Sunday January 19th 2020 3.00 pm
The Friern Ensemble
Paul Willey (violin)
Margot Rusmanis (violin)
Ian Byrne Brito (viola)
Natasha Michael (viola)
Nigel Blomiley (cello)
with Jessica Zhu (piano)
Mozart: String quintet in B flat K 174
Franck: Piano quintet in F minor
Admission free with retiring collection. No tickets issued beforehand
Paul Willey (violin) studied at the Royal Academy of Music and won scholarships to complete his studies in Freiburg, Indiana and Sienna. He was Associate Leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before being appointed Leader of the Ulster Orchestra and subsequently Leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He now freelances, and appears regularly as guest leader of the English Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras. He has performed as concerto soloist with various leading orchestras, and has played on BBC radio both as recitalist and as concerto soloist
Margot Rusmanis (violin) studied at Trinity College of Music with Bela Katona and Dennis East, and was a member of the BBC Radio Orchestra for 10 years. She then freelanced in the classical and light music world including leading the String section of the original Come Dancing Orchestra! She teaches privately in Beaconsfield Bucks, and coaches at the Chiltern Music Academy as well as running music theory classes and coaching string chamber music in the school holidays.
Ian Bryne Brito (viola) was born in the UK but brought up in Spain. He graduated from The Hague Royal Conservatory and completed a masters at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then, Ian has developed a successful international performing career and has won several prestigious awards and scholarships. He continues to perform and teach alongside his role as Assistant Manager and Viola Specialist with Stringers in London.
Natasha Michael (viola) studied the viola at the Royal College of Music where she was the recipient of the viola and string quartet prizes. She has enjoyed a varied freelance career as an orchestral musician having played principal viola under the baton of Petrenko, Haitink, Norrington and Jurowski. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed at the Wigmore and Cadogan Halls as part of the RCM's ‘Rising Star' concert series. Natasha is currently Director of Music at Chesham Grammar School.
Nigel Blomiley (cello) was principal cello in the BBC Concert Orchestra from 1981-2005 after being Assistant Principal in the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra from 1970-1981. He featured regularly as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and toured throughout the world. He has a serious commitment to chamber music, and to developing young players, having taught at Chethams and the Purcell School for many years, and worked as coach to the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.
Jessica Zhu (piano) is a Chinese-American pianist who made her debut in 2006 with Houston Symphony Orchestra. She won a Marshall scholarship to study at the Guildhall School, where she gained her Mastership with distinction, and was awarded a Fellowship. She won 1st prize in the First Prize at the 2011 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, and the Audience Prize at the Sussex International Piano Competition. She made her Wigmore Hall debut in 2011, and has performed in many prestigious venues. Jessica is on the LiveMusicNow young artist scheme, performing in hospitals, elderly homes, and special education schools throughout the UK.
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