Melinda Maxwell read music at York University and studied in Germany with Ingo Goritzki and Helmut Winschermann. She has performed as soloist at many major UK and European festivals, and is frequently heard in recital and on BBC Radio 3. Numerous works have been written especially for Melinda, by composers including Nicholas Maw, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Simon Holt. Melinda is also an accomplished composer herself.
In addition to her work as a recitalist, Melinda is principal oboe of the Endymion Ensemble and BCMG, and performs regularly as principal with the London Sinfonietta.
She has taught at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College in London and has been giving master-classes at the Dartington International Summer School since 1992. She also coaches at the Britten-Pears and NYO summer courses, and is Consultant in Woodwind Studies at RNCM in Manchester.
Her numerous recordings include Melinda Maxwell in Manchester: Music for Oboe from the RNCM, Birtwistle's 26 Orpheus Elegies and Pulse Sampler for NMC.
Richard Watkins is well-known as a concerto soloist and chamber music player. He was Principal Horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1985 until 1996, and is currently a member of the Nash Ensemble and a founder member of London Winds.
Richard Watkins is at the forefront of promoting contemporary music for the horn. He has given premières of concertos by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Nigel Osborne, Magnus Lindberg, Dominic Muldowney, Nicola LeFanu, and Colin and David Matthews. Other premières have included James MacMillan's Quintet for Horn and Strings, Huw Watkins' Horn Trio at the Wigmore Hall in 2009 and Colin Matthews' Time Stands Still for horn, violin and piano at the 2006 Aldeburgh Festival. Watkins also premièred Britten's In Memoriam Dennis Brain, for four horns and strings, culminating in a tribute at the 2007 Proms on the 50th anniversary of Brain's death, and later recorded for NMC on Unknown Britten.
Richard Watkins is in great demand for teaching and masterclasses in Europe and the USA. He currently holds the Dennis Brain Chair of Horn at the Royal Academy of Music.
Andrew Sparling has played guest principal clarinet with many UK orchestras, including the BBC Scottish, Philharmonia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Sinfonietta, Sinfonia ViVA, New Kent Opera and Grange Park Opera.
Andrew also appears regularly with many of the most important Contemporary Music Ensembles in the UK, including the Almeida Opera, Apartment House, Chroma, Double Image, Ensemble Exposè, Gemini, Lontano and the Michael Nyman Band.
As a soloist and chamber musician Andrew performs regularly with the pianist, Thalia Myers and he has also joined the Brindisi Quartet to perform the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, and also the first performance of Gabriel Jackson's Quintet: In Prairial and Thermidor. Andrew has given solo and chamber recitals in the UK, Europe, USA, the Far East and the Middle East.
Andrew has been invited to give recitals at the London Festival of Chamber Music, run by the English String Quartet, every year since 2001
In May 2000, he made his concerto debut at the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia playing theCapriccio Notturno by the French composer, Nicholas Bacri.
Andrew also performs on period instruments, and plays principal clarinet in Charles Hazelwood's orchestra The Mozart Collective, taking part in the BBC 2 drama-documentary series "The Genius of Mozart" broadcast in 2004. Andrew acted the role of clarinettist Anton Stadler and the photo in Andrew's photo gallery (click on the RHS Photo Gallery link) shows him rehearsing Mozart's Clarinet Quintet with the composer. He has since played principal clarinet with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (including a run of Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at Covent Garden, on baroque clarinets), Classical Opera Company, Armonico Consort and the Tallis Scholars.
Irish violinist Darragh Morgan has collaborated with many leading composers including Arvo Part, Michael Nyman, Sir John Tavener, Gavin Bryars, Kevin Volans and Michael Finnissy. He has made concerto appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ulster Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, KZN Philharmonic South Africa, Koln Kammer Orkest, Istanbul Symphony Orchestra and Cyprus Chamber Orchestra. International festival appearances include Wien Modern, Bang on a Can Marathon New York, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms Chamber Music, Aldeburgh, Spitalfields and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
He is a member of the Fidelio Trio with whom has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Casa da Musica Porto and Symphony Space New York and was previously violinist with The Smith Quartet with whom he made an acclaimed recording of Philip Glass' complete string quartets. Darragh has recorded over 25 CDs for labels including NMC, Naxos, Delphian, Mode, Black Box and Nimbus. He has appeared as guest leader of Ensemble Modern, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, Musik Fabrik and Remix Ensemble, and performed with the Bang on a Can All Stars. Darragh is professor of violin and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Tim Holmes studied clarinet and saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music. Since leaving he has had an interesting career performing in many areas of the music profession, playing and recording with all the major London and provincial orchestras and chamber music ensembles, including the LSO, RPO, Philharmonia, City of London Sinfonia, Lontano. He has also worked extensively in London's West End theatres, in shows such as Wonderful Town, Carmen Jones, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Witches of Eastwick, and The Producers. He is currently a member of the Steve Martland Band, and the Delta Saxophone Quartet.
Jonathan Leathwood was born in England in 1970 and now teaches in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. Recently Denver University awarded him their Artist’s Diploma, the first time they have made this award in individual performance, and made him the first recipient of the Ricardo Iznaola Guitar Scholarship.
In 1988, Jonathan was a string finalist in BBC Television’s Young Musician of the Year competition. Since then he has won awards from a number of bodies, including the Park Lane Group, the Countess of Munster Trust, the Myra Hess Trust, the Holst Foundation, the Eric Falk Trust, and the Ian Fleming Trust. He was the first guitarist to record a recital for BBC Radio 3’s Young Artists’ Forum. He has twice performed in the Park Lane Group’s Young Artist Series at the Purcell Room in London. One of these concerts involved an exciting collaboration with the Indian composer Param Vir, whose four-movement work Clear Light, Magic Body was dedicated to him and later published by Novello.
In 2001 he conceived and edited Guitar Forum, a new scholarly journal for the classical guitar published in the United Kingdom by the European Guitar Teachers’ Association (EGTA UK). The previous year, he was the British delegate at EGTA’s international conference in Cambridge, where he gave a lecture on analysis and performance. He owes the academic and scholarly side of his background to King’s College London, from where he graduated in 1991 with First Class Honours and the Purcell Prize for academic achievement. He was later invited back to King’s to teach Music Analysis and Techniques of Musical Composition, before eventually moving to the United States in 1998. His principal teachers in guitar have been Gordon Crosskey, Richard Wright, Paul Galbraith, Ricardo Iznaola and the pianist and conductor George Hadjinikos.
As soloist and chamber musician, Irish pianist Mary Dullea has built an impressive reputation as a performer and commissioner of new music. She has performed throughout Ireland, England, Europe, USA, China and South Africa at festivals including Brighton, Huddersfield, Aldeburgh, Reggello (Italy), FuseLeeds, Petworth and National Arts Festival (South Africa).
Mary broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 3 and RTE Lyric FM and is on the teaching staff of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She is currently completing a PhD in Performance at the University of Ulster, focusing on the use of the inside of the piano.
Mary was recently awarded a 2-year bursary by The Arts Council of Ireland.
Born in 1976, Robin Michael studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange and Colin Carr and also with Truls Mork, Pieter Wisplelway, Karine Georgian and Ferenc Rados. Following a critically-acclaimed South Bank recital debut he has devoted much of his time to contemporary music, working with composers such as Ligeti, Kurtag, Ferneyhough, Maxwell Davies, Finnissy and Dillon amongst others.
Robin regularly appears with Lontano, Gemini, Expose, Ixion, BCMG, Almeida Ensemble, Music Projects/London and has taken part in numerous broadcasts and world premieres. He recently premiered Joe Cutler's cello concerto in London and gave the UK premiere of the Reich cello counterpoint. As the cellist in the Fidelio trio he has given recent premieres of works by Dennechy and Hind as well as the UK premiere of Sciarrino's first trio and toured Asia, Europe and South Africa.
Robin has appeared as guest principal cellist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and on period instruments with the Academy of Ancient Music and English Baroque Soloists and has given performances of the complete cycles of Bach and Britten suites in London and Edinburgh. Recent chamber collaborations include projects with Ronald Brautigham, Lucy van Dael, Evan Zipporyn, Rolf Hind and Dave Holland and recent festival appearances include Spier (Cape Town), Musica Contemporanea (Buenos Aires), Ochrid (Macedonia), Regello (Italy), Klara (Belgium), Kilkenny (Ireland) and Huddersfield contemporary festival.
Forthcoming releases include a disc of the Ginastera cello music on Lorelt, a recording of the Cutler concerto on NMC and Fidelio trio recording of recent commissions. Robin plays on a cello by Vincenzo Panormo c.1791 and keenly follows the exploits of the England cricket team (despite being a Scot).
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RELEASED 2 APRIL 2012
Rob Keeley, piano
Richard Watkins, horn
Andrew Sparling, clarinet
Tim Holmes, saxophone
Melinda Maxwell, oboe
Jonathan Leathwood, guitar
Darragh Morgan, violin
Robin Michael, cello
Mary Dullea, piano
This recording presents a survey of Rob Keeley's chamber works, from the Skalkottas tribute Bells of Halkis to the Satie-esque 'Gallic' of trio Oregon Moods.
Bayan Northcott writes of the composer: 'Rob Keeley is both a ‘natural’ as a composer, and a bit of an enigma... his omnivorous ear has absorbed more ‘advanced’ techniques, from Ligeti, perhaps, or Birtwistle, but in his own way.'
' … a living testament to the virtues of concision and aural exactitude' The Times
NMC is grateful to Highgate School and the University of Kingston for their support of this recording.
The Bells of Halkis, Horn Trio, Little Trio, Music for Art and Tom and Oregon Moods were recorded at Highgate School, London on 18-20 July 2011.
Recording Producer & Engineer ALEXANDER VAN INGEN / Assistant CLAIRE HAY / Editors ALEXANDER VAN INGEN, DAVE ROWELL
Songs, Chimes & Dances was recorded on 15 September 2011 at Coombehurst Studio, Kingston University.
Recording Producer, Editing NICOLA MORO / Studio Manager TARIK ECHCHARIF
Two Ways of Looking at a Spider was recorded on 27 November 2011 at the University of Denver, Colorado.
Recording Producer, Editing MICHAEL SCHULZE
Mastering ALEXANDER VAN INGEN for Six Music Productions
Executive Producer COLIN MATTHEWS
Cover image: photo by ROB KEELEY / Graphic design: FRANCOIS HALL
(P) 2012 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2012 NMC Recordings Ltd