» team » Ambassadors
London Music Masters is privileged to have American composer Elliott Carter, British percussionist Colin Currie, British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, British violinist Anthony Marwood, American violinist Tai Murray and Junior Ambassador cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason endorse its work. As well-regarded professional musicians, our Ambassadors represent the high standards to which both the LMM Award Holders and Bridge Project students aspire, acting as fantastic role models.
“Every child and adult has a natural affinity for music. Self-expression through singing, performing and improvising is a vital part of a child’s development. Composing opens them up to the new and adventurous: the infinite possibilities.”
Internationally recognised as one of the leading American voices in classical music, Elliott Carter became an Ambassador to London Music Masters in 2011. He was one of the most respected artists of the second half of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st. Carter was the first composer to receive the United States National Medal of Arts; he also received two Pulitzer Prizes, the German Ernst Von Siemens Music Prize - being one of the very few composers ever recognised with this reward - and the Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award, bestowed by the Principality of Monaco. He was made ‘Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the Government of France and was one of just a handful of living composers elected to the Classical Music Hall of Fame.
December 11, 2008 marked Carter’s 100th birthday, bringing salutes from performing organisations around the globe. The event launched major celebrations around the world, including dedicated festivals at the BBC Proms and at Tanglewood.
First encouraged toward a musical career by his friend and mentor Charles Ives, Carter was hailed by Igor Stravinsky for his Double Concerto for harpsichord, piano and two chamber orchestras which Stravinsky dubbed "masterpieces". Carter was still extraordinarily prolific until the last days of his life. Just a week before he passed away, Dialogues II, a piece for piano and orchestra he composed for Daniel Barenboim’s 70th birthday, was given its world premiere at La Scala in Milan, with Barenboim as soloist and the world-renowned Gustavo Dudamel conducting. Carter’s brilliant work and dynamic career will always remain an inspiring model to be followed by all people involved with London Music Masters.
"I'm delighted to be part of LMM's ambitious and creative work for the many young musicians involved... LMM's work reaches out in very many ways and I'm proud of all that they achieve."
The soloist of choice for composers from Reich to Rautavaara, Colin Currie has been the driving force behind new percussion repertoire for more than a decade. Championing new music at the highest level, Currie has been soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, such as the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic.
From his earliest years Currie forged a pioneering path in creating new music for percussion. Recent projects include premieres by composers such as Simon Holt, Kurt Schwertsik, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Alexander Goehr, and most recently Elliott Carter, whose double concerto Conversations Currie premiered with Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2011, conducted by Oliver Knussen. In 2000, he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award for his inspirational role in contemporary music-making and he is Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre from the 2011/12 season onwards.
His CD of Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto, conducted by Marin Alsop with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, won a 2010 Grammy Award and in Spring 2012, his recording of Rautavaara’s Incantations with the Helsinki Philharmonic under John Storgårds will be released on the Ondine label.
"It was a great pleasure to visit Jessop Primary School and to witness the remarkable work being done by LMM there. It was touching to see the enthusiasm the children demonstrated for their instruments and for the learning process, and I hope that as an ambassador for this charity I can help them with their important work."
Benjamin Grosvenor first hit the headlines in 2004, at the age of eleven, as the youngest-ever finalist (and piano section winner) in the BBC “Young Musician of the Year” competition, before going on to make his debuts at the Royal Albert Hall (London) and Carnegie Hall (New York) while still aged only thirteen.
Last year, he also made a sensational double BBC Proms debut, not only performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 – as the youngest-ever soloist to appear on the televised opening night – but also returning later in the season to perform Britten’s Piano Concerto in another televised concert with the National Youth Orchestra. And the end of 2011 saw him being picked both by the Evening Standard as one of its “1,000 Most Influential Londoners” and by the Daily Telegraph as one of its “Top 10 Britons”.
So far this year he has already been nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award – the youngest-ever nominee in the instrumental category. Benjamin is nearing the end of two years as a member of BBC Radio 3’s prestigious New Generation Artists scheme and has just graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he was awarded the “Queen’s Commendation for Excellence”, presented to the best all-round student of the year.
Recent and future highlights include appearances with Andrey Boreyko and the New York Philharmonic, Andrew Litton and the Minnesota Orchestra and Charles Dutoit and the Royal Philharmonic, as well as recitals in Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Paris (Salle Gaveau), Dublin (National Concert Hall), Sydney (Opera House), London (Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth halls), New York (Frick Collection), San Francisco and Vancouver, and also at the Berlin Klavierfestival, the Festival de la Roque d’Anthéron and Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse.
Most recently CNN produced a short film about Benjamin for transmission internationally, in their "Human to Hero" series.
"London Music Masters provides valuable career opportunities for exceptional young musicians, but with an inspired extra dimension - the chance for those musicians to act as role models to the next generation, and change lives by communicating the joy and importance of great music. All about inclusiveness, it is very special scheme and I am proud to be associated with it."
Anthony Marwood is one of the UK’s most distinguished violinists, and a frequent soloist with orchestras around the world. He has collaborated with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Marin Alsop, David Robertson, and Douglas Boyd. He was the Artistic Director of the Irish Chamber Orchestra from 2006 to 2011 and is a regular collaborator with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
A passionate advocate of new works and genre-bending presentations, Marwood has commissioned and premiered many new works. He enjoys a rich collaborative relationship with composer and conductor Thomas Adès who wrote his violin concerto “Concentric Paths” for him. His recording of the work, with Adès leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, was released by EMI to widespread critical acclaim. Anthony Marwood has made over 30 recordings for the Hyperion label; his next release in early 2012 will be a disc of concertos by Benjamin Britten.
Anthony Marwood is also a very sought-after chamber musician, performing every season at international chamber music festivals. He collaborates regularly with Steven Isserlis, Aleksandar Madzar, Martin Fröst, Natalie Clein and Michael Collins. He has also been the violinist of the acclaimed Florestan Trio, which will conclude 16 years of exceptional music-making with a celebratory Beethoven cycle at Wigmore Hall in January 2012. The Royal Philharmonic Society named Anthony Marwood ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in 2006.
“As a professional violinist I am inspired by the existence of such an institution. With LMM's presence I am sure that the art form I know and love, music, will continue to inspire young people for centuries to come."
Violinist Tai Murray is a rising star of her generation, increasingly in demand for both orchestral and recital engagements.
‘Her performance, concentrated, fluent and poetic, was mesmerizing, at once vivid and seemingly belonging to a distant world.’ (The Strad)
Appreciated for her elegance and effortless ability, Tai creates a special bond with her public through her mature phrasing and subtle sweetness. Her programming reveals musical intelligence. Her sound, her sophisticated bowing and choice of vibrato remind us of her musical background and her studies, among others, with Yuval Yaron (a student of Gingold & Heifetz) and Franco Gulli. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, Tai Murray was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2008 through 2010.
Tai has performed on the stages of such halls as Berlin's Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall in London, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, Shanghai’s Concert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall and has collaborated with a wide range of conductors and instrumentalists including Marin Alsop, Richard Goode, Alan Gilbert, Kristian Järvi, Jaime Laredo, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Benjamin Schwarz, Mitsuko Uchida, and Mihaela Ursuleasa.
Other recent debuts include the Atlanta and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra as well as re-engagements with the Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras.
In Europe the London BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic London, BBC Scottish Symphony, Philharmonic Staatsorchester Mainz and the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker invite her as a guest soloist.
She is also an avid duo recitalist including performing together with Lambert Orkis at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
A dedicated chamber musician, Tai Murray is a member of the conductor-less East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), partners in concert with Boston Symphony harpist emeritus Ann Hobson Pilot, has gone on tour numerous times with Musicians from Marlboro, and is an alumna of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society II (2004-2006).
Tai's debut recording for harmonia mundi of Eugene Ysaye's six sonatas for violin solo will be released during spring of 2012.
“Classical music is for everyone - it is in all our hearts and souls. I believe that when you give music to a child, you give that child’s soul a voice. I am blown away that London Music Masters are keeping the spirit of music alive in young people by giving them the gift of music, and am very proud to be able to be part of that.”
British lyric soprano Nadine Benjamin is a charismatic and versatile artist, who is in increasing demand on both the operatic stage and the concert platform. She is also developing great renown as an exponent of song, in particular Strauss and contemporary American song. Nadine is currently recording song cycles by Previn, Copland and Harbison with pianist Tomasz Lis and made her Purcell Room debut with the programme in March 2014.
In the UK, Nadine has performed at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (the Floral Hall and the Clore Studio). She has a long-running relationship with the London Festival of American Music, and will sing the role of soprano soloist in the UK premiere of The Crossing, an opera by Odaline de la Martinez, at the Festival in November 2014. Future operatic engagements include the role of Desdemona (Otello) in October 2015.
Nadine recently sang the soprano solos in Handel's Eternal Source of Light Divine and Mahler's Symphony no. 4 with Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra. She has worked closely with some of today's most influential artists and collaborated with Yinka Shonibare MBE on his film installation Addio del Passato. The multi-media work was premiered in New York before exhibiting at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2013.
Equally at home in the world of jazz, Nadine has recently recorded ‘Conversations’ a collection of jazz classics with Malcolm Edmonstone (piano), Harold Fisher (drums) and Percy Pursglove (double bass and trumpet).
In addition to her work as a performer, Nadine is a Certified High Performance Coach. She has curated a number of concerts, operas and events. Supported by the Arts Council of England, she devised Why Don't You Just Sing Jazz? a celebration of the lives of black opera singers for the Grimeborn Festival. In 2012, Nadine was shortlisted for the inaugural Genesis Prize, awarded to outstanding mentors who give others confidence and inspiration to achieve artistic excellence in their chosen profession.
“I am honoured to be the first LMM Junior Ambassador. I am very passionate about the charity’s aims. With my siblings, I have enjoyed performing masterclasses and meeting young people to send the message that classical music belongs to all of us. I am looking forward to being part of this project.”
Seventeen-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is currently at Trinity Catholic School in Nottingham, and holds the ABRSM Junior Scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music, where he studies cello with Ben Davies. He is also a founding member of the Chineke! Orchestra, as well as a member of the JRAM Symphony Orchestra. Sheku is winner of the Pro Corda Chamber Competition 2015, and most recently the inaugural RPS Duet Prize for young musicians. He plays chamber music with the Kanneh-Mason Piano Trio and the Ash String Trio. Sheku is currently in the final of BBC Young Musician 2016.
Sheku is an outstanding musician. The impressive achievements that he has already made represents the high standards to which the children on the LMM Learning initiative aspire. Sheku will be an inspiration to our young students.
The Junior Ambassador role enables gifted young musicians the opportunity to engage with, and act as encouraging role models to LMM Learning students at our primary schools. LMM will also support the Junior Ambassadors through mentoring, and performing opportunities as they make their way into the classical music profession.