Academy of St Martin in the Fields
JAMES BURKE, clarinet
James leads a busy career as both Co-Principal of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Principal Clarinet of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. When not performing, he teaches as a Clarinet Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he once studied with teachers such as Andrew Webster, Nick Carpenter, Barnaby Robson and Joy Farrall. James continues to play as Guest Principal in other orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. James’ work with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields means that he also has many opportunities to perform chamber music on a regular basis, often with Music Director Joshua Bell. He has also worked with the London Sinfonietta, London Conchord Ensemble, Irish Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Soloists. As a soloist, James recently performed the Howard Blake Clarinet Concerto, with Sir Neville Marriner conducting. James also gives masterclasses, as well as orchestral and chamber coaching sessions in some of the best music institutions in the country, including the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Southbank Sinfonia, and for the educational departments in the London Symphony Orchestra and Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
TOM BLOMFIELD, oboe
Tom grew up in North Wales where he began learning the Oboe aged 10. He studied at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music where he was taught by Rachael Pankhurst and was a member of both the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for a number of years. Tom graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in the summer of 2017 shortly before joining the Philharmonia Orchestra as their new Joint Principal Oboe just a couple of months later at the age of 22. While at the Academy he studied with his predecessor at the Philharmonia, Christopher Cowie, and London Philharmonic principal Ian Hardwick. Tom is now a professor of oboe at the Royal Academy of Music, a role he undertook only a year following completion of his own studies there. Tom’s career so far, outside of the Philharmonia, has led him to play Principal Oboe with The London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Aurora Orchestra and he can be heard on many film and commercial soundtracks. He regularly plays and tours with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, with whom he has travelled to America and all over Europe. When not playing music Tom can be found on the tennis court with friends; a favourite past time along with watching the sport live. He supports Chelsea Football Club and has an unhealthy (and expensive) obsession with technology.
JULIE PRICE, bassoon
An orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, and teacher, Julie Price has held positions as Principal Bassoon with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been Principal Bassoon of the English Chamber Orchestra since 1994 and Co-Principal, now Principal Bassoon, of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2001. With conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ralf Gothóni, Andrew Litton, Edward Gardner, and Douglas Boyd she has appeared as a soloist at the Barbican, Cadogan Hall, and Royal Festival Hall as well as many venues outside London and abroad. As a chamber musician she has appeared with such groups as the Nash, Gaudier, and Razumovsky ensembles, London Winds, and the Lindsay and Chilingirian string quartets. She first studied the bassoon with Sonja Smith, then with Edward Warren and William Waterhouse in Manchester, and later with Roger Birnstingl in Geneva. Julie Price has been a teacher at the Royal College of Music in London since 1998. Her discography includes recordings of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and Sinfonia concertante and Elgar’s Romance, all with the English Chamber Orchestra.
STEPHEN STIRLING, horn
Stephen Stirling is a renowned soloist who has appeared at almost every major British venue and with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, BBC NOW, BBC SSO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St John’s. Recordings of Mozart Horn Concertos with the City of London Sinfonia feature constantly on Classic FM and he gave the world première of Gary Carpenter’s Horn Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic on Radio 3. He holds the unique distinction of having been the soloist for the opening of both of London’s newest purpose built concert halls – Cabot Hall and King’s Place. His recording of the Weber Concertino Op. 45 with CLS conducted by Michael Collins recently came out with Chandos. He has a world-wide reputation as a chamber musician, in constant demand at festivals in the UK and abroad as well as being a founder member of Endymion, The Fibonacci Sequence, the Audley Trio, Arpège, and the New London Chamber Ensemble. Amongst over 75 recorded chamber works, Brahm’s Horn Trio, with the Florestan Trio, was nominated for a Gramophone award. CDs of York Bowen, Thomas Dunhill, Stanford, and Horn a Fibonacci/Deux Elles CD of rare chamber works featuring the horn, have met with great critical acclaim. Principal of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and the City of London Sinfonia, Guest Principal Horn with the Capella Andrea Barca, Orquestra de Cadaques and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and member then Guest Principal of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Stephen is privileged to have worked with many of the world’s finest chamber orchestras.
Other recent highlights include performing at the Wigmore Hall with Angela Hewitt and Isabelle Faust, releases of chamber music by Nielsen, Lennox Berkeley, Sound Census with Endymion for NMC and a disc of music for oboe, horn and piano for Oboe Classics.
Professor of Horn at Trinity College of Music, London, on the faculty of the Yellow Barn Summer Music School and Festival in Vermont, USA, Stephen is also a veteran of the Dartington International Summer School.
SIMON CRAWFORD-PHILLIPS, piano
Simon Crawford-Phillips has established an extraordinarily varied career as soloist, chamber musician and conductor. He has made recent conducting debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Dala Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble and English Chamber Orchestra and assisted Daniel Harding, Alain Altinoglu and Stanislav Kachanovsky at the Verbier Festival. In August 2016 he conducted the première of Britta Byström's Violin Concerto at the Baltic Sea Festival with Musica Vitae and Malin Broman and two weeks later was invited by Västerås Sinfonietta to open their season as conductor and soloist. As a result he was appointed chief conductor and artistic adviser of Våsterås Sinfonietta from 2017, a contract that has already been extended through 2023.
This season the orchestra will perform under Simon Crawford-Phillips' direction at the Baltic Sea Festival as well as in the concert halls of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Växjö and Vara. Collaborators with the orchestra include Elin Rombo, Emilia Amper, Daniel Hope, Roman Simovic and Torleif Thedéen. He will make debuts with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra working with Radovan Vlatkovic and Lawrence Power.
Future plans as a pianist include regular performances at the Wigmore Hall and LSO St.Lukes (both for BBC Radio 3) as well as festivals in Savannah, Santa Fe, Trondheim, Finland (RUSK), Verbier and tours of North America and Switzerland. In 2020 he will be embarking on a major European tour with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Hope and from next season becomes a regular member of the Nash Ensemble.
He works regularly with artists such as Colin Currie, Daniel Hope, Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood, Truls Mørk, Anne Sofie von Otter, Lawrence Power, Michael Schade, Torleif Thedéen, the Colin Currie Group and the Danish and Elias string quartets. He has recently given world premieres of music by Britta Byström, Steve Reich and Mark-Anthony Turnage as well as working alongside composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Simon Holt, Colin Matthews and Huw Watkins.
Simon Crawford-Phillips is a founding member of the Kungsbacka Piano Trio; most recently they have released two discs of Fauré chamber music for Naxos as well as performing throughout Europe. In 18/19 they begin a project to record all the Schumann piano trios for BIS. In 2014 his piano duo together with Philip Moore, also a long-standing partnership, premiered Steve Reich’s Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones at the Southbank, Carnegie Hall NY (listed as one of “The Ten Best Classical Performances of 2014″ by New York Magazine), Kölner Philharmonie and Cité de la Musique Paris. Performances in 2015 included the Edinburgh International Festival, for which they received glowing five-star reviews.
Simon also co-founded the ’Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble’, a group that aims to redefine the concert experience and is made up of some of Europe’s most exciting chamber musicians. The ensemble has its own series at Musikaliska in Stockholm and has recently been the focus of a TV documentary for SVT.
In addition to radio and television broadcasts in Europe, Australia and Japan he has also recorded for the BIS, Channel Classics, Deux-Elles, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, LSO Live, Naxos, Nonesuch and Signum CD labels. Further recordings are planned for Hyperion, BIS and Deutsche Grammophon.
As well as performing Simon is heavily involved in curating concerts and designing programmes. He is the artistic director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland in Sweden, Västerås Music Festival and co-artistic director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival. He has also presented concerts for Sweden's classical music radio station P2.
In June 2010, Simon was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. Previously he has held teaching positions at the Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and currently teaches at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama. Recent guest teaching has included the Schymberg masterclasses in Sweden together with Anne Sofie von Otter and chamber music at Indiana University in Bloomington and University of Colorado in Bloomington.
Simon's formative teachers have been John Lavender, Hamish Milne, Ferenc Rados, David Takeno and Mark Stringer.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields was founded by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 and is currently led by Music Director Joshua Bell. In 1967, the Academy Chamber Ensemble was formed to perform the larger scale chamber music repertoire with players who customarily worked together, instead of the usual string quartet with additional guests. Drawn from the principal players of the orchestra, the Chamber Ensemble’s touring commitments are extensive and include regular tours of Europe and North America, whilst recording contracts with Philips Classics, Hyperion, and Chandos have led to the release of over thirty CDs.
The Chamber Ensemble now performs in multiple configurations, including the Academy WindEnsemble, which makes its US debut with pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips in the 2020-21 season, performing programs featuring the quintets of Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms, among other works.