Jaffe, Sophia


Born in Berlin, Sophia Jaffé has given public performances since the age of seven, winning prizes at national and international violin competitions including the 2005 German Music Competition Berlin, and third prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels the same year.  She was taught initially by her parents Nora and Abraham Jaffé, going on to study with Herman Krebbers in Amsterdam and Stephan Picard at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin.

As a soloist and chamber musician, she has given concerts and recitals at festivals including Rheingau, Bachfest Leipzig and Moravian Autumn. In addition to Europe she has toured to Chile, Japan and the USA. Sophia works regularly with European orchestras and conductors, including Marek Janowski  and the Radio Orchestra Berlin, Sir Mark Elder with the Hallé and Lothar Zagrosek  with Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin.

Her repertoire includes more than 50 concertos from the baroque to the 20th century; in 2011 she premiered the Violin Concerto by Czech composer Slavomír Horínka with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.  Her concerts have been recorded by numerous TV programmes; she collaborates regularly with Deutschlandradio Berlin, WDR, SWR and the Czech Radio and TV.  In 2009, GENUIN Classics released her debut recital album with pianist Björn Lehmann.

Image Credit: 
Werner Ullmann



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.

Stenz, Markus


Markus Stenz is Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra. After studying at the School of Music in Cologne, and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa, he made his debut as an opera conductor in 1988 at La Fenice, Venice with Hans Werner Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers.

He has since appeared at many of the world's major opera houses and international festivals including La Scala in Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Edinburgh International Festival and Salzburg Festival, as well as holding the positions of Artistic Director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989-95), Principal Conductor of London Sinfonietta (1994-98) and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1998-2004).

He has conducted many world premieres including Henze's Das Verratene Meer in Berlin, Venus und Adonis at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and L'Upupa at the Salzburg Festival, as well as Detlef Glanert's Caligula at the Frankfurt Opera and Solaris at the Bregenz Festival.

Markus Stenz has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Image Credit: 
Catrin Moritz


John Casken - Orion over Farne

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Sophia Jaffé violin
Markus Stenz conductor

Casken’s work is often inspired by the Northumberland countryside and coastline: symphonic poem Orion Over Farne (1984-86) draws on the myth, landscape and poetry of the Farne Islands using rich orchestral sonorities. The Violin Concerto, premiered at the 1995 BBC Proms and performed by the young German violinist Sophia Jaffé, takes its narrative from Tolstoy's Father Sergius, a story reflecting some of the turmoil of human experience.

Concerto for Orchestra (2007) is Casken’s most recent orchestral work, written for the Nationaltheater-Orchesters Mannheim and reflecting the composer's interest in two-movement forms which began with his Cello Concerto (1991).


Watch John Casken talking about Orion Over Farne:






‘A disc of vitality and contrast, expertly played by the Hallé’ The Guardian

'These splendid performances come in Casken's 65th birthday year and afford a powerful distillation of his musical thought.' The Sunday Times

‘[…] this is a must for devotees and initiates alike.’ The Northern Echo

‘His music is usually direct in appeal, with melodic writing not unlike Maw’s, and repays repeated and focused listening. […] That said, there is no denying the music’s immediacy of appeal and explicit lyricism, which Sophia Jaffé catches in her finely nuanced interpretation. […] The Hallé accompany marvellously and Markus Stenz elicits equally fine playing in the other two works (not least some wonderful solo wind-playing in Orion). Excellent sound, as usual, from NMC. Strongly recommended.’ Gramophone

‘This disc represents another piece of elite advocacy by NMC for a contemporary British composer who still allows house-room to imagination. Fascinating generally, but the Violin Concerto stands out in this company.’ Music Web


Hinrichsen Foundation Logo

NMC Recordings would like to acknowledge John Casken’s invaluable contribution to this recording, The Hinrichsen Foundation's financial support of NMC’s Hallé recording series through its New Initiatives programme, and The Zochonis Charitable Trust.


The Violin Concerto and Concerto for Orchestra were recorded at Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester on 2-4 March 2013; Orion Over Farne was recorded at the same venue on 28-29 November 2013.

JEREMY HAYES Recording Producer
STEVE PORTNOI Recording Engineer

STEVE PORTNOI Digital Editing & Mastering
COLIN MATTHEWS Executive Producer for NMC

FRANCOIS HALL Cover Image & Graphic design

(P) 2014 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2014 NMC Recordings

Schott Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D189
Release Date:
21 April 2014