Six new kids on the BBC block

Six new kids on the BBC block


norman lebrecht

July 18, 2011

Another six musicians have been co-opted onto the BBC New Generation list, probably the best fast-track scheme around. You won’t have heard much of them yet, but you will. The lucky six are:

Christian Ihle Hadland (Norway – piano)  Clara Mouriz (Spain – mezzo soprano)  Igor Levit (Russia – piano)  Jennifer Johnston (UK – mezzo soprano)  Ruby Hughes (UK – soprano)  Signum Quartet (Germany).

These musicians join violinists Veronika Eberle and Alexandra Soumm; the Escher Quartet; cellist Nicolas Altstaedt; pianist Benjamin Grosvenor; tenor Ben Johnson and jazz artist Shabaka Hutchings who are now starting their second year as Radio 3 New Generation Artists.

Artists’ biographies:

Christian Ihle Hadland – Piano


Widely recognized as one of Norway’s most exciting young piano talents, Christian made his Norwegian debut with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Eivind Aadland at the age of 15. He has since gone on to perform with all of Norway’s leading orchestras, including several appearances with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has also received invitations to perform with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and the Czech Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as having appeared with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic and Lithuanian Symphony Orchestras.

Clara Mouriz Mezzo Soprano


Spanish born Clara Mouriz is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most exciting mezzo sopranos of her generation. She has recently been distinguished with an Independent Opera/Wigmore Hall Voice Fellowship for a promising career committed to both opera and song.

Clara’s latest projects include a critically acclaimed debut as Rossini’s Cenerentola at Malmö Opera; Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Opera St Moriz; Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été’ at Padova’s Auditorium Pollini under Alexander Shelley; and Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ at the Tokyo Opera-city under Daniel Harding

A committed recital singer, Clara is a Kirckman Concert Society Artist and made her debut in Wigmore Hall in 2007.

Igor Levit Piano


Twenty-four-year-old Igor Levit is already working with orchestras such as the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Düsseldorf and Lucerne Symphony Orchestras and the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover. He has toured several times with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Vladimir Jurowski.

Debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Philharmonic of Russia are to follow. He also makes debut recitals in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg and Beijing, and returns to Milan.

Jennifer Johnston Mezzo Soprano


Jennifer is the recipient of numerous awards, including Second Prize in the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition and two Susan Chilcott Scholarships.

Named as the “Face to Watch in Opera” by the Financial Times, Jennifer has appeared in opera at the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opera de Lille, the Aldeburgh Festival and Scottish Opera, in roles such as Suzuki, Dido and Hansel.

Ruby Hughes Soprano


Winner of both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 London Handel Festival Singing Competition, Ruby Hughes has sung the title role in Atalanta and Cleofide / Poro with Laurence Cummings at the London Handel Festival, Euridice / L’Orfeo at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with René Jacobs.

Concert engagements have included Handel with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, Handel Ode for Queen Anne’s Birthday with Stephen Cleobury and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Signum Quartet


The Signum Quartet are Kerstin Dill (violin), Annette Walther (violin), Xandi van Dijk (viola) and Thomas Schmitz (violoncello). Their energetic and lively interpretations have established them as one of the most exiting young ensembles of their generation.

Prize winners at the Premio Paolo Borciani (2008), and the London International String Quartet competition and the ICMC Hambourg (2009), the Signum Quartet was inspired musically by György Kurtág, Walter Levin and Jörg Widmann, among others.

Concert performances have taken the Signum Quartet to numerous international stages including the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, the Konzerthaus Dortmund, the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele, the Oberstdorfer Musiksommer and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.



Stephanie Hardwick

Acting Publicist, BBC Radio 3 & Classical Music TV

d/l 020 7765 4934

Room 122 Henry Wood House, 3-6 Langham Place, London, W1B 3DF