The Two Cellos of Jacqueline Phillips & Nicola Tait
Venue: LMC - Leatherhead Methodist Church please use the town's Swan Centre multi-storey or Church Street/Waitrose car parks, about 5-7 minutes walk from LMC in Church Road
Season Sponsor: Julie West Solicitor
Supported by: Leatherhead Concert & Arts Society
Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) Sonata for Two Cellos in G minor Op 2 No 8 HWV 393 (probably c1719)
Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) from the opera La Bohème (1897) Che Gelida Manina What a cold little hand
Georges Bizet (1838-1875) from the opera Carmen (1873-74) Toreador Song
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) Grand duo concertant pour deux violoncelles Op 34 No 1 Allegro moderato Andante Allegretto non tropo
Ros Stephen from Cello Globetrotters Dancing in Odessa Cairo Cradle Song
Edward Tait (b 2006) premiere of: The Night Mail for two cellos
Free Concert, with a retiring collection to cover costs. Tea and coffee will be available after the concert.
Nicola Tait, cello
NICOLA TAIT (née Baxter) studied the ‘cello with Florence Hooton and Lionel Handy at the Royal Academy of Music, where she won prizes for solo and chamber music. Further studies and a Martin Musical Scholarship took her to Germany with Johannes Goritzki, Vienna with Arto Noras and William Pleeth in London.
At the age of 24 she gave her first broadcast on Radio 3 as part of the Young Artists’ Forum series and also joined the Academy of St Martin in the Fields as a regular player. She also joined Menuhin’s Live Music Now scheme, giving duo recitals throughout the UK. She has worked regularly with the Philharmonia, City of London Sinfonia and the London Symphony Orchestra; from 2001 to 2005 she was ‘cellist of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, with whom she performed and gave masterclasses throughout Europe, Russia, North America and South Africa.
Her solo repertoire includes any of the major ‘cello concertos; she has performed the six solo suites by Bach in festivals in Scotland, England and Germany and has also appeared as a soloist in Switzerland and the USA.
Nicola is often invited to join other ensembles for chamber music performances and teaches at Merchant Taylors’ School. She has performed and recorded with a variety of other popular artists including Bryan McFadden, Paul McCartney and Jools Holland. She lives in Amersham with her husband and three musical boys!
Jacqueline Phillips, cello
A brilliant ‘cellist from an early age, Jacqueline Phillips studied with legendary teachers including William Pleeth, Amaryllis Fleming, Aldo Perisot (at Canada's Banff Centre of Arts), Joan Dickson and has emerged as an extraordinarily versatile and well-rounded musician; undoubtedly one of the finest British ‘cellists of her generation, with a career that has taken her round the world.
Besides performances throughout London (with concerto appearances at the South Bank Centre) she has toured Russia, America, Canada, the Far East, Italy, France, Spain and Norway as a solo 'cellist including a trip to Italy to win the Rovera D’ore International competition in Genoa.
Back in England, she is in much demand as a free-lance chamber and orchestral musician, guest leading the Irish Chamber Orchestra, guest sub-principal of BBC Phil and guest co- leading the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Concert Orchestra, touring America with them as sub-principal.
The combination of a fearsome, phenomenally honed technique and an enquiring open-minded musical sensibility means she is as happy performing showy tunes as she is playing a Shostakovich Sonata. Over the last few years she has been working extensively with the highly acclaimed Marianne Olyver Gypsy Orchestra, notably Jacqueline’s breathtaking performance of Popper’s famous Hungarian Rhapsody, that is on their latest CD.
Jacqueline founded her own group, the Brook Ensemble. This special ensemble is the first small group to have continually given a portion of its fees to cancer charities, most recently Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Recently, in her efforts to push the boundaries of cello technique, Jacqueline has specialised in adapting known violin virtuoso solos. Performances include Saint-Saens Rondo Capriccioso and other violin virtuoso concert pieces ! And she continues with a schedule of performances in symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles around the country.
In 2016 Jacqueline accepted the challenge to perform all six of the Bach Cello Suites during three well-received lunchtime concerts in Leatherhead.
Jacqueline is currently on trial as sub-principal cellist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and in October 2017 began a concert hall tour with Marc Almond's Shadows & Reflections Tour, opening at London's Royal Festival Hall.
Edward Tait, composer
Edward Tait is one of the three boys referred to in Nicola Tait's biography above. Edward is a pupil of the Purcell School where his studies include composition and piano. He is also a pupil of another of our regular cellists, Julian Metzger.
The Leatherhead audience were very impressed with The Night Mail and pleased to be graced with its premiere. They were delighted too for both Edward and Nicola that, with Jacqueline, a friend of some 27 years, Nicola could play a work written by her own son. Edward Tait has an exciting musical future ahead of him.
Concert at Home
If you cannot be with us at the lunchtime concert why not enjoy a similar Concert at Home by clicking through the videos and buttons below:
Jacqueline Phillips and Nicola Tait begin their concert with Handel's Sonata for Two Cellos in G minor Opus 2 No 8. The cellists in this recording are Amit Peled and his student Andrea Casarrubios. The pianist is Hui-Chuan Chen.
Their next piece is Leoncavallo's famous Che gelida manina, from the opera La Bohème. Here is an orchestral version:
The first three minutes of this next video area string arrangement of Bizet's Toreador Song from Carmen. After that the video goes silent. Maybe you can work out what the Kurdistan String Quartet are playing.
Offenbach's Grand Duo Concertant for Two Cellos is next, performed here by Petr Kondrashin and Arseny Beznosikov:
We have reached the final two pieces in today's concert, both are tutorial pieces by Ros Stephen, from her collection Violin (or Cello) Globetrotters. First here is the klezmer-inspired Dancing in Odessa, as a violin duo on the left, and with the Globetrotters Band on the right.
Finally, here is Stoppin' off in Louisiana, as a Grade 1 violin & piano duo in the left, (the pupil is 16-year old Delia Fatimazahra), and with the Globetrotters Band again on the right.