Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘brimming with style and panache’. O Duo has made its BBC Proms debut, won a Special Commissioning Award from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and been appointed Artistic Directors of the Children’s Classic Concerts series in Scotland. In 2010 O Duo gave the premiere of Stephen McNeff’s ConcertO-Duo with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican as part of their 80th birthday concert. They returned to the Proms to give the premiere of Wilful Chants by Stephen Montague, appeared at the Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park, and gave recitals at Wigmore Hall, Cheltenham and City of London Festivals. Their highly acclaimed series of Children’s Classics Concerts includes performances at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow and Queen’s Hall Edinburgh with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Opera and special guests. 2013 includes performances of the world premiere of Fraser Trainer’s new percussion concerto firstly with Sinfonia Viva and then with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Formed in 2000 at the Royal College of Music, O Duo released their first commercial CD on the Sony BMG label in 2007 to critical acclaim. They have given concerts throughout Europe and further afield and performed concertos with the BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras. Outstanding communicators, O Duo have worked at Abbey Road and Sony studios on television and film scores and broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and 3, Classic FM, Channel 4 and BBC Television. The Duo was chosen for representation by YCAT from 2005 to 2011.
Photograph taken by John Ferro Sims
Stephen McNeff ConcertO-Duo, commissioned for O Duo by BBT and BBC, premiered at the BBC Symphony Orchestra 80th Birthday concert
"Stephen McNeff’s ConcertO Duo, written for the outrageously talented percussionists O Duo (Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell) plays to their strengths by exploiting split-second timing and staggering virtuosity on anything that could reasonably be hit with a stick."
Barry Millington London Evening Standard 25.10.10
"It [ConcertO-Duo] was written for the O Duo percussion duo, who really are the most astonishing double act, running back and forth between the two huge batteries without missing a beat... the slow movement, where the percussionists draped ribbons of sound over the orchestra’s song, was nicely judged."
Ivan Hewett Daily Telegraph 25.10.10
"Owen Gunnell and Olly Cox brought a tremendous amount of energy and sense of fun to the piece... this was an engaging work that made imaginative use of the instruments and staging, from whistles and untuned percussion recalling a carnival dance, to the more dark, funereal atmosphere created by tubular bells. As composer Stephen McNeff reminds us, ‘a concerto is designed to let the soloists show off” and, performing with great flair and precision, O duo certainly did this in the best sense."
Hannah Gill, Bachtrack 24.10.10
The money we've been awarded by the Trust has created a fantastic array of opportunities for us, enabling us to commission a variety of works and actually offer these composers a fee rather than asking for favours all the time! A concerto, in particular, is the most exciting of these, given the lack of such repertoire for percussion duo, and it is great to know that we will be expanding this repertoire, not just for us, but for future performers as well.
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