Eliza McCarthy, piano
Eliza McCarthy was the winner of both top prizes at the prestigious British Contemporary Piano Competition 2013. It is the latest highlight in her career as a performer of 20th Century classical and experimental music, that began in her home city of Philadelphia.
She won a place at the Menuhin School, and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Ronan O’Hora. Here she had the opportunity to work with the drama department. She co-devised Think Only This of Me, a production combining text, movement and her own original music, with Head of Acting Christian Burgess, composer Julian Philips and actor Dinah Stabb. For the 2009/10 season she was selected as a Park Lane Group Young Artist, and has since worked
With among others George Crumb, James MacMillan, Judith Weir and John Adams. In 2012 she became pianist for acclaimed Birmingham-based contemporary music ensemble Decibel. And with them has worked with composers Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton, Laurence Crane and Heiner Goebbels. As a soloist, she has performed at such leading venues as the Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Vortex Jazz Club, King’s Place, Bishopsgate Institute, the Roundhouse, St. Martin in the Fields, Kettle’s Yard and Steinway Hall.
Eliza was instrumental in developing the highly successful Mindfulness Meditation pilot scheme at the Guildhall. She is currently training as a teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in order to help performers overcome problems with anxiety and depression.
By championing the new and experimental, Eliza is intent on pushing the boundaries of the concert experience and developing her audience through innovative, thought provoking programming. In the hands of a great performer, things you never expected or even dreamed were in your music are suddenly revealed.' – John Adams
Charlotte Ashton, flute
Eleanor Tinlin, oboe
Alexei Watkins, horn
Jonathan Davies, bassoon
Jordan Black, clarinet
Notus Winds comprises five musicians each holding full scholarships to the Royal Academy of Music. Twice finalists of the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition, they were the 2013 winners of the Elias Fawcett Award for Outstanding Chamber Music. They won the Nicholas Blake ensemble prize at RAM, and were successful in competing to go to São Paulo, Brazil for the Festival de Inverno in July 2013. Winning RAM's most prestigious competition, the Patrons Award, resulted in a recital at Wigmore Hall last June. Most recently, they performed Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Five Distances for the BBC Proms celebrating the composer's 80th birthday, broadcast on Radio 3.
Members of the quintet have trained on the LSO Academies and with the Britten-Pears Orchestra, and have worked professionally with orchestras and ensembles including the RPO, the Philharmonia, Gabrieli Consort, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, Welsh National Opera, London Winds and the London Sinfonietta.
They are also developing successful individual careers, having given solo performances at the Barbican, Purcell Room, Cadogan Hall, Colston Hall and Royal Albert Hall, and have appeared as soloists with the National Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Cardiff Sinfonietta and London Mozart Players, as well as the bassoonist and oboist performing alongside Maxim Vengerov in Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante at RAM.
Since forming, Notus have developed a passion for newer music and are keen to promote the lesser-known wind repertoire. They recently recorded and premiered their first commission, Crystal Eyes, by Bristol-based composer Jonathan Palmer.