Piatti Quartet & Aidan Smith
Multiple award-winning ensemble Piatti Quartet will be joined by British vocalist Aidan Smith in a programme featuring a new commission by Richard Reason, and music by Bridge and Debussy.
Nathaniel Anderson-Frank (violin)
Michael Trainor (violin)
Tetsuumi Nagata (viola)
Jessie Ann Richardson (cello)
Aidan Smith (bass)
Bridge Three Idylls
Richard Reason Dylan Thomas Song Cycle
Debussy Quartet in G minor Op. 10
Prizewinners at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the Piatti Quartet is amongst the UK’s foremost young ensembles with a host of awards and critically-acclaimed recordings to its name. They have performed in all the major venues around the country, including a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast from the Wigmore Hall. The Quartet has also appeared in Italy, Australia, Spain, Austria, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland, with national broadcasts on ABC (Australia) and RTE (Ireland) radio.
The Piatti are laureates of the St Martin in the Fields Competition, a Martin Musical Fund/Philharmonia Scholarship, multiple Hattori Foundation awards, and the St.Peter’s Prize. At the 2015 Wigmore Hall International (formerly the London International) String Quartet Competition, the Piatti Quartet won joint 2nd Prize as well as the Sidney Griller Award for the best performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Contusion and the St Lawrence String Quartet Prize. The Quartet spent two years as Leverhulme Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music and have received both Tunnel Trust and Countess of Munster awards. Park Lane Group have also supported the group extensively with a UK-wide concert tour and a recording on their Classical Label. Other recordings have been released on the Linn Records and Champs Hill labels, including the Piatti’s lauded contribution to the complete string quartet works of Felix Mendelssohn (Champs Hill), which was BBC Music Magazine’s Critic’s Choice (September 2014).
The Piatti Quartet holds the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for String Quartet at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for 2014-15, and are delighted to have had this Fellowship renewed for 2015-16. The group continues to actively expand the quartet repertoire with premieres of commissions from several acclaimed British composers. A major new work, Joseph Phibbs’ String Quartet No.1, was commissioned through the generous support of the Britten Pears Foundation and Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust which the quartet have plans to record and release in 2016. Other recently commissioned compositions include pieces from Richard Birchall (performed live on BBC Radio 3), and Jacques Cohen. The Quartet also works regularly with the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust, enjoying the opportunity to help secure the future of chamber music by bringing the wonders of the String Quartet to young children and their families in schools and halls around the country.
A busy current season has included a debut in Istanbul, tours of Scotland and Ireland, a new CD recorded at the Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, Oxford – generously supported by Tony Stuart, and Resident Quartet at the 2014 Rye Arts Festival. Recent collaborations include concerts with Michael Collins, Moray Welsh, and Rebecca Gilliver. Upcoming highlights include a summer residency at the Academie du Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and a tour to the Netherlands in the autumn.
The Quartet is currently mentored by the Belcea Quartet through the Belcea Quartet Trust, as well as receiving regular coaching from Simon Tandree (ex-Doric Quartet). The group has also worked with members of the Chilingirian, Doric and Hagen Quartets and studied at the Reina Sofia Institute in Madrid with Günter Pichler.
The group takes its name from the great 19th-century cellist Alfredo Piatti, who was a leading professor and exponent of quartet playing at the Royal Academy of Music.
Aidan Smith studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, supported by the Stokes Scholarship, and the National Opera Studio. Operatic roles include Ben Budge The Beggar’s Opera (ROH), Betto Gianni Schicchi (English Touring Opera/Opera Holland Park), Drunken Poet The Fairy Queen (ETO), Larkins La Fanciulla del West,Farmer Boggis Fantastic Mr Fox and Le Corporal La Fille du Regiment (Opera Holland Park), Superintendant Budd Albert Herring (Mid Wales Opera), Dr Grenvil La Traviata (Scottish Opera on Tour), Second Cusomer/Monk in Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner’s Dream (WNO), Colline La Boheme (Longborough Festival) and Van Bett in Zar Und Zimmerman for Opera South.
For Garsington Opera he has sung Antonio Le Nozze di Figaro and covered Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Marquis Mirandolina by Martinu. He has also sung Hotel Guest Death in Venice, conducted by Paul Daniel, (Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals). For Longborough Festival Opera and Opera Project he has performed the roles of Armed Man The Magic Flute, Black Bob The Little Sweep, Registrar in Madama Butterfly and Benoit La Boheme. He sang Jevons in the opera Ludd and Isis at the ROH Production Park in Thurock. Aidan Smith created the role of Kevin in The Office the Opera by Anne Chemlewski for the BBC, recorded The Beggar’s Opera for Chandos and appeared in Tosca for ORF (featured in the James Bond film A Quantum of Solace), Acis and Galatea and Dido and Aeneas for the BBC and Opus Arte. He has recorded a Documentary on L’europe Gallante by Campra for French Television.
Concert engagements include Bach’s St Matthew Passion in St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, Handel’s Messiah in Hamburg with the Mosaique Ensemble, Haydn’s Creation at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. He has also sung Winterreise for the Chichester International Music Festival and taken part in a concert tour of Zimbabwe. He has toured France and Spain singing with the European Baroque Academy, conducted by William Christie.
Aidan Smith was a WNO Associate Artist 2014-16 supported by the Chris Ball Bursary and the Schafer Bursary. Recent WNO roles include Leuthold Guillame Tell, Zuniga Carmen, 2nd Armed Man The Magic Flute and Nana/Starkey in Richard Ayres’ Peter Pan (also performed at the Royal Opera House) and Lord Walton I Puritani. He recently covered Leporello for English National Opera.
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