Music Network Announces Young Musicwide 2009 Awardees

10 November 2009

Cappa Ensemble selected to participate in Music Network's unique professional development award programme

"Why can the playing of 25-year old Northern Irish pianist Michael McHale be as fluent and inspired as, say, Lang Lang, and yet we don't know him? Michael McHale remains the discovery of the evening: a magician who glides across the keys..."
Christiane Peitz, Der Tagesspiegel, August 2008

Music Network is delighted to announce that the Cappa Ensemble have been selected as awardees of Young Musicwide 2009, a professional development programme. Comprised of four prize-winning graduates from the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poland, The Cappa Ensemble are violinist Bartosz Woroch, viola player Adam Newman, Irish cellist Brian O'Kane and Belfast-born pianist Michael McHale. Developed in 2001 by Music Network, Young Musicwide provides an incentive for highly talented young Irish musicians to pursue a professional career and gives promoters nationwide access to the very best in young Irish talent. Auditions took place on 1st September and were open to outstanding ensembles with a proven interest in chamber music. Six short-listed ensembles performed for a panel that included pianist Finghin Collins, violinist Elizabeth Cooney, John Ryan co-principal French Horn player with the LSO and Deirdre McCrea CEO, Music Network.

A former string quartet, the Cappa Ensemble have enjoyed considerable success throughout the U.K. In July 2008, they evolved into a chamber ensemble with a focus on a combination of both string trio and piano quartet idioms. The ensemble has toured extensively in Australasia and Japan during which time they made their Suntory Hall debut in Tokyo performing Schubert's "Trout" Quintet and Bliss' Oboe Quintet. They performed at the Wigmore Hall and subsequently in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia in conjunction with Royal Over-Seas League Arts. They take their name from the famous 17th century Italian violin-maker Gioffredo Cappa, currently play on a variety of fine instruments which are kindly on loan from private sponsors, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and The Royal Academy of Music. They include a 1695 Cappa violin, a Ceruti viola c.1800 and a Vuillaume cello c.1840.

Born in 1984, Polish violinist Bartosz Woroch studied at the I.J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Pozna? before being awarded a Swiss Government Scholarship to study at the Hochschule der Kunste, Bern. He has attended numerous masterclasses given by renowned violinists such as Ruggiero Ricci, Igor Ozim, Adam Kostecki and Benjamin Schmid. Bartosz is quickly establishing himself as an inspiring soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. From 2007 to 2008, Bartosz held the concertmaster chair of the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra and as soloist, Bartosz has appeared with the Cz?stochowa Philharmonic, Pozna? Philharmonic, Silesian Philharmonic, the Bern Symphony Orchestra and the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra. A keen chamber musician, Bartosz has performed at the Barbican and the Wigmore Hall, London. Bartosz has been awarded a Polish Minister of Culture Scholarship three times in appreciation of his numerous international awards at competitions such as the Michael Hill, Pablo Sarasate and Takasaki International violin competitions.

Born in 1984, Adam Newman graduated with first class honours from the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Philip Dukes and Gyorgy Pauk. He also studied in the class of Tatjana Masurenko at the Hochshule fur Music in Leipzig. Adam regularly attends the Verbier Music Festival and the London Masterclasses where he has studied with renowned violists such as Tabea Zimmerman, Bruno Giurana, Nobuko Imai and Lawrence Power. During his time at the Academy, he had considerable success in both competitions and recitals. They included a Sir John Barbirolli Foundation Award towards the purchase of a new bow and the Duchess of Cornwall / English Chamber Music Award. He was also a recent finalist at the Windsor International String Competition where he was awarded the Bishops Instruments and Bows Prize. Adam enjoys working with the London Steve Reich Ensemble (who recently recorded for the CPO label in Zurich, Switzerland), the English Chamber Orchestra, the Razumovsky Ensemble, the London Conchord Ensemble and the Aronowitz Ensemble.

Born in 1985, Irish cellist Brian O'Kane is quickly emerging as a musician of outstanding promise. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, he was awarded the Jacqueline Du Pre Scholarship to continue his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Brian has also studied at the International Musicians Seminar with renowned musicians such as Ralph Kirshbaum, Gabor Takacs-Nagy and Steven Isserlis.

As winner of the 2007 Accenture Bursary Award and the Camerata Ireland Young Musician of the Year Award, Brian performed as soloist with Camerata Ireland in Dublin's National Concert Hall under Barry Douglas and with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Highgrove. Brian came to prominence by taking first prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition and subsequently performed Elgar's cello concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy.

An avid chamber musician, Brian has toured extensively throughout the Far East, Australasia and Europe. He has collaborated with artists such as the Vanbrugh Quartet, Michael Collins, Anthony Marwood and Barry Douglas and performs regularly with the pianist Alasdair Beatson. Brian has appeared at many festivals and concert halls throughout the U.K and Ireland including the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and Series, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, St. Martin in the Fields, Wigmore Hall, St. John's Smith Square and the Barbican.

Belfast-born pianist Michael McHale was winner of the 2009 Terence Judd/Halle Award and has established himself as one of the leading Irish pianists of his generation. He enjoys a busy career as solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician and has performed throughout the UK and Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary and USA, including broadcast performances for BBC TV, Radio 3, RTE, WNYC Radio, PBS television and Deutschlandradio Kultur. Michael graduated from Cambridge University with a double first-class honours degree in Music before completing postgraduate studies with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He won the 2004 Camerata Ireland Musician of the Year and the Brennan and Field Prizes at the 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition prior to his success at the Terence Judd/Halle Award finals in February 2009.

Highlights include solo performances at the Tanglewood Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus and Vigado Hall, Budapest and chamber music collaborations with Patricia Rozario, Barry Douglas and Richard Watkins. This season Michael will give concerto performances with the Ulster, Halle, and RTE Concert Orchestras and the London Mozart Players, duo recital tours with Michael Collins (UK) and Sir James Galway (UK and Far East) and a solo tour culminating in a debut evening recital at the Wigmore Hall (June 2010) for which he has commissioned a new work from Irish composer Ian Wilson. Recent CD releases include a disc for the Louth Contemporary Music Society featuring solo works by John Cage and Arvo Part as well as chamber works by Silvestrov, Knaifel and Grecki (which received unanimous critical acclaim from BBC Music magazine, International Record Review and Gramophone magazine), as well as an album of piano trios with Ensemble Avalon on the RTE lyric fm label, which was chosen as 'selection of the month' in The Strad magazine. Upcoming recordings include a disc of clarinet and piano works with Michael Collins for Chandos.

Young Musicwide is a professional development programme created by Music Network in 2001. Each year, a selected group of Ireland's brightest young musicians are awarded a place on the programme to assist them at the beginning of their professional career. Previous recipients of the award include the Callino Quartet (2001); voice and piano duo Ailish Tynan and Deborah Kelleher (2002); clarinetist Carol McGonnell (2003); Organics jazz trio (2004); traditional Irish group Slide (2005), piano, cello and violin trio The Syrius Trio (2006) and harp, flute and viola trio, Triocca (2006), jazz quartet Trihornophone (2007) and fiddle trio Fidil (2008).