PETER DONOHOE, Piano
Peter Donohoe was born in Manchester in 1953. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music for seven years, graduated in music at Leeds University, and went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Derek Wyndham and then in Paris with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod. He is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time, for his musicianship, stylistic versatility and commanding technique.
In recent seasons Donohoe has appeared with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonia, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the Belarusian State Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and CBSO, a UK tour with the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as concerts in South America, Europe, Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia, and the USA. Other engagements include performances of all three MacMillian piano concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a series of concerts for the Ravel and Rachmaninov Festival at Bridgewater Hall alongside Noriko Ogawa, and performances with The Orchestra of the Swan. Donohoe is also in high demand as an adjudicator at piano competitions around the world. Donohoe’s recent competitions have been the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Moscow, the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Belgium, and the Hong Kong International Piano Competition.
Recent discs include a recording of Witold Maliszewski’s Piano Concerto in B flat minor with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates (Dutton Vocalion), as well as three discs of Prokofiev piano sonatas for SOMM Records, the third of which was released at the end of April 2016. The first Prokofiev disc was described by Gramophone as ‘devastatingly effective’, declaring Donohoe to be ‘in his element’, and a review in Classical Notes identified Donohoe’s ‘remarkably sensitive approach to even the most virtuosic of repertoire’. His second Prokofiev disc was given 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine. Other recordings include Cyril Scott’s Piano Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Martin Yates (Dutton Vocalion), and Malcolm Arnold’s Fantasy on a Theme of John Field with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Martin Yates (also Dutton), for which BBC Music Magazine described him as an ‘excellent soloist’, and Gramophone stated that it ‘compelled from start to finish’.
Donohoe has performed with all the major London orchestras, as well as orchestras from across the world such as Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Swedish Radio, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Vienna Symphony and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also played with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Sir Simon Rattle’s opening concerts as Music Director. He made his twenty-second appearance at the BBC Proms in 2012 and has appeared at many other festivals including six consecutive visits to the Edinburgh Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron in France, and at the Ruhr and Schleswig Holstein Festivals in Germany. In the United States, his appearances have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. Peter Donohoe also performs numerous recitals internationally and continues working with his long standing duo partner Martin Roscoe, as well as more recent collaborations with artists such as Raphael Wallfisch, Elizabeth Watts and Noriko Ogawa.
Donohoe has worked with many of the world’s greatest conductors: Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Jarvi, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Andrew Davis and Yevgeny Svetlanov. More recently he has appeared as soloist with the next generation of excellent conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Robin Ticciati and Daniel Harding.
Peter Donohoe is an honorary doctor of music at seven UK universities, and was awarded a CBE for services to classical music in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List.
SEFIKA KUTLUER, flute
CATRIN FINCH - Harp
Internationally renowned harpist CATRIN FINCH is one of the most accomplished harpists of her generation. Described as “The Queen of Harps”, she has been delighting audiences with her performances across the UK and worldwide, since the age of five. Having started her studies in Wales with Elinor Bennett, she achieved the highest mark in the UK for her Grade 8 ABRSM exam at the tender age of nine, going on to study at The Purcell School and the Royal Academy of Music with Skaila Kanga, graduating with the Queens Commendation for Excellence in 2002.
In 2000 she had the honour of reviving the ancient tradition of Royal Harpist to H.R.H, the Prince of Wales, a position she held until 2004, which was last held during Queen Victoria’s reign in 1873. Her first major competition success came in 1999 winning the Lily Laskine International Harp Competition in France, one of the premier harp competitions in the world. On winning the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, Catrin went on to play in over thirty states in the USA, including recitals and concerto debuts in New York (including the Lincoln Centre and Weill Recital Hall), Boston and Washington D.C. In May 2004, and again in 2012, she was nominated for a Classical Brit Award and is also the winner of an “Echo Klassik” in Germany. Since then, she has performed extensively throughout the USA, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Philharmonia, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Mozart Players, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, the Lake Charles Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony and the Manchester Camerata. In 2015, she joined the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as soloist, for their four week tour of South America, which included performances in Patagonia, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Chile and Venezuela, and in 2016 she was Artist in Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, and toured with the Philharmonia. Festival appearances include Salzburg, Edinburgh, Spoleto, Smithsonian Folklife, MDR Musiksommer Festival in Leipzig, Le Domaine Forget and Lanaudiere Festivals in Canada, Festival No. 6, and the Gödöllő Harp Festival in Hungary. Catrin has appeared on all the major television and radio networks in the UK and many abroad. Among her earliest appearances on TV were two features on the BBC’s ‘Blue Peter’, and since then there have been many appearances on radio and television in the UK. In 2003, Catrin presented a TV documentary about herself entitled ‘Charlie’s Angel’ which was awarded a BAFTA Cymru/Wales award for the best music programme. She has recently been heard presenting concerts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales live on BBC Radio 3 from the Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff Bay. Recent TV appearances include BBC Breakfast and the Andrew Marr Show.
She has recorded for most of the major international recording companies, including Universal Records, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI and Sony Classical, both solo and with notable artists such as Bryn Terfel, Sir James Galway and Julian Lloyd-Webber. Since her first recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2009, which entered the UK Classical charts at number 1, she has recorded three further albums for the label including the bestselling “Blessing” with John Rutter, which also went to number 1 in the UK classical charts and was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. She has also collaborated closely with composer Karl Jenkins on stage and on disc, including the première of a new double harp concerto commissioned by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. She has received over a million hits on You Tube for her performance of Jenkins’ “Palladio”. 2015 saw the release of Catrin’s self-composed album entitled ‘Tides’ in support of the International Development charity Water Aid. This new release marked the first time Catrin’s own compositions appeared as a body of work on stage and on record, revealing a new side to her exceptional musicality, including her piano skills for the first time. Showing her versatility in different musical genres, in 2013 Catrin collaborated with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita on an album entitled ‘Clychau Dibon’, winning the 2014 Album of the Year in both Froots and Songlines magazines, and sitting atop the World Music charts for a number of weeks. This successful collaboration continues to this day, and they will be releasing their second album in April 2018. They have performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe and America, including at festivals such as WOMAD, Shambala, SFinks and L’Orient Interceltique Festival. She has received honours from the University of Wales Aberystwyth and Bangor, Glyndwr University, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. She is a visiting Professor at the latter two musical institutions and is in great demand for masterclasses. Known for her work within the community and with the younger generation, Catrin is committed to promoting the harp and classical music in general to a new and wider audience, through her now successful annual Academi Catrin Finch Academy Summer Harp School, an Annual Harp Fun Day and her ‘Classical Café’ evenings.
TASMIN LITTLE - Violin
In addition to a flourishing career as violin soloist which has taken her to every continent of the world, TASMIN LITTLE has further established her reputation as Artistic Director of two Festivals: in 2006 her hugely successful “Delius Inspired” Festival was broadcast for a week on BBC Radio 3 in July. An exciting range of events, ranging from orchestral concerts and chamber music to films and exhibitions, also reached 800 school children in an ambitious programme designed to widen interest in classical music for young people. In 2008 she begins her first year as Artistic Director of the annual Orchestra of the Swan “Spring Sounds” Festival, which this year will feature two world premieres alongside firm favourites in the English and American repertoire.
As a concerto player, Tasmin’s performances in the 2006/07 season took her on a major tour to South East Asia and Australia playing Elgar’s violin concerto celebrating the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth as well as playing other repertoire in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, Ireland and throughout England.
She now play/directs orchestras such as Norwegian Chamber, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic, European Union Chamber Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia. In 2007/08 she joins the London Mozart Players as a soloist and director in a tour of the UK which will also feature her UK conducting debut. She also performs with the Royal Philharmonic, RTE National Symphony Orchestra Dublin, Slovenian Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, EUCO, City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras as well as playing the Elgar Concerto with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Leonard Slatkin at her re-engagement at the prestigious Philharmonie.
In 2006, Tasmin made her fourteenth appearance at the BBC Promenade concerts in a performance of the rarely heard Glasunov concerto. She continues to champion seldom-performed repertoire and during the 2006/7 season she played Bruch's second violin concerto with the London Philharmonic, the Korngold concerto in Symphony Hall Birmingham and is one of the few violinists who have tackled Ligeti’s challenging violin concerto. Her 2003 tour with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, during which she performed the concerto at the Proms, Berlin, the Salzburg Festival, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia, received unanimous critical acclaim (“the technical command was glorious” – The Guardian; “very beautiful” – Berliner Morgenpost; “a major violin talent” – Philadelphia Inquirer; “a formidable soloist” – New York Times). In 2007 she returned to the work with the Göteborg Symphony and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Her twenty-three recordings, with repertoire ranging from Bruch and Brahms to Karlowicz and Arvo Pärt have received great critical acclaim. In 2008 she continues her campaign to bring classical music to a wider audience with her ambitious project
“The Naked Violin.” This latest recording features works by Bach, Ysaÿe and Patterson and was released exclusively for download on her website in January 2008. The recording created an extraordinary volume of media interest in newspapers, on television, radio and on the internet, and within only days there were over 6000 international websites linked to Tasmin's site, all talking about the pioneering aspect of the download. In the first month, Tasmin's site received nearly 200.000 hits and more than 2 terabytes of download requests.
In addition to continuing her normal concerto and recital engagements both here and abroad in 2008/09, Tasmin will also be undertaking a tour of The Naked Violin, with concerts in halls as well as in the wider community.
Tasmin plays a 1757 Guadagnini violin and has, on kind loan from the Royal Academy of Music, the ‘Regent’ Stradivarius.
LAUREN ZHANG (BBC YOUNG MUSICIAN 2018)
At the age of 16, LAUREN ZHANG won the 2018 BBC Young Musician Competition. Lauren’s performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth was broadcast live on BBC4 and BBC Radio 3 to widespread acclaim. Following her success in the competition, Lauren will make her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall this summer. She is in demand as a soloist throughout the UK and further afield.
Lauren studies piano with Dr Robert Markham in the Junior Department at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She began piano lessons with Madeline Ignazito in the USA at the age of four, later moving to Birmingham where she is a pupil at the King Edward VI High School for Girls. She achieved her fellowship diploma in piano performance at the age of 13. Lauren has participated in masterclasses with Fabio Bidini, Peter Donohoe, Kalman Drafi, Pascal Nemirovski, Kenneth Hamilton, Lan Mi, and John Thwaites. She also receives guidance from Professor Christopher Elton.
In 2016, Lauren also won first prize at the 15th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany. Among other achievements, she was a prize-winner at the Wales International Piano Festival (2016) and the Young Pianist of the North International Competition (2015), and was awarded first prize in the EPTA-UK (18 and under) competition (2015), and first prize in the Emanuel Piano Trophy competition (2015).
Lauren also plays the violin, studying with Sam Mason, and achieved her licentiate diploma at the age of 12. She has participated in and organised various charity concerts and is a keen chamber musician as a pianist and violinist. Lauren is grateful for the support of YCAT through their aftercare scheme for BBC Young Musician finalists.