With an extraordinary career spanning over five decades, Martin Roscoe is unarguably one of the UK’s best loved pianists. Renowned for his versatility at the keyboard, Martin is equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances. His enduring popularity and the respect in which he is universally held are built on a deeply thoughtful musicianship and his easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians alike. Martin is Artistic Director of Ribble Valley International Piano Week and the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society.
With a repertoire of over 100 concertos performed or recorded, Martin continues to work regularly with many of the UK’s leading orchestras, having especially close links with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic OrchestraMartin also performs widely across Europe, Canada, Australia and the Far East, sharing the concert platform with eminent conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Gianandrea Noseda, and Christoph von Dohnányi.
A prolific recitalist and chamber musician, Martin tours the UK extensively every season, including regular appearances at Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and Bridgewater Hall. He has long-standing associations with Peter Donohoe, Kathryn Stott, and the Maggini Quartet, and worked closely with Tasmin Little and the Endellion String Quartet during their long and illustrious careers. Recent collaborations include with Jennifer Pike, Tai Murray, Fenella Humphreys, Liza Ferschtman and the Brodsky and Carducci Quartets. One of his most important ensembles, the Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio (2005-2016), performed many times across the UK, most notably at Wigmore Hall. More recently, Martin formed the Roscoe Piano Trio with Fenella Humphreys and Jessica Burroughs for a celebratory concert in honour of Peter Cropper. The Trio has since gone on to perform across the UK, most notably at Bridgewater Hall.
Having made over 600 broadcasts, including seven BBC Prom appearances, Martin is one of the most regularly played pianists on BBC Radio 3. Martin has also made many commercial recordings for labels such as Hyperion, Chandos and Naxos. He has recorded the complete piano music of Dohnányi ,Nielsen and Szymanowski, as well as four discs in the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series. For the Deux-Elles label, Martin has recorded the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, for which he received unanimous critical acclaim.
Teaching has always formed an important part of Martin’s life and the development of young talent helps him to constantly re-examine and re-evaluate his own playing. He is currently Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London and has been awarded his Fellowship there.
Martin splits his free time between the stunning English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, which provide inspiration and relaxation, and also enable him to indulge his passion for the countryside and hill-walking.
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.
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. The album explores Études and Caprices from Paganini to the present day, including new works by Freya Waley-Cohen, Laurence Osborn and Oliver Leith, and a new set of variations on Paganini’s 24th Caprice with composers including Héloïse Werner, Emily Howard and Robin Haigh. “Really, very impressive” (Gramophone Magazine), “technically and musically superb” (The Strad).
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.
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. Fenella plays on a G.B. Guadagnini violin kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey.