Hartlepool Music Society
22nd Season 2006-7
International Recital Series
(Registered Charity No 1071293)

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Sarah-Jane Bradley and Jonathan Ayerst

Monday 2nd April 2007: Viola and Piano Recital by Sarah-Jane Bradley and Jonathan Ayerst


Schumann: Marchenbilder
Glinka: Sonata
Elgar: Chanson de Matin Chanson de Nuit
Brahms: Sonata in E flat
Martinu: Sonata.

Artist Information: Sarah-Jane Bradley

“Exceptional...Bradley is an adventurous artist..every whisper of the bow was loaded with insight and intelligence” (The Strad, August 1997).

Since making her critically acclaimed debut with the Philharmonia in 1992 and at the Wigmore Hall in 1997, Sarah-Jane has been in increasing demand as a soloist and chamber musician. Formerly a member of the Sorrel Quartet and Leopold String Trio, she has frequently broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and recorded for, among others, Chandos and Hyperion. She is currently working with the Fidelio Piano Quartet.

Following studies as a scholar at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Sarah-Jane won many prestigious awards from organisations including Young Concert Artists' Trust, Royal Over-Seas League (Bernard Shore Award), Trevor Snoad Award (Martin Trust), Leverhulme, Myra Hess, Munster, and Fleming Trusts. She was a prizewinner at the 1994 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and won first prize at two competitions in Spain at Capellades and Sant Joan de Vilatorrada in 1995.

Recent recital venues have included the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester as well as a live broadcast for BBC Radio 3. Engagements in 2006 include a tour of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Armenian violinist Susanna Gregorian, a recital for the “Sounds New” Festival and recitals throughout the UK, Isle of Man, Southern Ireland and Germany.

Sarah-Jane has premiered a number of new works for solo viola including the viola concerto “Winter Remembered”, written specially for her by David Matthews; she gave the London première with the City of London Sinfonia in a concert broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in November 2003. In August 2006 she will premiere the triple concerto by James Francis Brown at the Presteigne Festival with the violinist Anthony Marwood and the cellist Gemma Rosefield.

Since her concerto and recital debuts with the in 1992 and at the in 1997, Sarah-Jane Bradley has been at the forefront of the new generation of viola players. As a soloist she has won numerous awards including the Bernard Shore Award (Royal Over Seas League), Trevor Snoad Award (Philharmonia) and Myra Hess Trust.

She was a prizewinner at the 1994 and won first prize in 1995 at two competitions in Spain at Capellades and Sant Joan de Vilatorrada. Subsequently she appeared at the Wigmore Hall as part of the lnternational Hindemith Festival after which she was featured in The Strad "Stars for the Future" and Gramophone magazine:

"Exceptional...Bradley is an adventurous artist...Every whisper of the bow was loaded with insight and intelligence." The Strad, Wigmore Hall August 1997.

She has performed all the major concertos for viola and while constantly expanding the recital repertoire with new works and commissions, has also championed lesser known transcriptions of sonatas by Delius, Dohnanyi, Handel, Franck and Rachmaninoff.

Sarah-Jane has won awards from the Alban Berg and Hinrichsen Foundations for her performance of contemporary repertoire. She has premiered a number of new works for solo viola including the viola concerto “Winter Remembered”, especially written for her by she gave the London premiere with the in a concert broadcast live on Radio 3 in November 2003.

In 2006 she is due to give the premiere of a triple concerto for violin, viola and 'cello by for the with the violinist Anthony Marwood and the cellist Gemma Rosefield. In May she is due to record a CD of "Five British Viola Concertos" for the label.
Her London recitals of 2002 given at the Wigmore Hall, Conway Hall and for “ln Tune” won critical praise.

"A viola player worth listening out for ... performances have been revelatory" Gramophone

Sarah-Jane is on the executive committee of the Lionel Tertis Viola Competition and was invited to give two recitals as part of the 2003 Competition. Since founding the Leopold String Trio in 1991 she has received critical acclaim for her work in chamber music, broadcasting for BBC Radio 3 and in 1998 recording the complete string trios of Beethoven for the label.

As a member of the Sarah-Jane toured Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria. The quartet has released highly praised recordings of chamber music by Elgar and and have completed their series of Shostakovich quartets for to much critical acclaim.

Elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, she gives regular viola masterclasses and chamber music coaching throughout the UK including Cardiff University, Aberystwyth Musicfest, Repton and Shrewsbury Schools. Sarah-Jane plays on a viola by G.A Chanot of Manchester made in 1896.



Reviews: Sarah-Jane Bradley

"Sarah-Jane Bradley was an ardent,committed soloist"
The Strad, March 2004 (Matthews)

"Exceptional achievement…superb recital"
The Strad,December 2002 (Wigmore Hall)

"A ravishing viola solo"
Musical Opinion,January 2003 (Wigmore Hall)

"Exceptional…Bradley is an adventurous artist…Every whisper of the bow was loaded with insight and intelligence"
The Strad, August 1997 (Wigmore Hall)

"A fine viola and piano duo"
The Daily Telegraph, August 1998 (Critic's Choice)

"Sarah-Jane Bradley makes a strong impression in the prominent solos of (Shostakovich) Quartet no.13"
BBC Music Magazine, January 2002

"Performances from violist Sarah-Jane Bradley and pianist Jonathan Ayerst were musicianly and committed"
Birmingham Post, August 2002

"Sarah-Jane Bradley has a very romantic sound which I kept in mind all the time I was writing"
David Matthews on Winter Remembered, Classical Music July 2002

"Sarah-Jane Bradley brought a gloriously expressive tone to its lamenting but expansive lines"
Musical Opinion, January 2004 (Matthews)

"An identifiably Schubertian Gemutlichkeit-a chestnuts-by-the-fireside conviviality-that was ideally captured in Sarah-Jane Bradley's sympathetic playing"
The Evening Standard, November 2003 (Matthews)

"Dedicatee Sarah-Jane Bradley played with assurance and a real appreciation of the solo line's connective role in the musical discourse.The cadenza was elegantly phrased.."
Classical Source, August 2002 (Matthews Premiere)

"Since its formation in 1991, the Leopold String Trio has had the viola player Sarah-Jane Bradley as it's musical conscience. Now she is going solo and in her husband Jonathan Ayerst she has a powerful piano partner…Bradley's performances of the (York Bowen) C minor sonata have been revelatory...A viola player worth listening out for."
Gramophone Talent Scout, December 1999

"Playing the viola as well as Sarah-Jane Bradley does is no joke…she was the moving spirit behind the Leopold String Trio from its foundation in 1991; but this season sees her going solo. Her marriage to Jonathan Ayerst has provided her with a virtuoso piano partner…Bradley's performances of the (York Bowen) sonata have evoked comparisons with Lionel Tertis for depth and quality of tone"
The Strad, "Stars for the Future" January 2000

"Sarah-Jane Bradley's accomplished viola shone through in much of the music, offering a rare opportunity to appreciate one of the Cinderellas of the instrumental scene"
The Scotsman, April 1997

"Courageous playing…one of Britain's most promising players"
The Strad 1995

"When she dug into the C string for the second subject of the first movement(York Bowen) I immediately thought ‘Tertis!'"
The Strad, October 1995 (St. John's Smith Square)

"Ravishing renderings of the two final movements of York Bowen's C minor sonata"
The Strad, December 1994 (Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition)

"A performance that shows thousands of colours in the spectacular 5/8 Rondo Finale"
CD Compact Spain, February 1995


Artist Information: Jonathan Ayerst

Following studies as a scholar at and the with Nellie Akopian, Alexander Kelly and Hamish Milne, Jonathan won several awards from the the and the prestigious Carnwath Scholarship awarded by .

He was a prizewinner at the 1985 Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany and won the Chrysalis Foundation Scholarship at the 1989 Van Cliburn Competition. He also won the Accompanist Award in 1995.

In late 2000 Jonathan was appointed principal pianist of (Portugal's contemporary music group). Based in Oporto and originally established as a European cultural project, this ensemble performs regularly in cities and festivals throughout Europe covering all repertoire from 1880s to the present day. Recent performances have included Benjamin Britten's ‘Turn of the Screw', and a newly-commissioned piece for Remix and the staged in the cloisters of the Monastery of St. Jeronimos, Lisbon. His debut in Lisbon as a concerto soloist took place in November this year with the Orchestra Symphonica, playing Hindemith's Kammermusik No.2. Following the Wigmore Hall debut of the Bradley/Ayerst Viola and Piano Duo (and a live performance on BBC Radio 3) in 2002, he has appeared in the acclaimed 'Soloists of Remix' chamber-music series.. recently performing Ligetti's Horn Trio and Martinu's 'La Revue de Cuisine'.

Organist : For nearly two years Jonathan has performed regularly works by Bach and Widor for organ. After an enthusiastic reception to a duo recital with Sarah-Jane Bradley of repertoire for organ and viola, they have committed themselves to expanding and performing the repertoire for this eloquent and distinctive medium.

Composer : Jonathan has written several works for solo piano and chamber ensemble including a ballet for two pianos and percussion. Following commissions for the organist Robert Crowley and a piece for flute, viola and piano for the 2000 Music Haven Series, performed at the South Bank, he received a large-scale request from to compose an oratorio on the biblical saga of Moses and the ‘Exodus'. Completed and performed in 2002 ‘Exodus' is a fifty-minute work scored for orchestra (inc. 4 percussionists), choir, children's choir and male soloist. Since then Jonathan has written for organ and trombone (one of a series of paraphrases on Gregorian chant) published by preludes and fugues for solo organ and a trio for trumpet, horn and trombone. His most recent premiere has been the Suite No.2 for viola and piano, performed at the Tertis International Viola Competition. Many works are performed in concert series in Oporto, Portugal.

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