Katharine Gowers & Charles Owen 1997

Katharine Gowers and Charles Owen (violin and piano)

Katharine Gowers & Charles Owen won the Parkhouse Award in the 1997 competition, where they performed the Allegro from Respighi’s Sonata in B minor, the Allegro con Spirito from Beethoven’s sonata Op. 12 No. 3, and the Blues moderato and Perpetuum mobile-Allegro from Ravel’s Sonata in G major.

Charles Owen began his musical studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Seta Tanyel and continued at the Royal College of Music under the guidance of Irina Zaritskaya. While at the RCM he won all the major piano prizes before completing his studies with Imogen Cooper. He received the Silver Medal at the Scottish International Piano Competition (1995) and was a finalist in the 1996 London Philharmonic/Pioneer Young Soloist of the year competition. In 1997 he won the prestigious Parkhouse Award in partnership with violinist Katharine Gowers.

Charles’ concert activities are diverse and extensive, encompassing solo, concerto and chamber music appearances. He has performed in many of Britain’s leading concert halls including the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Internationally, he has appeared at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Paris Louvre, the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Moscow Conservatoire.

He has collaborated with many outstanding artists including violinists Sarah Chang, Antje Weithaas, Chloe Hanslip, Henning Kraggerud, Jack Liebeck, Renaud Capucon and Catherine Leonard as well as cellists Adrian Brendel, Natalie Clein, Guy Johnston, Paul Watkins and Tim Hugh. He has also performed with the Wihan, Vertavo and Vogler Quartets. A regular broadcaster for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and ABC Australia, Charles has performed with celebrated orchestras including the Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National, English Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Lodz Filharmonia and the Moscow State Academic Symphony. Regular festival appearances include the Perth International Music Festival in Western Australia, the Vogler Spring Festival in County Sligo, the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, the Elverum Festival in Norway and the “Homecoming Festival” in Moscow. As a recitalist and chamber musician he has played for numerous concert societies and established festivals including Bath, Cheltenham, Chester, Harrogate and the Worcester Three Choirs Festival.

He has recorded for EMI Classics for Pleasure and SOMM recordings. His first solo disc for Somm, featuring the piano music of Leos Janácek is listed as a “key” recording in the 2004 edition of The Penguin Good CD Guide. His highly acclaimed disc of works by Poulenc was selected as Editor’s Choice in the June 2004 edition of Gramophone and was subsequently nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2005.

His most recent recording for EMI Classics for Pleasure, with Natalie Clein, of Cello and Piano sonatas by Brahms and Schubert won a Classical Brit Award in 2005.

Charles Owen is a Professor at the Guildhall school of Music and Drama in London.

Biography — Katharine Gowers

Katharine Gowers studied with David Takeno at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Guildhall School of Music, with Roland and Almita Vamos at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and with Joey Corpus in New York. In 1997 she won the international Parkhouse Award with the pianist Charles Owen.

Amongst her concerto appearances, Katharine has played with the Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, and with the BBC Big Band and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. She has toured extensively throughout Britain and Europe in recital (including at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and St. John’s, Smith Square) and as a chamber musician. Katharine has performed at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, City of London, Aldeburgh Proms, Cheltenham, Salzburg, Bath, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Delft, Vancouver, Spoleto and Oxford festivals, and in 2003 and 2005 was a featured artist at the Presteigne Festival. She has also recorded for BBC Radio 3, for French, Dutch, Austrian and Canadian radio, and for EMI Classics.

Katharine has collaborated in chamber music with artists such as Steven Isserlis, Stephen Kovacevich, Imogen Cooper, Paul Lewis and Adrian Brendel. She has toured with Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra playing Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and in 2001/2 she performed in a piano quartet with Alfred Brendel on a worldwide chamber music tour (which included New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna). She recently returned to the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg to perform Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata with Julius Drake in a festival specially devised by Ian Bostridge.

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