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Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra

Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra

James Clark violin

James Clark’s musical career, spanning over thirty years, encompasses a wide range of musical accomplishment. As a chorister at King’s College Cambridge he sang as soloist at the famous ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ on Christmas Eve and on many records under Sir David Willcocks. He went on to study both singing and violin at the Royal College of Music in London, winning major awards as a singer and prizes as a violinist.

In 1981 he was invited by Claudio Abbado to lead the European Youth Orchestra, and subsequently became the first leader of the newly formed Chamber Orchestra of Europe working with some of the world’s greatest musicians including Solti, Pollini, Barenboim and Abbado.

As a member of the Endellion Quartet from 1984 chamber music became an increasingly important music activity. James was also active with the Raphael Ensemble, playing regularly on radio and producing several well received discs of Brahms and Dvorák Sextets.

As a member of the Endellion Quartet from 1984 chamber music became an increasingly important music activity. James was also active with the Raphael Ensemble, playing regularly on radio and producing several well received discs of Brahms and Dvorák Sextets.

In 2004 James was also appointed Leader of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he holds in tandem with that of the Philharmonia.

 

Philippe Honoré, violin

Philippe is a French-born violinist who has been a regular recitalist in both France and the UK. He has performed widely in broadcast recitals on French radio and television. He studied violin at the Paris Conservatoire with Pierre Doukan and was awarded the Premier Prix as both soloist and chamber musician. Winning several awards and grants, he continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music with György Pauk. In 1992 he received the honour Lauréat of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation of France and in 2001 was awarded Honorary Associateship by the Royal Academy of Music.

He took part in the Decca recording An Equal Music, containing the items mentioned in the Indian novelist Vikram Seth’s book of the same name, playing solo Bach and chamber music. Philippe plays chamber music, recitals and solo works, as well as leading orchestras and currently holds the position of Principal Second Violin in the Philharmonia. His instrument is an Italian violin made by Thomas Eberle in 1786.

 

Rachel Roberts, viola

Born in Huddersfield, Rachel Roberts was awarded full scholarships to Chetham’s School of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. At the age of 19 she was appointed to the post of principal viola with the Manchester Camerata with whom she frequently performed as soloist. After further study, with David Takeno, Rachel Roberts was a finalist in the Royal Overseas League Competition and won the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Trevor Snoad Memorial Prize for viola. This resulted in a concerto engagement at St John’s, Smith Square, with the Philharmonia Orchestra who later awarded her the post of Principal Viola.

In her role as Principal Viola of the Philharmonia Rachel has performed in such prestigious venues as the Musikverein Vienna, the Tonhalle Zurich and Carnegie Hall New York under the batons of Ashkenazy, Maazel, Muti, Sanderling and Svetlanov. In 2000 she collaborated with Andras Schiff in his Brandenburg Series at the Royal Festival Hall performing the chamber music version of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6.

Having been a member of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Rachel is much in demand as a chamber musician; in this role she has worked alongside Ivry Gitlis, Steven Isserlis, Pekka Kuusisto and Martin Lovett. As well as taking part in many BBC Radio 3 broadcasts from the Wigmore Hall, she recorded the world premiere of Beethoven’s String Quintet in C minor Op. 104 on the Decca label.

 

David Cohen, cello

David Cohen was born in 1980 in Tournai, Belgium, into a family of musicians and started to play the cello when he was seven. In 1991 he won First Prize in the Young Soloist Competition and First Prize with Distinction in the Senior and the Junior international Competition in Wathrelos, France. He then went to the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles. In 1994 David joined the Yehudi Menuhin School for four years, thanks to a grant from the Menuhin Foundation, before going on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Oleg Kogan.

David has won more than 25 international prizes and awards, including first prize at the Audi International Competition in 1995 and the International Cello Competition in Douai.

David began an international career as a soloist aged just 11, performing with the Flemish Orchestra of Brussels, the Orchestra from Grenoble and the Polish Philharmonic Orchestra under Lord Menuhin’s direction, and in 1996 he toured England and Scotland with the Symphonia of Warsaw. In 1997 he had a masterclass with Mstislav Rostropovich and after listening to David, Rostropovich asked him to play in his cello sextet. The same year he was also offered a tour in Germany with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. David has also appeared at several international cello festivals including Kronberg (Germany), Manchester, Cambridge (UK), Beauvais (France) and the Gstaad Festival (Switzerland).

David was appointed Principal Cello of the Philharmonia Orchestra in March 2001 (the youngest cello principal ever) and currently teaches at the Royal Conservatoire de Musique de Mons in Belgium.

 

Kenneth Smith, flute

Kenneth Smith has won and continues to win many admirers who follow the Philharmonia Orchestra on disc and on the concert platform throughout the world, his individual tone and superior quality of sound having developed under the guidance of such eminent musicians as Aurele Nicolet, James Galway and the almost legendary Marcel Moyse.

In 1983, after ten years with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth accepted the invitation to become principal flute with the Philharmonia Orchestra, which opened up an international career of performing and recording music at the highest level the world over.

Kenneth is now firmly established as one of Britain’s leading flute players featuring on countless recordings from the symphonic and operatic repertoire with the Philharmonia and other leading Symphony Orchestras.

A steadily increasing solo discography includes Mozart’s Concerto for flute and harp with the Philharmonia/Sinopoli for Deutsche Grammophon, Vivaldi concertos with the London Musici and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with Maurice André and the Philharmonia/Muti for EMI; whilst his long established Duo partnership (with pianist Paul Rhodes) has already recorded seven albums of music for flute and piano - three of them devoted to music by British composers and the others embracing many of the major works in the flute repertoire along with several virtuoso show pieces, some neglected gems and a selection of these artists own colourful and frequently broadcast arrangements of classical favourites.

 

Barnaby Robson, clarinet

Barnaby Robson studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and as a Fulbright Scholar at The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Concerto Prize. His subsequent Purcell Room debut was critically acclaimed.

As a chamber musician, Barnaby has performed and recorded much of the clarinet, violin and piano repertoire with the Zanfonia Trio, BBC Music Magazine praised their most recent recording as a ‘fine disc ... leaving me hungry to hear more’. He also performs regularly with London Winds, Belcea Quartet, Thomas Adès, Conchord Ensemble, Artur Pizarro, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Wind Soloists, Endymion Ensemble and the Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has recorded chamber repertoire for ASV, BBC, Black Box and EMI, and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

Barnaby has performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto on both modern and period instruments. He recorded Spohr Clarinet Concertos as a soloist with the Philharmonia for the Miramax film With or Without You.

Barnaby has worked with orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, London Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He was appointed Joint Principal Clarinet of the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2000. He is Professor of Clarinet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music.

www.philharmonia.co.uk


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