Radio 3 announces latest musicians to join its New Generation Artists scheme
Eight young musicians have been announced as the latest musicians to join BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists scheme, expanded for the first time by two, thereby allowing the inclusion of artists from the fields of early music and jazz.
For the first time, New Generation Artists include a harpsichordist in the Iranian-born American Mahan Esfahani.
The new crop of talent also includes former BBC Young Musician violinist Jennifer Pike, just 12 when she won BBC Young Musician in 2002; New York-based African-American violinist Tai Murray; Danish cellist Andreas Brantelid, winner of the 2006 Eurovision Young Musician Competition; BBC Jazz Awards Rising Star trumpeter Tom Arthurs; principal trumpeter of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Swiss-Italian Giuliano Sommerhalder; Austrian mezzo-soprano Daniela Lehner, winner of the Marilyn Horne Competition in 2004, and Finnish string quartet Meta4.
Jennifer Pike said: "Since 2002, I have found the support the BBC gives young musicians to be invaluable, and am now very honoured to have been invited to join the scheme.
"Through an exciting programme of recitals, concerts and chamber music broadcasts, it will present me with a unique opportunity to forge new partnerships with emerging artists from around the world."
Mahan Esfahani commented on his joining: "The scheme is a perfect fit with my goal to be an exemplar of the 'living tradition' of harpsichord performance in the presentation of contemporary repertoire in addition to fresh readings of older works.
"In the tradition of Wanda Landowska and Gustav Leonhardt, I hope, too, to make my mark as a concert harpsichordist, and I am truly honoured to be offered this exciting opportunity."
Radio 3's New Generation Artists scheme was launched in 1999 and provides a unique and wide-ranging programme of opportunities and experiences to artists on the brink of international careers which they would not get anywhere else.
Radio 3 offers these young artists such platforms as performances at the BBC Proms and Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts at the Wigmore Hall and elsewhere; as well as performance opportunities at some of the UK's leading festivals; recorded and broadcast concerts and studio sessions with BBC orchestras; support for recording projects, CD co-productions including four Gramophone Award-winning CDs, new commissions and collaborations.
The scheme has proved to be prescient in choosing the stars of the future who include such artists as Lisa Batiashvili, The Belcea Quartet, Natalie Clein, Colin Currie, Janine Jansen, Andrew Kennedy, Jonathan Lemalu, the Leopold String Trio, Paul Lewis, Christopher Maltman, Steven Osborne and Simon Trpceski.
Adam Gatehouse, Editor, Radio 3 Live Music, and founder of the scheme, says: "Ever since launching the New Generation Artists Scheme in 1999 our principal aim has been to seek out the very best young artists in the world and to provide them with a rich and hugely visible portfolio of concerts and recordings that will help to launch them into the international careers we believe they are destined for.
"As we approach our 10th anniversary in 2009, we can look back with some pride at the list of artists who have passed through the scheme, many of whom are now acclaimed international names, but more important, we are continually looking forwards, to developing the scheme and the range of benefits it brings to these young and amazingly talented musicians.
"Having greeted our first ever NGA Jazz musician Gwilym Simcock two years ago, we are building on Gwilym's extraordinay success by appointing Tom Arthurs to the scheme, as well as expanding our remit by bringing in the hugely talented Mahan Esfahani as our first Early Music NGA. Eight young musicians destined for great things."
The eight artists are supported by Radio 3 for two years, and join the six artists enrolled in the programme in 2007.
So, for the first time there are 14 Radio 3 New Generation Artists.
They also include include acclaimed Chopin pianist Ingrid Fliter; Ukrainian violist and imminent Beijing Festival debutant Maxim Rysanov; Daniel Barenboim's protégé, Israeli pianist Shai Wosner; British soprano Elizabeth Watts, winner of the Rosenblatt Song Prize at the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World; tenor Allan Clayton who sang the title role in Britten's Albert Herring at Glyndebourne this summer and the Gramophone Award-winning Pavel Haas String Quartet.
The very familiarity of these names demonstrates the effectiveness and influence of the scheme.
Notes to Editors
Perhaps the best known of the joining artists is violinist Jennifer Pike from Cheshire, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award in 2002, aged 12. She has already appeared at the Proms and celebrated her 18th birthday last year with a Wigmore Hall recital. She has won the Manoug Parikian Award, the Derek Butler London Prize and the South Bank Show's Times Breakthrough Award.
Fellow violinist Tai Murray is a 26-year-old African-American who studied at the Sherwood Conservatory in her home town Chicago and later at the Juilliard School under Joel Smirnoff. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of nine and currently plays with the Ritz Chamber Players.
Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani currently lives in Washington and performs with the baroque string orchestra, A Far Cry. He has appeared as a solo keyboard player with the group Ciaramella on the Naxos CD Sacred And Secular Music Of Germany. Esfahani is a recent graduate of Stanford University, California, where he studied Musicology and Theory. He will soon be making his concerto debut with the English Concert.
Increasingly well-known is the 21-year-old Danish cellist Andreas Brantelid whose EMI debut recording this year has been widely praised. He won the 2006 Eurovision Young Musician Competition, the 2007 Paolo International Cello Competition and the 2008 Victor Borge Award. He was Danish Radio's 2007 Artist-in-Residence and made his Wigmore Hall debut in June. He currently studies at the Kronberg Academy under Frank Relmersson.
The selection of jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock as a 2007 New Generation Artist was judged such a success that jazz performers are to be included yearly. This year's candidate is 28-year-old British trumpeter and composer Tom Arthurs, already hailed as the BBC Jazz Awards Rising Star and recipient of the Peter Whittingham Award. He performs with his own arthurs.hoiby.ritchie trio and with the pianist John Taylor. He has recorded three albums on the independent Babel label and can be heard as the off-set trumpeter in cult TV comedy The Mighty Boosh.
He is joined by classical trumpeter, 23-year-old Swiss-Italian Giuliano Sommerhalder, currently principal trumpet with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He took up the instrument aged seven and continues to study with his father Max, professor at the Detmold Music Academy. He prides himself on a huge repertoire with a special interest in unusual works by such as Peskin, Mendez and Ponchielli.
The only singer among the new intake is Austrian mezzo-soprano Daniela Lehner, a student at the Guildhall School of Music. She is a winner of the Georg Solti Scholarship and the 2004 Marilyn Horne Competition. She has sung Schumann Lieder with pianist Graham Johnson and made her Covent Garden debut this year as Hermia in Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream.
Last but not least is Finnish string quartet Meta4, founded by students at the Sibelius Academy Helsinki in 2001. They won the Moscow Shostakovich Competition in 2004 and both Vienna's Joseph Haydn Competition and the Finland Prize in 2007. They are frequent guests at the annual Kuhmo Music Festival. They have recorded new works by Erkki Melartin and Veli-Matt Puumala and gave the world premiere of Carita Holmstrom's String Quartet which was written for them.
Launched in 1999 to provide unparallelled opportunities to musicians at the start of their careers, the scheme has proved to be prescient in choosing the major artists of the future.
Among the many exceptional platforms offered to these musicians are performances at the BBC Proms; lunchtime concerts from the Wigmore Hall; appearances at various festivals across the UK; recorded and broadcast concerts with BBC orchestras and studio recordings for Radio 3.
This is because it is important to the artists to have the chance to perform with other New Generation Artists and to explore repertoire that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to perform.
While other schemes to help young musicians exist, the New Generation Artists scheme uniquely takes artists of any nationality.
Musicians are chosen by a team headed by Radio 3's Editor of Live Music, Adam Gatehouse, who conceived the scheme a decade ago. While there is no age limit, those selected have generally been at the beginning of their careers.