Susanne Stanzeleit & John Thwaites

Biography Susanne Stanzeleit & John Thwaites

Susanne Stanzeleit
is an international musician in the truest sense having studied with Leonid Kogan, Renowned 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.

From 2008-2013 Susanne was leader of the Maggini Quartet, one of the finest and most recorded string quartets in the UK today. She also led the Werethina String Quartet for many years and 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.

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 Mendelssohn Quartets with the Maggini Quartet. A disc of Elgar, Ireland and Bridge Sonatas will be released on the Meridian label in 2017.

Susanne Stanzeleit studied with Leonid Kogan, Nathan Milstein,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 violin and chamber music at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

John Thwaites
is best known for his collaborative work with strings . He has worked over decades with cellists Alexander Baillie and Johannes Goritzki, and appeared with Pierre Doumenge, Louise Hopkins, Natalie Clein, Alexander Ivashkin, David Cohen, Oleg Kogan, Li Wei and others, and with the Martinu, Maggini, Dante, Schidlof, Emperor and Aurea String Quartets. Theatrical collaborations have included work with Simon Callow, Tony Britton and Tim Piggott-Smith.

John performs regularly in the major festivals across Europe, broadcasts for radio, and has issued a string of critically acclaimed recordings. His recording of Lyapunov’s Piano Sextet with the Dante Quartet for Dutton Digital was a BBC Music Magazine ‘Recording of the Month’, as was a Double CD of British Twentieth Century Cello Sonatas with Alexander Baillie for SOMM. Concerto appearances include Grieg at St John’s Smith Square and Tchaikovsky at the Royal College of Music. Whilst Head of Keyboard at Christ’s Hospital, he programmed the complete Chamber Music of Brahms, taking the 17 piano parts – an abiding passion increasingly informed by historic performance study. Baillie/Thwaites have recorded the Brahms Cello Sonatas using period pianos in Vienna.

John’s more recent teaching career includes posts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is Course Director of the Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School, and Head of Keyboard Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, where he has directed major Festivals of Ireland, Delius, Bax, Skryabin and Brahms as well as directing a celebrity-studded All Night Gala at Birmingham Town Hall.

Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine Chamber Choice, October 2013

These are passionate, focused, full-blooded readings. Alexander Baillie and John Thwaites invest each work with the power of utter belief, and as a result these are probably the best current versions of the Bridge, Ireland, Rubbra and Delius Sonatas.

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