Nicolls, Sarah


Sarah Nicolls is a UK-based experimental pianist, at the forefront of innovations in piano performance.  She works with interactive technologies, such as body sensors and motion capture to augment the acoustic piano, bringing it into the realm of electronic music with visceral live performances.  Sarah also invented the ‘Inside-out Piano’, a sculptural feast of an instrument designed to be played inside and out.  She has recorded her own music on it and has been funded through the Athena Swan scheme to have the second prototype built by Pierre Malbos.  

In the rest of her concert career, Sarah is a frequent soloist with the London Sinfonietta, giving world premieres such as Larry Goves’ piano concerto Things that are blue... and Richard Barrett’s Mesoptamia.  She is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and features on several CDs.

Sarah is a Senior Lecturer at Brunel University and has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Brunel Research Initiative and Enterprise Fund (BRIEF), the Athena Swan award and Arts Council England.  She writes about live electronics and compositional collaborations and has been published in the Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ20).  Artistic Director of the BEAM Festival, Sarah was also the Music Chair for NIME 2014, London.

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.

Austin, Christopher


One of the UK’s foremost conductors specialising in contemporary repertoire, Christopher Austin has given more than 80 world and local premieres in the last decade, including works by John Adams, Simon Bainbridge, Luke Bedford, Tansy Davies, Michael Finnissy, Morgan Hayes, John McCabe, Stuart MacRae, Colin Matthews, Olga Neuwirth, Steve Reich, Poul Ruders, Bent Sørensen, Joby Talbot, Raymond Warren and John Woolrich. More than 40 of those premieres have been given with the Brunel Ensemble of which he is Artistic Director and with them and many other ensembles he has consistently championed the music of Malcolm Williamson and Elisabeth Lutyens and he has had a long association with the music of John McCabe.

Recent work includes debuts with the Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestra della Teatro Regio Parma, the Danubia Symphony Orchestra and at the Aldeburgh Festival; returns to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Esbjerg Ensemble, as part of Sound Around – the Øresund Biennale of Contemporary Music in Copenhagen. Other work includes the London Sinfonietta, Composers’ Ensemble, The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Hallé and BBC Concert Orchestras, Present Music (New York), Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with John Cale, Michael Nyman and the rock group The Divine Comedy. Future work includes further concerts and recordings with the Esbjerg Ensemble, a return to the Orchestre National de Lille, his debut with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and a tour of the Far East conducting Joby Talbot’s score for Carolyn Carlson’s Eau for the Centre Chorégraphique National de Roubaix Nord – Pas de Calais. He has recently begun work with Azalea, a young, new music ensemble based at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Image Credit: 
Katie Van Dyck

Northern Sinfonia

Northern Sinfonia

Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of The Sage Gateshead, holds an international reputation for the range and depth of its repertoire which spans 300 years and includes commissioned new work; its Music Director is Thomas Zehetmair.

The orchestra performs in its own spectacular Norman Foster-designed home for music, The Sage Gateshead, which celebrated its 5th birthday in  2009. Northern Sinfonia travels widely too with appearances at other leading venues and festivals throughout the world, including the Berlin Philharmonie, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Musikverein in Vienna, the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival. Northern Sinfonia’s 50th Anniversary Season in 2008/09 saw tours to the Far East including a residency at the Hong Kong Festival.

Northern Sinfonia works with many broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 4, and is proud to be Classic FM’s orchestra in the North East; working in partnership with the UK’s biggest commercial radio station, it presents exclusive broadcasts and live performances at The Sage Gateshead and for Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Zehetmair, Thomas


Thomas Zehetmair is one of the most significant musicians of his generation -  equally acclaimed as a solo violinist, chamber musician and conductor.

As violinist, Thomas Zehetmair is a regular guest of the most renowned European and American orchestras. Of particular note are his collaborations with Daniel Barenboim, Frans Brüggen, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Charles Mackerras and Sir Simon Rattle. Besides his commitment to the standard violin repertoire, he dedicates a large part of his artistic activities to contemporary music. He has given a number of first performances, most recently the violin concerto written for him by Heinz Holliger, and concertos by James Dillon and Hans-Jürgen von Bose.

As a chamber musician, Thomas Zehetmair has collaborated with distinguished colleagues such as Pierre-Laurent Aimard. In 1994 he formed the internationally acclaimed Zehetmair Quartet, which has recorded string quartets by Hartmann, Hindemith, Bartok and Schumann on the ECM New Series.

More recently Thomas Zehetmair launched a second career as a conductor: since the 2002-03 season he has been Music Director of Northern Sinfonia. Diverse projects around the orchestra’s 50th anniversary attested to this extraordinary relationship. He also makes regular guest appearances with ensembles including the Hallé Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonicand London Philharmonic Orchestras. In the 2010-11 season, Thomas Zehetmair takes up the position of Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

In 2005, Thomas was honoured with the German Record Critics' Award for his versatile artistic work as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. In 2007 he was presented with the Karl Böhm Interpretation Award by the Austrian State Steiermark by Heinz Holliger.

Thomas Zehetmair holds an honorary doctorate from the Music Academy Franz Liszt in Weimar.

He is managed by Künstlersekretariat Schoerke:

Image Credit: 
Dan Brady

Adkins, Darrett

The cellist Darrett Adkins has appeared around the world to critical acclaim in a wide-ranging repertory. He has made concerto appearances with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tochio Soloisten, National Symphony of Brazil, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony and the New Hampshire Symphony, among others. He was the Cellist of Honor at the 2002 Rio International Cello Encounter, giving concerts and teaching master-classes. His Oslo début in 1997 was attended by King Harald. He has given many important first performances, including the first New York performance of Luciano Berio's Sequenza XIV, the world première of Andrew Mead's concerto, the American première of Donatoni's concerto "Un Ruisseau sur L'Escalier" at Tanglewood with George Benjamin conducting, and during his tenure with the FLUX Quartet, the historic first complete performance of Morton Feldman's monumental Second Quartet, lasting just over six continuous hours.

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
Winner of an award for adventurous programming by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and the American Symphony Orchestra League in 2002, Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME) stands foremost among new music ensembles in higher education in the United States. Deemed by the New York Times as “a hotbed of contemporary-classical players” and a “rural experimental haven," the Oberlin Conservatory of Music cultivates innovation in its students, and an interest in the continuation of music as an art form. In its six annual full-concert cycles, CME performs music of all contemporary styles and genres: from minimalism to serialism, to electronic, cross genre, mixed media, and beyond.

Weiss, Timothy


Conductor Timothy Weiss has gained critical acclaim for his performances and brave, adventurous programming throughout the United States and abroad.

Since 2005, he has served as music director for the Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, a professional ensemble in the Columbus, Ohio, area. He has also remained active as a guest conductor with the BBC Scottish Symphony in Glasgow, Scotland; the Britten Sinfonia in London; the Melbourne Symphony in Australia; ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble); and the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings.

Weiss is committed to exploring the probing connections within and between pieces in his performances and searching for similarities of voice between different composers from seemingly different genres, periods, and backgrounds. Accordingly, his programs often present rare and revealing juxtapositions, offering a broad range of works from the minimalists to the maximalists, from the old to the new, and from the mainstream to the unheard of. His repertoire in contemporary music is vast and fearless, including masterworks, very recent compositions, and an impressive number of premieres and commissions. Recently, he was the recipient of the AdventurousProgramming Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League.

I n his 19 years as music director of the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, he has brought the group to a level of artistry and virtuosity in performance that
rivals the finest new music groups. After a concert with the ensemble in Carnegie Hall, Anthony Aibel wrote in a review, “under the direction of Timothy Weiss [the ensemble] presented unbelievably polished, superb performances of extremely challenging recent music”.

As a committed educator, he is professor of conducting and chair of the Division of Conducting and Ensembles at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he helped create and mentored the ensembles Eighth Blackbird and ICE. He holds degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan.

Nagy, Zsolt


Zsolt Nagy studied conducting at the Ferenc Liszt Academy in Budapest, where he was taught by István Párkai. Further study with Péter Eötvös led him to become Eötvös' assistant at the Institute for New Music of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe and for numerous other projects including Guest Professor at the International Eotvös Institute in Stuttgart (1995), Cologne (1997) and Edenkoben (1998, 2005, 2009). He has been active as an opera and concert conductor since 1987 and leader of various orchestra projects and masterclasses for conductors in European conservatoires since 1992. In 1999 he was appointed Chief Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Israel Contemporary Players. Since 2002 he is Professor of Conducting at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris (CNSMDP).

He appears regularly in Germany, conducting orchestras such as the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Berlin Sinfonieorchester, WDR Cologne, SWR Stuttgart, or Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Musikfabrik as a guest in Italy (RAI, Turin), Switzerland (Basler Kammerorchester and Ensemble Contrechamps Geneva), Norway, the UK (Contemporary Arts Ensemble of the ICA in London), France (Paris Conservatoire) and Austria where he conducted Klangforum Wien in the Lange Nacht for the IGM at the Konzerthaus in March 2001. He has conducted at the festivals of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Basle, Bergen, Bremen, Budapest, Brussels, Donaueschingen, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva, Ghent, Huddersfield, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Ostrava, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Royaumont, Salzburg, Seoul, Stuttgart, Tallinn, Tel-Aviv, Turin, Vienna and Zurich. He has premiered over 500 new compositions and has made a number of radio and CD recordings, and has received a special award for excellence in performing new Israeli music.

Redgate, Christopher

Since the late 1970s, Christopher Redgate has specialised in the performance of contemporary oboe music. He has been described as having ‘extraordinary exploratory technical brilliance’ (Music Web) and of being a ‘tireless champion’ of extended techniques (Double Reed Magazine). This specialisation has inspired many composers to write for him including Michael Finnissy, Roger Redgate, Christopher Fox, James Clarke, Paul Archbold, Michael Young, Fabrice Fitch, Joe Cutler, David Gorton and Diana Burrell. New works are in progress from Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy, Edwin Roxburgh, Sam Hayden, Richard Barrett and Fabrice Fitch.
Image Credit: 
Colin Small


Philip Cashian: The House of Night

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Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists
Royal Academy of Music Cello Ensemble
Christopher Redgate oboe
Christopher Austin conductor
Sarah Nicolls piano
London Sinfonietta
Zsolt Nagy conductor
Northern Sinfonia
Thomas Zehetmair conductor
Darrett Adkins cello
Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
Timothy Weiss conductor



This new album by Manchester-born composer Philip Cashian showcases his inventive and dynamic soundworld with a selection of orchestral and chamber works written between 2002-2012.

The most substantial work is the Piano Concerto, written for the London Sinfonietta in 2006 with soloist, Sarah Nicholls - it is a characterful piece with rich textures and a propulsive and high-octane finale. The Cello Concerto (2012) is a menacing interplay between soloist and orchestra with moments of snatched lyricism and Tableaux - scored for small orchestra but with double winds, two horns, trumpets and percussion for extra impact - was fi rst performed at the 2003 Proms by Northern Sinfonia and Thomas Zehetmair. 'Cashian’s bracing and imaginative triptych, Tableaux ... with its bright zigzags of flying figures, its quasi-Sibelian centrepiece and the serpentine coilings and writhings of the finale ... Its bristling energy makes it a real pleasure' (Hilary Finch, The Times)

The smaller ensemble works on this release are Dark Flight, written for the restricted palette of six cellos, and The House of Night, composed in 2002 for oboe and twelve solo strings.



The Sunday Times' Top 100 Best Albums of 2013

'Five fine works by this inventive composer make a rich sequence' Sunday Times

'A collection ...  that proclaims [Cashian]'s mastery, and establishes him as a voice I must not miss ... terrific stuff' Gramophone

'Boldly kinetic music [...]. The piano concerto is dynamic and arresting.' La Folia

'It's a genuine pleasure to see a selection of Philip Cashian's music gathered together on disc. His fast-paced style is an uncompromising reflection of the modern world, yet at the same time his sense of detail - both explicit and implied - and figuration are never overcome.' International Record Review

‘[…] The House of Night […] beautifully interpreted by Christopher Redgate, who lovingly inhabits each piece. […] This is glorious fast music, hardly pausing for breath, full of child-like energy. Owing a debt perhaps to Stravinsky and Frank Zappa, this is music with a ‘can-do’ attitude.’ Tempo

‘[…] attractive and effective […] a composer to be watched.’ American Record Guide


This recording has been supported by London Sinfonietta, the Royal Academy of Music, Oberlin College & Conservatory, and the RVW Trust.

Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Tableaux was recorded in Hall One, the Sage Gateshead on 25-26 April 2012. The House of Night was recorded at Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London on 27 January 2013; Dark Flight was recorded at the same venue on 28 April 2013.

Recording Producer / Engineer DAVID LEFEBER

The Cello Concerto was recorded in the Clonick Hall, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio, USA on 6-7 March 2013.

Recording Engineer/Editing RYAN MILLER

The Piano Concerto was recorded at LSO St Luke’s, London: movements I & II on 13 May 2006, and the revised movement III on 21 April 2013.

Producer for BBC Radio 3 (I-II): PHILIP TAGNEY
Producer/Recording Engineer (III): IAN DEARDEN for Sound Intermedia

Digital Editing & Mastering DAVID LEFEBER
Cover image & graphic design FRANCOIS HALL


Piano Concerto: movements I-II (tracks 9-10) (P) BBC 2006
Cello Concerto (P) 2013 Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Piano Concerto: movement III (track 11), Dark Flight,
The House of Night, Tableaux (P) 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd

Cadenza Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D188
Release Date:
21 October 2013