Robert Fokkens composer
Robert Fokkens is a South African composer based in London. His music has been performed in many major venues in the UK (including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and Royal Festival Hall), South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, the USA and Japan, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Performers of his music include Pierre-Andre Valade, Ernst Kovacic, Ian Partridge, Martyn Brabbins, the South African National Youth Orchestra, Oliver Coates, The Fibonacci Sequence, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, rarescale, Trio Fibonacci, Tim Murray, Harriet Mackenzie, juice and soprano Claire Booth. His music has been published in the journal The Liberal and in Choir and Organ magazine, and recorded on the Herald and South African National Youth Orchestra labels.
Robert studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music, and held the Manson Fellowship at the RAM. During this time he worked with many composers including George Crumb, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Ades, Simon Bainbridge, Poul Ruders, and Mauricio Kagel. He completed his PhD at the University of Southampton in 2007, where he was supervised by Michael Finnissy.
Throughout his studies, Robert was generously supported by a number of prizes and scholarships, including a Countess of Munster Musical Trust bursary, the South African Music Rights Organisation Overseas Scholarship, a National Arts Council of South Africa award, an Overseas Research Scheme scholarship and a bursary awarded by the Royal Academy of Music. His doctoral studies were also supported by a University of Southampton Major Studentship.
Robert is currently Vice President of New Music South Africa, the South African section of the ISCM, and teaches composition and academic music at Trinity College of Music’s junior department.
Elisabeth Harnik (1970) composer
Elisabeth Harnik was born in 1970 in Graz. She first studied classical piano after working at instrumental and vocal improvisation. She began her professional career as a pianist and singer by interpreting her own compositions and performing in various forms of improvised music. She then studied composition and music theory under Beat Furrer at the University of Music and Dramatic Art in Graz and in 2006 received her master´s degree with distinction. Her compositions (incorporating chamber-music, ensemble-music and music for theatre) have been performed regularly, notably at the Graz Easter festival 2002, the Styrian chamber music festival 2003, the Hörfest Graz 2003/04/05 and as part of the Vienna Mozart year 2006. Her first opera-project “Kugelstein” (libretto: olga flor) was recently performed at the Opera House Graz. In addition to her work as a composer, Elisabeth Harnik has performed piano improvisations at national and international festivals. These include The International Piano Music Festival, Vilnius; Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon; Piano Festival Soundgrube,Vienna; Musicacoustica, Beijing and The Beethoven Festival, Bonn, amongst others. Besides her solo performances (CD “irrt, irrt das ohr” extraplatte 2005), she is a member of many ensembles for improvised music.
In addition to her work as a composer Elisabeth Harnik has performed piano improvisations at national and international festivals, notably at the V:NM-Festival Graz, the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, the Piano Festival Soundgrube Vienna, the International Piano Music Festival Vilnius, the Musicacoustica Beijing, the Beethoven Fest Bonn, the Festival Offene Ohren Munich, the Artacts Festival St. Johann, the Umbrella Music Festival Chicago and the Nickelsdorfer Konfrontationen.
The city of Graz awarded her the music promotion prize in 2005. In 2006 this was
followed by a grant from the federal chancellery. In 2007 she was the official
holder of the Austrian state grant for composition and the Styrian Andrzej-Dobrowolski grant.
Emily Howard composer
Emily Howard is a UK-based composer whose music has been described as ‘relishing orchestral colour in the way the best contemporary Nordic composers do’ by The Telegraph and ‘at once sensuous and austere’ by BBC Music Magazine.
Born in Liverpool, England, in 1979, Emily spent her formative years learning the cello, playing chess (she was British Junior Girls Chess Champion for 6 years) and composing for local orchestras including The Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. Always torn between parallel interests in science and music, Emily read mathematics and computation at Lincoln College, Oxford University and went on to complete a Masters in Composition with Adam Gorb at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, gaining a double distinction and the Soroptimist International Award for Composers. Recently she completed Doctoral Studies in Composition with John Casken at The University of Manchester, supported by a Victor Sayer Scholarship.
Emily’s music is performed and broadcast internationally, and has been released on the NMC label. Commissions and performances have come from orchestras and ensembles including The BBC Philharmonic, The Black Dyke Band, Cantus Ansambl, Endymion, Ensemble 10/10, The Fidelio Trio, The London Symphony Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Psappha, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and The Southbank Sinfonia. Her works have been featured in festivals including 28th Cantiere Internazionale D’Arte, Montepulciano, Italy 2003, Sounds New, Canterbury 2006, 2008 & 2010, Soundings VI, supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum and British Council, London and Vienna 2009, WASBE, Cincinnati, USA 2009, Båstad Chamber Music Festival, Sweden 2009, and the eu-art-network, Austria, 2010 (touring across Europe in 2010-11). Her setting of Geoffrey Hill’s ‘Wild Clematis in Winter’ was written for The NMC Songbook (winner of the Classic FM Gramophone Award for ‘Best Contemporary CD’ in 2009).
In 2008, Emily was a featured composer in Liverpool’s celebrations as European Capital of Culture. Magnetite, commissioned by Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008 for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Vasily Petrenko, opened the RLPO’s Capital of Culture season to great critical acclaim. As Composer in Residence for Liverpool City Council, Emily was commissioned to write Liverpool – The World in One City uniting the Liverpool Youth Orchestra with primary school choirs (400 children) and clarinettist Mark Simpson (BBC Young Musician 2006) in a concert at the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool, in July 2008.
Recent highlights include the premiere of Symphony: Magnetite, a second orchestral commission for the RLPO and Petrenko (October 2009), and settings of Ian Pople’s Songs from Dickens for Loré Lixenberg, Gerald Davidson and The Fidelio Trio (May 2010). Emily’s UBS commission, Solar, will be premiered by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon in the Barbican Hall in November 2010.
Emily teaches composition at the RNCM and its Junior Department. In April 2010, she became Honorary Research Fellow in Composition at Liverpool Hope University. Emily is the recipient of a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers.
Gerhard Krammer composer
Gerhard Krammer was born in Oberwart, Burgenland in 1965 and has been a composer, studio musician and arranger since 1983, without ever committing to certain instrumentations and genres. His work includes music to film clips by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as pieces for concerts, sound installations and compositions for childrens' musicals. He was part of various synesthetic projects where he collaborated with Norbert Frühwirth (e.g. with music by Messiaen, Cage, Stockhausen, Kurtág, Boulez and Liszt). He has worked freelance at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF)/Landesstudio Burgenland in Eisenstadt since 1989 and as the Artistic Manager of the Cultural Festival for Children and Families Castle Forchtenstein Fantastisch in Forchtenstein since 1996. Krammer also acted as a president of the association of Composers and Performers in the Burgenland – KIBu from 1998-2000 and has been Musical Director of the international workshops 2001 Ziel 1 = Kunst = Ziel 1 in Oslip for the past 9 years. Beside these activities, Gerhard Krammer also teaches music theory, aural training, musical form and general musical theory and performance at the Institute Oberschützen - Expositur KUG in Oberschützen.
Ian Vine composer
Ian Vine was born in England but spent his formative years in Libya and Hong Kong. His music is performed across Europe and further afield, and has been broadcast worldwide. Commissioners of his work have included the London Sinfonietta, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ensemble Recherche, and Matthew Herbert. He has received performances by, among others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Hallé, Ensemble 10/10, Kokoro, Psappha, 4-Mality, Radius, Continuum (Canada) and 175 East (New Zealand). His work has been released on Accidental Records, Kairos, and London Sinfonietta labels and is distributed by New Voices at Sound and Music.
Ian Vine studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Anthony Gilbert and, later, privately with Simon Holt. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Tutor in Electro-Acoustic Music at the RNCM, and also taught for a time at The University of Manchester. From 2002-2007 he was a participant in the inaugural Blue Touch Paper scheme with the London Sinfonietta, producing three works for the ensemble.
Highlights this season include the premieres of commissions from sinfonia ViVA and the London Symphony Orchestra, and performances by the Fidelio Trio, Trio Atem, and Radius. Ian lives in Manchester and is artistic director of first moon.
Johannes Maria Staud composer
Johannes Maria Staud was born in Innsbruck, Tyrol, on 17 August 1974. However, nothing would be further from the truth than to call him a 'Tyrolian composer'. In no way is he a provincial figure – in fact, ever since he joined Universal Edition in 2000, at the age of 26, he has become one of the most successful composers of his generation, with prestigious commissions from some of the greatest orchestras and festivals in the world.
Staud and his publisher have every reason to be proud that Sir Simon Rattle has asked him for a composition for the Berlin Philharmonic (Aperion, 2004/2005), that the Salzburg Festival commissioned a cello concerto from him to be premiered as part of celebrating the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birth in 2006 (Segue, 2006). Heinrich Schiff was the soloist, Daniel Barenboim conducted the Vienna Philharmonic. The Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst gave the first performance of On Comparative Meteorology (2009) and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra have received the score they have commissioned for string quartet and orchestra (On Deceptive City Maps and the Temptations of Winter Nights. Dichotomie II). Riccardo Chailly will be premiering it with the Gewandhaus String Quartet.
Such lists could eventually become tiresome and perhaps smack of publicity, but they do give an indication of the extent to which Staud’s music has found widespread recognition on the highest level. To cite one more example: the Staatskapelle Dresden has appointed him capell compositeur for the 2010/2011 season. He is to write three new works for the orchestra and its principal conductor, Fabio Luisi.
Let us take a look at those titles once again: Apeiron was inspired by ideas of Leonardo da Vinci and the Greek philosopher Anaximander. In Segue, Staud has orchestrated a Mozart fragment for violoncello and piano and succeeded brilliantly not only in making it sound like genuine Mozart but also in finding a transition to his own music which gives the listener goose-pimples. On Comparative Meteorology and On Deceptive City Maps and the Temptations of Winter Nights conjure up the world of Bruno Schulz, the Polish-Jewish writer and graphic artist whose writings have deeply impressed the Austrian composer. Finally, Dichotomie II is a reference to the string quartet of the same title (1997/1998). Staud rarely resorts to the method of taking an early piece and re-working it to produce a new one; it is more usual for him to create a series of compositions where the Roman figures (such as Incipit III. Esquisse retouchée II for trombone solo, 2 horns, 3 percussionists and string orchestra) inform one of its links to earlier pieces of the cycle.
Staud is an avid reader and draws inspiration from world literature. He is also an appreciative and sensitive observer of the contemporary art scene (with Bruce Nauman among those who have directly influenced him; cf. Violent Incidents. Hommage à Bruce Nauman for saxophone solo, wind ensemble and percussion, 2005/2006. Film is for him also an art form capable of awakening musical ideas (Black Moon for bass clarinet, 1998, was inspired by Louis Malle’s film of the same title) – the list could be continued indefinitely.
Staud has shaken off early enough the supposed expectations of the music world for a young composer to write in an 'avant-garde' style. Neither does he look back at his predecessors to produce pieces easy on the ear, to please conservative audiences. He has found an idiom all of his own marked by meticulous work on the large form as well as on the tiniest details (his beautifully written scores are a faithful mirror of this); he takes a long time over each new composition and is its most critical listener at the premiere. His acute self-criticism has led to some revised versions, such as Segue or One Movement and Five Miniatures for harpsichord, ensemble and electronics.
Johannes Maria Staud’s compositions have all cleared that most difficult hurdle of all: having a second performance. In fact, his music is being taken up by soloists, new music ensembles, chamber groups and orchestras all over the world (including the Far East) so that a tradition of interpretation is in the making – a sign that Staud’s music could be here to stay.
Fidelio Trio violin, cello & piano
The ‘virtuosic Fidelio Trio’ (Sunday Times) are Darragh Morgan, violin, Robin Michael, cello and Mary Dullea, piano. They perform extremely diverse repertoire throughout Europe, Asia and South Africa. Broadcasts include regular appearances on BBC Radio 3 as well as RTÉ Lyric FM, WNYC and Radio New Zealand. They are currently being filmed by Sky Arts as part of a TV documentary. Since their South Bank debut they have appeared at Reggello Festival and Contemporaneamente Festival, Lodi (Italy), West Cork Music, Belfast Festival at Queens, Royal Opera House, London, Corsham Festival, Petworth Festival, FuseLeeds, Casa da Musica (Porto) and Composer’s Choice Series, National Concert Hall, Dublin.
2009 highlights included a concert tour of China with an appearance at Shanghai’s prestigious Oriental Arts Centre, a sold-out performance at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, ORF TV broadcast from Die Alte Schmiede, Vienna and they made their Wigmore Hall debut (Live concert highlights of 2009, www.musicalcriticism.com). In their native Ireland, they undertook a mini-residency at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, with their innovative new “Schumann+” series.
The Fidelio Trio are closely associated with a diverse range of leading composers including Toshio Hosokawa, Howard Skempton, Charles Wuorinen, Gerald Barry, Johannes Maria Staud, Piers Hellawell and their extensive repertoire of premieres includes music by Salvatore Sciarrino, Edison Denisov, Beat Furrer and Toru Takemitsu. They are Music Network artists and are supported by PRS (Performing Rights Society) for Music Foundation, Culture Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland.
2010/2011 highlights include their US debut tour with appearances at New York’s Symphony Space and MIT, Boston, a tour of South Africa and Botswana, a Moving on Music tour of Ireland and two Scottish tours, multiple UK appearances including The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival as well as 3 CD releases.
Mary Dullea curator & piano
As soloist and chamber musician, Irish pianist Mary Dullea has built an impressive reputation as a performer and commissioner of new music. She has performed throughout Ireland, England, Europe, USA, China and South Africa at festivals including Brighton, Huddersfield, Aldeburgh, Reggello (Italy), FuseLeeds, Petworth and National Arts Festival (South Africa).
Mary broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 3 and RTÉ Lyric FM and is on the teaching staff of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She is currently completing a PhD in Performance at the University of Ulster, focusing on the use of the inside of the piano.
Since 2008, Mary has curated Soundings in collaboration with the Austrian Cultural Forum London. This included a recital at the Wigmore Hall with her piano trio, The Fidelio Trio (December 2009) whose 2 CDs were received with critical acclaim: Bulb (Irish piano trios) on NMC and Metamorphoses (chamber music of Haflidi Hallgrimsson) on Delphian Records.
She appears as soloist on a Joe Cutler portrait disc (NMC). 2009 saw CD releases on Altarus Records (a Simon Mawhinney portrait disc) and, with Darragh Morgan, thirty-nine pages by Paul Whitty for Divine Art. 2010 sees releases on Mode Records, Delphian Records and Neos Musik.
Mary was recently awarded a 2-year bursary by The Arts Council of Ireland.
Darragh Morgan violin
Darragh Morgan enjoys a hugely diverse and rewarding career. The Independent writes "gorgeous lyrical playing from violinist Darragh Morgan set the seal on a magnificent reading of a sincere, eloquent and emotionally involving score". He has led world class international ensembles, such as the Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Musik Fabrik and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. As a concerto soloist, highlights include invitations from the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (performing Elastic Harmonic by Donnacha Dennehy, recorded on NMC D133), RTÉ Living Music Festival (performing Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa in the presence of the composer), the Ulster Orchestra (in the world premiere of Hymn of Dawn by Sir John Tavener) and the KZN Philharmonic (giving the South African premiere of Samuel Barber's violin concerto). His many CD recordings include Opera NMC D108, the complete violin & piano music of Michael Finnissy for Mode Records (both with pianist Mary Dullea) and For John Cage by Morton Feldman with pianist John Tilbury on Matchless Recordings. A keen pedagogue, he is regularly invited to work with string and composition students at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music and the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme.
As a member of two award winning chamber ensembles, The Smith Quartet and The Fidelio Trio, Darragh has performed at many prestigious international festivals including, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Huddersfield, BBC Proms Chamber Music, Festival D'Automne à Paris, Bang on a Can and the Luzern Festival.
Robin Michael cello
Robin Michael made his South Bank debut to critical acclaim in 2003 and has recently premiered Joe Cutler's cello concerto as well as giving the UK premiere of Steve Reich's cello counterpoint and the Korean premiere of Jonathan Harvey's Advaya for cello and electronics. Robin is regular guest principal cellist with Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music. Recordings include the Cutler Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Ginastera complete cello works. Recent festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Huddersfield, Spier (South Africa), KLARA (Belgium) and Library of Congress (Washington). He is a member of the Fidelio Trio.
Lore Lixenberg mezzo–soprano
Loré Lixenberg has performed premières and 20th century classics with many ensembles including Intercontemporain, BCMG, Cicada, Athelus, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Recherche, BBCSO, Hallé, LSO, and Nash Ensemble at many international music festivals. She was resident with Danish Royal Opera for a season premiering Under Himlen by Bent Sorensen. She is currently working on an operatic installation project with the artist Bruce Mclean and will be perfoming Kurt Weills Seven Deadly Sins with the Aurora ensemble with whom she performed a programme of cabaret music from the Weimar Festival at Kings Place earlier this year. She will also be singing in the world première of Anna Nichole Smith by Mark Anthony Turnage at ROH next year. With long term collaborator Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer the Opera) she appeared in 'The Kombat Operas ' and 'Attention Scum' for BBC2. With her own company she is collaborating with Robert Crow mixing plainsong and other ancient music with electro-acoustic music and will be performing the latest of these projects at Kings Place in the Autumn. She has taken part in masterclasses with Galina Vishnevskya, Graham Johnson, Elizabeth Soderstrom, Elly Ameling and Martin Isepp.
Rowland Sutherland flute
Flautist Rowland Sutherland enjoys an international career in many different fields of music. He regularly performs in new music ensembles, jazz groups, symphony orchestras, various non-Western groups, and pop outfits and as a soloist. Many of Rowland’s solo contemporary flute performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, London. He has composed and arranged music for groups, ensembles and for the BBC. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre, North Sea Jazz Festival, Chatelet Les Halles and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall and has played and recorded with various new music ensembles and dance companies in Britain. These include: Lontano, Icebreaker, notes inegales, The New Music Players, Ixion, Phoenix Dance and Rambert Dance Company.
As a freelance musician Rowland is also active in the orchestral field and has played with the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, B.B.C. National Orchestra Of Wales, London Philharmonic, European Community Chamber and City of London Sinfonia. As bandleader, Rowland’s band Mistura, has an album out entitled ‘Coast to Coast’ on the FMR label. His Creative Force Caribbean nu jazz group, features Orphy Robinson on vibes and electronics. Rowland and his quintet In Kimbe with Filomena Campus perform modern jazz with Mediterranean and Brazilian themes. As a Jazz artist Rowland has performed with Frank Wess, David Murray, Flora Purim, Manu Dibango, Alec Dankworth, Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint and Mark Lockheart.
Rowland has recorded for a diverse range of pop artists including Incognito, George Benson, Joss Stone, Us3, Guillemots, Marc Almond and MC Solaar.
Rowland has taught and given consultations, workshops, masterclasses and coached at various conservatoires and universities. He is a professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity College of Music and lectures at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Gerald Davidson speaker
As an actor Gerald Davidson’s recent work includes Imaginary History (LIFT), Visions of Albion, Jakov Lind, Take and Give, and Eyewitness '38, Gert Jonke, Gabrielle Petricek, Schoenberg on Parnassus (ACF) , Mansfield Park (Gatehouse),Golden Lads (Blue Elephant),Glass Hotel (BAC),Haydn's Head (Putney Music, Woodhouse Music and ACF). As writer and performer he has produced Through Every Flood, Mad about Otto, What Little Hans Knew and Being Good (Freud Museum). Further performances of Little Hans are scheduled this Spring and in the Summer he will present Waking the Dead and Holding Out.