Marianne Thorsen - violin

Marianne Thorsen: 

The winner of several international competitions, including most notably the 2003 Sion Valais International Competition, Marianne Thorsen has established herself as one of Norway’s leading violinists. She has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and most of the major orchestras in Scandinavia, among many others. Marianne enjoys a regular collaboration with TrondheimSolistene with which she recently toured and recorded Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos 3, 4 and 5 for 2L to great critical acclaim, winning the Norwegian Spellemann Prize. Her recording with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra of Ståle Kleiberg’s Violin Concerto, dedicated to her, received a Grammy nomination in 2010; and Marianne gave the world premiere of Ketil Hvoslef’s Violin Concerto, also dedicated to her, broadcast live on national Norwegian television with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. 2011-2014 saw the release of five CDs of music by Halvorsen and Svendsen on the Chandos label, with Thorsen as soloist alongside the Bergen Philharmonic and Neeme Järvi, including Svendsen’s Violin Concerto and Halvorsen’s Three Norwegian Dances. A keen chamber musician, Marianne Thorsen was a founder member of the Leopold String Trio from 1991 to 2006, with which she performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, New York, the Wiener Musikverein, and Wigmore Hall, London. From 2000 - 2015, she was Leader of the internationally renowned Nash Ensemble of London and, from 2009 to 2013, Marianne was the Artistic Director of the festival Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Røros, Norway. In 2006 Marianne Thorsen was appointed Professor of Violin at the Department of Music at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 

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Martin Owen - horn

Martin Owen: is widely regarded as one of Europe's leading horn players, appearing as soloist and chamber musician at some of the leading music festivals around the world. Martin currently holds the position of Principal Horn at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having served as Principal Horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years, and during the 2012/13 season, Martin was Principal Horn of the Berliner Philharmoniker on a temporary contract. Martin also currently holds the position of Principal Horn of the California-based ensemble, Camerata Pacifica, and in 2016, Martin was appointed Principal Horn of the Cambridge-based ensemble, Britten Sinfonia.

This year’s highlights include Strauss: 1st Horn Concerto with the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg Orchestra / Sir Roger Norrington in January and with the Liceu Symphony Orchestra / Josep Pons in Barcelona in October; Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Edward Gardner / Mark Padmore; and with Britten Sinfonia at Shanghai Concert Hall, China, in May and also with Britten Sinfonia / Ian Bostridge (tenor/director) in June 2016. 

Other recent highlights include performances of concertos by Mozart, Richard Strauss, Schumann, Messiaen, Britten, Elliott Carter and Oliver Knussen, with orchestras including the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España, The Hallé, New World Symphony and Aalborg Symfoniorkester.  

In 2006, Martin Owen also gave the world premiere of Malcolm Arnold's recently discovered Burlesque with the Royal Philharmonic in the composer’s home town of Northampton, and, in 2007, made his solo debut at the BBC Proms performing Schumann's Konzertstück with the BBC Philharmonic. Martin returned to the Proms as soloist in 2009 in a highly acclaimed performance of Oliver Knussen's Horn Concerto with the BBC Symphony conducted by the composer, broadcast live on BBC television and radio. In 2008, he made his Barbican debut in the London premiere of Elliott Carter's Horn Concerto with the BBC Symphony/Knussen as part of Carter's 100th birthday celebrations (the performance was released by Bridge Records in March 2010). In May 2011, Martin performed both the Knussen and Elliott Carter horn concertos with the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid, broadcast live on Spanish national radio; and in 2013, Martin performed Benjamin Britten's Serenade with Ben Johnson at Aldeburgh, the Centenary of Britten's birth.

Other recordings include Mozart’s horn concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (for RPO classics), Britten's Serenade with Toby Spence and the Scottish Ensemble directed by Clio Gould (for Linn), Britten's Canticles with tenor Ben Johnson (for Signum Classics), Schubert's Octet with Michael Collins (which was recorded for Wigmore Hall’s Live label), Schumann's Konzertstuck with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Mackerras (on the BBC’s label), Danzi's Sinfonia Concertante with the Orquestra de Cadaques/Marriner (on the Trito label) and Roderick Elms' Four Seasonal Nocturnes with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Cleobury (for Dutton). Martin Owen has performed on over 300 movie soundtracks to date including James Bond, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Gladiator and the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Martin Owen is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is Professor of Horn.

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Viv McLean - piano

Viv McLean: Winner of the First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona, Viv McLean has performed at all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. 

Viv’s concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, London Concert Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. 

Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K. 467 with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican, a tour of the USA with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing Gershwin, Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Gershwin, Bernstein, de Falla and Ravel with the Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, The Sage Gateshead and other venues in the North of England, and Beethoven's 5th Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall. Future plans include a tour in 2018 with the London Concert Orchestra where Viv will be playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall, St David’s Hall Cardiff, Philharmonic Hall Liverpool and Leicester’s De Montfort Hall.

Viv has performed chamber music with leading groups such as the Adderbury Ensemble, Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, members of the Allegri and Tippett String Quartets, Ensemble 360, the Galliard Wind Ensemble, the Bristol Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio and has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, Matthew Sharp, Kate Gould, Guy Johnston, Alena Lugovkina, Sarah Gabriel, Richard Dubugnon, David Le Page, Ofer Falk, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, Philip Hesketh, Christopher George, David Charles Abell, Carl Davis and Marvin Hamlisch. 

Viv McLean has performed at festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival, Buxton Festival and Harrogate Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Festival International de Musique Classique d’Aigues-Mortes, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden. Since 2013 he has been pianist-in-residence at the Glossop Music Festival.

Viv studied from an early age with Ruth Nye and after attending Chetham’s School of Music he went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne. At the Academy he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies' Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain. 

Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 since making his recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases include recordings for such labels as Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus, RPO Records and ICSM Records. 

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