ARTISTS

Wood, Alexandra

Alexandra
Wood
Violin

Alexandra Wood is fast establishing herself as one of the most dynamic, versatile violinists of her generation. She has given recitals for various international festivals including Brighton, Bath, Cheltenham, Huddersfield and Edinburgh, as well as appearing in prestigious venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, Kings Place and in the BBC Proms. She graduated with a starred double first from Selwyn College, Cambridge before going on to the Royal College of Music in London, where she was President Emerita Scholar and studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky.

Alexandra has led orchestras and ensembles under the batons of Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Tom Ades, Pierre Boulez, and Oliver Knussen. She regularly leads Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with whom she appeared in Carnegie Hall in 2008, and has guest-led other ensembles including London Sinfonietta, Radius, Chroma and Insomnio (Netherlands). She also teaches at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Alexandra gave her South Bank debut in 2001 as part of the Park Lane Group’s Young Artists’ Recital Series where she was described by The Times as 'highly charged yet imaginatively refined'. She has appeared as soloist with various orchestras, including the Philharmonia, City of London Sinfonia, and the OSJ collaborating with conductors including Richard Hickox, Martyn Brabbins and Sir Roger Norrington. She has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, for Classic FM, Polsat Polish Radio and for the Radio Suisse Romande.

Michael Cox

Michael
Cox
flute
Michael Cox is one of Britain’s foremost flute-players. Although born in England he spent his childhood in Africa. He studied music at the Zimbabwe College of Music and then the Royal College of Music in London. Early competitive successes led directly to a solo career that has included concerts and recordings in all continents and performances with major orchestras and conductors. As a chamber musician he has performed with many well known British quartets, quintets and ensembles (and worked alongside musicians of the ilk of James Galway and Murray Perahia) as well as being a member, at various times, of the Haffner and Albion wind ensembles, London Symphony Chamber Players and London Sinfonietta. An interest in a wider repertoire led to a concurrent orchestral career, first as co-principal with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and then as principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players and Britten Sinfonia. He now holds what he considers an ideal portfolio of tenures combining the principal flute chairs of a symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra and a contemporary music ensemble - namely the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin’s in the Fields and the London Sinfonietta. Through this work he has worked with a great raft of the world’s greatest conductors and soloists. Also, his particular interest in contemporary music has meant that he has also worked, often closely, with composers such as Messiaen, Takemitsu, Dutilleux, Berio, Boulez, Tippett, Birtwistle, Stockhausen, Henze, Adams, Carter, Penderecki, Lutoslawski. A passionate and highly dedicated teacher Michael Cox is professor of flute at the Royal Academy of Music in London and is sought after as a visiting consultant and by students worldwide. In addition he has also given his unique curricular flute course internationally, most recently at the Oxford Flute Course, UK, and in Adelaide, Australia. Michael Cox plays on Altus flutes and has recently become an Altus Artist.
Image Credit: 
London Sinfonietta

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.

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DESCRIPTION

Alexandra Wood violin

Michael Cox flute

Sir Harrison Birtwistle created the first short piece The Message (Duet 1) for the London Sinfonietta in 2008, as a ‘birthday card’ for their 40th anniversary concert. He then decided to write more duets for different occasions over the past few years. Bourdon (Duet 2) for violin and viola was performed at a commemorative event for the publisher Bill Colleran. Duet 3 for cor anglais and bassoon was created as a surprise for a supporter of his work, Nicholas Prettejohn. There are now five pieces in the sequence, and this evolving set may well take other forms in the future as the composer sees fit. 
© Andrew Burke Chief Executive, London Sinfonietta

FUNDING

supported by Nick & Claire Prettejohn

RECORDING CREDITS

Recorded on 5 December 2014 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Producer/engineer DANIEL HALFORD and IAN DEARDEN for Sound Intermedia

Catalogue number:
NMC DL3022
Release Date:
31 May 2016