photo © dejan mrdja
The piano and percussion duo of Siwan Rhys and George Barton is developing a national reputation for exceptional performances of the existing piano-percussion repertoire, well-chosen commissions and committed performances of new works. Selected for the St John’s Smith Square young artist scheme in 2018, the duo has performed new work on BBC Radio’s Arts Hour, Open Ear and In Tune.
They have collaborated with both emerging and established composers, as well as with guest performers, dancers, and art galleries. Formed in 2013 to play Stockhausen's KONTAKTE and Feldman's 4-hour For Philip Guston, they have continued to make fearless programming choices, taking on works by Georges Aperghis, Peter Maxwell Davies and Mauricio Kagel among others.
With a keen emphasis on commissioning and repertoire-building complemented by the respect and trust of composers, recent concerts have included premieres from Luke Bedford, Oliver Christophe Leith, Gregory Rose, Liam Mattison, Mark David Boden, with more new works in the pipeline for 2019 and beyond.
They have performed at the Presteigne Festival and at many “Occupy the Pianos” and “Principal Sound” festivals at St John's Smith Square from 2014-19. 2020 will see their debut at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, performing an all- John Luther Adams programme.
Their work has taken them to late slots at London clubs and pubs in a number of Nonclassical events at Scala, The Macbeth, and XOYO, including the flagship “Pioneers of Electronic Music” and “Pioneers of Percussion” festivals, and the “John Cage 100” birthday celebrations. They are featured on the “Live @ Nonclassical vol. #1” CD.
The duo were selected for the prestigious St John's Smith Square Young Artist scheme for the 2017-18 season. During this season they commissioned and premiered a new 40-minute work by Oliver Christophe Leith and gave the European premiere of Eric Wubbels's doxa, alongside performances of works by Stockhausen, Kagel, Feldman, Cage, John Luther Adams and Fran le Lohé. Details on the concerts page.
In 2014 they were invited to become New Dots artists, commissioning and workshopping new works by emerging composers and performing them at The Forge in Camden.
Work with other media includes dance shows at the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place, London, and collaborating with the David Roberts Art Foundation in Camden over a number of years. Siwan and George are also a key part of Rolf Hind and Mahogany Opera Group's immersive meditation opera Lost in Thought, including a duo movement written for them (entitled “A Little Bit of G and S”).
Individually they perform as soloists and chamber musicians, and have also worked with ensembles such as Colin Currie Group, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Symphony Orchestra, Nash Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia, OAE, Northern Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra and many others.