Credit: Benjamin Ealovega
Trio Balthasar is a new chamber group. Committed to imaginative, diverse programming, they explore established classics of the piano trio repertoire next to less familiar work.
Since their launch at Wigmore Hall in 2022 they have appeared at the Harrogate International Festival, the Rye Festival, Petworth Festival and the Kirker Music Festival on Ischia. The name Balthasar was initially suggested as a homage to the German baroque architect Balthasar Neumann, and with Balthasar also the name of one of the Wise Men in the Nativity story, there developed the idea of three men on a journey, bearing gifts. Each member of the Trio Balthasar has been praised for their vivacity, emotional depth and breathtaking playing.
Internationally acclaimed as a leading collaborative pianist, (‘pretty much ideal,’ BBC Music Magazine) Iain Burnside has worked with many of the world’s great singers. His discography features over sixty CDs, spanning a huge sweep of repertoire. Highlights include the Gramophone Award-winning NMC Songbook, Schubert cycles with baritone Roderick Williams on Chandos and a series of English Song for Naxos. He enjoys a close relationship with Delphian, featuring boxed sets of Medtner and Rachmaninoff (‘the results are electrifying’ Daily Telegraph) as well as explorations of Scottish, English and Irish repertoire. He is Artistic Director of the Ludlow English Song Weekend and has curated programmes for a variety of festivals. Appearances at Wigmore Hall have featured several series of Russian song.
Burnside is also an award-winning broadcaster, familiar to listeners of BBC Radio 3. He has pioneered a particular form of dramatic concert, with works based variously around Franz Schubert, Clara Schumann, Richard Wagner and Ivor Gurney. He has a long association with the Guildhall School and gives masterclasses at home and abroad, while also holding the position of Artistic Consultant to Grange Park Opera.
Praised for performances of ‘compelling conviction’ (The Daily Telegraph), ‘full of sparkling detail, with tonal beauty and incisive rhythmic clarity, balancing wit and poetry’ (The Strad), Michael launched his career by winning The Netherlands Violin Competition 2016. His performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.1 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra led to an immediate invitation to give his debut recital in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
His London debut followed with a recital at the Wigmore Hall and since then he has performed recitals in Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Buckingham Palace, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bridgewater Hall and Usher Hall, regularly being broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Recent concerto appearances include with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Polish Baltic Philharmonic and Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia. He gives recitals at festivals worldwide, including St. Magnus International, New York Chamber Music, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Cervantino Mexico and Mravinsky Festival St. Petersburg.
His recorded cycle of Beethoven Sonatas in 2022 received five stars in BBC Music Magazine’s review, and similar critical acclaim followed previous releases of World War One sonatas and the complete violin-piano works of Lutoslawski and Penderecki (‘Foyle’s playing is remarkable’ – BBC Music Magazine).
Alongside his performing career, Michael is Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London (the youngest appointed in the institution’s 200-year history) and at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. He plays a Gennaro Gagliano violin on loan.
Tim Hugh is recognized as one of the finest, most dynamic and abundantly innovative cellists of the new generation. After winning two medals, including the Bach Prize, at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has appeared with many of Europe’s leading orchestras and worked with conductors including Boulez, Haitink, Rostropovich, Menuhin, Pappano, Previn, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Andrew Davis. He has toured extensively and also appeared in the Aldeburgh Festival and the BBC Proms in London.
After a year at Yale, studying the cello with Aldo Parisot, he gained his MA at Cambridge reading Medicine. Throughout this period he also studied with William Pleeth and Jacqueline Du Pré. In 1995 he was appointed Principal Cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom he immediately appeared as soloist with Pierre Boulez, standing in for Rostropovich.
Tim Hugh’s recordings include concertos by Bliss, Boccherini, C P E Bach, Britten, Finzi, Hofmann, Holst and Walton, the last being short-listed for a Gramophone Award. Other recordings include Bach’s Suites, Britten’s Suites, Beethoven’s Sonatas, Tavener’s Svyati, and with the LSO and Haitink Brahms’s Double Concerto.