Thalia Myers has earned an international reputation as an exceptional pianist of wide-ranging musical sympathies. She has performed and broadcast as soloist and chamber musician in over thirty countries; she is dedicated equally to disseminating new works and reviving neglected older repertoire. Her repertoire and solo recordings, most recently on the Metronome, NMC and Usk labels, encompass music from the eighteenth century to the present and include five albums of contemporary works for solo piano.
A lifelong champion of new music, she has commissioned numerous works and given many first performances and première broadcasts of British works throughout the world. Composers who have written new works for her include David Bedford, Philip Cashian, Kim Helweg, Alun Hoddinott, Gabriel Jackson, Elisabeth Lutyens, Patrick Nunn, Jeremy Dale Roberts, Edwin Roxburgh, Timothy Salter and Howard Skempton.
Her combined interests in contemporary music, music education and the promotion of amateur music-making led her to commission the first of the award-winning Spectrum anthologies of short, musically uncompromising, technically accessible piano pieces in 1995. Published in 1996 by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, this was followed by Spectrum 2 (1999), Spectrum 3 (2001) and Spectrum 4 (2005). In 2000, collaborating with the Royal College of Music Junior Department, Bath Spa University College and COMA (contemporary music-making for amateurs) she commissioned the Chamber Music Exchange, works of similar purpose for piano trio, string quartet and wind quintet.
Nicky Losseff studied at the Menuhin School and the Royal Academy of Music. She is a senior lecturer at the University of York's Music Department. As well as maintaining a regular presence on the concert platform, she has written books and articles on topics ranging from medieval music through Victorian fiction to Bartók and Kate Bush.
Andrew Zolinsky is a versatile pianist whose repertoire ranges from early Baroque to the avant-garde. His close relationships with Simon Holt, Unsuk Chin, Michael Finnissy, Martin Butler and David Lang have led to a series of world premieres, including David Lang's Memory pieces (New York, 2000), Psalms without Words (New York, 2003) and Piano Concerto - commissioned by the BBC and premiered in 2004 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Grant Llewellyn.
In addition to his appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Andrew has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra and Sinfonia 21, and has worked with conductors including David Robertson, Diego Masson, Charles Hazlewood, Martyn Brabbins and Nicholas Cleobury.
Andrew has also appeared at the Barbican, Wigmore, Bridgewater and Symphony Halls, and he has been heard on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, German Radio, Czech Radio and the BBC Radio Ulster, the latter for two recitals of works by Irish composers. He has also given concerts in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Japan and the US. His recordings include the complete piano music of Schoenberg (Mollterz label), modern Swiss composers for Guild, piano music of David Lang (Canteloupe) and the complete solo piano music of Michael Zev Gordon for NMC.
Andrew is Head of Keyboard at the London College of Music, and gives masterclasses and concerts at the Dartington International Summer School. In addition to his position at the London College of Music, in 2009 he joined the faculty of the Royal College of Music.
Born in Monmouthshire in 1931, Susan Bradshaw studied piano at the Royal Aacdemy of Music with Harold Craxton, and composition with Howard Ferguson and Mátyás Seiber.
Solo pianist, acompanist and chamber musician, she was a lifelong friend of Richard Rodney Bennett, with whom she formed a piano duo while they were both studying with Boulez in Paris. Also during her time in Paris, she founded the Mabillon Trio with flautist William Bennett and oboist Philip Jones. She subsequently formed the Vesuvius Ensemble, initially to perform Pierrot Lunaire with Jane Manning, and was a founder member of the Park Lane Group.
Susan Bradshaw also wrote and broadcast on music, translated Boulez's writings, and taught piano at Goldsmiths College. A keen critic of pretension in music, she together with Hans Keller invented Piotr Zak, an imaginary Polish composer whose work was broadcast on the BBC Third Programme.
Ian Pace is a pianist whose uncompromising committment to musical modernism and unique combination of intellectual conceptualism and spontaneity in performance have won much admiration. He was born in Hartlepool, England in 1968, studied at Chetham's School of Music, The Queen's College, Oxford and, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the Juilliard School in New York. His main teacher, and a major influence upon his work, was the Hungarian pianist György Sándor, a student of Bartók.
Based in London since 1993, he has pursued an active international career, performing throughout Britain, Europe and the US. His absolutely vast repertoire of all periods focuses particularly upon music of the 20th and 21st Century, in particular the works of contemporary British, French, German and Italian composers as well as the 'classics' of modern music by composers such as Boulez, Stockhausen, Barraque, Xenakis, Ligeti, Nono, Kagel and Cage. He has given world premieres of over 100 pieces for solo piano, including works by Richard Barrett, Luc Brewaeys, James Clarke, James Dillon, Pascal Dusapin, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy (whose complete piano works he performed in a landmark 6-concert series in 1996), Christopher Fox, Volker Heyn, Howard Skempton, Gerhard Stäbler, Jay Allan Yim and Walter Zimmermann. He is renowned for ambitious and ingenious programming, and for his ability to surmount the most transcendental of pianistic challenges, often previously considered impossible. He has presented cycles of works including Stockhausen's Klavierstücke I-X, and the complete works of Kagel, Lachenmann and Ferneyhough. His many performances of the standard piano literature combine elements of historical performance with a modernist perspective to produce often startingly original interpretations. In addition to his activities as a soloist, Ian is the Artistic Director of the ensemble Topologies and regularly plays with other soloists and groups, most notably the Arditti Quartet.
Noriko Kawai studied at the Royal College of Music, London and the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She has given many recitals and broadcasts throughout the world and is well known for the extraordinary range of her repertoire from Renaissance composers to new music, and innovative programmes juxtaposing standard and contemporary works.
Kawai has recently performed at festivals in Aldeburgh, Bath, Huddersfield, Macerata, Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels, Venice, Berlin and Valencia. She has given duo recitals with the violinist Irvine Arditti and concerts with the Leopold String Trio, the Arditti Quartet and the Quatuor Diotima.
For the NMC label Kawai has recorded works by Gerald Barry, and more recently James Dillon’s The Book of Elements Volumes I–V. The latter received unanimous critical acclaim including ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone (2004). Kawai’s earlier Skryabin recital CD from Live Notes, Japan, was also hailed as a major artistic achievement. In 2006, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov, she gave the world première of Dillon’s Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms.
Recent concerto engagements include the first performances of Dillon’s Andromeda, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov, in London (BBC Proms 06) and Glasgow, and Lachenmann’s Ausklang in ‘Transcendent – the Music of Helmut Lachenmann’ presented by the Royal College of Music and the London Sinfonietta. In the autumn of 2007 Kawai also gave the French première of Andromeda, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège/Pascal Rophé, at the festival Musica in Strasbourg, and the first performances of Dillon’s duo for cello and piano, The Hesperides, with Rohan de Saram, at the festivals Ultima in Oslo, and Sound in North-east Scotland.
Noriko Kawai was formerly a Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music, London and is currently Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Minnesota.
Born in Singapore in 1956, Melvyn Tan lives in London, his home since he arrived at an early age to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Royal College of Music. Tan has built a formidable international reputation as a versatile keyboard player that travelled to the origins of his instrument to rediscover it. He has played at many leading concert halls around the world including London's Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall, New York's Lincoln Centre, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Musiverein, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and festivals such as Salzburg, Edinburgh and Spitalfields.
- 01. Huw Watkins: Four Spencer Pieces: Shipbuilding on the Clyde1'50"
- 02. Simon Holt: Black Lanterns8'14"
- 03. Julian Anderson: Somewhere near Cluj1'33"
- 04. Sadie Harrison: Impresa Amorosa: Labyrinth3'24"
- 05. Michael Zev Gordon: On Memory: a tango there was4'47"
- 06. Diana Burrell: The Little Bear1'18"
- 07. Jonathan Harvey: Haiku0'28"
- 08. Anthony Payne: Paean: Toccata4'23"
- 09. Richard Rodney Bennett: Taking a line for a walk1'12"
- 10. Richard Barrett: Tract II: the light gleams4'10"
- 11. John White: Piano Sonata No.762'14"
- 12. Morgan Hayes: Three distressed surfaces: Flaking yellow stucco3'04"
- 13. Gerald Barry: Triorchic Blues3'09"
- 14. Tansy Davies: Loopholes and Lynchpins: Loophole 12'23"
- 15. Benjamin Britten: Variations for Piano: VI - Quick0'50"
- 16. James Dillon: The Book of Elements, Volume III: 54'46"
- 17. Judith Weir: Michael's Strathspey1'06"
- 18. Stephen Montague: Headless Horseman1'58"
- 19. Peter Maxwell Davies: Variations for Judith: Bist du bei mir oder…?1'41"
- 20. Michael Tippett: Piano Sonata: III - Presto3'50"
- 21. Eleanor Alberga: If the silver bird could speak2'53"
- 22. Michael Finnissy: Freighttrain Bruise2'47"
- 23. Oliver Knussen: Ophelia's Last Dance9'21"
- CD £8.99
- MP3 £5.99
- FLAC £6.99
- Total duration: 72'28
NMC explores the rich offerings of its back catalogue in a new mid-price series called New Music Collections: each album introduces different areas of contemporary classical music, with the first four volumes focusing on music written for choir, orchestra, piano and electronics.
'There is clearly no lack of variety and vitality in current strivings to keep composing for piano alive and new' Bayan Northcott
'Outstanding. This is a very superior sampler ... a survey as representative as it is kaleidoscopic' The Sunday Times
'A fascinating survey of contemporary [...] piano works, played by expert interpreters.' BBC Music Magazine
‘[…] there was something revelatory about the experience of listening to the 207+ minutes of music contained in these albums. Taken as a whole, they testify to the remarkable breadth of NMC’s output in its 25-year existence, and individually, they illustrate something of the impressive variety to be found in music by British composers. […] any label whose catalogue includes such diverse figures as Giles Swayne, Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox, Harrison Birtwistle, Donnacha Dennehy, Roger Smalley, Claudia Molitor, Richard Causton, Hugh Watkins, Richard Rodney Bennett, Simon Holt, Tansy Davies and James Dillon surely has a great deal to boast about. […] what these four albums do best is act as portals, points of departure from which one can take a huge number of entirely different trajectories.’ 5:4