Biographies
"The Nash Ensemble's reading of Brahms's String Sextets left me reeling."
The Independent

Nash Ensemble

individual musicians' biographies:

Ian Brown (piano)  
 
Ian Brown's varied career embraces chamber music, solo playing and conducting. Widely regarded as one of the world's leading chamber musicians, he has partnered many distinguished soloists, among them Rostropovich, Szeryng, Galway, Isserlis and Dame Felicity Lott, most recently recording and touring in Russia with Vengerov. During his long association with the Nash Ensemble he has played and recorded an exceptionally large chamber music repertoire. As soloist he has played with the BBC Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras, the London Sinfonietta and at the BBC Proms. He is now also working as a conductor, last year making a highly successful appearance with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Bruckner's 7th Symphony. He has worked with several British orchestras and in Poland and the Czech Republic. He has toured Germany as conductor and soloist with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and this season will tour South Africa.


Philippa Davies (flute)  
 
Since her celebrated performance of Mozart's Concerto in D major at the BBC Proms in 1988, Philippa Davies has established an international reputation as one of the finest flautists currently performing; a 'first-rate virtuoso' with 'exceptional eloquence'. She plays and broadcasts throughout the world and has just returned from Brazil and USA performing concertos and masterclasses. Her many concerto performances and recordings with orchestras in the UK, Europe and North and South America have earned her an avid following. After lessons with Douglas Whittaker and William Bennett, she was flautist with the Fires of London and Albion Ensemble and Principal Flute with the London Mozart Players. Now she continues her love of chamber music as a member of the Nash Ensemble, London Winds and with her own group, Arpège. She has recorded Mozart's entire original concertos and quartets for Regis, ASV and Virgin, the Romance of the Flute and Harp with Thelma Owen, and more recently Bach Flute Sonatas with Maggie Cole (AVIE) and William Alwyn's flute music (Dutton). In 2009 she visits Spain, Germany and USA performing and giving masterclasses, and plans to record the flute concerto of the British composer Paul Reade. She is a flute professor at the Guildhall School of Music, London.

Gareth Hulse (oboe)  
 
After reading music at Cambridge, Gareth Hulse studied with Janet Craxton at the Royal Academy of Music, and with Heinz Holliger at the Freiburg Hochschule fur Musik. On his return to England he was appointed principal oboe with the Northern Sinfonia, a position he has since held with English National Opera and the London Philharmonic. He is principal oboe with the London Sinfonietta, and with them has performed concertos by some of the world's leading composers, such as Berio, Ligeti, Penderecki and Carter. Gareth is also a founder member of London Winds, with whom he recorded the award winning discs of the complete wind music of Richard Strauss, and the wind serenades of Mozart. He has been a member of the Nash Ensemble for many years, and with them has played in many countries both the classical repertoire and contemporary chamber music. Gareth Hulse teaches at the Royal College of Music.


Richard Hosford (clarinet)  
 
Richard Hosford has a busy career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has been Principal Clarinet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 1994, having previously been Principal Clarinet with the London Philharmonic. As a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe he toured the world, also performing as a soloist with them and recording the Mozart and Copland concertos with the orchestra and Alexander Schneider on ASV. Richard is a committed chamber musician and has recorded all the major repertoire for wind ensemble with the Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has recorded with the chamber ensemble Domus and the Florestan Piano Trio. He is a member of the Gaudier Ensemble and has recorded many works for strings and wind with them. In recent years his recordings of the Copland Concerto, the Brahms quintet with the Nash and the Brahms Trio have all been rated "First choice" by BBC Radio 3 Record Review. Richard teaches at the Royal College of Music. In 1998 he became a member of the Nash Ensemble.

Ursula Leveaux (bassoon)  
 
Ursula Leveaux studied in London, Amsterdam and the Hague. As a student she was a member of the European Community Youth Orchestra and was the Gold Medal winner of the Shell-London Symphony Orchestra Scholarsip. As well as being a member of the Nash Ensemble Ursula is Principal Bassoon with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She is frequently invited to play as Guest Principal with orchestras and ensembles throughout the UK and Europe and is also much in demand as a performer of Baroque and Classical Bassoon. She appears regularly as concerto soloist and her recordings include the Bassoon Concerto(Strathclyde Concerto No. 8) by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, which was written especially for her. In 2003 Ursula was invited to participate in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival in the USA and will return there next summer.

Richard Watkins (horn)  
 
Richard Watkins has rapidly become one of the most sought after horn players of his generation and is well-known as a concerto soloist and chamber music player. He was Principal Horn of the Philharmonia for 12 years and, in addition to being a member of the Nash Ensemble, is a founder member of the acclaimed London Winds. He has appeared at major venues in this country and abroad, has appeared as soloist with many eminent conductros, and is in great demand as a chamber musician and recitalist. His discography is extensive and includes concertos by Mozart, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Glière and Dame Ethel Syth, and Poulenc's chamber music for horn. He is closely associated with the promotion of contemporary music for the horn and has given the premières of works by Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, Colin and David Matthews, Magnus Lindberg, Dominic Muldowney and Nicola LeFanu. As Professor of Horn and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, he is in great demand for masterclasses and lectures worldwide.

Marianne Thorsen (violin)  
 
Marianne Thorsen has a varied career as a chamber musician, soloist and teacher. Leader of the Nash Ensemble since 2000, she is also a Professor at the Music Institute, NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. As a soloist, she has appeared with all the major Norwegian orchestras and the BBC Symphony, Philharmonia, Stockholm Philharmonic, City of Birmingham and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Marianne has performed with Leif Ove Andsnes, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Truls Mørk, Pascal Rogé and Lars Anders Tomter and, as a founder member of the Leopold String Trio, toured Europe, Australia and the USA. Marianne has released numerous CDs and last year recorded Geirr Tveitt's Violin Concerto with the Stavanger Symphony and Ole Kristian Ruud. Other releases include the complete Mozart String Quintets with the Nash Ensemble. Marianne plays on the 'Emiliani' Stradivari from 1723, by kind arrangement with the Leif Høegh Foundation.

Laura Samuel (violin)  
 
Born in London in 1976, Laura studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music, London. Prizes include the Royal Over-Seas League, Musicians Benevolent Fund, Manoug Parikian Award and the TWIYCA Competition, resulting in her South Bank Recital debut. In 1994 she co-founded the Belcea Quartet and was a member for 16 years. The quartet won first prize in the Osaka and Bordeaux International Competitions. Worldwide tours included regular visits to the States, Far East and throughout Europe as well as a 5-year residency at the Wigmore Hall, London. Their numerous recordings for EMI Classics include Bartok, Janacek and Britten cycles as well as Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Debussy and Ravel quartets and have won Gramophone, Midem, Edison and Echo Klassik Awards. Solo performances this season include the Brahms, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev (2nd) Concertos and most recently the Barber at the QEH as part of the South Bank Bernstein Project. Laura has taught Chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal Northern College of Music, and plays the ex 'Nissel' Stradivarius of 1731. She joined the Nash Ensemble in 2010.

Lawrence Power (viola)  
 
Lawrence Power gained acclaim and international recognition as the first British winner of the William Primrose International Competition. He was also selected for the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme. Since his London debut with the Philharmonia he has worked with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Strings and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has given premières of works by John Kaefer, Andrew Toovey and Mark-Anthony Turnage, and has premèèred works written for him by Colin Matthews and Huw Watkins. He has recorded the Brahms Viola Sonatas and Concertos by Walton and Rubbra for Hyperion, and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with Maxim Vengerov for EMI. Lawrence is a member of the Nash Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio, and is a frequent guest at festivals such as Verbier, Vancouver, Oslo, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh and Cheltenham. Future engagements include concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Paul Watkins (cello)  
 
Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career both as concerto soloist and chamber musician. Since winning the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition he has also maintained a busy career as a conductor and in the 2009/10 season became the first ever Music Director of the English Chamber Orchestra, and also took on the role of Principal Guest Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra. As cellist, he has performed regularly with all the major British orchestras and made six concerto appearances at the BBC Proms, most recently in a televised performance of the Elgar Concerto. Outside the UK he has performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra of Turin, and 2012/13 he will premiere a new concerto written for him by Mark-Anthony Turnage with orchestras including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. A dedicated chamber musician, Watkins has been a member of the Nash Ensemble since 1997, and he regularly performs with the world's finest musicians, including Menahem Pressler, Jaime Laredo, Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff and Vadim Repin. He has given solo recitals at the Southbank Centre, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and Queens Hall, Edinburgh, as well as recitals in New York, Boston and throughout Europe. In 2009 he signed an exclusive contract with Chandos Records for a series of recital and concerto discs, with repertoire including Mendelssohn’s sonatas, Britten's Cello Symphony and concertos by Delius, Lutoslawski and Rosza.

Duncan McTier (double bass)  
 
Since winning the 1982 Isle of Man International Double Bass Competition, Duncan McTier has established a reputation as one of the world's leading double bass soloists. He has appeared as soloist all over the world and made more than fifty recordings for radio, TV and record companies. He obtained a mathematics degree at Bristol University before joining the BBC Symphony Orchestra. After seven years as principal bass of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra he returned to England to concentrate on a career as soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. He has collaborated with many of the world's most distinguished string quartets, and artists such as Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, Nobuko Imai and Heinrich Schiff. Composers who have written works especially for him include Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Gavin Bryars, Robin Holloway and John Casken. Duncan McTier is Professor of Double Bass at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in Winterthur and the Reina Sofia School in Madrid.

Lucy Wakeford (harp)  
 
As well as being a member of the Nash Ensemble, Lucy is currently principal harp with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and a member of the Britten Sinfonia. She was previously principal harp with the Philharmonia Orchestra for from 2001 to 2011. After studying at the Royal College of music with Marisa Robles, Lucy continued her studies in Paris with Gerard Devos and in London with Skaila Kanga. She has been a prize winner in several international competitions including 2nd prize in the Israel harp competition 1st prize in the Charpentier competition held in Paris. Lucy was selected for representation by the Young Concert Artists Trust in 1998. Concerto appearances include the Ginastera with the Israel Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Debussy Dances with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Mozart flute and harp concerto with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Britten Sinfonia. Lucy lives in London with her husband and two small children.