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Alexander Holladay

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Alexander Holladay Alexander Holladay is a cellist and a member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which he joined in 2007 aged 25.
A graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, he is also professor of 'cello at the University of Liverpool.
Alex is a regular performer with Ensemble Liverpool and Elegant Music and has throughout his studies and career been an enthusiast for the chamber music repertoire, especially that for piano trio.

Alexander Holladay lives in Liverpool, where he is a member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, having also been for five years a member of the National Youth Orchestra. In 2005 Alex graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he studied with Colin Carr and Philip Sheppard.

Whilst at the Academy he received the prestigious DipRAM and various prizes, including the Thomas Fitton Prize for Strings, for best post-graduate final recital.

Alex then continued performing as a concert soloist and throughout the country with the Lawson Piano Trio. He has been invited to play with numerous professional orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the Northern Ballet orchestra.

Various tours have taken Alex to Germany, Hungary, the United States of America, South Africa and New Zealand.

Contact emails: Alexander Holladay; Ensemble Liverpool; Elegant Music.

Read more about Ensemble Liverpool and Elegant Music.

www.ensembleliverpool.co.uk
www.elegantmusic.co.uk

John Peace

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John Peace John Peace is a Liverpool-based pianist, organist, lecturer and teacher of keyboard studies. He has an extensive solo, chamber and accompaniment repertoire across classical, opera and church music repertoires, and has taught piano at all levels; former students include Ian Hobson, winner of the 1981 Leeds International Piano Competition. John instigated the Merseyside area European Piano Teachers' Association. He performs with Live-A-Music and in the chamber group, Ensemble Liverpool.

John Peace BA, LRAM, ARCO was born in Wakefield and educated at Huddersfield College. Awarded scholarships to read music at University College, Durham University, he has subsequently followed a career as a soloist, chamber recitalist and teacher of the piano and organ.

Teaching
John has been Director of Music in schools in Durham, Hereford, Wakefield and London, and was a part-time music tutor for the Open University from 1970 to '77. From 1973-1992 he was Senior Lecturer in Music and Head of Keyboard Studies at the Liverpool (Adult and Further Education) College's School of Performing Arts.

John has many years' experience of piano teaching at all levels. A former pupil, Ian Hobson (now Head of Keyboard Faculty, University of Urbana-Illinois, USA and international soloist) has subsequently won several important prizes including first place in the 1981 Leeds International Piano Competition. Earlier in his own career as a solo pianist, John took advice from distinguished concert pianist and Royal College of Music professor Gordon Fergus-Thompson.

In 1991 John inaugurated the Merseyside branch of the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA) and has given a number of lecture-recitals at EPTA International Conferences in London. His workbook, The Complete Pianist, which discusses the distinctive approach and applications of the American teacher Abby Whiteside, and of Jaques-Dalcroze, was published in 1993. At the 2008 EPTA Conference (held in Liverpool), John was again a member of faculty, giving a recital centred around the pianistic heritage in Merseyside.

Church music, opera and Elegant Music
In the 1960s and '70s John was Organist at various churches in Hereford & London, and since then in Liverpool, where he was organist and choir director at St Mary's Parish Church, Walton for ten years until 2004.

John has been Musical Director of the Liverpool Metropolitan Opera and Liverpool Italian Opera Company and has worked with many leading opera and concert singers. For some years now he has been the pianist in the Elegant Music group, which offers fully professional performances and 'Palm Court' or 'lounge music' for corporate and celebratory occasions.

Soloist and recitals
From 1980 to 1992 John directed the lunchtime recital series at Liverpool Parish Church, reviving a tradition going back to the 1940s and featuring many eminent musicians. John was pianist with the Liverpool Chamber Music Group until 1988 and now performs with Ensemble Liverpool, whose members are drawn from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO).

John Peace has given numerous recitals as soloist, chamber music pianist and accompanist, with members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Halle Orchestra and Ulster Orchestras, and St Helens Sinfonietta etc. He has made BBC broadcasts, and performed in RLPO recitals and concerts, at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall and St George's Hall, Liverpool, the Williamson Art Gallery in Wirral, Chester Town Hall, the Three Choirs Festival, the Horniman Museum Dulwich, both Liverpool Cathedrals, Cross St United Reformed Church Manchester, St Bride's and Ullet Road Churches in Liverpool, for the Wigan Music Society and St Helens Sinfonietta, and for many other events and venues.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Piano Quintet
John was the pianist for the first-ever known recording of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Piano Quintet, realised from a copy of the original handwritten score by his colleague Martin Anthony Burrage, and performed, probably for the first time in living memory, by their chamber group, Ensemble Liverpool (then known as Live-A-Music) in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall at a public recital on 7 November 2001.

Contact emails: John Peace; Ensemble Liverpool; Elegant Music.

Read more about Ensemble Liverpool, Elegant Music and The Musicians.

www.ensembleliverpool.co.uk
www.elegantmusic.co.uk

Martin Anthony Burrage

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Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage Martin Anthony Burrage ('Tony') is a classically trained violinist, pianist, teacher and music animateur. After graduation from the Royal Academy of Music and the BBC Training Orchestra, in 1971 he joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he remains a proud member. Founder and Director of Ensemble Liverpool, Live-A-Music and Elegant Music, Tony is a keen chamber musician, especially committed to engaging audiences and to the work of black British composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor.

Martin Anthony Burrage LRAM, GRSM, ARAM, known to his friends and colleagues as 'Tony', is director of the Liverpool-based music groups Elegant Music, Ensemble Liverpool and Live-A-Music, which he founded in 1993. Live-A-Music (chronologically the first of this trio of flexibly instrumented ensembles) is a not-for-profit group dedicated to musical activities in the community, often in schools and other venues such as local churches and halls.

Chamber music and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Ensemble Liverpool arose later, from the work of Live-A-Music, and is a more formal group which performs full 'classical' recitals, again often in informal settings. Some of these recitals include music by composers such as Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, whose Piano Quintet Opus 1 Tony realised for performance in 2001 from a copy of the original handwritten full score which he had located after much enquiry in the library of the Royal College of Music, in London. This intention to establish Coleridge-Taylor's reputation is on-going.

The first-ever known recording of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Piano Quintet, using Tony's realisation of the original score, was made from a performance, probably also the first in living memory, by his chamber group Ensemble Liverpool (then known as Live-A-Music) in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall at a public recital on 7 November 2001. The artists for this concert were Andrew Berridge (violin), Martin Anthony Burrage (violin), Joanna Lacey (viola), Michael Parrott ('cello) and John Peace (piano).

Tony has also continued his work exploring the chamber music of lesser-known English speaking composers, e.g. in the 2002 Three Choirs Festival Fringe recitals entitled Across the Divide (music by Amy Beach, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, William Hurlstone, Dame Ethel Smyth and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford) and more recently as short interludes in HOTFOOT concert programmes. His interest in these musicians can be traced back to his study at the Academy of the Elgar Violin Concerto and his induction into orchestral life by that luminary of English music, Sir Charles Groves, who himself appointed Tony (then aged just 23) to his position in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Elegant Music, Tony's other group, is a micro-business with only fully professional performers, delivering high quality music for entertainment and relaxed enjoyment at social and corporate functions and other celebratory events.

Teaching and music in the community
Tony as worked with many youth music ensembles, including early experience as a Royal Academy of Music Junior Exhibitioners coach, and later as Senior String Tutor and Conductor of the Liverpool Youth Orchestra. In 1973 he attended the first Suzuki Violin Workshops in Britain, given by Dr Shinicki Suzuki himself.

Now, alongside his performing duties, a busy member of the RLPO Education and Participation team, Tony is the Phil's 'adopted musician' in a local Liverpool school. He has also worked for the Phil in a variety of community settings, including Sure Start, with very young children - one of whom, not having previously enountered many bearded men, decided he was Father Christmas...

Tony is also Director for HOPES: The Hope Street Association of the HOPES Festival Orchestra, which he founded and which, with his colleague Richard Gordon-Smith, he has developed to perform annually in the HOTFOOT on Hope Street concert in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.

Tony's involvement in working 'in the community' and with children stems back to his days in the 1960s as an undergraduate tutor for Junior Exhibitioners at the Royal Academy of Music, and even before then. He says:

I feel I can identify with some of the children I teach in Liverpool's inner-city schools.

At a time in my own childhood when my family's circumstances were extremely testing, my parents - neither of them with any musical training - made heroic efforts to ensure I had the opportunity to learn the violin and piano.

I grew up in the 1950s, in a Midlands new town post-war council estate, and I didn't go to the grammar school. But when I was about eleven a group of instrumentalists from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) came to play to us, and I knew immediately that being an orchestral musician was what I wanted to do. I can still remember telling my startled mother about this ambition, when I got home from school!

My musical education, until I reached my ultimate dream of the Royal Academy of Music, was thanks to the Worcestershire County Schools Music Service, Bromsgrove Technical College (to which I bicycled ten miles every weekday for two years) and the determination of my mother that I should have the instrumental lessons I so wanted.

I learned way back then from my own personal experience that classical music can be for everyone who is given the opportunity to enjoy it.

Married since they were both students in London, Tony and his wife Hilary have subsequently been active in the cultural life of Liverpool for many years. They have a daughter, Anna, who herself now lives with her own family in London.

Working with professional colleagues
Tony has a long-time interest in world music, and has performed regularly with jazz / crossover musicians such as Surinder Sandhu (with whom he and others formed the celebrated Saurang Orchestra) and with classical Indian vocalist Sumitra Guha.

Amongst his other music profession related roles, Tony has been Chair of the NW Region of the Musicians' Union; he has a strong on-going interest in the health of performing artists.

Tony has performed across the length and breadth of the UK - from London's South Bank and the Royal Albert Hall to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh - and also in many others of the world's great concert halls, including the Vienna Musikverein, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Dvorak and Smetana Halls in Prague, in most central and southern European capital city concert halls, and in major concert halls in the Far East.

Tony estimates that he has over his career so far spent about 90,000 hours playing the violin, and has been an artist in some 300 radio, TV, film, LP and CD recordings. His television appearances include many BBC Proms, as well as the Christmas 2007 BBC live broadcast of the Liverpool Nativity, in which Tony was an on-stage performer. Film credits, also in his violin playing role, include Hilary and Jackie (1998, with screen play Frank Cottrell Boyce - the tragic story of cellist Jacqueline du Pre, some of it filmed in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall) and the similarly acclaimed film, Chariots of Fire (1981, written by Colin Welland, about the true story of British athletes in the 1924 Olympics) for which the ballroom scene was shot in Liverpool Town Hall.

Tony's concert violin - a beautiful reddish varnished instrument, made in Paris in 1895 by H.C. Silvestre - has been his constant companion since college days. He studied the piano (joint first study with the violin) at the Royal Academy of Music with Joan Last, and his violin teachers over the years have included Molly Mack, Leonard Hirsch, Emanuel Hurwitz, Frederick Grinke, Peter Mountain and Leland Chen.

Tony's first string quartet, formed whilst at the BBC Training Orchestra in Bristol, was tutored by members of the Amadeus String Quartet.

In 2001 Tony was honoured to be made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, the first such award to be granted by the RAM for contributions to music in the community.


Contact emails: Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage; Ensemble Liverpool; Elegant Music; Live-A-Music.

Read more articles about The Music and about Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

www.martinanthonyburrage.com
www.ensembleliverpool.co.uk
www.elegantmusic.co.uk
www.liveamusic.co.uk

Tony Burrage (concert dress) May 2002.JPG Musicians and their instruments often have a very particular relationship, almost 'human' in some respects. Here is an example of a three-way arrangement which offers even those on the side-line, in this case the notoriously long-suffering 'orchestra wife', something uniquely special and positive.

Violinist Tony (Martin) Burrage & his Silvestre violin 170x158.jpgThe Strad dropped through our post box this morning, arriving on cue for our monthly up-date of All Things Violinistic (or, as they say of themselves, as the 'voice of the string music world since 1890').

The magazine (journal?) carried the usual range of articles about performing styles, who's the newest arrival on the block, current techniques for making instruments, the latest string recordings, and, in amongst the other inserts, a special poster of the exact dimensions of the Antonio Stradivari violin of 1721, the 'Kruse'. Hardly the stuff of general reading, this, but that kind of specialist detail has been the backdrop to my life for the past four decades or so. In other words, I'm married to a professional violinist.

Three's not always a crowd
There are no Stradivaris in our house, but there is a violin which has served very well for many years. It took some eighteen months to find - it had to 'speak' orchestrally and as a chamber instrument, whilst remaining within the stratosphere price-wise - and it caused us penury, but it's been a very constant companion.

Here is an almost ageless piece of 'equipment', already over a century old, which carries without doubt a fascinating history. (Anyone who saw the film The Red Violin, with such an impressively reflective performance by Joshua Bell of
John Corigliano's score, will want to know more... but we've been acquainted with this instrument - oddly, also red - only since the era of that very different cultural phenomenon, the age of Flower Power.)

A voice with a mind of its own
I've lost count of the number of violins which come and go in this household - tiny ('quarter' and 'half') ones for little beginner student violinists, tough relatively modern Mittenwald instruments for open air use, intriguing painted ones for amusement, most recently a genuine rock electric model - but 'the' violin remains aloof from these passing visitors, a trusted and constant companion to its owner, to his partner musicians and indeed to me.

This violin met its match in a beautiful bow, and it stays here, Elegant Music @ Heart & Soul (25.7.05) serenely assured of its incumbency. It has seen joy and sadness, comings together and partings, sickness and health. It has travelled the world and explored the local neighbourhoods.

A welcome guest
Often, I suspect, this instrument tells its owner more about inner thoughts and feelings than could any words.

In a very different way, the film Un Coeur en Hiver, with its haunting music from Ravel's Piano Trio, also explored the enigmas of this violinistic inner voice. For me too, though much more happily, our musical domestic 'trio' has offered a partnership which crosses from what can be articulated in normal ways to what cannot.

Inevitably, there are times when the violin takes first call - though I doubt any real examples of the stereotypically self-denying 'orchestra wife' now exist, not least because so many current players are women (and in any case, what orchestral salary supports a whole family?). When the music plays I go about my business contentedly alone, taking the distant musical role simply of involuntary audience whilst I work.
Ensemble Liverpool Nov 04 in the Lady Chapel, Liverpool Cathedral
But to know so well the relationship between an instrument, a player and that person's music - to have heard almost as though performing them wonderful works such as the Brahms' Quintet for Piano and Strings - is a gift well beyond any singular demands of this particular menage a trois.