English Pianist Sam Armstrong has performed across Europe, Asia and North America as recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist. He has performed at some of the world’s most important concert halls including the Royal Festival and Wigmore Halls in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (as part of New Masters Series), Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Esplanade in Singapore and made his New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in January 2009, as winner of the Nadia Reisenberg Recital Award. He made his South American debut with performances of the Schumann Concerto with the National Symphony of Ecuador conducted by Emmanuel Siffert. He has also appeared at international music festivals such as Ravinia, Banff, Prussia Cove, Aldeburgh, Ryedale, Mecklenburg- Vorpommen and Les Heures Musicales du Haut-Anjou.
Sam made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in London in April 2011 as an award winner of the Kirckman Concert Society, which according to International Piano “revealed him to be a major new talent”. His performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, French Television, Radio Suisse-Romande/Espace 2, Radio New Zealand, Radiofusau Portugesa and WQXR New York. He also performed as concerto soloist with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in Manchester with Douglas Bostock and the Orquestra Nacional do Porto in Portugal under Marc Kissoczy.
Sam has been a top prizewinner in national and international competitions including the Beethoven Society of Europe Competition in London (2003) and the Porto International Piano Competition in Portugal (2004). He was also laureate of the Epinal International Piano Competition in France (2001) and in 2007 was among the last six pianists in the prestigious Concours Clara Haskil in Switzerland.
Sam recently completed his studies at Mannes College of Music in New York where for four years he was the only student of renowned pianist Richard Goode. There he earned a Master’s Degree and Professional Studies Diploma and was awarded the Newton Swift Piano Award upon graduation. He previously studied with Helen Krizos for several years in Manchester at the Royal Northern College of Music, and he also worked with John O’Conor in Dublin. He also received valuable inspiration from masterclasses with Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Menahem Pressler, Murray Perahia, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Sam is extremely grateful for invaluable support he has received from Aldeburgh Residencies, the Else and Leonard Cross Charitable Trust, the Philharmonia Orchestra/MarBn Musical Scholarship Fund, MBF Music Education Fund, Mannes College, the Wingate Foundation and the Goldsmith Foundation.
Oscar Perks enjoys a varied performing career playing both violin and viola. He is the second violinist of the Dante Quartet, works as an assistant violin teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School and also pursues an interest in composing and arranging. Having started playing the violin at the age of five, Oscar was awarded a place to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School three years later where he had violin lessons with Hu Kun and Simon Fischer. Oscar went on to read music at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he studied composition with Robin Holloway. During his time at Cambridge, Oscar performed the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky violin concertos with the University Music Society, led the University Chamber Orchestra and was invited to perform alongside the Endellion String Quartet as a second violist in concerts at West Road concert hall. He gained his MA with distinction at the Royal College, studying with Lutsia Ibragimova.
Oscar has performed at many leading London venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Royal Festival Hall and Kings Place; and has also performed live on radio three. He is regularly visits IMS Prussia cove open chamber music and took part on Prussia cove autumn tour of England last year. His composition for string quartet The Twin Towers (2001) also won the BBC guardian young composer competition and was premiered at the Wigmore Hall. Oscar is also a founding member of The Perks Ensemble, a flexible chamber group he co-founded along with his brother and sister.
Reinoud pursues an exciting portfolio of projects in his music career. He studied with Louise Hopkins at the Yehudi Menuhin School before graduating with First Class Honours from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he also completed a Masters.
While still at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Reinoud was selected to perform a C.P.E Bach concerto with orchestra at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad. As a student at Guildhall, he won the Guilhermina Suggia Award, the Flame Competition in Paris and became a runner-up in the final of the Royal Overseas League competition. Reinoud is in demand as a soloist throughout the UK, Europe and further afield. Recent performance highlights include recitals in the Villa Borghese, Rome and for the diplomatic community in Doha, Qatar as well as other concertos (Elgar, Dvorak) with London-based orchestras (Jupiter Chamber Orchestra, Hounslow Symphony Orchestra, Abbots Langley Orchestra). Reinoud has performed from the solo repertoire in the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Dorking Halls and in Schloss Mirabel, Salzburg. Since 2014 he has performed unaccompanied Bach in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the National Concert Hall, Dublin and in the Roundhouse, London.
Reinoud has extensive experience as a chamber musician and is a member of several acclaimed ensembles (Brodowski Quartet, Cellophony cello octet and – more recently – temporary member of Caveleri Quartet and Benyounes Quartet). At the Guildhall he was awarded a Junior Fellowship in Chamber Music. In chamber competition he has won the Royal Overseas League and Tunnell Trust. In 2011 he was selected as Park Lane Group Young Artist. As a chamber musician, Reinoud has performed in important European ensemble venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room. He has made numerous chamber recordings to critical acclaim (Brodowski Quartet on Toccata Classics and Cellophony on Edition Records). As a chamber musician Reinoud studied under Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Gunther Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet), Bernard Greenhouse and Alasdair Tait amongst others. As an orchestral player Reinoud works regularly with the Academy of St. Martin in the fields and is Associate Principal of the Aurora Chamber Orchestra.
In 2012 Reinoud inaugurated the Ashdown Music Festival, an annual classical music event that brings together celebrated international performers and musicians from his boyhood home county West Sussex. As Festival Director Reinoud programs ambitious projects, such as the world premiere of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons arranged for eight cellos and solo violin (2013) and British tenor Mark Padmore performing Vaughan-Williams (2015). Reinoud has been Music Director of the Sainte Mere Festival in France since 2011.
Reinoud pursues a number of unique projects outside the classical music scene. He performs, tours and composes with singer-songwriter Keaton Henson. In 2014 Keaton released a critically acclaimed album, Romantic Works, co-written by and featuring Reinoud. Reinoud and Keaton have composed the music for the ballet Young Men for the internationally-recognised BalletBoyz , an all-male ballet ensemble which was premiered in Sadler’s Wells. He has (summer 2016) recorded the Solo Cello parts with the BBC Concert Orchestra for the BalletBoyz on screen version of Young men. Reinoud finds time to play on diverse recordings as a session musician. He is also increasingly requested to “fix” musicians for musical events. He is currently the musical director for the Ballet Boyz.
The MAGNARD ENSEMBLE is steadily building a reputation for delivering both high quality concert performances and dynamic educational projects in London and around the United Kingdom. The players all follow their own professional performing careers, appearing as soloists, chamber musicians and with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, London Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Orpheus Sinfonia, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Sinfonia Cymru, the Britten-Pears Orchestra and West End shows such as ‘Miss Saigon’.
The ensemble has appeared at venues including the Wigmore Hall and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as festivals and venues around the United Kingdom. During the 2014/2015 season, the quintet simultaneously held a Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music, as well as the inaugural joint fellowship between the Royal Academy of Music Open Academy and the Wigmore Hall Learning Department.
The Brook Street Band was founded in 1996 by baroque cellist Tatty Theo and in the years following its formation The Band rapidly established itself as one of the country’s foremost interpreters of Handel’s music.
The name comes from the street in London’s Mayfair where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. The term “band” was used in the 18th century to describe groups of musicians. The Brook Street Band performs small to large scale repertoire ranging from intimate chamber music to concerts with double orchestra and choir. Its various prizes include BBC Radio 3 Young Artists’ Forum and the Byrne Award, given by the Handel Institute for Handel scholarship.
The Brook Street Band has performed and taught extensively at prestigious British and European Festivals including the Dartington International Summer School, Barcelona Early Music Festival and Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. UK concert venues include Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre and The Maltings, Snape. The Band’s recordings are frequently featured on Classic FM, and the Band regularly broadcasts live for BBC Radio 3.
In addition to performing eighteenth century music The Brook Street Band is committed to developing new repertoire, working with renowned composer Matthew King on a modern-day “pastoral ode”. Il Pastorale, L’Urbano e Il Suburbano (generously supported by funding from PRS for Music Foundation and Arts Council England receives its premiere at Snape Maltings on 10th July. The wide ranging educational work of The Brook Street Band is supported through The Brook Street Band Trust (Registered Charity Number 1122890) in particular focussing on Handel’s life and music, linking this to wide areas of the national curriculum and working with schools across the UK.
The Brook Street Band’s discography on AVIE Records has been universally praised; the Band’s debut CD Handel Oxford Water Music was selected as Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, as was its JS Bach Trio Sonatas. Of the Band’s most recent recordings, BBC Radio 3 Record Review had this to say about Handel Trio Sonatas Opus 2: “These are grown-up performances from the Brook Street Band. Finely balanced, deliciously spiced, infectiously musical!” The Band’s latest recording “JS and CPE Bach – Sonatas for viola da gamba (cello) and harpsichord” has recently been released on AVIE.
British violinist Martyn Jackson has been acclaimed by The Berliner Morgenpost as “a truly sensitive musician, impassioned playing and utterly compelling” and as “stunning, a player of great intensity… a remarkably accomplished young violinist” by MusicWeb International. Legendary violinist Ida Haendel described him as “one of the most exceptionally gifted violinists I have ever encountered.”
Martyn’s recent concert schedule has included solo and chamber music performances at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Musikverein, Berlin Konzerthaus, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Gasteig Philharmonie, Purcell Room and King’s Place. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra and Berliner Capella. He has performed chamber music with principle players from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Milan and Rome and has also collaborated with musicians such as Henri Demarquette, Guy Johnston, Valeriy Sokolov, and Guy Ben-Ziony.
In addition to his solo concert schedule he is now leader of the Allegri Quartet, having led the Cavaleri Quartet until February 2016 when the quartet disbanded. Whilst Martyn was performing with the Cavaleri Quartet they won Second Prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition 2014. Highlights of the quartet’s last few seasons included appearances at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Schubertiade in Austria and major tours of New Zealand, Australia and Colombia. They were also Quartet in Residence at Oxford University for three years.
Martyn and duo partner violist Ann Beilby were winners of the Royal Overseas League Competition Ensemble Award 2015 and look forward to future engagements at Wigmore Hall, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a series of concerts in Lucerne. Martyn has served as guest Assistant Concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, and BBC Scottish Orchestra and is frequently invited to appear as guest leader of Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Música in Portugal.
In 2008 Martyn featured alongside internationally-renowned violinist and conductor Shlomo Mintz in the Holocaust documentary film “Amnon’s Journey”, a film depicting the intricate relationship between musicians and their instruments while giving voice to a lost generation. He has also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Suisse Romande Television et Radio, Suddeutsches Radio and on BBC 4 television.
Martyn studied at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin with Professor Stephan Picard and was a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky. He has frequently attended the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove and has also studied with Zakhar Bron and Ana Chumachenco. He performs on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume kindly on loan to him from Frau Angela Schmeink.
The 12 ensemble is rapidly developing a reputation as London’s foremost un-conducted string orchestra. A bold, versatile and virtuosic ensemble, the group is built around a core of twelve of London’s finest chamber musicians. Committed to always performing without a conductor, the 12 ensemble breathes new life into the concept of the chamber orchestra. Having adopted the smallest possible formation at its heart, the ensemble creates performances that are as intimate, dedicated and dynamic as that of a string quartet but with the breathtaking sound afforded by twelve world-class string players.
Founded in 2012 by Artistic Directors Eloisa-Fleur Thom (Leader) and Max Ruisi (Principal Cello), the group’s youthful energy and passion for chamber music is at the heart of their music-making. Fearlessly programming bold new works alongside the greats of the string orchestral repertoire, the ensemble strives to bring exceptional music to as diverse an audience as possible. Equally at home performing on a warehouse rooftop as an international concert hall, the group seamlessly cross musical genres and create experiences relevant to both existing and new audiences of classical music.
Winners of the Help Musicians Emerging Excellence Award in 2014, the group were ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at The Forge for 2014/15, collaborating with international artists including tenor Nicky Spence, pianist Mei Yi Foo and violist Simon Rowland-Jones, as well as giving performances at ‘La Mortella’ Festival (Italy), Dalston Roof Park (London), and the North Norfolk Music Festival. 2015 has seen the ensemble record their debut album, featuring works by Walton, Woolrich and young British composer Kate Whitley; “a generation tainted by nothing except enthusiasm, daring, virtuosity and idealism is blazing onto the scene. Kate Whitley is typical of this bold new breed”- The Times, 2011. The group have also enjoyed a diverse series of performances, including a sell-out concert at the King’s Place Festival and performing live for a show at Paris Fashion Week. 2016 sees the group travelling to Iceland, where they will hold a HEIMA Artistic residency, and performing live with Max Richter, including a show at the Paris Philharmonie of the ‘Four Seasons Recomposed’ with violinist Mari Samuelson.