The Riot Ensemble is a modular and elastic group, which draws from the top emerging and professional UK chamber musicians to offer the highest degree of artistic quality and flexibility in programming. We are led by a core Artistic Board who collaboratively plan projects and listen to new repertoire from around the world.
Aaron Holloway-Nahum, Artistic Director
Aaron Holloway-Nahum is an active composer, conductor, recording engineer and writer about new music. His pieces have been played across the world and recorded in Abbey Road & Maida Vale Studios. Aaron was recently in residence at the Tanglewood (2015) and Aspen (2014) Music Festivals, along with a residency in the home of Aaron Copland. He has recently written for the LSO, Third Coast Percussion, and HOCKET Piano Duo. Previous commissions include the London Sinfonietta and BBC Symphony Orchestra. Aaron has conducted more than fifty world and UK premieres and his writing has appeared in Tempo Magazine and on icareifulisten.com.
Adam Swayne, Piano, Programme Director
Adam Swayne is a founding member and programme director of The Riot Ensemble. He is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and eclectic musicians of his generation. Through regular concert appearances, commissions for new pieces, pioneering research and educational work, he continues to create and present new and challenging music for all kinds of people. Adam teaches piano at the Junior Royal Academy of Music and is Senior Lecturer and Head of Chamber Music at the University of Chichester.
Kate Walter, Flutes, Orchestral Manager
Kate Walter is a founding member and fundraising director of The Riot Ensemble. Kate has a busy freelance orchestral career and has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia. In the 2009/10 season Kate was Co- Principal Flute of Southbank Sinfonia, London. She currently plays in ‘Les Miserables’ in London’s West End. Kate has toured the UK and Europe extensively giving solo and ensemble recitals, and is a ‘Live Music Now!’ artist.
Claudia Maria Racovicean, Piano, Director of Production
Romanian pianist Claudia Maria Racovicean is a founding member and director of concert production with The Riot Ensemble. Claudia is currently preparing to record her first album, which will include music ranging from Liszt to Copland to Pintscher. She has won numerous Romanian and international prizes and made her orchestral debut with the Arad Philharmonic at the age of 16. She has returned to Romania to perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Timisoara Philharmonic Orchestra. Claudia is an avid chamber musician and teaches at the Musicale School in Harpenden and Archbishop Sumner Primary School in central London.
Ausias Garrigos, Principal Artist, Clarinets
Ausiàs Garrigós Morant regularly performs with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony orchestra, Spira Mirabilis and ensembles like Stargaze and Chroma Ensemble. Ausias is a founding member of NASduo, with whom he has premiered and recorded new music playing in numerous festivals across Europe.
Born in Potries (Spain), Ausias studied at Conservatory of Castellón (Spain) before coming to Guildhall in London. He has studied with Juan Esteban Romero, Andrew Webster, Julian Farrell, James Burke and Andrew Marriner, and bass clarinet from Javier Ros, Laurent Ben Slimane and Lorenzo Iosco.
Celeste Cronje, Soprano, Education
South-African born Soprano Celeste Cronje is a distinction graduate of the Master of Arts programme (Vocal) at the Royal Academy of Music. Celeste has worked closely with mentoring artists such as Anne Howells, Jane Manning and Barbara Bonney. Celeste has premiered works by Huw Catchpole-Davies, Edward Scolding and Hannah Chinnery. She has performed British composers such as Rhian Samuel, Elizabeth Maconchy and Harrison Birtwistle alongside Henze, Knussen, Ligeti, Lutoslawski and Adams.
Tim Rutherford Johnson, Writer
Tim Rutherford-Johnson is the author of Music after the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture since 1989. (University of California Press). He is editor of the online magazine Sounds Like Now, edited and updated the 2012 Oxford Dictionary of Music, and blogs about contemporary music at The Rambler.
Goska Isphording, Harpischord, Principal Artist
Polish Harpsichordist Goska Isphording has performed at an array of prestigious festivals and concert halls including Gaudeamus Music Week or November Music, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Gaida Festival, ISCM World Music Days and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Pan-European appearances have brought Goska to the attention of a variety of composers, and her inimitable approach to the harpsichord has included over one-hundred solo and chamber music premieres, alongside dedications of harpsichord concerti by Hanna Kulenty, Roderik de Man and Andrzej Kwiecinski. Goska currently teaches contemporary harpsichord techniques at the Amsterdam Conservatoire.
Sarah Mason, Percussion, Principal Artist
Welsh percussionist Sarah Mason has performed internationally as a soloist in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House, with broadcasts from Classic FM to HTV. As an orchestral musician, she has toured China, Russia, and America with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded Howard Shore’s score for ‘The Hobbit’, appeared on the BBC proms and was streamed live to cinemas across the UK from the Glyndebourne Opera House.
Sarah Saviet, Violin, Principal Artist
American violinist Sarah Saviet is currently based in Germany. Sarah regularly performs internationally, is a member of Oerknal!, is a founding member of Opera Lab Berlin, and is also a frequent guest with Ensemble Musikfabrik and Ensemble Modern. Recent festival performances include Guadeamus Muziekweek, Schwetzingen Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival as concertmaster of the BPO with Oliver Knussen, the Aspen Music Festival in a performance of Kaija Saariaho’s violin concerto, and the Lucerne Festival.
Stephen Upshaw, Viola, Press and Marketing Director
Since making his concerto debut at 17, violist Stephen Upshaw has won several competitions and played in festivals around the world including IMS Prussia Cove, Lucerne, Wien Modern, Oxford Chamber Music, Musica Nova (Finland), and the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival. A noted interpreter of contemporary music, Stephen recently performed Feldman’s complete “The Viola in My Life” at London’s Cafe Oto and has given numerous national and international premieres with groups such as Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, and Ensemble Proton.
Andrew Connington, Trombone, Principal Artist
Andrew Connington is 2nd Trombone with English National Ballet Philharmonic and also freelances with many of the UK’s Symphony, Opera and Ballet orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Chamber Orchestra; and in theatres in the West End. He has also spent time in the studio recording music for various cd’s and tv adverts and for films such as Zero Dark Thirty and the Hobbit ‘An Unexpected Journey’. As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympics, Andrew was one of the soloists in Birmingham Opera Company’s world premiere of Stockhausen’s Opera Mittwoch aus Licht.