the Mediterranean, and the steel pan. Musical theatre remains central to his performing style, and Chris is also an actor, with credits running from Mole in Wind In The Willows to The Journalist in Making History and Everyman Explorer in last year’s national tour of Everything and Nothing.

His compositions and arrangements feature on CDs, websites, documentaries, CBBC and music festivals and he has been music advisor to Legoland. He plays percussion, steel pan, drum kit, guitar, bass guitar, bugle, piano and he sings in a stupidly high voice. In addition to ensemblebash, he is a member of FourSight, a quartet of percussion, electric violin, clarinet/sax and keyboard exploring the cutting edge of contemporary music, and Classic Rhythm, a bravura trio with a sense of musical adventure. His cabaret bands, The Favoured Few and The Brannick Academy have featured in the UK and New York.

Max Baillie

Max Baillie - viola/violin

A graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School, Cambridge University, and Berlin’s UdK, violinist and violist Max Baillie leads a uniquely versatile career. He performs across a diverse spectrum of music spanning new commissions, improvisation, and collaborations with artists from all over the world including vocalist Bobby McFerrin, Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, and guitarist John Williams. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed on stages from Carnegie Hall to Glastonbury, from Mali to Moscow, and plays regularly for television and radio broadcast.

Max is a founding member of ZRI, Zum Roten Igel. The ensemble has toured to major festivals with its re-scored versions of the Brahms clarinet quintet and the Schubert C major quintet, including accordion and santouri (dulcimer). He also has a duo with his ‘cellist father Alexander Baillie with whom he recorded a disc of folk-influenced violin and cello duos earlier this year. Max also features regularly with Notes Inegales, an improvisation group which ventures into daring cross-cultural and cross-genre collaborations at its regular Club Inegales.

Since 2007 Max has been principal viola of Aurora Orchestra and has played an active role in its creative path. He featured as soloist in Julian Philips' dedicated commission Maxamorphosis, conceived and directed Aurora’s first Brazilian dance collaborations, and last year curated the first season of late night ‘Lock-in’ concerts at London’s Kings Place. Max is partnered with the National Youth Orchestra of Britain to build an online educational resource for young string players, and is currently working with an animator to create a short film about how to approach solo Bach.

Stephanie Gonley

Stephanie Gonley - violin

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 and the Ulster Orchestra.

Stephanie Gonley is leader of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. 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.

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.

Tim Gibbs

Tim Gibbs - double bass

Only the fourth person in the Philharmonia Orchestra's history to hold the title of Principal Double Bass, Tim was appointed to the chair in 2015 by the orchestra's Council of Management and its Principal conductor and Artistic Advisor, Esa-Pekka Salonen. He regularly appears as a guest principal with a variety of ensembles and symphony orchestras in the UK and abroad.

The first double bassist to be invited to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Tim has since appeared regularly as a soloist and recitalist throughout Europe over the last 20 years. He gave his Wigmore Hall debut recital at the age of 20, has given concerto performances on three continents and has performed at many of the U.K.’s leading festivals.

As an avid chamber musician, highlights include performances at the SouthBank Centre's International Chamber Music Series and at the BBC Proms. Other collaborations include projects with guitarist John Williams, the Aronovitz Ensemble, trumpeter Alison Balsom, the London Conchord Ensemble and recordings with the Doric and Sacconi quartets. He has also broadcast live on Classical FM radio, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Digital Interactive.

Elysian Singers

Elysian Singers - chamber choir

The Elysian Singers of London, under musical director Sam Laughton, is one of the UK’s leading chamber choirs. They appear regularly in some of London’s finest churches as well as most recently St Martin in the Fields, St John’s Smith Square, LSO St Luke's, the Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Royal Festival Hall. Known for their adventurous programming and imaginative repertoire, they have also recorded a number of critically acclaimed recordings. "Amongst chamber choirs, they're one of the best." - Sir John Tavener

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