The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet are fast earning a reputation as one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment.
In May 2013 they became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award. Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music they were selected for representation by YCAT, were awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship and in 2012 won Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Their recording of Tippett’s string quartets (Wigmore Live) received widespread acclaim and won the 2016 GRAMOPHONE Chamber Disk of the Year. A subsequent release on Harmonia Mundi of Tchaikovsky: Quartets 1 &3 was selected as Disk of the Week by both The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 3. The Quartet’s complete Bartók cycle (recorded live at the Wigmore Hall) was released by Harmonia Mundi in June 2017.
Highlights of the 17/18 season include a five-concert series at Wigmore Hall featuring Jörg Widmann’s quartets, as well as further Widmann cycles at the Boulez Saal and Kilkenny Festival, a tour of the US including debuts in Chicago and Los Angeles, and recitals in Belgium and The Netherlands with Hannes Minnaar. They will record the Enescu and Mendelssohn octets, give the premiere of a new work by Helen Grime, and undertake a 2 week tour of New Zealand. The Quartet will be on-stage cast members in Calixto Bieito’s play adaptation of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, with performances in Birmingham, Brighton, Luxembourg, Bilbao and Amsterdam.
Notable performances of the previous seasons have included a complete Beethoven Cycle at Kilkenny Festival, a John Tavener premiere at the BBC Proms, concerts at the Beethovenfest Bonn, Mecklenburgh-Vorpommern Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and their debuts at the Musée d’Orsay and Louvre Auditorium in Paris. Regular visitors to the United States, the quartet also recently made their debut in New York at both Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, and continue their residence at Middlebury College, Vermont. In the UK they have also performed at the Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, Sage Gateshead, Perth Concert Hall and Queen’s Hall Edinburgh. And in Europe they have appeared at the Kissingen Winterzauber and Schwetzinger Festivals as well as deSingel Arts Centre in Antwerp, Vara Konserthus in Sweden, Berlin Konzerthaus, Esterházy Palace, and the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna.
The Heath Quartet regularly enjoy working with a host of talented collaborators including Anna Caterina Antonacci, James Baillieu, Ian Bostridge, Adrian Brendel, Michael Collins, Colin Currie, Stephen Hough, Richard Lester, Aleksandar Madzar, Anthony Marwood, Hannes Minnaar, Mark Padmore, Lawrence Power, Carolyn Sampson, plus even venturing into the world of jazz with a ‘Wigmore Late’ concert together with saxophonist Trish Clowes and pianist Gwilym Simcock.
The Heath Quartet are members of faculty at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
The Pelléas Ensemble was formed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2011.
Playing with “verve and polish” (The Times), they recently won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award, and the 2017 Elias Fawcett Award for Outstanding Chamber Ensemble at the Royal Overseas League competition.
In 2016 they won both the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition, and won a place on the prestigious Tillett Trust Young Artists’ Programme. In 2015 they won First Prize at the British Harp Chamber Music Competition. They are Tunnell Trust Young Artists.
Their Wigmore Hall debut was praised for its “captivating vitality” and “effortlessness and delicacy” (Seen and Heard International), and they have recently appeared live on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’. They were selected to represent the Guildhall at the City of London Festival, and have given numerous recitals at other London venues including St John’s Smith Square. They have established a reputation for performing their recitals from memory, which they believe creates an immediate and more intimate connection with their audiences.
They are dedicated to performing new music, and have premiered three new works this year, with two further commissions planned for next year.
Born in London, Ivan Ludlow attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio.
A regular guest at some of Europe’s most prestigious opera venues, including Brussels, Salzburg Festival, Naples, Spoleto, Paris, Lyon, Athens, Toulouse, Welsh National Opera, Strasbourg, Marseille, Bordeaux, Metz, Casa da Musica (Porto), Vlaamse Oper (Antwerp), Lausanne, with conductors such as Christophe Rousset, Adam Fischer, Jan Latham Koenig, Jean-Yves Ossonce, Cyril Diedrich, Franck Ollu, Christoph Ullrich Meyer, Ludovic Morlot, Gerard Korsten and Gustav Kuhn. He has worked together with stage directors such as Macha Makaïeff, Olivier Py, Alvis Hermanis, Peter Sellars, Krzysztof Warlikowski …
He as sung these roles amongst others: Don Giovanni, Guglielmo, Onegin, Iarba (La Didone), Escamillo, Nevers (Les Huguenots), the Count (Capriccio), Marcello, Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), Danilo, Belcore, Aeneas, Demetrius, Traveller (Curlew River), Astrologer (Burning Fiery Furnace), Baritone (Maxwell-Davies’ No. 11 Bus) Le Mari (Les Mamelles de Tirésis).
Amongst his recent and future engagements : October 2017 he participated in Purcell’s King Arthur at Barbican Hall (semi-staged production) with The Academy of Ancient Music. Forthcoming performances include the world premiere of “Lunea” by Heinz Holliger at Zurich Opera, From The House of the Dead at La Monnaie and the Opera House of Lyon and “Lulu” at the Hamburg Staatsoper as well as recitals in Bulgaria, Belgium, France and England.
Ivan is particularly interested in new music and new artistic forms. He has recently performed world premières of pieces by Francesco Fillidei, Isidora Zebeljan and David Matthews as well as taking part in performances of music by Heinz Holliger, Wolfgang Rihm, Harrison Birtwistle and Peter Maxwell-Davies. He sang the role of Wotan/Wanderer in the Graham Vick/Jonathan Dove adaptation of Wagner’s Ring in several European festivals. He has performed in both Giovanni and Vixen, SilentOpera’s adapted versions of the classical works by Mozart and Janacek at the Beijing Music Festival, London Vaults and Helsinki Festival. His Brussels based company Room7 looks for innovative ways to perform both contemporary and classical opera and music theatre.
As an actor he has toured throughout France in a Macha Makeïeff production of Trissotin/Les Femmes Savantes by Molière.
Born in London in 1994, 23 year old Mathilde Milwidsky was recently praised by The Strad for her ‘perfect intonation and beautiful shaping and colouring … comprehensively nailing each new stylistic and emotional universe as she went.’
She has performed as a soloist at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Albert Hall as well as across Europe in Finland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Sweden. She is regularly invited to festivals such as Prussia Cove, East Neuk, Fraenkische Musiktage, Musikdorf Ernen, Musique à Marsac, Peasmarsh, Kings Lynn and Roman River, collaborating with musicians such as Anthony Marwood, Avi Avital, Huw Watkins, Christian Poltéra, Hariolf Schlichtig, Alasdair Beatson and Ksenija Sidorova, as well as woodwind principals of the Philharmonia and die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. She has been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Radio Swiss Classic, Classic FM and appeared live on the BBC One Show.
Mathilde recently won the string section of the 2017 Royal Overseas League Music Competition and was awarded a place on the St John’s Smith Square Young Artist Scheme for the 2017/18 season. She won the 2011 Madeira International Violin Competition and was a finalist in Orchid Classics’ Young British Soloist Competition (2015), RAM’s prestigious ‘Patron’s Award’ (2015) and the Karl Jenkins Classic FM Music Competition (2017). She has been awarded scholarships from the Hattori Foundation, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship, the Drake Calleja Foundation, the Tillett Trust and the Sir John Cass Foundation. In 2016 Mathilde was one of 20 selected from 300 to participate in the international Menuhin Competition.
Recent performance highlights include Arvo Pärt’s Fratres with the composer himself present at St John’s Smith Square, Schubert’s Rondo in A Major for Violin and Strings at Festival Musikdorf Ernen broadcast live on Radio Swiss Classic, a recital with Huw Watkins in Belfast and Dvorak and Mendelssohn concerti in London. Upcoming performances include Beethoven concerti in the UK, several recitals at St John’s Smith Square as part of Mathilde’s place on the Young Artist Scheme, including a world premiere of a commission by Sally Beamish, and concerti with the Orchestra of St John’s at the Pitville Pump Room and Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum.
Mathilde’s studies began at the Royal College of Music Junior Department where she was a Tsukanov Scholar taught by Viktoria Grigoreva and David Takeno. Mathilde subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music as a full scholarship student under György Pauk, graduating in July 2017 with First Class Honours and the Regency Award for notable achievement, the Louise Child Memorial Prize for highest-achieving graduate and the Marjorie Heyward Fund for the highest violin mark of the year. She will be starting her Masters degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München in October under Professor Mi-kyung Lee, funded by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Additional inspiration has come from masterclases with violinists such as Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Mihaela Martin, Pierre Amoyal, Gerhard Schulz, Miriam Fried and Igor Ozim. Mathilde has also received invaluable advice from members of the London Haydn Quartet and Alina Ibragimova.
Richard studied languages at Cambridge and music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
A former professional singer, he now works as a freelance writer, broadcaster and lecturer. While his tastes are eclectic, he specialises in the Viennese Classics, Lieder and opera. Richard writes for Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and other journals, and has given classes in the history and interpretation of Lieder at Birkbeck College, the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall. He appears frequently on Radio 3’s CD Review, is in demand for pre-concert talks at the South Bank, Wigmore Hall, King’s Place etc. and is a regular lecturer on Martin Randall cultural tours.
Richard’s publications include Schubert: the complete song texts and the widely acclaimed Faber Pocket Guide to Haydn