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.

Praised for his ‘velvet-gloved pianism of ravishing sensitivity’ (The Strad), Steinway Artist Simon Callaghan performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. His recent tours have taken him to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada and throughout Europe, and he has performed at all of the UK’s major concert halls.

Simon has a particular interest in bringing rarely performed works to new audiences. He has made two recordings for Hyperion’s lauded series The Romantic Piano Concerto, the first (Roger Sacheverell Coke’s Concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins in 2017) reaching no. 2 in the specialist classical charts. Concert invitations have included concertos by Françaix and Tippett and the first UK performance since 1946 of Medtner’s 3rd Concerto.

Simon’s first solo disc for Hyperion, world premiere recordings of works by Jean Louis Nicodé, was released in May 2019 to critical acclaim, with Gramophone Magazine praising his “superb artistry”. Simon’s discography also includes solo works by Sterndale Bennett, Parry and Sacheverell Coke, chamber music by Brahms, Schumann, Chopin and Ravel, and recordings of music for two pianos by Parry, Sherwood and Delius with Parnassius Duo partner Hiroaki Takenouchi.The most recent addition to Simon’s catalogue of solo recordings features sets of miniatures by Schumann and Poulenc, released in November 2019 on Nimbus.

Festival invitations have included Husum Piano Rarities, the English Music Festival, Wintertide Festival (Canada), Absolute Classics, Highgate, Cervo, Hertfordshire and Whittington. In chamber music he has collaborated with Feng Ning, Jack Liebeck, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Thomas Gould, Nicholas Daniel, Raphael Wallfisch and the actors Timothy West, Prunella Scales, and Samuel West. Contemporary music performances have included works by Joseph Phibbs, Julian Anderson and Kenneth Hesketh, and his world premiere recording of Paul Patterson’s ‘Allusions’ for two violins and piano (with Midori Komachi and Sophie Rosa) was released in 2017.

Simon puts great value on teaching, giving frequent masterclasses alongside his roles as Head of Piano at the Ingenium Academy (Winchester) and Director of Music at Conway Hall, where he oversees the longest-running chamber music series in Europe. Simon also recently completed a PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music, working to bring the oeuvre of Roger Sacheverell Coke into the public domain.