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.
Born and raised in New York, violinist Laura Lutzke earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Juilliard School and a Master of Music with Distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She is an avid chamber musician, and was named one of the “Rising Stars” at the Caramoor International Music Festival, collaborating with artists such as Atar Arad, Pamela Frank, and Arnold Steinhardt. She has taught and performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival alongside musicians such as Frank Huang, Mikhail Kopelman, Kurt Muroki, and Paul Neubauer. Since 2006 she has participated in festivals throughout the US, Europe, the UK, and Asia, including Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, England. She has collaborated regularly with diverse artists and ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Björk, Gabriel Kahane, Johann Johannsson, The Knights, Max Richter, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Paul McCartney, The National, Stars of the Lid, Roomful of Teeth, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Yann Tiersen. She is currently a member of the critically-acclaimed American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and Co-Leader of Le Cercle de L’Harmonie classical orchestra in France.
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.
Winner of the First Prize at the Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona, Viv McLean has performed in all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. Viv’s concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, Orchestra of St John’s, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of such conductors as Daniel Harding, Wayne Marshall, John Lubbock, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, Philip Hesketh, David Charles Abell, Stephen Bell, Carl Davis, Christopher George and Marvin Hamlisch. Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K467 with the ECO at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the LPO at the Barbican, Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Gershwin, Bernstein, de Falla and Ravel with the Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, The Sage Gateshead and other venues in the North of England, and Beethoven’s 5th Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall. Viv has recently been on tour with the London Concert Orchestra where he played Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall, St David’s Hall Cardiff, Philharmonic Hall Liverpool and Leicester’s De Montfort Hall.
Viv plays regularly with the Adderbury Ensemble and the Le Page Trio and has also performed with other leading chamber groups such as the Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, members of the Elias, Allegri and Tippett String Quartets, Ensemble 360, the Galliard Wind Ensemble, the Bristol Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio. He has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, David Le Page, Matthew Sharp, Fenella Humphreys, Kate Gould, Guy Johnston, Alena Lugovkina, Ruth Rogers, Tim Horton, Alasdair Beatson, Jack McNeill and many others.
He has performed at numerous festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival, Buxton Festival, Music in the Round Festival and Harrogate International Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Festival International de Musique Classique d’Aigues-Mortes, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden.
Viv studied from an early age with Ruth Nye and, after attending Chetham’s School of Music, he went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne. At the Academy he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies’ Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain.
Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 since making his recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases include recordings for such labels as Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus, RPO Records and, most recently, a Gershwin album for ICSM Records and an album of pieces by regular chamber music partner David Le Page for Harmony & Imagination Records.
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.
Mary Nelson made her debut with English National Opera singing the role of ‘Woodnymph’ in Dvorák’s Rusalka and rejoined the company to sing ‘Amor’ in Orpheus and Eurydice and ‘Belinda’ in Dido and Aeneas. In addition, she has sung the roles of ‘Carolina’ in Cimarosa’s A Secret Marriage for Opera North, ‘Gilda’ in Rigoletto and ‘Micaela’ in Carmen for Castleward Opera and has appeared in the role of ‘Echo’ in a concert performance of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Barbican with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox, all to critical acclaim. She also sang Poulenc’s Gloria and Faure’s La Fête Étrange at the Royal Opera House.
Mary Nelson was subsequently appointed as a company principal with English National Opera. Her roles included ‘Susanna’ in The Marriage of Figaro, ‘Pamina’ in The Magic Flute, ‘Dalinda’ in Ariodante (directed by David Alden), ‘Atalanta’ in Xerxes (directed by Nicholas Hytner), ‘Trash’ in The Fairy Queen (including performances in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona), and ‘Lucia’ in the new David McVicar production of The Rape of Lucretia for ENO and the Aldeburgh Festival, which was also broadcast on BBC 2 and Radio 3. Other roles include ‘Ismene’ in Mitridate for the Classical Opera Comapany and Piacere in Il trionfo del Tempo e de Disinganno for The Early Opera Company.
An experienced oratorio and concert soloist, Mary has performed Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the City of London Sinfonia at the Barbican, Vivaldi’s La Senna Festeggiante with The King’s Consort in The Netherlands and Spain, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Handel’s Gloria with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Bach’s St. John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In addition she has performed Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Bach’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the English Chamber Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Handel’s Athalia with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Engagements have also included performances of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast with the Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Mozart’s Requiem with the Halle in The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Mozart’s Regina Coeli with The Academy of Ancient Music, Brahm’s Requiem with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hansel and Gretel and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Nights Dream for the BBC Proms, Caldara and Vivaldi cantatas with La Serinissima in Spain, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Faure’s Requiem with the Northern Sinfonia, Handel’s Messiah with the Brno Philharmonic and Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Israel Camerata. Conductors she has worked with include Nicholas McGegan, Thierry Fischer, Christian Curnyn, Jane Glover, Kenneth Montgomery, Richard Hickox, Takuo Yuasa, Paul Daniel, Harry Christophers, Harry Bicket and John Nelson.
An experienced recitalist, Mary has given concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, the Honiton, Chester, Gower, Cambridge festivals and Queen’s Festival, Belfast. She also recently undertook a recital tour of Argentina to great critical acclaim. Her recordings include Vivaldi Cantatas with The Band of Instruments, Mendelssohn’s Symphony 2 and Sacred Music by Georg Schumann.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Ulster Youth Orchestra, ‘Pamina’ in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, ‘Nedda’ in I Pagliacci for Stanley Hall Opera, Elijah with the Cheltenham Bach Choir, Haydn’s Creation with the Prague Philharmonic and Jakub Hrusa, Orfeo and Eurydice and Judas Maccabeus at the Cadogen Hall, Messiah in Gloucester Cathedral ,Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s Scena di Berenice with the Ulster Orchestra, Vivaldi’s Catone in Venice, Haydn’s Lo Speziale with the Israel Camerata, Pergolesi’s Stabet Mater with Monica Huggett and the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the RTE Symphony Orchestra and a CD recording of Georg Schumann Lieder.
In 2015, Mary became a Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music.
Adam Newman began his musical studies aged 7, learning a variety of instruments including violin and piano before focusing on the viola aged fourteen. He proceeded to study at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music with Louise Lansdown. Adam graduated with first class honours from the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Matthew Souter, Philip Dukes and Hu Kun. He then continued his studies in the class of Tatjana Masurenko at the Hochshule für Musik in Leipzig and in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins. He is currently studying in Basel with Rainer Schmidt of the Hagen Quartett.
Adam has attended Verbier Festival, IMS Prussia Cove, Thy Chamber Music Festival, Tibor Varga Masterclasses and the London Masterclasses where he has studied with renowned musicians such as Tabea Zimmerman, Bruno Giurana, Ana Chumachenco, Gabor Takacs- Nagy, Thomas Riebl, Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian, Lawrence Power and Alfred Brendel.
During his time at the Academy, he had considerable success in both competitions and recitals. They included a Sir John Barbirolli Foundation Award towards the purchase of a new bow and the Duchess of Cornwall / English Chamber Music Award. He was also a finalist at the Windsor International String Competition where he was awarded the Bishops Instruments and Bows Prize for the most deserving finalist.
Adam has worked with the English Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Camerata Variabile Basel, Cappa Ensemble, London Conchord Ensemble, Razumovsky Ensemble, Aronowitz Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, and with such musicians as Patricia Rozario, Nicolas Daniel, Jorg Widmann and Valentin Erben.
Daniel Norman was a choral scholar at New College Oxford, where he read Engineering. He went on to study in the US and Canada and at the Royal Academy of Music. In his first year out of college he made his debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Trevor Pinnock, the Royal Festival Hall with David Atherton, the Wigmore Hall with Graham Johnson, Almeida Opera and the Aldeburgh Festival with David Parry and at the Barbican with Richard Hickox.
Concert performances have included Wozzeck with Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Evangelist in Bach St John Passion at the Festival Hall, Tippett A Child of Our Time with the CBSO and the Northern Sinfonia, Britten Les Illuminations and Mozart Requiem with Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic, Britten Nocturne with Edward Gardner, Britten Serenade in Tel Aviv, Britten St Nicolas at the Gulbenkian in Porto and for the BBC Concert Orchestra, Stravinsky Les Noces with Martha Argerich, Bach St Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw and for the Sønderjyllands Symfonieorkester in Denmark, Beethoven 9th Symphony for Minnesota Orchestra, Holst Savitri with London Sinfonietta, Sam Kaplan in Weill’s Street Scene at the BBC Proms, St John Passion for The King’s Consort (Matthew Halls), Judas in Birtwistle’s The Last Supper for London Sinfonietta in Italy, Argento’s Jonah & the Whale in Boston, Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall, Delius Mass of Life with the BBC Philharmonic, Haydn Stabat Mater with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi, Stravinsky’s In Memoriam Dylan Thomas with the CBSO, Renard (Helsinki & Paris), Britten War Requiem for Southbank Sinfonia and for Philharmonia Taiwan and recitals at Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and for Oxford Lieder.
Opera credits include Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw and Dr Blind Die Fledermaus for Glyndebourne on Tour, his Covent Garden debut as Borsa Rigoletto, Flavio Norma, Goro Madama Butterfly and Tchekalinsky Queen of Spades with Opera North, Tanzmeister in concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO, Mao in Nixon in China for Opera Boston and at the Teatro Filharmonico for Fondazione di Arena di Verona, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos for L’Opéra National de Paris and Tanzmeister Ariadne, Elemer in Arabella and Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro at Garsington, and the Electrician in the Channel 4 film of Adès’s Powder Her Face (Almeida/Aldeburgh), as well as in its Vienna and Boston premieres, and at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. With the Early Opera Company he played the title role in Arne’s Alfred at the Covent Garden Festival. He sung Fenney/Hugo Mines of Sulphur at the Wexford Festival, Bob Boles Peter Grimes at the Endellion Festival, Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Zuid, Hermes in Tippett’s King Priam with the Nationale Reisopera, Eurimaco in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and Valetto in L’Incoronazione di Poppea for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and New Israeli Opera and, to critical acclaim, performed the first official staging of all five Britten Canticles in Westminster Abbey with Streetwise Opera. Daniel also appeared in Nuno Corte Real’s The Bronze Boy, in Porto and Lisbon and as White Minister Le Grand Macabre and Squeak Billy Budd for English National Opera, Maxwell Davies Taverner with BBC Scottish Symphony, Messiah for the Minnesota Orchestra & Chorale and Carmina Burana for the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Columbia. Further engagements include title role Hugh the Drover for New Sussex Opera, Beethoven 9th Symphony (Marriner), Moser Die Meistersinger for Glyndebourne Festival and Schwanengesang for the Oxford Lieder Festival.
A passionate performer, arranger and curator, Clare O’Connell has over 20 years experience as a freelance cellist specialising in contemporary chamber music. She is a member of the Le Page Trio, Lontano, The Storytellers Ensemble, The Harborough Collective, Loki & Propellor Ensemble and is a regular collaborator with many other chamber music & chamber opera projects.
She founded and curates Behind The Mirror: her own series of intimate chamber music concerts in Berkhamsted, commissioning new music from composers such as Alex Mills, Leonardo Margutti, Luke Bedford, David Bruce, Freya Waley Cohen and Rubens Askenar, experimenting with varying instrumental line-ups, making her own arrangements of a vast array of music for unusual groups of instruments, and interweaving music poetry and storytelling to add another dimension to the concert experience. Her arrangements have been performed in Westminster Abbey, the Wigmore Hall and on BBC radio 3.
Recent highlights include a performance in the Wigmore Hall of her own arrangement of The Lark Ascending with Daniel Pioro, a solo performance in ‘An Elephant in the Garden’ at Shakespeare’s Globe’s storytelling Festival & playing the solo cello part in Sam Bordoli’s miniature music theatre piece for tenor and cello ‘Belongings’ as part of the Invisible Opera House inquiry programme. She was cellist and mentor for new chamber opera “Persephone’s Dream” for soprano & solo cello with Fat Lady Opera; and she is developing ideas for a new album with internationally acclaimed harpist Eleanor Turner..
She is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford where she studied Ancient & Modern History followed by postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music & the Hochshule für Künste in Bremen, Germany with internationally acclaimed cellist and teacher Alexander Baillie. She plays on a cello by Stefan Krattenmacher.