Katya Apekisheva, described as being a “profoundly gifted artist” by Gramophone magazine, is one of Europe’s most renowned pianists, in demand internationally as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. Born into a family of musicians in Moscow, Katya studied at the world-renowned Gnessin Music School for exceptionally gifted children under Ada Traub and Anna Kantor (the teacher of Evgeny Kissin). She was a prize winner at the Leeds International Piano Competition and has played with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia, the Halle Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony and the English Chamber Orchestra. She has made many successful CDs including her recording of the piano music of Grieg which was a Critics’ choice 2008 in Gramophone magazine.
Katya is a sought after collaborative pianist, working with artists such as Janine Jansen, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston, Maxim Rysanov, Jack Liebeck, Boris Brovtsyn, Alexei Ogrinchouk, and Nicholas Daniel, among others. Recent seasons’ highlights include performances at Festivals in Utrecht (Netherlands), Ancona (Italy), Leicester, Oxford, Lincoln, City of London, Townsville (Australia) and Elverum (Norway), and in the Berlin Spectrum Concert Series. Katya is a Professor of Piano at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Jon is a versatile violist who has a wide experience leading the viola sections of the major UK orchestras and appearing as a recitalist. He currently holds the position of Principal Viola with the Oxford Philharmonic. He is also a regular guest principal with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In his career as a chamber musician Jon was the violist with the Badke String Quartet and played with them at venues throughout the UK and abroad including the Wigmore Hall (live on BBC R3), Kings Place, the Aix, Montreux, Ljubljana and Mecklenburg Festivals, Esterhazy Palace, USA tours and the Concertgebouw. They also broadcast on BBC R3, Classic Fm and on French National Radio and TV. The Quartet was resident at Imperial College and Royal Holloway universities. The Quartet recorded for Champs Hill Records and for Cadenza Classics.
Jon is a current member of The Oculi Ensemble. He is a strong believer in music education and is a Viola and Chamber Music Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and is viola and chamber music coach for festivals across the UK and Europe. He is also a trustee of Yorkshire-based Vacation Chamber Orchestras. Jon plays a viola by Giovani Grancino 1682.
Matthew Jones (Violin and Viola)
Matthew is one of the leading violists, violinists and pedagogues of his generation. Equally at home as soloist or chamber musician performing classical or contemporary repertoire, improvising or collaborating with other art forms. Recent recital venues include London’s Wigmore Hall and South Bank, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. He made his critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2008.
Matthew has recorded ten CDs, including three viola discs for Naxos of Prokofiev, York Bowen and other English composers. In February 2009 he gave the world premiere of Derek Ball’s Viola Concerto with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra; other recent concerto performances include Walton, Vaughan Williams and Berlioz. Matthew has commissioned numerous works and given many world and European premieres, and champions neglected viola works through recitals and recordings.
Matthew was a guest performer at the 2008 Menuhin Violin Competition and has given masterclasses in the USA, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and throughout Europe. Through his long-term involvement with the ‘Live Music Now!’ and ‘Lost Chord’ schemes, Matthew remains committed to outreach and community work. In addition he is passionate about musical education for younger students through his work with such institutions as Pro Corda (as Intermediate Course director) and Aldeburgh Young Musicians.
Matthew is also a composer, mathematics graduate and teacher of the Alexander Technique and Kundalini Yoga. His holistic approach to music-making has led to great demand for his workshops and seminars on empowering musicians and enhancing performance, clients of which have included world-renowned conductors and soloists, world champion athletes and orchestras including the New World Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and the European Union Youth Orchestra.
Charlotte Scott (Violin)
Charlotte Scott enjoys a varied career as a chamber musician, soloist and concertmaster. She has been Associate Concertmaster of Oxford Philharmonic since 2015. Charlotte studied at Wells Cathedral School and at the Royal Academy of Music where she won the Franstein Violin Prize. Charlotte was 1st violinist of the Piatti Quartet from 2006-2013, during which time they were nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The quartet enjoyed an international concert schedule at venues included Wigmore Hall (live BBC Radio 3), Madrid’s National Auditorium and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Their discography includes recordings for LINN Records, Classical Label and Champs Hill. From 2013-2017, she was the 1st violinist of the Badke Quartet, performing in venues including Concertgebouw and Esterhazy Palace.
Charlotte is currently a member of the Oculi Ensemble. As a soloist Charlotte has performed with some of the leading UK orchestras and with her duo partner James Baillieu, at venues and festivals throughout the UK. Charlotte is a regular guest Concertmaster for orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal National Scottish Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, where she has taken part in numerous live broadcasts and concerts at the BBC Proms. Charlotte plays on a violin by Antonio Stradivarius 1685 ‘Gagliano’.
Simon Blendis (Violin)
Simon Blendis enjoys an international career as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestra leader. He was the violinist with the Schubert Ensemble 1995-2018, when the Ensemble retired after a celebrated 35 year career. With the Ensemble, Simon performed in over thirty countries, recorded twenty CDs of music ranging from Brahms to Judith Weir. They made frequent broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and appeared regularly at Europe’s major venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1999 the group won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best chamber group and was shortlisted again in 2010. The Ensemble left behind a significant legacy including 50 commissions and a major library of filmed performances.
Simon has shared the position of First Concertmaster with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan since 1999, and in 2014 was appointed Concertmaster of the London Mozart Players, the UK's oldest chamber orchestra. As well as leading the orchestra he regularly directs from the violin. He is also in demand as a guest concertmaster. In this capacity he has appeared with most of the UK's major orchestras, including all of the London orchestras, as well as with several orchestras abroad, including the Orquesta Nacional de Espana and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
As a soloist he has performed and recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BCMG in the UK and with Orchestra Enesmble Kanazawa in Japan, with whom he has recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for Warner Japan label.
Simon is Professor of Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and drama.
Tim Lowe (Cello)
Following his recent Wigmore Hall recital Tim’s playing was described as “... compelling in every respect: probing, virtuosic and yielding by turns – a true example of outstanding musicianship.” (Musical Opinion)
Tim spends much of his time playing solo and Chamber recitals throughout the UK and Europe and has played recitals many times in major London venues including Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, QEH, Cadogan Hall and Purcell Room. He has played most of the major cello concertos in recent seasons and is also the cellist of the Rossetti Ensemble.
Tim has played live on TV and radio in the UK and across Europe including regularly on BBC Radio 3.
He has recorded chamber music CDs for various labels, including recently for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, and Champs Hill - the latter was highly recommended by Andrew McGregor on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review (Reynaldo Hahn).
Tim’s orchestral work sees him being Guest Principal Cello with many major UK orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Tim is a Cello Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he has a large class and also coaches chamber music. He teaches and coaches regularly on courses and festivals throughout the UK and Europe. He is the Artistic Director of York Chamber Music Festival. He plays a cello made by Carolus Tononi in Bologna in 1716.