TOMITA & CALLAGHAN
Tuesday 25 April 2023 at 7:30 pm
at St Mary's Church, Barnes
Coco Tomita violin
Simon Callaghan piano
Clara Schumann 3 Romances, Op.22
Beethoven Violin Sonata No.9 in A, Op.47, (Kreutzer)
Janáček Violin Sonata
Ravel Pièce en forme de Habanera
Ravel Violin Sonata in G
Hailed by critics and audiences alike, the UK/Germany based Japanese violinist Coco Tomita gained public recognition after winning the BBC Young Musician 2020 Strings Category. Her success led to an invitation to record a debut album with Orchid Classics, numerous approaches by music festivals across the UK, and an extensive concert tour of Japan, her home country. She was named as ‘One to watch’ by Gramophone Magazine and ‘Young Classical Star’ by Classic FM. Her debut album ‘ORIGINS’ has so far received a succession of rave reviews from The Strad, Gramophone Magazine, BBC Music Magazine and The Observer and was selected as ‘Disc of the month’ by Apple in April 2022.
Previously, she had won numerous prizes at international competitions and festivals, including Golden Medals at the Vienna International Music Competition and Berliner International Music Competition, Carl Flesch Prize at the Carl Flesch Academy, and 1st prize at the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition where she also won the Duke of Devonshire Award.
Coco was born into a musical family and began to play the violin when she was four years old. At the age of ten she made her debut at the Cadogan Hall, London, with the Southbank Sinfonia and has since performed in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. She has also appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as Bath Philharmonia and Philharmonie Baden-Baden.
Coco has just completed her triumphant debut tour of Japan highlights of which were her concerto debut with Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Masahiko Enkoji, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Axelrod at the Suntory Hall, Tokyo. She will also be making a return appearance with the Philharmonie Baden-Baden in July 2022.
Coco began her early training at the Yehudi Menuhin School with renowned pedagogues Natasha Boyarsky and Lutsia Ibragimova. Since 2021, she has been studying under the guidance of Professor Kolja Blacher at the Hochschule fur Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin.
Coco performs on a violin made in 2015 by Frédéric Chaudière of Montpellier.
Steinway Artist Simon Callaghan performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, in parallel with his highly successful career as a recording artist. In response to his regular performances in the UK’s major concert halls, his international tours to Asia, North America and Europe, and his extensive, acclaimed discography, Callaghan has developed a wide following. A favourite artist at the internationally-renowned Husum Festival of Piano Rarities in Germany, Callaghan’s recent sell-out recital drew praise from audience and critics, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describing his “cleverly curated recital full of discoveries” (VAN Magazine) as “technically brilliant”. His recital partners have included Raphael Wallfisch, Adrian Brendel, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Nicholas Daniel, Feng Ning, Samuel West, Prunella Scales and Timothy West.
Callaghan’s repertoire includes over fifty concertos, highlights of the standard solo and chamber works of the 19th and 20th centuries, and much that is rare and unexplored. One cornerstone of his work is his commitment to British music, and he has recently begun a projected series with Lyrita, presenting world premiere recordings of British concertos with Martyn Brabbins and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. By the end of 2023 he will have recorded four albums for Hyperion’s celebrated The Romantic Piano Concerto series. Callaghan’s first disc for Hyperion, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, formed part of his successful PhD project at the Royal Northern College of Music.
His three-year Poulenc project for Nimbus Records launched in 2019, recording L’histoire du Babar with Harry Potter actor Miriam Margolyes (The Independent, Five Stars). BBC Young Musician of the Year String Finalist Coco Tomita and Callaghan have begun a duo partnership which saw their first record released in 2022 on Orchid Classics. His latest release features world premiere recordings of British Piano Concertos on Lyrita.
Callaghan has also recorded for Somm, Resonus, Convivium and EM Records, and has expanded his role to encompass performing and producing in an exciting association with Nimbus Records and The Lyrita Recorded Edition Trust. His reputation and experience in chamber music led to his accepting the role of Director of Music at London’s celebrated Conway Hall, curating the longest-running series of its kind in Europe. He counts among his most important teachers a trio of masters: Bernard Roberts, Yonty Solomon and Frank Wibaut.