Concert 1

14 November 2021


GAIA are an award-winning violin and cello duo, comprising two of Scotland’s most distinguished chamber musicians – Katrina Lee and Alice Allen. Winners of Chamber Music Scotland’s highly competitive and prestigious two year residency, GAIA are at the forefront of innovative and pioneering programming with exciting, bold and daring performances that push the boundaries of string duo performance and creative programming. Their impressive and growing collection of bespoke commissions from world renowned composers includes Sally Beamish, Kim Moore (Sound designer for SuperFan, Nose Dive), and Duncan Strachan (Maxwell Quartet). GAIA celebrate and champion works by under-represented voices within classical music and their commitment to spotlight historical works by uncredited women composers sees them explore current issues of gender inequality within classical music, making them one of today’s most exciting and dynamic duos of our times.

Tonight​’s programme

Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata for Violin and Cello (Op.5 No.9)
Maurice Ravel: Duo for Violin and Cello
                           short interval
Rebecca Clarke: Lullaby/Grotesque
Sally Beamish: Stone, Salt and Sky (GAIA commission)

Both Alice and Katrina are previous Scottish Ensemble Young Artists and between them boast an impressive array of instrumental awards. During her time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Katrina was recipient of every string prize awarded by the Conservatoire. She was also the recipient of the International Konigin Sophie Charlotte competition for Violin. During Alice’s two year masters at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland she was recipient of the Durbar-Gerber Chamber Music Award, Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust Scholarship and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. Whilst studying at the Royal Northern College of Music Alice was winner of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s professional experience scheme.

GAIA are regular performers at the Royal Conservatoire’s annual PLUG Contemporary Music Festival, which showcases the talent of current composition students. GAIA were recently commissioned by the world-renowned Courtauld Gallery in London, to compose a piece of music inspired by Claude Monet’s ‘Antibes’ from the gallery’s extensive collection of prized art. Other recent highlights include an award winning performance of Konstantinos Terzakis piece ‘Invisible Sound’ which saw the composer awarded second prize at the 4th International Composer Award in Vienna. This outstanding ensemble regularly work on cross-arts collaboration, and their work with award winning Glasgow based artist Jennifer Wicks has been showcased by Centre for Contemporary Arts.

Alice and Katrina are co-founders of the Scottish Freelancers Ensemble, formed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, helping our community of freelance musicians support each other to keep our art alive.

Link to the artists’ website