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 TANGO=ART, with bandoneonist Marcelo Nisinman, pianist Natacha Kudritskaya and bass player Zoran Markovic. The group released its debut disc ‘Tangos del angel y del Diablo’ in Berlin on the Berliner MeisterSchallplatten label in June ’14 and the group has now recorded their second ‘direct to vinyl’ record for Berliner Meisterschallplatten.
Dutch/English violinist Daniel Rowland’s playing has been acclaimed by The Guardian as “wonderful, ravishing in its finesse”, “totally and truly charismatic” by Beeld and praised for its “astonishing sound and uniquely single minded intensity” by the Glasgow Herald.
Daniel has established himself on the international scene as a highly versatile, charismatic and adventurous performer. In recent seasons he has performed concertos such as those by Mozart, Elgar, Korngold, Berg, Prokofiev, Schnittke, Glass and Ferneyhough, with orchestras from Tromso to Cape Town. Solo performances in recent seasons have included the Korngold concerto with HET Symfonieorkest (Enschede), the Vivaldi/Piazzolla Eight Seasons with both the Ulster Orchestra and the Arcos Orchestra (New York) and the Philip Glass Concerto with the Joensuu Symphony Orchestra (Finland).
A passionate chamber musician, Daniel has performed with artists as diverse as Ivry Gitlis, Polina Leschenko, Heinz Holliger, Dawn Upshaw, Gilles Apap, Alexander Lonquich, Priya Mitchell, Marcelo Nisinman, Michael Collins, Nicolas Daniel, Lars Vogt, Willard White and Elvis Costello. He is a frequent guest at foremost international chamber music festivals such as Kuhmo, Stellenbosch, Risor, Sonoro, Beethoven Festival Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Chiemgau, Osnabrück and Oxford. The Stift International Music Festival, of which he is founder and artistic director, saw its thirteenth edition in August 2017. This summer festival, held at an idyllic spot in the eastern Netherlands with concerts given in a 15th century church renowned for its fine acoustics, has garnered widespread acclaim as a festival of exceptional musical intensity and intimacy.
Daniel also 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. His recording of the Vivaldi/Piazzolla Seasons for Two Pianists Records was released to tremendous critical acclaim (“to understand the meaning of fabulous, listen to these Piazzolla Seasons”- Die Burger).
Daniel Rowland is the first violin of the renowned Brodsky Quartet with whom he has recorded many records, mostly for Chandos, and toured Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, the Far East and most of Europe. In March ’16 the quartet recorded the complete Shostakovich Quartets, live at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, to rave reviews.
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 and the Brahms Prize in Baden-Baden.
Daniel is professor of violin at the Royal College of Music in London and gives Masterclasses all over the world. 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 at the Music Academy of Kassel in Germany, with Wolfgang Lendle.
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, Silesian Guitar Autumn in Poland, Festival Classique in The Hague, Beethoven Festival in Melbourne and to Auckland University. 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 Insitutes of Culture of 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 of 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 now 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”.
Alberto has an extensive discography. In 2007 he won the 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.
Some of the most recent highlights in Alberto’s engagement diary include a concert in New York with Marc Ribot and at the City Hall of Helsinki. He also appeared at the Guitar Foundation of America in Los Angeles and at the International Chamber Music Festivals of Stift and Lessines and at “Semana Tarrega” in Valencia. In 2013 Mesirca premièred a composition at Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival composed for him by Leo Brouwer.
Alberto currently lives in Castelfranco Veneto and teaches at the Statal Conservatory of Music of Adria.