Josefowicz, Leila


Violinist Leila Josefowicz came to national attention in 1994 when she made her Carnegie Hall debut with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and has since appeared with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and eminent conductors.

A regular and close collaborator of leading composers of the day such as John Adams and Oliver Knussen, she is a strong advocate of new music – a characteristic which is reflected in her diverse programs and her enthusiasm for premiering new works. Ms. Josefowicz has recently premiered concertos written for her by Esa-Pekka Salonen/Los Angeles Philharmonic, Steve Mackey/St. Louis Symphony and Colin Matthews/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and played first performances of Thomas Adès’ violin concerto Concentric Paths with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the San Francisco, Toronto and Seattle symphonies and at the Aspen Music Festival. In recognition of her passionate advocacy and genuine commitment to the music of today, Ms. Josefowicz was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

Knussen, Oliver


Born in Glasgow in 1952, Knussen grew up near London, where his father was principal double bass of the London Symphony Orchestra. It was with the LSO that he made his debut in April 1968, conducting his First Symphony in London and in Carnegie Hall, New York.  In 1970 he was awarded the first of three fellowships to Tanglewood, where he studied with Gunther Schuller. During this time he completed several works which were subsequently widely performed on both sides of the Atlantic and established his early reputation. In 1975 Knussen returned permanently to the UK.

From 1983 till 1998, Knussen was an Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival, and also held posts at the Tanglewood Music Center and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 1992, with Colin Matthews, he established the Contemporary Composition and Performance courses at the Britten-Pears School in Snape.

After many years of close collaboration with the London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen became Music Director in 1998, and in 2002 was made Conductor Laureate. In 2006 he was appointed Artist in Association with the BCMG. Among his many awards are Honorary Memberships of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Royal Philharmonic Society, an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and the 2004 Association of British Orchestras Award. In 2006 he was named the second recipient of the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University, USA.

He has guest-conducted in many parts of the world, including in the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan. As a conductor he has recorded more than thirty CDs of contemporary music, several of which have won international awards - these include Robin Holloway's Concerto for Orchestra No.2, which won NMC's first Gramophone Award, and Maxwell Davies' opera Taverner.

He became a CBE in the 1994 Birthday Honours.

Image Credit: 
Clive Barda

Riccardo Chailly

Riccardo Chailly was born into a musical family in Milan. He studied at the conservatories in Milan and Perugia and received specialized training in conducting from Franco Ferrara at his Siena summer courses. At the age of 20, Chailly became assistant conductor to Claudio Abbado at Milan’s La Scala. He made his opera debut there in 1978 and was soon in great demand at the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. From 1982 to 1989 Chailly was principal conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orches­tra, and from 1986 to 1993 held the post of music director at the Teatro Comunale, Bologna. He was appointed chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam in 1986 and became its conductor emeritus in 2002. From 1999 to 2005, he was music director of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. He became chief conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in September 2005 and general music director at the Leipzig Opera. In June 2013 the city of Leipzig extended his contract with the Gewandhaus Orchestra to 2020. Chailly’s deep-rooted connections to La Scala were reinforced in December 2013 when the company announced his appointment as its next music director. He will assume the post in January 2017 for an initial period of five years; meanwhile, he is set to become principal conductor at La Scala for a two-year term in January 2015.
Image Credit: 

Karttunen, Anssi

The Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen leads a busy career as a soloist and chamber-music player, performing extensively with many of the best orchestras and musicians of the world. Karttunen is a passionate advocate of contemporary music and his collaboration with composers has led him to give over 160 world premieres of works by composers as diverse as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Rolf Wallin, Luca Francesconi and Tan Dun.
Image Credit: 
Irmeli Jung

Gamba, Rumon

British-born conductor Rumon Gamba held the positions of Principal Conductor and Music Director of NorrlandsOperan between 2008 and 2015 and Chief Conductor of the Aalborg Symfoniorkester between 2011 and 2015. He was also Chief Conductor and Music Director of Iceland Symphony Orchestra between 2002 and 2010. He regularly leads the BBC orchestras and has appeared at the BBC Proms on a number of occasions. A champion of new music, Gamba has given several high profile premieres. Following his successful opera debut conducting Candide at English National Opera, he returned in spring 2011 for the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. He has conducted national premieres of Poul Ruders’ Dancer in the Dark and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Blood on the Floor and Scherzoid, the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Viola Concerto with the composer and BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian premiere of the original version of Sibelius’ Symphony No.5 with Queensland Symphony Orchestra.


Colin Matthews: Violin Concerto

Colin Matthews: Violin Concerto
  • Total duration: 66'09
  • CD | PRICE £12.99
  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
    122.0 MB
     | PRICE £7.99
  • FLAC 16 | 16bit 44.1 KHz
    265.00 MB
     | PRICE £8.99



Leila Josefowicz violin
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Oliver Knussen conductor
Anssi Karttunen cello
Rumon Gamba conductor
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly conductor

To celebrate Colin Matthews' 70th birthday we release this new album featuring a star-studded line-up of artists, including conductors Riccardo Chailly, Oliver Knussen, Rumon Gamba, and soloists Leila Josefowicz (violin) and Anssi Karttunen (cello).

Over four decades Colin's output of over 130 works has ranged from solo piano music through five string quartets and many ensemble and orchestral works. This album showcases three of his large-scale orchestral pieces; the dark, Mahlerian Cortège (1988) being the earliest work recorded here. Matthews' Violin Concerto (2009) was composed for Leila Josefowicz and Colin says it "emerged naturally from her musical personality, style and technique". Matthews' Cello Concerto No.2 (1996) was composed for Mstislav Rostropovich, who gave its first performance with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis at the Barbican, London, on 17 September 1996.

Three great works, then, to celebrate the three score and ten of a remarkable polymath.



'It's wonderful to hear such a thrilling performance of [Cortège] … his pieces are impeccably crafted' The Times

'Cortège ... somewhere between Mahler and Birtwistle at his grittiest ... It's tremendous climax is given shuddering conviction by the Concertgebouw under Riccardo Chailly' BBC Music Magazine

'All the recordings on this disc have that sense of confidence, and bravura challenge. This is a fine birthday present and is essential listening' Planet Hugill

'Josefowicz is superb – radiant and pointed – in the concerto written for her. Cortège is colossal; and Karttunen dexterously finds his way through the Second Cello Concerto' Gramophone

"Lyrically rewarding and memorably orchestrated with the textures constantly shifting" BBC Radio 3 Record Review

'The Violin Concerto (2009) and the Cello Concerto No.2 (1996) inhabit a world half way between Berg and Britten, where nervy, restless detail in the background gives way to a core of expressive lyricism' Financial Times

'It is difficult to imagine a more sympathetic account or better sound [of Violin Concerto]' The Strad

'Performances throughout are top-notch in a CD that is a fine birthday tribute to a significant musical personality' The Whole Note

‘A lovingly curated and recorded triptych by a senior Brit master’ Limelight Magazine


Catalogue number:
NMC D227
Release Date:
24 June 2016