Latvian cellist Margarita Balanas is one of the most exciting and versatile artists of her generation. Known for her distinguished artistry and mesmerising stage presence, Ms Balanas has performed to audiences world-wide being hailed as “powerful, delicate, intense and brilliant” (GLAM Adelaide).
This season will include debut concerts at the Berliner Philharmonie and Laeiszhalle Hamburg, a concert tour with the Israel Camerata and Doron Saloman, directing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Cyprus Chamber Orchestra, as well as performances with IASI Philharmonic Orchestra and Gabriel Bebeselea, and the Orchestra of St. John’s and John Lubbock as part of the Ashmolean Proms. Other highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre in London, and participation in the International Cello Festival Shanghai and International Cello Cesis Festival in Latvia.
Lisa Friend (Flautist) has appeared as a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Prague Philharmonic, Virtuosi Pragenses Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Oxford Philharmonic and has toured throughout much of Europe, Asia and the USA.
She has given live broadcasts for Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and BBC London. Solo recital highlights include performances for Steven Spielberg and his Foundation ‘Shoah’, the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, LG Arts Centre-Seoul, Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall Concert - Children & the Arts '10th Anniversary Concert' in collaboration with Classic FM. In February, Lisa also performed tracks from her cd, 'Cinema Affair' playing live on stage as a soloist with Principal dancers of the Royal Ballet for Sergei Polunin’s 'Project Polunin'. Recent recordings include Ian Mulder/London Philharmonic Orchestra CD at Air studios, a CD of Faure and Debussy with pianist, Rohan De Silva, (Chandos-Released March 2019) and a flute/guitar CD With guitarist, Craig Ogden and the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet (Chandos-Released 2019).
Czech violinist Julie Svěcená is celebrated as one of Europe’s most gifted young violinists, and, since winning the International Radio Competition 'Concertino Praga' in 2010, she has been performing extensively throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Ms Svěcená’s musical collaborations include prestigious artists such as, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Mark Elder, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Trevor Pinnock, Gabor Takács-Nagy, and Clio Gould. Having recently received 3rd Prize at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, Julie is a prizewinner and laureate of several international competitions, including the Kocian International Violin Competition and the International Georg Philipp Telemann Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland. She also competed in the Concertino Praga International Radio Competition for young musicians, marking an end to the forty-year wait for the next Czech violinist to win this competition in the solo violin category.