2019-2020 RECITAL SERIES ARTISTS:
Svyati Duo: February 14, 2020
Since forming Svyati Duo in 2009 Rebecca Hepplewhite (cello) and Julian Collings (organ) have gained international critical acclaim, both for their concert performances and commercial CD releases. Heralded as 'exemplary' performers by Fanfare Magazine, their concert engagements have taken them to venues throughout Europe, the United States of America and Asia.
Svyati Duo take their name from Julian and Rebecca's first collaboration, as conductor and cellist in a performance of Sir John Tavener's masterpiece 'Svyati' for solo cello and choir. Tavener subsequently became the duo's Patron the following year and remained so until his death in 2013. Rebecca and Julian maintain a diverse and exciting repertoire, from Baroque sonatas through to substantial romantic and contemporary works, and are committed to performing music that displays the diversity of their instrumental combination. A tireless search for repertoire continues to reward them with unjustly neglected, original works in addition to commissioning new music and transcribing existing pieces.
The duo has performed in venues of all sizes, from churches and town halls to major cathedrals and concert halls. Recent highlights include a recital at the Hong Kong Cultural Center, where they performed to an audience of 1600, and a concert at Worcester Cathedral, which included a performance of their own transcription of Elgar's Cello Concerto. Recipients of awards from the RVW Society and the Leche Trust, Svyati Duo have commissioned new works from leading composers including David Bednall, Russell Hepplewhite, Iain Farrington and Timothy Salter, and have premiered many works by other living composers.
Svyati Duo have recorded two CDs on the Regent Records label, both of which received unanimous critical acclaim and have since been featured on BBC radio in the UK and on American Public Media's 'Pipedreams' broadcast in the US. Their third recording will be released in 2018 and will feature contemporary music including three of the duo's own commissions.
Rebecca Hepplewhite cello: Rebecca Hepplewhite performs internationally as a cellist and has given recitals throughout Europe, the USA, Asia and South Africa, with notable chamber and solo engagements including appearances at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Purcell Room. A strong advocate of new music she has commissioned and premiered many new works, both with the Svyati Duo and with other ensembles. She is cellist with several other established chamber ensembles, including the award-winning Nephele Ensemble, Chamber Music Company and Pomegranate Piano Trio. As a soloist she is regularly invited to play many of the major cello concerto works throughout the UK and abroad, with recent engagements including performances of the Saint-Saens and Elgar Concertos.
Julian Collings organ: Julian Collings was educated as an organ scholar at Tonbridge School in Kent, before gaining an organ scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1999 studying under David Sanger and Thomas Trotter. He is currently Director of Music at St Cyprian's Church, Clarence Gate in London, a post which he combines with a busy international performing career as an organist and conductor. In addition to his schedule with Svyati Duo, he is Musical Director of the much acclaimed Arcubus Ensemble and also regularly performs with Benedict Lewis-Smith as the Oxbridge Organ Duo. Recent engagements have included Kristiansand Cathedral in Norway and the Victoria International Arts Festival in Gozo, Malta.