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Piano Collection
Various composers

Alessio Bax / Jill Crossland / Jeremy Filsell / John Lill / James Rhodes / Llyr Williams / Ana-Marie Vera

Piano Collection

Price: € 19.95 13.97
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212030523
Catnr: SIGCD 305
Release date: 01 October 2012
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19.95 13.97
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212030523
Catalogue number
SIGCD 305
Release date
01 October 2012
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the first release from the leading independent classical label Signum Records. Beginning life as an early music specialist (with a landmark release of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis with Chapelle du Roi), Signum has grown since 1997 to a catalogue of over 300 releases across a wide range of genres.

The piano collection collects performances from John Lill, James Rhodes, Jill Crossland, Jeremy Filsell, Alessio Bax, Llyr Williams and Ana-Maria Vera.

Artist(s)

Alessio Bax (piano)

Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van...
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Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face

on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden.

Since 2017, he has been the Artistic Director of the Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival, a Summer Music Festival in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. He appears regularly in festivals such as Seattle, Bravo Vail, Salon-de-Provence, Le Pont in Japan, Great Lakes, Verbier, Ravinia, and Music@Menlo.

Bax constantly explores many facets of his career. He released his eleventh Signum Classics album, Italian Inspirations, whose program was also the vehicle for his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y as well as on tour. He has also toured Spain with violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Steven Isserlis. Bax and his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, gave recitals at New York’s Lincoln Center and were featured with the St. Louis Symphony and Stéphane Denève. He has also presented the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano with cellist Paul Watkins in New York City. Further highlights of previous seasons were his debuts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra Belfast, Polish Baltic Philharmonic Gdansk and his return for the fourth time for two recitals at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires festival as well as return appearances at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival with the Dallas Symphony and Fabio Luisi conducting.

Bax revisited Mozart’s K. 491 and K. 595 concertos, as heard on the recording Alessio Bax Plays Mozart, for debuts with the Boston and Melbourne Symphonies, both with Sir Andrew Davis, and with the Sydney Symphony, which he led from the keyboard. Other highlights include his Auckland Philharmonia debut, concerts in

Israel, a Japanese tour featuring dates with the Tokyo Symphony and a high-profile U.S. tour with Berlin Philharmonic principal flautist Emmanuel Pahud. Previous seasons also saw Bax make his solo recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, which aired live on BBC Radio 3, and gave concerts at L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

He was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists.

Bax’s celebrated Signum Classics discography includes Beethoven’s Hammerklavier and Moonlight Sonatas (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, recorded with London’s Southbank Sinfonia; Alessio Bax: Scriabin & Mussorgsky (named “Recording of the Month ... and quite possibly ... of the year” by MusicWeb International); Alessio Bax plays Brahms (a Gramophone “Critics’ Choice”); Bach Transcribed and Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice 2011”). Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone

“Editor’s Choice.” He performed Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata for Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available on DVD from EMI.

At age 14, Bax graduated with top honours from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He was invited to join the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory in 2019.


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James Rhodes (piano)

James Rhodes has no formal academic musical education or dedicated mentoring. The title of the debut album “Razor Blades Little Pills and Big Pianos”, hints at the suffering that dogged Rhodes’s childhood and early adult life. Classical music became his solace and key to his survival. It was Bach, Beethoven and Chopin, not Faith Hope and Charity, that offered comfort. In 1993, mental health issues stopped him taking up a scholarship to the Guildhall. A chance meeting, 10 years later, with Franco Panozzo, agent to Russian concert pianist virtuoso, Grigori Sokolov. Panozzo arranged for James to have a brief tutorage by the renowned piano teacher Edoardo Strabbioli in Verona Italy. Suffering further setbacks due to health issues it was not until 2008, when Rhodes met his...
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James Rhodes has no formal academic musical education or dedicated mentoring. The title of the debut album “Razor Blades Little Pills and Big Pianos”, hints at the suffering that dogged Rhodes’s childhood and early adult life. Classical music became his solace and key to his survival. It was Bach, Beethoven and Chopin, not Faith Hope and Charity, that offered comfort.

In 1993, mental health issues stopped him taking up a scholarship to the Guildhall. A chance meeting, 10 years later, with Franco Panozzo, agent to Russian concert pianist virtuoso, Grigori Sokolov. Panozzo arranged for James to have a brief tutorage by the renowned piano teacher Edoardo Strabbioli in Verona Italy.

Suffering further setbacks due to health issues it was not until 2008, when Rhodes met his present manager, Denis Blais, that he was encouraged to record his first CD. This enabled him to bare his soul and put many of the ghosts of the past to rest.

With Blais, Rhodes also created a distinctive and unique approach to how the classical piano repertoire should be presented. Uncomfortable with the austere and traditional ‘white tie and tails’ recital they decided it was time for the performer to communicate directly with the audience. Rhodes was going to introduce his own programme notes and share what it takes to perform these works of art using fascinating anecdotes about the composers and his own life experience. Delivered in his unique trademark stand-up style he creates an immersive experience that has won him and classical music a dedicated new following.

2008/2009 saw his profile go from complete unknown to rising star, attracting celebrity followers such as Stephen Fry, Derren Brown and Sir David Tang. Having performed in non-traditional classical venues such as the 100 Club, the Tabernacle and Proud Galleries, James built on this new revolutionary performance approach. The pinnacle performance being at London’s historical Roundhouse where he was the first classical pianist to perform since it’s reopening. His debut CD Razor Blades Little Pills and Big Pianos also went to number one on the iTunes chart.

In October 2009 James appeared in his first documentary on BBC Four’s CHOPIN: THE WOMEN BEHIND THE MUSIC. He also released his second album “Will all Freudians please stand aside”, which also made it to No1 on the iTunes chart.

In March 2010, Rhodes became the first core classical pianist to be signed to the world’s largest rock label Warner Bros Records. His 1st album with Warner Bros, “Bullets & Lullabies” became his 3rd No1 iTunes album. That summer he was also the first solo classical pianist to play the Latitude Festival sharing stages with international stars such as Florence the Machine and The National.

Within three years of his debut, James presented and performed in his very own television series JAMES RHODES: PIANO MAN on Sky Arts which first aired in December 2010 – January 2011.

In September 2011 he performed alongside Stephen Fry in A CLASSICAL AFFAIR at the Barbican Centre. Then in October 2011 James performed an 11 date tour of Australia which kicked off at the Melbourne Festival to a sell out audience.

Returning back to his original label Signum Classics, Rhodes released his 4th album “JIMMY: James Rhodes recorded live at The Old Market Brighton” in May 2012.

In September 2012 he has his debut performance in the US at the International Beethoven Festival in Chicago.

2013, James performed in Hong Kong, Vienna, the Barber Institute in Birmingham, Royal Albert Hall, Cheltenham Music Festival, Waterfront stage at Latitude Festival and a series at Soho Theatre in London. He also presented and performed in the acclaimed television documentary NOTES FROM THE INSIDE which aired in August 2013 on Channel 4 in the UK.

2014 was a very busy year for James, releasing his 5th studio album “Five” in the summer and launching his new label, Instrumental Records. A live in concert DVD, “Love In London”, recorded at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End was also released this year.

James filmed a new series for Channel 4 called DON’T STOP THE MUSIC that aired in September 2015 in the UK. James is passionate about the power of music to change lives and is shocked at the state of music education in the UK. This two-part documentary followed James’ attempt to give schoolchildren the chance to learn a musical instrument by calling for an ‘instrument amnesty’ – a mission to collect unused musical instruments from around the country. James’ campaign managed to provide schools all over the UK with over £1million worth of instruments.

James also presented and performed in Channel 4’s PIANO NIGHT, interviewing celebrities including Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Rusbridger and Derren Brown at the piano.

His Sunday Times and international bestselling memoir, Instrumental, published by Canongate is a brutally honest, moving and compelling story that was almost banned until the Supreme Court unanimously overthrew an injunction in May 2015.

Instrumental recently reached No. 1 in Spain on the ABC non-fiction list. His SoundCloud and YouTube channels have had over 10,000,000 views, and he has over 500,000 listeners per month on Spotify.

In 2016 James headlined some of the most important festivals in Spain, including Sonar by Day (Barcelona), Festival de Verano de San Lorenzo (El Escorial Madrid) and Veranos de la Villa (Madrid). He will also embark on tours to Germany, Italy and South Africa later in 2016.

James has also signed a new two-book deal with Quercus/ Hachette Publishers. The first book was published October 2016, entitled How to Play the Piano. The second, Fire on All Sides, was published in November 2017 and was an instant bestseller. He released his 7th CD, under the same name, also at this time. The CD went straight to Number 1 position on the iTunes classical charts.

In 2017, James had many concert highlights which included sell-out performances at the Teatro Real Madrid, Palau de la Musica Barcelona, and Europe’s most celebrated new performing arts centre the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. James also participated and performed at international book festivals in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. James ended his Latin American tour with a performance at the National Sawdust Theatre in New York.

James started 2018 with a string of concerts across Spain and Portugal. He also started to appear regularly has a guest/ co-host on Spain’s Cadena SER Radio and the massively popular late time television chat show Late Motif.

This summer James penned an open letter to the President of Spain, demanding his government do more to address a much needed change in the legislature on Child Protection. As a result of this letter and with the support of Save The Children Spain, President Sanchez of Spain has initiated the amendment required to protect more effectively the wellbeing and safekeeping of our children. James hopes that the Spanish amendments will create a template for other governments around the globe to emulate.


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Llŷr Williams (piano)

“To my ears, Llŷr Williams is one of the great pianists of our age.” John Gilhooly, CBE. Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. He has performed with all the major UK orchestras under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Jiří Bělohlávek, Carlo Rizzi, Vasily Petrenko, Jaime Martín, Osmo Vanska , Joseph Swensen, Grant Llewellyn and Jac Van Steen, and he has a particularly longstanding relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has in recent seasons performed concertos ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Bartók and Mathias. As a recitalist, Llŷr Williams regularly performs at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Perth Concert Hall, the St David’s and Dora Stoutzker Halls...
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“To my ears, Llŷr Williams is one of the great pianists of our age.” John Gilhooly, CBE.
Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. He has performed with all the major UK orchestras under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Jiří Bělohlávek, Carlo Rizzi, Vasily Petrenko, Jaime Martín, Osmo Vanska , Joseph Swensen, Grant Llewellyn and Jac Van Steen, and he has a particularly longstanding relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has in recent seasons performed concertos ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Bartók and Mathias.
As a recitalist, Llŷr Williams regularly performs at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Perth Concert Hall, the St David’s and Dora Stoutzker Halls in Cardiff, and the Edinburgh and East Neuk Festivals in the UK, Salle Bourgie in Montreal and the Capital Region Classical series in Schenectady, USA. He has a long association with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he has, among others, given multi-recital cycles of the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin. As a chamber musician he has performed with artists including Bryn Terfel, Natalie Clein, Tim Hugh, Katarina Nazarova, Jamie Barton and Andrei Kymach. His particular interest in song repertoire is reflected in his 20-year association as one of the two official pianists of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
Llŷr Williams’ long and successful collaboration with Signum Records includes the 8-disc box-set ‘A Schubert Journey’ (2020), the 12-volume ‘Beethoven Unbound’ (2018), a ‘Wagner Without Words’ double album (2014) and highlights from Liszt’s ‘Années de pèlerinage‘ (2012).
A former BBC New Generation Artist and Borletti-Buitoni Trust award recipient, Llŷr Williams was born in Pentrebychan, North Wales, and read music at The Queen’s College, Oxford before taking up a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and in 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wales. He is also currently Artist-in-Association at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, a patron of the Gower Festival, and Associate Artist at the Cowbridge Festival.


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Jeremy Filsell (piano)

Jeremy Filsell enjoys a concert career as one of only a few virtuoso performers on both the Piano and the Organ. He has performed as a solo pianist in Russia, the USA and throughout the UK and has appeared regularly at St John’s Smith Square and the Conway and Wigmore Halls in London. His Concerto repertoire encompasses Mozart and Beethoven through to Rachmaninov (2nd and 3rd Concertos), Shostakovich and John Ireland and in recent years, he has recorded the solo piano music of Carl Johann Eschmann, Eugene Goossens and the two Sonatas of Liszt’s pupil Julius Reubke. In the piano music of Herbert Howells and Bernard Stevens, Classic CD magazine commented that “he does not attract for his virtuosity but...
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Jeremy Filsell enjoys a concert career as one of only a few virtuoso performers on both the Piano and the Organ. He has performed as a solo pianist in Russia, the USA and throughout the UK and has appeared regularly at St John’s Smith Square and the Conway and Wigmore Halls in London. His Concerto repertoire encompasses Mozart and Beethoven through to Rachmaninov (2nd and 3rd Concertos), Shostakovich and John Ireland and in recent years, he has recorded the solo piano music of Carl Johann Eschmann, Eugene Goossens and the two Sonatas of Liszt’s pupil Julius Reubke. In the piano music of Herbert Howells and Bernard Stevens, Classic CD magazine commented that “he does not attract for his virtuosity but for his ability to make the music unfold with irresistible logic and clarity: music-making of the highest calibre.” He is pianist with the London-based Burghersh Piano Trio and performs regularly with Oliver Lewis (Violin), with whom he has recorded discs of Elgar, Ireland, Ferguson and Goossens for Guild. With Michael Bundy (Baritone), two discs of Mélodies by Widor, Vierne and Dupré are due for release by Naxos.
Jeremy Filsell has recorded for BBC Radio 3, USA and Scandinavian radio networks in solo and concerto roles as both a pianist and organist and, as an organist specifically, has a discography comprising over 20 solo recordings for labels Signum, Guild, Gamut, Herald and ASV. Gramophone magazine, writing on the series of 12 CDs comprising the premiere recordings of Marcel Dupré’s complete organ works for Guild in 2000, praised his performance as “one of the greatest achievements in organ recording…Filsell’s astonishing interpretative and technical skills make for compulsive listening … truly distinguished, compelling and unquestionably authoritative performances; Filsell has phenomenal technique.” In 2005, Signum released a 3-disc set on the famous 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Ouen Rouen of the complete organ symphonies of Louis Vierne. These were BBC Radio 3’s Disc of the Week in September of that year.
Jeremy studied as a music scholar at Oxford University, then as a post-graduate pianist under David Parkhouse and Hilary McNamara at the Royal College of Music before completing a PhD at Birmingham Conservatoire researching aesthetic and interpretative issues in the organ music of Marcel Dupré. Over the course of his career, he has taught piano, organ and academic studies at Cranleigh, Eton and the London Oratory School, given masterclasses at universities and summer schools in both the UK and USA, served twice on international competition juries and, until recently, held lectureships at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and London’s Royal Academy of Music. He lives currently in the USA and is Principal Organist at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., one of the largest churches in the world and the flagship Catholic Church in North America.

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John Lill (piano)

Jill Crossland (piano)

Jill Crossland studied at Chethams School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music with Ryszard Bakst, and in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda and Sally Sargent. She performed the complete Well-tempered Clavier from memory as a student in Manchester and has always been closely associated with the work. Jill pursues an active concert and recording career in the UK and abroad, including regular appearances at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank in London. She is particularly known for her performances of 18th-century music. Jill has also played at Bridgewater Hall, Fairfield and Blackheath Halls, St George’s Bristol, the Sage Gateshead, National Concert Hall Dublin, Vienna Musikverein, Vienna Konzerthaus and Leipzig Gewandhaus and numerous performances for festivals and other venues....
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Jill Crossland studied at Chethams School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music with Ryszard Bakst, and in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda and Sally Sargent. She performed the complete Well-tempered Clavier from memory as a student in Manchester and has always been closely associated with the work. Jill pursues an active concert and recording career in the UK and abroad, including regular appearances at the Wigmore Hall and South Bank in London. She is particularly known for her performances of 18th-century music. Jill has also played at Bridgewater Hall, Fairfield and Blackheath Halls, St George’s Bristol, the Sage Gateshead, National Concert Hall Dublin, Vienna Musikverein, Vienna Konzerthaus and Leipzig Gewandhaus and numerous performances for festivals and other venues. Jill has been a member of the Musicians in Residence scheme, supported by funding from Arts Council England. She also participates in audience development projects in her native Yorkshire and the surrounding region.
Bach’s complete Well-tempered Clavier is also available on Signum; it has been described as ‘polished and compelling’ by International Record Review, and as ‘mesmerizing’ by Fanfare magazine. Jill has made other recordings of works by Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Rameau, Mozart and Beethoven, including Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Among many critical plaudits: ‘She well deserves her enviable reputation as a Bach pianist.’ (BBC Music Magazine) and has been called ‘a highly individual [Bach] player’ and a ‘natural Mozartean’ (Penguin Guide to CDs), her playing described as having ‘intensity and real pathos’ (International Record Review), and her Beethoven as ‘delightful’ and ‘magnetic’ by turns (American Record Guide). Jill has appeared on radio and television, including performing on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and on RTE’s Late Late Show. She has also recorded a number of film and TV soundtracks, including work for the BFI and ITV. Jill’s recordings have also featured in the Classic FM Hall of Fame.

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