The London-born conductor Kevin Griffiths (1978) is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Collegium Musicum Basel since 2011.
For several years Kevin Griffiths has been a regular guest at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad and the Vaduz-Classic Festival in Liechtenstein. He has recently completed his second CD with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz recording works by Johann E. Brandl, who was a contemporary of Mozart, and conducted the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on re-invitation. He also conducted the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra including a CD-production, as well as “Don Pasquale” by Donizetti at the Opera house in Chemnitz. Further upcoming engagements include orchestras such as the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Transylvanian State Philharmonic Orchestra and performances of “The Creation” by Haydn with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra of Heilbronn and the Zurich Boys’ Choir. His China debut will take place this December with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra.
Other orchestras Kevin Griffiths works with include; Frankfurt hr-Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, Robert Schumann Philharmonic, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della svizzera italiana, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Chamber Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Brandenburg State Orchestra, Badische Staatskapelle, Jenear Philharmonic, Göttingen Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra Heidelberg, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic, the Meininger Hofkapelle, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra and the Hallé Orchestra Manchester. He furthermore conducted different opera productions including “L’heure espagnole” and “L’enfant et les sortileges” by Ravel, “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss, Hansel & Gretel by Humperdinck and “Don Giovanni” by Mozart.
Because of his interest in historically informed performance, Kevin Griffiths also enjoys interpreting the music from the Baroque and Classical periods. He conducts period instrument orchestras such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London and the Ensemble Musica Aeterna in Bratislava.
As co-founder and principal conductor of the London Steve Reich Ensemble, Kevin Griffiths has also won international recognition for his commitment to contemporary music. The Ensemble performs at home and abroad and has won the acclaimed Diapason d’Or award for its debut CD under the label CPO. His second highly praised recording with the ensemble was published in September 2011 by Warner Classics.
Kevin Griffiths contributed to the rediscovery of the romantic violin concertos of the Swiss composers Paul Juon and Hans Huber, premiered the works and recorded them for the record-label Sony: “… the listener is always captivated by original ideas and rhythmic verve. The transparent sound makes an excellent impression – klassikheute.de.
At the same time a CD for CPO with works by J. Wilhelm Hertel appeared: “these breezy, affable concertos, a man at ease with life. A very pleasurable … listen “. – BBC Music Magazine.
Artists with whom Kevin Griffiths has worked include Sir James Galway, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Vesselina Kasarova, Fazil Say, Isabelle van Keulen, Giuliano Carmignola, Sergei Nakariakov, Paul Lewis, Michel Camilo, Alexander Rudin, Dmitry Sitkovetskzy, Ingulf Turban, Royston Maldoom, and Stefan Dohr, Wenzel Fuchs, Jonathan Kelly und Markus Weidmann from the Berlin Philharmonik, to name a few.
Kevin Griffiths worked closely with composers such as Daniel Schnyder, Enjott Schneider, Lera Auerbach, Elena Firsova, Steven Mackey, Rodolphe Schacher, and Oliver Waespi, and premiered some of their works.
Kevin Griffiths is recognized as a versatile artist. In addition to his busy main concert activity he participates in projects related for example to different sciences and astronomy. He conducted the music for a documentary about the particle accelerator CERN in Geneva, or conducted an interactive music project at the University of Konstanz as part of “The Long Night of the Sciences”.
Another part of his career is his affiliation with the film music industry, in which he conducts the film score “live” to the motion picture projected on a large-scale screen. Kevin Griffiths has been approved by Disney in Hollywood and the management of composer John Williams to conduct the music of Star Wars, and now belongs to only a dozen of conductors that may do so. He conducted nine performances of Star Wars Episode IV with the 21 Century Symphony Orchestra at the KKL Lucerne last April. For 21st Century Concerts he has directed several performances of the 6-time Oscar-winning film “La La Land” with the Sinfonietta Lausanne. He has also conducted other films like Charlie Chaplin “The Kid” and “The Circus”.
In 2010 he won the 2nd prize at the International Conducting Competition ” Sir Georg Solti” in Frankfurt Main and in 2010/11 he won the competition (Melgaard Young Conductor Scheme) for the position of apprentice conductor with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment London.
Kevin Griffiths studied with David Zinman in Aspen (USA) 2004 and 2005, with Colin Metters, Sir Colin Davies and Yan Pascal Tortelier at the Royal Academy of Music in London and with Clark Rundell and Sir Mark Elder at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has furthermore assisted Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski, Leonard Slatkin, Trevor Pinnock and Sir Mark Elder.
The young American pianist of Chinese descent, winner of the first prize and Mozart prize at the 2018 Geza Anda Competition, has succeeded in establishing herself as a highly respected artist, captivating audiences with her “radiant virtuosity, artistic sensitivity, keen interactive sense and subtle auditory dramaturgy” (Salzburger Nachrichten).
Over the years she has established herself as a highly respected artist, having reached her artistic breakthrough in 2009 when she won the first price at the Chopin piano competition in Darmstadt, as well as in 2010 at the Chopin Competition in Miami. One year later she was the youngest participant to receive second prize at the International ARD Music Competition.
Claire Huangci has performed as a soloist with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Münchner Kammerorchester, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver, Santa Fe, Moscow Radio and Istanbul State Symphonies. She has also made appearances at festivals such as the Verbier Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, MDR Musiksommer and the Schwetzinger SWR Festival. Claire Huangci received significant input from her teachers Eleanor Sokoloff and Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and from Arie Vardi at the University of Music, Drama & Media Hanover. She has assisted Professor Vardi since spring 2016. Claire Huangci’s second solo album, released in 2015 showcasing sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, has earned widespread praise and was awarded the German Record Critics’ Award and “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine.