Markson Pianos 2019 Concert Series - #6 - John Thwaites ( Piano ) Alexander Baillie ( Cello )
John Thwaites, (Piano) is best known for his collaborative work with strings and as a founder member of the Primrose Piano Quartet. Having a special affinity with the cello, he has worked over decades with cellists Alexander Baillie and JohannesGoritzki, and appeared with Pierre Doumenge, Louise Hopkins,Natalie Clein, Alexander Ivashkin,David Cohen,Oleg Kogan, Li Wei and others. John performs regularly in the major festivals across Europe, broadcasts for radio, and has issued a string of critically acclaimed recordings.With the Primrose Piano Quartet he commissioned a major new work by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (premiered at Cheltenham), inspired a set of variations on a Burns Air (premiered at London?s King?s Place), and has issued many recordings for Meridian including a ?Five Star?Choice for Classic FM Magazine, of Bridge and Howells. His recording of Lyapunov with the Dante Quartet for Dutton Digital was a BBCMusic Magazine ?Recording of the Month?. Concerto appearances include Grieg at St John?s Smith Square and Tchaikovsky at the Royal College of Music.Whilst Head of Keyboard at Christ?s Hospital, he programmed the complete Chamber Music of Brahms, taking all 17 piano parts ? an abiding passion increasingly informed by historic performance study. John?smore recent teaching career includes posts at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is Course Director of the Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School, and Head of Keyboard Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Alexander Baillie (cello) is internationally recognised as one of the finest cellists of his generation. He
began playing at the comparatively late age of twelve having been directly inspired by the late
Jacqueline du Pré. He went on to study at London's Royal College of Music with Joan Dickson and
Anna Shuttleworth and with André Navarra in Vienna.
He has performed with many of the top orchestras and conductors, appearing regularly as cello
soloist in concertos, recitals,masterclasses and festivals throughout the world, including several
appearances at the BBCProms. Together with pianist partner James Lisney he has been
promoting their Beethoven Project in England and Germany.
Notable first performances of contemporary works, often written for him, have included
Penderecki,HansWerner Henze, Takemitsu,Colin Matthews and H.K.Gruber. Recordings include
the Tippett Triple Concerto with the composer conducting, and the Shostakovich first Concerto
with the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander. His recording of the Britten Cello Suites
achieved the highest acclaim in the New York press, and of the performance of the Dutilleux
Cello Concerto with the Boston Philharmonic, the composer was heard to say that it was the
finest performance of his work that he had ever heard.
A passionate and motivational teacher, Alexander continues to be in demand as Professor of
Cello at the Hochschule für Künste, Bremen in Germany and as visiting Professor at the
Birmingham Conservatoire. He is founder member of the ?Gathering of the Clans?Cello School.
"It's an outstanding partnership: take for example their glorioushandling of Ireland'sbeautiful
slow movement. Throughout, Baillie'srewardingly intelligent phrasing ismatched by Thwaites's
warm, generous, perfectly judged pianism." Stephen Pritchard, The Observer,October 2013
"These are passionate, focused, full-blooded readingswithout a hint of reticence or apology. Alexander Baillie and John Thwaitesinvest eachworkwith the power of utter belief, and asa result these are probably the best current versionsof theBridge, Ireland, Rubbra andDelius Sonatas." Calum MacDonald, BBCMusic Magazine Chamber Choice,October 2013
Franz Schubert - Arpeggione Sonata in A minor for Cello and Piano D. 821
Sir Arnold Bax - Sonata for Cello and Piano No.1 in E flat (1923)
Cėsar Franck - Violin Sonata in A (trans. Delsart)