ClefLogo  Concert 6 - Biographical Notes

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Concert No 6

8pm Saturday 24th February 2018
at Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre

Primrose Piano Quartet
with Leon Bosch (Double Bass)

Primrose Piano Quartet with Leon Bosch     

Featuring Schubert’s Trout Quintet

Making Music Selected Artists

Susanne Stanzeleit (Violin), Dorothea Vogel (Viola), Andrew Fuller (Cello)
and John Thwaites (Piano) with Leon Bosch (Double Bass)

“...the gloriously natural and unforced interpretative approach of the Primrose Quartet...”
- Classic FM Magazine, Five Star Review

The Primrose Piano Quartet

The Primrose Piano Quartet was formed in 2004 by pianist John Thwaites and three of the UK's most renowned chamber musicians (Lindsay, Allegri, Edinburgh, Maggini Quartets). It is named after the great Scottish violist, William Primrose, who himself played in the Festival Piano Quartet. Alongside their performances of the major repertoire, the Primrose Quartet have researched widely the forgotten legacy of 20th century English composers, and have revived a number of remarkable and unjustly neglected piano quartets. Its award-winning recordings feature works by Dunhill, Hurlstone, Quilter, Bax, Scott, Alwyn, Howells and Frank Bridge. Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies wrote his Piano Quartet for the Primrose in 2008, which was recorded in 2009 for the Meridian label.

Also in 2009 an exciting commission, born out of their strong Scottish connections and timed to celebrate Robert Burns’s 250th anniversary, was the “Burns Air Variations". The Primrose invited a number of their composer friends to write a short variation each on Burns' "By Yon Castle Wa", and the resulting 30-minute work received premières in Tunbridge Wells, at the Sound Festival, and at Kings Place, London. Sally Beamish, John Casken, Jacques Cohen, Peter Fribbins, Francis Pott, Zoë Martlew, Piers Hellawell and Stephen Goss are among those who contributed.

Two new CDs were recorded in 2010 for the Meridian label: Richard Strauss Piano Quartet, Violin Sonata and Cello Sonata; Maxwell Davies' Piano Quartet, the Burns Air Variations and a previously unrecorded Piano Quintet by Dmitri Smirnov. In 2011 the Quartet recorded a CD of Fauré and Brahms piano quartets, performed on a piano chosen by Brahms, and a CD of Schubert chamber works followed in 2014.

For 2014/15 The Primrose was selected for the Making Music Concert Promoters' Group for a third time, and it will be featured again in 2017/18. Another busy performing season both in the UK and abroad saw an extensive tour of Denmark, a visit to Germany and the première of a new piano quartet written for the Primrose by leading British composer, Anthony Payne at London's Kings Place. This season also saw the recording of a new CD of Elgar, Payne, Bowen with a recording of Brahms chamber works planned for 2016. Its own festival in the Hampshire Village of West Meon is now in its sixth year, and it was appointed ensemble-in-residence at the Battle Festival in 2016.

Now a British citizen, Leon Bosch grew up in 1960s and 70s South Africa, enrolling at the University of Cape Town to study the cello only because he was prevented by apartheid authorities from studying law. He soon switched to the double bass, dedicating himself to it with the kind of commitment that remains characteristic of him today.

Principal double bass with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields until 2014, he has also held the post of principal with the Manchester Camerata and The London Mozart Players. He has performed as concerto soloist many times with distinguished conductors including Sir Charles Groves and Pinchas Zukerman.

His long list of virtuoso recordings, mostly for the Meridian label, include several recitals with pianist Sung-Suk Kang and a volume of Dittersdorf concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He is also professor of double bass at Trinity Laban College. Leon also holds a masters degree in international relations.

Susanne Stanzeleit Violin

Susanne StanzeleitRenowned as a soloist and chamber musician world-wide, Susanne Stanzeleit is well known for her unusually challenging and extensive repertoire, featuring many commissions and UK premieres of works by composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Anthony Payne, John Adams, Lou Harrison, Gyorgy Kurtág, Dmitri Smirnov, John Casken, Piers Hellawell, Jacques Cohen, Peter Fribbins, Sally Beamish, John Woolrich, Philip Cashian, Louis Andriessen, Rebecca Saunders and many more.

In 2010 Susanne was appointed leader of the Maggini Quartet, one of the finest and most recorded string quartets in the UK today. She was leader of the Werethina String Quartet for many years and led the Edinburgh String Quartet between 1999-2002. She is in high demand as guest-leader of many of the foremost chamber orchestras, ensembles and contemporary music groups in the UK. A popular chamber musician, she has performed with eminent artists such as Gervase de Peyer, Eduard Brunner, Zara Nelsova, Colin Carr, Raphael Wallfisch, Alexander Baillie, Steven Doane, Norbert Brainin and Michael Collins, as well as regular pianist partners, Gusztàv Fenyö and Julian Jacobson. In 2003 she founded the Primrose Piano Quartet together with Robin Ireland, Andrew Fuller and John Thwaites.

Susanne has received rave reviews and a Gramophone Award nomination for her long list of commercial recordings, which feature the complete works of Bartók, Enescu, Delius and Dvoràk as well as Beethoven violin sonatas, works by Charles Camilleri and a series of English sonata recordings. Chamber discs include six discs with the Edinburgh Quartet, chamber music by Kenneth Leighton and the première recording of piano quartets by Hurlstone, Alwyn, Scott and Dunhill within two discs of British piano quartets with the Primrose Quartet, all on Meridian. Recent releases feature music by Arnold Cooke, the chamber works of Richard Strauss, a disc of Brahms and Faure and a disc of commissions by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Dmitri Smirnov, John Casken, Piers Hellawell, Sally Beamish and others. Susanne Stanzeleit studied with Leonid Kogan, Nathan Milstein, Vesselin Paraschkevov, Yfrah Neaman, Sándor Végh and Gyorgy Kurtág, and she is regularly invited to teach and give masterclasses at many UK music colleges and summer schools such as Dartington, Cadenza, Paxos, Ayton, Paxton and others. From 1993-2000 she was visiting lecturer of violin and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, and between 2002 - 2006 Head of Strings at the London College of Music and Media. She now teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Dorothea Vogel - Viola

Dorothea VogelDorothea Vogel (Viola) was born in Switzerland and studied with Rudolf Weber in Winterthur.

After winning first prize in the Swiss Youth Competition, Dorothea won scholarships to study with Paul Coletti at the Peabody Institute, USA, and with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti at the Guildhall School in London, where she graduated with the coveted Concert Recital Diploma. She was a founder member of the Amar Quartet.

Dorothea has played the baroque viola in the Kings Consort and Florilegium and has been both principal viola in the Gustav Mahler Orchestra and the World Youth Orchestra in Israel. She has appeared as a soloist with the Zurich Kammerorchester and at London's Wigmore Hall. She teaches Chamber Music at Pro Corda.

Her viola is by Ludovico Rastelli, Genoa, circa 1800.

Andrew Fuller - Cello

Andrew FullerAndrew Fuller has a busy and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, guest principal, session musician and teacher. His duo partnership with Pianist Michael Dussek has had great success with recent concerts and recordings, their CDs of Cello works on the Dutton Vocalion label receiving critical acclaim, several being selected as Editor's Choice in Gramophone Magazine.

He was Associate Principal with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years, leaving in 1997 to concentrate on solo and chamber music. Since then he has regularly worked as guest principal for the RPO as well as many others including the Philharmonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, the Hallé Orchestra and the Orchestra of St Johns.

As chamber musician he has made many appearances at The Wigmore Hall and at festivals and music clubs around the world, and has made many live broadcasts and recordings. He was a member of the York Piano Trio, the Fibonacci sequence, Aquarius, and Primavera. A member of the ground breaking new ensemble "Chamber Music Direct" he has also been a regular guest player with other Groups including the Sorrel, Brindisi and Coull String Quartets, Endymion and the Schubert Ensemble.

He was a visiting lecturer at the Birmingham Conservatoire from 1997 to 2003 and regularly coaches at the Royal Academy of Music and for UK youth orchestras.

John Thwaites - Piano

John ThwaitesJohn Thwaites has a varied performing career. He has been working with Alexander Baillie for thirty years. They appeared in the first and last Manchester International 'Cello Festivals, released a recital CD in 2000, and selected live performances in 2009. Another long-standing association is with Sue Lowe's 'Cello Schools, and John has performed with Johannes Goritzki, Louise Hopkins, Pierre Doumenge, Li Wei, Oleg Kogan, Melissa Phelps, Alexander Ivashkin and Alexander Boyarsky.

Alongside relationships with the Schidlof, Maggini, Emperor, Martinu and Brodsky Quartets, a performance of Lyapunov's Sextet with the Dante Quartet on Dutton Digital was BBC Music Magazine's chamber music choice for November 2004. John is also a member of the Audley Horn Trio (Stanzeleit, Stirling, Thwaites) and the Da Vinci Piano Trio (Moffatt, Irvine, Thwaites).

Recent concerto performances include Grieg at St John's Smith Square and Tchaikovsky at the Royal College of Music. A solo disc of Romantic Favourites will be released in 2010.

Formerly Head of Piano at Christ's Hospital and a tutor at GSMD, John is now Head of Keyboard Studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire and Course Director of Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School, London, in July.

Leon Bosch - Double Bass

Leon BoschLeon Bosch has an honoured place among the select group of virtuoso double bass players worldwide. Concerto engagements in many parts of the world with the likes of conductors Pinchas Zukerman, Nicolas Kraemer, Nicolae Moldoveanu and Guido Johannes Rumstadt have been matched by collaborations with a long line of leading chamber music groups - among them the Lindsay, Belcea and Brodsky string quartets, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, the Moscow Virtuosi and the Zukerman Chamber Players. Partnerships with solo performers have embraced such pianists as Peter Donohoe, Vladimir Ovchinikov, Mikhail Rudy and Maria João Pires.

Leon Bosch has a growing discography of concerto and recital recordings. This will shortly include two albums devoted to the music of the great Giovanni Bottesini and two featuring music by British composers. Then will follow everything from a disc of Russian music and another of compositions by Domenico Dragonetti, to the complete works for solo double bass by Dittersdorf, Menotti's concerto and recordings of a string of neglected concertos for the instrument.

Andrew Green

Devoted to the double bass

'I have no doubt that the double bass and I were made for each other - we're completely inseparable and the music we make together brings me unbridled joy! It has always been my mission in life to defend the cause of the underdog and my passion for the double bass, the 'Cinderella' of instruments, will never die.

Every note I play on the instrument embraces my life experiences, both in Europe and in my South African homeland. I've known love and comradeship, but also witnessed the epitome of hatred. I've felt both shining optimism and deep despair. I've benefited from the pleasures of civilised society, but also seen the destructive impact of poverty and ignorance. I've been privileged to stand side by side with people who've lost their lives in the defence of their principles.

It's difficult to explain exactly how life's experiences distil into your music-making, but they most certainly do. First you have to face the fact that playing well is 98% perspiration - all the hard work that's done in private. But then, when the day of the performance arrives, you're looking to access that other, magical 2%, which is all about freedom and spontaneity - improvisation, almost. And what you have to draw on is the story of your life - in feelings, emotions and colours.

What you hope is that thereby you link to the mind of the composer. No phrase, or even a single note, should be allowed to pass by perfunctorily …it's the performer's solemn duty to seek to understand what the composer intended and then to express that unique personal understanding as if one's very life depended upon it.

What is the point otherwise?

When I play the bass at least, I am a totally free human spirit.'

Leon Bosch



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