Since Freddy Kempf performed at the first Orpheus & Bacchus Festival in 1999, we have encouraged young artists and taken pleasure in their talents and energy. Alexander Sitkovetsky, Yevgeny Sudbin both appeared before their fame, to name just two. The tradition continues with some of the best talent from Cambridge University and the British music schools, now performing in the highly popular morning concerts.
Stars of Tomorrow
Performances Beyond Comparison
There are reasons why the quality of performances at the Festivals are at the very highest level. Obviously great musicians are the starting point. But the “Karma” of the venue creates a unique positive force of calm and tranquillity that can be sensed. And the relaxed and sociable atmosphere provides an all-embracing warmth for the music and musicians to be inspired. AS Freddy Kempf said after the opening Festival at Le Faure in 2003. “This is a venue that musicians could only dream about.”
The Hummel Ensemble
The Hummel Ensemble was launched by Ian Christians in 2008 with a prime objective of performing the chamber compositions and arrangements of Johann Nepomuk Hummel. These provide a wealth of largely unperformed works, of great entertainment. Benjamin Frith was appointed Director in 2015, and the Ensemble includes Robert Heard (violin), Louise Williams (viola), Richard Jenkinson (cello), Rosie Bowker (flute) and John Tattesdale (double-bass).
Benjamin Frith (Piano)
“Prodigy of Prodigies” was how British artist Benjamin Frith was described by Dennis Matthews when, aged just 14, he won the British national Concerto Competition. Since then, he has been a first prizewinner in the Mozart Memorial Competition (London), and was awarded top prize in the Busoni International Piano Competition. Ben is now an acclaimed international concert pianist. He has played at the Orpheus & bacchus Festival since 2008, and is revered for his exceptional pianism and willingness to take on – and succeed in – challenges that most pianists would baulk at. He possesses a modesty that is rare (and unjustified) and – as Pianist in Residence – adds enormously to the positive atmosphere of the Festivals.
The Chilingirian Quartet
The Chilingirian Quartet have been performing at The Orpheus & Bacchus Festival since 2005. For over four decades, the Chilingirian String Quartet has thrilled critics and audiences around the world with its vibrant, virtuosic performances of classical and contemporary chamber music.Theirs is a sound that is both powerful and precise; richly interpretive and yet always true to the composer’s vision. Today, the quartet continues to build on its legacy with an energetic touring schedule, an ever- expanding repertoire, and a series of acclaimed recordings for the Hyperion and Chandos labels. The Chilingirian Quartet (Levon Chilingirian (violin), Ronnie Birks (violin), Susie Mészáros (viola), Stephen Orton (cello) continues to nurture new generations of gifted musicians as the Quartet-in-Residence at London’s Royal College of Music, and through a close affiliation with Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. www.chilingirianquartet.co.uk
The Wihan Quartet
The Wihan Quartet (Leoš Čepický (violin), Jan Schulmeister (violin), Jakub Čepický (viola), Aleš Kaspřík (cello)) are our Quartet -in-Residence,and their visits each autumn have become treasured events. Their willingness to perform our desired repertoire,particularly for this final Orpheus & Bacchus Festival has created a very special bond and relationship – and wonderful performances. The Wihan Quartet has been described by International Record Review as: ‘ one of the best quartets in the world today.’ The Quartet is celebrating over 30 years since its formation in 1985 and over the years it has developed an outstanding reputation for the interpretation of its native Czech heritage, and of the many classical, romantic and modern masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire.
Julia Hwang gave her professional solo debut with the English National Baroque Chamber Orchestra at the age of nine, performing Bach’s Concerto in A minor. She recorded two CDs at the ages of eleven and twelve, and, also at the age of twelve, performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Julia has been a veteran of the concert stage for many years and her numerous solo appearances with orchestras internationally have led to an ever-increasing schedule of concerts both in the UK and abroad. Julia is an undergraduate at St. John’s College, Cambridge.
Julia has appeared many times on live television and radio through the BBC and ITV and, in 2012, she was featured in a BBC4 documentary about the nation’s favourite composition ‘The Lark Ascending’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Her performance of this work was specifically chosen by the BBC to represent this timeless classic of the great British composer, and the documentary has been re-broadcast on many occasions due to popular demand. In 2015, she was appointed to be a cultural ambassador for the BRACE Alzheimer’s Society, alongside broadcasters Jonathan Dimbleby and Martyn Lewis. She has recently collaborated with Vadim Gluzman in Israel.
Other public and charity performances have included performing at the 2012 Violins of Hope music festival in North Carolina, USA, with world famous violinist Shlomo Mintz; a charity concert at Highgrove to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust alongside cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber; and innumerable further concerts to raise money for, among others, The Alzheimer’s Society, the NSPCC and MacMillan Cancer Relief.
Julia is an undergraduate at St. John’s College, Cambridge. She began her violin studies with Richard Crabtree, and currently studies with Itzhak Rashkovsky in London.