Outstanding pianist James Baillieu, ‘in a class of his own’ (Daily Telegraph) joins the Berkeley Ensemble for a premiere by Misha Mullov-Abbado, alongside Schubert’s much-loved ‘Trout’ Quintet and a witty exploration of everyday items by Rachel Stott.
BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny gives a pre-concert talk with members of the Berkeley Ensemble at 6.45pm.
Misha Mullov-Abbado - New work (world permiere)
Joseph Haydn - String Trio in G major Op. 53/1
Rachel Stott - Serendipity and Household objects
Franz Schubert - String Trio D471
Franz Schubert - ‘Trout’ Quintet D667
James Baillieu, piano
Tickets: £15 / £12 / free for under-26s
Free tickets for under-26 are funded by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust.
About the artists
Hailed as ‘an instinctive collective’ (The Strad) the Berkeley Ensemble takes its name from two British composers of the last hundred years, father and son Sir Lennox and Michael Berkeley. It was formed in 2008 by members of Southbank Sinfonia, Britain’s young professional orchestra, with the aim of exploring the wealth of little-known twentieth and twenty-first century British chamber music alongside more established repertoire. It now enjoys a busy concert schedule performing throughout the UK and abroad, and is also much in demand for its inspiring work in education.
The ensemble’s flexible configuration and collaborative spirit has led to performances with leading musicians including Sir Thomas Allen, Richard Sisson, Gabriel Prokofiev and Nicholas Daniel. The group enthusiastically champions new music and has worked with composers John Casken and Robin Holloway. It was proud to premiere its first commission, Michael Berkeley’s Clarion Call and Gallop, in 2013 and featured the piece on its debut recording. Released in March 2014, the album was praised by Gramophone for ‘the vibrancy of the Berkeley Ensemble’s performance even compared with Dennis Brain and friends in [the Ferguson Octet’s] first recording.’
The ensemble is rapidly building a reputation for innovative and thought-provoking programming and in spring 2014 received official recognition with a Help Musicians UK Emerging Excellence award. Equally at home on the summer festival circuit and in the concert hall, the group has performed at the Latitude and Greenbelt festivals.
Taking its music to new audiences, most importantly through education work, is central to the ensemble’s activities. Its work in this area includes self-directed projects in addition to collaborations with Southbank Sinfonia, Merton Music Foundation and Pan Concerts for Children. The ensemble regularly coaches students in chamber performance at the University of York, is ensemble-in-residence at Queen Elizabeth School in Cumbria and Ibstock Place School in London and runs an annual residential chamber music course in Somerset.
Photo credits: Nigel Luckhurst, Louise Mather
Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’ James Baillieu has been the prize-winner of the Wigmore Hall Song Competition, Das Lied International Song Competition, Kathleen Ferrier and Richard Tauber Competitions. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2010 and in 2012 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust Award and in 2016 was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Outstanding Young Artist Award.
James has given solo and chamber recitals throughout Europe and further afield. He collaborates with a wide range of singers and instrumentalists including Lawrence Power, Jack Liebeck, the Elias and Heath Quartets, Ian Bostridge, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Annette Dasch, Pumeza Matshikiza, Markus Werba, Catherine Wyn Rogers and Sarah-Jane Brandon. Venues include Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, the Barbican Centre London, Wiener Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg. Festivals include Festpillene i Bergen, Spitalfields, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, City of London, Aix-en-Provence, Verbier, St Magnus, Derry, Norfolk & Norwich and Brighton Festivals. As a soloist he has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Wiener Kammersymphonie.
An innovative programmer, James has already curated a number of projects, including series for the Brighton Festival, Wigmore Hall, BBC Radio 3, Bath International Festival and Perth Concert Hall.
In the 2015/16 season James presented his own 11-concert series at the Wigmore Hall “Introducing James Baillieu” with Adam Walker, Jonathan McGovern, Ailish Tynan, Tara Erraught, Henk Neven, Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Mark Padmore amongst others. This series was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Chamber Music and Song Award for an outstanding contribution to the performance of chamber music or song in the UK during 2016. He also took part in a European tour with Benjamin Appl as part of the ECHO Rising Stars series.
Engagements this season include a US and UK tour with Jamie Barton, recitals at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and Heidelberger Frühling with Benjamin Appl and performances at the Wigmore Hall with Mark Padmore, Stuart Jackson, Marcus Farnsworth, Peter Moore, Tim Mead, Benjamin Appl and Sir Thomas Allen.
James enjoys working with young musicians and is a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, International tutor in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music, a coach for the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, a course leader for the Samling Foundation, and co-ordinates the song programme for the Verbier Festival Academy. He has been an adjudicator for many international competitions.
Born in South Africa, James studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music in London with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. In 2007 he graduated with a Dip.RAM and received the Christian Carpenter Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He was appointed a Hodgson Junior Fellow in 2007, a Professor of Piano Accompaniment in 2011, and awarded an ARAM in 2012.
Photo credit: Kaupo Kikkas