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Madeleine Mitchell & Andrew Ball

Wednesday 10th November 2010, 7:30pm

Madeleine Mitchell


Andrew Ball

Violinist Madeleine Mitchell has performed in over 40 countries as a soloist in a wide repertoire and has been described by The Times as ‘one of Britain’s liveliest musical forces and foremost violinists’. She has performed concertos with orchestras including the St Petersburg Philharmonic (2009), Czech and Polish Radio Symphony, Wurttemberg and Munich Chamber, the Royal Philharmonic and other London orchestras; Welsh Chamber, Orchestra de Bahia Brazil, Malaga Symphony of Spain, Kiev Philharmonic and for the BBC. She also directs concertos from the violin such as Bach and Vivaldi Seasons and commissioned and premiered a unique ‘concerto’ for violin and voices by Jonathan Harvey, Roxanna Panufnik and Thierry Pecou at Bath and Spitalfields festivals. She performed Lou Harrison Violin Concerto with Percussion Orchestra in Symphony Hall Birmingham International Series as part of her collaboration with Ensemble Bash, supported by a major award from Arts Council England. Her recording of this and other new works, ‘FiddleSticks’ on the Signum label, received 5 star reviews in both BBC Music and Classic FM Magazines and was shortlisted for Grammy, BBC Music and Midem awards. Recently she stepped in at 12 hours notice to perform Bruch Violin Concerto with the Bath Philharmonia in their New Year Gala to a capacity audience in the Theatre Royal. She plays the Elgar violin concerto in London this Autumn. Madeleine Mitchell was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal as Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music where she has been a Professor since 1994. As Fulbright/ITT Fellow she gained a master’s degree in New York studying with Dorothy DeLay, Donald Weilerstein and Sylvia Rosenberg at the Eastman and Juilliard schools. She gives master classes worldwide, is Director of the London Chamber Ensemble and is on the faculty of the Orfeo International Festival in the Italian Alps in July and the Interharmony Festival in Germany.

Pianist Andrew Ball studied with Kendall Taylor at the Royal College of Music and took a First in music at Queen’s College, Oxford. Regarded as one of the foremost British pianists of his generation, a busy career has taken him all over the world. He has a reputation for innovative and imaginative programmes, and chamber music and contemporary music have always played a large part in his repertoire. He has given countless premieres (including the first British performance of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Piano Sonata at the Bath Festival), made his Proms debut playing Messiaen and studied Tippett’s sonatas with the composer. Ives and Busoni are also special interests. He has played with the Nash Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Villiers Piano Quartet and Gemini and has had a successful duo with Madeleine Mitchell since 1992. Many acclaimed CDs range from the complete Tippett song-cycles and vocal and choral music of Lili Boulanger with Martyn Hill for Hyperion, to Billy Mayerl’s works for piano and orchestra. He has appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival playing two-piano music with Rolf Hind and has played in Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’ for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and with the LSO and Gergiev at the Barbican. Formerly a sought-after teacher at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Andrew Ball was Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music from 1999 to 2005, where he remains a Professor. He was made a Fellow in 2006. He regularly gives masterclasses, including Berlin, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.


Mozart ~ Violin Sonata in Bb, K.454
James MacMillan ~ A Different World
Frank Bridge ~ Romanze, H.45     Morceau Caractéristique, H.83
Alban Berg (arr. Mitchell) ~ Die Nachtogall
Richard Strauss ~ Violin Sonata in Eb, Op.18

Die Nachtigall is one of the ‘Seven Early Songs’ written by Berg before he began to compose in the atonal and then 12-note style. Arranged by Madeleine Mitchell for violin and piano, viewers may wish to click here to see and hear it as originally written for soprano and piano (un-named artists), or here for the later orchestral version, sung by Renee Fleming with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda at the 2007 Proms.

Die Nachtigall and the Bridge pieces are included on the CD ‘Violin Songs’ Divine Art (DDA 25063), which will be available at the concert. Popular pieces and rarities by Elgar, Bridge, Massenet, Schubert, Strauss, Berg and music from Paris around the 1920s – Ravel, Prokofiev, Copland, Boulanger, Poulenc. Madeleine and Andrew Ball with Elizabeth Watts ~ soprano. Classic FM CD of the Week and featured on BBC Radios 3 and 4.

Madeleine Mitchell Website     Andrew Ball Website     Click here for a video of Madeleine and Andrew recording the Adagio from Eugene Goosens’ Violin Sonata No.1 (1918), where you will also find other related violin videos.

POSTSCRIPT: This concert was dedicated to the memory of Jean Hudson, the Society’s Vice-Chairman, who died a few days previously. Madeleine and Andrew dedicated their encore, Elgar’s Salut d’amore, to Jean.