Maxwell, Melinda


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.

Phoenix Piano Trio

Phoenix Piano Trio

The Phoenix Piano Trio is established as one of today’s leading ensembles, bringing together three renowned players and praised for a ‘musical narrative of tremendous, involving depth’.

Their highly successful debut season in 2011 included over twenty concerts across the UK as part of their “Beyond Beethoven” cycle, performing all of Beethoven’s works for Piano Trio. They have performed on several occasions at London’s Wigmore Hall and other recent highlights have included performances at the Ryedale Festival, the Happy Days Festival in Eniskillen, the Leicester International Music Festival, and the London Chamber Music Society at Kings Place. They are also advocates of new music, so far having commissioned new works by five British composers: Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Edwin Roxburgh, Philip Venables, James Young and James Weeks.

They have recently recorded Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Forgiveness Machine for the Champs Hill label, and will be releasing discs of Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms trios later this year as well as recording Philip Venables’ Klaviertrio im Geiste for NMC. In the 2016/17 season the Phoenix Piano Trio appear with soprano Joan Rodgers, performing Shostakovich’s 7 Romances on verses by Alexander Blok at the new ‘Songmakers’ Festival in Sheffield. They also return to Kings Place, and give concerts in the International Piano Series at SJE Arts in Oxford, the British Music Society in York and various other festivals and concert halls.

Ligeti Quartet

Ligeti Quartet

The ​Ligeti ​Quartet ​have ​been ​at ​the ​forefront ​of ​modern ​and ​contemporary ​music since ​their ​formation ​in ​2010. ​They ​have ​established ​a ​reputation ​as ​one ​of ​the ​UK’s leading ​ensembles, ​breaking ​new ​ground ​through ​innovative ​programming ​and championing ​of ​today’s ​most ​exciting ​composers ​and ​artists.

Having ​played ​at ​landmark ​venues ​around ​the ​world ​including ​Carnegie ​Hall, ​Curtis Institute, ​Wigmore ​Hall, ​Purcell ​Room, ​Barbican ​Hall, ​and ​Kings ​Place, ​they ​also regularly ​escape ​the ​stage ​to ​appear ​at ​museums, ​galleries, ​theatres, ​pubs, ​an IMAX ​Theatre, ​a ​fishing ​boat, ​and ​on ​iceberg ​sculptures ​as ​part ​of ​a ​Greenpeace campaign. ​In ​October ​2017 ​they ​were ​Fellows ​of ​the ​inaugural ​Barnes ​Ensemble Festival ​in ​Philadelphia.

They ​have ​commissioned ​many ​new ​works ​and ​have ​collaborated ​with ​artists ​from all ​types ​of ​musical ​backgrounds ​including ​Anna ​Meredith, ​Elliot ​Galvin, ​Kerry Andrew ​(Juice ​Vocal ​Ensemble, ​You ​Are ​Wolf), ​Laura ​Jurd, ​Meilyr ​Jones, ​Neil ​Hannon (The ​Divine ​Comedy), ​Seb ​Rochford ​(Polar ​Bear), ​Shabaka ​Hutchings ​(Sons ​of Kemet, ​The ​Comet ​is ​Coming), ​Shed ​7 ​and ​Submotion ​Orchestra. ​They ​are ​currently working ​on ​a ​long-term ​project ​with ​Ernst ​von ​Siemens ​prize-winning ​composer Christian ​Mason ​to ​create ​a ​series ​of ​‘Songbooks’ ​for ​string ​quartet, ​based ​on overtone ​singing ​traditions ​from ​around ​the ​world.

The ​Quartet ​are ​passionate ​about ​supporting ​emerging ​composers ​and ​taking ​new music ​to ​diverse ​audiences. ​As ​Ensemble ​in ​Residence ​at ​the ​Universities ​of ​both Sheffield ​and ​Cambridge, ​they ​regularly ​lead ​composition ​workshops, ​and undertake ​education ​and ​community ​outreach ​work. ​They ​took ​part ​in ​the Cheltenham ​Festival ​Composers ​Academy ​2017, ​and ​are ​City ​Music ​Foundation Artists ​2016-18.

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Mike Massaro

Hoyle, David

Performance artist

David Hoyle (born 19 September 1962) is an English performance artist, avant-garde cabaret artist, singer, actor, comedian and film director. His performances are known to combine many disparate elements, from satirical comedy to painting, surrealism and even striptease, much of which is aggressive in nature. Himself homosexual, Hoyle's work has often focused on themes in the LGBTQ community, attacking what he sees as dominant trends in "bourgeois Britain and the materialistic-hedonistic gay scene". His performances have led him to become "something of a legend" on the London cabaret circuit.

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London Sinfonietta

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta's mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today's culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent.

The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with headquarters at Kings Place, and continues to take the best contemporary music to venues and festivals across the UK and worldwide with a busy touring schedule. Since its inaugural concert in 1968 - giving the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's The Whale - the London Sinfonietta's commitment to making new music has seen it commission over 300 works, and premiere many hundreds more.
The core of the London Sinfonietta is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The ensemble has just launched its Emerging Artists Programme, which will give professional musicians at the start of promising and brilliant careers the opportunity to work alongside those Principal Players on stage across the season.

The London Sinfonietta's recordings present a catalogue of 20th-century classics, on numerous prestigious labels as well as the ensemble's own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a performance of Philip Cashian's Piano Concerto was released on NMC.

Baker, Richard


Richard Baker is a leading figure on the British contemporary music scene as one of the foremost composer-conductors of his generation. He studied composition in the Netherlands with Louis Andriessen and in London with John Woolrich, and first drew significant attention with two early works – a trio, Los Rábanos (1998), performed and broadcast widely by the Composers Ensemble, and the remarkable Learning to Fly (1999), a basset clarinet concerto premiered by the London Sinfonietta and Timothy Lines.

The position of New Music Fellow at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (2001–3) inaugurated an important strand of work as a concert curator and programme adviser as well as supporting Richard's progress as a composer. Subsequent years yielded chamber music, a brace of short choral pieces and a number of songs and song cycles – notably Slow passage, low prospect (2004), commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival for Christopher Purves and Andrew West, and Written on a train (2006) for Christianne Stotijn and a small ensemble led by Christian Tetzlaff.

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Various soloists
Melinda Maxwell oboe
Phoenix Piano Trio

Ligeti Quartet
David Hoyle performance artist
London Sinfonietta
Richard Baker conductor


We can think of no better way to kickstart the second series of Debut Discs (NMC’s acclaimed showcase for gifted early-career composers) than this explosive new album by Philip Venables. Venables is best known for his operatic and theatrical works, exploring themes of sexuality, violence and politics. His music has been described as 'brutally effective' (The Times), 'duly playful and occasionally disturbing' (The Guardian), and 'a dark and violent portrait of sexual desire' ( He made his Royal Opera debut with 4.48 Psychosis (dir. Ted Huffman) – the first ever permitted adaptation of any of Sarah Kane’s work – which won a UK Theatre Award, a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and a British Composer Award. It was also nominated for both an Olivier Award and a Sky Arts Award.

This album includes The Revenge of Miguel Cotto, a performance piece inspired by two boxers, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, and scored for ensemble, voices, and two punchbags. Four miniatures, each inspired by one of Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe (Melinda Maxwell) and Numbers, set to the poems of Simon Howard and mixing spoken text with chamber music. The brilliant, ferocious and funny Illusions, featuring David Hoyle's impassioned rant about everything from politics and gender to sodomy and revolution, is the perfect showstopping finale to this eclectic release.


Some of the works on this album contain strong language and sexual references. Suitable for ages 18+ only


‘The disc marks the arrival of a major talent. Don’t miss it’ Composition Today

'If you only buy one classical disc advocating LSD and sodomy, make it this one' Gramophone

‘A smelling-salts wake-up to the dangers of cultural complacency’ BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

'excellent and intense ... there is much to enjoy on this disc' MusicWeb International

‘Great, viciously camp fun’ Records International


With special thanks to RVW Trust for their support of this recording.



Thank you to the Trusts, Foundations and individuals who have invested in NMC’s Debut Discs series:

The John S Cohen Foundation
Nicholas and Judith Goodison’s Charitable Settlement
The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation

Stanley Picker Trust
The Steel Charitable Trust
Terry Holmes
Robert McFarland
James and Anne Rushton
Martin Staniforth
Judith Weir

The individuals who donated through NMC’s Debut Discs Appeal


Numbers 76-80: tristan und isolde, Metamorphoses after Britten, Numbers 91-95 and The Revenge of Miguel Cotto were recorded at LSO St Luke's, London on 30 June 2013.
ANDREW MORGAN Recording Engineer & Producer


Illusions and Klaviertrio im Geiste were recorded at All Saints East Finchley, London on 10 July 2017.
DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer


Catalogue number:
NMC D238
Release Date:
16 March 2018