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Soloists and Guests
 
2023-24
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Alexandra Stemp (Violin)

Alexandra Stemp was born and raised in Blackpool. Having led the Lancashire Students' Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra she went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During her time there she won the Bach prize and also became a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. She is an experienced musicain who has played with many of the UK's leading professional orchestras. Since leaving the Halle she is now a freelance musician. She performs with a string quartet, Mercury Strings, in recitals across the North West and is the leader of Blackburn Symphony Orchestra.

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Martin Roscoe (Piano)

With an extraordinary career spanning over five decades, Martin Roscoe is unarguably one of the UK’s best loved pianists. Renowned for his versatility at the keyboard, Martin is equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances. His enduring popularity and the respect in which he is universally held are built on a deeply thoughtful musicianship and his easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians alike. Martin is Artistic Director of Ribble Valley International Piano Week and the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society, and has recently stepped down as Co-Artistic Director of the Beverley Chamber Music Festival.

 

With a repertoire of over 100 concertos performed or recorded, Martin continues to work regularly with many of the UK’s leading orchestras, having especially close links with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, where he has given over ninety performances. Other orchestral highlights have included BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Martin also performs widely across Europe, Canada, Australia and the Far East, sharing the concert platform with eminent conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Gianandrea Noseda, and Christoph von Dohnányi.

 

A prolific recitalist and chamber musician, Martin tours the UK extensively every season, including regular appearances at Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and Bridgewater Hall. He has long-standing associations with Peter Donohoe, Kathryn Stott, and the Maggini Quartet, and worked closely with Tasmin Little and the Endellion String Quartet during their long and illustrious careers. Recent collaborations include with Jennifer Pike, Tai Murray, Fenella Humphreys, Liza Ferschtman and the Brodsky and Carducci Quartets. One of his most important ensembles, the Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio (2005-2016), performed many times across the UK, most notably at Wigmore Hall. More recently, Martin formed the Roscoe Piano Trio with Fenella Humphreys and Jessica Burroughs for a celebratory concert in honour of Peter Cropper. The Trio has since gone on to perform across the UK, most notably at Bridgewater Hall.

 

Having made over 600 broadcasts, including seven BBC Prom appearances, Martin is one of the most regularly played pianists on BBC Radio 3. Martin has also made many commercial recordings for labels such as Hyperion, Chandos and Naxos. He has recorded the complete piano music of Dohnányi ,Nielsen and Szymanowski, as well as four discs in the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series. For the Deux-Elles label, Martin has recorded the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, for which he received unanimous critical acclaim.

 

Teaching has always formed an important part of Martin’s life and the development of young talent helps him to constantly re-examine and re-evaluate his own playing. He is currently Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London and has been awarded his Fellowship there.

Martin splits his free time between the stunning English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, which provide inspiration and relaxation, and also enable him to indulge his passion for the countryside and hill-walking.

 

Artist Website: www.martinroscoe.co.uk

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Nigel Clarke (Composer)

British composer, Nigel Clarke, grew up in the seaside town of Margete and though not from a musical background, he developed a lifelong love of music at an early age while learning a brass instrument at school. 

Aged 16 he joined the Royal Marines as a junior military bandsman and went on to serve in the Band of the Royal Army Medical Corps and ultimately the Band of the Irish Guards. His desire to write music was encouraged at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. This led to him studying composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Paul Patterson where he was awarded the Academey's highest distinction, the Queen's Commendation for Excellence.

In 1997 the U.S. Ambassador to the UK (William J. Crowe, Jr.) invited Clarke to join the U.S. Embassy’s flagship exchange programme, ‘The United States International Visitor Leadership Program’ and as its alumnus, he is a member of the John Adams Society.

During his professional career Clarke has held posts as Composition and Contemporary Music Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music and Head of Composition at the London College of Music & Media. His many national and international residencies and associations include positions with the Young Concert Artist Trust, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Black Dyke Band, Brassband Buizingen, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Middle Tennessee State University, and Brussels Muzieque. Clarke’s longest musical collaboration has been with violinist Peter Sheppard-Skærved. 

Website: https://nigel-clarke.com/

2022-23
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Andrew Reynish (Cello)

British Copenhagen-based cellist Andrew Reynish enjoys an active and varied career internationally as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. 

  

A native of Lancashire, he attended Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester before gaining his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with professors Morten Zeuthen and Tim Frederiksen. Andrew was later a Graduate Assistant in Chamber Music at the University of Georgia’s, Hugh Hodgson School of Music under the tutelage of Professors David Starkweather and Michael Heald.  ​One of many highlights of his time in Georgia was performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the UGASO. He was generously supported by the Secret Sits Pro Music Charity. 
 

Further competition successes include winning the 2011 Gregynog Young Musician of the Year Competition, becoming the Young Musician of the Preston Guild in 2012 and winning the Deena Shipytka Award in 2015. He has taken part in major music festivals, notably, the renowned Astona Summer Music Academy 2009-13, and the Lake District Summer Music Academy in 2016. 
  

In late 2019, he co-founded Trio Aurae with the violinist Adrian Dima and the accordionist Alessandro Ambrosi. In 2023, they will record and publish their adaptations of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires arranged for violin, cello and accordion. 

 

Andrew’s cello companion is an instrument by Sebastien Vuillaume, Paris 1860 c., called “Zerlina”. 

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Jessica Hughes (Composer and Clarinet)

Jessica Hughes is a 19 year old clarinettist with a keen interest in composition and arrangement.

We were delighted to perform one of her arrangements at our Music from Stage and Screen concert at the Grand Theatre in March.

Her first work, a string quartet, was recently premiered by the Equilibrium String Quartet through the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company's "Rushworth Young Composers" program.

 

She is also passionate about orchestral performance and is the principal clarinet of both the Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

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Alexandra Stemp (Violin)

Alexandra Stemp was born and raised in Blackpool. Having led the Lancashire Students' Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra she went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During her time there she won the Bach prize and also became a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. She is an experienced musicain who has played with many of the UK's leading professional orchestras. Since leaving the Halle she is now a freelance musician. She performs with a string quartet, Mercury Strings, in recitals across the North West and is the leader of Blackburn Symphony Orchestra.

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Amanda Turner (Cello)

Amanda grew up on the Fylde and in her formative years was a member of various local ensembles including Blackpool Symphony Orchestra prior to her attending Trinity College of Music in London where she studied cello. Since graduating in 1990 she has enjoyed a very varied and active career as both a performer and teacher.

As an orchestral player she has toured many countries and continents including tours to the USA, Europe and the Far East with the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic with a particularly notable highlight being a tour to Lapland which included Reindeer in the audience!

She has played on many CD sessions and radio broadcasts as well as performing in some of the words greatest concert halls including the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw and the Musikverein.

Currently she is a freelance cellist who performs regularly with various orchestras.

Throughout her career Amanda has always been a passionate music educator and for over thirty years was the cello tutor for the Lancashire Youth Orchestras and has taken part in many education projects. She is the cello tutor at Stonyhurst College and also gives private lessons to students from age 5 to 91!

2021-22
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Alexandra Stemp (Violin)

Alexandra Stemp was born and raised in Blackpool. Having led the Lancashire Students' Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra she went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During her time there she won the Bach prize and also became a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. She is an experienced musicain who has played with many of the UK's leading professional orchestras. Since leaving the Halle she is now a freelance musician. She performs with a string quartet, Mercury Strings, in recitals across the North West and is the leader of Blackburn Symphony Orchestra.

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Jane Irwin (Soprano)

Jane Irwin is from Lancashire and studied music at Lancaster University and singing at the Royal Northern College of Music as a mezzo. In 2009 Jane moved into a soprano repertoire.

As a concert and recital singer Jane has appeared regularly in Britain, Europe and America. Highlights have included appearances at the Carnegie Hall, New York, the BBC Proms, the Wigmore Hall, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Berlin Festival, the Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony Hall, and the Musikverein, Vienna. She has collaborated with the Deutsche Symphony Orchester, Orchestre de Paris, San Paolo Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle and many more, with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, Donald Runnicles, Antonio Pappano and Sir Mark Elder. Jane has given recitals at the Chatelet, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Geneva , Aix-en-Provence and Japan.

Operatic appearances have included Ring Cycles at Bayreuth, ROH and Scottish Opera, and other leading roles with Deutsche Oper, Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and the major British companies.

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