Karel Bredenhorst and Simon Callaghan first met in 2013 when they collaborated at the Whittington Chamber Music Festival. A strong friendship developed and Duo Verzaro now give regular recitals on the continent and in the UK. Their debut CD, recorded in Cervo, Italy, was released in September 2016 and their second recording followed in December 2017.

Dutch cellist Karel Bredenhorst performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. His most recent concerts have taken him from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and Estonia up to Brazil, USA and Nepal.

Karel studied in Holland with Monique Bartels and with Paul Uyterlinde, before continuing his studies with Troels Svane at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck. He graduated with a Distinction. He has also received coaching from master cellists such Gustav Rivinius, Gary Hoffman, Miklos Perenyi, Steven Isserlis, Anner Bylsma and David Geringas.

As a recitalist and chamber musician Karel performs at festivals such as the European Summer Music Academy Kosovo, the Amsterdamse Cellobiënnale, the Southwell Music Festival, the Orlando Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana Siena, the Styrian Chamber Music festival, IMS Prussia Cove, the Whittington chamber music festival, il Festival Internationale da Musica da Camera da Cervo, the Amerfortissimo festival and the Schleswig- Holstein Musik Festival.

Collaborations include working with musicians such as Midori, Gustav Rivinius, David Geringas, Jean Sulem, Johannes Erkes, Hartmut Rohde, Martin Ostertag, Alvaro Siviero and Ian Fountain.

His former string quartet “En-Accord” won several prizes and the quartet was coached by musicians such as Sandor Devich (Bartók Quartet), Milan Skampa (Smetana Quartet), Martin Lovett (Amadeus Quartet), Earl Carlyss (Juilliard Quartet), Tim Vogler (Vogler Quartet), Hugh Maguire (Allegri Quartet) and Valentin Berlinsky (Borodin Quartet).

Karel has given masterclasses at the European Summer Music Academy in Kosovo and at the Southwell Music Festival in the UK. He plays a cello by Paul Blanchard built in 1902, Lyon.

Steinway Artist Simon Callaghan’s recent tours have taken him to Asia, Europe and North America, and to the UK’s major concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, St David’s Hall Cardiff and Manchester’s Bridgewater and Stoller Halls.

Following his début recording for Hyperion’s lauded Romantic Piano Concerto series in 2017 (Roger Sacheverell Coke’s Concerti with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins), in 2018 Simon joined conductor Ben Gernon to release a further disc in the same series, of concertos by Rheinberger and Scholz. The disc reached No. 2 in the specialist classical charts and garnered enthusiastic reviews across the press. Simon’s first solo disc for Hyperion, world-premiere recordings of works by Jean Louis Nicodé, was released in May 2019 to critical acclaim.

Callaghan’s interest in rarely performed works has also led to invitations to perform concerti by Françaix, Tippett and to give the first UK performance since 1946 of Medtner’s 3rd Concerto. His rapidly-expanding discography includes solo works by Brahms, Delius, Sterndale Bennett, Parry and Coke among others, on the SOMM, Lyrita, Danacord and Resonus labels.

Simon has broadcast frequently on BBC radio and television. Contemporary music performances have included works by Joseph Phibbs, Julian Anderson, Kenneth Hesketh and Thea Musgrave, and he was recently invited by the Royal College of Music to play Boulez’s ‘Dérive II’ as part of their ‘Variable Geometry’ series. In addition to his performing schedule, Callaghan is Director of Music at Conway Hall, where he oversees the longest-running chamber music series in Europe. He is also a PhD Researcher at the Royal Northern College of Music, working to bring the oeuvre of Roger Sacheverell Coke into the public domain.