Conductors & Piano

Thomas Adès

Born in London, Thomas Adès studied at the GSMD and at King’s College, Cambridge. As a conductor, he has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmomic, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Mariinsky and Ensemble Modern.

He performs worldwide as a pianist and made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2007. For The Royal Opera he has conducted The Tempest and The Rake’s Progress. Recent conducting engagements include The Tempest (Metropolitan Opera, New York, Vienna State Opera), The Exterminating Angel (Salzburg Festival), his three orchestral works Asyla, Polaris and Tevot with the London Symphony Orchestra, recently released on LSO Live and the UK premiere of Lieux Retrouves for cello and orchestra with Britten Sinfonia (BBC Proms).

This season, his engagements include The Exterminating Angel at The Metropolitan Opera, New York; concerts with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

David Afkham is Principal Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra and Chorus. He is in high demand as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras and opera houses, and has established a reputation as one of the most sought after conductors to emerge from Germany in recent years. His first season at the helm of the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid, featuring a Brahms symphony cycle, Brahms’s Requiem, and concert performances of Wagner’s Fliegende Holländer, was unanimously acclaimed by the press. In Summer 2014, David Afkham made a noted opera debut with Verdi’s La Traviata at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, later reviving the production with Glyndebourne on Tour.

Highlights of recent seasons have included debuts with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Cleveland and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin as well as return engagements with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Gothenburg Symphony and the Orchestra of Accademia Santa Cecilia.

Born in 1983 in Freiburg, Germany; David studied at the Freiburg University of Music and the Liszt School of Music in Weimar. David Afkham was the first recipient of the ‘Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent’ and assisted Maestro Haitink in a number of major projects including symphony cycles with the Chicago Symphony, Concertgebouw Orkest and London Symphony Orchestra. He was the winner of the 2008 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London, resulting in him becoming the Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra for two years. In 2010, David Afkham was the inaugural recipient of the ‘Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’, and was Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester 2009- 2012.

Born in Milan, Giovanni studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica and at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He is a founder member of the Baroque ensemble “Il Giardino Armonico”, which he has led since 1989. With this ensemble, he has appeared as conductor and soloist on the recorder and Baroque transverse flute in Europe, United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Japan and Malaysia. He is Artistic Director of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of the Mozarteum Orchester and Kammerorchester Basel.

He has performed with many prestigious artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Isabel Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Giuliano Carmignola, Giovanni Sollima, Sol Gabetta, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Sumi Jo, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Emmanuel Pahud. Renowned for his refined and innovative interpretation of the classical and baroque repertoire, Antonini is also a regular guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Tonhalle Orchester, Mozarteum Orchester, Orquesta Nacional de España and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester.

His opera productions have included Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Handel’s Alcina at Teatro alla Scala in Milano and Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Cecilia Bartoli. In 2013 he conducted Bellini’s Norma at Salzburg festival, reprised in summer and autumn 2015 and in Monte Carlo in February 2016. In 2018 he returns to Zurich Opera to conduct Idomeneo. In the 2017-18 season, performances also include return visits to Kozerthaus Orchester Berlin, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and Symphonieorchester und Chor des Bayersichen Rundfunks, and debuts with Chicago Symphony and Kammerakademie Potsdam.

With Il Giardino Armonico, Antonini has recorded numerous CDs of instrumental works by Vivaldi as part of his wider recorded repertoire of seventeenth and eighteenth century Italian composers, J.S. Bach (Brandenburg Concertos) and Biber and Locke for Teldec. With Naïve he recorded Vivaldi’s opera Ottone in Villa, and in the recent years he has been recording with Il Giardino Armonico for Decca, including Alleluia with Julia Lezhneva. With the Kammerorchester Basel he has recorded Beethoven Symphonies and most recently a disc of flute concertos with Emmanuel Pahud entitled Revolution. In 2013 he conducted a recording of Bellini’s Norma for Decca in collaboration with Orchestra La Scintilla.

Antonini is the artistic director of the Haydn 2032 project, created to realise a vision to record and perform with Il Giardino Amonico and Kammerochester Basel, the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn by the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Volumes 1-4 have been released on the Alpha Classics label with the 5th; L’Homme de Génie  to be released later in 2017.

Piano & Conductors

Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942, and studied piano under his parents. At age 11, he took part in conducting classes in Salzburg, under Igor Markevich

In 1954, Daniel began his recording career as a pianist. In the 1960s, he recorded Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with Otto Klemperer, Brahm’s Piano Concertos with Sir John Barbirolli, and the Mozart piano concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra, this time serving both as pianist and conductor.

Ever since his conducting debut in 1967 in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Daniel has been in great demand with leading orchestras around the world. Between 1975 and 1989, he was principal conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, and he held the position of Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra between 1991 and 2006. Since 1992, Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he was also artistic director from 1992 to August 2002. In 2000, the Staatskapelle Berlin appointed him Principal Conductor for Life, and in March 2003, he and the Staatskapelle were honoured with the Wilhelm-Furtwängler-Preis.

Beside his great classic-romantic repertoire, Daniel continues to focus on contemporary music.

Born in 1960, George Benjamin began composing at the age of seven. In 1976 he entered the Paris Conservatoire to study with Messiaen, after which he worked with Alexander Goehr at King’s College, Cambridge.

When George was only 20 years old, Ringed by the Flat Horizon was played at the BBC Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Elder. George’s first operatic work Into the Little Hill, written with playwright Martin Crimp, was commissioned in 2006 by the Festival d’Automne in Paris. Their second collaboration, Written on Skin was premiered at the Aix-en-Provence festival in July 2012. The world premiere of a new collaboration with Martin Crimp, Lessons in Love and Violence, is scheduled for the Royal Opera House in 2018.

As a conductor George has a broad repertoire and has conducted numerous world premieres, including important works by Rihm, Chin, Grisey and Ligeti. He regularly works with some of the world’s leading orchestras, amongst them the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Modern.

Since 2001 George has been the Henry Purcell Professor of Composition at King‘s College, London and was made a Fellow of the College in 2017. George was made a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2015 and was knighted in the 2017 Birthday Honours.

His works are published by Faber Music and are recorded on Nimbus Records.

Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of baroque and classical repertoire and in 2007 became Artistic Director of The English Concert, one of the UK’s finest period orchestras. He became Chief Conductor of Santa Fe Opera in 2013 and opened the 2014 season with a critically-acclaimed Fidelio. Born in Liverpool, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University and is an accomplished harpsichordist.

Plans for the 2017/18 season include his debut with RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, return visits to Lyric Opera of Chicago (Orphée et Eurydice), Metropolitan Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro), Royal Northern Sinfonia, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony and a masterclass with the Juilliard School. Plans with The English Concert include European and US (Carnegie Hall) performances of Rinaldo and recording work, and with Santa Fe Opera, performances of Bernstein’s Candide.

At the start of the 2016/17 season, French-born Alexandre Bloch assumed the position of Music Director of Orchestre National de Lille and since September 2015 has been Principal Guest Conductor of Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. Admired for his enthusiasm and energy, his First Prize at the 2012 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition brought him to international attention and he subsequently served as Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The 2017/18 season includes debuts with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra of the National Centre for Performing Arts Beijing, Musikalische Akademie in Mannheim and return visits to Vancouver Symphony, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a tour to Kuwait with London Symphony Orchestra. Plans with Dusseldorf include a visit to Concertebouw Amsterdam and a New Year’s gala concert, and with Lille performances of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé ballet and concerts at the Salle Philharmonique de Liège and Philharmonie de Paris.

Violin & Conductors

Guy Braunstein

Violinist Guy Braunstein was born in Tel Aviv and studied under the guidance of Chaim Taub and later in New York with Glenn Dicterow and Pinchas Zuckerman.

He started performing as an international soloist and a chamber musician at a young age and has since performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors.  His chamber music collaborations have included projects with Issac Stern, András Schiff, Zubin Mehta, Maurizio Pollini, Yefim Bronfman, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, Mitsuko Uchida and Angelika Kirschlager to name a few.

He was the youngest person ever to be appointed concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2000, a position he held for twelve years before leaving to pursue his solo career.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season include concerto performances with Danish National Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Bournemouth Symphony, Noord Nederlands Orkest and Orchestra Filarmonica del Teatro di Fenice amongst others. Guy is increasingly in demand as a conductor and next season will conduct orchestras including Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Trondheim Symphony, Hamburger Symphoniker and Lahti Symphony. Guy will also perform chamber music and recitals throughout Europe.

Guy plays a rare violin made by Francesco Roggieri in 1679.