Founded in Manchester by the pianist and conductor Charles Hallé in 1858, The Hallé is Britain's longest established permanent professional symphony orchestra; its conductors include such distinguished figures as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli.

The Hallé's family of ensembles includes the Hallé Choir - founded alongside the orchestra in 1858 - the Hallé Youth Choir, Children's Choir and Youth Orchestra; its pioneering education programme generates over 60 projects a year.

In 1996, the Hallé moved to its new home, The Bridgewater Hall, where it presents over 70 concerts a year. Making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain, the Hallé attracts large and enthusiastic audiences both in Manchester and beyond

Sir Mark Elder became Music Director in 2000. In 2011, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic were awarded the South Bank Sky Arts Award for their performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony; the Hallé have previously won the South Bank Show Classical Music Award for collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic, the RNCM and the CBSO.

In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label: its recordings of Wagner's Götterdämmerung, and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair have both won Gramophone Awards.

Collon, Nicholas


Nicholas Collon is establishing an enviable reputation as a commanding and inspirational interpreter in an exceptionally wide range of music.  As founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra he has promoted imaginative programming that integrates challenging repertoire from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with masterworks of the Classical and Romantic eras.  Nicholas and Aurora were winners of Best Ensemble at the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and Nicholas is the recipient of the 2012 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent.

Having made a very successful debut at the BBC Proms in 2010, Nicholas has been re-invited each successive year with Aurora Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.  With Aurora Nicholas leads the New Moves series, a unique three-year cross-arts residency at LSO St Luke’s which has included critically acclaimed collaborations with capoeira, film, theatre, tango, and literature.

In addition to his work with Aurora, he is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor with other ensembles in the UK and abroad. In recent seasons Nicholas has worked with ensembles including the Philhamonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC and Royal Philharmonics, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Northern Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music and Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Nicholas has recently appeared with ENO with The Magic Flute, WNO for Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream, and Glyndebourne on Tour with Britten’s Rape of Lucretia.  Other operatic highlights have included  special projects at Glyndebourne conducting new works, The Knight Crew by Julian Phillips and Imago  by Orlando Gough. With the Opera Group he has conducted the first performances of Elena Langer’s The Lion’s Face and Luke Bedford’s Seven Angels, the latter with BCMG.

Image Credit: 
Maximilian Baillie

van de Wiel, Mark

van de Wiel

Mark van de Wiel was born in Northampton, and educated at Merton College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. He was immediately appointed principal clarinettist with the Welsh National Opera and subsequently with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Since 2000 he has been Principal Clarinet with the Philharmonia Orchestra and was appointed principal with the London Sinfonietta in 2002.

As a soloist he has performed with the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, London Chamber Orchestra (in La Scala, Milan), Thames Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra (on a major UK tour), Welsh National Opera Orchestra, English Classical Players, Arhus Orchestra, Belgrade Strings, and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He is particularly well known for his performances of contemporary music, and has given many premières. Solo highlights this season include the UK première of Sir John Taverner's Cantus Mysticus with the London Sinfonietta at the Proms, the London première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Clarinet Quintet with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place, Graham Fitkin's Agnostic with the London Chamber Orchestra at St. John's Smith Square, and the Mozart Concerto with the Mozart Festival Orchestra in the UK and Switzerland.

Mark was principal clarinettist with the Composers’ Ensemble from 1992-2000, and has been principal clarinettist with the Endymion Ensemble since its formation. He is also principal with the London Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared for several years as the clarinet and basset horn soloist in the production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Mark's services to music have been recognised with an Honorary Associateship from the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a Professor, and with an Honorary Doctorate from Northampton University.

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.

Paterson, Geoffrey


Geoffrey Paterson studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama: he took composition lessons with Alexander Goehr, participated in conducting masterclasses with Pierre Boulez and trained as a repetiteur at the National Opera Studio. He won First Prize at the 2009 Leeds Conductors Competition, also winning the audience prize.

He made his debut at Opera North conducting La bohème, and works regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, assisting conductors including Antonio Pappano, Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons and Daniele Gatti.  Operas conducted for the ROH include Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon, Julian Grant’s Hot House, Julian Philips’ How the Whale Became and scenes from Britten’s Death in Venice. Other recent operatic work includes George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill (Hamburg Symphony Orchestra), Julian Philips’ Followers (Glyndebourne) and David Bruce’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter (The Opera Group). He was invited to join the music staff of the 2013 Bayreuth Festival for Der Ring des Nibelungen and return in 2014.

His recent concert work includes the Manchester Camerata’s New Year’s Gala, several concerts with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and Stockhausen’s Gruppen with the London Sinfonietta.



Psappha, Manchester's pre-eminent new music ensemble and one of the UK's leading contemporary music groups, was formed in 1991 by its Artistic Director Tim Williams and specialises in the performance of music by living composers and that of the 20th and 21st centuries. The group has an extensive and varied repertoire of hundreds of works and a reputation for technical assurance and interpretive flair. Attracting attention from audiences and from the music press internationally, Psappha won the Manchester Evening News Award for Opera in 2000 and has been shortlisted three times for a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society award. Psappha has commissioned and premiered many works by a wide range of composers including the award-winning music-theatre work, Mr Emmet Takes a Walk, by its Patron, Peter Maxwell Davies, also recorded by the original performers.

Psappha has appeared throughout the UK, featuring regularly at most of the country's major music festival including the BBC Proms, special Henze, Maxwell Davies and Bernstein portrait series at London's Southbank Centre, and in residencies at the St. Magnus Festival, Orkney.

Kok, Nicholas


Nicholas Kok studied at New College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music In both the concert hall and the opera house he has conducted numerous world and British premieres. He is currently the Chief Guest Conductor at the West Deutsche Rundfunk Choir.

His many opera engagements include King Priam and Turnage's Twice through the Heart for English National Opera, Holt's The Nightingale’s to Blame  for Opera North, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Hänsel und Gretel for Staatstheater Stuttgart, and Cavalli’s Il Giasone in Klagenfurt. He played a large part in setting up Almeida Opera, where he premiered several new works.

Orchestras and ensembles he has worked with include the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Radio Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the BBC Singers.

Image Credit: 
Andrew Price

Lamb, Eric


Austrian based flutist Eric Lamb is in demand internationally as a soloist, recitalist, concert curator and chamber musician. As an advocate for works of the 21st century, Eric has more than 200 world premiers to his credit. He continues to work closely with leading composers and conductors of our time while exploring new performance techniques and practices for the flute.

Eric performed extensively as a core member of the New York based International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and is presently co-artistic director of the Vienna based ensemble paladino. He has been a guest with ensembles and orchestras throughout Germany, Holland and the UK and regularly curated musical happenings at Basel's Museum für Gegenwartskunst. A native of Detroit Michigan, Eric completed his music studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and perfected his education at both the Hochschule für Musik Frankfurt am Main and the Sculoa di Musica di Fiesole, Italy. His primary teachers include Michel Debost, Thaddeus Watson, Chiara Tonelli and Vicens Prats.

Uttley, Richard


Richard Uttley graduated from Clare College, Cambridge in 2008 with a Double First in Music. He was awarded a Distinction in his Master’s and Artist Diploma at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, studying with Martin Roscoe, and held a Fellowship there 2010-2012. He previously studied with Ian Buckle (for ten years), and attended the Junior School of the Royal Northern College of Music. He has given recitals or performed concertos in most of the UK’s major halls; festival appearances include the City of London and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals. He has recorded and performed for the BBC at Maida Vale Studios, as part of a Proms Plus Composer Portrait on Louis Andriessen, and in Total Immersion Days on Stockhausen, Ferneyhough and Knussen.

Richard has been recognised for his ‘musical intelligence and pristine facility’ (International Record Review) and featured as a Rising Star in BBC Music Magazine. His 2010 London début, in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, was described by The Times as ‘a brilliant recital’. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2011. He has recorded two critically-acclaimed recital discs and commissioned works from composers including Timothy Jackson, Mark Simpson and Chris Willis. Composers he has played to include Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Sally Beamish, Brian Ferneyhough and Robin Holloway.

Image Credit: 
Kaupo Kikkas

Kennedy, Raphaele


Passionate about early music, Raphaële Kennedy has worked with Jordi Savall, A Sei Voci, the European William Byrd Ensemble, Les Paladins, Les Demoiselles de Saint-Cyr and many others, with whom she has performed at many major festivals and made over thirty recordings.

While continuing her development within the sphere of early music, in the past few years she has become a sought-after performer of contemporary music: she has worked with composers including Kaija Saariaho, Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Philippe Leroux, Mauro Lanza and Ben Foskett, and appeared at New York's Carnegie Hall, Lucerne Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, Musica Strasbourg, Integra Copenhagen and IRCAM. Moreover, Robert Pascal, Pierre-Adrien Charpy and Matteo Franceschini have all dedicated works to her.

She is a member of Solistes XXI (conducted by Rachid Safir) and a guest artist of TM+ ensemble, conducted by Laurent Cuniot. With composer Pierre-Adrien Charpy she manages Da Pacem, a specialist early music ensemble.


Image Credit: 
Anne-Marie Berthon

Becquaert, Jean-Francois


Saxophonist Jean-François Becquaert graduated from Montreuil School of Music, going on to improve his technique at Boulogne-Billancourt Music High School. He also studied musicology in depth at Paris VIII University, and took teaching qualifications at Cefedem School, which led him to a teaching position at Poissy School of Music, near Paris.

While working with leading musicians for over a decade, he has specialised in the lesser-known classic and contemporary repertoire for all four saxophones, developing and extending this repertoire to include transcriptions and new works. His singular sound is an integral part of chamber music groups including the voice-saxophone duet, duets with piano, variable saxophone forms, visual arts/music collaborations, and mixed media performances designed by the Contrepoint Ensemble. He has also worked as a soloist in symphony orchestras and many other venues, and enjoys international collaborations and interdisciplinary artistic research.


Ben Foskett - Dinosaur

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Halle / Nicholas Collon conductor
Mark van de Wiel clarinet
London Sinfonietta/ Geoffrey Paterson conductor
Psappha/ Nicholas Kok conductor
Eric Lamb flute
Richard Uttley piano
Raphaele Kennedy soprano
Jean-Francois Becquaert soprano sax

This survey of Ben Foskett's work spans 10 years, from the brooding Five Night Pieces for piano (2002) to Cinq Chansons a Hurle-Vent - a deceptively simple setting of poems by French writer Laure Salama, written from the point of view of characters in Wuthering Heights, for soprano and saxophone. Between these come the orchestral From Trumpet, built up from a single rhythmic cell; elegaic On from Four, commissioned for Manchester ensemble Psappha for the 400th anniversary of Hatfield House; Hornet II, a virtuoso showpiece for clarinettist Mark van de Wiel and London Sinfonietta and Dinosaur for solo flute.



‘The early Five Night Pieces, for piano, played by Richard Uttley, have a lucid modernist assurance, but Foskett’s 2009 Prom commission, the orchestral From Trumpet, is something else again: big, monolithic, broodingly textured, with a rich internal drama.’ The Sunday Times

‘[…] Richard Uttley is persuasive in Five Night Pieces, short piano works at once compressed and violent. […] this CD is a good way in to Foskett’s sound-world.’ The Observer

From Trumpet also offers a glimpse into the discovery and expansion of a composer’s musical imagination, evoking a sense of tremendous musical space through rumbling, atomised lower sonorities overlaid with bright planes of brass sound…Cinq chansons á hurle-vent for soprano and soprano saxophone…it explores the landscape and characters of Wuthering Heights with a mesmerising directness.’ Tempo 69


Hinrichsen Foundation Logo
With thanks to the trusts, foundations and individuals who have invested in NMC’s Debut Discs series:
The Astor Foundation
The Boltini Trust
The John S Cohen Trust
The Fenton Arts Trust
Nicholas and Judith Goodison
Mercers' Charitable Foundation
The Stanley Picker Charitable Trust
The Radcliffe Trust
The Richard Thomas Foundation
RVW Trust
Jennifer Roslyn Wingate
and to the individuals who donated through The Big Give Christmas Challenge December 2011.
NMC is also grateful to The Hinrichsen Foundation for supporting NMC's Halle Series through its New Initiatives programme and to The Zochonis Charitable Trust.



On From Four was recorded in the Cosmo Rodewald Hall, Martin Harris Centre, Manchester University on 21 Oct 2011 and first broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on 7 January 2012 on 'Hear and Now: Psappha @ Manchester University'.

Recording Producer             SAM PHILLIPS  for BBC Radio 3
Recording Engineer             TIM ARCHER for BBC Radio 3

Hornet II and Dinosaur were recorded at All Saints Church, East Finchley, London on 19 September 2013; Cinq Chansons a Hurle-Vent was recorded at the same venue on 21 February 2014. Five Night Pieces was recorded at Menuhin Hall, Yehudi Menuhin School, Cobham, Surrey on 24 January 2014. From Trumpet was recorded at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, Manchester on 29 October 2013.

Recording Engineer/ Producer    DAVID LEFEBER        
Mastering                                         DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer for NMC         COLIN MATTHEWS

Cover image                 GILAD VISOTSKY
Graphic design             FRANCOIS HALL

On From Four (P) 2012 BBC
Five Night Pieces, Hornet II, From Trumpet, Dinosaur and Cinq Chansons à Hurle-Vent (P) 2014 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2014 NMC Recordings Ltd

Catalogue number:
NMC D195
Release Date:
23 June 2014