Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is in great demand internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. She offers eclectic and interesting repertoire with recital programmes encompassing music from Haydn and Mozart via Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, Chopin and Brahms to Gershwin and beyond. In concerto, she is equally at home in Felix Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann (whose piano concerto featured on Isata’s chart-topping debut recording) as in Prokofiev and Dohnányi.
Highlights of the 23/24 season include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on tour in the USA and Germany, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and Stockholm Philharmonic. With her cellist brother, Sheku, she appears in recital in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea in addition to an extensive European recital tour. Isata also gives a series of solo recitals on tour in the USA and Canada as well as at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Lucerne Festival, and across Germany.
In 2022/23 Isata made successful debuts at the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore halls in London, the Philharmonie Berlin, National Concert Hall Dublin, Perth Concert Hall and Prinzregententheater Munich. As concerto soloist, she appeared with orchestras such as the New World Symphony Miami, City of Birmingham Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Geneva Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic and was the Artist in Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Isata is a Decca Classics recording artist. Her 2019 album, Romance – the Piano Music of Clara Schumann, entered the UK classical charts at No. 1, Gramophone magazine extolling the recording as “one of the most charming and engaging debuts”. This was followed by 2021’s Summertime, featuring 20th-century American repertoire including a world premiere recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Impromptu in B minor and 2023’s endearingly titled album Childhood Tales is a tour-de-force showcase of music inspired by a nostalgia for youth.
2021 also saw the release of Isata’s first duo album, Muse, with her brother Sheku Kanneh-Mason, demonstrating the siblings’ musical empathy and rapport borne from years of playing and performing together. Isata and Sheku were selected to perform in recital during the 2020 BBC Proms, which was a vastly reduced festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they performed for cameras to an empty auditorium. 2023 sees her BBC Proms solo debut, this time to a fully open Royal Albert Hall, alongside Ryan Bancroft and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Isata was an ECHO Rising Star in 21/22 performing in many of Europe’s finest halls and she is also the recipient of the coveted Leonard Bernstein Award, an Opus Klassik award for best young artist and is one of the Konzerthaus Dortmund’s Junge Wilde artists.
British conductor Jonathan Bloxham takes up his post as Music Director of the Luzerner Theater from 23/24 season, when he will conduct their new productions of Boheme, I Capuleti and I Montecchi, and Dido and Aeneas. He continues as Resident Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the London Mozart Players (since October 2022), launching Croydon’s year as Borough of Culture with a community project involving hundreds of local amateur musicians at the LMP’s home at Fairfield Halls.
Jonathan made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2021, conducting 4 sold-out performances of Luisa Miller with the London Philharmonic. In Autumn 2021 he conducted Glyndebourne Touring Opera’s production of Don Pasquale, receiving 5 star reviews, having conducted two performances of Rigoletto for GTO in 2019. In September 2022, he joined the Luzern Symphony to conduct a production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Luzerner Theater at the Luzern Festival.
Last season saw a string of debuts for Jonathan, including London Philharmonic, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Bonn Beethoven Orchester, Munich Symphony, Luzern Symphony and Aalborg Symphony. Along the way he established new relationships with leading soloists such as Steven Isserlis, Frank Peter Zimmermann,Daniel Mueller-Schott and Abel Selaocoe. He joined the Britten Sinfonia for the Barbican’s 40th birthday festivities, conducted the Salzburg Mozarteumorchester on multiple occasions, and returned to the Hallé Orchestra. Alongside many reinvitations this current season 22/23 sees debuts with the Tokyo Symphony, Trondheim Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and at the Wiener Musikverein with musicians from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras
He has recorded CDs with the London Symphony Orchestra (2022) and Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (2021, Strauss and Cesar Franck): “irresistible” Musicweb International.
In 2009 Jonathan founded the Northern Chords Festival, which takes place every year in the region he grew up in, the North East of England. The festival has become known for unearthing little-known composers and innovative community projects, and through it Jonathan has commissioned several premieres by young composers such as Vlad Maistorovici, Jack Sheen and Freya Waley Cohen. Jonathan’s conducting career was launched when he took up the Assistant Conductor position at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018 under Mirga Grazynte-Tyla. He was then invited by Paavo Järvi to conduct the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, since when he has become a regular guest, going on to conduct across Europe with orchestras such as the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Basque National. Nearer to home he has returned to the CBSO, conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and National Symphony RTE.
Before taking up conducting he was a founder member and the cellist of the Busch Trio, performing regularly at the Wigmore Hall, across Europe and on BBC Radio 3, and still plays chamber music on occasion. Whilst studying at the Royal College of Music he won several prestigious awards including the Suggia Gift and the RCM Cello Prize; he made his concerto debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2012. He began his musical training at the age of 8 with a local cello teacher from the Gateshead Schools Music Service. He then studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School & Royal College of Music with Thomas Carroll before completing a Master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins, taking further conducting studies with Sian Edwards, Michael Seal, Nicolas Pasquet and Paavo Järvi.
Ruth Rogers studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Herman Krebbers. Described as “the finest of the younger generation of violinists” (Musical Opinion) and hailed by the Guardian as “superb”, Ruth is in demand as soloist, leader, and chamber musician. She was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal – the Royal College of Music’s highest accolade. She appears regularly at such prestigious venues as The Wigmore Hall with Aquinas Piano Trio and has made many recordings as part of that ensemble, including recent releases by Naxos which have been very well received by the critics.
Ruth was appointed as Leader of the London Mozart Players in 2015 and Leader of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in 2022. She worked as Co-Leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 2008 until 2012 and appears as a guest leader of many other major orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Ruth has played to orphans, landmine victims and malaria patients in refugee camps on the Thailand-Burma border.