PHILIPPE GRAFFIN, violin
Violinist Philippe Graffin has established an indisputable reputation for his interpretations of the French repertoire. Philippe made his first recording with Yehudi Menuhin conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and his many highly acclaimed recordings since then bear witness to a questing mind and include many world premieres. He has rediscovered original settings of Chausson’s Poème and Ravel’s Tzigane and has championed the forgotten violin concertos of Fauré and the English composer Coleridge-Taylor which he has recorded and performed at the BBC Proms.
As concerto soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales among many others. Graffin performs works of many living composers and has had works written for him by Rodion Shchedrin, Vytautas Barkaukas, David Matthews, Philippe Hersant and Yves Prin.
Philippe is a highly sought after chamber musician and is founder and artistic director of the “Consonances”, a chamber music festival held in St Nazaire, France, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015. New releases include the world premiere of the violin concerto of Finnish composer Tauno Marttinen, with the Turku Philharmonic, and a new recording of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, the first to include the cadenza by Ysaÿe, on a CD which also includes Prokofiev’s Five Melodies. He plays a Domenico Busano violin, made in Venice, 1730. In demand as a teacher, Philippe Graffin, is a professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) and at the Brussels Conservatoire Royal.
ABOUT THE YSAŸE
In this concert, French violinist Philippe Graffin performs the U.S. premiere of Ysaÿe’s Sonata for solo violin, a work he also discovered, completed, and performed the world premiere. From an article in The Strad (May 2018), Graffin explains: “When I was shown the manuscript…It wasn’t a sketch but a very elaborate first draft.” Graffin analysed the structural principles of Ysaÿe’s six published Sonatas and used them alongside material from the ‘new’ piece to complete its final movement. “It’s at least 98 per cent Ysaÿe’s work…”
MARISA GUPTA, piano
Recipient of numerous awards, including top prizes at the Concours Maria Canals (Barcelona) and the Viotti Competition (Italy), Marisa Gupta was an Edison Visiting Fellow at the British and was named a finalist by the BBC for its New Generations Thinkers Scheme. She has given the US and UK premieres of works by Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, European premieres of major works by Aaron Jay Kernis and Ned Rorem at the Wigmore Hall, and the world premiere of Rhapsodie by Philippe Hersant. She received the Diplôme de Soliste from the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève in Switzerland, where she studied with Pascal Devoyon. She received her Doctorate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama focused on the performance of approximately 50 recently discovered solo piano works by the Catalan composer Frederic Mompou. Other important mentors include Richard Goode, Horacio Gutierrez, and John and Nancy Weems.
PIERS LANE, piano
London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane stands out as an engaging and highly versatile performer, at home equally in solo, chamber and concerto repertoire. Five times soloist at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, Piers Lane’s concerto repertoire exceeds ninety works and has led to engagements with many of the world’s great orchestras. Piers Lane has recently been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.
Many composers have written for him and he has premiered works by Brett Dean, Dave Heath, Colin Matthews, Richard Mills, among others. In great demand as a collaborative artist, he continues longstanding partnerships with violinist Tasmin Little, clarinettist Michael Collins and the Goldner String Quartet. Piers Lane has written and presented over 100 programs for BBC Radio 3, including the popular 54-part series, The Piano. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Griffith University, Brisbane, and James Cook University, Townsville.
Barry Shiffman, viola
Artistic director of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and classical music at Rockport Music, internationally acclaimed violinist and violist Barry Shiffman is well-respected as a musician, educator and administrator. He was co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and currently serves as both the Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music at the Glenn Gould School and Dean of the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. During his 17 years with the SLSQ he appeared in over 2,000 concerts in venues around the globe, and recorded several critically acclaimed discs under an exclusive contract with EMI Classics. He has also served in numerous roles at the Banff Centre and currently serves as Executive Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Benjamin Bowman, violin
American-Canadian violinist Benjamin Bowman was recently appointed concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera by maestro Nézét-Seguin. He is also the concertmaster of the American Ballet Theatre and is a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Benjamin is very active and engaged as a chamber musician, recitalist and soloist. Most recently, he was nominated for a 2017 Grammy for his recording with the ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) Ensemble (‘The Chamber Works of Jerzy Fitelberg’) and was also featured on the 2013 Juno-winning album ‘Levant’ with the Amici Chamber Ensemble. Other collaborative work includes extensive immersion in contemporary music, improvisation and performance with singer/songwriters. Bowman received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His instrument was made by François Pique, in Paris, in 1798.
Danny Koo, violin
Described as “unstinting in energetic projection every step of the way” (Calgary Herald), violinist Danny Koo has carved out a distinctive professional profile as a chamber musician, soloist, and recitalist in appearances throughout the world. An outgoing personality, Danny has been profiled on Korean television and in print media, including Marie Claire Korea and Scene Playbill Magazine. Most recently, Danny shared his artistry and commentary at two TEDxBeaconStreet conferences, one of which was held at the historic Fenway Park. He has taught at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School, and currently leads Toronto’s Academy Chamber Orchestra alongside Barry Shiffman at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In Korea, he has partnered with ‘Pinkfong’ (creators of Baby Shark) to educate and excite the youngest generation of our world about classical music. Danny is currently a Rebanks Fellow at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Donald Weilerstein, Soovin Kim, and Malcolm Lowe. He plays on a violin made in Naples by Vincenzo Postiglione in 1901.
Tom Wiebe, cello
Thomas Wiebe is an acclaimed in-demand cellist with performances at many of the world’s finest halls and festivals. He is a founding member of the Duke Trio and is a member of the Rebelheart Collective. Recently Mr. Wiebe has performed along with the ARC Ensemble as well as the Art of Time Ensemble in Toronto. On numerous occasions he has been a guest artist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra London Canada. He has also been heard as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center, and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Thomas Wiebe studied cello in his native Winnipeg with the late Julie Banton. He later studied at the Eastman School of Music with Robert Sylvester and Steven Doane, and at Yale University and the Juilliard School with Aldo Parisot. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale. Mr. Wiebe is Associate Professor of Violoncello at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London. He is also on the faculty of the Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy in Quebec.