Geerte De Koe, Violin
Geerte is a Dutch violinist and workshop leader with a special interest in cross-arts and improvisation. She collaborates and creates new work with dancers, electronic musicians, visual artists, actors, and a variety of musicians with different musical backgrounds from all over the world. To share her passion for music and composition with others, Geerte works as a workshop leader with a wide range of communities.
Geerte started playing the violin when she was 4 years old. In 2002 she was admitted to the Young Talent Class at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, The Netherlands, where she studied with Hans Scheepers. She continued her violin studies in The Hague with Ilona Sie Dhian Ho and graduated with her Bachelor of Music in June 2013. Inspired by its rich and experimental music seen she moved to London where she specialised in improvisation, cross-arts and community art at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as part of the Artist Masters Programme. She graduated in 2015 with her final research performance ‘Interbeing’. Interbeing is a piece for 8 moving string players exploring the space between sound and movement. In her research Geerte has focused on the phenomenological experience of collaboration and the visual and physical aspects of her own practice as a violinist.
Geerte is active in many different ensembles, bands and cross-arts collaborations and has played in concert halls and side-specific locations all over the world. She is co-founder and member of the DaMu collective of instant composition and TrioDuo. As creative director Geerte is currently co-developing a new and innovative house-ensemble for TivoliVredenburg.
As workshop leader Geerte creates new original work with a wide range of communities. She has worked for The Barbican, BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Guilhall School of Music and Drama, Tivoli Vredenburg and Royal Conservatory The Hague. As a violin teacher she works for the Muziek Route (an ongoing creative music program in primary schools, Overvecht) and Pi Music (music for young talented children in Utrecht). Besides the classical music education Geerte is always searching for new ways of incorporating improvisation, composition, cross-arts and other creative music making activities into her work as workshop leader and violin teacher.
From September 2015 till April 2016 Geerte lived and worked in Tanzania. It was an adventure in which she got the chance to work, play, sing, dance, create, explore and exchange with international and local communities in Tanzania and surrounding countries.
Ignacio Lara Romero, Violin
Ignacio Lara Romero was born in Valencia, Spain. He started studying violin performance with Victoria LORENTE, in Valencia’s Professional Music Conservatoire, having been granted several awards as a solo and chamber music violinist. Then he went on to study a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in violin performance with Marc DANEL, in the Institute Supérieur de Musique et Pédagogie (IMEP), in Namur (Belgium). He furthered his studies in contemporary music and performance in the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse (CNSMD), in Lyon (France), with Marie CHARVET and Nicolas MIRIBEL.
Regarding his orchestral experience, he has performed with the RIAS Jugendorchester, Master Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Valencia (oCv), Brussels Philarmonic Orchestra (BPhO) and recently with the Sturm und Klang Ensemble in Brussels.
He is keen on contemporary music; he has also played pieces by Ferrer FERRAN, as a Soloist, in the Palau de la Música de València, and has recently performed pieces by Camden REEVES, in Manchester University. He is regularly working with composers in order to enlarge his knowledge and violin skills, and is planning to start a series of pedagogical concerts in Valencia, Spain, next year.
André Swanepoel, Violin
Johannesburg-born André Swanepoel holds a Masters Degree from the Universityof Pretoria and a Diploma from the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne. His main violin teachers were Alan Solomon, Winfried Rademacher and Charles-André Linale.
André joined the ICO as Principal Second Violin in 2003. Prior to that, he spent several years as Principal 2nd of the German Chamber Academy. He has also worked as guest Leader with Welsh National Opera and as guest Principal with the Hallé and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He regularly works with Northern Sinfonia.
Recent performance highlights include chamber concerts at the Ryedale, City of London, Chichester, International Donau and St. Endellion Festivals; a recital-masterclass at the Royal Welsh College of Music; and Concerto-appearances in Ireland and northern England. He has performed in South America for the German Goethe Institut and has been broadcast on West German and Bavarian Radio. With his wife, Rosie Biss and pianist Caroline Dowdle, he recently founded the Cygnus Trio.
As a member of the “European Music Project” he appeared in numerous theme-based “Concert-night” events throughout Germany, and recorded 2 critically acclaimed live-CD’s (one of these being Terry Riley’s legendary In C).
André is as passionate about the whole spectrum of music education as he is about performing: here his activities range from community music and outreach work to individual tuition from primary to postgraduate level (Durham University and University of Limerick); coaching youth and university orchestras and, in 2010, the Britten-Pears Orchestra; through to teaching on the ConCorda Chamber Music course. He is a tutor for violin and chamber music at the Weekend School at the Sage, Gateshead.
Cian Ó Duill, Viola
Cork born viola player Cian Ó Dúill has performed with the Vanbrugh, Carducci and Calino String Quartets, the Avalon Ensemble, Chroma and The Crash Ensemble. He has played in chamber music recitals with Anthony Marwood, Howard Shelley, Patricia Rozario, Natalie Clein, Benjamin Frith, and with members of the Leopold String Trio, the Nash Ensemble and Schubert Ensemble and has appeared at Cheltenham, Warwick Arts, Chichester, Aldeburgh, Wye Valley, Kings Lynn, Sligo Spring, and West Cork Chamber Music Festivals.
Cian was a founder member of both the Regent String Quartet and the Rothko String Trio. He is a member of the Oriel Trio (flute, viola and harp) and of the Chamber Players, a London based string sextet with whom he has recorded music by Mozart and Brahms.
Concerto appearances include works by Bach, Telemann, Mozart, Bruch and Hindemith in Ireland, the UK and Spain.
Cian is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, is co-principal viola with the London Mozart Players and has a busy freelance orchestral career playing regularly with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Camerata Ireland, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Robin Panter, Viola
Robin Panter is originally from Liverpool and was a chorister in Liverpool Cathedral from the age of 4. He went on to study the viola at the Royal Northern College of Music under Roger Benedict and Scott Dickinson, and in 2004 was appointed tutti viola with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. During his time in Scotland, Robin joined a team of musicians in setting up ‘Sistema Scotland’, the Scottish partner of the renowned ‘El Sistema’ programme in Venezuela. Robin is currently a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and is a regular guest violist in orchestras in Ireland and the UK including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. Robin is a member of the Robinson Panoramic String Quartet who record and perform new works by Irish Composers. Robin was recently awarded a grant from Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme which enabled him to purchase a new viola and bow.
William Butt, Cello
William Butt was born in London. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Moray Welsh and after winning awards and scholarships such as the Royal Society of Arts, Martin Trust and first prize in the Muriel Taylor competition, he furthered his studies with Antonio Lysy in Montreal. He now enjoys a busy career as soloist, chamber musician and is professor of cello at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.
On the concert platform he has performed extensively throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and the Far East. He is a much admired exponent of the solo repertoire, having performed and broadcast numerous works for this medium by contemporary composers, as well as the formidable solo sonatas by Kodaly and Ligeti and the suites of Bach and Britten.
In recent seasons he has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Orchestra of St Cecilia and the Ulster Orchestra for BBC Radio 3. He has worked with conductors such as Alexander Anissimov, Gerhard Markson, Rumon Gamba, Vernon Handley and Barry Douglas.
Aoife Nic Athlaoich, Cello
Dublin born Aoife Nic Athlaoich enjoys a versatile musical career, equally at home playing on period instruments as performing newly commissioned works. She has collaborated with Jazz musicians and contemporary dance groups, as well as playing under the baton as such eminent conductors as Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Sir Colin Davis and Bernard Haitink as an orchestral musician. Aoife has performed with the orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, la Serenissima, the avison ensemble, Irish baroque orchestra, Scottish chamber orchestra, classical opera company. London Mozart players and is a member of the irish chamber orchestra and the orchestre révolutionnaire et romantique
Aoife has won prizes for solo and contemporary music performance at Feis Ceoil, Dublin as well as being awarded a Belfast Classical Music Bursary in 2007 and was awarded scholarships for her studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at the Royal College of Music, London.
Aoife teaches cello at the Cork school of music.
Brian O’Kane, Cello
Irish cellist Brian O’Kane enjoys a busy career as both soloist and chamber musician. Since winning ﬁrst prize at the Windsor International String Competition in 2008, he has made his debuts with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Ashkenazy and in recital at the Wigmore Hall. Brian is a former “Rising Star” of Ireland’s National Concert Hall and recently recorded his debut CD of French sonatas with Irish pianist Michael McHale for the Champs Hill label. Brian enjoys playing chamber music with various ensembles and as a member of the Navarra Quartet. He has collaborated with artists such as Michael Collins, Aleksandar Madzar, Pekka Kuusisto, Antoine Tamestit and Sir James Galway. Brian has also performed at concert halls and festivals throughout the world such as Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Centre, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, West Cork, Radio France-Montpellier, BBC Proms, Lockenhaus and the Weesp Chamber Music Festival, Holland of which his quartet are the artistic directors. A graduate of both the RAM and the GSMD in London, Brian‘s biggest inﬂuences have come from Louise Hopkins and at Prussia Cove, Aldeburgh & Chamber Studio from studies with Steven Isserlis, Ferenc Rados and Eberhard Feltz. Brian currently plays on a Rugieri cello made in Cremona c.1690.
Oscar Valsecchi, Music Theatre
Oscar Valsecchi studied at the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Marcel Marceau and graduated at the International School of Corporeal Mime of London, where he specialised in Teaching and Directing and was an assistant teacher of Steven Wasson y Corinne Soum for 8 years. He completed his training with dance, fencing and trapeze classes.
To this day Oscar has given clases and workshops for various entities, such as: the Scuola Movimento Danza of Naples, Accento Teatro in Rome, University DAMS in Bologna, the Circus Space and the City Lit in London, the London Mime Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
From 1998 to 2006 he was a member of the company Theatre de L’ange Fou, directed by Steven Wasson and Corinne Soum in London. He has collaborated with various theatre and circus artists and has performed in shows for adults and children that toured to Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom.
He has co created and acted in conferences-demonstrations for the Blue Raincoat theatre, Ireland, ECUM of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples and Lanificio25 in the same city.
Oscar is a co-founder and director of the company Teatro InSospeso, Naples. At present he is a mime teacher in MOVEO School of Corporeal Dramatic Mime of Barcelona and in the cinema school el Plato of Hospitalet.