Festival Artists 2017
Principal Horn of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Alec Frank-Gemmill divides his time between concertos, recitals, chamber music and orchestral playing. He was Artist in Residence at the 2013 Lammermuir Festival and made his Wigmore Hall debut the same year. He has since gone on to perform as a soloist at numerous festivals including Spitalfields, Ryedale, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and St. Magnus.
Alec was a member of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme 2014-16, appearing as soloist with the BBC orchestras on numerous occasions, including performances of rarely-heard repertoire by Ethel Smyth, Malcolm Arnold and Charles Koechlin. With his own orchestra, the SCO, he has performed concertos by Mozart (on the natural horn) with Richard Egarr, Ligeti and Strauss with Robin Ticciati, Schumann with John Eliot Gardiner and Macmillan with Andrew Manze.
Often invited as a guest principal horn, Alec has frequently appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As a soloist, he has long been keen to explore the solo repertoire of the baroque era and to champion the use of instruments from the 19th century. A grant from Creative Scotland has also enabled Alec to develop his interest in historical performance. He appears regularly as part of period-instrument ensembles, most notably with Ensemble Marsyas. He is also the recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship and in early 2017 released a recording of 19th Century works for horn and piano with Alasdair Beatson on the BIS label.
Alec was recently appointed Professor of Horn at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having himself studied in Cambridge, London and Berlin with teachers including Hugh Seenan, Radovan Vlatković and Marie-Luise Neunecker.
Beatrice Philips enjoys a busy and diverse freelance life as a chamber musician, soloist, orchestral leader and teacher. She is first violinist of the Eusebius Quartet, which is fast gaining a reputation for its imaginative and communicative performances, and is appearing this season in numerous leading chamber music festivals. Beatrice founded and directs the Lewes Chamber Music Festival which, now in its sixth year, is a significant annual musical event attracting many world-renowned performers. At home on both a modern and period set-up, Beatrice has led and performed with many small ensembles and chamber orchestras in London, such as 12 Ensemble, London Chamber Orchestra, Multi-Story orchestra, Solomon's Knott, and Arcangelo, directed by Jonathan Cohen. Larger orchestral work includes work with the ORR directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and last year guest principle second violin with the Welsh National Opera. Beatrice gained a First Class degree in 2007 from Kings College London university during which she studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music with Howard Davis. Following this, she completed a Masters at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. During her Masters she studied for one year with Olivier Charlier at the CNSM in Paris. She has since appeared at many festivals including Cheltenham, Kuhmo, Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Two Moors, Resonances, IMS Prussia Cove, Wye Valley, Hatfield House and has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 with her Quartet. Beatrice has three siblings to who she is very grateful for providing an ever-increasing number of adorable nieces and nephews.
Bengt Forsberg is one of Sweden’s leading pianists and is particularly esteemed as a recital accompanist. He pursued courses at the Royal Academy of Music in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden, training to become a church organist and cantor, but by the time of his graduation in 1978 had shifted to piano, in which he obtained his diploma. He then continued his training with Peter Feuchtwanger in London and Herman D. Koppel in Copenhagen.
He has become known for his wide repertory and his constant interest in finding neglected music. In 1999, he performed Nikolai Medtner’s Second Piano Concerto with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, played as part of the multi-piano recitals in performances of Stravinsky’s The Wedding and George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique in Copenhagen, and the solo part in Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety Symphony with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. His repertory includes piano solo works of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Charles Alkan, Emmanuel Chabrier, and Kaikhosru Sorabji, and his recordings include compositions by Godard, Boëllmann, Koechlin, Pierné, and Alfvén.
Forsberg may be the most esteemed and in-demand accompanists. Among the artists he regularly accompanies are cellist Mats Lidström and violinist Nils-Erik Sparf. With the well-known mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter he has maintained a long-standing partnership resulting in many recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label, including a Gramophone “Record of the Year” Award for 1995 for their program of songs of Edvard Grieg. He and von Otter also collaborated in the BIS label’s ongoing complete Sibelius project. Forsberg also records for Hyperion when partnering with Lidström, and has several releases on the Caprice Records label. He has a strong interest in French music of the 1800s, and in 1999 began a Saint-Saëns series for Hyperion. He continues to keep a relationship with church music as the director of the chamber music series of the All Saints Church in Stockholm.
The Eusebius Quartet are fast gaining a reputation for imaginative and communicative performances. Since forming in the autumn of 2015 they have already appeared at numerous venues including St James’ Piccadilly, the Foundling Museum, Blackheath Halls and Marden House. This summer they were resident String Quartet at the Lewes Chamber Music Festival and FitzFest, Fitzrovia’s newest music festival, playing quartets by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Bartok as well as performing with other festival artists. The quartet enjoys exploring unusual repertoire and in June collaborated with pianist Alasdair Beatson in three performances of Gabriel Pierné's Piano Quintet. Other artists they have worked with areoboist Dan Bates, clarinetists Matt Hunt and Michael Collins and bassoonist Amy Harman. Early this year the Eusebius Quartet were quartet-in-residence at the Wye Valley chamber music festival where they performed Beethoven's Opus 132 and collaborated with Marie Bitloch of the Elias Quartet in a performance of Taneyev's String Quintet No.2.
The members of the quartet have played together in different formations for many years. Having completed studies in different corners of the world they are very excited to reunite as a quartet, and share their passion for the extraordinary music written for this formation. All four members of the quartet are in demand as freelance musicians with leading ensembles across Europe, but value the intricacy and importance of fine quartet-playing. The Quartet returned to the Foundling Museum in the heart of Bloomsbury, London, last February with a concert coinciding with the launch of a new exhibition "Child's Play". This project paired repertoire with particular paintings and themes from the museum's collection, preceded by a tour of local primary schools in Camden. These projects give these school children the opportunity to hear and interact with a professional live string quartet.
The quartet recorded Bartok's String Quartet number 3, and Haydn's Op.76 no.5 in D major which are both available to listen to on SoundCloud and will be released later this year on CD.
The quartet takes its name from one of the two fictional characters invented by Robert Schumann for his writings in the music journal, the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. These characters, Eusebius and Florestan, later became symbolic of Schumann’s opposing moods: the fiery and impassioned Florestan contrasted the introverted and dreamy Eusebius.
Cellist, Hannah Sloane enjoys an eclectic career which oscillates between chamber music, orchestral work, solo playing and teaching. As the cellist of the Eusebius Quartet, Hannah has performed extensively in the UK. Most recently the quartet was in residence at the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival and FitzFest, and have appeared at venues such as St James’s Piccadilly, Foundling Museum and Blackheath Halls as well as live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.
Hannah has worked as guest principal cello with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Spira Mirabilis and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. She also plays regularly with the London Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and the MultiStory Orchestra. Hannah graduated from The Juilliard School in New York in 2013. In 2012, she was the recipient of a French American Exchange Grant from the Carla Bruni Sarkozy Foundation, which took her to study at the Paris Conservatoire. Her principal teachers were Carey Beth Hockett, Robert Max, Darrett Adkins and Joel Krosnick.
An avid chamber musician, she has participated in Thy, Domaine Forget, Lewes, Wye, Taos and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festivals. Hannah has performed as a soloist with the Blackheath, Haydon, Lambeth and Juilliard Orchestras. With the Juilliard Orchestra in 2009, she performed Tan Dun’s Concerto for Six with the composer at Alice Tully Hall. Hannah retains musical links with the USA, and regularly performs recitals in Boston, San Francisco, New York and Santa Fe with pianists Allegra Chapman and Jillian Zack.
Hannah teaches the cello at Alleyn’s School, Dulwich College and Junior Royal Academy of Music. She is very grateful to play an Antonio Piattilini cello dating c.1750, which is kindly on loan to her from the Stark family.
Viola - Eusebius Quartet
Dutch violist Hannah Strijbos enjoys a versatile career performing as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player.
A passionate chamber musician, Hannah has performed at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Verbier Festival, IMS Prussia Cove, The Whittington Chamber Music Festival with artists such as Janine Jansen, Gary Hoffman, Philippe Graffin and Nobuko Imai. As a member of the Berlin-based Jacques Thibaud Trio Hannah performs throughout Europe and North America. They have recorded on the German label Audite to great critical acclaim. She is also a member of the London-based Eusebius Quartet.
Hannah works regularly with groups such as Amsterdam Sinfonietta, The Philharmonia Orchestra and the John Wilson Orchestra.
As a soloist, Hannah has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and last year she performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the London Mozart Players.
She has recently been appointed principal viola of the The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra (Residentie Orkest).
Hannah did her undergraduate studies in Amsterdam with Marjolein Dispa and Nobuko Imai, during which she also studied in Paris for one year at the CNSM. She then moved to London to study with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she graduated with honours in 2014.
In addition to her formal studies, Hannah has participated in master classes with Yuri Bashmet, Lawrence Power, Pinchas Zukerman and Ferenc Rados among others.
Hannah plays a Johannes Cuypers viola built in 1776, generously on loan from the Dutch National Instrument Foundation.
Huw Watkins' outstanding skill on the piano and beautifully crafted compositions have led the Financial Times to call him "one of the most rounded composer-musicians in the UK." As a pianist, he is in great demand with orchestras and festivals including the London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, the BBC orchestras, and the Aldeburgh and Cheltenham festivals. He has performed globally at concert halls including the Barbican, the Wigmore Hall, the Library of Congress in Washington, and the Smithsonian Institute. As a composer, he has written works for the Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Belcea Quartet, Elias Quartet, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. He is currently composer-in-association with BBC NOW and he won the Chamber Music Society's 2016 Elise L. Stoeger Prize in recognition of significant contributions to the field of chamber music composition. His recordings include a disc of Mendelssohn’s cello and piano works with his brother Paul Watkins (Chandos), Alexander Goehr’s piano cycle Symmetry Disorders Reach (Wergo), and Thomas Adès' song cycle The Lover in Winter with countertenor Robin Blaze (EMI Classics). Most recently, NMC Records released a disc of his compositions entitled In my craft or sullen art. Born in Wales, he studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr, and Julian Anderson at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. He now teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music.
Bogdan Božović enjoys a versatile international career as chamber musician, soloist and orchestra leader. As violinist of the world-renowned Vienna Piano Trio from 2012 to 2015, he has toured Europe, the Americas and Asia, appearing in some of the most prestigious chamber music venues, including the Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Vienna, Cité de la Musique in Paris and The Frick Collection in New York. He has made two critically acclaimed recordings with the ensemble on the label MD&G, featuring works by Beethoven and Saint-Saëns.
His chamber music festival performances include IMS Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music in Cornwall, England (member of the tour-ensemble in 2011), Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, as well as the Prades, Båstad, Gstaad, Nuremberg, Caramoor, Whittington and Ottawa festivals and series. Among his chamber music partners are Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Lukas Hagen and Veronika Hagen. His live recordings have had multiple international broadcasts including those by BBC Radio 3, Radio France, WDR 3, NPO Radio 4, WQXR-FM New York and Radio Beograd.
Since September 2016 he has been the leader of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, where his activities include directing the orchestra as well as playing with them as soloist. Guest leader-engagements in the past include the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and others.
Bogdan's recent solo-appearances include the Schumann Violin Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra Basel.
He is a founding member of the Leondari Ensemble, resident ensemble at the annual Saronic Chamber Music Festival in Greece.
Bogdan has given master classes at the Royal College of Music and Kings Place in London, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Leeds College of Music and has been a tutor at the chamber music seminar MusicWorks in West Sussex/England.
He was born in 1985 in Belgrade, Serbia and studied with Vesna Stanković at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, Klara Flieder at the University Mozarteum Salzburg and obtained his masters degree/Soloist's Diploma with distinction in the class of Rainer Schmidt at the Basel Academy of Music. Other important musical influences were from lessons with Ferenc Rados, Pamela Frank, Chiara Banchini (baroque violin) and collaborations with contemporary composers such as Heinz Holliger and Georg Friedrich Haas.
One of the most in-demand musicians in London’s thriving early-music scene John Crockatt plays violin and viola with some of the world’s foremost period groups.
He has performed as principal viola with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Arcangelo, principal violin with Music for a While, St James Baroque and Solomon’s Knot and played and recorded with groups including theEnglish Baroque Soloists, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, the Gabrieli Players and the Early Opera Company.
As a chamber-musician he has performed widely on both violin and viola as a member of various baroque and classical ensembles and from early 2016 has been a member of theLondon Haydn Quartet, one of the world’s leading period chamber ensembles. The 2016/17 season sees the quartet on tour in the United States, Singapore and Japan as well as continuing their ongoing, highly acclaimed project to record the complete string quartets of Joseph Haydn.
John also plays with his own recently-formed chamber ensemble, Ziggurat, with harpsichordist Tom Foster and cellist Jonathan Rees. Focusing on the core repertoire of baroque chamber music they will be recording and performing concerts throughout the coming season.
In January 2015 John was invited to perform as principal violin in the Globe Theatre’s new production, Farinelli and the King. Written by Claire van Kampen and starring Mark Rylance and Iestyn Davies the production completed a sell-out run at the Globe before transferring to the West-end where it found critical and commercial success in the Duke of York Theatre.
As well as the performance of early music John also has a keen interest in the anthropology of music and holds a masters degree in ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He also enjoys practicing Tai Chi, exploring Walthamstow marshes near where he lives in London and continues his ongoing work shaving off valuable seconds in the folding and unfolding of his new(ish) Brompton bicycle.
Mathilde Milwidsky was born in London in 1994 and made her Royal Festival Hall recital debut in 2014. Winner of the 2017 Royal Overseas League String Competition, Mathilde was also recently awarded a place on the St John’s Smith Square Young Artist Scheme for the 2017/18 season. Her studies began at the Junior Royal College of Music as a Tsukanov Scholar under Viktoria Grigoreva and David Takeno. She is currently a fourth-year undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music on a full scholarship studying with György Pauk and has received additional tuition and advice from Maxim Vengerov, Pierre Amoyal, Leonidas Kavakos, Anthony Marwood and Alina Ibragimova. Mathilde has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall and been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and the BBC One Show as well as further afield across Europe in Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, Greece, Holland and Sweden. Festival invitations include Cheltenham, Prussia Cove, East Neuk, Musikdorf Ernen and Three Choirs, collaborating with artists such as Avi Avital, Ksenija Sidorova, Christoph Richter, Huw Watkins, Tom Poster, and members of the Florestan Trio and Michelangelo Quartet. Mathilde is generously supported by the Hattori Foundation, the Drake Calleja Trust, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship, the Tillett Trust and the Sir John Cass Foundation.
Philip Higham has been described as ‘possessing that rare combination of refined technique with subtle and expressive musicianship… all the qualities of a world-class artist’ (The Strad). Already in high demand, in recent seasons Philip has appeared as soloist with the Philharmonia and the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Brighton Festival, the City of London Festival and Lichfield Festival as well as debuts further afield in Germany and Istanbul. His USA debut at the Phillips Collection in Washington received high praise in the Washington Post. Already regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Philip has also recorded an acclaimed disc of the Britten Solo Suites (Delphian Records), which won the title of ‘Instrumental disc of the month’ in Gramophone Magazine. In 2014 Philip embarked on a keenly-awaited recording of the complete Bach Suites, the CD was released in July 2015.
Born in Edinburgh, Philip studied at the RNCM with Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum.Philip plays a fine Milanese cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore, made in 1697.
Born in 1976 Robin Michael studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange and Colin Carr and later with Ferenc Rados. He is principal cellist in Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Solo cellist with Orchestre Les Siecles (Paris) as well as regular guest principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, RTE Concert Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, English National Opera and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Robin was the cellist in the Fidelio triofor over 10 years with whom he toured Europe, North America, Asia and South Africa. He has also appeared in collaboration with the Dante and Eroica quartets. Highlights in his discography include the premier recording of Joe Cutler's cello concerto with the BBC CO (NMC), first recording of the original version of Mendelssohn's Octet on period instruments (Resonus) and Fidelio trio recordings on Naxos, NMC, Métier and Delphian records.
Recent concert highlights include complete Bach and Britten suite cycles in France and London, the South Korean premier of Jonathan Harvey's 'Advaya' for cello and electronics, both Haydn concertos at the Spier festival in South Africa as well as festival appearances in Buenos Aires, Library of Congress, Washington, and European festivals including Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and St. Magnus.
Forthcoming projects include a recording of the Brahms sonatas with Daniel Tong for Resonus Classics, a Bach suite cycle at the St. Magnus festival, Britten Suite cycle at festival 'Phil Grobi' in the Auvergne, as well as other festivals throughout Europe, Japan, Columbia and Mexico.
Robin is founder and co-artistic director alongside Daniel Tong of the Kinnordy Chamber Music Festival in Scotland which takes place every April.
Robin plays on a cello made for him by the German luthier Stephan von Behr, 2010.
Sam Haywood has performed to critical acclaim in many of the world’s major concert halls. The Washington Post hailed his ‘dazzling, evocative playing’ and ‘lyrical sensitivity’ and the New York Times his ‘’passionate flair and sparkling clarity’. He embraces a wide spectrum of the piano repertoire and is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician or with accompanying Lieder. He has had a regular duo partnership with Joshua Bell since 2010 and also often performs with cellist Steven Isserlis.
He has recorded two solo albums for Hyperion, one featuring the piano music of Julius Isserlis (grandfather of Steven Isserlis) and the other Charles Villiers Stanford’s preludes. He is passionate about period instruments and has made a recording on Chopin’s own Pleyel piano.
In 2013 Haywood co-founded Solent Music Festival in UK. The annual Lymington-based festival features highly varied programmes by internationally-renowned artists with projects in the local community. Artists have included the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Alina Ibragimova, Mark Padmore and the Endellion Quartet.
He was mentored by David Hartigan, Paul Badura-Skoda and Maria Curcio. Following his early success in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, the Royal Philharmonic Society awarded him the Julius Isserlis Scholarship. He studied both at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, of which he is an associate (ARAM).
Haywood enjoys working with young musicians. He has written a children’s opera and is regularly involved in family concerts, workshops and master classes. His ‘Song of the Penguins’ for bassoon and piano, is published by Emerson Editions. He is also the inventor of memorystars® which can significantly reduce the time needed to memorise a music score, or indeed any printed text.
Other passions include literature, physics, natural history, technology, magic, fountain pens and table tennis.
Tom Poster has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music).
Tom has performed more than 40 concertos ranging from Bach to Ligeti with Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, China National Symphony, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, under conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. He features regularly on BBC Radio 3 as soloist and chamber musician, and has appeared several times at the BBC Proms. Tom’s chamber music collaborators include Alison Balsom, Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis, Guy Johnston and Elena Urioste, and as pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists), he has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals.
Tom has recorded for Champs Hill Records, Chandos, Decca Classics, Edition Classics, EMI, Sonimage and Warner Classics. He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge. He is also a successful composer, and a lifelong fan of dugongs.
James Gilchrist began his working life as a doctor before turning to a full-time career in music in 1996, having sung as a chorister at New College Oxford and King’s College Cambridge.
James’ extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform throughout the world. He is famed for his interpretations of Bach, recently performing Christmas Oratorio with the Academy of Ancient Music, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and further afield with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto, and across Europe with Windsbacher Knabenchor. In the Passions of St John and St Matthew, James is recognised as the finest Evangelist of his generation.
Recent highlights include a new staged production of Haydn’s Creation for Garsington Opera / Ballet Rambert, as well as appearing as the Evangelist in St Matthew Passion across Europe with the Monteverdi Choir.
This season, James tours to Tokyo with Bach Collegium Japan for Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and appears with Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. He sings the Evangelist in St Matthew Passion with Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and in St John Passion at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. He returns to Haydn’s Creation for performances with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Denmark, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He will also appear as Reverend Horace Adams in Britten's Peter Grimes for Bergen National Opera and the Edinburgh International Festival, and sings at the Lammermuir, Roman River, Hatfield House and Oxford Lieder festivals. Finally, James also curates a concert series of Bach and Purcell for the Academy of Ancient Music.