Gould Piano Trio, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Gould Piano Trio

Lucy Gould, violin, Richard Lester, cello, Benjamin Frith, piano

The Gould Piano Trio, directly compared to the great Beaux Arts Trio for their “musical fire” and “dedication to the genre” in the Washington Post, have remained at the forefront of the international chamber music scene for a quarter of a Century.

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    Launched by their first prize at the Melbourne Chamber Music Competition, they were “Rising Stars”, making a highly successful debut at New York’s Weill Recital Hall, described by Strad Magazine as “Pure Gould.”

    Their many appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall have included the complete piano trios of Dvorak, Mendelssohn and Schubert - plus in the 2017-18 season, a Beethoven cycle, to celebrate 25 years since their first appearance at this iconic venue.

    Commissioning and performing new works is an important part of the trio’s philosophy of staying creative and freshly inspired. Sir James MacMillan’s 2nd Piano Trio was written for them in 2014 and premiered at the Bath International Festival that season. 2017 featured the Goulds in the Hull “City of Culture” celebration, performing former BBC Young Musician, Mark Simpson’s “After Avedon” as part of the PRS “New Music Biennial.”

    Their annual Corbridge Chamber Music Festival, with Robert Plane, 20th Anniversary was celebrated with a commission from Huw Watkins, his ‘Four Fables’, for Clarinet and Piano Trio, the ensemble made famous by Messiaen in his ‘Quartet for the End of Time’- also part of their discography with Plane.

    Their extensive tours of N. America, the Far East, New Zealand, and Europe are interspersed with masterclasses to nurture the next generation, for instance at the Britten- Pears Young Artist Programme, at Snape and Darlington Summer School.

    In addition to their highly praised recordings of the standard works, the trio have thrown light on neglected gems from the late romantic British repertoire for Naxos and Chandos, including C.V. Stanford’s and John Ireland’s piano trios, plus works by Bax, Milford, York Bowen and Cyril Scott. Just released is a recording of Northumbrian composer, John Casken’s piano trio, with his ‘Shadowed Pieces’ for violin and piano, included on the new recording, ‘Stolen Airs’. Future plans include a new recording on Resonus Classics of American twentieth Century works- the somewhat French inspired piano trios of Amy Beach and Rebecca Clarke together with that of Charles Ives’ vivid but sometimes distorted reimagining of his own east coast popular culture.

    The Gould’s festival appearances in 2020 include ‘Fables and Fugues’ at Lake District Summer Music in August, a presentation for piano trio, clarinet and solo dancer( Kenji Wilkie), combining a choreographed performance of Huw Watkins ‘Four Fables’, interspersed with Bach’s ‘Art of Fugue.’The trio begin 2020 with a tour of America’s north west coast.

    www.gouldpianotrio.com

Robert Plane, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Robert Plane

Clarinet

Robert Plane’s hugely varied career has seen concerto appearances in Europe, Asia and the USA, with performances of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in Madrid with the City of London Sinfonia, Beijing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and in the USA with the Virginia Symphony. He made his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 with Simon Holt’s double concerto ‘Centauromachy’.

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    Exploring a wide range of repertoire and commissioning new works, highlights of past seasons have included Piers Hellawell’s Agricolas with the Ulster Orchestra and RTE Symphony Orchestra, Finzi with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Christian Jost with the Dortmunder Philharmoniker and Stanford with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

    Rob has tirelessly pursued a particular passion for British clarinet music in concert and on disc, his Gramophone Award winning account of Finzi’s Concerto and Gramophone Award-shortlisted Bax Sonatas being just two of a large collection of recordings of works by the great English Romantics. He has performed and recorded with the Gould Piano Trio for over twenty five years, and their recording of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time to mark the composer’s centenary was hailed by BBC Music Magazine as the ‘finest modern recording’ of this epic masterpiece. He also appears on the Goulds’ recorded cycles of Beethoven and Brahms Trios and makes regular tours to the USA with them. They commissioned Huw Watkins to compose ‘Four Fables’ for them in 2018 in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival which they direct together in Northumberland. He looks forward to collaborating with the Elias String Quartet in Bliss’ Clarinet Quintet in 2020.

    Rob has explored the clarinet quintet repertoire with a number of the finest string quartets, opening BBC Radio 3’s ‘Brahms Experience’ with a live broadcast from St. George’s Bristol of the Brahms Quintet with the Skampa Quartet. He has given concerts in Germany and the USA with the Mandelring Quartet and at home in the UK with the Maggini, Carducci, Tippett, Brodsky, Dante and Sacconi Quartets. Rob has enjoyed a 25 year long relationship with the Royal Over-Seas League since winning the competition’s Gold Medal in 1992, highlights of which have included a recital tour of New Zealand and a gala performance of Bruch’s Double Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka in Colombo as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

    Always keen to take on a challenge, Rob gave his first performance of Boulez’s ‘Dialogue de l’ombre double’ at the Belfast Sonorities Festival in 2018, a work he revived in Manchester’s Stoller Hall in 2019. His delving into unjustly neglected works has unearthed concertos by Iain Hamilton, Ruth Gipps and Richard Walthew which he recorded, for Champs Hill Records, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. A disc of Hungarian repertoire for this same label, ‘Contrasts’, including the premiere recording of Tibor Serly’s Chamber Folk Music, was praised by the Guardian as ‘a little gem’ on its release last year.

    Rob was principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 1999 to 2021 and has held the same position with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. He is Head of Woodwind Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

    www.robertplane.com

Lucy Gould, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Lucy Gould

Violin

Lucy is violinist and founder member of the Gould Piano Trio. Several international awards, a busy schedule and an impressive discography (core repertoire, lesser known works and commissions) are a testament to Lucy’s dedication to this genre throughout her distinguished career.

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    Lucy studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and Indiana University, Bloomington with Gyorgy Pauk and Josef Gingold. In addition, masterclasses with Andras Schiff, Menahem Pressler and members of the Amadeus String Quartet at Prussia Cove and the Banff Centre for the Arts were a source of great inspiration in her early days. She enjoys all aspects of the repertoire, having performed sonatas with Leon McCawley and Benjamin Frith, clarinet trios with Robert Plane, horn trios with David Pyatt, Richard Watkins and Alec Frank-Gemmill and chamber music of all shapes and sizes with many of the leading artists in this field at festivals in the UK and abroad.

    Lucy is a regular guest leader of various different UK orchestras and holds the position of principal 2nd violin with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Richard Lester, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Richard Lester

Cello

Leading chamber-musician, solo-cellist, orchestral principal and renowned teacher, Richard Lester was a member of the award-winning Florestan Trio, a founder-member of the ensemble Domus and has been a member of Hausmusik and the London Haydn Quartet. Equally at home on both period instruments and ‘modern’, he was for many years principal with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has been principal cello with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe since 1989.

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    He has performed concertos under conductors such as Sandor Vegh, Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund, Myung Whun Chung and Sir Roger Norrington and has also appeared as director and soloist with COE, OAE, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Aurora Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy.

    Together with violinist Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester is co-director of the highly successful annual Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival in East Sussex. He has made over forty discs of chamber music, winning a host of accolades. His recordings of the complete works of Mendelssohn for cello and piano, and a disc of Boccherini sonatas on period instruments, are both available on Hyperion.

    Richard Lester teaches at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School in London.

Benjamin Frith, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Benjamin Frith

Piano

Life student of Dame Fanny Waterman, Benjamin Frith won the Dudley National Concerto Competition at age fourteen, performing Saint-Saens 2nd Piano Concerto, subsequently making his recital debut at the Harrogate International Festival. His many awards culminated in joint top prize at the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, then in 1989, the Gold Medal at the Artur Rubinstein Piano Master’s Competition, where he was also awarded the special prize for Chamber Music.

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    Many engagements with world renowned orchestras followed, such as IPO (Mehta), Warsaw Philharmonic (Atzmon) and later the Halle under John Wilson and Sir Mark Elder and recital tours from India, Kazakhstan, Israel and Egypt to the Far East and North America. He soon made recording contracts with ASV, then with Naxos, for whom he made a best-selling John Field Concerto Cycle with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. His solo recording of Schumann’s highly personal Davidsbundler op. 6 received the top recommendation on Radio Three’s programme, “Building a Library”.

    During the latter half of his career there has been a concentration on the chamber repertoire, principally as pianist in the Gould Piano Trio, which has made regular tours to N. America being described recently in the Washington Post as ‘near musical perfection’. He has also formed the enterprising Frith Piano Quartet with cellist Richard Jenkinson and been the guest pianist of such illustrious ensembles as the Elias, Emperor, Endellion, Chilingarian, Wihan and Dante quartets.

    Recent releases include the 2nd Piano Concerto of C.V.Stanford with BBCNOW coupled with his Dante Rhapsodies for solo piano, warmly received by BBC Music Magazine and chosen by the Gramophone’s critic, Jeremy Dibble, as his ‘Disc of the Year 2016‘

    Last season saw Benjamin performing at the Wigmore Hall in Schumann’s Piano Quintet (Elias) and in 2018 he has continued with the Gould’s Wigmore Beethoven Piano Trio cycle and appeared as solo recitalist in China and Japan.

    Benjamin Frith is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Gary Pomeroy, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Gary Pomeroy

Viola

Born and raised in South Africa by parents who busked country music at flea markets on the weekend, Gary started violin lessons aged five. He took to the viola as a teenager and was lucky enough to become an ABRSM International Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. There he enjoyed five years of guidance in solo and chamber music by Mark Knight, Chris Rowland and Thomas Riebl.

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    Gary is a member of the Heath Quartet, who have recently been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award, recorded the complete quartets of Michael Tippett, Bela Bartok and Tchaikovsky Quartets 1 + 3 to critical acclaim. Gary has also recorded the Dvorak piano quartets with the London Bridge Trio.

    Gary now lives in London and enjoys a range of education work, including coaching the Kuumba Youth Orchestra, coaching chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and as a visiting tutor in viola at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music and Pro Corda. When he is not rehearsing, performing or teaching, he is a keen runner and can be found underwater as a PADI Divemaster.

Jonathan Stone, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Jonathan Stone

Violin

British violinist Jonathan Stone is an internationally acclaimed chamber musician, soloist, concertmaster and director. Over the last year when live concerts have been on hold, Jonathan has devoted his time to recording projects. His debut disc of sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven with pianist Sholto Kynoch is due for release next year.

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    As a guest with the Nash Ensemble, works by Bruch and Ries will be released on the Hyperion label and, as leader of Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, a disc of Brahms’s music to include his first symphony. Jonathan was a member of the Doric String Quartet for 13 years. In this time, the quartet grew to become one of the world’s leading ensembles, recording 16 discs for Chandos Records and performing in most of the world’s finest concert halls such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and, closer to home, regular concerts at Wigmore Hall. He has collaborated with artists including John Adams, Nicolas Altstaedt, Jonathan Biss, Andreas Haefliger, Chen Halevi, Alina Ibragimova, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Richard Lester, Anthony Marwood, and Peter Wispelwey. Jonathan is a founder member of the Phoenix Piano Trio. Described as ‘exquisitely sensitive’ by BBC Music Magazine, the Trio have recently commissioned and recorded Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Forgiveness Machine for the Champs Hill label and Philip Venables’ Klaviertrio im Geiste for NMC Records. Acclaimed for their honest and insightful interpretations which span the entire genre, in 2019 the Trio released the first in a series of recordings capturing the intense musical output from Leipzig in the 1840s that connected composers such as Mendelssohn, Brahms, the Schumanns and Niels Gade. He is leader of the French orchestra Le Cercle de l’Harmonie which specialises in classical and early romantic repertoire performed on period instruments. Jonathan is in demand as guest leader and director in the UK and Europe. Jonathan is Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music. His violin was crafted by Raffaele and Antonio Gagliano of Naples in 1830 and he plays with bows made by Luis Emilio Rodriguez Carrington and Eugène Sartori.

Fiona Winning, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Fiona Winning

Viola

Scottish violist Fiona Winning was until 2014 Principal Viola of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and before that the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. During her years in London she was a regular guest principal of the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestras, including four seasons at Glyndebourne Opera. She is also a regular guest principal viola of the Aurora Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

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    For seven years she was a member of the Scottish Ensemble with whom she performed at the Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, and at the Edinburgh International, Aldeburgh and City of London Festivals, and broadcast regularly on Radio 3.

    Fiona studied at the Juilliard School in New York where she lived and worked for 6 years. When not playing the viola she enjoys climbing mountains and recently climbed 6000m peaks in the Bolivian Andes and the Himalayas.

    Fiona plays on an Antonio Gragnani viola from 1780 for which she gratefully acknowledges support from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Loan Fund for Musical Instruments. She lives near Loch Lomond with her husband and two sons.

Mayuri Boonham, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Mayuri Boonham

Dancer

Mayuri Boonham, Artistic Director of ATMA Dance is an experienced South Asian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer.  She has a strong track record of creating high quality cross-disciplinary work that has a truly omni-cultural appeal for a variety of settings and audiences. Mayuri regularly collaborates with international artists, musicians, designers and multi-skilled performers.

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    Commissioners of Mayuri’s work include The Royal Ballet; The Royal Opera; BBC; Channel 4; The Place; Pavilion Dance South West; British Council India, GemArts and Akademi, with presentations at numerous prestigious venues; music, outdoor and children’s festivals in the UK and Europe and national television.

    Highlights include a 24-date national tour of Sivaloka, a quintet, with sound recorded live at the Elephanta Cave Temple, Mumbai supported by British Council India; several commissions from organisations such as The Royal Opera House (Forsaken to music by Verdi; Tiger-Bharatanatyam based on extract from an R.K Narayan novel;  Ex Nihilo with sound captured in CERN by Bill Fontana; The Human Edge with music by New Delhi’s Midival Punditz; Vac II with music by Peter Garland); curating Art to Dance, a six-month long exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery; Erhebung, an art-dance-sound installation based on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets at MIMA, Great North, British Museum; creation of The Magic Fish, Mayuri’s first touring work for children and family audiences based on a classic Indian flood myth; and Eve Rising, a solo for the South Asian Contemporary Strand of BBC Young Dancer 2019 in collaboration with musicians from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. This work was selected by Sadler’s Wells for performance at Latitude music festival.

    Between 1998-2008, Mayuri co-created and performed in over 10 duet and ensemble productions as part of ANGIKA with Subathra Subramaniam. Their works toured nationally and abroad, taking in festivals such as Frankfurt Book Festival; Tanzhaus NRW Dusseldorf; Kampnagel Hamburg; ccbe Antwerp; Lille 3000 and Sziget Festival, Budapest. Between 1999 – 2001 she created and performed three duets for dancer and violinist with Anthony Marwood entitled, To Paganini, The Fifth Veda; Force of Play and Obsessus featuring music by J.S. Bach and Sergei Prokoviev.

    Mayuri’s televison work includes playing Isha in Remember Me, a BBC1 drama series starring Michael Palin and Jodie Comer. 

    Artistic positions include Choreographic Affiliate with the Royal Ballet Studio Programme; joint Choreographer-in-Residence at The Place; Artistic Director for EKANATYAM - a pilot national South Asian youth dance company; Artistic Associate at Akademi and Art Asia.

    Mayuri is currently developing a strand of work that widen children’s experience of Bharatanatyam dance and Indian literature. These include forthcoming works, Spy Monkey, a touring show based on the Ramayana with hip hop; Dancing Mudras, a suite of three films; and the creation of Young ATMA (young souls), a digital space for children and family audiences. 

Lumas Winds, Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

Lumas Winds

Wind quintet

Beth Stone, flute - Chris Vettraino, oboe - Rennie Sutherland, clarinet - George Andrews, horn - Flo Plane, bassoon

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    Lumas Winds are a dynamic young chamber group based in London. The ensemble is made up of players from the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, although its members initially met during their time in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. They currently all hold principal seats in the London-based Campanella Orchestra. 

    Lumas are excited to be exploring a huge variety of wind repertoire and have had the privilege to receive tutelage from inspiring musicians including Melanie Ragge, Mark Van de Wiel and Robert Plane. They have had the opportunity to perform recitals in Cambridge, Glasgow and London and are looking forward to upcoming events in the UK.