GBSR Duo - George Barton (percussion) and Siwan Rhys - combines two of the UK's finest young contemporary chamber musicians. The duo has built its reputation on a combination of exceptional interpretations of the existing piano-percussion repertoire, committed performances of ambitious new commissions, and inventive collaborations.
Known for their fearless, intense performances and deeply-rooted commitment to reflecting the unsiloed tastes of curious listeners, GBSR's work ranges from the twentieth-century modernism of Stockhausen and Birtwistle to music by Brian Eno and Aphex Twin. They have a special interest in the exquisite delicacy of composers like Morton Feldman, Eva-Maria Houben and Barbara Monk Feldman, whose work they have championed, and maintain close continuing relationships with composers like Oliver Leith, CHAINES and Angharad Davies, who share their appetite for musical cross-fertilisation.
With a keen emphasis on commissioning and repertoire-building complemented by the respect and trust of composers, world premieres include works from Eva-Maria Houben, CHAINES, Arne Gieshoff, Oliver Sellwood and many others, and European and UK premieres of works by Nicole Lizée, Barbara Monk Feldman, Eric Wubbels and others. Meanwhile their interest in cross-disciplinary and experimental work has led to ongoing collaborations with Angharad Davies, Dejan Mrdja, Cameron Graham and other artists.
Their recording of Stockhausen's KONTAKTE was released in October 2019 by all that dust. Described as “a landmark performance” by Tom Service on BBC Radio 3, it was made album of the week in The Guardian.
Their recording of Oliver Leith's good day good day bad day bad day, a 45-minute piece written for the duo after long collaboration with the composer, was a Pick of the Week in The Guardian and was named a Highlight of 2020 by Radio 3 New Music Show. Their Barbara Monk Feldman portrait disc, Verses, was released on Another Timbre in 2021 to widespread critical acclaim.
Their most recent disc is Eva Maria Houben's together on the way, an hour-long work in which GBSR Duo is joined by the composer on pipe organ. Described as "a sublime example of music-making as an act of journeying" by Simon Cummings, in February 2022 the recording was chosen by Peter Margasak for Bandcamp's 'best contemporary classical' selection.
See the releases page for full details of all GBSR's recordings.
Recent performances include Nicole Lizée at Kings Place, Barbara Monk Feldman at Spitalfields Music Festival and Kettle's Yard, Stockhausen and Aphex Twin at Bold Tendencies, Morton Feldman at No Bounds festival, and Eva-Maria Houben at hcmf// and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. They recently collaborated with 12 Ensemble to form the orchestra for Oliver Leith's opera Last Days at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre.
See the concerts page for upcoming events as well as details of past concerts.
Radio broadcasts include performances of new works on BBC R3's, Night Tracks, New Music Show, Late Junction and In Tune, BBC World Service's The Arts Hour, BBC R6's Freak Zone, RTÉ's Sound Out, Radio Regent Toronto's The Moderns, and PBS Australia's The Sound Barrier. The duo has also been featured on the Music We'd Like to Hear and Soundmaking podcasts.
Individually they perform as soloists and chamber musicians, and work with ensembles including the Colin Currie Group, Riot Ensemble, Explore Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Apartment House, Britten Sinfonia, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO, Nash Ensemble, OAE, London Contemporary Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, 12 Ensemble and many others.
photo © dejan mrdja