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Borletti-Buitoni Trust

Alexei Ogrintchouk oboe

Marc-André Dalbavie's Oboe Concerto,
commissioned for Alexei Ogrintchouk by BBT and BBC
Premiere 17 December 2010 with BBC Symphony Orchestra at Barbican, London

“the concerto dazzles like a 100-watt bulb in a hall of mirrors…the restless energy of Ogrintchouk's performance could power the Barbican's stage lights for months…the oboist's fingers are almost never still, tracing constant, rippling curlicues as the music rises and falls…all ears were on the brilliant Ogrintchouk, who, as he greeted the composer at the end, looked exhilarated.”
Erica Jeal, The Guardian 21 December 2010

“It could have been electronic, but was actually the solo oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk (chords are possible on the oboe, but it’s rare for them to sound as beautiful as Ogrintchouk made them)... The small patterns swelled into big ones, swooping up and down the entire range of the oboe with a virtuosity that had to be heard to be believed.”
Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph 20 December 2010

“... a fabulous soloist”
Paul Driver, Sunday Times 26 December 2010

Joshua Hopkins baritone

Let Beauty Awake, recital CD on Atma Classique

“The young Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins gives a beautifully assured reading of Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, followed by an intriguing batch of composers – Paul Bowles, Samuel Barber and the Canadian Srul Irving Gluck. A really fine debut recital. Jerad Mosbey accompanies.”
Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musicale 29 November 2010

“as this first recital disc of 20th century songs demonstrates, he’s a baritone of real promise and vocal presence. Hopkins delivers them all with such care and attention to their meaning”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian 17 December 2010

“Hopkins unearths winsome songs by Srul Irving Glick and a series of Tennessee Williams miniatures by Paul Bowles – two North American composers who deserve to be better known.”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times 10 December 2010

Pavel Haas Quartet

Dvorak String Quartets Op.106 & Op.96 American, CD on Supraphon

“The Haas Quartet delivers superb performances of both works…..Their understanding of the musical argument is exemplary...”
Disc of the Month, BBC Music Magazine December 2010

“Their account of the American Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc. In this repertoire, they are simply matchless today.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times 14 November 2010

“The most popular Dvorák’s chamber repertoire performed by one of the world’s most exciting string quartets.”
Presto Classical

Quatuor Ebène

Fiction, CD on Virgin Classics,  now Warner Classics

"That there is also musical integrity in this crossover work is fascinating. From the off one gets the feeling that this project makes musical sense. The colours that are evoked in their version of Miles Davis’s All Blues are worthy of any of their work with Ravel and Debussy. The textures in the Pulp Fiction arrangement are kaleidoscopic."
Igor Toronyi-Lalic, The Times 22 October 2010

"A triumph of originality and verve."
Charlotte Gardner, BBC Online 2 November 2010

"Quatuor Ebène seem the string quartet most likely to take on the mantle of the Kronos Quartet, not least for their ability to accommodate jazz and pop influences."
Andy Gill, The Independent 22 October 2010       

O Duo percussion duo

Stephen McNeff's ConcertO-Duo,
commissioned for O Duo by BBT & BBC,
premiered at the BBC Symphony Orchestra's 80th Birthday concert, October 2010

"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 October 2010

"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 October 2010

"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 October 2010       

Photo: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

Ieva Jokubaviciute piano

Music of Tribute: Alban Berg, CD on Labor Records

"This is the Lithuanian pianist's debut disc and very interestingly devised"
Paul Driver, Sunday Times 14 November 2010

"...an artist of commanding technique, refined temperament and persuasive insight... throughout this fascinating disc Ms Jokubaviciute is an authoritative, compelling guide."
Steve Smith, New York Times 12 November 2010     

Shai Wosner piano

Brahms & Schoenberg, CD on Onyx Classics

"His fingers are at the service of a keen musical mind and deep musical soul. He's downright thrilling in recital. So if you have the chance to see him, take it. You'll witness a young artist at the beginning of his career, who — decades down the line — will be spoken of as one of the greats."
National Public Radio, USA 30 December 2010

"...this is pianism of the very highest order, involving and full-blooded, with such burnished passion from Wosner…an extraordinary demonstration of the delicacy and subtlety of Wosner’s artistry. In short, a fascinating disc: this is a pianist to watch."
Nicholas Salwey, International Piano Magazine October 2010

"The links between these giants come through compellingly on the new recording of works by Brahms and Schoenberg by the excellent Israeli-born pianist Shai Wosner.   He plays the Schoenberg suite with crispness and clarity. The Gavotte and the Musette dance and swing with appropriate Baroque energy…Yet Mr Wosner also captures the modernist daring and wildness of the music. When the music turns restless, he plays with infectious spontaneity, adjusting tempos at will. He also gives a joyous, technically assured account of Brahms's exhilarating Handel Variations... This is an inventively conceived and impressive recording."
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times 10 October 2010

"This is a genuinely imaginative pairing of two composers who have more in common than their popular images might suggest... The sequence works well, and Wosner's understated playing suits it perfectly."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian 27 August 2010

Andrew Kennedy tenor

Arias by Mozart, Gluck & Berlioz, CD on Signum Classics

"the promise shown by Andrew Kennedy has been confirmed by his rapidly developing international careeer. His voice has grown in strength, well beyond the sterotypical ‘English tenor’ bleat. Without sacrificing the classical elegance that serve him as Mozart’s Belmonte and Emperor Tito, he has acquired a clarion ring at the top that equips him for Tamino and bravura roles like Gluck’s Achilles."
Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine June 2010

"I received much pleasure from listening to this CD. Whatever attributes songs demonstrate in a singer, they do not often call for the upper range of a tenor to be displayed, and those who have heard Kennedy only in the song repertoire may be surprised at how good his top is."
John T Hughes, International Record Review April 2010

"[Kennedy’s voice] is always clear in definition and often, as in Pylades’ aria and Tito’s three solos, gracefully poised. And it is good to hear him in an operatic recital for a change."
John Steane, Gramophone July 2010

"Kennedy’s bright, firm tenor is equal to the demands of Gluck’s haute-contre parts. He sings J’ai perdu mon Euridice… Simon Over and the Southbank Sinfonia are crystal-clear accompanists and the overture to Tito is splendid."
David Cairns, The Times 21 February 2010       

Vilde Frang violin

Sibelius & Prokofiev Concertos, Debut CD on EMI Classics,  now Warner Classics

"This is an unusually potent debut recording from a prodigiously gifted artist... Frang's chemistry is disarmingly exquisite."
Ian Julier, International Record Review March 2010

"What makes this recording so special is not so much Frang's seductive, sinewy yet voluptuous tone, nor her effortless technical mastery; it is her startling emotional sincerity and inspired musical imagination that rivet the attention."
Julian Haylock, The Strad March 2010

"Impressive debut recording"
Geoff Brown, The Times

"Ushering the Sibelius with a sweetly tremulous whisper, Frang heralds one of the freshest and most vital accounts of this familiar and frequently recorded work in recent years."
Michael Quinn, BBC Online 16 February 2010

"In the first Prokofiev she substitutes flash virtuosity with an in-your-ear whisper. In the Sibelius she is fire on ice. Frang is my hot tip for 2010."
Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musicale February 2010 

Aronowitz Ensemble

Climbing The Skies, CD on Sonimage

"this enterprising CD debut breathes sensitivity and purpose. The programme is a beautiful one, linked by a clearly identifiable national image."
Financial Times 8 May 2010

"This is an auspicious debut for both the label and the septet of performers. There are spacious accounts of Vaughan Williams’ Phantasy Quintet and Elgar’s Piano Quintet, the smoothness and subtlety of playing surrendering little in emotional intensity"
Classical Music 13 February 2010

"On the Sonimage label, newly founded by Paul Segar, the Aronowitz Ensemble... here demonstrates not only the players' superbly polished ensemble and intensity of performance but their flexibility too... superb playing and finely honed recording."
Edward Greenfield, Gramophone March 2010

"The premiere recording of Huw Watkins' Sad Steps (2008) – wistful yet lean and supple, written for pairs of violin, viola and cello with piano – complements the melancholy late-romanticism of Vaughan Williams's Phantasy Quintet (1912) and Elgar's Piano Quintet in A minor (1919). The players' exuberance keeps English nostalgia at bay and all stays in keen, bright focus."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer 31 January 2010