Festival de Sainte-Mère 2018

Musique de Chambre en Gascogne

– 2018 Musicians

The Albion Quartet

A shared belief in the visceral, communicative power of the string quartet has brought together four outstanding performers of their generation to form the Albion Quartet;  Tamsin Waley-Cohen, violin, Emma Parker, violin, Rosalind Ventris, viola and Nathaniel Boyd, cello.  This close collaboration is already gaining an impressive reputation for creative and imaginative performances.

Forthcoming engagements include recitals at Wigmore Hall, The Concertgebouw and Aldeburgh Festival, as well as a residency at London’s Kings Place in the 2017/18 season. They are currently Quartet-in-Residence at Gresham’s School, opening Gresham’s new Britten Concert Hall. This year they also embark on their first season as co-artistic directors of Sainte-Mère Festival and will be returning to the Honeymead Festival as the resident ensemble.

A key ambition is to explore the string quartet repertoire through innovative programming. The ensemble’s creative curiosity has led them to curate concerts focused on specific themes and presenting lesser-known works alongside core quartet repertoire – a characteristic manifested in their Kings Place programmes. Through the themes of Mentors, War, Folk and Hymn, the quartet intends to explore the music of a great variety of composers ranging from Haydn, Schubert, Ravel, Dvořák to Britten and Adès. Every programme will go on a musical voyage linking each one of these themes to British and European music throughout different periods in time.

The Albion Quartet feels a particular affinity for the chamber music of Antonin Dvořák. Whilst the ‘American’ quartet is a much-loved part of the quartet canon, the majority of Dvořák’s quartets (he wrote fourteen in total) are rarely performed. Following on from their residency at Snape Maltings in 2018, their debut recordings of Dvořák’s quartets will be released in 2018, the first in a series of discs for Signum Records.

They play a stunning quartet of instruments, including a Stradivarius and Guarnerius.


Patrick Allen operaomnia.co.uk

Tamsin Waley-Cohen  ~ leader

Tamsin Waley-Cohen, born in London in 1986,  enjoys an adventurous and varied career. In addition to concerts with the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and BBC orchestras, amongst others, she has been associate artist with the Orchestra of the Swan and works with conductors including Andrew Litton and Tamás Vásáry. She enjoys a duo partnership with Huw Watkins, whose Concertino she premiered, and together they have recorded for Champs Hill and Signum Records, for whom she is a Signum Classics Artist. With her sister, composer Freya Waley-Cohen, and architects Finbarr O’Dempsey and Andrew Skulina, she holds an Open Space residency at Aldeburgh. Her love of chamber music led her to start the Honeymead Festival, and she is also artistic director of the Sunday Series at London’s Tricycle Theatre. In 2016-2017 she will be a recipient of the ECHO Rising Stars Awards. She studied at the Royal College of Music and her teachers included Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ruggiero Ricci, and András Keller. Tamsin is leader of the newly-formed Albion Quartet. (Photos: Patrick Allen operaomnia.co.uk)


Emma Parker ~ Violin

Emma Parker ~ violin

Emma Parker   graduated in 2005 from the Royal Academy of Music in London with first class honours degrees in both undergraduate and postgraduate performance. She was a pupil of Howard Davis of the Alberni Quartet, and Marianne Thorsen of the Nash Ensemble and the Leopold Trio.

Emma plays for the Badke Quartet and also enjoys a busy and varied freelance career. In 2013 she was appointed principal 2nd violin with the Manchester Camerata. She performs with chamber orchestras such as the Aurora Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Northern Sinfonia, Heritage Orchestra and the Weinberger Kammerorchester. Her symphonic work includes the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic.

Emma also studied period performance whilst at the Royal Academy of Music with Nicolette Moonen, and always loves to perform on gut strings. She has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, Irish Baroque Orchestra and Jonathan Cohen’s Arcangelo.

Emma is in much demand as a session player and also enjoys collaborations with other chamber ensembles, including Ensemble 360, Acoustic Triangle and the Honeymead Ensemble.  Emma is second violin in the newly-formed  Albion Quartet.


Rosalind Ventris ~ Viola

Rosie Ventris ~ Viola

Rosalind Ventris, recognised for her qualities as a soloist and chamber musician, is emerging as one of the most sought after young violists internationally. As a recitalist, she has appeared at the Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, the Slovak Philharmonic, & Het Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal.

She was a multiple prizewinner at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, subsequently performing with the European Union Chamber Orchestra. She is a winner of the Making Music Philip & Dorothy Green Awards for Young Concert Artists (AYCA) 2016. A keen chamber musician, she has collaborated with Mitsuko Uchida at Marlboro Festival, Tabea Zimmermann at the Wigmore Hall, the Arcanto Quartett at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, and Gerhard Schultz at the Salzburg Festival.

Rosalind is a member of Trio Anima (with harpist Anneke Hodnett, and principal flautist of BBCNOW Matthew Featherstone) and the Albion String Quartet Rosalind has frequently been a guest player of the Aronowitz Enesmble, and regularly attends IMS Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music. She has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and recorded for Delphian and Navona in 2016. Forthcoming performances include Bridgewater Hall, Marlboro Festival, and a residency at Yellow Barn.


Nathaniel Boyd ~ Cello

Nathaniel Boyd

Nathaniel Boyd,  has appeared at the world’s leading concert halls, including the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus and the Paris Opera. Described as an ‘exceptionally gifted’ recitalist by Musical Opinion following a concert with duo partner Alexander Boyd at the Purcell Room in 2013, Nathaniel is a laureate of numerous prizes for his work with the Navarra String Quartet, including the MIDEM Outstanding Young Artist Award, Cannes (2008), Florence International Chamber Music competition, First Prize (2005) and a Borletti Buitoni Fellowship (2007) as well as being selected for representation by YCAT and as a soloist, by the Tillett Trust (2009). His recordings of Vasks’ Quartets and Haydn’s Seven Last Words, with the Navarra Quartet, both received 5 star reviews from BBC Music Magazine.

Nathaniel has appeared as Principal Cellist with major UK orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Manchester Camerata, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Aurora Orchestra. Chamber music highlights last season included recitals at the Esterhazy Palace, Hungary, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Purcell Room, London.

Recently Nathaniel was resident at the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, the Southwell Festival and the Roman River Festival. Nathaniel is cellist for the newly- formed Albion Quartet.