Heralded by The Times as “just the sort of champion the newest of new music needs”, while being praised as “impeccable in his pianism and unfailing in his idiomatic grasp” by Gramophone, Takenouchi’s curiosity and a natural penchant for integrity makes his playing and vast repertoire unique amongst his generation of pianists. His love for the music of classical masters – particularly Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin – sits side by side with his passion for the music of Medtner, lesser-known British composers such as Sterndale Bennett and Parry, and the contemporary repertoire.
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.
In 2018 he released his second CD for Hyperion’s lauded Romantic Piano Concerto series: concertos by Rheinberger and Scholz with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ben Gernon which garnered rave reviews and remained in the specialist classical charts for several weeks. His next disc, of solo works by Nicodé, will be released in 2019. Simon’s interest in rarely performed works has also led to invitations to perform concerti by Françaix and Tippett, and to give the first UK performance since 1946 of Medtner’s 3rd Concerto. He has also recorded for Somm and Danacord, his discography including works by Brahms, Coke, Delius, Sterndale Bennett and Parry.
Rachel Roberts is one of Europe’s leading violists and performs internationally as soloist and chamber musician.
As soloist she has collaborated with conductors Christoph von Dohnanyi, Andras Schiff and Richard Hickox, performing concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Koln Kammerorchester, Kammerphilharmonie Graubunden in Switzerland and the Manchester Camerata Chamber Orchestra amongst others. She was the featured viola soloist in the BBC TV documentary ‘The Passions of Vaughan Williams’ with Richard Hickox and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante alongside violinists Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas and Benjamin Schmid in Germany, Switzerland and London.
Canadian violinist Katie Stillman’s career encompasses a wide variety of solo work, chamber music, orchestral performing and teaching. Recent highlights include solo performances with Manchester Camerata and London Concertante, leading a performance of George Crumb’s quartet Black Angels with principal members of Manchester Camerata in the Royal Exchange Theatre, leading BCMG at Wigmore Hall live on BBC Radio, and being appointed External Examiner for Bristol University.
Commonwealth Musician of the Year, First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2014 Royal Over-seas League Annual Music Competition, Huw Wiggin is one of the most popular saxophonists of his generation.
Some of Thomson’s notable successes include winning the Harp Finals at the world renowned Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales Competition in 2003 and performing as a Finalist in the London International Harp Competition in 2005. In April 2007 she was short-listed to audition for HRH The Prince of Wales for the position of Royal Harpist at Clarence House and performed for HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at The Royal Variety Performance in the same year.
Dutch/English violinist Daniel Rowland’s playing has been acclaimed as “wonderful, ravishing in its finesse” by The Guardian, “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.
Renowned clarinettist Robert Plane has become particularly known for his performances and recordings of the magnificent English repertoire for clarinet. His benchmark recording of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto (BBC Radio 3 Building a Library recommendation and part of the Naxos British Music Series which won a Gramophone Award in 1999) is still a regular feature of the playlists of both Radio 3 and Classic FM nearly twenty years after its initial release. He subsequently recorded discs of music by Bax (a further Gramophone Award shortlisting), John Ireland, Howells, Alwyn, Holbrooke, Robin Milford and Stanford, including Stanford’s Clarinet Concerto with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Future plans include premiere recordings of British concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the premiere of a new work for clarinet and piano trio by Huw Watkins at the Three Choirs Festival and a performance of Boulez’s rarely heard epic masterpiece, ‘Dialogue de l’Ombre Double’ at Belfast Sonorities Festival.
Timothy Orpen is the Principal Clarinet of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He is also a founder member and Principal Clarinet of Aurora Orchestra. Prior to joining the Royal Opera Orchestra, Timothy spent 3 years as Principal Clarinet of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. A previous overall winner of the Royal Over-Seas League, he has been described as a ‘blazing talent’ by The Times and as ‘one of the best young British musicians today’ by The Telegraph.