One of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance, Rachel Podger has established herself as a leading interpreter of Baroque and Classical music. She appears regularly as guest director and soloist with orchestras all over the world, including The Academy of Ancient Music, Holland Baroque Society and the Handel and Haydn Society (USA), and is currently Artistic Director of the Brecon Baroque Festival. Her much-acclaimed recordings include last year’s Guardian Angel, a solo disc of Biber, Bach, Pisendel and Tartini, and this year’s Perla Barocca, a disc of seventeenth-century Italian violin music with Marcin Świątkiewicz (harpsichord/organ) and Daniele Caminiti (theorbo). Her 2015 engagements include international tours with the Royal Academy of Music and Juilliard415 orchestras, Guardian Angel recitals across Europe, and Bach with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She was awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize in February 2015.
Dmitry Sitkovetsky has enjoyed a successful and multifaceted career for over four decades. His recent releases as a violinist include the complete Mozart Violin Sonatas with Antonio Pappano and Konstantin Lifschitz. Well-known for his transcriptions of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for string trio and string orchestra, he has also arranged many other works, most recently the Divertimento from Stravinsky’s Le Baiser de la fée (for solo violin and orchestra). As a conductor he has worked with some of the world’s leading orchestras. He is also founding director of the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra and is an enthusiastic mentor of outstanding young artists.
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Arnaud Sussmann is acclaimed for his unique sound and profound musicianship. He has performed with the New World Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Israel Camerata Jerusalem and Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, among others. His concerto appearances include events at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Dresden Music Festival. A dedicated chamber musician, he is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with which he makes regular appearances in New York and on tour, including concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall, Shanghai’s Oriental Center and the Beijing Modern Music Festival.
Emily Daggett Smith
Emily Daggett Smith’s recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe, South America and Asia. She made her New York concerto debut at the age of 21 in Alice Tully Hall, while as a concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra she has worked with many renowned conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan. She has premiered dozens of new works and, as founding first violinist of the Tessera Quartet, has worked closely with composer and pianist Lowell Liebermann, performing his Piano Quintet with him at the keyboard. Dedicated to education, Emily gives masterclasses and outreach performances wherever her violin takes her.
Stephanie Chase is recognised as one of the world’s leading violinists through her appearances with over 170 orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago, San Francisco and London Symphony orchestras. Her interpretations have been praised for their “elegance, dexterity, rhythmic vitality and great imagination” (Boston Globe), “matchless technique” (BBC Music Magazine), and “virtuosity galore” (Gramophone), and her recordings include a critically acclaimed reading of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. She often performs in the dual roles of soloist and conductor, and makes frequent guest appearances at chamber music festivals across the United States. She plays a 1742 Petrus Guarnerius violin, paired with a Dominique Peccatte bow.
Born in Transylvania, Kati Debretzeni emigrated to Israel at 15, later studying the Baroque violin in London. A leader of both the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she recently released a critically acclaimed recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the latter on which she is both soloist and director. She also regularly directs other ensembles from the violin and, a keen chamber musician, is currently a member of Trio Goya. Kati teaches at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Australian violinist Madeleine Easton is known for her musical versatility and expertise. Her desire to combine period and modern playing has led her to work with a wide variety of ensembles worldwide. Appointed concertmaster of The Hanover Band in 2006, she still performs with them as both leader and soloist, as well as playing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music, among many others. An accomplished chamber musician, she works with many noted musicians in the UK and, with Australian quartet Island, recently released a recording of music by Reicha.
As concerto soloist, violinist Philippe Graffin has performed with some of the world’s leading orchestras and had works written for him by Rodion Shchedrin and David Matthews, among others. A highly sought-after chamber musician, he is founder and artistic director of the St Nazaire ‘Consonances’ Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015. His acclaimed recordings testify to a questing mind and feature numerous world premieres, including that of Finnish composer Tauno Marttinen’s Violin Concerto. Currently guest professor at the Royal Conservatorium Brussels, in 2015 Graffin takes up a position at the Paris Conservatoire.
Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the most vibrant and charismatic musicians of his generation on the world stage today. He has long been recognised by the international music scene and his list of prizes affirms that status. These include the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and prizes at the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions, as well as a place on the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist scheme. Maxim is a keen chamber musician, whose partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Gidon Kremer, Maxim Vengerov and Ashley Wass, among others.
Ania Safonova was born in Siberia in 1978. She started playing the violin at the age of five and made her concert debut two years later with the Omsk Philharmonic. When her family emigrated to Israel, she continued her violin studies at the Tel Aviv Conservatory. She was invited by Felix Andrievsky to study with him at the Purcell School near London, after which she worked with Yossi Zivoni at the Royal College of Music. From 2001 to 2006 Ania was Associate Leader of the Hallé and in 2008 she was appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Royal Opera House Orchestra. She has made many international festival and concert appearances with the Nash Ensemble, London Bridge Ensemble, Razumovsky Ensemble and Fibonacci Sequence.
Emily Daggett Smith
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‘The whole new way of experiencing music ... perfectly created atmosphere.’
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It was a most stimulating evening.’
‘I listened to beautiful music and I learned - what more could you ask from an evening?
Really, it was very special.’
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