Steinberg Duo / violin/piano
Louisa Stonehill and Nicholas Burns, violin/piano duo
Recently described by The Sunday Telegraph as having both “warm musicality” and “virtuosity”, and by Gramophone magazine as “passionately committed advocates”, the Steinberg Duo has performed in Canada, Spain, Germany and throughout the UK. 2013 marked the release of their first commercial recording for the Nimbus Alliance label, their first live broadcast on BBC Radio 3, their first concerto appearance with the Orchestra of the Swan, as well as recitals at Blackheath Halls, Fairfield Halls, 1901 Arts Club and various music clubs around the UK. A further recording of works by Dvořák, Grieg and Franck took them back to the Banff Centre in Canada for a residency in January 2014.
Their new CD release for Nimbus for 2015 is out now! Recorded last January at the Banff Centre in Canada, it features three major works for Violin & Piano, written within a few months of each other in 1886/7, along with a rarely performed miniature by Franck:
Franck Andantino quietoso & Violin Sonata
Dvořák Four Romantic Pieces, Op.75
Grieg Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor, Op.45
They had the opportunity to broadcast Grieg’s C minor Sonata on Wednesday 21st January on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Essential Classics’. Rob Cowan described it as ‘a sensitive performance’.
Their Nimbus CD release of Sawyers & Elgar Violin Sonatas has already enthralled the critics: Bruce Reader described their playing as having “the listener teetering on the edge of melancholy and joy” while John France for MusicWeb International described the disc as “a startling discovery… an exemplary performance”. The Swiss magazine, Music und Theater wrote, “The interpretations of the Steinberg Duo are simply phenomenal. So lucid, passionate and unsentimental, they make the works sparkle” and Andrew Schartmann, writing for Music & Vision stated, “Rarely does a recording exude so much energy while remaining sensitive to even the subtlest of details. From the first measure, we know that something special is unfolding before us — a quality that lasts through to the very end. In short, no amount of writing can do justice to the last three tracks on this disc.”
Formed in 2007, the duo are passionate about presenting the wonderful violin and piano repertoire as an equal partnership. Since 2009 they have curated their own recital series in the beautifully intimate setting of the 1901 Arts Club on London’s Southbank and for the past three years, the duo have spent each January in residence at The Banff Centre in Canada, generously supported by the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the Richard Carne Trust & The Banff Centre. Committed to supporting high quality contemporary music, the duo enjoy a particularly close association with composer Philip Sawyers, from whom they commissioned a second violin sonata in 2011. In July 2014, the duo released a CD featuring Sawyers’ Concertante for Piano, Violin and Strings with the Orchestra of the Swan and conductor Kenneth Woods on the Nimbus label.
Louisa and Nick married in 2008 and live in Greenwich, South-East London where they transformed a disused shop unit into a specialised chamber music studio. In this delightfully intimate space they hold monthly recitals for local residents, giving their neighbours a rare opportunity to experience chamber music is its natural habitat, away from the concert hall. They are regular visitors to Scotland, as Nick’s family is from Glasgow. The duo have studied intensively with eminent chamber musicians at home and abroad. They were regular participants in the ChamberStudio masterclasses at Kings Place 2010-12 and at IMS Prussia Cove in 2010.
Louisa plays on a wonderful English violin made in early 2010 by Glen Collins. It is based on the Lord Wilton Guarneri del Jesu violin owned by the late Yehudi Menuhin. The Duo takes its name from Louisa’s original Polish surname which was anglicised by her father in the 1940s.