31 January 2009 -
Amy Dickson (Saxophone)
"Ms. Dickson's sound is a revelation
this was lyrical
playing at its best" - New York Concert Review
Born in Sydney, Amy began saxophone lessons at the age of seven
with Melinda Atkins and later with Mark Walton. Amy made her concerto
debut at 16, and at 17 she became a recipient of the James Fairfax
Australian Young Artist of the Year competition, which led to a
recording of the Dubois Divertissement with the Sydney Symphony
Orchestra. One year later, she embarked upon an international career
which has since led her to travel throughout the world as a soloist.
In London, she has studied with Kyle Horch and Martin Robertson,
and in the Amsterdam, with Arno Bornkamp.
She became the winner of many international competitions, and was
the first saxophonist to win the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas
League Competition, the Prince's Prize and the Symphony Australia
Young Performer of the Year award.
Amy now gives recitals and performs concertos throughout the world
and has performed in venues including the Wigmore Hall, the Bridgewater
Hall, the Purcell Room, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Sydney Opera
House, and the Beurs van Berlage. She has toured as a soloist with
orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus
Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, and as a solo recitalist throughout
Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Amy was invited
to perform at the 2005 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,
and has also performed at St James' Palace, the Scottish Parliament
and for Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. As leader of the
Zephirus Saxophone Quartet, Amy has also toured throughout the United
Kingdom and parts of Europe and has won first prize in the ensemble
section of the Royal Overseas League Competition.
A strong advocate of new music and a fervent supporter of contemporary
composers, Amy has worked with composers throughout the world and
has given the first performances of numerous compositions, including
those by Philip Glass, Graeme Koehne, Graham Fitkin and Huw Watkins.
Martin Cousins (pianist)
Martin Cousin is now regarded as one of the most dynamic pianists
of his generation, having been awarded 1st Prize at the 2005 Ettore
Pozzoli International Piano Competition and Gold Medal at the 2003
Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition.
He appears regularly at the major London musical venues such as
Wigmore Hall, the South Bank, Barbican Centre as well as Birmingham's
Symphony Hall and Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. He has performed
as concerto soloist with the London Philharmonic, Halle, Royal Philharmonic
and BBC Concert orchestras.
Performances further afield have included tours of New Zealand
and the US, concerts in Stockholm, Brussels, Toronto, Berne and
the Hague together with numerous recitals throughout Italy.
In 2005, Martin undertook a three month residency at the Banff
Centre in Canada, specifically to prepare and perform the last three
Beethoven Sonatas and 2006 saw the release of his debut CD featuring
Rachmaninov's Sonata No. 1 and Morceaux de Salon with SOMM Recordings.
This disc was met with universal acclaim and was selected as Classical
CD of the week by the Daily Telegraph, with Geoffrey Norris stating
that, "Martin Cousin's debut disc establishes a striking new
benchmark for the interpretation of Rachmaninov's 1st Piano Sonata....has
discretion, judgment, perception and formidable technique."
The US magazine Fanfare added, "This is the performance of
the 1st Sonata that I have always heard in my head but never thought
I'd actually get to hear with my ears. This guy's the Real Deal."
Highlights of this season include Shostakovich's 2nd Concerto for
the Houtland Festival in Belgium with the Charlemagne Orchestra,
tours to Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Cyprus and the Al Bustan Festival
in Lebanon, along with various solo and chamber recitals in the
Martin's hands are also featured on the big screen in the Oscar-winning
film "Shine", for the scenes involving Rachmaninov's 3rd
Demersseman: Fantaisie sur un theme
Gershwin: 3 Preludes
Macmillan: Kiss on Wood
Hindson: In search of Ecstasy
Hurralde: Pequena Czarda