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Co-directed by Anthony Marwood and Richard Lester, Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival has emerged from the acclaimed Florestan Festival, directed for fourteen years by the recently retired, award-winning Florestan Trio.
British violinist Anthony Marwood is known worldwide as an artist of exceptional expressive force. His energetic and collaborative nature places him in great demand as soloist/director with chamber orchestras worldwide. He is Principal Artistic Partner of the celebrated Canadian chamber orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, a post he took up in 2015. In the 16/17 season, he was Artist in Residence at the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. His eminence as a soloist has brought him to work with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergård, David Robertson, Gerard Korsten, Ilan Volkov, Jaime Martin, Bernard Labadie and Douglas Boyd.
In recent years, engagements have included the Boston Symphony, St Louis Symphony and Vienna Radio Symphony, as well as the New Zealand and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Last season included performances of Kurt Weill’s concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia, play/direct projects with the Aurora Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall and with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a return to the Amsterdam Sinfonietta for a tour of the Netherlands, and a performance of Brahms’s Double Concerto with Alexander Rudin and Musica Viva Moscow.
Marwood is a renowned champion of contemporary music, alongside more traditional repertoire. Among those new works composed for him is Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto “Concentric Paths”. Marwood first performed the work in Berlin and at the BBC Proms with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by the composer, following these performances with many national premieres around the globe and a release on EMI in 2010; last season, he performed it with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Andrew Manze. Also composed for Marwood were Steven Mackey’s “Four Iconoclastic Episodes”, premiered in 2009 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and Sally Beamish’s 1995 violin concerto, premiered by Marwood with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins. The most recent work written for Marwood is Samuel Adams’ Violin Concerto, premiered in 2014 by the Berkeley Symphony in California under Joana Carneiro to critical acclaim.
The 17/18 season includes a tour with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, play/direct engagements with the Sydney Symphony and Tapiola Sinfonietta in Helsinki, debuts with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra (Adès concerto) and Jacksonville Symphony (Berg) and two concerto appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of Paris (Beethoven and Berg).
As a chamber musician, Marwood is a frequent participant at major chamber music festivals, with recent appearances including Vinterfest in Sweden, the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival and Bridgehampton Festival in New York. His recital partners include pianist Aleksandar Madžar, with whom he toured the US last season, and accordionist James Crabb, with whom he appeared at Wigmore Hall in 2015. Marwood returns to the Wigmore Hall in the current season to join musical colleagues for the octets of Mendelssohn and Enescu.
Anthony Marwood’s most recent release – his 50th on the Hyperion label – is a recording of Walton’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins. The disc has received critical acclaim, including a 5-star review in The Guardian and Classical Source and a ‘Recommended Recording’ in The Strad Magazine, whilst the Sunday Times hailed Marwood as “a thrilling, virtuosic soloist”. Other recent releases for Hyperion include Schumann’s late works for violin and orchestra and Britten’s Violin and Double Concertos, both with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Marwood’s recording of Schumann’s violin sonatas, recorded with Aleksandar Madžar on the award-winning Wigmore Live label, was described by International Record Review as “exemplary in every way”, and followed on from the duo’s acclaimed recording of the Brahms violin sonatas on the same label.
Another facet of Marwood’s career is genre-bending presentations, such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ fully-staged production of Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale”, in which Marwood acted the role of the Soldier and played the violin part. He also enjoyed a successful collaboration with award-winning Indian classical dancer Mayuri Boonham.
Born in London, Anthony Marwood studied with Emanuel Hurwitz at the Royal Academy of Music, David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music, and took lessons from Sándor Végh and Daniel Phillips at IMS Prussia Cove. He was named Instrumentalist of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2006 and was the violinist of the Florestan Trio for sixteen years. He is co-Artistic Director of the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival in East Sussex, performs annually at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, and enjoys a close association with the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. Marwood was appointed a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in 2013. He plays a 1736 Carlo Bergonzi violin, kindly bought by a syndicate of purchasers.
Leading chamber-musician, solo-cellist, orchestral principal and renowned teacher, Richard Lester appears regularly at the world’s foremost concert venues and festivals.
He studied in London at the RCM with Amaryllis Fleming and in Germany with Johannes Goritzki. He was a member of the award-winning Florestan Trio, a founder-member of the ensemble Domus, a member of Hausmusik and the London Haydn Quartet. Equally at home on both period instruments and ‘modern’, he was for many years principal with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and has been principal cello with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe since 1989. In addition he is frequently called upon to be guest-leader of the cello sections of the major London orchestras, appearing with many of the world’s finest conductors and soloists.
He has performed as concerto soloist with, among others, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Camerata Salzburg, BBC Scottish SO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Ulster Orchestra, under conductors including Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund, Sandor Vegh, Myung Whun Chung and Sir Roger Norrington. He has also appeared as director and soloist with COE, OAE, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London Mozart Players, Irish Chamber Orchestra, and in Montreal and Quebec with Les Violons du Roy.
The Florestan Trio was one of the world’s leading piano trios and for almost seventeen years the group maintained the same personnel, winning the Gramophone award in 1999 and the Royal Philharmonic Society award in 2000. Many of its records are benchmark recordings, nominated in collectors’ guides. The trio disbanded in 2012, finishing their career with a sold-out Beethoven series in London’s Wigmore Hall.
Richard Lester is regularly invited to take part in chamber-music festivals around the world. He is artistic co-director, together with violinist Anthony Marwood, of the highly successful annual Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival in East Sussex.
He has made over 40 highly acclaimed recordings, twice winning the Gramophone award for best chamber-music. His recordings of the complete works of Mendelssohn for cello and piano and a disc of Boccherini sonatas on period instruments are available on the Hyperion label.
Richard Lester teaches at the Royal College of Music in London. He gives masterclasses worldwide, and is a frequent guest teacher in Canada at the Banff Center and at Domaine Forget.
He plays on a cello made in Brescia, c.1700, by G.B. Rogeri
Simon Mortimore QC Chairman
The Festival is managed by Anna Rowe, Festival Manager and Hal Hutchison, Concerts Manager, with considerable voluntary support from Sue Schlesinger, who manages the Festival Box Office, the Friends of Peasmarsh Church and Fiona Mortimore, the Friends Administrator.
The Festival is also particularly grateful to the Vicars, Churchwardens and members of the respective Parochial Church Councils of the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Peasmarsh and St Mary the Virgin Church in Rye, the festival’s two principal venues.
All festival management enquiries should be directed to Anna Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Registered address: Landgate Chambers, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7LJ
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