Philippa Davies (flute) and Jan Willem Nelleke (piano) perform Bach, Reade, Piazzolla and more

Philippa Davies (flute) and Jan Willem Nelleke (piano) perform Bach, Reade, Piazzolla and more

Thursday, 27 April 2023, 7.30pm

Philippa Davies has established a world-wide reputation as one of the finest flautists currently performing.


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Sonata in G minor for flute and cembalo Formerly: BWV 1020

Paul Reade (1943-1997): The Victorian Kitchen Garden suite arranged for flute and piano by Jan Willem Nelleke

Carl Reinecke: Sonata Undine op. 167


Paul Reade (1943-1997): Aspects of a Landscape - seven miniatures for flute solo

Jan Willem Nelleke: Variations on an Imaginary theme

Rhené-Baton: Passacaille

Astor Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango for flute and piano arranged by Jan Willem Nelleke

Philippa Davies has been hailed as a ‘first-rate virtuoso’, with ‘winning charm’, ‘exceptional eloquence’ and an ‘almost electrical response to technique’. Since her celebrated performance of Mozart's Concerto in D major at the BBC Proms in 1988, she has gained an international reputation as one of the finest flautists currently performing.

Her many concerto performances have been with leading orchestras such as the New Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, and the London Mozart Players.

After studying with Douglas Whittaker and William Bennett she was principal flute of the London Mozart Players and a member of the Fires of London and the Albion Ensemble. She regularly plays guest principal flute with all the main London orchestras.

Chamber music has always been her passion: she currently plays in the Nash Ensemble and London Winds, and has duo partnerships with Jan Willem Nelleke (piano) and Maggie Cole (harpsichord). Other artists she has performed with include Marisa Robles, Catrin Finch, Julian Bream, Pascal Rogé, Barry Douglas, Yo Yo Ma and Stephen Kovacevich.

This August marks the release of a premiere recording of Paul Reade’s Flute Concerto and the Suite from the Victorian Kitchen Garden with Signum (A Celebration of Paul Reade).Her many other recordings include Bach's flute sonatas, Mozart's flute concertos and quartets, William Alwyn's flute music, and the popular Romance of the Flute and Harp with Thelma Owen. Her Debussy recording with the Nash Ensemble and Ligeti's wind quintets with London Winds were highly praised by Gramophone Magazine.

Philippa's commitment to contemporary music has attracted commissions and dedications from leading composers Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Robert Saxton, Jonathan Harvey and Giles Swayne, resulting in several first performances and premiere recordings.

As well as giving international masterclasses, she is professor at the Guildhall School of Music in London, woodwind tutor for the European Union Youth Orchestra, and runs her own international flute course in Cubertou, France.

Davies is an intrepid, inquiring and a superb flautist. We hang upon her every note: her playing is warm, fluid, various and as richly vocal as could be (Financial Times, London

Dutch pianist Jan Willem Nelleke's exceptional qualities as a duo partner have been widely recognised; he has established duo partnerships with, amongst others, Philippa Davies, Pauline Terlouw, and Bettina Smith, and performs frequently with them throughout Europe. His playing has been described as 'sparkling raindrops, rich chords and beautiful interludes' and an 'ever alert co-operation with the soloist'.

Himself a noted composer of songs and chamber music, he has also produced a large number of arrangements that have regularly found their way into the repertoire. Jan Willem studied with Else Krijgsman at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and with Thom Bollen at the Conservatoire Utrecht.

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