ClefLogo  Concert 5 - Biographical Notes

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Ensemble 360     

Concert No.5

Saturday 23rd January 2021 at 8pm
at Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre

Ensemble 360

Benjamin Nabarro (Violin), Claudia Ajmone-Marsan (Violin),
Ruth Gibson (Viola), Gemma Rosefield (Cello),
Laurène Durantel (Double Bass), Matthew Hunt (Clarinet),
Amy Harman (Bassoon) and Naomi Atherton (Horn)

Sponsored by a Member of the Society   

  “one of the most adaptable chamber groups in the country”
- The Guardian

Ensemble 360

“Eleven international musicians, brimming with body and soul with passion, vitality and virtuosity, whose performances never cease to amaze” - The Independent

"The emotional chemistry here was manifestly unusual... pure magic" - Sunday Telegraph

Praised by The Guardian as "one of the most adaptable chamber groups in the country", Ensemble 360 is renowned for its virtuoso performances, bold programming and engaging interpretations of music ranging from baroque duos, through classical quartets to new commissions for all eleven players.

Formed in2005to take up residency at Sheffield’s Crucible Studio Theatre, Ensemble360 quickly gained an enviable national reputation. The group takes its name from the intimacy and immediacy of the Crucible’s in-the-round space, which influenced their performance and ethos to give audiences a ‘360 degree experience’ that goes beyond the traditions of classical concerts. Their spontaneous and energetic performances, lively spoken word introductions and talks, adaptability and engagement thrill audiences in venues ranging from prestigious concert halls to major festivals to more intimate spaces.

The group enriches the experience of classical chamber concerts through the addition of pre-concert talks, conversations with their audiences and performances for children. Their thoughtfully curated artistic programmes often take a theme such as a particular composer, city or musical style as their starting point, and can be presented as a standalone concert or extended into a full weekend programme of music and activities.

An impressive collection of recordings, commissions and new collaborations reflect the group’s versatility, and has received widespread critical acclaim.

Performances include the Aldeburgh, Bath, Buxton, Guiting, Leamington, North Norfolk and Three Choirs Festivals; Barber Institute, Crucible Theatre Sheffield, Kings Place, Paines Plough pop-up theatre, National Centre for Early Music, The Sage Gateshead, Wiltshire Music Centre and Wigmore Hall. Ensemble 360 has established its own concert series in Barnsley and Doncaster. The group appears regularly on BBC Radio 3.

Learning and education forma key part of Ensemble 360’sdesire to reach as many different people as possible, and to allow audiences to experience classical music in a way that is accessible to them. A combination of virtuosic musicianship and relaxed communication has naturally led to the development of learning and education projects for all ages. The group has premiered and toured a number of new works, many commissioned by Music in the Round specifically for the Ensemble, including most recently Howard Skempton’s Man and Bat(2017). The majority of these work shave premiered in Sheffield and many have gone on to have a life after their premiere through performances around the UK. With Music in the Round, the group has also premiered and toured a number of commissions from award-winning Children’s Composer in Residence Paul Rissmann. Ensemble 360 tours children’s concerts to schools across the UK. It works regularly with Universities, including as ensemble in residence at the Universities of Huddersfield and Nottingham.

Benjamin Nabarro (Violin)

Described by Musical Opinion as “an outstanding artist”, Benjamin Nabarro has performed throughout Europe, North America, Africa, and the Middle and Far East, as a violin soloist, guest concertmaster, director and conductor. He has performed with the BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, English Chamber and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, and with the Philharmonia, where he played Scherezade under the baton of Charles Dutoit. His concerto performances have won praise for their “purity of style, elegance of phrasing and unsurpassed perfection of technique” (Musical Opinion).

Since 2009, he has been first violin of the internationally renowned Ensemble 360, and he is also a regular guest first violin of the Nash Ensemble, where he has appeared in concerts world-wide. He has made numerous recording for Hyperion and Dutton. Recent concerto engagements include performances of works by Glazounov, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Brahms, Watkins, Piazzola, Vivaldi and Bach and he has regularly been invited to the festivals of Cheltenham, BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Bath, Schleswig Holstein, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern and Nuremberg, where he also made his conducting debut in 2012.

Benjamin Nabarro is a member of the Leonore Piano Trio, together with cellist Gemma Rosefield and pianist Tim Horton. The Leonore Trio have given a concerts throughout the UK and Europe, as well as a three week tour of New Zealand, where they broadcast for Radio New Zealand and gave a concert in the New Zealand Parliament. The Leonore Trio’s debut recording for Hyperion records of music by Arensky and Rachmaninov was released in March 2014 to great critical acclaim. Their second recording, also for Hyperion, of works by Lalo, has won universal praise and both disks were featured a BBC Radio 3’s ‘Disk of the Week’. They have recently recorded the complete trios of David Matthews, at the composers request, and a third disk for Hyperion of music by Taneyev and Rimsky Korsakov. Both are due for release in 2016.

Benjamin Nabarro has given concerts and masterclasses in Schools and conservatoires throughout the UK, Europe and further afield, including a day of workshops with the Leonore Trio in Otara, New Zealand, as part of the Sistema programme. He has also given masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and in Canada.

Born in Nottingham, England, he attended Chetham’s School of Music, where he studied the violin with Roger Raphael. He went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Gyorgy Pauk and Erich Gruenberg. Following graduation, he studied privately in Chicago with Shmuel Ashkenasi, with the generous assistance of an English Speaking Union Scholarship.

Claudia Ajmone-Marsan (Violin)

Born of Italian and Danish parentage, the violinist Claudia Ajmone-Marsan is a member of Ensemble 360 and Camerata Bern, Switzerland.

Always active as a chamber musician, Claudia has played in international festivals around the world including Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Belgium, Spain and the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove and Plush. She has performed live on BBC Radio 3 and Israeli, Belgian, Swiss and Swedish radios.

Claudia has played regularly in orchestras such as the Berlin Staatskapelle (under Daniel Barenboim), the Royal Danish Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, the Philharmonia and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. As concertmaster, she has led the Kammerphilharmonie Neuss am Rhein, Santander Festival Orchestra and the Presteigne Festival Orchestra. As principle second, she has guested with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Nordica and the Welsh National Opera. Her solo performances have included appearances with the Copenhagen Chamber Soloists, Oberlin Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and Kammerphilharmonie Amadé.

She has recorded a CD with pianist Tanya Bannister, which was selected on ArtsBeat as the ‘Pick of the Week’ by the New York Times.

As a founding faculty member of Alpenkammermusik in Austria, Claudia has coached and played alongside musicians both amateur and pre-professional.

After having completed her studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England, she studied at the Manhattan School of Music with Sylvia Rosenberg and subsequently with Roland and Almita Vamos at the Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. In 2001 she completed her postgraduate studies with Prof. Mihaela Martin at the Hochschule für Musik Köln.

Ruth Gibson (Viola)

As an internationally recognised chamber musician and soloist, Irish born Ruth Gibson has appeared at the world’s leading concert halls, including Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Centre, Het Concertgebouw, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Berlin Konzerthaus.

As soloist she has performed under Sir John Elliott Gardiner with the Bournemouth Symphony and has broadcasted for BBC4. Recent performances include Woolrich’s Ulysses Awakes for Solo Viola and Strings at Nurnberg International Chamber Music Festival and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Dmitry Sitkovetsky at Barry Douglas’ Clandeboye Festival in Belfast. In 2015 she became a Park Lane Group Solo Artist and preformed the viola works of Pendercki at the Purcell Room in London.

Her love of chamber music is fulfilled through her work as a member of Ensemble 360. The critically acclaimed 11 piece ensemble perform throughout the UK, appearing regularly on BBC Radio 3 and some of the largest festivals in the UK including Wigmore Hall, the National Centre for Early Music, Bath International Festival, Buxton Festival, Leamington Music Festival and Manchester Chamber Concert series.

Alongside Ensemble 360, she plays regularly with the Nash Ensemble, Scottish Ensemble and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, having recently performed at Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Berliner Philharmoner and toured the US with Joshua Bell. She has toured China, South America, Russia, Finland and Mexico as Principal Viola with Camerata Ireland, and regularly guests as Principal Viola with Manchester Camerata, Aurora Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.

Ruth is a laureate of numerous prizes. As a member of the Finzi Quartet she was a Prize Winner of the 2010 Royal Over Seas League Competition and the 5th Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in Norway. Other notable awards include the Tillett Trust, the Tunnell Trust, the Kirckman Concerts Society, the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation, the Hattori Foundation Awards and the Park Lane Group Award.

Ruth is a tutor in Viola at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and was the founder and artistic director of the String Quartet Collective at the Royal College of Music in London from 2012–2016.

Gemma Rosefield (Cello)

Winner of the prestigious Pierre Fournier Award at Wigmore Hall in 2007, Gemma Rosefield made her concerto debut at the age of sixteen, when she won First Prize in the European Music for Youth Competition in Oslo, Norway, playing a televised performance of the Saint-Saens Concerto with the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Other numerous awards and prizes include the Premier Prix Maurice Ravel in France, the Vice-Principal’s Special Prize at the RAM, and the Gold Medal at the RNCM.

Described by The Strad on her 2003 Wigmore Hall debut as ‘a mesmerising musical treasure’, by the London Evening Standard in 2005 as ‘a phenomenal talent’, and featured in BBC Music Magazine as ‘one to watch’ in 2007, Gemma has made her solo debut in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and in The Diligentia, The Hague, in the New Masters International Recital Series. She gave the highly successful Pierre Fournier Award recital in September 2008 at Wigmore Hall, and also the 2008 and 2009 Jacqueline du Pré Memorial Concerts at the same venue. She performs regularly on BBC Radio 3, including notably Michael Ellison’s Concerto for Cello and Turkish Instruments with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Gemma has played widely outside the UK, in the USA, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Kenya, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. In September she will be giving several performances at the Nuremberg Chamber Music Festival, some of which will be broadcast by Bavarian Radio.

In 2011, Hyperion released a CD of Gemma playing the Complete Works for Cello and Orchestra of Sir Charles Stanford with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Manze. BBC Music Magazine considered the Stanford Concerto to be ‘superbly played’ and Gramophone Magazine commented that Gemma ‘plays with disarming character and freshness; her technique too is enviably sure and tone beguilingly rounded’.

Gemma gives some 50 performances a year as cellist of Ensemble 360, Royal Philharmonic Society Medal Winners, 2013, whose performances are described by the Independent as ‘brimming with body and soul, with passion, vitality and virtuosity, whose performances never cease to amaze’. She is also cellist of the Leonore Piano Trio, with whom she has toured recently in Italy and New Zealand, including a broadcast performance in the New Zealand Parliament. In 2014, Hyperion released the premiere CD of the Trio, of the two Piano Trios by Arensky. The Observer described their performances as ‘revelatory’ with ‘sumptuous breadth and beguiling warmth’. The Gramophone commented that the Trio played ‘with truly glorious affection’ and that ‘it is hard to imagine playing of a greater intensity’. This CD was BBC Radio3 disc of the week. The Trio recently performed the 2014 Jacqueline du Pré Memorial Concert at Wigmore Hall. Gemma is planning, with the Leonore Piano Trio, to embark in 2015 on a project to perform all the works by Beethoven for piano trio, violin and piano, and cello and piano, including at Kings Place, London.

In 2014, Gemma gave a Sunday Morning Concert at Wigmore Hall with Tim Horton, and she performed the premiere of a new work for Cello and Choir by Cecilia McDowall at Westminster Abbey. She has recently returned from Tallinn, where she played the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Estonian National Orchestra and Vello Pähn. In May Gemma performed the Elgar Cello Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Christopher Warren-Green and in August, she gave the UK Premiere of Concello, for Cello and Orchestra, by Polish composer Maciej Zielinski at the Presteigne Festival.

Gemma studied with David Strange at the RAM and with Ralph Kirshbaum at the RNCM. She has also studied with Johannes Goritzki, Gary Hoffman (Les Dix Stages de Perfectionnement, the Paris Conservatoire), Bernard Greenhouse and Zara Nelsova. Gemma has performed with eminent musicians such as György Pauk, Menahem Pressler, Julius Drake, and Stephen Kovacevich. She has a deep interest in contemporary music, and works have been written for her by David Matthews, Cecilia McDowall, James Francis Brown, Julian Dawes, Rhian Samuel, David Knotts and Michael Kamen.

Gemma plays on a cello made in Naples in 1704 by Alessandro Gagliano, formerly owned and played by the Prince Regent.

Laurène Durantel (Double Bass)

The double-bass is an instrument which can be envisaged in many ways. Laurene Durantel is one of the artists who want to play with many faces of this instrument.

After studies in Conservatoire National Superieur of Paris, Laurene Durantel becomes a member of Orchestre National de Toulouse, then principal double-bass in the same orchestra.

She recorded two CDs dedicated to composer Giovanni Bottesini, with pianist Daniel Benzakoun and violinist Eric Lacrouts.

As a soloist and chamber musician, she performs in great venues in Europe, and plays next to musicians such as Ebene quartet, Belcea quartet, Navarra quartet, Sacconi quartet, Elias Quartet, Valentin Erben, Skampa quartet, David Violi, François Salque, Matthias Goerne, Celine Frisch, Marc Bouchkov…

She is giving a central part to teaching, and is developing a real reflection about pedagogy. She founds in 2003 the “Academie de Contrebasse”, for ten years.

Member of Ensemble Carpe Diem, teaching in CRR of Toulouse, she is a former member of Ensemble 360.

She now plays with Ensemble Variances with composer Thierry Pécou, Ensemble Calliopée and Ensemble Tm+. She is a member of string quintet “Mustang”.

She is performing in solo and chamber music in venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, Theatre de la Ville in Paris, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Auditorium de Dijon…

She received in 2015 the Nordmetall prize in Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommen. She became in 2013 laureat from Festival Juventus.

Matthew Hunt (Clarinet)

One of Britain’s leading clarinettists, Matthew Hunt is a distinctive musician, renowned for the vocal quality of his playing and his ability to communicate with audiences. He holds the position of solo clarinettist with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and is a member of the Sheffield based chamber group Ensemble 360. A very keen chamber musician, he appears regularly with Meta4, the Chiurascuro and Elias quartets, Thomas Adès, Pekka Kuusisto, Emily Beynon, Nicholas Altstaedt, Alina Ibragimova, and La Bande de La Loingtaine. He has also appeared as a guest of the Berlin Philharmonic as a soloist in their series at the Berlin Philharmonie Kammermusik Saal.

Matthew’s plans for this season include appearances at festivals including Lockenhaus (Austria), Kaposvar (Hungary), Kuhmo (Finland) and Charlottesville (United States), and concerto appearances with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Paavo Jarvi, and with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Ingolstadt. As an orchestral musician, Matt a regular guest principal with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and has appeared as a guest principal with the Concertgebouw and BBC Symphony Orchestras and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Matthew’s recording for ASV of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with the Elias quartet was met with critical acclaim, with the BBC Music Magazine hailing it with five stars as “the Benchmark recording of this much recorded work”.

Amy Harman (Bassoon)

Born in London, Amy studied at the Royal College of Music and at the Akademie Múzických in Prague. In 2011 she was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and in 2014 was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).

Passionate about bringing the bassoon to a wider audience, in 2012 Amy appeared as a ‘flying soloist’ in Birmingham Opera’s premiere of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht. She has appeared as soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra and taken part in festivals across Europe, including Parnu, Tbilisi, Bath, Lichfield and Galway. In 2016 she toured California with Camerata Pacifica.

Future engagements include concertos with the Arch Sinfonia and Maidstone Symphony Orchestra. Amy returns to Wigmore Hall and the Tbilisi Festival and performs with Chen Halevi at the Mizmorim Festival in Basel.

Sought after as a chamber musician Amy is a member of Ensemble 360. In 2015 she attended Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove collaborating with Elisabeth Leonskaja. She is principal of the Aurora Orchestra and appears as guest with leading orchestras throughout Europe.

Naomi Atherton (Horn)

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Naomi took up the horn at the age of eight. She went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Michael Purton and Derel Taylor. Whilst in her first year at college she won the brass final of BBC Young Musician of the Year.

Highlights of her solo career have been with the BBC Philharmonic and the Ulster Orchestras, also performances of Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings with Robert Tear, Neil Mackie and most recently James Gilchrist and the Manchester Camerata. This performance was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 under the baton of Douglas Boyd.

Naomi has bee principal horn of Manchester Camerata and Northern Chamber Orchestra for many years, but has also appeared as guest principal withsuch orchestras as the Goldberg Ensemble, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia, Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared at many festivals including Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Bath and the BBC Proms.



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