Praised as an “eloquent trumpet soloist” (The Times), Matilda Lloyd captivates audiences with her artistry, communication, and musicality. Casta Diva, her debut album for Chandos Records was BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Month in June 2023, with a five-star review describing it as an “album full of delights… Lloyd plays with intense expression and immense warmth.” Nominated by the Barbican Centre London and Konserthuset Stockholm, Matilda will be a European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star for the 2024/25 season, performing on some of Europe’s most prestigious stages.
In the 2023/24 season, Matilda returns to the UK to perform with Ulster Orchestra and joins BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Shostakovich’s Concerto No.1 with Federico Colli and Sir Mark Elder. She performs the same concerto for her Italian debut with Lucas Debargue and the orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo under the baton of Marco Armiliato.
Invitations from orchestras all over Europe will lead her to the Orchestre National de Lille with Ben Glassberg, Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt with Killian Farrell, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz with Paweł Kapuła, Prague Royal Philharmonic, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen. This coming season also sees Matilda embark on three recording projects for Chandos Records, including a concerti disc with London Symphony Orchestra and a trumpet and organ disc.
Robin Haigh is currently writing a new concerto for Matilda, co-commissioned by Britten Pears Arts and Ulster Orchestra, with the world premiere taking place in June 2024. Ongoing chamber music collaborators next season include the Gesualdo Six vocal consort, pianists Martin Cousin and Kunal Lahiry, organist Richard Gowers, and the Solus Trumpet Ensemble, which she founded. She also forms a new duo with guitarist Alexandra Whittingham, touring Ireland together in April 2024.
Recent highlights include a series of launch concerts for Casta Diva, with Oulu Sinfonia under Rumon Gamba and with Britten Sinfonia at Wigmore Hall. Concerto appearances include her Polish debut with Pomeranian Philharmonic, a UK tour with Bath Festival Orchestra, and performances with Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern.
Music education and the wellbeing of musicians are very important to Matilda. She is a London Mozart Players’ Education Ambassador and gives regular masterclasses and talks in the UK and abroad, including at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Minneapolis in June 2023. She also joins the faculty of the Bjersted Brass Festival in Norway in September 2023. Matilda has her own podcast, Musical Roots, on which she interviews guests from all over the classical music industry about their journeys, successes and challenges. From September 2023, Matilda is proud to be an Ambassador for the charity Brass for Africa, and is looking forward to her trip to Uganda in February 2024.
A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, Matilda went on to study under Håkan Hardenberger at the Malmö Academy of Music. In 2014, Matilda won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Brass Final and made her BBC Proms solo debut two years later with Alpesh Chauhan and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Matilda has won many prizes at international competitions, including First Prize at the Eric Aubier International Trumpet Competition in Rouen, France in 2017. Matilda is a Yamaha Artist.
Instagram: @matildalloydtrumpet / www.matildalloyd.com
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.
Simon Blendis enjoys an international career as a chamber musician, concertmaster and soloist.
He was the violinist with the Schubert Ensemble from 1995-2018, when the Ensemble retired after a celebrated 35 year career.
With the Ensemble, Simon performed in over thirty different countries, recorded over twenty CDs of music ranging from Brahms to Judith Weir, made frequent broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and appeared regularly at Europe’s major venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1999 the group won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best chamber group, for which it was shortlisted again in 2010.
Alongside his work in the Ensemble, Simon has shared the position of First Concertmaster with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan since 1999, and in 2014 was appointed Concertmaster of the London Mozart Players, the UK’s oldest chamber orchestra. In addition to leading the orchestra, he regularly directs from the violin, and performs as soloist and with the LMP Chamber Ensemble.
Simon is also in demand as a guest concertmaster: he has appeared with most of the UK’s major orchestras, including all of the London orchestras, as well as with several orchestras abroad, including the Orquesta Nacional de Espana and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared as a guest-director with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Scottish Ensemble and the English Chamber Orchestra.
A keen exponent of new music, Simon has given over 50 first performances, and has had new pieces written for him by, amongst others, Tansy Davies, Stuart Macrae, John Woolrich and jazz legend Dave Brubeck. He has premiered new violin concertos written for him by David Knotts (2013) and Jeff Moore (2017).
As a soloist he has performed and recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BCMG in the UK and with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, with whom he has recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for the Warner Japan label.
During the recent Coronavirus lockdowns Simon undertook a research project into the salon music legacy of legendary light music violinist, Max Jaffa, and the resulting CD will be released in July 2022.
Simon is increasingly sought after as a teacher, and is a Professor of Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.