Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was named Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in February 2016 following in the footsteps of Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons.
Gražinytė-Tyla has electrified audiences as a guest conductor all over the world. In Europe, she has collaborated with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie, the Choir of the Bavarian Radio, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony as well as the Chamber Orchestras of Vienna, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra and the Camerata Salzburg, and the Orchestra of the Komische Oper in Berlin. At the Kremerata Baltica, Mirga has enjoyed a dynamic collaboration with Gidon Kremer on numerous European tours. She has led operas in Heidelberg, Salzburg, Komische Oper Berlin, and Bern, where she served as Kapellmeister. In North America, she has worked with Seattle and San Diego symphonies and gave her New York conducting debut with the Juilliard Orchestra.
Gražinytė-Tyla was discovered by the German Conducting Forum (Deutsches Dirigentenforum) in April 2009. A native of Vilnius, Lithuania, she was born into a musical family. Before pursuing her studies at the Music Conservatory in Zurich, she studied at the Music Conservatory Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Leipzig and at the Music Conservatory in Bologna, Italy. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in choral and orchestral conducting from the University of Music and Fine Arts, Graz, Austria. Mirga has participated in numerous master classes and conducting workshops and worked with many established conductors and professors such as Christian Ehwald, George Alexander Albrecht, Johannes Schlaefli, Herbert Blomstedt, Colin Metters, and Kurt Masur.
The …virtuosic Fidelio Trio… (Sunday Times) are Darragh Morgan, violin, Adi Tal, cello and Mary Dullea, piano. Shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the Fidelio Trio are enthusiastic champions of the piano trio genre, performing the widest possible range of repertoire on concert stages across the world; they are broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3, RTÉ Lyric FM, WNYC, NPR and featured on Sky Arts documentaries; they have an impressive list of commissions and first performances from the leading and newest composers and have a large discography of highly acclaimed recordings.
Since their debut at London’s Southbank Centre, they have appeared at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, at festivals from Brighton and Cheltenham to St. Magnus, and from Gregynog to Huddersfield. They regularly perform across the Irish Sea at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Kilkenny Festival and Belfast Festival at Queens as well as overseas in Shanghai, Porto, Paris, Venice, Florence, Johannesburg, New York City, Princeton, San Francisco and Boston.
Their extensive discography includes Ravel and Saint-Saëns for Resonus Classics; Philip Glass Head On; Korngold and Schoenberg (Verklärte Nacht arr. Steuermann) for Naxos; the complete Michael Nyman Piano Trios for MN Records; multiple releases on NMC, Delphian Records including portrait CDs for composers such as Luke Bedford and Michael Zev Gordon. Their recent release of French Piano Trios for Resonus was a Gramophone Magazine Critic’s Choice.
Keen to ensure the future development of the piano trio, The Fidelio Trio work closely with composition and performance students at institutions across the UK and all over the world including the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, NYU, NAFA Singapore, and Stellenbosch Conservatorium South Africa. They have been artists-in-residence at St. Patrick’s College Dublin City University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the State University of New York, SUNY.
The Fidelio Trio are constantly commissioning new works, giving first performances, and importantly, further performances to introduce them into the repertory. Composers that the Trio have worked closely with include Toshio Hosokawa, Charles Wuorinen, Johannes Maria Staud, Michael Nyman, Gerald Barry, Donnacha Dennehy, Joe Cutler, Evan Ziporyn, Simon Bainbridge, Judith Weir… to name but few.
Inspirational musicians The Fidelio Trio have collaborated with include Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Richard Watkins (horn), Joan Rodgers and Patricia Rozario (soprano), Rachel Roberts (viola), and with spoken word, author Alexander McCall Smith and T.S. Eliot prizewinning poet Sinéad Morrissey.
2017 saw tours of USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and China, many festival appearances including a Schubert cycle at Kilkenny Arts Festival. Collaborations included new piano trio commissions from Kevin Volans and Alexander Goehr and a world premiere recording of two works by Philip Glass for his label Orange Mountain. This year they continue their residency at the National Concert Hall in Dublin; a further tour of China and recordings of Gerald Barry’s Chamber Music for Mode Records and a second instalment of French Piano Trios (Chausson, Fauré and Satie) for Resonus Classics.
They are Artistic Directors of their annual Winter Chamber Music Festival at Belvedere House, Dublin City University and continue to be passionate in their advocacy for the piano trio across the world.
Workers Union Ensemble initially came together in 2008 whilst studying at Guildhall School of Music and Drama for a performance of Louis Andriessen’s epic work of the same name. As well as performing existing works by leading composers including Laurence Crane, Michael Finnissy and Simon Steen-Andersen their unusual ensemble line-up has elicited a range of responses from composers such as Joe Cutler, Kate Whitley, Jay Capperauld, Mic Spencer, Daniel Saleeb, Oliver Sellwood, Nick Morrish-Rarity and Camilo Mendez. The ensemble have formed particularly close relationships with their four composers in association Matthew Kaner (2013), Ryan Latimer (2014), Seán Clancy (2015-16) and Helen Papaioannou (2017).
Recent highlights include recording Matthew Kaner’s Collide for BBC Radio 3 and premiering a substantial new collaborative work by composer/conductor Benjamin Oliver and virologist Chad Swanson, The Virus Within: Hearing HIV.
Sarah Leonard is one of Britain's most respected and versatile sopranos. She has a wide repertoire from baroque to contemporary and has appeared throughout the world in major concert halls, opera houses and festivals. She has premiered many works by leading composers including Harrison Birtwistle, Pascal Dusapin, Jonathan Harvey, Helmut Lachenmann, John Harle and Joe Cutler.
Her 30-plus recordings include a recital series of English Song with Malcolm Martineau, works by Varèse with Chailly and the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Ligeti’s Aventures, Nouvelle Aventures with the Schoenberg Ensemble, In Praise of Dreams by Joe Cutler for NME. January 2017 saw the release of vocal works by Nicola LeFanu and David Lumsdaine with Gemini Ensemble for Metier, and The Silver Hound, new recordings of songs by Betty Roe.
For many years Sarah toured as a guest soprano with The Hilliard Ensemble, singing and recording the music of Arvo Pärt. She sang with The Michael Nyman Band for over 20 years and featured on Peter Greenaway films The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Prospero’s Books and many Nyman CD’s. Sarah has also worked extensively with John Harle and is the voice in the title music of the long running TV series Silent Witness.
Sarah regularly gives song recitals with pianist Stephen Gutman. These have included recitals at the BMIC’s Cutting Edge series, Benslow Music’s Summer Festivals, The Clothworkers Centenary Hall and The London Song Festival.
Alongside her performing career Sarah teaches singing and holds popular singing courses at Benslow Music and Jackdaws. She also gives regular workshops and master classes at Trinity Laban.
In January 2013 Hull University awarded Sarah Leonard a Degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa for her services to music.
Project Instrumental is an instrument-inspired, genre-liberated group evolving around a core of strings and what can be done with them. They venture into the grey areas between musical worlds, between what’s happened before and what might not have, looking to create fresh and enlivening interactions.
Embracing a diverse and imaginative repertoire, and relishing the potential for exploration in new commissions, PI have premiered and workshopped more than 30 new works and received awards from the Britten-Pears Foundation, the Hinrichsen Foundation and Arts Council England. Appearances include the Southbank Centre, National Portrait Gallery, Birmingham Conservatoire’s Frontiers Festival, the Picturehouse’s Hackney Attic, HMP Wakefield and hubs of innovation and open-mindedness across the country, in collaborations across the fields of art, electronica, cymatics, projection mapping, light, mixology and sound analysis technology. Reaching into various corners of the UK, their home is East London, where the diversity, creativity and unmanicured sense of possibility of the area resonates with Project Instrumental's own.
Dainele is a conductor working with orchestras, ballet and opera companies in repertoire from the baroque through to the present day. As an educator, he teaches at the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Conservatoire.
Noszferatu are a music collective founded in 2000. The members are all established artists in their own right, working across a wide range of genres including contemporary classical, jazz, tango, pop, experimental music and theatre.
Their repertoire is radically diverse, including music by members Joe Cutler, Dave Price and Finn Peters and more than 25 new works written for the group by composers including Laurence Crane, Christopher Fox, Paul Newland, Andrew Poppy, Jonathan Powell, Emily Hall, Howard Skempton, Luke Stoneham, Paul Whitty and Frederic Rzewski who recently wrote two pieces for the group.
Since their debut at Oxford Contemporary Music in May 2001 Noszferatu have performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Cheltenham Festival, frequently at the Warehouse, London and all over the UK. The group has also given concerts in Italy and the Netherlands and have recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3.
Emulsion Sinfonietta is a colourful line-up of trumpet, violin, clarinets, saxes, oboe/cor anglais, cello, bassoon, electric guitar, piano, bass and drum kit. A happy by-product of several Emulsion festivals, to date it has premiered 17 new works. Two of these works have gone on to win BASCA British Composer Awards in the Contemporary Jazz Category (Joe Cutler’s ‘Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder’ – 2016; Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian’s ‘Muted Lines’ – 2017).
- 01. Elsewhereness8'40"
- 02. McNulty10'29"
- 03. For Frederic Lagnau7'00"
- 04. Akhmatova Fragments - I2'34"
- 05. Akhmatova Fragments - II1'30"
- 06. Akhmatova Fragments - III1'32"
- 07. Akhmatova Fragments - IV1'23"
- 08. Akhmatova Fragments - V7'27"
- 09. Sikorski B7'11"
- 10. Karembeu's Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder12'07"
Sarah Leonard soprano
Daniele Rosina conductor
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra
Mirga Gražinytè-Tyla conductor
Workers Union Ensemble
Emulsion Sinfonietta feat Iain Ballamy saxophone
Joe Cutler's debut portrait album Bartlebooth (NMC D134) was released on NMC in 2008 and was one of ’Gramophone Magazines Top 20 Releases of the Year. His music has been described as ‘propulsive’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘alluring (Scotsman), ‘neurotic (Re-Diffusion) and ‘the best thing to come out of Neasden since Twiggy’ (Gramophone).
Released to mark Joe's 50th birthday, this album features six works, all with typically wild and amusing titles that make you curious to find out more. Take Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder, for example, a work that combines influences from jazz, contemporary classical, and post-minimalism, inspired by YouTube videos of the French footballer Christian Karembeu demonstrating the importance of short passing and the combination of movement and control. There's also McNulty, a piece commissioned by the Fidelio Trio in 2016, that gets some inspiration from a deeply flawed character of that name in the American TV drama The Wire.
Elsewhereness, an ‘occasional’ piece, written for the opening of the newly built Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, is performed by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra under conductor Mirga Grazinytè-Tyla (Music Director of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra). It explores 'the metaphysics of place, of moving from one building as it is dismantled to the new one as it rises from its foundations'.
In Akhmatova Fragments, written for soprano Sarah Leonard, and he captures the fleeting moods of the poems beautifully. The two remaining pieces For Frederic Lagnau and Sikorski B are named after two composers who have been a great influence on Cutler. They are performed by Workers Union Ensemble and Cutler's collective Noszferatu respectively.
'Suffused with an infectious joy in sound’ The Journal of Music
'Cutler is a post-minimalist, lending the repetitive style new contexts. Alongside folk, pop and jazz influences are those, less likely, of football ... and TV drama' Sunday Times
‘Cutler’s music is profoundly characterful … a varied and wonderfully entertaining disc.’ Planet Hugill
With special thanks to PRS Foundation for supporting the composition of Elsewhereness through The Composers' Fund.
This recording was supported with research funding from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University.
NMC is grateful to the RVW Trust for supporting the recording of this album.
Elsewhereness was recorded at the Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 11 March 2018. McNulty was recorded in the Performance Space, City University on 20 June 2017. Akhmatova Fragments was recorded in Studio 1, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 24 April 2018. Sikorski B was recorded at the Adrian Boult Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 27 August 2008. Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder was recorded in Studio 1, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 21 March 2018
SIMON HALL Recording Producer & Engineer
For Frederic Lagnau was recorded at the Recital Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 29 October 2013
MATTHEW O’MALLEY Recording Producer & Engineer
SIMON HALL Mastering