Viv McLean - Piano
'Exceptional' Le Monde, Paris
Marianne Thorsen - Violin
'Masterly playing' International Record Review
Alasdair Strange - Cello
'The marvellous cellist' The Times, London
Winner of the First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona, Viv McLean has performed at all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. Viv's concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, London Concert Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K. 467 with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican, a tour of the USA with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing Gershwin, Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Gershwin, Bernstein, de Falla and Ravel with the Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, The Sage Gateshead and other venues in the North of England, and Beethoven's 5th Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall. Future plans include a tour in 2018 with the London Concert Orchestra where Viv will be playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall, St David's Hall Cardiff, Philharmonic Hall Liverpool and Leicester's De Montfort Hall.
Viv has performed chamber music with leading groups such as the Adderbury Ensemble, Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, Callino String Quartet, Ensemble 360, the Galliard Wind Ensemble, the Bristol Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio and has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, Matthew Sharp, Kate Gould, Guy Johnston, Alena Lugovkina, Sarah Gabriel, Richard Dubugnon, David Le Page, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, Philip Hesketh, Christopher George, David Charles Abell, Carl Davis and Marvin Hamlisch.
Viv McLean has performed at festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival, Buxton Festival and Harrogate Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Festival International de Musique Classique d'Aigues-Mortes, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden. Since 2013 he has been pianist-in-residence at the Glossop Music Festival.
Viv studied from an early age with Ruth Nye and after attending Chetham's School of Music he went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne. At the Academy he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies' Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain.
Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 since making his recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases include recordings for such labels as Sony Classical Japan, Naxos, Nimbus, RPO Records and ICSM Records.
The winner of several international competitions, including most notably the 2003 Sion Valais International Competition, Marianne Thorsen has established herself as one of Norway's leading violinists. She has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Royal Danish Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. In her homeland, she plays regularly with the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony, Stavanger Symphony and the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestras; and most of the major orchestras in Scandinavia.
Marianne enjoys a regular collaboration with Trondheimsolistene with which she has toured and recorded Mozart's Violin Concertos Nos 3, 4 and 5 for 2L to great critical acclaim, winning the Norwegian Spellemannprisen - the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy. Recent highlights include the Svendsen Concerto with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK), which was broadcast live on NRK, Norway's national radio; Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante with Trondheimsolistene / Lawrence Power (viola); Mozart Concertos with the Haffner Orchestra and Bristol Ensemble in the UK, and Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Trondheim Symphony / Urbanski (Tor Espen Aspaas and Tim Hugh). Last season, Marianne made her debut at Spectrum Concerts Berlin, at Berlin's Philharmonie; and she directed the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (including Bach concerto) in August; and Trondheimsolistene in October, closing the Trondheim International Chamber Music Festival 2016.
Marianne Thorsen's recording with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra of Ståle Kleiberg's Violin Concerto, dedicated to her, received a Grammy nomination in 2010; and Marianne gave the world premiere of Ketil Hvoslef's Violin Concerto, also dedicated to her, broadcast live on national Norwegian television (NRK) with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Vassily Sinaisky.
2011 - 2014 saw the release of five CDs of music by Halvorsen and Svendsen on the Chandos label, with Thorsen as soloist alongside the Bergen Philharmonic and Neeme Järvi, including Svendsen's Violin Concerto which was nominated for the Spellemann Prize (The Strad wrote: "Thorsen's sweet-toned purity, ringing intonation and beguiling espressivo prove ideal for the composer's essentially gentle inspiration - Svendsen could hardly wish for a more sympathetic and persuasive exponent than Thorsen").
Other recent festival appearances include Featured Artist at the Genius of Mozart Festival, Galway (Ireland); with Trondheimsolistene: Halvorsen's Three Norwegian Dances at Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden, Røros and Auerbach's Sogno di Stabat Mater (with Thomas Riebl, viola) at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival; as well as chamber music at the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival, the Bergen International Festival, the BBC Proms in London, as well as at the Edinburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals (live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3).
A keen chamber musician, Marianne Thorsen has performed with such eminent artists as Leif Ove Andsnes, Marc-André Hamelin, Truls Mørk, Paul Lewis, Pascal Rogé, Christian Ihle Hadland and Håvard Gimse, with whom she recorded for Simax Classics. She was a founder member of the Leopold String Trio from 1991 to 2006, with which she performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, New York, the Wiener Musikverein, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and Wigmore Hall, London. The Trio recorded numerous CDs for Hyperion to great critical acclaim, including the complete Beethoven string trios and Schubert's Trout Quintet, and the complete Mozart and Brahms piano quartets (with Paul Lewis and Marc-André Hamelin respectively).
From 2000 - 2015 Marianne was Leader of the internationally renowned Nash Ensemble of London, with which she frequently appeared in concert and television/radio broadcasts at the major British and International music festivals; at London's South Bank Centre, the BBC Proms; and as part of a regular series at Wigmore Hall, London.
In 2009 she was invited to become Artistic Director of the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden Music Festival in Røros, Norway. In March 2013, Marianne completed her fifth and final year in the role of Artistic Director in the highly successful 15th anniversary Vinterfestspill, with performances broadcast on national Norwegian radio (NRK).
In 2006 Marianne Thorsen was appointed Professor of Violin at the Department of Music at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.
Alasdair Strange studied the cello at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Derek Simpson. On completion of his studies in 1996, Alasdair was awarded the DipRAM, the Academy's highest award for performance, as well as the prestigious Carnegie Fellowship.
Alasdair currently performs as cellist in the McLean-Thorsen-Strange Piano Trio alongside the Norwegian violinist, Marianne Thorsen and British pianist, Viv McLean.
Alasdair has considerable experience as a chamber musician and has performed with artists including Lynn Harrell, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Yuri Bashmet and Daniel Hope.
Other solo highlights include performances of the Brahms Double Concerto at the Barbican Hall, as well as concertos by Elgar, Saint-Saens, Schumann, Dvorak, Haydn D, Boccherini G and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations at venues including the Fairfield Halls, Snape Maltings Aldeburgh, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Wembley Town Hall, St. James' Piccadilly and the Royal Albert Hall.
As an orchestral musician, Alasdair has worked under such eminent conductors as Haitink, Giulini, Rostropovich, Ashkenazy and Sir Colin Davis at concert halls including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin's Philharmonie, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London, Symphony Hall Birmingham; and at the Edinburgh, Salzburg and Vienna International Festivals.
Alasdair was formerly Artistic Consultant and concert artist at Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden 2009-2013 in Røros, Norway, with performances broadcast on NRK, Norway's national television and radio.
Alasdair Strange is Founder and Artistic Director of the London Ensemble (classicalmusicians.com) and Director of the London Soundtrack Orchestra
with credits including the world premiere cinema projection of Hitchcock's Psycho with Bernard Herrmann's score performed in 'real-time' as a live orchestral soundtrack, launching SKY Movies' season of Hitchcock films presented in High Definition for the first time.
Alasdair combines these roles with the position of Director of Worldwide Artists Limited (worldwideartists.com / classicalartists.com). Alasdair heads WA Music Production and has composed and produced scores for television and film for clients including FCB Paris, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBC, Lowe, Grey, Channel 4, Gangway Films, the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel.
Alasdair plays a cello made by Helen T. Michetschläger in 1982.
UPDATED August 2017 - PLEASE DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM
Worldwide Artists Ltd. (www.worldwideartists.com)
Full member of International Artist Managers' Association - IAMA
In rehearsal at the 'Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden' Festival 2011 (Røros, Norway)