First performances post-lockdown!
Although most events are still being cancelled, Victoria will be participating in a few concerts before Christmas. Some are with limited, socially-distanced audiences, others will be streamed online from the concert venue. Please look at the 'Dates' pages for further information.
A small number of face-to-face cello and theory lessons will now be available from September at my studio in Queen's Park / Kilburn, London NW6. Please contact me for further information.
Sadly all performances are still cancelled/postponed for the moment.
Resonus Classics recording project has been POSTPONED
In 2020 the Rautio Piano Trio will begin recording the complete cycle of Beethoven piano trios, coinciding with the composers’ 250 anniversary. They will be recreating the sound world of the period by recording on historical instruments and using a fortepiano. Four volumes will be released over the next four years on Resonus Classics.
This project follows on from the Trio’s critically acclaimed début disc featuring Mozart piano trios recorded on a fortepiano belonging to the late Christopher Hogwood. It was hailed by the Observer as ‘an impressive achievement’ and received multiple five-star reviews. It is regularly aired on BBC Radio 3, including for ‘Composer of the Week’.
All of the Rautio Trio’s recording projects are sponsored by private donations and crowdfunding.
Join the Rautio Piano Trio at St George’s Church Hanover Square, London on 4th November, 7.15pm concert.
'Prince Albert, Prince Consort: The Bach Connection':
An illustrated celebration of Victoria and Albert’s love of music and the Prince’s role in the influential 19th century British Bach revival, given in collaboration with the British-German Association. The Trio will perform a new arrangement by Jan Rautio of JS Bach Passacaglia & Fugue BWV 582, commissioned for this concert, alongside Sterndale Bennett Chamber Trio in A Op.26 and Mendelssohn Trio in C min Op. 66. www.bachlive.co.uk
Following a period of maternity leave Victoria recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy into her family. Both mother and baby are doing well.
"Keeping repertoire alive is a priority for the Rautio Piano Trio, as their latest CD, Beethoven, Hiller & Schubert (Resonus), demonstrates. In between fresh, brisk Beethoven...and eloquent, confident Schubert...they offer a substantial novelty: the premiere recording of the wonderfully buoyant Piano Trio...by Ferdinand Hiller (1811-85). Said to be an affable character, this dance-like music smiles right through."
- The Guardian
The Rautio Piano Trio are delighted to announce their next CD release on Resonus Classics.
With a programme that includes the world premiere recording of Hiller’s Piano Trio No. 6 in C minor alongside Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio and Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat major ‘Notturno’, the Rautio Trio present three striking and individual works each notable for their use of a nocturne, evoking the quiet night-time and an atmosphere of poetic reflection.
To purchase a CD for £10 please email email@example.com. For downloads, visit the Resonus Classics website
A new series of music courses have been launched, co-founded by Victoria Simonsen and Jane Gordon. First up is the Easter Cello Course 2018 and applications are now welcome. Intensive study in an inspiring seaside location! There is space for 8 cello students: www.hastingsmasterclasses.co.uk
a recent release: recording session work
A new film, Provenance, has premiered and in which Victoria is playing in a piano trio by Faure for the opening scene.
The Rautio Piano Trio's first CD of Mozart piano trios with fortepiano was released on Resonus Classics earlier this year and is now available to buy and download from the label's website. RPT is currently in the midst of editing of their second CD for Resonus Classics, which will feature trios by Beethoven, Hiller and Schubert.
"Our attention was thus immediately drawn to the striking talent of [...] cellist Victoria Simonsen. Her warmth of tone and seemingly effortless handling of some complex writing were highly impressive."
Rautio Piano Trio's new CD recording has been successfully crowd-funded via Kickstarter. Many thanks to all those who contributed! The recording is underway and we hope to have further updates mid-2016.
Victoria is delighted to be joining the teaching staff at the Royal Northern College of Music, commencing this 2015/16 academic year.
Victoria joins the Tunovsky Jubilee Ensemble for a 15-concert tour throughout New Zealand, celebrating 50 years of Chamber Music NZ's schools chamber music contest.
Rautio Piano Trio
Victoria is happy to announce that from January 2015 she is joining the Rautio Piano Trio.
Victoria has performed previously with violinist Jane Gordon on several occasions at IMS Prussia Cove and, together with pianist Jan Rautio, they are looking forward to taking the trio into an exciting new era.
There are various opportunities to hear the trio in the UK over the next few months - please look at the dates page on this website and it would be fantastic to have your support at one of these concerts!
Music lessons online
Victoria has joined Musical Orbit, a new website being launched in the New Year offering one-to-one music lessons and masterclasses online!
Victoria appeared as Guest Principal Cellist at the Royal Albert Hall London for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales' four 2014 Proms concerts. Performances were recorded for BBC radio and TV and some can also be viewed on YouTube
An enjoyable week tutoring the European Youth Orchestra's cello section on their summer course in Austria prior to their European concert tour which includes an appearance at London's BBC Proms
"The entire work’s haunting pathos seemed encapsulated by ‘cellist Victoria Simonsen’s short, heartrending solo and the rapt final bars which followed."
Steph Power, 2014
A fantastic week spent tutoring at the Vacation Chamber Orchestra's (VaCO) summer course with thanks to the brilliant students and wonderful fellow staff.
Great reviews all-round for the Akoka Quartet's recent New Zealand Tour
"talented quartet has audience spellbound"
"a truly stunning performance ... musicianship of the highest order"
"ensemble work impeccable and their dynamics, shading and colours were perfect"
"first-rate musicianship ... sublime"visit to read in full
Extra concert announced for the Akoka Quartet's NZ tourAUCKLAND University Music Theatre, 18th April, 7.30pmTickets available on the door $25/$15March 2012Tour of New Zealand coming in April...check out these websites
Victoria is the recipient of a generous donation of financial assistance towards the purchase a cello by Giovanni Grancino, Milan 1687. The donor was moved to make this extraordinary offer after hearing Victoria perform last year and this has enabled Victoria to upgrade her previous cello.The donation came from the estate of Miss Barbara Hilda Knapton (b. 29 Dec 1919; d. 19 Aug 2010) and her sister Kathleen Mary Cavill (b. 5 Dec 1917; d. 20 Dec 2010) in accordance with their wish to help deserving young musicians. The sisters were born and brought up in Ebbw Vale, Wales. Their father was a Master Tailor who worked for the Co-op and then set up business on his own account and their mother was from a small farming family at Dilhorne, in Staffordshire, where they spent many happy childhood holidays. Both became teachers, Miss Knapton at the Grammar school in Ebbw Vale and Mrs Cavill at a nearby primary school. Neither had children and, though friendly, they remained close and somewhat insular throughout their lives.The acquisition of a fine instrument is absolutely essential to furthering the career of a musician and allows them to compete on the international stage. Purchasing such an instrument is a huge financial barrier which can prove impossible to overcome due to the ever-increasing gap between musicians’ earnings and the cost of fine instruments.Victoria writes: “I wish to express a truly heartfelt thank you to the generosity of the two ladies and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. It means so much to me to have been given this opportunity, more than I can express in words –- it really has brought a dream into reality. I also want to thank Mrs Gillian Ure and the Trustees of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust for their kind assistance and I am incredibly grateful for the Trust’s previous and continuing support of my career and for the wonderful work they do for so many young musicians.”
"When it came to the final sequence of traditional Last Night pieces, they played two elements of the Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs: Tom Bowling and the Hornpipe. Of course the hornpipe got everyone happy clapping along, but the cello solo on the Tom Bowling was absolutely magnificent. I reckon from my programme that must have been played by Victoria Simonsen and she was a complete star."
from: Review – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Last Night of the Proms, Derngate, Northampton, June 12th 2011 - The Real Chrisparkle reviews
Victoria Simonsen cello and Marisa Gupta piano
St Paul's Church, The Balk, Walton, Wakefield, WF2 6JU
part of the first hugely successful Walton Arts Festival (). The music: Delius Sonata for Cello and Piano, John Ireland Cello Sonata in G minor, Dvorak Waldesruhe (Silent Woods) op 68. no 5, Poulenc Sonata for Cello and Piano
"The cello and piano recital was fantastic - a rare opportunity"
"first class musicians"
"the cello concert has been magnificent"
"These musicians were of a very high standard - beautiful playing and very enjoyable music"
"beautiful music expertly performed"
"the concert was amazing"
"such a varied programme and from such masters of their instruments"
"the cello concert was superb - wish I had brought some friends as well!"
"I have so enjoyed the superb talent of the cellist and pianist"
Review: Recital in Woking
Victoria Simonsen ('cello) and Marisa Gupta (piano)
The second half of Woking Concert Society's 2010/2011 season commenced with a highly enjoyable recital of French 'cello and piano compositions. The duo commenced with Debussy's 1915 sonata for 'cello and piano which was given a fresh and vibrant performance by these two young artists. In the first movement the sensitive 'cello line was well executed, in the second where Debussy allows his inherent sarcasm to surface in the Serenade their playing was suitably acerbic and in the fast (animé) last movement the duo ably demonstrated their virtuosity. This was followed by three short pieces for piano solo by the tragically short-lived Lili Boulanger. Marisa Gupta gave a sensitive, poetic rendering of these atmospheric miniatures. There followed Fauré's second sonata for 'cello and piano, a major work for this idiom incorporating the innovative harmonic and melodic ideas of his late period. The duo gave a vigorous start to the work with the themes clearly observed above the busy piano undertow typical of this composer, and with a good exchange of the material between the performers. The Andante was performed sympathetically with a sonorous melodic line from the 'cello and accurate piano playing in the difficult central section of this movement. The finale Allegro with its taxing technical requirements and unusual chromatic shifts was given a convincing, highly competent performance. This was an excellent performance of the whole sonata, one which a French critic would doubtless have described as 'formidable'!
Their recital recommenced after the interval with a movement from the famous 'Quartet for the End of Time' by Messiaen entitled 'Louange a l'éternité de Jesus'. Victoria Simonsen produced a movingly soulful tone for this deeply serious work. The large dynamic range required by the composer was well observed and the relentless piano chords well realised by Marisa Gupta made their timeless effect. The final work in their programme was the sonata for 'cello and piano by Poulenc. Here the duo successfully captured the vivacious style and the abrupt changes of the first movement. In the following Cavatina a suitably singing tone from both 'cello and piano achieved the complete change of mood in this movement, only to be followed by the quirky, jokey music hall style often affected by this composer. The finale gave the performers another chance to exhibit their excellent interplay of themes, and their wide dynamic range and technical proficiency.
Your reviewer has no hesitation in stating that we were treated to a superb recital of French 'cello and piano music, indeed of a standard one expects at a Wigmore Hall concert!
LO©Woking Concert Society
"Zwei Tage lang hörte sich der Meister aus Andorra [Luis Claret] die Augsburger Cello-Studierenden seines Studienfreundes Prof. Julius Berger am Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum an. ...
... Expressiv glänzte Victoria Simonsen mit zwei Stücken aus Schumanns op. 102. Eben aus London eingeflogen ist sie die Letzte, die bis kurz vor Konzertbeginn dem Maestro "5 Stücke im Volkston" präsentiert. Konzentriert hört sich Claret Schumanns Celloklassiker an. Die Gespräche anschließend betreffen weniger ihren nahezu perfekten musikalischen Vortrag, sondern die Auswahl der zwei Stücke für das Konzert. Sie überzeugten auch vor Publikum, waren in Sachen Spieltechnik, Klangwirkung und Bühnenpräsenz sicher ein Höhepunkt des Abends. Deshalb Schumann!"
Sein Favorit ist Schumann - weiter lesen auf Augsburger-Allgemeine: http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/augsburg/Sein-Favorit-ist-Schumann-id8945136.html