Viv McLean (piano) , the winner of the First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona , has performed at all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan , Australia and the USA . He has played concerti with most major UK orchestras, performed chamber music with leading groups such as the Ysaye String Quartet and the Leopold String Trio. Viv studied at the Royal Academy of Music and was the piano winner at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and one of three winners of the National Federation of Music Societies' Young Artists Competition, leading to various recitals and concerto appearances throughout Great Britain . Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 and recorded for Sony Classical Japan and Naxos , as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's own label. Viv lives in Harrow and has been a huge supporter of concerts at both St Mary's Perivale and St Barnabas in recent years.
Sarah Gabriel (soprano) read English at Cambridge University. In 2009 she was selected by Lorin Maazel as the only European singer to join his Chateauville Foundation young artist program in the USA. Sarah is an alumna of the Britten-Pears Foundation, a Finzi Trust scholar, and is grateful to the Solti Foundation for current support in her studies. Sarah sings music spanning four centuries – from early Handel works to new commissions. She made her acclaimed US debut singing the role of Lucy in Britten's The Beggar's Opera, conducted by Maazel, returning to his Castleton Festival in Washington DC as guest principal artist, and singing Britten in recital in New York to commemorate the end of Maazel's tenure as conductor of the New York Philharmonic. She has had a blossoming career in concert, oratorio and opera performances throughout the world, with a special interest in 20th century works. She has broadcast for BBC Radio 3, France Musique, RTÉ, NPR, and Radio France. A CD of Gershwin with Viv McLean, recorded live at SJE Arts, was released in January 2015. They will return to present their Paris programme later this year, also to be recorded live.
Jessica Duchen studied music at Cambridge and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and drama. She is now a freelance journalist and author. She writes regularly for The Independent and has interviewed most of the world's finest musicians. Her work appears frequently in BBC Music Magazine, Opera News, Pianist Magazine, Classical Music and The Strad, among others, and she contributes to BBC Radio 3. Her novels focus on the tensions and cross-currents between family generations, ranging from a painful exploration of the effects of anorexia (Rites of Spring) and the rearing of a child prodigy (Alicia's Gift ) to the long-term effects of displacement and cultural clashes (Hungarian Dances and Songs of Triumphant Love). Jessica's first books were biographies of the composers Korngold and Fauré. She wrote the text for Inside London, Dorothy Bohm's photographic portrait of the city, and has published several short stories. She lives in London with her husband and cat, and when not writing enjoys travel, cinema, cooking, jogging and attending occasional ballet classes, despite encroaching creakiness.