The SDSM String Quartet in Residence. The Annexus Quartet was formed in 2018 by four students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Dutch violinist Charlotte Spruit started studying the violin aged four with Coosje Wijzenbeek. When she was seven she was accepted into the young talent department of the Conservatoire of Amsterdam. She is a laureate of many national and international competitions, and is also a member of the award-winning Ensemble Esperanza who have performed all around the world. She is currently studying with David Takeno. Annie-May Page first studied the violin with John Crawford and attended the Purcell School. Her love of chamber music developed through participating in the renowned ‘MusicWorks’ courses, and a highlight of her chamber music experience has been performing at Wigmore Hall. She is currently being mentored by the violinist Chloe Hanslip and is learning under Stephanie Gonley. Carlos Vespirinas has been developing experience as a chamber and orchestral musician playing around Europe in places such as the National Museum of Romanticism, the Herkulessaal, and the Barbican Hall. He studied at Musikene (Basque Country, Spain) with Damián Martínez Marco and Maria de Macedo.and currently with Ursula Smith. Violist Sally Belcher is currently studying under Matthew Jones. She has performed all over the UK with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and as a keen chamber musician has attended the Pro Corda courses for many years.
The Annexus Quartet study with Gary Pomeroy, and have also had coaching from Simon Rowland-Jones, David Dolan, and members of the Endellion Quartet.
Daniel Pioro is a soloist, collaborative artist, and advocate for new and experimental music. Based in London and Edinburgh, he has performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the London Contemporary Orchestra, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Pioro actively promotes new music and is interested in finding new ways of listening to and creating sound, as well as developing strong collaborations with composers, musicians, artists, and writers. In 2015 Edmund Finnis wrote Elsewhere for him, which he premiered at the South Bank Centre’s first DEEP∞MINIMALISM Festival; following a long period of close collaboration Jonny Greenwood wrote Horror Vacui, a solo violin concerto for Pioro and 68 strings, performed for the first time at the BBC Proms in 2019; while his repertoire also includes Thomas Adès’ cosmic violin concerto, Concentric Paths. He also works closely with the Icelandic composer and producer, Valgeir Sigurðsson, and this partnership has taken his deep listening still further, whether working in the studio or performing live with electronics. Pioro works closely with the acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo, a collaboration that has created The Storyteller’s Ensemble, a group of musicians devoted to the written and spoken word, as well as working on cross-genre collaborations with artists such as Canadian audiovisual artists, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. In March 2019 his debut album, Dust, of music for solo violin and electronics was released on the Bedroom Community label, and in September 2019 his recording of Bach’s Partita No. 2 was released on Octatonic Records.
Jackie Oates is synonymous with the reinvigoration of English folk. Her mellifluous voice, plaintive fiddle and tantalizing approach to traditional songs gained her several BBC Folk Awards in a career that’s seen her perform as a member of the Imagined Village, collaborate with Alasdair Roberts and Belinda O’Hooley, and release seven acclaimed solo albums. An inventive and enthralling artist; who else can say they’ve been immortalised as a Lush cosmetic, featured on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music show and appeared in Midsomer Murders?
The London born pianist, Jeremy Young, performs throughout the world as a chamber musician and soloist. He has appeared in recital at the Lincoln Center (New York), the Herbst Theater (San Francisco), Esplanade Concert Hall (Singapore), Jin Mao Concert Hall (Shanghai), National Concert Hall (Dublin), and performances have taken him as far a field as Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan much of the USA and Europe. He has performed at the Mecklenburg -Vorpommern (Germany) and Graz (Austria) international music festivals amongst others and in the UK he gives concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, South Bank Centre and appears in festivals including Lake District, Harrogate, Brighton, Petworth, Endellion, City of London and Dartington. Jeremy has made broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, RTE Lyric FM, BBCTV, Channel 4, S4C, Hong Kong Radio 4, CCTV (China) and radio in USA, Kazakhstan, Russia and much of Europe. His recordings are available on EMI Asia, Decca, Meridian, Signum and Somm record labels. A founder member of Ovid Ensemble and the Manchester Piano Trio, Jeremy works alongside such artists as the cellists Li-Wei Qin and Karine Georgian, violinist Mengla Huang, violists Thomas Riebl and Simon Rowland-Jones, the Navarra, Talich and Finzi String Quartets and with singers Roderick Williams, Pamela Helen Stephen and Daniel Norman. Jeremy Young studied as a scholar at the Purcell School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. His piano teachers included Professor Christopher Elton, Frank Wibaut and Vladimir Ovchinkov. He studied chamber music under the guidance of the Amadeus String Quartet, Andras Schiff and Joseph Seiger at the Royal Academy of Music, Menahem Pressler at the Banff Center of the Performing Arts in Canada and with Dr. Christopher Rowland at the Royal Northern College of Music. Now also an internationally recognised teacher, Jeremy has given classes at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Singapore, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Sibelius Academy in Finland, Conservatorio di Verona, Hsingchu University in Taiwan, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the European Chamber Music Academy. He acts as an external examiner for institutions including the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Manchester University. He holds the position of Senior Piano Tutor and Head of the International Chamber Music Studio at the Royal Northern College of Music and teaches chamber music at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, UK. Jeremy is the co-founder of South Downs Summer Music Festival in Sussex, England. In 2007 Jeremy was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) for distinguishing himself in his profession.
Jonian Ilias Kadesha
Jonian Ilias Kadesha has Greek-Albanian roots and lives in Berlin. The young musician not only speaks Greek, Albanian, German and English but also has a keen interest in philosophy and rhetoric. His playing is characterized by stylistic accuracy in the interpretation of early to contemporary works, and in the exactness of his articulation. With boundless imagination of sound, Kadesha is always in search of something new. He is a prizewinner of the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, Windsor International and the Leopold Mozart Violin Competitions. The young violinist recently made his debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the Tivoli Copenhagen, with the RTE Orchestra at the National Concert Hall Dublin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Russian State Orchestra under Yuri Bashmet and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe at the Kronberg Festival. He made his debut with the Athens State Orchestra in Autumn 2019 performing the Skalkottas Violin Concerto, whose Small Suites he recorded for CAvi-music, along with works by Enescu and Ravel in 2017. Together with the cellist Vashti Hunter and in collaboration with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, he recorded the CD A Journey for Two with works by Honegger, Skalkottas, Xenakis and Kodály, which was also released by CAvi-music in the summer. Jonian Ilias Kadesha already appears in the most important concert halls and at well-known festivals across Europe. In early August, he opened the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin after months of Covid-19-related concert silence in the German capital. Other significant appearances have led him to the Wigmore Hall London, Handelsbeurs Concertzaal Gent, Louvre Paris, Philharmonie Berlin, Salle Molière Lyon, Salle Garnier Montecarlo, and the Golden Hall Augsburg as well as the Schubertiade, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Boswiler Sommer, Mantua Chamber Music Festival or the Resonances Festival in Belgium, among others. Kadesha has performed with orchestras such as the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra and the Albanian and Greek radio orchestras. In the 2020/21 season, he will perform Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto no. 2 with the Athens State Symphony Orchestra, will appear with the London Mozart Players and can be heard with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra and the Meiningen Staatskapelle. Chamber music connects him with renowned musicians such as Martha Argerich, Steven Isserlis, Nicolas Altstaedt, Thomas Demenga, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Ilya Gringolts and Pekka Kuusisto. He was also heard at the Kronberg Chamber Music Connects the World and the Verbier Academy Festival. He is co-founder of the award-winning Trio Gaspard, which regularly appears at festivals and in the music centers of Europe and the USA. The joint recording Trio Gaspard – Live in Berlin, with works by Haydn, Zimmermann and Schubert, was recently released on CAvi-music. Together with cellist Florian Schmidt-Bartha, Kadesha founded the Caerus Chamber Ensemble in 2017, a flexible chamber ensemble made up of outstanding instrumentalists from the young generation of European musicians. Kadesha studies with Antje Weithaas at the Kronberg Academy. His previous teachers included Salvatore Accardo, Grigori Zhislin and Ulf Wallin. He studied chamber music with Hatto Beyerle in Hannover and at the European Chamber Music Academy. Masterclasses with Ferenc Rados, Steven Isserlis, Ivry Gitlis, Leonidas Kavakos and Eberhard Feltz complete his studies. Since 2018, Kadesha has been supported by the Young Classical Artists Trust in the United Kingdom. Jonian Ilias Kadesha plays a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1749), on private loan.
Julian Bliss is one of the world’s finest clarinettists, excelling as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, jazz artist, masterclass leader and tireless musical explorer. He has inspired a generation of young players as creator of his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, and introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument. Julian started playing the clarinet aged 4, going on to study at the University of Indiana and in Germany under Sabine Meyer. In recital and chamber music he has played at most of the world’s leading festivals and venues including Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center. He has appeared as soloist with a range of international orchestras including São Paolo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Paris, Auckland Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic orchestras. In 2012 he established the Julian Bliss Septet, performing programmes inspired by Benny Goodman, and by music from Brazil and Cuba to packed houses at Ronnie Scott’s (London), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and across the USA. Album releases include his recording of Mozart and Nielsen’s concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. His latest chamber discs include David Bruce’s Gumboots for clarinet and string quartet, plus the Mozart and Weber quintets, with the Carducci Quartet. Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Northern Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, an extensive US tour with his septet, and concerts with the Carducci Quartet.
Leveret is a unique collaboration between three of England's finest folk musicians. Andy Cutting (button accordion), Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Harbron (concertina) are each regarded as exceptional performers and masters of their instruments. Together their performances combine consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity. Leveret’s music is not arranged in the conventional sense and the trio rely on mutual trust and musical interaction to create new settings of their repertoire in the moment, with no two performances alike. Their playing is relaxed and natural, drawing audiences in and inviting them to share in music making that is truly spontaneous and yet deeply timeless. Fiddler Sam Sweeney was the 2015 BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year, directs the National Youth Folk Ensemble and is known for his work in Bellowhead and The Full English, and his new solo album The Unfinished Violin. Melodeon genius Andy Cutting, a four-time BBC Folk Awards Best Musician, is a compelling solo performer and works with Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry. Concertina wizard Rob Harbron leads the English Acoustic Collective summer school and is known for his work with The Full English (Best Group and Best Album BBC Folk Awards 2014), Emily Portman, Emma Reid, and Jon Boden. Leveret's music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but sounds fresh and new. With their first three albums and over a long string of sell-out gigs, the trio have built a strong reputation as superb musicians, fine tunesmiths and captivating performers. On their new album Diversions they have brought their trademark groove, energy and intuitive playing to bear on a newly unearthed set of upbeat and accessible traditional gems – truly great music from a band at the top of their game.
Matthew has been Principal Trombone with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2010. Following this appointment he gained principle positions with the Aurora Orchestra and the brass septet Septura. He is also on the teaching faculty at the Royal Academy of Music in London and is an active soloist. His passion for the trombone has driven him to release two solo albums Paradiso e inferno, and Matthew Gee’s Amazing Sliding Circus. Both of these concept recordings address stereotypes associated with the instrument, with the express aim of introducing audiences to the beauty, expressiveness, and flexibility of an instrument often overlooked. Matthew has performed with orchestras and ensembles all over the world, including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Klangforum Wein, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and has recorded and appeared in many films and television scores. After studying Music at King’s College London and the Royal College of Music, Matthew took up the position of Section Principal trombone with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. After a brief stint with the Orquesta Filharmónica de Santiago (Chile) he then retuned to the UK to join the Orchestra of Opera North. Further study saw Matthew attend the Hochschule der Künste, Bern, where he was awarded the Eduard Tschumi award for gaining the highest mark in the competitive soloists diploma course. As a soloist Matthew has performed internationally and has had a number of works written for him, most notably Circus Games and Trombone Sonata by Rob Keeley and Fischietto è morto by Gary Carpenter. He gave the U.K. Première of Kurt Schwertsik’s Trombone Concerto at St. Johns’, Smith Square, and is currently having a concerto written for him by Welsh composer Bernard Kane. He has performed and taken masterclasses at many festivals, including those in Melbourne, Wellington, New York, Sarajevo, Lieksa (Finland), Isla Verde (Argentina) and Beijing. Concerto performances include works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Buxton Orr, Derek Bourgeois, Ferdinand David, Johann Albrechtsberger and Luciano Berio’s demanding concerto Solo in the beautiful Konzerthaus in Bern. He is Vice President of the British Trombone Society and takes an active part in promoting the trombone and developing its repertoire. Matthew is a Getzen artist.
Maxim Kinasov is an award-winning solo and chamber musician who performs a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Shostakovich. Born in Moscow, he began piano lessons at the age of five, making his concerto debut at the age of nine and his recital debut a year later. Awarded a scholarship, he obtained his Bachelor of Music degree with Distinction from Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers there included Sergei Dorensky, Nikolai Lugansky, Pavel Nersessian and Andrei Pisarev, who are his greatest musical influences. During his studies, he won several music competitions including Second Prize and Audience Prize at the 2015 International Gian Battista Viotti Piano Competition in Vercelli, Italy, Grand Prix and Special Cuomo Foundation Prize at the 2014 International Chopin Piano Competition in Rome and Grand Prix, First Prize and Special Prize ‘For the best performance of a work by Tchaikovsky’ at the 2013 International Konstantin Igumnov Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Lipetsk, Russia. In 2019 Maxim completed his Master of Music in Performance degree, also with Distinction, at the Royal Northern College of Music in the class of Ashley Wass, supported by a Leverhulme Arts Scholarship. He is currently studying on the International Artist Diploma course at the RNCM, supported by the FM Wright Piano Award. In 2018, Maxim won the RNCM’s most prestigious award, the Gold Medal and played in the Gold Medal Winners concert at Wigmore Hall in the Spring of 2019. He most recently won First Prize and Special Jury Mention at the Cantù International Piano Concerto Competition (Italy, 2019), Runner-up Prize at the Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition (2019, United Kingdom), and Second Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Prize at the 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. In April 2020 Maxim has been named as an Artist of the Month of the Talent Unlimited Music Charity. Also, he was selected as a Kirckman Concert Society Artist for 2019-20 and played his full-length solo debut at Wigmore Hall in October 2019. Maxim has been a soloist of the St Petersburg House of Music since 2012 and has performed in prestigious venues across Russia, Italy, Spain, UK, Brazil and US, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. He has performed internationally with orchestras including the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Hallé, among others. At the invitation of Nikolai Lugansky Maxim took part in the International Rachmaninov Music Festival in Russia. Other festival appearances include the ‘Gathering Friends’ International Music Festival at the Moscow Conservatory, South Downs Summer Music Festival in Alfriston, Chester Music Festival and Battle Festival. As a chamber musician, Maxim won the 6th International Sergei Taneyev Chamber Ensembles Competition in Kaluga, Russia (First Prize, Special Tatiana Gaydamovich Award and Special Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Prize ‘For the best performance of a work by Taneyev’, 2017) and has worked with Henk Guittart of the Schoenberg Quartet and Alexander Bonduriansky of the Moscow Trio. Maxim has broadcast on Italian TV channels TG2 RAI and TGVercelli, and on BBC Radio 3.
Exploration, insight and imagination are vital ingredients in Melvyn Tan’s blend of artistic attributes. He established his international reputation in the 1980s with pioneering performances on fortepiano and continues to cast fresh light on music conceived for the piano’s early and modern forms. Tan possesses a profound understanding of his instrument’s history, its technical evolution and musical development. His performances of piano masterworks, whether on a late eighteenth-century fortepiano or today’s concert grand, penetrate the surface of interpretive traditions and received wisdom to reveal countless expressive nuances and rarely heard tonal contrasts. Acclaimed for the wit and poetry of his playing, Tan has also received ovations for his bold programming and exceptional ability to switch from fortepiano and modern piano, even in the same recital.
Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books. He is a three-time winner of the Prix Sorcière in France and has twice won the Red House Children's Book Award in England. In addition, has won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Prize, and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal. He has also been named the 2003-2005 Children's Laureate, an award he helped to establish with the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes to reward a lifetime contribution to children's literature and highlight the importance of the role of children's books. He has had a lifetime of involvement with children, as a teacher, as a father and grandfather and as the founder with his wife of "Farms for City Children', a charity that enables city kids to come and share his passionate love for the countryside in general and animals in particular. Born in 1943, he attended schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury. He went on to London University to study English and French, followed by a stint in the teaching profession and a job at a primary school in Kent. It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do. "We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids - it was like a soap opera, and they focused on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realized there was magic in it for me." Kensuke's Kingdom won the Children's Book Award, an award judged by over 20,000 children in England. In 2003, Scholastic Press published it in the United States. Publishers Weekly called it "A prizewinning import: sensitive, perceptive, and well-told." Morpurgo followed with Private Peaceful, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, and War Horse. In a starred review, Booklist called Private Peaceful "the terse and beautiful narrative of a young English soldier is as compelling about the world left behind as about the horrific daily details of trench warfare..." It won The Los Angeles Times Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. It was also a choice on BBC Radio's A Good Read program and was turned into a concert piece by an English acappella trio. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips won the Sheffield Children's Book Award in 2006. Originally published in 1983, War Horse was a runner up for the Whitbread Award Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon, England with his wife, Clare.
Petr was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic and started to play the cello at the age of six with Miroslav Dolezil and Ivan Merka. He progressed to the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he was taught by Miroslav Petras and members of the Smetana Quartet, graduating with master’s degree. He also studied at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, and with Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he was awarded the Concert Recital Diploma (Premier Prix). He taught cello at the Prague Conservatory of Music and was Principal Cellist of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, while performing as a soloist throughout the world. From 1997 until 2019, Petr Prause was a member of the Talich Quartet. He also joins other outstanding musicians in all kinds of chamber music formations and gives masterclasses at a wide range of international institutions. He was invited to the Jury of international competitions in Lyon and Munich. Petr Prause plays an exquisite cello Giovanni Grancino (1710) which he has on loan from the Czech National Museum Collection as well as a Martin Stoss cello, Vienna, 1821.