We are very excited to welcome Soprano Samantha Crawford and Pianist Lana Bode to Polyphony Arts as they present their fantastic recital, dream.risk.sing! This innovative programme celebratesthe many intelligent and talented working women who juggle the demands of family life and still manage to achieve incredible things in the workplace. This recital gives voice to women’s experiences which are rarely heard in song, an initiative that the duo brought to fruition during 2020. The programme includes a specially commissioned piece by composer Charlotte Bray and writer Nicki Jackowska – Crossing Faultlines – a song cycle exploring women’s experiences in the workplace.
British Australian soprano Samantha Crawford is equally at home on the opera stage as she is on the concert platform. She has been praised for her ‘crystalline tone and diction’ (The Arts Desk) and ‘fine cut soprano which brought singing of class’ (Opera). In concert, her performances have included engagements at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Cadogan Hall, the Barbican, Hong Kong City Hall and Schlosstheater Schönbrunn.
Lana Bode is an American-British pianist, programmer and artistic director. Her performances have been described as ‘absolutely thrilling’ (Opera Today) and ‘expertly calibrated’ (BBC Music Magazine). She is well known for her work in contemporary music and innovative cross-arts programming. As a recitalist, Lana has performed at major London venues and festivals around the UK. These include Aldeburgh Festival, Barbican Hall, Kings Place, Purcell Room, Snape Proms and Wigmore Hall. She has collaborated with leading singers and instrumentalists including Marcus Farnsworth, Robert Murray, Mark Padmore and James Turnbull, and is currently performing with the Tailleferre Ensemble.
We are delighted to announce that pianist, Joseph Tong and violinist, Fenella Humphreys have recorded a new album of works by Sibelius for Violin and Piano.
‘Works for Violin and Piano’ will be released on the Resonus Classics label on 7 January 2022.
‘Fenella Humphreys’s playing is a genuine revelation in the way it brings out the music’s dark and introspective qualities’ BBC Music Magazine
‘Tong’s readings intelligently balance impulse and discipline, offering wide tonal variety, but never at the expense of textural clarity’The Sunday Times
This CD celebrates Sibelius’ dominance in the history of Finnish music. This release follows two other recordings by Joseph Tong on Quartz label which were received with critical acclaim, plus several concerts in Finland including a recital at Ainola on the composer’s original Steinway grand piano and The Sibelius Museum in Turku.
Joseph Tong enjoys a busy and varied career as soloist, duo pianist, chamber musician, writer, teacher and adjudicator. Joseph made his Wigmore Hall debut in 1997 as winner of the Maisie Lewis Young Artists Award and gives regular recitals throughout the UK and abroad.
Joseph Tong has a keen interest in contemporary music and has given premieres of new works in his piano duo with Waka Hasegawa, Piano 4 Hands, by composers including Dai Fujikura, Nicola LeFanu, Robert Keeley, Jonathan Powell, David Matthews, Edwin Roxburgh and the late John McCabe. Piano 4 Hands has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room on the South Bank and the Cheltenham Music Festival as well as in the USA, Germany and Japan. As soloist, he gave the premiere of ‘The Gate of Dawn’by Cydonie Banting at the 2018 Presteigne Festival and the chamber ensemble premiere of ‘Dolly Shot’ by Gareth Moorcraft as well as working with the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. Joseph is now commissioning a new set of pieces from David Matthews, inspired by British trees, to be performed at the Three Choirs Festival in July 2022, in a recital shared with Fenella Humphreys. Joseph is also performing a solo Wigmore Hall recital next autumn.
Fenella Humphreys, winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, has won critical admiration and audience acclaim with the grace and intensity of her playing.
Described in the press as “unforgettable” and “a wonder”, Fenella is one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists. She enjoys a busy career combining chamber music and solo work, performing in prestigious venues around the world. She is frequently broadcast on the BBC, Classic FM, Scala Radio and international radio stations.
Fenella performs widely as a soloist. Her most recent album of Sibelius’ solo works with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and George Vass on Resonus has been featured in BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library, and was Album of the Week on Scala Radio. BBC Music Magazine has written of the recording: “Humphreys offers searching and beautifully focused lyrical expression, laser-like accuracy of tuning (in the double-stopped passages remarkably so), plus wonderful tawny-brown sonority.”
‘this repertoire has been criminally ignored: where the concerto/symphonies/tone poems have been performed to death, there are very few recordings of the violin/piano works’ Fenella Humphreys. Over the past decade Fenella has captured international attention by applying spellbinding virtuosity and depth of emotion to a strikingly broad range of compositions. Her Bach 2 the Future albums, the second of which won the coveted BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, combined newly commissioned works with two of Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas and other repertoire landmarks. She has given the first performances of scores by, among others, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sally Beamish, Gordon Crosse, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Freya Waley-Cohen and Adrian Sutton.
Fenella is grateful for the support of the Royal Philharmonic Society, Harriet’s Trust and Arts Council England for their support to keep making music during the Covid Pandemic.
Further information/ Press kit on Joseph Tong can be found at
Polyphony Arts is delighted to welcome one of Britain’s leading young concert organists to the roster, William Saunders.
William’s imaginative programming, recordings of accessible modern English repertoire and passion for music education is ensuring that this instrument is conserved for the next generation. He regularly performs recitals at distinguished venues across the UK, Europe and North America, and leading festivals including Oundle International Festival, Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Three Choirs Festival, Kings Lynn Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Lübecker Orgelsommer. He’s also premiered numerous works including Animal Parade by Iain Farrington, and Diptych by Dobrinka Tabakova.
William has released several critically acclaimed albums on Regent Records, including works he’s commissioned and world premiere recordings. Gramophone Magazine has praised his “rhythmic vitality” while Organists’ Review declared his playing as “flawless and so assured that one can listen in the knowledge that nothing will faze him.” In addition to these recordings, you can listen to/watch videos of William playing on his youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfROTvkQgeiFG5AfhvF-r9Q
William is also in demand as an accompanist and has worked with the Kings Voices, London Voices and Aldeburgh Voices, plus he directs a number of vocal ensembles including the Buriensi Consort and Prometheus Consort. Furthermore, he’s passionate about music education and is a consultant for the Royal College of Organists. He’s currently working with them to create quality online resources for enthusing people in different ways; the project aims to improve and increase access to the organ and its music in order to create new players and listeners, as well as provide educational materials to schools for music and the wider curriculum.
William is currently accepting bookings for recitals. Find out more about him and the programmes he’s offering HERE