Described by The Times as ‘Music incarnate’, Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as a soloist and chamber musician. Despite the shadow of Covid, Alasdair kept busy during 2020/21, playing several times at Wigmore Hall, recording multiple concerts for BBC Radio 3 alongside Alina Ibragimova, Aleksei Kiseliov and the Nash Ensemble, and joining Royal Northern Sinfonia as concerto soloist.
Alasdair is renowned as a sincere musician and intrepid programmer. Alongside a particular affinity with the classical repertoire and the music of Schumann and Fauré, he often explores the more exotic: Catoire, Pierné, Thuille; Debussy’s Jeux (in the composer’s arrangement for solo piano); Ligeti Horn Trio, Harrison Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks; and Thomas Adès Piano Quintet. His concerto repertoire includes works of Bach, Bartok, Fauré, Hans Abrahamsen, Hindemith, Mozart, Sally Beamish, Stravinsky, and Messiaen. In recent years he has appeared with Britten Sinfonia, Moscow Virtuosi, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta.. Future plans include the first performances of a new piano concerto, written for him by Helena Winkelman.
Two new recordings were released in Spring 2021: 3 Beethoven sonatas for violin and fortepiano with Viktoria Mullova on Onyx, and a solo piano recital Aus Wien on Pentatone. These joined a discography of solo and chamber recordings on BIS, Champs Hill, Claves, Evil Penguin, Pentatone and SOMM labels. As chamber musician, Alasdair’s colleagues include Steven Isserlis, Pekka Kuusisto, Viktoria Mullova, Pieter Wispelwey, the Doric, Gringolts and Meta4 string quartets, and the Nash Ensemble.
A regular participant at the open chamber music at IMS Prussia Cove, Alasdair took part in their tours of 2007 and 2011, and collected the 2008 RPS Award for Chamber Music on their behalf. He has enjoyed working closely with composers George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, and Heinz Holliger. Future plans include the first performances of a new piano concerto, written for him by Helena Winkelman.
Alasdair was a student of John Blakely at the Royal College of Music, London, and Menahem Pressler at Indiana University. He teaches solo piano at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and regularly mentors for the London-based Chamber Studio. From 2012 to 2018 Alasdair was founder and artistic director of Musique à Marsac, and since 2019 is co-artistic director of the Swiss chamber music festival at Ernen.
French/Catalan cellist Marie Bitlloch studied in Perpignan Concervatoire, Paris Conservatoire, and the RNCM in Manchester respectively with Michel Lefort, Philippe Muller and Ralph Kirshbaum. At the RNCM, she met her fellow Elias string quartet members and decided to stay in England and dedicate herself to chamber music.
In 1996, Marie was joint second at the Adam competition in New Zealand and won the jury’s prize at the Bach competition in Leipzig one year later. She has won the Muriel Taylor Scholarship and was awarded an incentive grand at the Pierre Fournier award, consequently appearing at the Manchester Cello festival. For three years she was a laureate of the Natexis foundation, Banque populaire who helped her with her musical projects.
Marie has given recitals throughout France, Spain and England and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Goncal Comellas orchestra, the Orchestra de cambra d’Andorra, the Orchestre Languedoc-Roussillon, the RNCM Symphony Orchestra She has performed alongside artists such as Menahem Pressler, Claude Frank, Valdimir Mendelssohn, Paul Biss, Joseph Silverstein. Participation in music festivals include the Pau Casals festival (Prades), the Musique dans les Vignes festival (France), the Musica Vitae festival (Sweden), Ravinia’s Steans Institute for young artists (Chicago), the Three Choirs Festival (Gloucestershire), Santa Fe’s summer festival (New Mexico) and Musique de chambre en Normandie (France)
She has been a member of the Elias Quartet since 1998. Marie plays on an eighteen-century anonymous Italian cello on loan to her by the Fond Instrumental Français.
Since her debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1997, Sarah-Jane has established a distinguished international reputation as a soloist and chamber musician.
Sarah-Jane is a pioneer of new works and has premiered and recorded a number of new concertos written for her, including those by David Matthews, Paul Patterson and Matthew Taylor. Sarah-Jane has performed and recorded as a soloist with major orchestras such as the Philharmonia, Hallé, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Her acclaimed solo recordings include 10 CDs of viola concertos, 3 recital discs and in excess of 30 chamber recordings.
Sarah-Jane is in high demand as a recitalist and chamber musician; she regularly plays in recital with pianists such as John Lenehan and Martin Roscoe. A former founder member of the Leopold String Trio, Sorrel Quartet and London Soloists Ensemble, she has toured widely and recorded extensively for Hyperion, Chandos, Dutton, Naxos and Nimbus as well as broadcast on radio 3 as both soloist and chamber musician. Her work as a chamber musician has taken her around the world to festivals such as Marlboro and Kuhmo. Sarah-Jane is a founder member of the Rossetti Ensemble and Karolos and is a frequent guest with other chamber groups including I Musicanti.
Following studies at the Royal Academy of Music, and the Mozarteum Salzburg, Sarah-Jane won an array of awards. A prizewinner at the 1994 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Sarah-Jane is now on the executive committee of the Competition and was on the jury in 2013. Sarah-Jane teaches viola at the Royal College of Music and The Purcell School, and chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She plays on a G.A Chanot viola of Manchester, 1896.
“Sarah-Jane Bradley is that rare kind of viola player who can make you blush with shame for ever having told a viola joke. In her hands the instrument is passionate, eloquent and wide-ranging in its colours and moods. I would happily put this at the top of any list of recommended recording.” BBC Music Magazine on “British Viola Music” (5* for performance and sound)
Scott Dickinson was born in Glasgow and studied there and in Manchester, London and Salzburg, where he won the 1996 Mozarteum Concerto Competition. He has appeared with the Brodsky, Chilingirian, Elias, Navarra and Royal Quartets, regularly with the Hebrides and Nash Ensembles, and as guest principal viola with numerous orchestras including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony and the John Wilson Orchestra. He also plays with the World Orchestra for Peace.
For five years he was a member of the Leopold String Trio, performing worldwide (including Carnegie Hall, New York, Musikverein, Vienna and frequently at the Wigmore Hall, London) and since 2002 he has been principal viola of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has also regularly appeared as soloist, including Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante to celebrate Donald Runnicles’ 60th birthday and “Jubilus” by Jonathan Harvey on CD which was nominated for a Gramophone award.
Scott is passionate about the benefits of music in all areas of society, teaches at the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland and is an Artistic Advisor to the Tunnell Trust for Young Musicians.
Tristan Gurney studied the violin at the Royal Northern College of Music, with Yossi Zivoni, and then at the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto, with Lorand Fenyves. He is currently Sub-Principal First Violin of the Northern Sinfonia and is Head of Strings at Newcastle University. He regularly performs chamber music and recitals around the UK and is currently guest leader of the Edinburgh Quartet.
He won numerous competitions and prizes for solo and chamber music playing, including The Countess of Munster Star Award, the Hirsch Prize and the Sir John Barbirolli Prize. At the RNCM, he led the Gurney String Quartet for four years performing live broadcast for a BBC Radio 3 and Proms Composer Portrait of Lindberg’s Clarinet Quintet, together with appearances at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ryedale Festival, St. Endellion Music Festival and the RNCM Haydn fest.
Tristan has appeared as soloist with many orchestras across the country including a performance of the Britten Violin Concerto under Martyn Brabbins with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Tippett’s Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli with the RNCM String Orchestra, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and numerous Vivaldi Concertos with Northern Sinfonia. He also enjoys success as a guest leader of several orchestras including Durham Sinfonia and St. Endellion Festival Orchestra (under Sir Richard Hickox).
Tristan plays a Ferdinand Gagliano Violin, on loan from Philip Langridge.
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. Following his most 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)
He has recorded chamber music CDs for various labels, including recently for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, Chandos and Champs Hill. Tim is the cellist of the Rossetti Ensemble as well as a regular guest in other groups and collaborations. As an orchestral player Tim is Guest Principal Cello with major UK orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, The John Wilson Orchestra and he also plays with the Sinfonia of London. He has also played on many film and TV scores and recordings.
He is Artistic Director of York Chamber Music Festival which he founded in 2013. He has collaborated with musicians such as Steven Isserlis, Angela Hewitt, Anthony Marwood and Philip Glass (The Trial). Tim is 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 plays a cello made by Carolus Tononi in Bologna in 1716.
Jonathan Stone is a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster/director and Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music.
Jonathan is predominantly known as a chamber musician. He spent thirteen years as a member of the Doric String Quartet and is a founding member and violinist of the Phoenix Piano Trio. He is a regular guest with the Nash Ensemble and appears at festivals around the world.
One of his happiest places is the recording studio, having released discs on labels such as Hyperion, Chandos, Decca, Stone Records, NMC, Champs Hill and Wigmore Hall Live. Recent projects include recordings of works by Bruch and Ries with the Nash Ensemble and, as leader of Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, a disc of Brahms’s music to include his first symphony. His debut disc of sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven with the pianist Sholto Kynoch is due for release in 2022.
Jonathan is leader of the French orchestra Le Cercle de l’Harmonie which specialises in Classical and early Romantic repertoire performed on period instruments. He is also co-founder and joint leader of Echor, a new orchestra based in the Chilterns. He is increasingly in demand in the UK and Europe as a guest leader, appearing in 2021 with Deutche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Aurora Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Manchester Collective and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jonathan is a founder member of the Phoenix Piano Trio. Described as ‘exquisitely sensitive’ by BBC Music Magazine, the Trio have recently commissioned and recorded Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Forgiveness Machine for the Champs Hill label and Philip Venables’ Klaviertrio im Geiste for NMC Records. Acclaimed for their honest and insightful interpretations which span the entire genre, in 2019 the Trio released the first in a series of recordings capturing the intense musical output from Leipzig in the 1840s that connected composers such as Mendelssohn, Brahms, the Schumanns and Niels Gade.
Jonathan’s violin was crafted by Raffaele and Antonio Gagliano of Naples in 1830 and he plays with bows made by Luis Emilio Rodriguez Carrington and Eugène Sartori.