Manchester Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata Ensemble & Richard Howarth

Biographie Manchester Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata Ensemble & Richard Howarth

Robin Walker
was born in York, England in 1953 and attended schools attached to York Minster – where he was Head Chorister – for ten years. He studied at Durham University with the Australian composer David Lumsdaine, and subsequently at the Royal College of Music in London with the late Anthony Milner. He taught at various universities for a decade before withdrawing from academic and city life. He moved to the Pennine Hills of the West Riding of Yorkshire in order to concentrate on composition, and has lived on or next to a farm for the last thirty years. His current preoccupation is with the instinctual basis of musical tradition, and its expression in opera.

Emma McGrath
Heralded as a “First-magnitude star in the making” by the Seattle Times, British violinist Emma McGrath made her London debut aged 10 in the Purcell Room, and at 14 she performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, broadcast live on Classic FM.

She has since performed as a soloist with numerous professional orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and has toured France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Brunei, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Russia, Israel, Australia, the UK and the USA as a soloist and chamber musician.

Emma is currently the Concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Australia. Prior to this she was the Associate Concertmaster and Acting Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and the Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. She has been Guest Concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and toured Australia and Japan with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Emma received her BMus (Hons) First Class from the Royal College of Music, where she received the Chamber Music Prize, and her MMus and Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University, where she won the Concerto Competition, and was awarded the Violin Prize twice.

A multi-faceted musician, Emma is also a professional singer, composer, folk musician, and baroque violinist! When she is not making music, she enjoys hiking and travelling.

Jennifer Langridge
studied at the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded the Barbirolli Prize for Cello. She went on to become a Junior Fellow of the RNCM as part of the Nossek String Quartet, which enjoyed a successful recital career for 10 years until 1999.

Jen has been Principal Cello of Psappha Ensemble for 24 years. The group performs regularly on BBC Radio 3, has made numerous CD recordings and more than 180 films of live concerts, which can be found on Psappha’s YouTube channel. Jen often performs as a soloist with Psappha, most notably at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms in 2004, where she performed Maxwell Davies, ‘Linguae Ignis’ for solo cello and ensemble. Most recently, Jen has joined the newly formed Victoria String Quartet with colleagues from RNCM staff.

As well as being a solo recitalist, Jen is also a frequent guest Principal for orchestras. Previously, she held the position of Principal Cello of the Northern Chamber Orchestra and was for ten years a member of the BBC Philharmonic. Jen is a highly experienced and dedicated teacher; She holds teaching positions at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Junior RNCM, The University of Manchester and at Chetham’s School of Music.

John Turner
is one of the leading recorder players of today. Born in Stockport, he was Senior Scholar in Law at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge before pursuing a legal career, acting for many distinguished musicians and musical organisations (including the Halle Orchestra, the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain), alongside his many musical activities. These included numerous appearances and recordings with David Munrow’s Early Music Consort of London, the Academy of Ancient Music, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the English Baroque Soloists.

He now devotes his time to playing, writing, reviewing, publishing, composing and generally energising. He has played as recorder soloist with the Halle Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata, and many other leading orchestras and ensembles. Concertos and works with orchestra have been written for him by Gordon Crosse, Anthony Gilbert, Peter Hope, Kenneth Leighton, Elis Pehkonen, Alan Bullard, John Casken, Philip Wood, and many other distinguished composers.

His recordings include no less than five sets of the Brandenburg Concertos, as well as the F Major version of Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 with Menuhin and George Malcolm, but lately he has made numerous acclaimed recordings of the recorder’s contemporary concerto and chamber music repertoire, including four solo concerto discs, all of which have received critical acclaim. The most recent (all on the Divine Art label) are a recording of music by the novelist and composer (and fellow Mancunian) Anthony Burgess, the premiere album devoted to the music of Roy Heaton Smith, and a disc in memory of Alfred Deller (a good friend) with James Bowman and Robin Blaze, including music by Blow, Handel, Tippett and Fricker.

In the last few years he has played in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, France, New Zealand, Japan and the USA, and given many recitals on Radio 3 with pianist Peter Lawson. In all, he has given the first performances of over 500 works for the recorder, with works by many non-British composers, including Leonard Bernstein, Ned Rorem, Peter Sculthorpe, Douglas Lilburn, Petr Eben and Ruth Zechlin. Many of the works he has premiered have now entered the standard repertoire, and these and his own recorder compositions are regularly set for festivals and examinations.

John edits series of recorder publications for both Forsyths and Peacock Press, and founded the periodical Manchester Sounds , in response to the perceived threat to music libraries in Great Britain. In addition he was responsible for the rediscovery of several works for his instrument, including the Rawsthorne Recorder Suite , Antony Hopkins’ Pastiche Suite , Herbert Murrill’s Sarabande , the Handel F Major Trio Sonata and John Parry’s Nightingale Rondo (the only substantial known British nineteenth century work for a fipple flute).

He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Northern College of Music in 2002 for his services to British music, and is a Visiting Distinguished Scholar of Manchester University.

Leon Bosch
is an internationally renowned classical double bass virtuoso. With over a dozen solo CDs to his name, he regularly commissions repertoire for the instrument, making recital and concerto appearances around the world.

He is professor of double bass at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. But he also gives masterclasses in the US, Europe, South Africa and the Far East, and coaches young eastern European musicians at the I, Culture Orchestra in “

Poland and the young South Africans who make up the Miagi Orchestra. He also acts as a mentor for South African musicians worldwide.

Leon Bosch grew up in 1960s and 70s South Africa, the son of the political activist Jonas Fred Bosch – he himself spent time in a police cell for organising protests while at school. He left the apartheid regime there to come to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester after achieving the highest ever marks awarded for the B Mus performance examination by the University of Cape Town.

Remaining in the UK – he is now a British citizen – he was soon appointed principal double bass with the acclaimed Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He left the post in 2014 to devote himself to his solo career, to teaching and to establishing his now thriving chamber ensemble, I Musicanti. He also conducts and has a passion for researching lost or forgotten music for double bass such as by the Catalan Josep Cervera and the Danish court musician, Franz Keyper.

Away from music, Leon Bosch is a regular runner of marathons and ultra-marathons (winning silver medal for his age group in the 2017 86-mile Ridgeway Challenge) and holds a master’s degree in intelligence and international relations from Salford University. ‘I’ve always had a very wide range of interests,’ he says. ‘For example, the thing I’m highest qualified for in my life is international relations, not music. But this is a part of who I am: I’m not just a musician, I’m a human being.’

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