Liz Cowdrey Violin and Viola
Liz’s playing reflects her passion for travelling and exploring different techniques and styles. With gold medals in violin and bassoon and a music degree from Manchester, Liz ventured via Italy into Europe. Since then she has combined her interest in world music and cultures with a childhood love of chamber music. She performed internationally with world music ensemble Orbestra (including duo sonatas and showpieces in Colombia) and as guest soloist in Turkey; she has also collaborated in the UK with the Brodsky and Emperor string quartets on the South Bank, and later with Jubovski and the Bristol Ensemble.
As a member of The Conference of Birds, supported by The British Council, Liz travelled to Brazil to research and promote links between Amazonian birds and music/dance. She has been involved in further birdsong-inspired projects and concerts in Italy, Spain and the UK.
An interest in ethnic styles and instruments has involved Liz in film, TV and radio, playing the young violin-playing poet in “John Clare’s Journey” and violin/gusle in “Welcome to Sarajevo”. Liz features on the CD “Transdanubian Swineherds' Music” with Orbestra for Rykodisc; on the recording "Birdsong & Music" by “The Conference of Birds”; improvising on violin and viola with Latin singers and quartet Alma de Tango; and as the staged violinist in Peter's various operas. Her own projects include recording a violinist's world view - reflecting and celebrating three decades of travels and influences; and interpreting Bach as a result.
Great inspirations have been folk and gypsy musicians in Eastern Europe. Liz has visited Hungary and Transylvania several times, soaking up rich and intoxicating musical influences. She transcribes gypsy and folk music, and birdsong (with The Goldfinch Foundation), to facilitate accessing essence through style and gesture - as a learning tool both in preparation for performance and in educational work. Liz is dedicated to spreading the gypsy spirit through violin playing.
“Liz Cowdrey's nifty violin was stunning.” - (The Independent)
“The potency and beauty of her sound and her masterly handling of the bow” - (El Pais, Cali, Colombia)
“Strong resonances of the gypsy spirit and the tremendous swing of Stefan Grappelli's violin” - (Hi-Fi World)
Jub Double Bass
Jub's career has covered a wide range of musical styles. He's worked in avantgarde theatre with Station House Opera, been a member in the Indie pop group The Band of Holy Joy, as well as working with more conventional groups like English National Opera, London Contemporary Dance Theatre,London Mozart Players and the London Chamber Orchestra. He also co-founded the prize winning Kreisler String Orchestra which went on to win the 1986 Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade.
Jub is a longstanding member of The Carnival Band He's been playing, singing and writing with them and their long-time collaborator Maddy Prior for more than Twenty-five years, recording more than 15 albums along the way. Over the years he has worked with many notable artists including Youssou N'Dour, Tanita Tikaram, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ian Carr, Loose Tubes, Brian Eno and John Cale, Sting, DJ Krust, Zero 7, the Brodsky and Duke string quartets.
He is a founder member and trustee of the Adderbury Ensemble and Oxford Coffee Concerts in Oxfordshire and is also a founding member of the Bristol Ensemble. He’s taken up the challenge of contemporary music with groups such as Opus 20, Lontano, Orbestra and Ixion.
A diversity of musical projects have included; theatrical work with Gloria Theatre Company's “A Picture of Dorian Gray”, an extraordinary world music collaboration with experimental cellist David Darling and the Wulu Bunun Singers of Taiwan. Working and touring the world with dynamic choreographer Hofesh Schecter, in his dance company's productions of "In Your Rooms" and "Political Mother The Choreographer's Cut." In 2012 at the Barbican Centre he collaborated with Hofesh Schecter and Artist Anthony Gormley on a mixed media and physical theatre production entitled "Survivor"
Film and TV work includes recorded contributions to the sound tracks of David Attenborough's BBC television series “Life in Cold Blood”, Franny Armstrong’s eco pic “The Age Of Stupid” and Andrew Piddingtons “The Killing Of John Lennon”
Concert collaborations have included performances with musical savant and blind pianist Derek Paravicini, one of which was broadcast on CBS 60 MINUTES. Another outstanding collaboration in Bristol saw him perform with legendary drum and bass supremo Roni Size and Reprazent.
His secret claim to fame - he created and sang on the jingle “Bring Chris Evans On” for Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 show.
"Jub – a stunning virtuoso of the instrument, technically superb with brilliant, agile finger work." (Petersfield Herald)
Peter Cowdrey Piano
Peter Cowdrey won music scholarships to Winchester College and Trinity College Cambridge. He studied composition with Oliver Knussen. His opera Zeller was performed by the Cambridge University Opera Society in 1985, with a libretto by Henry Shukman.
He was resident in Polynesia for three years, recording Polynesian music for Warrior Pacific Records. He then founded the world music group Orbestra, which toured Europe from Shetland to Bulgaria and also to South America. Orbestra was discovered by American producer Joe Boyd, who then invited the group to record on the Hannibal/Rykodisc label.
In 1995 he conducted the premiere of his "A Garden Amidst Flames" in Hagia Irene, one of Istanbul’s great basilicas. It was the culmination of a year long project for the Istanbul Festival to combine two great musical traditions that had diverged at the crusades.
Peter's works have been premiered at Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. He's also written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In 2010, he founded Opera Unlimited with Rosie Johnston, conducting the premiere of his one act opera "The Lovely Ladies" at Christies. This production was repeated at the Buxton Opera Festival in 2011. In November 2011 his new opera "The Mad Duchess" was premiered at Boughton House in Northamptonshire with further performances at Claxton Opera, Norfolk and in London. Future plans include a commission for Gonzalez Byass in Jerez, in a setting of "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" with tenor Toby Spence, and a puppet opera based on Paradise Lost.
Peter is passionate about birds and birdsong; in 2009 he founded the ensemble The Conference of Birds, which received British Council funding to travel to Amazonia to work with local composers and ornithologists. He is involved in creating Planet birdsong, a global online community for The Goldfinch Foundation.
By tapping into these ancient seams of sound, Peter Cowdrey quarries out exquisite melodies (The Guardian)