Juliet Fraser, soprano
Tom Williams, countertenor
Stephen Jeffes, tenor
Simon Whiteley, bass
James Weeks, director
‘…one of the most sensationally gifted vocal groups performing in the UK at the moment’ Gramophone
Since its debut in 2002, EXAUDI has emerged as one of Britain’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Founded by James Weeks (director) and Juliet Fraser (soprano), EXAUDI is based in London and draws its singers from among the UK’s brightest vocal talents. The ensemble typically works as a consort rather than a choir – usually one voice to a part, ranging from three to eighteen voices – and draws inspiration for its sound from that of early music ensembles, a strong but focused tone that is ideal for the performance of harmonically intricate contemporary music. Many EXAUDI programmes combine the new with the old, and the ensemble is equally in demand for its performances of music of the High Renaissance and early Baroque.
EXAUDI’s special affinity is for the radical edges of contemporary music, at home equally with maximal complexity, microtonality and experimental aesthetics. The newest new music is at the heart of its repertoire, and it has given national and world premières of Sciarrino, Rihm, Finnissy, Fox, Posadas, Eötvös, Ferneyhough, Gervasoni, Skempton, Ayres, Pesson, Poppe, Mažulis and Fox among many others. Through its commissioning scheme, EXAUDI is particularly committed to the younger generation of composers currently in their twenties and thirties, and is proud to champion the work of major emerging voices including Aaron Cassidy, Evan Johnson, Bryn Harrison, Amber Priestley, Matthew Shlomowitz, Joanna Bailie, Cassandra Miller, James Weeks and Claudia Molitor.
EXAUDI’s many international engagements include Wittener Tage (Germany), Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Musica Viva (Munich), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), IRCAM (Paris), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Pharos (Cyprus), Musica (Strasbourg), MAfestival (Bruges), CDMC (Madrid), MITO Settembre (Milan/Turin) and Quincena Musical (San Sebastiàn). The ensemble has also collaborated with many leading soloists and ensembles including London Sinfonietta, musikFabrik (RihmVigilia, Ferneyhough Finis terrae), Ensemble Modern (Eötvös SCHILLER: energische Schönheit), CBSO (Boulez cummings ist der Dichter), Ensemble L’Instant Donné (GervasoniDir – In dir) and Ensemble InterContemporain (Poppe Interzone).
EXAUDI has appeared at many leading UK venues and festivals, including Spitalfields, BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Soundwaves, City of London, Bath, FuseLeeds and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals, Dartington International Summer School, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, South Bank and National Portrait Gallery. Recently the ensemble has developed particularly strong links with Aldeburgh Music, resulting in a number of concert appearances, broadcasts and residencies since 2006. EXAUDI broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3, and has released seven critically acclaimed recordings on the NMC, Metier, Mode and HCR labels. Forthcoming releases include a disc of Rihm and Nono, and a disc of Gervasoni for Winter&Winter.
Highlights of EXAUDI's Spring-Summer 2014 season include recitals in Toulouse, Bilbao, Birmingham and London, and residencies at the BBSSO’s Tectonics Festival (May) and the IRCAM Academy in Paris (June), working with young composers from all over the world.
Christopher Jones, violin
Florence Cooke, violin
Kay Stephen, viola
Anna Menzies, cello
Park Lane Group Young Artists and winners of a 2013 Tunnell Trust Concert Award, The Gildas Quartet was formed in 2010 by Masters students at the Royal Northern College of Music.
The Quartet has accumulated numerous other prizes between them including the RNCM’s Weil and Hirsch prizes, most recently being awarded the prestigious Barbirolli Prize for String Quartet. The Quartet has performed widely in the UK and across Europe, including appearances at the European Academy for Music in Montepulciano, Italy and at the Europäische Festwoche der Kammermusik in Detmold, Germany.
During their studies they worked closely with Gábor Takács-Nagy, who invited them to a period of intensive coaching with him in Geneva and subsequently to the Verbier Festival’s private masterclass in London. At the RNCM they studied regularly with Pavel Fischer and Petr Prause and recieved masterclasses and coachings from Ralph Kirschbaum, Peter Cropper, James Boyd and Gerhard Schulz.