The Behn Quartet is a London based string quartet, comprised of players from England, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Wales. Their commitment to each other extends far beyond the practice room, which creates highly engaging and emotionally involved performances. They are named after Aphra Behn, the seventeenth century playwright and poet, philanthropist of the arts, feminist, spy and political activist. The Behn Quartet wanted to take the name of an inspiring and strong female figure, and for them Aphra Behn was the perfect choice. Selected for the CAVATINA Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music 2016/17, the Behn Quartet combines an intense passion for chamber music with a love of exploring new perspectives across centuries of music. Recent engagements include the world premiere performance of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies final work at St John’s Smith Square, a recording of works centered around Stravinsky with Oliver Knussen for Linn Records, and recitals for the Guiting Music Festival and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Masterclass performances include with the Fine Arts Quartet, Doric Quartet, Levon Chilingirian, and their principal mentor Martin Outram of the Maggini Quartet. The Behn Quartet were also part of the official 40th Anniversary celebrations of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, featured on the BBC and in news outlets worldwide. The Behn Quartet looks forward to future engagements at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, the Woking Concert Society, the Metropolitan Masonic Concert Series, and for Pro Corda. They are generously supported by Help Musicians UK.
See the Behn Quartet at the New North London Synagogue on Thursday 8th December 2016
Flauguissimo Duo was founded by flautist Yu-Wei Hu and guitarist Johan Löfving in 2008 whilst both studying at the Royal College of Music in London. Since then they have performed at some of the finest UK venues and festivals, such as the National Gallery, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall Lunchtime Concert Series, the Stratford-on-Avon Festival, Honiton Festival and King’s Lynn Festival. Abroad they have performed in the Bach Hall in Taiwan, Allsköns Music Festival in Sweden and ‘Liten Gitarrakademi’, one of the oldest guitar festivals in the world. Yu-Wei and Johan were selected to take part in the Brighton Early Music Live! Scheme 2012. Their performances in BREMF 2012 and 2013 were highly appreciated by both audience and music critics. In 2015, they are taking part in International Guitar Foundation’s Young Artist Platform which includes performances in venues like Kings Place and The Sage Gateshead. Flauguissimo Duo specializes in music from the late18th and 19th centuries as the intimate setting of flute and guitar flourished in the salon culture throughout Europe at the time. Their aim is to present a variety of music with a historically-informed performance practice but yet lively and exciting interpretation. However, they also perform baroque repertoire on baroque flute and theorbo as well as contemporary music on conventional instruments. A highlight of the 2015 season is their premiere performance of composer Charlotte Bray’s composition ‘Here everything shines’ for flute and guitar.
See Flauguissimo Duo at St James's Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday 21st December 2016
The performances of Vickers Bovey Guitar Duo have been described as ‘beautifully effortless’ (Mark Eden) and ‘with truly uncanny unanimity’ (The Daily Telegraph). Julian and Dan first met studying at Birmingham Conservatoire and are currently studying towards a joint Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Winners of multiple awards, including IGF’s young artist scheme in 2014, the duo have performed extensively around the UK, including at Wigmore Hall, Kings Place (London Guitar Festival), The Sage (North-East Guitar Festival), Bath Guitar Festival, Shrewsbury Guitar Festival, Symphony Hall (Birmingham), Colston Hall (Bristol), Frome Festival and The Forge (Camden). Upcoming concerts include recitals at Dart Music Festival and Maidenhead Music Society. United by a love of new and contemporary music, the duo have commissioned and premiered numerous works, including a first performance of Joe Cutler’s Everyday Music at London Guitar Festival in 2014. The duo also have a long term collaboration with Ryan Probert, whose transfixing large scale works Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and Eight Views of the Four Seasons have been performed over thirty times, in concert halls, libraries, factories and schools. The complete set of Ryan’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji will form the duo’s debut CD release, to be released in early 2016. Julian and Dan’s studies are made possible with substantial grants from Help Musicians UK, Blythe Watson Charitable Trust and the Countess of Munster Postgraduate Awards, with Julian receiving further assistance from the Prince Philip Trust Fund and RBWM Arts Fund.
Antara Duo Thomas Hancox and Rachel Wick started playing together in 2007, when they met whilst studying Music at St Peter’s College, Oxford. They are now much in demand throughout the country, with performances at the Cheltenham and St Davids festivals, and in venues including Wigmore Hall, Colston Hall, and Kensington Palace. Beyond their recital work, they perform for Live Music Now, a charity that brings live music to those who would otherwise rarely, if ever, experience it, and give educational performances for CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust and Wigmore Hall. As Artists for the Concordia Foundation, they have given a recital at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, and have also appeared as guest artists on cruises for P&O and Fred. Olsen. Last season, Thomas and Rachel commissioned and premiered King Herla by Robert Saxton, kindly funded by the PRS for Music Foundation and the RVW Trust. When not performing as a duo, Thomas and Rachel are regular guest principals with the country’s leading orchestras, including the RPO, LPO, Philharmonia, and Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Additionally, Rachel teaches at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and Berkhamsted School.
Syrinx Flute and Harp Duo was formed in 2006 by Holly Cook flute and Tamara Young harp, who have received praise from concert societies and audiences for their musically exciting performances and engaging presentational style. They have recently been selected as artists for Making Music Concert Promoter’s Group for 2015 – 2016. As experienced performers, they have played together in many venues in London and the UK, including St Martin-in-the-Fields, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, and live on BBC Radio 3. They performed together as part of The City Waites in Lucy Bailey’s 2011 production of The Beggar's Opera at Regent's Park. They have also represented Trinity Laban during performances given for the Leverhulme Trust, City Livery Companies and at the German Embassy. Syrinx’s recitals often feature works which have been inspired by folk music traditions from different parts of the world, creating programmes that weave together an enticing mix of traditional and classical flute and harp repertoire, and contemporary repertoire. As an ensemble of the Concordia Foundation, Holly and Tamara have performed at Benjamin Franklin House, and UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre as part of Concordia’s Healing Power of Music programme.
The Kowalczyk-Kim Duo was formed in 2013 at the Royal Academy of Music, when Marta Kowalczyk and Somi Kim first collaborated together in a class for the legendary violinist György Pauk. Both members of the duo are current Advanced Diploma students at the Academy. Marta has recently received a full scholarship to study at RAM and was awarded The Special Prize at The China International Violin Competition among many other prizes. Somi is a New Zealand pianist born in South Korea. She is the winner of the 2014 Gerald Moore Award for Accompanists and the Major van Someron-Godfery Prize for Accompanists. The Kowalczyk-Kim Duo’s partnership is strong in both music-making and friendship. They perform regularly for masterclasses with renowned teachers including Maxim Vengerov, Jan Stanienda, Tasmin Little and Daniel Hope. They receive chamber music coachings from Michael Dussek and Ian Brown. In recital, Kowalczyk-Kim duo’s recent and future appearances include public concerts at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Over-Seas League London, St. Mary’s Perivale, All Saint’s Church Marlow, St. James’ Piccadilly, Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall. They made their Southbank Centre debut in early January as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series 2015, performing Penderecki’s Violin Sonata No. 2 (1999) in the presence of the composer. In March 2016, the Kowalczyk-Kim Duo will be making their debut at the Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam as part of The New Masters on Tour Concert Series and will give a full recital at the Wigmore Hall as artists of the Kirckman Concert Society. The Kowalczyk-Kim Duo gave their first performance as Concordia Artists at St Martin-in-the-Fields on October 2015, and performed at St John's, Smith Square in June 2016 as winners of the Concordia Foundation Barthel Prize (Marta Kowalzczyk) and Serena Nevill Prize (Somi Kim), in association with the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
The Albany Piano Trio is a thriving, dynamic ensemble whose repertoire focuses on works by female composers – both current and historic – alongside the traditional canon of pieces that make the more established body of piano trio repertoire. Founded in 2010, the trio has risen compellingly from a nascent group to an established ensemble, having performed at a large number of high profile venues and gathered insights, via masterclasses and international music courses, from some of the preeminent exponents in their respective fields. They work particularly with Susan Tomes, Simon Rowland-Jones, Lowri Blake and Peter Cropper. Recipients of the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, the Albany Trio have recently been selected by Making Music for inclusion in its concert Promoters’ Network 2013/14 Guide. Other concert experience includes performances around the UK as part of Live Music Now, which the trio have been connected with since 2012. Future engagements include recitals for Darlington Music Society; St. James’s Piccadilly; Peter Gould Music Trust; Winchester Cathedral and a return visit to Belle Serre, Toulouse. Pippa Harrison, piano, has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the UK, Ireland, Holland, Bulgaria and Norway. Gemma Sharples, violin, completed her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was kindly supported by the Howard Davis scholarship, having previously studied music as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford. She is currently enjoying a varied schedule of orchestral work, chamber music and solo projects. Verity Evanson studied music as an undergraduate at St John’s College, Oxford before gaining a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London for a masters course in performance.
The Arcana Ensemble is a family group of classical musicians that graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London. Several years of experience have allowed them to develop a rich and varied program consisting of string duos, piano duos and trios, also performing repertoire for larger string ensembles and piano quintets with guest artists on a regular basis. They have an extensive repertoire that encompasses the classics of chamber music as well as entertaining arrangements and transcriptions of virtuosic works, and have performed extensively in the UK as well as the USA, France and Romania. The ensemble began performing in retirement homes in Massachusetts, USA over ten years ago and have remained committed to performing these concerts alongside their developing careers in London. As well as regular classical programmes, they provide entertaining musical events especially tailored to retirement homes and hospitals, with a goal to bring happiness and comfort to audiences through the music they play and offer the residents a memorable performance. A recent highlight of their work was a performance of the Ludwig v. Beethoven's Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello Op. 56 with the Ensemble 111 at St Cyprian's Church, Baker Street.
See The Arcana Ensembles at Winchelsea Arts Series on Friday 11th November 2016
The Aurora Trio was established in 2012 by Emma Halnan (flute), Joe Bronstein (viola) and Heather Wrighton (harp) whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Emma and Heather had previously played as a flute and harp duo; in 2010 they performed Mozart’s flute and harp concerto with the European Union Chamber Orchestra. Joe commenced his Masters degree at The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and was invited by Emma and Heather to form the trio. Since its conception, the trio have performed at a number of important venues around the UK, such as the Wigmore Hall. The trio have been fortunate to receive coaching from flautists Kate Hill and William Bennett, violist Martin Outram and harpist Karen Vaughan. They have been awarded a prestigious chamber music fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music for the academic year 2014/15. Emma Halnan (flute) studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She previously learnt at the Purcell School of Music. She recently won the Kenneth Loveland Gift 2014, the International Award Carl Reinecke (Italy) and the Croydon Festival Concerto Competition 2013. Emma plays principal flute in the European Union Youth Orchestra. Joe Bronstein has recently completed his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Prior to this, he achieved a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Manchester. Heather was inspired to play the harp at the age of six and as a junior student at Trinity College of Music she studied harp with Gabriella Dall’Olio and Frances Kelly and continued her studies at The Royal Academy of Music, London with Karen Vaughan, graduating with an MA (Distinction), BMus(Hons) and an LRAM. From a young age Heather has been interested in different types of harps and plays Classical Harp, Celtic, Baroque triple and Paraguayan Harps. Heather currently freelances as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician.
The Mellanie Trio was formed in 2014 and by students from the Royal College of Music, London, comprising award-winning instrumentalists Stephanie Onggowinoto (piano), Sally Law (violin), Kuan-Yin Lin (cello), all of whom are scholarship award holders. They have performed at a variety of venues and recent appearances include the Royal College of Music’s Lunchtime Concert Series, a recording session at the Belle Shenkman Studio and a recital at St. Botolph, London. The Mellanie Trio has a particular passion for Classical and Romantic period works, and receives regular coaching from Kathron Sturrock, Richard Lester, Mark Messenger and Leon McCawley. Most recently, they performed in a masterclass for Alina Ibragimova. Indonesian pianist, Stephanie Ongowinoto, began playing the piano at the age of five. Stephanie is currently a Neville Wathen scholar at the Royal College of Music, London, studying with Leon McCawley. Her studies are also generously supported by the Frederick Cox Scholarship and Felix Appelbe. Stephanie has won prizes in many international piano competitions, including the prestigious Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, Germany 2010. More recently, Stephanie was awarded the First Prize in the Appelbe Piano Prize Competition in London. Sally Law is currently a Big Give scholar studying at the Royal College of Music in London under Professor Jan Repko. She has performed many solo recitals and has been concertmaster in the Royal College of Music Chamber Orchestra. Recent solo appearances include concerts in Duino and Palmanova, Italy, and a masterclass with Professor Alexander Bonduryansky. Melody Kuan-Yin Lin is a captivating young cellist who is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London under the tutelage of Richard Lester. Prior to this, she studied in the United States with renowned cellists such as Michael Reynolds, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Ling-Yi Ouyang, Suren Bagratuni, and British conductor Benjamin Zander.
BLOCK4 is a London based recorder quartet FORMED IN 2012, featuring Emily Bannister, Lucy Carr, Katie Cowling and Rosie Land. Studying at the Royal College of Music with Ashley Solomon, Julien Feltrin and Maria Martinez Ayerza, BLOCK4 present a dynamic approach to contemporary consort music as well as offering a captivating interpretation of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The quartet's innovative style has resulted in them being the 2014 winners of the Royal Overseas League Ensemble competition, the first recorder consort to receive this accolade in the competition’s 62 year history. They received a high commendation at the RCM’s Senior Woodwind Prize in 2013, and were awarded the June Emerson Launchpad prize at the competition in 2014. BLOCK4 has recently been named the 2015-16 Ensemble in Residence for Handel and Hendrix Museum - a role which will include a concert series in 2016. As Artists of the Concordia Foundation, BLOCK4 have performed at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital as part of Concordia's Healing Power of Music programme, following a successful debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields in July 2015.
See BLOCK4 at Winchelsea Arts Series on Friday 7th October 2016
Opera Barcarola Made up of soprano Natasha Day, mezzo-soprano Eirlys Myfanwy Davies, tenor Alex Tsilogiannis and pianist David Malusa, Opera Barcarola comprises some of the UK’s most promising young talent. Individually, they have performed internationally at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, following their passion for music. Together, they bring their audiences a varied programme of spectacular opera hits – heart-warming, humorous, unforgettable and, above all, guaranteed to entertain.
All That Malarkey are a Cardiff-based Classical Cabaret act who are dedicated to bringing audiences a fresh sounding, entertaining theatre show, boasting brand new arrangements of songs, sketches, fairy tales, extraordinary medleys and entrancing ballads - all with the Malarkey twist! All That Malarkey perform in theatres, concert halls and manor houses with regularly updated staged programmes that never fail to leave audiences of all ages and tastes roaring, crying and smiling as they witness glamorous, exceptionally high quality music in a completely refreshing, utterly camp and thrilling package.
Apollo5 , the British a cappella ensemble, has been praised for its engaging and entertaining performances. With a repertoire ranging from retro jazz, pop and classical arrangements to Christmas a cappella, they are adept performers on the concert platform, at festivals, private parties and corporate events. The group’s performances in London have included St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Albert Hall, Café de Paris, the Houses of Parliament, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, The Crazy Coqs and Kings Place. Recent UK festivals include The City of London Festival and the Petworth Festival. The five outstanding vocalists also perform internationally, most recently appearing at the Teatro dal Verme, Milan. Apollo5 has broadcast live on Resonance FM and BBC Radio 2. The group has recently worked in partnership with The Sixteen, The National Portrait Gallery and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, presenting an exciting new festival, ‘Sounds Sublime’. Apollo5 is part of the charitable foundation Voces Cantabiles Music (VCM), and is involved in its innovative education programme aiming to inspire creativity through music. The programme, led by VOCES8, reaches 20,000 young people annually, working in over 200 schools in the UK, France, Sweden, the USA and Asia. The foundation has its home at the Gresham Centre, in a beautiful Wren Church in the heart of the City of London. In partnership with the Diocese of London, VCM is establishing a hub for excellence in education, outreach and the performance of vocal music.
Quintabile Brass Ensemble was formed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2007, and is one of London’s leading brass quintets. They perform recitals regularly, with highlights including performances at the Barbican, London, Colston Hall, Bristol and Yorkshire’s Newby Hall. Quintabile have had a number of residencies including Newark Brass Festival (2009), Dartington International Music Festival (2010) and the Combret Music Festival, France (2011). As well as this, in 2011 they were finalists in the Worcester Three Choirs Festival Brass Competition and more recently have been invited to perform at the Banff International Music Festival in Canada this coming Summer (2013). Quintabile are proud to be part of the Live Music Now! Scheme, with whom they have performed extensively across the UK. They also have firm links with both the Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire Music services, where they have given workshops to over 2000 children. In 2012 Quintabile received their first major piece of publicity, being featured in a 2 page article in the Brass Herald. That same year they recorded their first studio album, and have been broadcast to international audiences on the BBC World Service.
VOCES8, the international award winning octet, has established itself at the forefront of British a cappella, performing a repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to unique jazz and pop arrangements. The ensemble regularly commissions and collaborates with world-renowned contemporary composers including Ola Gjeilo, Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine and Ben Parry. VOCES8 is delighted to be in partnership with the acclaimed arranger Jim Clements as Arranger in Residence. With an ongoing programme of recordings and live broadcast, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international TV and radio, including Deutschlandradio, ARTE TV, Radio France Musique, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. They have performed at the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, the Tel Aviv Opera House and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. VOCES8 plays a key role in the education work of the non-profit foundation Voces Cantabiles Music. VOCES8’s educational work extends to workshops and masterclasses for people of all ages and abilities, with the aim of inspiring creativity. VOCES8 has worked with the Concordia Foundation in their Young Audiences Projects, both producing and performing in two musicals for children at Wilton’s Music Hall. They also appeared for the Foundation at Concordia’s 15th Anniversary Concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Artistic collaborations with orchestras have included the Philharmonia, London Philharmonia Orchestra and period ensemble Les Inventions.