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Tamsin Waley-Cohen - violin  George Fu - piano

Tamsin Fu.png

Sunday, May 11th 2025 @ 7.30 pm

Programme

Schumann - Sonata in D minor No. 2

Adams - Road Movies

Beethoven - Kreutzer Sonata No. 9

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Born in London, Tamsin Waley-Cohen enjoys an adventurous and varied career. In addition to concerts with the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Hallé, Liverpool Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia and BBC orchestras, amongst others, she has twice been associate artist with the Orchestra of the Swan and works with conductors including Andrew Litton, Vasily Petrenko, Ben Gernon, Ryan Bancroft and Tamás Vásáry.

Her duo partners include James Baillieu and Huw Watkins. She gave the premiere of Watkins’ Concertino, and in Summer 2020 will premiere a new work for violin and piano with him at Wigmore Hall. She is thrilled to be a Signum Classics Artist. With her sister, composer Freya Waley-Cohen, and architects Finbarr O’Dempsey and Andrew Skulina, she held an Open Space residency at Aldeburgh, culminating in the 2017 premiere of Permutations at the Aldeburgh Festival, an interactive performance artwork synthesising music and architecture. Her love of chamber music led her to start the Honeymead Festival, now in its twelth year, from which all proceeds go to support local charities.

She is a founding member of the Albion string quartet, appearing regularly with them at venues including Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, and the Concertgebouw. In 2016-2017 she was the UK recipient of the ECHO Rising Stars Awards, playing at all the major European concert halls and premiering Oliver Knussen’s Reflection, written especially for her and Huw Watkins. In the 2018-19 season she toured Japan and China, and gave her New York Debut recital at the Frick.

She is Artistic Director of the Two Moors Festival, and has previously been Artistic Director of the Music Series at the Tricyle Theatre, London, and the Bargello festival in Florence. She studied at the Royal College of Music and her teachers included Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ruggiero Ricci and András Keller.

Chinese-American pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu has been praised as “one of the most exciting pianists of our time… a deep thinker, thoroughly in command” (The Arts Desk). Recently winning BBC Music Magazine’s 2024 Newcomer Award, he is establishing an international reputation as a fearless and probing interpreter of a wide array of music, combining “stunning virtuosity” (Boston Music Intelligencer) and “phenomenal technique with a profound sense of interpretative clarity” (Apple Music). 

George has appeared across the Americas and Europe, appearing at major venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Konzerthaus Berlin, Kennedy Center, St Martin In the Fields, the Southbank Centre, and Kings Place. His performances and interviews have been featured on broadcasts around the world, ranging from BBC Radio 3 and National Public Radio, to appearances on PBS/American Public Television and On Stage At Curtis in Philadelphia. Recent highlights include successful solo recital debuts at the Wigmore Hall, as well as the Aldeburgh and Ryedale Festivals. 

Highlights of next season include solo recital debuts in New York City (Merkin Hall), Washington DC (Phillips Collection), as well as debut performances at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. He will release a second solo album in autumn 2024, Colouring Book, combining the complete cycle of Debussy 12 Études with other playful works by Matthew Aucoin, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, and himself.

As concerto soloist he has performed with National Symphony Orchestra (USA), Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. A frequent solo recitalist and chamber musician, George is a founding member of Trio Zimbalist alongside Josef Špaček (violin) and Timotheos Gavriilidis-Petrin (cello). He enjoys fruitful collaborations with a wide variety of artists such as Roberto Díaz (viola), Dmitri Sitkovetsky (violin), Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), Mika Sasaki (piano), Liv Redpath (soprano), and Lotte Betts-Dean (mezzo-soprano).

George’s debut solo album, MIRRORS, was released with Platoon Classical to international acclaim, winning BBC Music Magazine’s 2024 Newcomer Award. The album draws on his visionary style of programming, using Maurice Ravel’s Miroirs as a focal point and featuring an eclectic mix of composers: Sergei Rachmaninov, Germaine Tailleferre, Henri Dutilleux, Unsuk Chin, Timo Andres and Freya Waley-Cohen. The album earned a five-star review from BBC Music Magazine: “Fu’s approach is intelligent but fuelled by a deep emotion and understanding of the repertoire… his touch on the keys is barely apparent in the Ravel, with the music flowing gossamer-like.” Gramophone also declared that “Fu’s precise fingerwork cannot be faulted, and his gift for programme-building deserves serious attention”; while International Piano Magazine claimed that “Fu’s fluent and nuanced ‘Barque’ is one of the finest available”.

Born in Washington, D.C., George made his concerto debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center at the age of 17. After earning a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, George studied with Jonathan Biss and Meng-Chieh Liu at the Curtis Institute of Music, and then with Christopher Elton and the Dame Myra Hess Chair of Piano Joanna MacGregor at the Royal Academy of Music, where he currently teaches. He has also worked intensively with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, specifically on the music of Messiaen and Debussy.

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