photo © dejan mrdja
Formed in 2013 to play Stockhausen’s KONTAKTE and Feldman’s 4-hour For Philip Guston, the “fearless and peerless” duo of George Barton (percussion) and Siwan Rhys (piano) is acquiring a national reputation for exceptional interpretations of the existing piano-percussion repertoire, well-chosen commissions, and committed performances of new works.
With a keen emphasis on commissioning and repertoire-building complemented by the respect and trust of composers, recent world premieres include works from Nicholas Moroz, Cee Haines (CHAINES), Mark David Boden, Oliver Christophe Leith, Liam Mattison, Oliver Sellwood and many others. They have performed new works on BBC World Service's Artsnight and BBC Radio 3's Open Ear and In Tune.
Their recording of Stockhausen's KONTAKTE was released in October 2019 by all that dust. It was made album of the week in The Guardian, where Andrew Clements wrote that the recording "reveal[s] Stockhausen's musical thinking […] Barton and Rhys prove perfect guides to all these complexities; there may already be a number of recordings of this remarkable work, but theirs adds an extra dimension to it". It was also played on BBC Radio 3's New Music Show, where Tom Service called it a "landmark performance".
Recent performances include Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Presteigne Festival, Music at Oxford, the Birmingham University concert series and City University of London concert series. They were also Featured Artists at the 2019 Hartley Residency, University of Southampton.
They have been regular performers at the “Occupy the Pianos” and “Principal Sound” festivals at St John’s Smith Square from 2014-18. The duo was selected for the prestigious St John’s Smith Square Young Artist scheme for the 2017-18 season. Their work has also taken them to late slots at London clubs in a number of Nonclassical events, including the ﬂagship “Pioneers of Electronic Music” and “Pioneers of Percussion” festivals. They are featured on the “Live @ Nonclassical vol. #1” CD.
Individually they perform as soloists and chamber musicians, and work with ensembles including the Colin Currie Group, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, LSO, CBSO, Nash Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia, OAE, London Contemporary Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra and many others.
Upcoming engagements include the 2020 Vale of Glamorgan festival. In March 2020 they will record Oliver Leith's good day good day bad day bad day for release on another timbre.