At a glance
Humphreys's utter absorption and delight shines forth at every turn. [...] strong-toned, easy fluidity and immaculate technique.Charlotte Gardner - Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine
Winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, Fenella Humphreys is established as one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists, and has won critical admiration and audience acclaim with the lyrical grace and intensity of her playing.
Fenella Humphreys, winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, has won critical admiration and audience acclaim with the lyrical grace and intensity of her playing.
Described in the press as “alluring”, “unforgettable” and “a wonder”, Fenella is one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists. She enjoys a busy career combining chamber music and solo work, performing in prestigious venues around the world. She is frequently broadcast on the BBC, Classic FM, DeutschlandRadio Berlin, West-Deutsche-Rundfunk, ABC Classic FM (Australia) and Korean radio.
Fenella performs widely as a soloist. Her first concerto recording, of Christopher Wright’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Martin Yates (Dutton Epoch) was released in 2012 to great critical acclaim (“Fenella Humphreys’ performance is a wonder” – International Record Review), and was selected as Orchestral CD of the Month in a 5 star review in BBC Music Magazine.
Over the past decade Fenella has captured international attention by applying spellbinding virtuosity to a strikingly broad range of compositions. Her Bach 2 the Future albums, the second of which won the coveted BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, combined newly commissioned works with two of Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas and other repertoire landmarks. She has given the first performances of scores by, among others, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sally Beamish, Gordon Crosse, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Adrian Sutton and Piers Hellawell, and made the world premiere recording of Christopher Wright’s elegiac Violin Concerto.
Fenella’s new disc, So Many Stars, with acclaimed pianist Nicola Eimer was released on Stone Records in February 2019. It was described as “hugely rewarding” by The Guardian and BBC Radio 3’s Record Review as “an absolutely exquisite album”.
June 2019 sees the release of another new disc, Four Seasons Recomposed with Covent Garden Sinfonia and Ben Palmer (Rubicon). The album unites Max Richter’s iconic Recomposed: The Four Seasons with Pēteris Vasks’ Lonely Angel and Arvo Pärt’s Fratres to produce a compelling meditation on the profound power of melody. The disc will be launched with a performance of Recomposed at St Jude’s, Hampstead Garden Suburb in June 2019.
Fenella is a passionate chamber musician, enjoying performances with Ensemble Perpetuo, Counterpoise and I Musicanti as well as collaborations with artists including Alexander Baillie, Adrian Brendel, Pekka Kuusisto, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Martin Lovett, and is regularly invited by Steven Isserlis to take part in the prestigious Open Chamber Music at the International Musicians’ Seminar, Prussia Cove. Concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, Fenella also enjoys guest leading and directing various ensembles in Europe.
Fenella’s teachers have included Sidney Griller CBE, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ida Bieler and David Takeno at the Purcell School, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf where she was awarded the highest attainable marks both for the ‘Diplom’ exam and the ‘Konzertexamen’ soloists’ diploma.
Fenella plays a beautiful violin from the circle of Peter Guarneri of Venice, kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey.
Fenella Humphreys will release Richter's 'Four Seasons Recomposed' at the end of June with Covent Garden Sinfonia Read more
The disc has been praised by The Guardian, BBC Music Magazine and The Strad. Read more
Fenella Humphreys' performance is a wonder.International Record Review
Fenella Humphreys captures the music’s wistful cantabile to perfection, producing a golden tone in all registers with the utmost sensitivity to where every phrase is moving.The Strad
Violinist Fenella Humphreys responds to its elegiac reflection and technical display at top flight level, offering emotional depth and weight of tone.BBC Music Magazine, Orchestral Choice CD, Five Star Review
[Humphreys'] performance of the Bach is among the finest on record.American Record Review
She shapes the music with skill, and sometimes with humour... her double-stops are impeccable, and there is complete confidence in the rapid changes of character. [...] An enjoyable and accomplished CD.BBC Music Magazine, 5 Stars and Instrumental Choice CD
Humphreys's utter absorption and delight in all three shines forth at every turn... strong-toned, easy fluidity and immaculate technique. Both volumes will be making frequent returns to my stereo.Charlotte Gardner - Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine (Bach to the Future Vol. 2)
Selected Discography —
Four Seasons Recomposed
So Many Stars: Sonatinas for Violin and Piano (Stone Records)
...a whole universe of emotion, brilliantly captured by the violinist Fenella Humphreys and pianist Nicola Eimer [...] a hugely rewarding new recording.
Bach 2 the Future Vol. 2 (Champs Hill)
Gramophone Magazine, Editor's Choice. Winner of BBC Music Magazine Award 2018 (Instrumental)
Humphreys's utter absorption and delight in all three shines forth at every turn.
Bach 2 the Future (Champs Hill)
BBC Music Magazine, Instrumental CD Choice October 2015, 5 stars,
She shapes the music with skill... her double stops are impeccable. [...] An enjoyable and accomplished CD.
Christopher Wright: Violin Concerto / RSNO (Dutton)
BBC Music Magazine, October 2012, Orchestral Choice and Five Star Review
Violinist Fenella Humphreys responds to its elegiac reflection and technical display at top flight level, offering emotional depth and weight of tone
Related Media —
- Ellie Shouls