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about us

a wonderful, adventuresome, sensitive pair of musicians

- Kate Molleson, BBC R3

george barton & siwan rhys, piano and percussion duo, with toy piano © dejan mrdja

GBSR Duo - George Barton (percussion) and Siwan Rhys (piano) - combines two of the UK's finest young contemporary chamber instrumentalists. 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 and boundary-crossing performances, GBSR's work ranges from the twentieth-century modernism of Stockhausen and Ustvolskaya to music by Brian Eno and Aphex Twin; from the exquisite delicacy of composers like Morton Feldman, Eva-Maria Houben and Barbara Monk Feldman to the experimental and cross-genre work of Oliver Leith, CHAINES and Angharad Davies.

With a keen emphasis on commissioning and repertoire-building complemented by the respect and trust of composers, GBSR's recent world premieres include works from Eva-Maria Houben, CHAINES, Christopher Fox, Angharad Davies, Oliver Leith, Tim Parkinson, Laurence Osborn and many others, and European and UK premieres of works by Nicole Lizée, Barbara Monk Feldman, Lisa Illean, Eric Wubbels and others. Meanwhile their interest in cross-disciplinary 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. Hailed as “a landmark performance” by Tom Service on BBC Radio 3, it was made album of the week in The Guardian and named “the best spatial audio purchase I’ve made this year” by Seth Colter Walls in The New York Times in 2023.

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 Aphex Twin, Oliver Leith and Ustvolskaya at Bold Tendencies London, Eva-Maria Houben at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Laurence Osborn and Harold Budd at Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Cheltenham Festival, Stockhausen multi-channel works at Kings Place, and Oliver Leith’s opera Last Days at Walt Disney Hall with the LA Phil and Tom Adès. Recent premieres include works by Angharad Davies and Lisa Illean at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and by Tim Parkinson and Christopher Fox at Sound Festival Aberdeen.

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, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Apartment House, Britten Sinfonia, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO, Nash Ensemble, OAE, London Contemporary Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, 12 Ensemble and many others.

GBSR Duo is an hcmf// Fielding Talent artist.

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