One thing that my first violin teacher said to me has always haunted me - no violinist can be really good until they’ve performed Bach’s 6 Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin. Of course it isn’t true, but it still bothered me, and so a couple of years ago I decided it was about time I learn the movements I had always shied away from, and perform the entire set. It was when I was looking into repertoire to programme alongside them that I first realised how comparatively little British solo violin music there is. There was obviously nothing I could do about composers like Britten, Tippet and Walton who had left us no solo works, but as I have always loved playing new music and working with composers, it seemed to make sense to commission some new pieces. After being convinced by Cheryl Frances-Hoad over a cup of tea at Paddington Station that it wasn’t too crazy an idea, I asked 6 incredible composers each to write a companion piece to a specific Sonata or Partita. The final set is made up of works by:
I have recorded the new works for Champs Hill Records over two CDs - Volume One was released in August 2015, and Volume 2 in 2016. Performances around the country include Presteigne Festival, St. Magnus International Festival, The Forge, Ryedale Festival, Aldeburgh Music and many more.
Thank you to all the many people who have supported the project financially, through Kickstarter and fundraising concerts. Thanks also to Arts Council England, the Cruach Trust, the Nicholas Boas Trust, the RVW Trust, the PRS for Music Foundation, the Fidelio Charitable Trust, the Ida Carroll Trust, and the Ambache Trust for making the project possible.