Cahill, Teresa


Teresa Cahill was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Her early life was troubled; when she was five years old, her father died and at seven she was diagnosed with TB and spent two years in a sanatorium. She joined the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and in her first year won the coveted John Christie award. Her solo debut there was as the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote and she also sang in La Calisto and Ariadne auf Naxos, returning later as Alice Ford in Falstaff.

In over a hundred performances at Covent Garden, other roles at Covent Garden included Lisa in La Sonnambula, Xenia in Boris Godunov, First Rhinemaiden and the Woodbird in the Ring, leading Flower Maidens in Parsifal, and 1st Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes in front of the composer. She also took part in the world premiere of Henze’s We Come to the River.

Opera performances elsewhere include Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for Scottish Opera, Cavalli’s L’Egisto at La Fenice in Venice also with Scottish Opera, Don Giovanni in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and Falstaff in Philadelphia USA. She has sung in Figaro (Countess) for Opera North, and both Antonia in The Tales of Hoffman and Pauline Leclerc in David Blake’s opera Toussaint for ENO. She also sang Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Tatiana) and Beethoven’s Fidelio (Leonore) for Kent Opera under the direction of Jonathan Miller. TV South made a series of programmes about the Fidelio production, one of which was devoted entirely to her role in the opera throughout the rehearsals leading up to the first night.

She has also sung the role of Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring with the English Opera group at the Aldeburgh Festival, in the presence of the composer.

Pace, Ian


Ian Pace is a pianist whose uncompromising committment to musical modernism and unique combination of intellectual conceptualism and spontaneity in performance have won much admiration. He was born in Hartlepool, England in 1968, studied at Chetham's School of Music, The Queen's College, Oxford and, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the Juilliard School in New York. His main teacher, and a major influence upon his work, was the Hungarian pianist György Sándor, a student of Bartók.

Based in London since 1993, he has pursued an active international career, performing throughout Britain, Europe and the US. His absolutely vast repertoire of all periods focuses particularly upon music of the 20th and 21st Century, in particular the works of contemporary British, French, German and Italian composers as well as the 'classics' of modern music by composers such as Boulez, Stockhausen, Barraque, Xenakis, Ligeti, Nono, Kagel and Cage. He has given world premieres of over 100 pieces for solo piano, including works by Richard Barrett, Luc Brewaeys, James Clarke, James Dillon, Pascal Dusapin, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy (whose complete piano works he performed in a landmark 6-concert series in 1996), Christopher Fox, Volker Heyn, Howard Skempton, Gerhard Stäbler, Jay Allan Yim and Walter Zimmermann. He is renowned for ambitious and ingenious programming, and for his ability to surmount the most transcendental of pianistic challenges, often previously considered impossible. He has presented cycles of works including Stockhausen's Klavierstücke I-X, and the complete works of Kagel, Lachenmann and Ferneyhough. His many performances of the standard piano literature combine elements of historical performance with a modernist perspective to produce often startingly original interpretations. In addition to his activities as a soloist, Ian is the Artistic Director of the ensemble Topologies and regularly plays with other soloists and groups, most notably the Arditti Quartet.

Constable, John


John Constable was born in London and studied with Harold Craxton at the Royal Academy of Music of which he is a Fellow. He began his career on the music staff of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He has been principal pianist of the London Sinfonietta since its formation and is also principal harpsichordist of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. He is a professor at the Royal College of Music, London.

John has made a great many recital records of songs and chamber music including most recently Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata with Joshua Bell for Sony. His other recordings include a CD of music for viola and piano with Paul Silverthorne, a recital of Liszt songs with Philip Langridge, a collection of Warlock songs with Adrian Thompson and Christopher Maltman, Faure and Ravel with Felicity Palmer, Haydn with Dame Janet Baker, a Spanish Songbook with Jill Gomez, Victorian ballads with Stuart Burrows, Frank Martin with Heinz Holliger and Lecuona songs with Carole Farley. With Lucy Shelton he has recorded Messiaen’s Harawi and the complete songs of Elliott Carter and Stravinsky.

He has performed the Elliott Carter Double Concerto with the London Sinfonietta, the Asko Ensemble and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, most recently at the Carter festival at the Barbican.

Silverthorne, Paul


Paul Silverthorne is one of the UK's foremost viola players, holding principal positions in both the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta; he appears regularly as a soloist with these and other major orchestras around the world.

Throughout his career he has worked closely with leading composers, inspiring many of them to write for him and to enlarge a repertoire that already encompasses all the major viola works as well as his own transcriptions and lesser known pieces from all periods.

He has recorded a wide range of repertoire for EMI, Black Box, Naxos, Chandos, Koch International Classics, Meridian, Toccata Classics and others to much critical acclaim.

He is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and plays a viola made by the Brothers Amati in 1620 which is loaned to him from the RAM collection.

Brunel Ensemble

Brunel Ensemble

The Brunel Ensemble was founded in 1993 with the specific intention of promoting new and recent - mainly British - music alongside 20th-century classics: accordingly, its forces ranged from chamber ensemble to symphony orchestra. It has championed the widest range of music, giving more than 40 premieres of which 20 are its own commissions. Prominent among these have been new works from Simon Bainbridge, Diana Burrell, Tansy Davies, Michael Finnissy, Morgan Hayes, John McCabe, Luke Stoneham, Joby Talbot, Will Todd, Raymond Warren, Graham Williams and John Woolrich.

The Ensemble's versatility is demonstrated in engagements that have included recording two CDs and touring with the rock band The Divine Comedy - including two sell-out dates at the Royal Festival Hall. The Brunel Ensemble has made seven South Bank appearances since its debut there in 1997's Park Lane Group Young Artists Series.

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
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Glittering piano quintet A Yardstick to the Stars explores the notions of time, distance and planetary motion; it is coupled with song-cycle Eloge, Fantazia for string quartet, and Chacony, a virtuosic set of variations for piano left hand.


"A generous disc of chamber works which reinforces Saxton's position at the heart of contemporary British music... the effect of the whole is to reinforce Saxton's claim as one of the most significant figures on the current British scene. This disc deserves every success."
Gramophone 2000


Recording date: 25-27 September 1997

Recording venue: St Silas' Church, Chalk Farm, London

Engineer: Mike Hatch 
Producer: Stephen Johns 

Cover image: Francois Hall

(P) 2000 NMC Recordings Ltd

University of York Music Press
Catalogue number:
NMC D065
Release Date:
9 January 2000