Photo: John Liston

NEW Sinfonia trio - Chamber Music

Bethan Griffiths: Harp
Jonathan Guy: Clarinet
Catherine Landen: Violin


Traditional: Peat Dance

Maria Theresia von Paradis: Sicilienne

This concert is kindly supported by Professor John Solbé MBE & Dr Rosie Solbé

(Original concert edited due to licensing restrictions)

NEW Experiences, NEW Audiences, NEW Wales

NEW Sinfonia are passionate about music and are redefining what it means to be an orchestra. We are an orchestra made up of exciting creative professional musicians who come from across North Wales and beyond. Our mission is to make innovative musical experiences of the highest quality available to everyone, create musical experiences for all young people and develop sustainable projects which matter to all our communities.

NEW Sinfonia are thrilled to once again be the Orchestra in Residence for the ‘North Wales International Music Festival’ Virtual 2020. NEW Sinfonia are extremely proud of their partnership with the Festival and as a result the opportunity to work in partnership with Welsh National Opera. NEW Sinfonia have performed with esteemed artists who include Raphael Wallfisch, Federico Colli, Ye-Eun Choi, Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Julian Close, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Llŷr Williams, David Kempster and Rhys Meirion. NEW Sinfonia are proud to have given highly acclaimed world premieres by Rebecca Dale, Professor Paul Mealor, Brian Hughes and Jonathan Guy.

NEW Sinfonia delivers a vibrant programme across the whole musical spectrum. For us, success means contributing to the heart and soul of people across the country, empowering people to pursue and achieve success on their own terms. Using music as a powerful tool for supporting health and wellbeing, NEW Sinfonia has taken music making to communities in schools and hospitals. Their residency at Wrexham Maelor Hospital supported by Tesni Homes, was a finalist in the ‘Arts & Small Business’ category with Arts & Business Cymru. Their annual education workshop run in partnership with the NWIMF has grown year on year, giving young people from across North Wales an opportunity to meet, make friends, make music and perform.

Catherine Landen

Originally from Hampshire, Catherine graduated with a PGDip Distinction in Violin from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in July 2013, studying with Maciej Rakowski. Catherine came to Manchester originally to study on the joint course run between Manchester University and the RNCM, winning the Hargreaves Academic Prize in 2010 and graduating with a first class MusB (Hons) degree and GRNCM diploma from the RNCM in 2012.

She also studied on the Halle Strings Leadership Scheme and completed that with an International Artist Diploma in 2016, studying with James Clark and Lyn Fletcher. Catherine’s concerto performances include the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with NEW Sinfonia in 2013, Glazunov violin concerto with Manchester University Symphony Orchestra 2011 and Bruch violin concerto with Peter Symonds orchestra in 2007 and she has participated in masterclasses with Gerard Poulet, Yossi, Zivoni, Ivry Gitlis, Leland Chen, Peter Manning, Tasmin Little, Pavel Fischer and Madeleine Mitchell.

As a keen chamber musician Catherine was a founder member of the Solem Quartet, playing second violin from 2011-2017. In that time the quartet won of the Britten 100 intercollegiate string quartet prize, RNCM Nossek prize and Royal Overseas League ensemble prize. Catherine enjoyed a busy concert schedule with the Solem Quartet, performing at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3 as well as holding the positions of Junior Fellows at the RNCM and Ensemble in Residence at the University of Liverpool. In 2017 the quartet reached the semi-finals of the 7th International Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna and were also Park Lane Group Artists and winners of a Tunnel Trust award.

Catherine joined the first violin section of Opera North in 2016 and became a member of the Manchester Camerata in 2019. She continues to enjoy a busy freelance career alongside her jobs, playing regularly with the Halle, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic.

Jon Guy - Composer and Performer

Jon Guy is a composer and musician who enjoys creating and performing music that challenges the gaps between genres. Originally hailing from Wrexham, North Wales, he cofounded the innovative chamber orchestra NEW Sinfonia and has written many pieces for the orchestra to perform.

Jon’s orchestral highlights have all featured at the North Wales International Music Festival who have been an ardent supporter throughout his career. ‘A Veiled Smile’, ‘Elemental’ and ‘Vision of Fire’ have all been commissioned by the festival and were written to encourage young musicians of all abilities to enjoy making music with NEW Sinfonia.

Recently, Jon has started venturing into the realms of choral music with The Nightingale. The lyrics for the song are based on a poem by his Dad and are intended as a message of hope for everyone during the Covid-19 Pandemic. A version for String Orchestra will be performed during the Virtual NWIMF in September 2020.

Not one for labels, Jon enjoys crossing into other genres of music and has collaborated with the Ethereal Indie band Golden Fable to coauthor their album Alchemy. Described as ‘a truly intoxicating and moving piece of music played out over thirteen stunning original tracks’, Alchemy combines Jon’s rich orchestral tapestries with the bands unique and evocative sound.

As well as composing and performing with NEW Sinfonia, as a clarinettist Jon has performed with the Orchestra of Opera North, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra and is the Bass Clarinettist with the IMMIX Contemporary Music Ensemble who are based in Liverpool. Recent performances with IMMIX have seen him perform at the PRS New Music Biennial Festival at the Southbank Centre in London.

Bethan Griffiths

Bethan is an award winning harpist based in North Wales and London. She gained a First Class Honours Degree from the Royal College of Music in 2017,studying with internationally renowned harpist Ieuan Jones. She returned to the RCM for postgraduate studies as an Ashley Family Foundation Scholar and recently graduated with a Master of Performance with Distinction. Upon completing her studies she was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother Rose Bowl award.

Bethan’s musical training began aged 7 with piano lessons before beginning to play harp aged 10. She later went on to achieve her ABRSM performance diplomas in both harp and piano and since then has performed in various venues across the UK, Europe and the USA both as a soloist and as part of a variety of ensembles. Some of the highlights include performances for HRH The Prince of Wales and making her solo debut in the USA performing in Washington DC, Maryland and live on WCVE National Public Radio, Richmond.

As a keen competitor in Eisteddfods, she has won many awards such as prizes at the Urdd Eisteddfod instrumental solo and 1st prize in the National Eisteddfod Harp Solo as well as being chosen as a finalist in the prestigious Blue Riband competition. In 2016 Bethan was awarded the Nansi Richards Scholarship for harpists as well as the RCM Harp Prize.

Bethan has performed with many orchestras across the UK including City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, NEW Sinfonia and Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. This has given Bethan the opportunity to work with world renowned conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Edward Gardner and Rafael Payare. She has performed in many of the UK’s most prestigious venues such as Royal Festival Hall, Buckingham Palace, House of Commons, Cadogan Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Bridgewater Hall Manchester and Symphony Hall. During her studies Bethan was invited to take part in schemes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera working alongside renowned harpists Sioned Williams, Louise Martin and Alison Martin.

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