Grosvenor, Benjamin

Benjamin
Grosvenor
Piano

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognised for his electrifying performances, distinctive sound and insightful interpretations. His virtuosic command over the most arduous technical complexities underpins the remarkable depth and understanding of his music making.  Described as “one in a million...several million” by The Independent, he has also been lauded as “a keyboard visionary” by the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

 

Benjamin first came to prominence as the outstanding winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of eleven, and he was invited to perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the 2011 BBC Proms aged just nineteen. A pianist of widespread international acclaim, he was announced as the inaugural recipient of The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize with the New York Philharmonic in 2016.

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Ólafsson, Víkingur

Víkingur
Ólafsson
Piano

Possessing a rare combination of passionate musicality, explosive virtuosity and intellectual curiosity, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has been heralded “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by the New York Times (Anthony Tommasini, August 2017). Before lighting up the international scene in 2016, Ólafsson won all the major prizes in his native country, including four Musician of the Year prizes at the Icelandic Music Awards, and the Icelandic Optimism Prize.

Schellhorn, Matthew

Matthew
Schellhorn
Piano

Born in Yorkshire in 1977, Matthew Schellhorn studied in Manchester and Cambridge. His teachers included Peter Hill and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen. He has given recitals in many major venues throughout the UK, including Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. He has been guest soloist at several international festivals and has performed live on numerous international radio stations.

A prominent performer of new music, Matthew Schellhorn has given numerous territorial and world premieres with recent commissions including a collection of studies by Nicola LeFanu and various works by Gráinne Mulvey, Linda Buckley and Colin Riley. He has a particularly close working relationship with Irish composer Ian Wilson of whose music he is a frequent dedicatee. In 2012, he gave the world premiere of Ian Wilson’s Flags and Emblems in the Belfast Festival with the Ulster Orchestra, followed three years later by another world premiere with the same orchestra of Ian Wilson’s Mutazione: Piano Concerto; both performances were recorded live for BBC Radio 3. In 2014, Diatribe Records released Matthew Schellhorn’s solo disc, Ian Wilson: Stations, the world premiere recording of a new commission featured on RTÉ lyric fm as one of the ‘great cycles of 21st-century piano music’.

Matthew Schellhorn’s performances of the music of Olivier Messiaen have been met with superlative critical approval. He has been regular guest soloist in performances of Trois petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine, Turangalîla-Symphonie, Réveil des Oiseaux and Oiseaux Exotiques with orchestras including the London Mozart Players. His recent disc with the Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Messiaen: Chamber Works (Signum Classics SIGCD126), received positive reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and was awarded an AllMusic Classical Editors’ Favourite.

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Halsall, Kate

Kate
Halsall
Piano

Kate Halsall is a pianist developing and commissioning new music for a variety of projects.  Recent work includes Galvanize for Hack The Barbican; Hear the City, a music app design residency with StromatoliteMiniaturised Concertos | Maché, an album of new works for piano duo, electronics and ensemble, released May 2016. She has performed widely in the UK and internationally including for Aldeburgh Music, The Piano- Glasgow City of Music, Ockham’s Razor (Not Until We Are Lost) with music by Graham Fitkin, hcmf// with Chimera Ensemble, Sonorities, Michael Clark Dance Company (Oh My Goddess), Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Colourscape, SBC Imagine Children’s Festival, Multiple Piano Day BBC Proms, Ether Festival, Marte Festival Malaga, IUC Rome, Festival of Dimitria Thessaloniki, Montclair University New Jersey, Colorado College, Festival de la Sainte Baume Provence, Timezones Festival Italy, The Banff Centre Canada, Onassis Cultural Centre Athens. 

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Swain, Daniel

Daniel
Swain
Piano

Daniel Swain read Music at St. Anne's College, Oxford winning a Scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He graduated with the highest honours and an 'Award for Excellence', and was subsequently awarded a Junior Fellowship.

He has performed in many of the major London venues including the Wigmore, Cadogan, Queen Elizabeth, and Royal Festival Halls, the Purcell Room, the churches of St-Martin-in-the-Fields and St James', Piccadilly, the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and the Millenium Centre, Cardiff. Daniel is a member of the Randolph Piano Trio and has also performed with such internationally acclaimed artists as cellist Alexander Baillie, Leonid Gorokhov, and Tim Hugh, the tenor Daniel Norman, and violinst Hideko Udagawa. He performs regularly in venues across the UK as a Live Music Now! Fellowship Artist, and has also given recitals in Sweden, Norway, France, Italy, and Austria.

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Whitley, Kate

Kate
Whitley
Piano

Kate Whitley (b. 1989) is composer and pianist based in South London. She runs The Multi-Story Orchestra with Christopher Stark, which is based in a car park in Peckham as part of Bold Tendencies. She won a 2014 Borletti- Buitoni Trust Special Award and a 2013 Sky Academy Futures Fund Bursary. Her 2014 piece Alive to words by Holly McNish won a British Composers Award and was described as ‘a remarkable feat, with a genuine emotional gravity’ (The Telegraph). She has been hailed as a ‘remarkable and innovative young musician’ (Seen and Heard International), and her music described as ‘uniquely sensitive’ (Bachtrack) and ‘powerfully moving’ (Edinburgh Fringe Review). She was 2013 Music Fellow at Rambert Dance Company and 2015 New Music Programmer at Kettles Yard Art Gallery. Her music for Flight by choreographer Malgorzata Dzierzon for Rambert toured the UK in 2016. Her opera Paws and Padlocks with librettist Sabrina Mahfouz was commissioned by Blackheath Opera for their community opera programme and is about two children who get trapped in a zoo overnight. Her piece Speak out, using words taken from Malala Yousafzai’s 2013 UN speech, was commissioned by the BBC for International Women’s Day 2017.

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Ambra Vernuccio

Dariescu, Alexandra

Alexandra
Dariescu
Piano
From the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York, the young Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, recently named as “one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career” in the International Piano Magazine, has dazzled audiences worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. Alexandra has recently been awarded the Custodian of the Romanian Crown Medal, the youngest musician to receive a distinction from the Royal Family of Romania. In 2013 she gave her debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and became the first ever Romanian female pianist to perform in this prestigious hall. Alexandra won UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category in 2013, Romania’s Woman of the Year in 2014 and she has released two CDs on Champs Hill Records to critical acclaim. Alexandra was named “Special Ambassador of Romania” and was granted a diplomatic passport in 2015.

Butler, Martin

Martin
Butler
Piano

Martin Butler was born in 1960 and studied at the University of Manchester, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Princeton University, USA. From September 1998 to July 1999 Butler was Composer-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in the United States.  He is currently Professor of Music at the University of Sussex.

Butler’s works are widely performed and broadcast both in the UK and abroad.  He has received commissions from, amongst others, the BBC (O Rio was first performed at the 1991 Proms), the London Sinfonietta (Concertino and Jazz Machines, of which the latter was played at the 1995 Venice Biennale), the Schubert Ensemble (American Rounds and Sequena Notturna) and the Brighton, Cheltenham, Canterbury, Norfolk & Norwich, and Presteigne festivals.  In June 1994 Mecklenburgh Opera premiered the operatic adventure story Craig's Progress, which was adapted for radio broadcast by BBC Radio 3.  His chamber opera A Better Place was premiered by ENO at the Coliseum in London in July 2001, conducted by Paul Daniel, and Two Rivers for choir and orchestra was premiered by the Oxford Bach Choir and The Britten Sinfonia in December 2001. Sentinels for string quartet and viola was premiered by the Brodsky Quartet and John Metcalfe at the 2006 Brighton Festival, and William Howard gave the premiere of Funérailles, a substantial new work for piano, at the 2006 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

From 2006-8 Butler was the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra's first ever 'Composer in Focus'. The orchestra performed several large scale works during this period and his tenure culminated in two major performances of a new commission for the orchestra, From the Fairground of Dreams in January and March 2008 at Brighton Dome Concert Hall, conducted by Barry Wordsworth. In October 2008 Butler’s work for solo horn, Hunding, was the first music to be heard at the opening weekend of the new Kings Place concert hall in London. During 2009, his Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Strings was premiered by Amy Dickson at the Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts. 

Butler’s substantial nonet, Rondes d’automnes was premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival by the New London Chamber Ensemble in 2011 and was shortlisted for a RPS Award. The ensemble subsequently premiered two Mozart arrangements by Butler at the Wigmore Hall the same year.

Butler is pianist with the innovative improvising group, notes inegales and co-director of Club Inegales in London.

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Katie Vandyck

Lepper, Simon

Simon
Lepper
Piano
Simon read music at King’s College Cambridge. He is a professor of piano accompaniment at the Royal College of Music, London where he also co-ordinates the piano accompaniment course. He is an official accompanist for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
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