Abigail Kelly gained a postgraduate diploma in operatic studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and completed her undergraduate studies at Birmingham Conservatoire with a first class honours degree. She has won a series of Awards and in 2008 was nominated in the music category at the International Women of Excellence Awards. With English Touring Opera she has performed as Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Fido (Paul Bunyan), Naiad (Rusalka), Cobweb (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Bridesmaid (The Marriage of Figaro). Internationally, Abigail has performed as a featured artist with Opera South Africa and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and has given recitals in Kingston – Jamaica, Hungary, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands and Germany. Most recently she held a recital of traditional African American spirituals with a string quartet in Władysławowo, Poland. Abigail’s has performed widely in new music and also commissioned a one woman operatic cabaret entitled Swan Song: Memoirs of a Dudley Diva, a cabaret style operatic monologue charting the rise of fictitious opera star Deirdre Daniels. A proud Birmingham woman, Abigail has also performed at Birmingham’s first commemoration of Emancipation day and at the 2012 Birmingham Symphony Hall celebrations of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence.
Tamara Konstantin is a British composer born in Georgia. Tamara started playing piano at a very young age and as a young girl was selected to join the Tbilisi Special Music School for Gifted Musicians – one of the most prestigious educational establishments in the country. There she honed and mastered her skills as a concert pianist. Her studies were completed at the Tbilisi Music Academy where she graduated with the highest ranked diploma. Throughout her career she performed with the Georgian State Symphonic Orchestra and performed solo concerts. Currently, Tamara lives in Dorset in the south of England. Along with her passion of composing music, she is actively involved in performing at charity concerts and events.
Douglas was Organ Scholar at Somerville from 2010 until 2013 and currently studies with Katharine Pardee, in addition to receiving lessons from Daniel Moult and Ann Elise Smoot.
He has performed at St. Lawrence Jewry Lane, St. Giles Cripplegate, Union Chapel and other London churches, and as a member of the St. Giles Junior Organ Conservatoire he has played in masterclasses to Dame Gillian Weir, Hans Fagius, David Goode and Robert Quinney.
Douglas is also studying the clarinet with Elizabeth Drew having obtained his DipABRSM last summer under his first teacher Nicholas Shipman, with whom he began receiving lessons ten years ago. He has taken part in the North London Music Festival, winning prizes in woodwind classes, and enjoys playing contemporary repertoire.
Sholto Kynoch is in demand as a song accompanist and chamber musician, regularly performing with many outstanding singers and instrumentalists.
He is the founder and director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, where he has accompanied more than fifty song recitals over the past eight years, working with singers including Kate Royal, Mark Stone, Jonathan Lemalu and Henry Herford. In the 2008 Lieder Festival he was privileged to play for tenor Ian Partridge’s “farewell” recital.
Other recent highlights have included performances at Wigmore Hall (with violinist Kaoru Yamada), the Berliner Konzerthaus (with soprano Olja Dakic), the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore (with violinist Tee Khoon Tang), the St Endellion Festival, the Chichester Festivities, Cambridge Summer Music, the Perth Festival, the Brasov International Chamber Music Festival in Romania, the Chelsea Schubert Festival (with the Doric String Quartet) and a series of recitals in Sweden (with violist Ylvali Zilliacus).
Sholto is the pianist of the Phoenix Piano Trio, with whom he performed the complete Beethoven trios in 2010. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Bangor Univeristy.
Sholto read Music at Worcester College, Oxford, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers have included Michael Dussek, Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, Ronan O’Hora and Vanessa Latarche.
Stephan Loges was the winner of the 1999 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. He has given recitals throughout the world, including at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Klavierfestival Ruhr, La Monnaie, Brussels, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Santiago de Compostela and the Vocal Arts Series in Washington with pianists Roger Vignoles, Simon Lepper, Alexander Schmalcz, and Eugene Asti.
Current and future plans include Bach St John Passion with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; St Matthew Passion with the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston; Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Bernstein Candide at the Staatsoper Berlin; Mozart Coronation Mass and Haydn Stabat Mater with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and Fabio Biondi; Mendelssohn Walpurgisnacht with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale, Florence; Ottokar Der Freischütz with the LSO and Sir Colin Davis and Messiah and Bach Cantatas with the Academy of Ancient Music in London. Recitals planned include Schubert Winterreise and Schwanengesang at the Kuhmo Festival, Finland and with Simon Lepper for the Neuss Shakespeare Festival, Germany.
The Lendvai String Trio has a busy schedule of concerts at major venues throughout Europe, including several recitals at Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, the Barbican and Purcell Room in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Berwaldhallen and Nybrokajen 11 in Sweden, with their concerts frequently broadcast by Dutch Radio 4, Swedish Radio P2 and the BBC 3.
In 2010 the Lendvai String Trio was selected for the 2010/11 Concertgebouw’s Young Artist Series in Amsterdam; other previous successes include winning awards from the Kirckman Concert Society, the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Musician’s Benevolent Fund, the Park Lane Group, and the Concert Promoters Network in the UK. In 2005 they were selected for the Holland Music Sessions ‘New Masters on Tour’, resulting in a series of concerts across Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands. They have also toured and performed at festivals in Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Sweden.
The trio enjoys regular collaborations with other artists, and recent highlights have included concerts with oboists Alexei Ogrintchouk and Nicholas Daniel, and pianists Paolo Giacometti, Charles Owen, Alasdair Beatson and Martin Sturfält.
Simon Lepper read music at King’s College Cambridge and studied piano accompaniment with Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music. He has recently been appointed professor of piano accompaniment at the Royal College of Music, London and is also the official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize.
Current and future plans include appearances at the Wigmore Hall with Angelika Kirchschlager, Malin Christensson, Lawrence Zazzo, Karen Cargill, Sally Matthews and Carolin Widmann. He will also appear with Angelika Kirschschlager in Leeds and Ghent and give recitals at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with Sally Matthews and Carolin Widmann and in Paris and Montreal with Malin Christensson. Simon will visit Moscow this season to give a recital with Stephan Genz and Lucy Crow at the 30th anniversary of the International Music Festival ‘December Nights’ in a programme to include lieder by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann.
Recent appearances have included Schumann Dichterliebe and the Schubert song cycles with Mark Padmore throughout the UK; a recital with Angelika Kirschlager at the 2010 Verbier Festival, Switzerland; Schubert Schwanengesang with Christopher Purves at the Howard Assembly Room at Opera North; a theatre project on the madness of Ophelia with Cora Burggraaf at de Doelen, Rotterdam as well as recitals with singers Felicity Palmer, Anna Stephany, Robin Tritschler, Elizabeth Watts, Allan Clayton, Marcus Farnsworth, Nicole Cabell and Stephan Loges.
Recording highlights include Debussy Songs with Gillian Keith on Deux-Elles, Warlock Songs with Andrew Kennedy on Landor Records and Feldman, Zimmerman, Xenakis and Schoenberg with violinist Carolin Widmann on ECM.
As a student, Simon won every major award for piano accompaniment including the Gerald Moore Award as well as the accompanist prizes in the Kathleen Ferrier and Royal Overseas League competitions.
Little Venice Ensemble is the resident ensemble of Chamber Music in Little Venice and takes its name from a district in the heart of London just north of Paddington, where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet creating a picturesque pool of water. Comprising some of London’s most sought-after musicians, the ensemble is currently building up a reputation for presenting music at the highest level within all genres, spanning from serious classical chamber projects to music in a lighter vein.
In 2011 violist Karin Norlén founded the Chamber Music in Little Venice series together with her husband Jonathan Cunliffe who is Director of Music in the Parish of Little Venice. They met during their studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire. A few years earlier, violinist Björn Kleiman had started an Anglo-Swedish Music series in London and also ran a music production company. Karin and Björn share a passion for chamber music and soon started co-producing events. Having known each other since childhood, they wanted to form a flexible chamber ensemble that could play both serious and lighter music to a high standard. Karin plays regularly with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and Royal Opera House orchestras and is a member of the Oxford Philomusica where Yuri Zhislin is co-concert master. The LVE’s first concert was performing the Schumann Piano Quintet and since then they have performed numerous works from the classical chamber music repertoire. Yuri is equally at home on violin and viola and enjoys an illustrious career as a soloist and chamber musician, performing all over the world. He is now a professor of violin and viola at the Royal College of Music in London. Björn had previously worked with fellow RCM graduate cellist Angélique Lihou, a member of the Southbank Sinfonia and cellist of the Cosima Piano Quintet. She is also an accomplished soprano and a member of electronic/rock band CIAM. They wanted to add a double bass for both classical and jazzy pieces so Karin invited Jamie Kenny who also works with the Oxford Philomusica and has played with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Britten Pears Orchestra and was principal double bass for Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival Orchestra. The five string players form the core of the ensemble and perform in different constellations depending on the occasion and the repertoire.
Benjamin MacLean was senior chorister at Westminster Abbey, where he was also head of school. His professional singing has included singing for the Royal Wedding, the 60th Coronation Jubilee of HM the Queen, the Papal Mass in Rome for Pope Benedict XVI as well as tours with the choir to Russia and Hungary. Amongst the numerous tv appearances with Westminster Abbey Choir Benjamin has also performed at the first night of the Proms, the documentary series on Westminster Abbey, David Starkey’s ‘Music & Monarchy’ series and for many heads of State. Benjamin is also an accomplished Horn and piano player. Recently Benjamin has won a Music scholarship to Sherborne School where he starts this September.
Marie Macleod, described by The Guardian as ‘powerfully eloquent’ and The Strad as ‘a cellist who can hold a stage and captivate an audience’, performs extensively as soloist and chamber musician at major concert venues across Europe. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the UK and Sweden such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra, and her performances are frequently broadcast by the BBC, Classic FM, Dutch Radio 4 and Swedish Radio. At the age of seventeen Marie won the Eastbourne Young Musician of the Year; she went on to win the string section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, the Royal Over-Seas League competition, the Suggia Gift for Cello and the Bronze Medal in the Shell/LSO competition, as well as awards from the Tunnell, Leverhulme and Countess of Munster Trusts.
As a member of the Aronowitz Ensemble, Marie is a BBC New Generation Artist and has performed at the BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Bath, Spoleto and the City of London Festivals, as well as recording extensively for the BBC. Marie is also cellist in the Lendvai String Trio, who perform at major concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Barbican, St John’s Smith Square and King’s Place in London, and the Berwaldhall and Nybrokajen in Stockholm. In 2005 the trio won awards from the Kirckman Concert Society, Worshipful Company of Musicians and the Park Lane Group, and were also selected for the Holland Music Sessions ‘New Masters on Tour’, giving concerts in Latvia, Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Hungary and Cyprus.
Marie has a strong interest in contemporary music and has had several works specially written for her by composers Edwin Roxburgh, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gunnar Valkare and Matts Larsson Gothe. She enjoys regular chamber music collaborations with artists such as Pekka Kuusisto, Tasmin Little, Nicholas Daniel, Anthony Marwood, Paul Watkins, Alison Balsom, Robert Mann and Ivry Gitlis. Between 2006 – 2008 Marie was principal cellist of the Västerås Sinfonietta in Sweden; in 2007 and 2008 she also performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as guest principal cellist. She studied with Louise Hopkins at the Yehudi Menuhin School, David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she gained a Masters with Distinction and was awarded the prestigious Concert Recital Diploma, Frans Helmerson at the Musikhochschule in Cologne and Steven Isserlis at IMS Prussia Cove. Marie plays a Matteo Goffriller cello from 1706.
Caroline MacPhie, described as a singer with ‘flair, style and imagination’ (The Daily Telegraph), completed her studies on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, following which she was selected by the Young Classical Artists Trust. On the operatic stage she has performed repertoire from Monteverdi to Max Richter for the Royal Opera House, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Bristol Old Vic, Opéra National de Lyon, Banff Centre, Canada and many more. A committed recitalist, she made her Wigmore Hall debut with Joseph Middleton in 2011 and has also performed at Purcell Room, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Ravinia Festival, Chicago as a Steans Institute Young Artist. Her broadcasts include Fauré’s La bonne chanson live from the Cheltenham Festival for BBC Radio 3 as well as transmissions for France Musique and France 3 with Opéra de Lyon. On the concert and oratorio platform she has collaborated with European Union Chamber Orchestra, Hallé, Hanover Band, Northern Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Southbank Sinfonia and Stockholm Sinfonietta at venues including Basilica di San Pietro, Perugia, Bridgewater Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Stockholm Concert Hall. Having initially read French and German at Bristol University, Caroline went on to pursue postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. A finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, her competition successes include First Prize in the Emmy Destinn Awards, Prague, Miriam Licette Scholarship (MBF), Dame Eva Turner Award and Blyth-Buesst Operatic Prize (RAM), Schubert Prize and Claire Croiza Prize for French Song (RNCM). She is also a Britten-Pears Young Artist, Kirckman Society Artist, Samling Scholar and Wingate Scholar.
The Maggini Quartet, formed in 1988, is one of the finest British string quartets. Its acclaimed recordings have won international awards including Gramophone Chamber Music Award of the Year, Diapason d’Or of the Year and a Cannes Classical Award, and have twice been nominated for Grammy Awards. The Quartet is commencing a new collaboration with Meridian Records by recording the complete Mendelssohn quartet cycle.
The Maggini Quartet’s commitment to new music has led to important commissions including works by James MacMillan, Robert Simpson, Eleanor Alberga and Roxanna Panufnik. The Quartet’s unique collaboration with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, performing and recording his ten ‘Naxos Quartets’, has been hailed as “a 21st century landmark”. Their latest commission is a string quartet by Stuart MacRae to celebrate the ensemble’s 25th Anniversary in 2013.
The Maggini Quartet appears frequently in prestigious concert series at home and abroad and makes regular media broadcasts. Recent international visits have included Dubai, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The Quartet tours in Norway every summer, and will undertake a major tour of Germany in autumn 2013.
The Magginis are renowned for their interpretations of British Repertoire and The Glory of the English String Quartet continues to be an important ongoing initiative, drawing upon the wonderful repertoire which the Quartet is committed to bringing to a worldwide audience. The coming season features Britten and Rawsthorne.
The Maggini Quartet launched its own chamber music festival in May 2012. ‘Magginis in Breckland’ is an annual event based in Norfolk, bringing musicians of the highest calibre to the community, with concerts reflecting the full range of the Maggini’s eclectic repertoire.
In addition to their concert activity, the members of the Quartet have an international reputation aschamber music coaches. They hold several UK residencies and have worked at the UK’s senior music institutions.
Andrew Marriner became principal of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1986 following the footsteps of the late Jack Brymer. During his orchestral career he has also maintained his place on the worldwide solo concert platform alongside an active role in the field of chamber music. His professional musical career began at the age of seven when he was a boy chorister at King’s College Cambridge. Joining the National Youth Orchestra in 1968 he studied briefly at Oxford University and then extensively in Hannover, Germany with Hans Deinzer.
He first played with the LSO in 1977 under Sergiu Celibidache and as guest principal on their 1983 world tour. He later also became principal clarinet of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-fields.
As a soloist Andrew has been a regular performer in London, both at the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. His extensive career abroad has taken him to La Scala, Milan; La Fenice, Venice; the Musikverein in Vienna; as far afield as the USA and Australia, and most points in between. These concerto performances have been in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Antonio Pappano, Andre Previn, Rostropovic, Michael Tilson Thomas, Valery Gergiev and Sir Neville Marriner. Andrew has also given world premieres of concertos written for him by Robin Holloway, Dominic Muldowney and John Tavener.
Andrew Marriner is a member of both the LSO and Academy chamber ensembles. He has enjoyed playing with many other international groups over the years: these include the Chilingirian, Lindsay, Endellion, Moscow, Warsaw, Orlando, Sine Nomine and Belcea string quartets. He has also worked with some of the most distinguished individuals in the world of chamber music such as Alfred Brendel, Andre Previn, Andras Schiff, Lynn Harrell, Stephen Isserlis, Emmanuel Ax, Hélène Grimaud, and with the late Vlado Perlemuter and George Malcolm.
Andrew has recorded the core solo and chamber clarinet repertoire with various record companies including Philips, EMI, Chandos and Collins Classics. His concerto appearances are regularly broadcast by the BBC. A new recording of the Mozart concerto with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Sir Neville Marriner was released in 2004.
Andrew is in demand as a teacher and woodwind consultant and gives masterclasses, coaches orchestras and adjudicates competitions all around the world. He is visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded an Hon. Ram in 1996.
Malcolm Martineau was born in Edinburgh, read Music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and studied at the Royal College of Music.
Recognised as one of the leading accompanists of his generation, he has worked with many of the world’s greatest singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Barbara Bonney, Ian Bostridge, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Della Jones, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kozena, Solveig Kringelborn, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Karita Mattila, Lisa Milne, Ann Murray, Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Michael Schade, Frederica von Stade, Sarah Walker and Bryn Terfel.
He has presented his own series at the Wigmore Hall (a Britten and a Poulenc series and Decade by Decade – 100 years of German Song broadcast by the BBC) and at the Edinburgh Festival (the complete lieder of Hugo Wolf). He has appeared throughout Europe (including London’s Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Opera House; La Scala, Milan; the Chatelet, Paris; the Liceu, Barcelona; Berlin’s Philharmonie and Konzerthaus; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein), North America (including in New York both Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall), Australia (including the Sydney Opera House) and at the Aix en Provence, Vienna, Edinburgh, Schubertiade, Munich and Salzburg Festivals.
Recording projects have included Schubert, Schumann and English song recitals with Bryn Terfel (for Deutsche Grammophon); Schubert and Strauss recitals with Simon Keenlyside (for EMI); recital recordings with Angela Gheorghiu and Barbara Bonney (for Decca), Magdalena Kozena (for DG), Della Jones (for Chandos), Susan Bullock (for Crear Classics), Solveig Kringelborn (for NMA); Amanda Roocroft (for Onyx); the complete Fauré songs with Sarah Walker and Tom Krause; the complete Britten Folk Songs for Hyperion; the complete Beethoven Folk Songs for Deutsche Grammophon; the complete Poulenc songs for Signum; and Britten Song Cycles as well as Schubert’s Winterreise with Florian Boesch for Onyx.
This season’s engagements include appearances with Simon Keenlyside, Magdalena Kozena, Dorothea Röschmann, Susan Graham, Christopher Maltman, Thomas Oliemanns, Kate Royal, Christiane Karg, Iestyn Davies, Florian Boesch and Anne Schwanewilms.
He was a given an honorary doctorate at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and appointed International Fellow of Accompaniment in 2009. Malcolm was the Artistic Director of the 2011 Leeds Lieder+ Festival.
Gary Matthewman has been described by The Times and The Independent as ‘movingly perceptive’ and ‘quick-witted,’ and is now established as one of Britain’s leading song pianists. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London, and subsequently in Berlin and Vienna. Awards include those for accompaniment at the Royal Over-Seas League Competition, the Maggie Teyte Awards, and the prize for pianists at the inaugural Das Lied – International Song Competition in Berlin.
Abroad, Gary has appeared as a song recitalist in Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Baden-Baden, Amsterdam, Aix-en-Provence, Gstaad, Kiev, Zagreb, Washington DC, Toronto and São Paulo. His UK Festival performances include Aldeburgh, Newbury, Hay-on-Wye, Buxton, Leeds Lieder, Oxford Lieder, North Norfolk, Bath and Sheffield (Music in the Round). In London, he has appeared at Wigmore Hall, the Royal Opera House, and in the Rosenblatt Recital Series at St John’s, Smith Square. In 2009 Gary conceived the Lied in London recitals, dedicated to the performance of song in a relaxed and intimate setting. He has made numerous live broadcasts and recordings for BBC Radio 3, and in 2011 he joins BBC Cardiff Singer of the World as official accompanist.
Gary has accompanied some of today’s most exciting singers. These include Sir Thomas Allen, Sumi Jo, Simon Keenlyside, Kate Royal, Ian Bostridge, Elizabeth Watts, Markus Werba, Sylvia Schwartz, Jacques Imbrailo, Yuriy Mynenko, Matthew Rose, Sally Matthews, Toby Spence, Geraldine McGreevy, Sarah-Jane Brandon, Dame Josephine Barstow, Cora Burggraaf and Stephan Loges. Future engagements include his debut recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall with Andrei Bondarenko and Vienna’s Musikverein with Adam Plachetka, and a Wigmore Hall recital with Thomas Quasthoff.
Geraldine McGreevy studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where she has since been made an Associate, and at the National Opera Studio. She has also lived and studied in France, Italy and Germany. An experienced recitalist, she has recorded Wolf, Fauré, Schumann, Schubert and many English Songs for Hyperion and Chandos, and has regularly broadcast recitals for the BBC as well as other European broadcasting institutions. She has returned to the Wigmore Hall frequently since her 1997 debut after winning the 1996 Kathleen Ferrier Award and made her De Singel recital debut in 2006, returning there in 2009 for a special extended Fauré recital series with Graham Johnson, with whom she has appeared in recitals in venues across Europe and North America. She has worked with many chamber musicians and early music groups including the viol quartet Phantasm, with whom she has recorded Byrd consort songs.
As an opera singer Geraldine has appeared in major European Opera Houses and Festivals including The Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, La Monnaie, Brussels, Aix-en-Provence, the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms. Recent engagements include her début at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, as Giunone (La Calisto), as well as returns to the Komische Oper, Berlin for the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and in the title-role of Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride, and to the Royal Opera House for Gerhilde (Die Walküre). Other roles she has sung include Alcina, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito), Donna Anna, (Don Giovanni), Freia (Das Rheingold), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Chystothemis (Elektra), Marie (Wozzeck), The Governess and Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), The Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) and Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes). She has recorded Handel’s Arminio with Alan Curtis (EMI), Handel’s Riccardo Primo with Kammerorchester Basel and Goodwin (DHM), and for Chandos, Sullivan’s Ivanhoe and Berg’s Wozzeck Fragments and Lulu Suite with the Gothenberg Symphony and Venzago. Her diverse concert repertoire includes Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire; Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5; Britten’s Les Illuminations and War Requiem; Strauss’ Vier Lezte Lieder; Telemann’s Brockes Passion; and Honneger’s Le Roi David which she sang at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival.
Rhona McKail, from Prestwick in Ayrshire, studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama where she gained a BA (Musical Studies) with first class honours in 2005. She recently concluded her studies on the highly coveted opera course of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, from where she gained both a Masters of Music with distinction and a Master of Music in Performance (Guildhall Artist), also with distinction.
Upon leaving the GSMD, she sang Anne Trulove in British Youth Opera’s acclaimed production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress: “Rhona McKail, playing [Anne Trulove] as a dowdy provincial girl, and singing with intensity, does as well as anyone I’ve seen or heard.” (Michael Tanner, The Spectator)
Rhona has performed in many of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including: Wigmore Hall; St. Martin in the Fields; Cadogan Hall; Barbican Hall; and the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Her concert highlights include: The Angel in Jephtha for the London Handel Festival (also broadcast on BBC Radio 3); a recital of Handel and Purcell in St Georges Hanover Square, London; and The Creation with the London Concert Choir. Broadcasts have included a programme for BBC Radio 4 with Robin Bowman and In Tune with Iain Burnside on BBC Radio 3.
Recent roles Rhona has sung include: Rezia in La Rencontre Imprévue by Gluck; Anne Who Steals in The King goes forth to France by Sallinen; Agafya in The Marriage by Martinů, all for GSMD opera; and Ortensia (cover) in Mirandolina by Martinů for Garsington Opera.
Studying with her vocal tutors Patricia MacMahon and Jane Irwin at the RSAMD, Rhona won many accolades and, since moving to London, under the tutelage of John Evans has excelled in the Maggie Teyte French Song competition winning the Miriam Lycette Scholarship of 2006. She won the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Scholarship in 2007 and also in the same year a Susan Chilcott Scholarship and was the winner of the Association of English Speakers and Singers Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition. Most recently she was a semi-finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition and won second prize in the London Handel Festival’s Handel Singing competition.
She was a Samling Scholar in 2006, and has undertaken masterclasses with such distinguished artists as: Graham Johnson; Iain Burnside; Sir Thomas Allen; Eugene Asti; Yvonne Kenny; Catherine Bott; Malcolm Martineau; Philip Langridge and Ann Murray; François le Roux; Daniel Taylor and most recently with Sir Timothy West.
Elisabeth Meister is an alumna of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has performed on the stages of Royal Opera House, Lyric Opera Chicago and Teatro Municipal de Santiago and, most recently, at La Monnaie, where she stepped in at very short notice to sing the title role of Lucrezia Borgia.
For the Royal Opera, Meister’s roles include Pale Lady The Gambler, Fox The Cunning Little Vixen, Costanza L’isola Disabitata, and First Lady Die Zauberflöte. In addition, she covered the title roles in Der Rosenkavalier, Aïda and Anna Nicole, as well as Polina The Gambler and Ellen Orford Peter Grimes. She made her international debut to great acclaim in the title role Aïda for Teatro Municipal de Santiago, returning there later in the season in the title role Lucrezia Borgia. She made her US debut at Chicago Lyric Opera in the role of First Lady Die Zauberflöte, and also covered the title role Ariadne auf Naxos. She returned to Santiago de Chile for her role debut as Elisabeth Tannhäuser.
A well-established concert artist, her repertoire includes Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Dvořák Stabat Mater, Elgar’s Caractacus, The Dream of Gerontius and The Kingdom, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater, Tippett’s A Child of our Time, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem, among many other works. She recently made her debut at the Royal Festival Hall with the UK premiere of Torsten Rasch’s Mein Herz Brennt, with René Pape and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
As a recitalist, she has performed Britten’s Cabaret Songs, Grieg’s Opus 48, Strauss’ Opus 48, Ebel’s As I Walk From Her Grave (world premiere), Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Csanyi-Wills’ The Last Letter (world premiere) and Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder.
Engagements in the 2012-13 season include her return to the Royal Opera House as Helmwige, Third Norn and cover Sieglinde in the revival of Keith Warner’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, as Ker The Minotaur and covering Susan Bullock in the title role of Britten’s Gloriana.
On the concert platform, she performs at the Royal Opera House’s Extraordinary Gala marking the Queen’s Jubilee alongside Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu and Bryn Terfel and makes her Carnegie Hall debut with performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 and Missa Solemnis as part of a US tour with the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Further highlights include the UK premiere of Shostakovich’s Orango with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony under Ryan Wigglesworth at the St Endellion Festival, and a recital of Wagner Lieder for the London Song Festival. Future engagements include Lady Macbeth for Scottish Opera and the title role Turandot for Bilbao.
Joseph Middleton, described in the BBC Music Magazine as ‘a born collaborator … one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, performs and records with many of the world’s finest singers in major music centres across Europe and North America. Recent and forthcoming appearances include those at London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Royal Opera House, the Konzerthaus Vienna, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Cologne, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Opera Bonn, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and at the Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Bath MozartFest, Brighton, Cheltenham, City of London, Edinburgh, Ravinia Chicago, Three Choirs, Toronto, Vancouver and West Cork festivals. Joseph has enjoyed concerts with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Sophie Bevan, Allan Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Lisa Milne, Clara Mouriz, Ann Murray, Mark Padmore, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Matthew Rose, Carolyn Sampson, Toby Spence, Ailish Tynan and Roderick Williams. Before studing the piano on an EMI Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, Joseph obtained an MPhil degree in Musicology from the University of Birmingham. He subsequently took up the post of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge and works extensively for the BBC New Generation Artists scheme.
Robert Murray studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He won second prize in the Kathleen Ferrier awards 2003 and was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Operatic roles at the Royal Opera House include Tamino (‘Die Zauberflote’), Lysander (‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’), Agenore (‘Il re Pastore’), Belfiore (‘La Finta Giardiniera’), Jacquino (‘Fidelio’) and Don Ottavio (‘Don Giovanni’). Other roles include the title role in ‘Albert Herring’ for Glyndebourne On Tour; Nanki-Poo, Tamino, Don Ottavio and Idamante for English National Opera and Tom Rakewell (‘The Rake’s Progress’) for Garsington Opera.
Concert work includes Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Sir John Eliot Gardiner for the BBC Proms; Handel’s ‘Solomon’ with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg; Mozart’s C Minor Mass both with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras, and with Le Concert D’Astrée; Britten’s War Requiem with Simone Young and Britten’s ‘Our Hunting Fathers’ with Thomas Adès at the Aldeburgh Festival; Strauss’s ‘Elektra’ with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Edward Gardner, Schumann’s ‘Manfred’ with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov at the Edinburgh Festival and ‘Tristan und Isolde’ with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev.
In recital he has performed at the Newbury, Two Moors and Aldeburgh Festivals. He has toured ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ extensively with Malcolm Martineau, recorded a recital of Brahms, Poulenc and Barber with Simon Lepper for Voices on BBC Radio 3, and performed ‘On Wenlock Edge’ with the Dante Quartet both at the 2006 Brighton Festival and at London’s Wigmore Hall.