Summer Music at Walshaw 2024 - Tickets on Sale Now!

ROWENA THORNTON was born in Leeds into a musical family and has been singing since the age of four. Over the years she has taken part in performances of a variety of styles and genres comprising opera, oratorio,Lieder, and contemporary music, including premiers of new works. Rowena performs both as soloist and in ensembles and has appeared in plays. She graduated from the University of Birmingham and then completed a Masters in Performance at Leeds College of Music, where she performed a range of repetoire from Purcell to Cage and beyond.  Most recently Rowena has played the lead roles of Nedda (Il Paggiacci), Rosalind (Die Fledermaus) Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance 3) and Elsie Maynard (Yoemen of the Guard).

MARGARET BRUCE was born in Vancouver and educated at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto and the Toronto Conservatory of Music before leaving Canada for London when she was 18.
After studying at the Royal College of Music she won a scholarship for further study in Vienna. Returning to London she completed her studies with the Czech concert pianist Lisa Fuchsova and the German-born conductor Peter Gellhorn.
There are any number of pianists who've gad had the occasional work written for them but Margaret Bruce, on the other hand, has had what amounts to an entire repertoire of new music written specially for her  by composers as famous as Herbert Howells and Sir Lenox Berkeley. Not that Bruce has restricted her performance activity exclusive to new music. She's played Mozart and Chopin at the Barbican with the Royal Philharmonic, performed Liszt in Slovakia and Bermuda and presented various recitals and broadcasts throughout Northam Erica and Europe.
Of all the composers who have written works for her, the Czech composer Antonin Tucapsky has particular pride of place. In the 80's Bruce premiered his 'Fantasia quasi una sonata' at the Purcell Room. There followed a piano concerto, a piano trio and 24 Piano Preludes. As well he wrote a miniature Piano Trio for her triplet sons  when they were six years old.

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