Philippa Mo, violin
Harriet Mackenzie, violin
Philippa Mo and Harriet Mackenzie – violins
Sonata in B minor G P Telemann
Etude Caprice No 1 in G minor H Wieniawski
Sonata in G major W A Mozart
44 Duos – a selection B Bartok
Inventions J S Bach
Spielend John McCabe
(A fast, witty work written especially for Retorica)
Passacaglia G F Handel
arr. J Halvorsen
RETORICA is the combination of two virtuosi in the rarely-heard, simple pairing of two violins. Philippa and Harriet met at the Royal Academy of Music and have, as Retorica, performed in China, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, Italy, Sweden, Germany, the Channel Islands and, of course, in venues throughout the UK.
Their repertoire is wide. Their programme for this concert might well have included works by Sarasate, Moeran, Rawsthorne and numerous, currently active composers such as Gabriel Prokofiev, David Matthews, Robert Fokkens and Deborah Prichard, some of whom have produced works especially for them.
The duo have broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and are also looking forward to the premiere of an exciting new multi-media work written for them by Robert Fokkens and a duo with film by Wendy Hiscocks, both of which will be premiered in the International Mozart Festival, Johannesburg, in 2018.
PHILIPPA MO studied at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. She performs exclusively as a chamber musician whether in solo, duo, ensemble, or small orchestral appearances. Independently of the worldwide travel of Retorica, she has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square, the Deutsches Museum in Munich and the Natural History Museum in Ulaan Bataar. She will soon be heard in the Tate in St Ives, the Ankara International Music Festival and in the Lincoln Centre, New York.
As a champion of contemporary music, Philippa has given workshops in Beijing, Ankara and Kazakhstan as well as premiering and working closely on new works by Jim Aitchison, David Matthews, Errollyn Wallen as well as John McCabe, one of whose works features this evening.
Philippa was appointed Senior Lecturer in Violin at Leeds College of Music in 2015 – the same year in which she was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
She plays a violin by Julius Cesare Gigli from 1786.
HARRIET MACKENZIE is an internationally renowned concerto soloist who has performed across five continents and made critically acclaimed recordings for no fewer than five recording companies with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Nova, the English Symphony Orchestra and others.
Harriet's recording of the Wall of Water violin concerto, written for her by Deborah Prichard, was chosen by Guy Rickards of one of his three top recordings of 2015 in the Gramophone Magazine. Other composers have also written works specifically for her and she has been tireless in her promotion of new works as well as performing the standard repertoire whether in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall, the Budapest Marble Hall or the Purcell Room. She is fascinated by world music styles and she composes as well as arranging and improvising in many different styles.
In addition to solo work and her collaboration with Philippa Mo in Retorica, Harriet is a lover of chamber performance and plays with, among others, the Kosmos Ensemble, the Karolos Ensemble, the pianists Christopher Glynn, Peter Donohoe and Danny Driver as well as the guitarist Morgan Szymanski.
Harriet graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with First Class Honours, M.Mus and DipRAM. Like Philippa, she was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2015 – the year in which she was awarded the Richard Carne Fellowship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music.
You can find more at www.retorica.co.uk, www.facebook.com/retorica.duo, www.harrietmackenzie.com or www.facebook.com/harriet.mackenzie.9