Elena Kats-Chernin was born in 1957 in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent and studied composition in Moscow, piano and composition in New South Wales, and composition in West Germany with Helmut Lachenmann. While in Europe she became active in theatre and ballet, composing for state theatres in Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg and Bochum. Her music attracted the attention of the Ensemble Modern and in 1993 they premiered her extraordinary work Clocks. This piece has since been performed on several continents. Since her return to Australia in 1994, Elena Kats-Chernin has become one of the country’s leading composers having written three operas, two piano concertos and many other works.
Her brilliantly scored, energetic and often propulsive music has been choreographed by dance makers around the world including her score for the ballet Wild Swans choreographed by Meryl Tankard for the Australian Ballet in 2003 which won two highly acclaimed awards for best original score in 2004. Elena is published by Boosey & Hawkes and can be contacted via their offices in New York, London and Berlin.
Sarah Nicolls - piano
‘... one of the younger generation’s most exciting
pianists….Sarah Nicolls brings a rare and radiant
commitment to her focus on the contemporary
‘a wonderful inspiration for and champion of new
Since winning the British Contemporary Piano Competition 2000, Sarah Nicolls has become an established pianist at the forefront of the new music scene and one of the leading performers of her generation. She gave her debut recital at the South Bank Centre, London in 2001, as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series and has performed as a soloist there every year since, often invited by the London Sinfonietta to be a featured artist. In one concert, Sarah developed the multimedia event Cinesthesia, for which she commissioned pieces written for various combinations of film, piano and electronics.
She has also appeared at the Wigmore Hall several times and abroad - in Rome’s newest concert venue the Parco Della Musica with the London Sinfonietta and Warp Records and in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Holland and Belgium. In one of her most important concerts to date, Sarah gave the UK premiere of Luciano Berio’s Piano Sonata in 2003 and she has given recitals at the Bath, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals, and the Ravello and Reggello festivals in Italy. Sarah has made several broadcasts on Radio 3 including a concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 2005 sees the release of two very different recordings; this collection
by Elena Kats-Chernin and the piano music of Niccolo Castiglioni, the latter recorded for the first time.
Sarah was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne and read music at King’s College, London whilst studying with Piers Lane at the Royal Academy of Music. She went on to study with Paul Roberts and Andrew Ball at the Guildhall School of Music.
Nicola Sweeney - violin
Nicola Sweeney, born in Dublin, moved to London to study with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. During her studies she won all seven violin competitions, including the concerto prize for her performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto at the Chelmsford festival. She graduated from the performance course with a first class honours degree.
Nicola has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St Cecilia, as well as the European Union Chamber Orchestra and St George Strings (Belgrade). She has performed as soloist in South America, North Africa, throughout Europe and has also broadcast for BBC, German and RTE radio.
Nicola has recently led the Irish Chamber Orchestra on a major European tour and currently holds the assistant leader position. She has been guest leader with the RTE Concert Orchestra and guest principal 2nd violin with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She is also guest leader and director of the European Union Chamber Orchestra and a recording, directing Mozart Symphony no 29, has recently been released.
Nicola also gives frequent string quartet recitals and has performed in the Purcell Room, Blackheath Concert Halls, Bishopsgate Hall, as well as in the City of London, Cheltenham and Windsor festivals.