Sabine Stoffer – violin
Alex McCartney – lute
The Swiss violinist Sabine Stoffer performs as a baroque violinist throughout Europe. She plays with different ensembles in the UK and abroad (Les Passions de L’Ame, Brecon Baroque, Le Concert d’Astrée, Freitagsakademie, La Cetra u.a.) and is a member of the Ensemble Meridiana. With them, she has recorded their highly acclaimed debut album Tastes of Europe for the label Linn records. Furthermore, she plays as a leader with La Nuova Musica and she gets regular invitations from orchestras as a concertmaster and soloist.
Her chamber music career has taken her to many festivals, such as the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music London, the Oude Muziek Utrecht, the Händel Festspiele Göttingen, the York Early Music Festival, the Northern Lights Early Music Festival in King’s Place London or the Davos Festival ‚young artists in concert’. She has played with conductors such as René Jacobs, Masaaki Suzuki, Richard Egarr, Emmanuelle Haïm, Andrea Marcon and Jos van Immersee.
Together with the clarinetist Nils Kohler she organises the annual chamber music festival Kapellenkonzerte.
She studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Berne and graduated with a distinction in the teaching degree as well as in the Konzertdiplom degree, studying with Monika Urbaniak. She continued her studies with Rachel Podger at the RWCMD in Cardiff and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Baroque violin, graduating with distinction in 2010.
Sabine is the winner of the Kiefer Hablitzel Stiftung 2008, the Marianne und Curt Dienemann – Stiftung 2008, the Steinitz Bach Prize 2009 and the ‚Göttinger Reihe Historischer Musik’ 2010/11 of the Händel – Gesellschaft Göttingen (with Meridiana). In 2011 she received the ‚Coup de Coeur’ award for the promotion of young musicians from her hometown canton of Berne.
Continually in demand as an accompanist and soloist, Alex McCartney has performed extensively in the UK and abroad, working regularly with artists such as Emma Kirkby, The English Concert, The Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Early Opera Company, His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, Poeticall Musicke, La Nuova Musica and the Royal Ballet. Alex also often performs live via radio and television.
Alex is regularly recorded and is a resident artist with his own record label Veterum Musica. Amongst an array of recordings, some featuring his ensemble Poeticall Musicke, Alex has recently recorded his debut solo album of works by the lesser known composer Rene Mesangeau: due to be released later this year. Future solo projects include albums of works by Giovanni Kapsberger for theorbo, and early guitar music by Fernando Sor.
Occasionally Alex consults and teaches for film and television productions, the most recent being an adaptation of ‘Wolf Hall’ by the BBC due to be broadcast in December 2014. In addition to on-set consultancy, Alex had the challenge of teaching the actors Damian Lewis and Max Fowler to play the lute to a professional standard in the short space of one month.
In his spare time Alex enjoys making lutes in his studio in Glasgow.