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12 JULY 2024

Emmanuel despax

Priya Mitchell



Piano Trio in E Flat Major Op.1 No.1  31"


- Allegro

- Adagio cantabile

- Scherzo, Allegro assai

- Finale. Presto 



GABRIEL FAURÉ  1845-1924


Piano Trio in D Minor Op.120  21"


- Allegro ma non troppo

- Andantino

- Allegro vivo








Piano Trio No.1 in B Major Op.8  38"


- Allegro con brio - Tranquillo - In tempo ma sempre sostenuto 

- Scherzo: Allegro molto - Meno allegro - Tempo primo

- Adagio

- Finale: Allegro 


EMMANUEL DESPAX - has gained international recognition as an artist whose interpretations bring a rare sincerity andimagination to the music.

A remarkable performer of romantic and post-romantic music, he has been invited to give recital performances inthe UK (Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Chipping Campden and Petworth Festivals, and the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, where he was appointed artistic director in 2020 of a complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle); in France (Louvre Auditorium, Salle Cort ot, Salle Gaveau, International Festival Les Nuits Pianistiques in Aix-en-

Provence, L’été Musical au Poujoula, and Les Nuits du Château de la Moutte in Saint-Tropez); Benelux (Amsterdam,The Hague and the Palais des Beaux -Arts in Brussels); Cyprus (Pharos Arts Foundation); Italy (Fazioli auditorium); and in South America.

Past engagements include two tours of New Zealand, hailed by critics for his recitals in the prestigious Fazioli International Piano Series in Auckland and concerto performances with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. In theUK, Emmanuel Despax has played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, among others. He is also regularly broadcast on Medici TV, France Musique, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. His work as a talented broadcaster has included presenting a probing and approachable

edition of BBC Radio 3’s Inside Music, and he is already amassing an impressive, critically acclaimed discography.

In addition to his recording of Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton, prior releases include ‘Spira, Spera’ (Bach transcriptions) which was awarded Critics’ Choice in International Piano (“Despax is awe-inspiring in his combination of virtuosity and intellectual grasp”). His concerto debut featured Saint-
Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 and Stephen Goss Piano Concerto and his collection of Chopin preludes was Classic FM’s“Album of the Week” and awarded five stars in Diapason. Despax also released a piano fantasy based on the themesof The Sound of Music in celebration of the musical’s 60th anniversary.

His 2021 album of Chopin’s piano concerti with the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble, was chosen as “Album of theWeek” by Classic FM and The Times: “[The result] is entrancing, with piano and string quintet intimately
interweaving... Despax’s opening statement arrives like a blast of dynamite.” His latest album release, Après un rêve,by Signum Records, has also gained recognition in The Times and Classic FM as “Album of the Week” and received a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine: “Despax is a formidable pianist, thoughtful and imaginative. Like an expert painter at the canvas, he carefully layers and tones sound, expertly measuring touch and pedal. This is beautiful playing, on an elegant yet substantial album.”

Born in Paris and now based in London, Emmanuel Despax started playing the piano in Aix -en-Provence before joining the Yehudi Menuhin School, then the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Ruth Nye, one of Claudio Arrau’s star students. He won numerous awards during his studies (Chappell Medal, Tagore Gold Medal) andbenefited from the advice of Nikolai Demidenko, Leon Fleisher, Yehudi Menuhin, Dominique Merlet, Mstislav Rostropovich, Murray Perahia and András Schiff.

For this upcoming season, Emmanuel looks forward to collaborating with the Piatti Quartet at Kings Place followed by multiple solo and chamber performances at London’s brand new Bechstein Hall. At the invitation of Bechstein Hall Artistic Director Terence Lewis, Emmanuel Despax has curated a trio of extraordinary soloists to form the inaugural Bechstein Hall Trio. Despax will be joined by world-leading cellist Guy Johnston and acclaimed violinist Priya Mitchell in performances at Bechstein Hall throughout the 2024/2025 season.


GUY JOHNSTON - is one of the most exciting British cellists of his generation. His early successes included winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year, and significant awards, notably the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award, Suggia Gift Award and a Young British Classical Performer Brit Award.

He has performed with many leading international orchestras including the London Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Britten Sinfonia, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and St Petersburg Symphony. Recent seasons have included a BBC Prom with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, concertos with The Hallé, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Orchestra of The Swan.

Performances and recordings with eminent conductors have included collaborations with Alexander Dmitriev, Sir Andrew Davis, Daniele Gatti, Ilan Volkov, Leonard Slatkin, Mark Wigglesworth, Robin Ticciati, Sir Roger Norrington, Sakari Oramo, Vassily Sinaisky, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Yuri Simonov.

Guy is a passionate advocate for chamber music and recitals as founding Artistic Director of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival and performs regularly at prestigious venues and festivals across Europe including Wigmore Hall, Louvre Museum, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and Three Choirs Festival, collaborating with instrumentalists such as Anthony Marwood, Brett Dean, Huw Watkins, Janine Jansen, Kathy Stott, Lawrence Power, Melvyn Tan, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Sheku Kanneh- Mason and Tom Poster.

A prolific recording artist often championing contemporary British composers, Guy’s forthcoming releases include Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto with The Hallé and Rebecca Dale’s ‘Night Seasons’ with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Other recordings include a premiere of Herbert Howells’ completed Cello Concerto with the Britten Sinfonia, a celebration disc of the tricentenary of his David Tecchler cello with commissions by Charlotte Bray, David Matthews, Mark Simpson and a collaboration with the acclaimed Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where the cello was made.

He gave the premiere of Charlotte Bray’s ‘Falling in the Fire’ at the BBC Proms and Joseph Phibbs ‘Cello Sonata’ at Wigmore Hall. His 2024/2025 season will see the world premiere of Joseph Phibbs’ Cello Concerto for Guy and BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other premières include Emma Ruth Richards ‘Until a Reservoir no longer remains’ and a recording of Matthew Kaner’s solo suite for cello.

In addition to a busy and versatile career as an international soloist, chamber musician and guest principal, Guy is an inspiring leader of young musicians. He is Associate Professor of Cello at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and a guest Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded an Hon. ARAM in 2015. He has recently been appointed President of the European String Teachers Association and is patron of several charities which promote music education for school children and young people including Music First and Future Talent. He is also a board member of the Pierre Fournier Award for young cellists.

Guy Johnston plays the 1692 Antonio Stradivari cello known as the "Segelman, ex Hart" kindly loaned to him through the Beare's International Violin Society by a generous patron.


PRIYA MITCHELL - grew up in Oxford and studied with David Takeno at the Yehudi Menuhin School and with Zachar Bron in Germany. She was then chosen as the British representative of the European Concert Halls Organisation ‘Rising Stars‘ Series, this success led to highly acclaimed tours and performances with, amongst others, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Philharmonia.

She has worked with many eminent conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Yuri Temirkanov, Richard Hickcox, Emmanuel Krivine, Heinrich Schiff and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Abroad, Priya has worked with many orchestras including the Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester. As a recitalist and chamber musician she has performed extensively at international music festivals including Schleswig-Holstein, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Kuhmo, Lockenhaus, Risør, Heimbach, Ravinia, Lugano, Cheltenham, Bath, Stavanger and Trondheim.

This year sees the 17th anniversary of Priya’s highly acclaimed Oxford Chamber Music Festival with the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks in residence. Her artistic directorship of this unusual and much acclaimed festival inspired The Daily Telegraph to call it ‚a musical miracle.‘

In the current season Priya performs Mendelssohn Violin Concerto D minor in Stockholm, Philip Glass violin concerto also in Stockholm, Schumann Concerto in Düsseldorf, Mozart Concertos in Munich and Piazzolla’s Four seasons in Mecklenburg Vorpommern festival. She will also return to the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and many others.

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