Mark Messenger - violin
Mark Messenger’s broad and varied career means that he can write in his biography the sort of things that would be particularly impressive if weren’t for the fact that everyone else did the same. However, one will not find here any competition accolades as he believes that the Olympic sport of trying to play better than another artist is inherently flawed and destructive to any musical endeavour.
His love of music and the human connection it offers has brought him into contact with some remarkable musicians – amongst others, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Ivry Gitlis, Maxim Vengerov, Bernard Greenhouse, Natalie Clein, Raphael Wallfisch, Thomas Carroll, Yonty Solomon, Howard Shelley, John Lill, Dame Thea King, Michael Collins, Chris Garrick and Sir John Dankworth – and some even more incredible students. He hopes that these connections, some of which are fleeting, and others last for decades, have in some way affected these people to the same extent as he has been transformed by them.
He has taken great pleasure from over three decades of string quartet playing, travelling across the world to teach, conducting and from his role as Head of Strings at the Royal College of Music. As long as his exploration of life and music continues to provide such human experiences he will continue. If this ever ceases he will dedicate even more of his time to fine wine and good eating and scuba diving.
Nathan Braude - viola
The Belgian-Israeli violist Nathan Braude has performed in many of the world's most prestigious concert venues including the Wigmore Hall in London, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
Nathn Braude has also appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Limburgs Symfonie Orkest and Solistes Européens Luxembourg. In September 2016 Nathan became the new principal violist at the Gurzenich Orchester, Koln.
Festival appearances include Progretto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Ravinia Festival in Chicago and Festival de Radio France in Montpellier. Since 2010 Nathan regularly performs in duo recitals together with his wife Polina Leschenko.
His début recording for the Fuga Libera label with the complete works for viola, by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen, has been released to great critical acclaim. Other recordings include the Dvorak piano quartet op.87 released on EMI Classics as part of the Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival 2012” series and Brahms horn trio (viola version) for the Warner Classic label.
Thomas Carroll – cello
Born in Swansea, Thomas studied with Melissa Phelps at the Yehudi Menuhin School and with Heinrich Schiff in Austria. An exceptionally gifted cellist, he is one of only two artists who have auditioned successfully for both Young Concert Artists Trust in London and Young Concert Artists, Inc. in New York.
He has since gone on to be much in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, appearing with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sinfonia ViVA, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra. As a chamber musician he has worked with the Belcea Quartet, Chilingirian Quartet, Michael Collins, Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, Julian Rachlin and Janine Jansen, among many others.
During his studies in Salzburg with Heinrich Schiff, Thomas also studied conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Jorge Rotter and in London at the Guildhall with Sian Edwards. He has taken part in masterclasses with Janos Furst and worked with various ensembles and orchestras in Austria and the UK. Over the last five years he has worked closely with Nicholas Kok (Principal Conductor of sinfonia ViVA from 1996-2006) who has become a mentor and with whom Thomas has built a close association as a cello soloist.
Thomas Carroll made his conducting debut with the Spectrum Ensemble in the Berlin Philharmonie in 2006, conducting music by Toch. Thomas is currently a Professor at the Royal College of Music in London, the Yehudi Menuhin School and Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.
Maria Tarasewicz - piano / duo coach
Maria has gained an international reputation as a chamber musician, duo partner and a pedagogue. She is committed to working with and developing younger artists, and invitations not only as a performer but also as a teacher and accompanist have taken her to Norway, Belgium, France, Italy, Jersey, San Marino, Poland, China and many UK festivals and masterclasses. Maria has performed in all of London’s major concert venues including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall Purcell Room and many others. She also appears regularly on BBC Radio 3.
Maria was born in Ukraine, then moved with her family to Poland. She went on to study in Belgium and after meeting her husband she moved to London where she is now based. A travel like this made her very reluctant to answer the question “where do you come from”. If you ask her this, the answer will probably be: “from everywhere”.
On her path she had been inspired by many fantastic artists whose influence has shaped the direction of her music-making. The pantheon of these is large and includes Ivry Gitlis, Maxim Vengerov, Gavriel Lipkind, Vladimir Perlin, Leonid Gorokhov, Leonid Kerbel, Eugeni and Olga Moguilevski, Natalia Radecka, Iya Pavlova, Boyan Vodenitcharov, Michael Dussek.
Maria searches for artistic answers through being the co-founder of The Thinking Musician and outreach projects with organisations such as BlindAid. Inevitably the truth is that, by searching answers, she only finds more questions.