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© 2019 by Grand Siècle 

THE ENSEMBLE

 
 

Formed in 2016, Ensemble Grand Siècle brings together a group of musicians passionate about the authentic performance of music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Grand Siècle operates as a collective and is the result of a collaboration between five core musicians: Beth Stone (Historical Flutes), Abel Balazs (Historical Violin), Sarah Small (Viola da Gamba), Aidan Phillips (Harpsichord) and Madeline Claire de Berrié (Mezzo-Soprano). Grand Siècle expands with guest artists for each programme, allowing for flexibility in repertoire choices. We all love to collaborate with other musicians.  

 

The members of the Grand Siècle largely met during their studies in the historical performance department of the Royal College of Music where they developed a love of playing early chamber music together. Madeline Claire de Berrié joined in 2018 after a discovery of a shared love of the French Airs de Cour. 

 

Aside from their music making, many members of the ensemble also share a dedication to historical performance research, with Luke making his own authentic gut strings according to historical methods of manufacture, for the labels Real Guts and Northern Renaissance Instruments as well as doing his own independent research. 

 

The passion for well-informed performance and respect for the integrity of primary sources, along with a shared musical understanding, brought Grand Siècle together. In their musical collaboration, Grand Siècle present programmes which are dramatic, thematic and include hidden treasures of the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORE MUSICIANS

 
 

Having begun his studies on modern violin at the Lisbon Conservatoire and graduated in 2019 from the Royal College of Music from an Artist Diploma course on historical violin with a full scholarship, Abel Balazs is a versatile musician specialised on historical violins. His repertoire ranges the early 17th century and 20th centuries with a specific interest in late 18th century German music and early 19th century music. During his Master’s degree and Artist Diploma studies at the RCM, he was a Parnassus Award Holder studying under professor Catherine Martin and Bojan Čičić. Abel has participated in masterclasses and received tutoring from various prominent musicians, among them, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Enrico Gatti, Vittorio Ghielmi, Amandine Beyer, Monica Huggett, Catherine Mackintosh and Alessandro Tampieri. Abel has played with several leading period instrument ensembles in the U.K., including Florilegium, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Early Opera Company, La Nuova Musica and The Illyria Consort.

In January 2018, he was awarded a two year grant and became a member of the Theresia Orchestra, an international ensemble specialized in historical performance of the classical repertoire. In this orchestra, he has worked with renowned musicians such as Claudio Astronio, Chiara Banchini, Gaetano Nasillo, Roel Dieltiens and Alfredo Bernardini. Recently, he was selected to be part of the extra players of the Orquestra Barroca da Casa da Música in Portugal. He is currently holding a place in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Experience Scheme 2019 and the Handel House Talent scheme 2019. Abel was awarded in June 2019, the McKenna Prize 2019 for having the highest mark in a baroque instrument at the Royal College of Music. Abel Balazs plays on a Baroque violin by Zosimo Bergonzi.

 

Baroque Violin

 

ABEL BALAZS

 

 

During her undergraduate studies as a recorder player at the Royal College of Music, Sarah was introduced to the viola da gamba and has since participated in masterclasses with musicians including Vittorio Ghielmi, Christoph Coin, Paolo Pandolfo and Ton Koopman, graduated with a Bachelors degree on both instruments, and was awarded the Deutschlandstipendium scholarship to study with Hille Perl in Bremen, Germany, before returning to the RCM in 2018 to study with Reiko Ichise for a Master of Performance.

Sarah performs as a soloist and chamber musician with various ensembles across the UK and Europe, and is an RCM Award Holder supported by the Linda Hill Scholarship, Robert McFadzean Whyte Award, the Countess of Munster Trust and Help Musicians UK.

 

 

 

 

Viola da Gamba

 

SARAH SMALL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madeline Claire de Berrié studied Music at Magdalene College, Cambridge whilst singing at Trinity College, Cambridge, and subsequently studied at Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag, as a post-graduate at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before participating in the 2017-2018 edition of BAROCK VOKAL, at the Kolleg für alte Musik an der HfM Mainz. Also a singer/baroque violinist, Madeline has sung with Capella Sancta Maria in Amsterdam (also in collaboration with La Caravaggia), Laurens Collegium Rotterdam, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, The Venice Baroque Orchestra, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment, Praetorius, The Floriade Ensemble, Capella del Arte, The Belgrade Baroque Academy, Venti Vecchi, The Neumayer Consort, Juliard 415 and Chamber Music New Zeland, Capella Cracoviensis (Bach Festival Swindica, Poland), Collegium Musicum Riga and the Guildhall Consort with the Academy of Ancient Music. Madeline has Directed/Assistant Directed/Choreographed the following operas: (Pelléas et Mélisande, (Debussy) - Director, Orpheus et Euridice (Gluck) - Director, Don Giovanni, (Mozart) - Assistant Director, Xerxes (Handel) - Assistant Director, Les Mamelles de Tiresias (Poulenc) - Assistant Director -  Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Teatron Oneiron (Choreographer) - Monteverdi’s Ballo Delle Ingrate (DMKD Copenhagen, Denmark, dir. Andrew Laurence-King). Most recently Madeline directed Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles at The Waterloo Festival with THE RENEGADES and 'Mêler l’or de ses rayons’, a double bill of Elizabeth Jaquet de La Guerre’s Prologue from Céphale et Procris, and Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants (2019), which received a five star review. Most recently, Madeline assistant directed Ensemble Orquestra’s production of The Magic Flute (June 2019), Berlin Opera Academy’s production of The Magic Flute (July 2019) and Ensemble Orquestra's Alcina (July 2019). 

 

Mezzo-Soprano

 

MADELINE CLAIRE DE BERRIÉ

 

 

Aidan Phillips (Harpsichord) is an alumnus of the Royal College of Music London, where he completed both the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Performance degrees. He has studied with Terence Charleston, Carole Cerasi, Jane Chapman in London and Fabio Bonizzoni and Jacques Ogg at the Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag in The Netherlands. He was subsequently appointed the first ever RCM Junior Fellow in harpsichord and continuo supported by a Ruth Dyson scholarship. Active as both a recitalist and chamber musician, Aidan has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, America and Australia. He has collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Florilegium to name but a few. Recent appearances include performances at the Styriate-Festival in Graz (Austria) / The BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall (London) / Versailles Les Vignt-Quatre Violons du Roi (France) / The Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Salvatorsaal in Vienna / Monpellier Opéra Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon / St. Martin’s in the Fields (London) / St.John’s Smith Square (London) / Handel and Hendrix House (London) / The London Handel Festival (St. George’s Hannover Square, London) / Internationale Händel Festspiele Göttingen (Germany)  / The Bishopsgate Institute(London). In August 2018, Aidan was invited to participate in the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition (Belgium). 

 

 

Harpsichord

Aidan Phillips

 

Beth Stone started playing flute at the age of six, studying at Chetham’s School of Music from age eleven with Rachel Forgrieve. In 2015, an interest in baroque flute blossomed and she started learning with Dr Martyn Shaw as well as being part of many baroque chamber groups & projects including performing Telemann’s Concerto for Flute and Recorder with orchestra. She also has performed numerous times at the annual London International Festival of Early Music. Currently studying at the Royal College of Music, Beth is an undergraduate on the joint principal study course studying baroque flute with Rachel Brown and modern flute with Gitte Marcusson. She has had the opportunity of learning renaissance and classical flute there and has been a part of several chamber and orchestral projects. She has aspirations to pursue a career in both instruments and to gain experience, knowledge and understanding of the vast music she plays.

 

 

 

Baroque Flute

 

BETH STONE