New Horizons 2024/25
Meet the Soloists

Sunday 6th October 2024 at 3pm

Dvořák Cello Concerto

Ortiz – Kauyumari
Dvořák – Cello Concerto
Brahms – Symphony No.2

Lydia Shelley cello

Lydia Shelley, a British cellist residing in France since 2012, has made her mark in the world of music as a member of the Quatuor Voce, which she joined in 2013. With the Quatuor Voce, Lydia has had the pleasure of performing on international stages such as the Philharmonie de Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Recognised as one of the world’s finest ensembles, their numerous recordings have been acclaimed by the international press. The Quatuor Voce also served as Ensemble in Residence at the Haute École de Musique de Genève from 2021 to 2024… [read more]

A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal College of Music, Lydia Shelley began her career with renowned orchestras such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, as well as with the Finzi Quartet (2002-2012).

Passionate about chamber music, Lydia is sought after for diverse projects, including recordings with the chamber orchestra Les Forces Majeures and collaborating with singer Benjamin Alunni on the project Confluences.

In 2023, Lydia left the Quatuor Voce to explore new artistic horizons and develop her personal projects. The 2023-2024 season saw her collaborating with the renowned cellist Gary Hoffman on a unique project based on Bach’s Suites for solo cello, exploring the connections between solitude and sharing through these masterworks. For this project, Lydia commissioned French composer Graciane Finzi to create three duos for two cellos, each mirroring two Bach suites. The world premiere of these duos will take place at the Festival d’Été de Venosc in July 2024, as well as sharing the complete Bach Suites with Gary Hoffman. The project will also travel to Scotland for the inaugural Arran International Festival of Chamber Music and Song in August 2024. This season, Lydia continues her collaboration with jazz trumpeter David Enhco on his project Family Tree, with concerts in France and Germany.

The 2024-2025 season sees her perform as soloist with the Bardi Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra da Camera, and the Stamford Chamber Orchestra, interpreting concertos by Dvorak, Elgar and Saint-Saëns in the UK.

Sunday 1st December 2024 at 3pm

100 Years of Rhapsody in Blue

Sibelius – Symphony No.7
Ravel – Bolero
Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
Respighi – Pines of Rome

Tom Poster piano

Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music)… [read more]

During the 2020 lockdown, his #UriPosteJukebox series with Elena Urioste – featuring Tom as pianist, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, writer, backing dancer and snowman – brought a staggeringly diverse selection of music to audiences across the world through 88 daily online performances, for which the duo won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Inspiration Award. Their subsequent recording, The Jukebox Album, received glowing reviews and a BBC Music Magazine Award nomination.

​Tom is co-founder and artistic director of Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, appointed Associate Ensemble at Wigmore Hall in 2020. With a flexible line-up featuring many of today’s most inspirational musicians, and an ardent commitment to diversity through its creative programming, Kaleidoscope broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has recently enjoyed residencies at the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Ischia festivals. Its debut album for Chandos Records, American Quintets, was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, and immediately led to an invitation to record a series of albums for the label.

He has performed over forty concertos from Mozart to Ligeti with Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, China National Symphony, Hallé, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier, or sometimes directing from the piano. He has premiered solo, chamber and concertante works by many leading composers, made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms, and his exceptional versatility has put him in great demand at festivals internationally.

​Tom has recorded albums for BIS, Champs Hill, Chandos, Decca, Orchid and Warner Classics, appearing as soloist and in collaboration with Elena Urioste, Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston, the Aronowitz Ensemble, Aurora Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and London Symphony Orchestra. He regularly features as soloist on film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated score for The Theory of Everything. He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007 and the keyboard section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 2000.

​Tom’s compositions and arrangements have been commissioned, performed and recorded by Alison Balsom, Matthew Rose, Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott. His chamber opera for puppets, The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, received an acclaimed three-week run at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2017. He is a lifelong fan of animals with unusual noses.

Sunday 23rd March 2025 at 3pm

Isata Kanneh-Mason plays Rachmaninov

Glinka – Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture
Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No.3
Borodin – Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
Stravinsky – The Firebird 1919 suite

Isata Kanneh-Mason piano

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is in great demand internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. She offers eclectic and interesting repertoire with recital programmes encompassing music from Haydn and Mozart via Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, Chopin and Brahms to Gershwin and beyond. In concerto, she is equally at home in Felix Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann (with which she opens this year’s BBC Proms) as in Prokofiev and Dohnányi… [read more]

Highlights of the 23/24 season include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on tour in the USA and Germany, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and Stockholm Philharmonic.  With her cellist brother, Sheku, she appears in recital in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea in addition to an extensive European recital tour. Isata also gives a series of solo recitals on tour in the USA and Canada as well as at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Lucerne Festival, and across Germany.

In 2022/23 Isata made successful debuts at the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore halls in London, the Philharmonie Berlin, National Concert Hall Dublin, Perth Concert Hall and Prinzregententheater Munich. As concerto soloist, she appeared with orchestras such as the New World Symphony Miami, City of Birmingham Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Geneva Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic and was the Artist in Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Isata is a Decca Classics recording artist. Her 2019 album, Romance – the Piano Music of Clara Schumann, entered the UK classical charts at No. 1, Gramophone magazine extolling the recording as “one of the most charming and engaging debuts”. This was followed by 2021’s Summertime, featuring 20th-century American repertoire including a world premiere recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Impromptu in B minor and 2023’s endearingly titled album Childhood Tales is a tour-de-force showcase of music inspired by a nostalgia for youth.

2021 also saw the release of Isata’s first duo album, Muse, with her brother Sheku Kanneh-Mason, demonstrating the siblings’ musical empathy and rapport borne from years of playing and performing together. Isata and Sheku were selected to perform in recital during the 2020 BBC Proms, which was a vastly reduced festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they performed for cameras to an empty auditorium. 2023 saw her BBC Proms solo debut, this time to a fully open Royal Albert Hall, alongside Ryan Bancroft and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Isata was an ECHO Rising Star in 21/22 performing in many of Europe’s finest halls and she is also the recipient of the coveted Leonard Bernstein Award, an Opus Klassik award for best young artist and is one of the Konzerthaus Dortmund’s Junge Wilde artists.

Sun 18th May 2025 at 3pm

The Planets

Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto
Holst – The Planets suite

De Montfort Hall, Leicester

Fenella Humphreys violin

Fenella Humphreys, winner of the 2023 BBC Music Magazine Premiere Recording Award, has attracted critical admiration and audience acclaim with the grace and intensity of her remarkable performances. With her playing described in the press as “alluring”, “unforgettable” and “a wonder”, Fenella is one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists, having also won the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award. She enjoys a busy career combining chamber music with solo work, performing in the most prestigious venues around the world and is frequently broadcast on the BBC, Classic FM, Scala Radio and international radio stations… [read more]

Fenella performs widely as a soloist. Her recent album of Sibelius’ solo works with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and George Vass has been featured in BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library, Gramophone Magazine’s Guide to the Concerto, and was Album of the Week on Scala Radio. BBC Music Magazine has written of the recording: “it takes an unusually fine artist to be able to bridge the two extremes. Fenella Humphreys’s playing is a genuine revelation in the way it brings out the music’s dark and introspective qualities, with no shortage of technical panache meanwhile.”

Over the past decade, Fenella has captured international attention by applying spellbinding virtuosity to a strikingly broad range of compositions. Her Bach 2 the Future albums – the second of which won the coveted BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award – combined newly commissioned works with two of Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas and other repertoire landmarks. In 2022, Fenella returned to unaccompanied music with ‘Caprices’- the 2023 BBC Music Magazine Award winner – released on Rubicon Classics.

Fenella’s forthcoming recording on Rubicon, Prism, will again focus on unaccompanied violin works – from new works written by young British composers to iconic recent works by Caroline Shaw, Jessie Montgomery and George Walker, with Fenella’s new arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue BWV565 at its heart.

Fenella has given the first performances of scores by a vast range of composers, most notably Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sally Beamish, Gordon Crosse, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Freya Waley-Cohen and Adrian Sutton. In June 2023, Fenella premiered a new violin concerto, dedicated to her by Adrian Sutton, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, Fenella also enjoys guest leading and directing various ensembles in Europe.

As an avid and passionate chamber musician, Fenella enjoys performances with the Roscoe Piano Trio, Perpetuo and Counterpoise, as well as collaborations with artists including Nicholas Daniel, Martin Roscoe and Peter Donohoe, and is regularly invited by Steven Isserlis to take part in the International Musicians’ Seminar, Prussia Cove. A new collaboration with the writer and broadcaster Leah Broad, and pianist Nicola Eimer, has seen the creation of a new project ‘Lost Voices’ which explores one of Fenella’s greatest passions: unknown and under-performed repertoire by female composers, something which Fenella seeks to champion in all areas of her programming.

For the launch of Apple Music Classical in April 2023, Fenella was one of a handful of artists invited to record a ‘Classical Session’ at home, alongside Daniel Barenboim, Beatrice Rana and Gautier Capuçon. 

Fenella is grateful for the support of the Royal Philharmonic Society, Harriet’s Trust and Arts Council England for their support to keep making music during the Covid Pandemic.

New Horizons 2024/25
Meet The Conductors

The Bardi Symphony Orchestra welcome four esteemed conductors this season.