Sophie rosa & Benjamin Powell
7.30pm Saturday, 23 September 2017
Sophie Rosa violin
Benjamin Powell piano
One of the UK's most exciting violinists, Sophie Rosa was awarded the Second Prize and Audience Prize at the 2nd Manchester International Violin Competition 2011. She has performed across the UK as a recitalist in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room and Bridgewater Hall as well as appearing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata. Sophie has broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.
Sophie has performed regularly throughout the UK and internationally from a very young age. In 2006 she was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and was the First Prize winner of the Lions European Music Competition, Cannes. Sophie studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music with Wen Zhou Li. She was a recipient of the RNCM Gold Medal and was also awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal in recognition of her musical achievements. Sophie was also a recipient of the MBF Ian Fleming Charitable Trust Award. After completing her Masters Degree with Distinction, Sophie completed the RNCM International Artist Diploma in Solo Performance and furthered her studies in America with Midori Goto, Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein.
Sophie has performed at the MBNA Chester Music Festival, The Manchester Midday Concert Society, The Aurora Festival, Sweden, Musique Cordiale Festival, France, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. As a chamber musician Sophie has collaborated with notable musicians including Martin Roscoe, Nobuko Imai, Hannah Roberts, Craig Ogden and James Gilchrist.
Sophie was kindly supported by several award foundations including the Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Music Scholarship, The Solti Foundation, The Hattori Foundation, The Manchester Graucob Award, the Leverhulme Scholarship, The High Sheriff of Cheshire Prize for Music, The Stephen Bell Charitable Trust, The Lauriston School Trust, The Stanley Picker Trust and Help Musicians UK.
Sophie’s debut album, ‘Ręve d’Enfant’ was released in February 2016 on the Champs Hill Records label. Sophie currently plays on a Joseph Gagliano violin dated 1795 made available through the generous support of the Stradivari Trust.
Praised by Philip Mead, founder of the British Contemporary Piano Competition as “a consummate musician with a transcendent pianistic technique in the service of a refined musicality”, Benjamin Powell has gained a reputation for intelligent and expressive performances with a strong commitment to contemporary music. Since winning the British Contemporary Piano Competition in 2010 Benjamin has performed across the UK and Europe, in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Wigmore Hall, Snape Maltings, IRCAM, and Harpa (Reykjavik). He has recently been appointed pianist for the Manchester-based Psappha ensemble.
Recent highlights have included solo recitals for Cheltenham Contemporary Concerts, Kettle’s Yard Cambridge, and a performance of Rzewski’s 36 Variations on ‘ˇEl pueblo unido jamás será vencido!’ in the presence of the composer. He has also taken part in a performance of the complete solo piano music of Helmut Lachenmann at the Aldeburgh Festival and a performance of Marco Stroppa’s Traiettoria in IRCAM, Paris. Benjamin’s recording of selections from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was used in the recent National Theatre production of ‘The Hard Problem’, Sir Tom Stoppard’s latest play.
Benjamin is much in demand as a chamber musician and has collaborated with many distinguished musicians including Stefano Canuti, Leland Chen, Levon Chilingirian, Miklós Perényi , Thomas Riebl, Sophie Rosa and Eva Thorarinsdottir.
Benjamin studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Carole Presland and later (thanks to scholarships from the MBF, DAAD, and Lynn Foundation) with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Alexander Melnikov at the Hochschule für Musik Cologne and RNCM respectively. Benjamin has also attended the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove studying in the class of Thomas Adčs.
Benjamin teaches piano for Yorkshire Young Musicians and subsidiary piano for the RNCM. His students have gone on to win prizes in major competitions, including BBC Young Musician of the Year, James Mottram International Competiton, Manchester International Piano Concerto Competition and the British Contemporary Piano Competition. Since 2007 Benjamin has been a staff pianist at the RNCM.
Benjamin was born and raised in West Sussex and currently lives in Glossop with his wife and three children.
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