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Irish Musicians To Perform At St Martin-in-the-Fields London

Prominent Irish musicians are featured in an upcoming performance at the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square in London next week, on Thursday 30 March.

Performing a programme of masterpieces by Mozart in the candlelit splendor of one of the world's most recognizable and beautifully restored churches, the concert brings together two generations of Irish musicians.

RITA MANNING (violin) from Dundalk is the leader of the Locrian Ensemble, who recently topped the UK Classical charts with their recording of the score of BBCTV's "Wolf Hall". Rita is a past leader of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the Fields, one of the most recorded orchestras in the history of classical music. JUSTIN PEARSON (cello) from Dublin is the artistic director of the National Symphony Orchestra (UK) and currently the solo cellist in the hit musical "Matilda" in London's West End theatre. Both musicians originally met in the Irish Youth Orchestra.

Jean Kelly (harp) and Fiona Kelly (flute) are the soloists for the concert. Both are well known musicians from Cork. Both musicians hail from an Irish family of several generations of Irish professional musicians.

In 1996 Jean won a scholarship to study harp at the Royal College of Music, London. Since graduating she has based herself in London and is in great demand as a versatile harpist. She regularly tours with the Locrian Ensemble performing harp concertos and her own arrangements of Irish music. She has recorded three CD's with the group including Handel Harp Concerto and Mozart Flute and harp Concerto. Jean has performed in Vienna and St.Petersburg providing music for plays devised by Cork based Boomerang Theatre Company and in 2006 she was involved in a Rough Magic Theatre Company production at the Soho Theatre, London. Jean performed alongside Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney at the Opening Night of the World Harp Congress in Dublin and she accompanied Irish President Mary McAleese on a State Visit to Austria. Jean has played harp with renowned Israeli Sephardic singer Yasmin Levy. Jean plays Electric Harp with her new band 'Ranagri', and is currently recording an album with the band at Real World Studios.

Fiona Kelly, hailed by the New York Times as a player with "impressive technique and elegant musicianship", is principal flute of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Fiona completed her Master's degree at The Juilliard School, New York, studying with principal flute of the New York Philharmonic, Robert Langevin. She won first prize in The Juilliard School Flute Competition and made her Lincoln Center debut performing Bernstein's 'Halil' with The Juilliard Orchestra at The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. She began her studies at the Cork School of Music with her mother Evelyn Grant and completed her Bachelor of Music studies at Trinity College of Music, London, with Ms. Anna Noakes. While in London she won numerous awards including 1st Prize in the British Flute Society International Competition, the Royal Overseas League Sussex Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Julius Isserlis Scholarship. Her orchestral experiences range from being offered the post of principal flute with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra of Ireland at the age of 22, to performances as a guest flautist with the New York Philharmonic.

The conductor is Rimma Sushanskaya. An internationally-acclaimed violinist. Sushanskaya was the last pupil of the great David Oistrakh, with whom she studied at Moscow Conservatoire, and under whose tutelage she won many prestigious prizes and awards. Upon leaving the Soviet Union she rapidly established a glowing reputation in the West; the Washington Post, described her as "one of the greatest violinists alive today," and commented on her "extraordinary intensity and brilliant virtuosity." Rimma Sushanskaya has embarked on a successful career in conducting. In recent years, she has performed as a conductor in concert halls of an ever growing list of countries including Germany, Russia, Israel, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, China and the United Kingdom. She has been enjoying successful performances and re-engagements in prestigious venues such as:

Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany, Philharmonic Hall and Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany, Philharmonic Hall. Kharkov, Ukraine, Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland.

Following in the traditions of her own legendary teacher, Rimma is equally anxious to pass on her knowledge and experience to young people. She is a sought-after professor at Birmingham Conservatoire, and her Virtuoso Violin festival every summer in Stratford-upon-Avon (her home in England) attracts string students of the highest calibre from the UK and abroad.

Artistic Director: Justin Pearson

Bringing together some of the most prominent string soloists in London, THE LOCRIAN ENSEMBLE, was formed in 1995 and immediately established an enviable reputation for its recordings, broadcasts and live performances. In 2016, they topped the British Classical Music Chart with their recording of Debbie Wiseman's score to BBCTV's "Wolf Hall". In response to the varying numbers required to play the repertoire composed for chamber ensembles, the group can expand into larger numbers, and this frequently provides a vehicle for concerto playing for the group's key members. The Locrian have recorded works for BBC Radio 3 and Classic fm, and released compact discs on the ASV label (Mozart and Schubert Quintets), the complete chamber works of the great Swiss composer, Volmar Andreae (Guild) and on the Dutton Epoch label (Rebecca Clarke and Arthur Benjamin, Bainton and Clifford, the chamber works of Tony Arnell.) The Locrian Ensemble is the resident musical group at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich, and from here they travel to all parts of the country, making them the busiest chamber music group working in Britain today. This exciting ensemble, bring individual members' flair to bear on the greatest chamber and orchestral pieces, makes the Locrian Ensemble one of the most dynamic groups working in the field of classical music today.

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