Daniel Rowland and Alberto Mesirca met at the Kuhmo Festival some years ago and discovered a shared love of the transparent, lyrical and colourful repertoire for violin and guitar.
Their first disc, ‘Favorites’, for the Viennese label Orlando Records, was released in December 2015. The recording – which received excellent reviews – comprises a vivid, virtuosic and fun programme which is full of contrasts and highlights the wonderful, yet relatively unknown, repertoire for this combination of instruments.
Daniel and Alberto are both members of the contemporary tango quintet ‘ChamberJam’, with bandoneonist Marcelo Nisinman, pianist Natacha Kudritskaya and bass player Zoran Markovic. The group released its debut disc ‘Tangos del angel y del Diablo’ on the Berliner Meister Schallplatten label in June 2014; the group’s second ‘direct to vinyl’ record for the same label followed in 2017.
Dutch/English violinist Daniel Rowland’s playing has been acclaimed as “wonderful, ravishing in its finesse” by The Guardian, and “totally and truly charismatic” by Beeld, while The Herald praised his “astonishing sound and uniquely single-minded intensity”.
Daniel has established himself on the international scene as a highly versatile, charismatic and adventurous performer. Concerto performances in 2018 included Philip Glass with the Orchestre de Picardie and at the Kuhmo Festival, Lindberg Concerto in Joensuu, Berg in Dusseldorf and at the Stift Festival, Bernstein with the Princeton and Columbus Symphony Orchestras and Vivaldi/Piazzolla Seasons in Dublin.
A passionate chamber musician, Daniel has performed with artists as diverse as Ivry Gitlis, Heinz Holliger, Gilles Apap, Marcelo Nisinman, Martin Frost, Elvis Costello and Lars Vogt. He is a frequent guest at many of the foremost international chamber music festivals – often performing alongside Alberto Mesirca – such as Kuhmo, Risor, Osnabrück and Sonoro. The Stift International Music Festival in Holland, of which he is the founder and artistic director, sees its 15th edition in August 2019.
Daniel is the first violin of the renowned Brodsky Quartet with whom he has recorded many CD’s for Chandos, and forms an acclaimed recital duo with pianist Natacha Kudritskaya. The duo has recorded two discs: ‘Les Annees folles’ (Paris between the wars) for Gutman records and an all-Enescu disc for Champs Hill Records; both recordings were met with critical acclaim on release. Rowland’s discography also includes his recording of the Vivaldi/Piazzolla Seasons for Two Pianists Records which again received excellent reviews.
He is professor of violin at the Royal College of Music in London and his guest concertmaster engagements have included the BBCSO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Daniel was born in London, and started his violin lessons in Enschede after his parents moved to Twente in the eastern Netherlands. He studied with Jan Repko, Davina van Wely, Herman Krebbers, Viktor Liberman and Igor Oistrakh. Meeting Ivry Gitlis in 1995 was of great significance, leading to lessons in Paris and, later, to musical collaborations.
Daniel’s competition successes include first prize at the 1995 Oskar Back competition at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Daniel plays the “Ex-Rode” Guarneri del Gesù violin (Cremona ca. 1736), kindly on loan from the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.
The Italian guitarist Alberto Mesirca was born in 1984. He completed his Bachelor and Master of Arts at the Conservatory of Castelfranco Veneto, in the class of the eminent teacher Gianfranco Volpato, before going on to study with Wolfgang Lendle at the Music Academy of Kassel in Germany.
Alberto has a busy performing schedule, working with musicians such as Dimitri Ashkenazy, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Martin Rummel, Domenico Nordio, Marco De Santi, Andras Adorjan, Peter and Jonas Giger and Mirko Satto. He has also collaborated with the Enesco, Ardeo and Acies string quartets, Quartetto d’Archi di Venezia, and Ex Novo Ensemble.
Recent seasons have been characterized by intensive periods of concerts performances, lectures and masterclasses around the world. These have taken him to the Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (where he performed the national premiere of a composition of György Kurtàg, working closely with the composer), Stradivari Foundation, Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Silesian Guitar Autumn in Poland, Festival Classique in The Hague, Lessines ‘Sons intensifs’ Festival, ‘Semana Tarrega’ in Valencia, and Beethoven Festival in Melbourne. Other highlights include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Regio in Parma, Auditori Nacional in Valencia, Kunsthalle Wien and the Italian Institutes of Culture in Paris, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Barcelona and San Francisco.
Working with Marc Ribot, Alberto recorded the complete guitar works of the Haitian composer Frantz Casséus. Alberto was also responsible for the digitalization and creation of the Musical Archive of the Beyazit Library in Istanbul, Turkey in 2011. In collaboration with Hopkinson Smith and Franco Pavan, Alberto published the previously little-known compositions by Francesco Da Milano which appeared in the Castelfranco Veneto 1565 Lute Manuscript, which are now distributed by Orphee Editions. This re-discovery led Dusan Bogdanovic to write a composition for Alberto on a theme of Da Milano called “Tre Ricercari sulla Compagna”. In 2013 Mesirca gave the world première of a composition written for him by the Cuban composer, guitarist and music director, Leo Brouwer.
Alberto has an extensive discography. In 2007 he won the International Guitar Convention in Alessandria’s ‘Golden Guitar’ for ‘Best Recording’ for his disc Ikonostas, winning the same award again in 2013 for his ‘British Guitar Music’ recording with cellist Martin Rummel. The prestigious organisation also judged Mesirca to be ‘Best Upcoming Artist’ in 2009. Recent collaborative projects include a recording with O/Modernt dedicated to the Chaconne.
Alberto’s busy concert schedule in 2018 took him all over Europe, with appearances at the Kuhmo Festival (Finland), Stift Festival (Holland), Sonoro Festival (Romania), Osterkonzerte Dusseldorf (Germany), Ex Novo Festival in Venice (Italy) and Ikebana Festival in Oviedo (Spain). Some of the most recent highlights in Alberto’s engagement diary also include a performance at M.A.C. Milan as part of LaVerdi’s chamber music season, and concertos with the Kasseler Symphonie Orchester, Orchestra d’Archi “Giacomo Facco, musico veneto”, and Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, directed by Marco Angius.
Alberto currently lives in Castelfranco Veneto and teaches at the Statal Conservatory of Music of Adria.