Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.
Nicola was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours, in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the U.K. In addition, Nicola has received five honorary degrees to date.
Born in Scotland of Italian heritage, Nicola began violin lessons at the age of five with Brenda Smith. In 1997, she entered the Yehudi Menuhin School, where she studied with Natasha Boyarskaya. Upon leaving, she continued her studies with Maciej Rakowski and then Pavel Vernikov, and continues to work with multiple acclaimed teachers and performers.
With her regular duo partner, pianist Alexei Grynyuk, Nicola frequently performs recitals in the world’s leading concert halls and festivals with most recent and future highlights including Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cheltenham Festival, Sydney Opera House Utzon Room, Seoul Performing Arts Centre, the Sapienza in Rome, Innsbruck Tiroler Konzervatorium, Trieste Politeama Rossetti, Sociedad Filamonica de Bilbao, Subculture New York, Gardner Museum Boston and Schwetzingen and Dresden Musikfestpieles.
Nicola is also a devoted chamber musician and collaborates with cellist Leonard Elschenbroichand pianist Alexei Grynyuk, who have been performing as a trio since 2008. Recent and future performances include Royal Albert Hall London, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Edinburgh Usher Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Die Glocke Bremen, Hong Kong City Hall, two tours of South America, and at the Edinburgh, Ravinia, Schloss Elmau and Cheltenham Festivals.
Winner of Best Female Artist at both 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Nicola records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music). The enormous success of Nicola’s most recent recording, Homecoming; A Scottish Fantasy, made Nicola the first solo British violinist since the 1990s to enter the Top 20 of the Official UK Albums Chart. The Silver Violin, also enjoyed a similar success in reaching No. 30 in the UK Albums Chart simultaneously to topping the classical charts. Her past six recordings on Universal/Deutsche Grammophon include a varied catalogue of works including the Szymanowski Concerto (London Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding), newly commissioned works by Tavener and The Lark Ascending (London Philharmonic/Andrew Litton), a disc of virtuosic works (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Vasily Petrenko), Tchaikovsky and Bruch Concertos (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa) and most recently Vivaldi, Tartini and Veracini Concerti (Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Christian Curnyn).
Kiev-born pianist Alexei Grynyuk displayed tremendous interest in music from his early childhood and at just six years old started giving his first concerts. He attracted wide attention at the age of thirteen when he won the first prize at the Sergei Diaghilev All-Soviet-Union piano competition in Moscow. By then he had already been touring Eastern Europe as a soloist as well as performing Mozart and Chopin piano concertos with Ukrainian orchestras.
Later he went on to achieve numerous awards at international piano competitions including first prizes at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev and the Shanghai International Piano Competition in China.
Equally at home in Classical, Romantic and Twentieth-Century repertoire Alexei Grynyuk has been invited to give solo recitals at many prestigious venues and festivals around the world, among them the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre in London, and the Salle Cortot and Salle Gaveau in Paris.
Enjoying world-wide critical acclaim Alexei Grynyuk was described by ‘Le Figaro’ as a “…master of transparent and sovereign touch…astonishing personality and absolutely transcendental virtuosity”.
Last season besides the successful concerto appearances with the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, Brighton Philharmonic and Krakow Philharmonic Alexei Grynyuk celebrated an evening of Liszt’s Bicentennial in Kiev performing the composer’s B minor Sonata followed by both piano concertos.
Leonard Elschenbroich has excited interest as one of the most charismatic cellists of his generation since receiving the Leonard Bernstein award at the opening concert of the 2009 Schleswig Holstein Festival, following his performance of the Brahms Double with Anne Sophie Mutter under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach. Since then, Leonard joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme in 2012, a prestigious award offering performances and recordings with all the BBC orchestras and at the BBC Proms. In 2012, Leonard became Artistic Mentor of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bolivia, the country’s first national orchestra. As Artistic Mentor, he performs regularly with the orchestra and invites international soloists and conductors such as Nicola Benedetti, Philippe Quint, Edicson Ruiz and Reinhold Friedrich.
He has worked with a number of eminent conductors, including Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Manfred Honeck, Kirill Karabits, Dmitri Kitajenko, Andrew Litton, Yan-Pascal Tortelier and Vasily Sinasiky. As a soloist he has performed with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Swedish Radio Symphony, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Chicago Symphony Orchestra,. He made his debut at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Dresden Staatskapelle on a European tour. Leonard has performed at BBC Proms, most recently in 2014 with BBC Philharmonic and John Storgards, and in 2013 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.
His debut CD (Rachmaninov Cello Sonata and Shostakovich Viola Sonata), released on Onyx Classics in 2013, received 5 star reviews from The Telegraph, The Guardian and BBC Music Magazine (Choice of the Month).
Leonard Elschenbroich has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Auditorium du Louvre, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Lucerne Festival, the Gstaad Festival, the Istanbul International Festival, the Rheingau, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, and Schleswig Holstein Festival, where he performed the complete Beethoven sonatas with Christoph Eschenbach. On tour in South America, he has performed with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the Teatro Colon and given recitals in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima and Sao Paulo.
Leonard also plays chamber music regularly with Nicola Benedetti and Alexei Grynyuk, performing at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, Usher Hall, Hong Kong International Festival, Istanbul Festival, Sala Sao Paulo, and Ravinia Festival.
- Piano Trio No 1 in B flat
- Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
- Butterfiles remember a Mountain
- Arlene Sierra ()
- Piano Trio No 1 in B major
- Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Conceived by composer Matt Rogers and writer Sally O’Reilly, The Virtues of Things is a witty dissection of how objects carry meaning and operas unfold their fictions. When a long-established family prop-making business, struggling to adapt to modern pressures, is struck by a mysterious illness, a slick outsider steps in to help, but his attempts to modernise their methods place the family in peril.
Matt Rogers (also known as Gameshow Outpatient) has created commissions for the London Symphony Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, among many others. Sally O’Reilly writes art criticism and fiction for video, performance and the page.
Pre-performance talk with the creative team: 6.30pm, Peter Pears Recital Room, tickets free but please book
- The Virtues of Things
- Matthew Rogers (1976-)
Join us for this late addition to Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s 2014/15 programme – an evening celebrating the brilliance of David Sawer and connections to his music.
BCMG has commissioned and recorded a number of works by Sawer and it is three pieces new to the Group that feature in this concert. The most substantial of these, Cat’s-eye, takes its inspiration from a simple device (a ‘l’oeil-de-chat’ – hence the title) in a Fantascope, a Victorian magic lantern, to play on ideas of illusion and changing perspective. Between is a short, beautiful solo piece for Harp; and Good Night is a continuous train of musical thoughts that transform when inspected more closely.
Sawer’s music is charged with theatrical drama, influenced by his studies in Cologne with Mauricio Kagel. Kagel’s short and playful Con Voce graces this programme, as does the euphoric and exuberant quartert for piano and strings by Gerald Barry, another Kagel pupil.
One of Sawer’s favourite Stravinsky pieces is the three-movement Octet for wind instruments. Like Pesson’s Nebenstrück, which reimagines a Brahms ballade, the work draws on forms of the past to present music through the prism of the new.
- David Sawer (1961-)
- Gérard Pesson (1958-)
- Piano Quartet No 1
- Gerald Barry (1952-)
- Con Voce
- Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008)
- David Sawer (1961-)
- Good Night
- David Sawer (1961-)
- Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
The three attractive and inspiring works being performed in this concert were all written by modern English-born composers.
Howard Goodall, who is also well known as a broadcaster and writer on music, composed Eternal Light - a Requiem as recently as 2008. The work combines elements of the Latin Mass for the Dead with settings of verses from the Bible and a number of poems, including 'In Flanders Fields' by the Canadian poet of the First World War, John McRae. Rather like the Requiem by Brahms, it is written more as a comfort for the bereaved than as a prayer for the dead.
The other two works were written in the first half of the 20th century. Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams were both born in Gloucestershire, and trained together at the Royal College of Music, becoming lifelong friends. They were influential in the English folk-song movement with Cecil Sharp.
Two Psalms is the setting by Holst of Psalms 86 ('To my humble supplication') and 148 ('Lord, who hast made us for thine own').
Ralph Vaughan Williams was fascinated by the mystical, and he set verses by the 17th century clergyman and metaphysical poet George Herbert as Five Mystical Songs. The fifth of these, 'Let all the world in every corner sing', is well known as a hymn (although usually sung to the tune Luckington by another Gloucestershire man, Basil Harwood).
- 5 Mystical Songs
- Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
- 2 Psalms
- Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
- Eternal Light : A Requiem
- Howard Goodall (1958-)
If Acis and Galatea is not an opera and it is not an oratorio, then what is it? A masque, a serenata, a pastoral? What matters is the highly expressive music that captivates the common man and awes the academic. Mozart and Mendelssohn both produced their own versions of Handel's masterpiece. Tonight we return to Handel's orignal ideas.
Four rising stars from London's Royal College of Music head the cast. They are ably suppored by Lymington Choral Society and a baroque band of local musicians in the essentially English country setting of Lymington's St Thomas' Church where one can appreciate the composer's fusion of Italian and English styles.
- Acis and Galatea
- George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
‘I am the new Bacchus, pressing out glorious wine for the human spirit’. Ludwig van Beethoven wasn’t known for his modesty – but until you’ve heard his incredible Seventh Symphony in full, heart-pounding flight, you’ve never known just how intoxicating music can be! In his Liverpool debut, the dynamic young Russian conductor Dima Slobodeniouk goes for broke; first, though, he joins violinist Alina Ibragimova (‘breathtaking’ – The Guardian) for a birthday salute to Tchaikovsky: 175 years old today! And to open, a fabulous explosion of colour from one of the most entertaining British composers of our time – the first performance anywhere in the world of Graham Fitkin’s stunning new Concerto for Orchestra continues the series of special commissions for the orchestra in Liverpool Philharmonic’s 175th year. Fitkin describes this piece by saying ‘all the musicians become soloists for the night as the spotlight of scrutiny swings unerringly from instrument to instrument.’
- Concerto for Orchestra
- Graham Fitkin (1963-)
- Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D
- Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
- Symphony No 7 in A
- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Arcangelo, one of the world’s leading ensembles, joins forces with star countertenor Iestyn Davies for an intimate performance of music by Bach, Albinoni and Telemann. Arcangelo brings together exceptional musicians who excel on both historical and modern instruments under the direction of founder, artistic director and conductor Jonathan Cohen.
- Composition Not Known
- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
- Composition Not Known
- Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751)
- Composition Not Known
- Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Vierne's lovely Messe Solonelle will form the backbone of this concert, its movements interspersed with other hauntingly beautiful works for choir, cello, piano and organ. Tavener's Svyati will be especially well suited to the floating, resonant acoustics of Southwell. Let us introduce you to some works which may become your future favourites.
- Messe Solennelle
- Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
- Svyati, for Cello and Choir
- Sir John Tavener (1944-2013)
- Serenity (O magnum mysterium)
- Ola Gjeilo (1978-)
- Lux in tenebris
- Alex Patterson ()
The boys of the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School join forces with the boys and girls of the London Oratory Junior Choir in a performance of Monteverdi's Vespers in the baroque splendour of Brompton Oratory. Accompanied by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble and directed by Charles Cole.
- Vespro della Beata Vergine, 'Vespers' (1610)
- Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
The Trio Isimsiz was formed in 2009 at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, under the guidance of Louise Hopkins. They have participated in masterclasses with the Belcea, Endellion and Takács Quartets and with Pavel Gililov, Wolfgang Reddick and Thomas Riebl at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Over the last year the Trio has undertaken a residency at the Banff Centre working with Henk Guittart and given recitals at the Barbican and Royal Festival Hall. Engagements during the 2013/14 season include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, The Sage Gateshead, Brighton Dome and Colston Hall Bristol.
All three members of the Trio Isimsiz Piano Trio enjoy great success individually. Erdem Misirlioglu was a Concerto Finalist in the BBC Young Musicians Competition in 2008, Pablo Hernán Benedí is a member of the Chiaroscuro Quartet, formed by Alina Ibragimova and Michael Petrov represents the UK in the European Concert Halls Organisation Rising Star series.
Kensington and Chelsea Music Society is grateful to YCAT for proposing this exciting programme.
- Piano Trio '14 little Pictures' (1997)
- James MacMillan (1959-)
- Notturno in E flat
- Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
- Piano Trio in D
- Erich Korngold (1897-1957)
- Keyboard Trio No 13 in C minor
- (Franz) Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)