Robin Ireland was a student at Cambridge University and at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York. He had a short spell as leader of the Las Palmas Symphony Orchestra and subsequently became a founder member of the Piano Quartet, Domus, which toured with its own portable concert hall (a geodesic dome) as well as having great success in more conventional venues.
Robin is well known as the violist of the Lindsay String Quartet, with whom he played for twenty years. He now plays with the Primrose Piano Quartet and the Anton Stadler piano/clarinet/viola trio, and has a Duo with the pianist Tim Horton with whom he has recorded a CD of Russian music (available from Robin). As a soloist, he has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, performed Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Liverpool Philharmonic and the London Mozart Players, and has in his repertoire all the major works for viola. He specialises in recitals of unaccompanied Bach, transcribed for viola from the violin and cello works. His CD of Bach, which includes the Chaconne, is available on Quartz. His orchestral experience includes working as guest principal viola with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera North.
Robin is Senior Viola Tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire and also teaches at the University of Sheffield and on courses run by ESTA, Pro Corda and Cadenza. He tutors viola workshops and directs a string chamber orchestra. He is a keen student of the Alexander Technique and of Chi Kung, both of which influence his teaching.
In 2005, Robin was commissioned by the University of Sheffield to write a string quartet for its centenary celebrations. This work, played by the Lindsays, features on a CD alongside Pairings (his three duos, for viola and cello, two violas, and violin and viola) available on the Meridian label. In the same year, he received funding from the Arts Council to collaborate with the poet Elizabeth Barrett and composed fifteen tone poems for solo viola which interleave with poems from her collection The Bat Detector (CD available from Robin).
Robin plays on an Amati viola made in the early 1600s. He lives in Sheffield.
Tim Horton - Piano
"Tim Horton's piano playing is a revelation - his total absorption in the music means he is never a prima donna, always the perfect chamber musician"
Tim was born in Brighton in 1974. At the age of six he started taking piano lessons and entered Chetham's School of Music in Manchester three years later. His teachers included Ryszard Bakst, Heather Slade-Lipkin and Charles Hopkins. In 1995 Tim graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge.
In 1995 Tim was asked at short notice to replace Alfred Brendel in two performances of Schoenberg's Piano Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the Royal Festival Hall, London. He has since performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
In 2005 Tim was chosen as the scholar of the Klavier Festival Ruhr at the recommendation of Alfred Brendel.
Tim has a duo partnership with cellist Adrian Brendel. They have given tours of Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK and yearly performances at the Plush Festival. He has also performed at the Aldeburgh Festival with the Elias Quartet and at the Bath Festival. Tim has collaborated with many chamber musicians including Paul Lewis, Peter Cropper, the Elias Quartet, the Vertavo Quartet, Christian Poltera, Charles Owen and the members of the Kungsbacka Piano Trio. He has a regular duo partnership with violist Robin Ireland. Their CD of Shostakovich and Prokofiev is due for release in 2010. In 2009 Tim gave concerts in Essen and Hannover as part of series devised by Alfred Brendel.
Future plans include performances at a Mendelssohn Festival in King's Place, London with the Elias Quartet, concerts in Germany and tours of Britain with Ensemble 360, a return visit to the Vertavo Quartet's festival in Elverum, Norway and a recording of the Brahms Viola Sonatas with Henninge Landaas.