Karel Bredenhorst and Simon Callaghan first met in 2013 when they collaborated at the Whittington Chamber Music Festival. A strong friendship developed and Duo Verzaro now give regular recitals on the continent and in the UK. Their debut CD, recorded in Cervo, Italy, was released in September 2016 and their second recording followed in December 2017.
Dutch cellist Karel Bredenhorst performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. His most recent concerts have taken him from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and Estonia up to Brazil, USA and Nepal.
Karel is founder and artistic director of the Cervo Chamber Music festival, is a member and founder of Cuarteto Soltango, and plays regularly with Pynarello.
As a recitalist and chamber musician Karel performs at numerous festivals such as the European Summer Music Academy Kosovo, the Amsterdamse Cellobiënnale, the Southwell Music Festival, the Orlando Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana Siena, the Styrian Chamber Music festival, IMS Prussia Cove, the Whittington chamber music festival, il Festival Internationale da Musica da Camera da Cervo, the Amerfortissimo festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
During these festivals Karel has performed together with musicians such as Midori, Gustav Rivinius, David Geringas, Jean Sulem, Johannes Erkes, Hartmut Rohde, Martin Ostertag, Alvaro Siviero and Ian Fountain. As a chamber musician Karel substituted in Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the NKO, the Ragazze Quartet and the Matangi Quartet.
Karel studied in Holland with Monique Bartels and with Paul Uyterlinde. In Germany he continued his studies with Troels Svane at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck, where he graduated the soloist class with distinction and the highest grade in all subjects.
Karel was frequently coached by mastercellists such as Gustav Rivinius, Gary Hoffman, Miklos Perenyi, Steven Isserlis, Anner Bylsma and David Geringas. In turn currently Karel is a masterclass teacher during festivals including the European Summer Music Academy, Kosovo and the Southwell Music Festival.
With his former string quartet “En-Accord”, Karel won several prizes and was coached by quartet musicians such as Sandor Devich (Bartók Quartet), Milan Skampa (Smetana Quartet), Martin Lovett (Amadeus Quartet), Ferdinand Erblich (Parkanyi Quartet), Earl Carlyss (Juilliuard Quartet), Tim Vogler (Vogler Quartet), Thomas Brandis (Brandis Quartet), Hugh Maguire (Allegri Quartet), Stefan Metz (Orlando Quartet) and Valentin Berlinsky (Borodin Quartet).
Karel enjoys experimenting with different music styles. He played with Herman van Veen, the Mozaiek Ensemble and Carel Kraayenhof and is member and founder of Cuarteto SolTango, an exceptional traditional tango group. Karel also improvises as The GoOzer with e-cello and loopstation.
Karel plays a cello by Paul Blanchard built in 1902, Lyon.
Praised for his ‘velvet-gloved pianism of ravishing sensitivity’ (The Strad), Steinway Artist Simon Callaghan performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. His recent tours have taken him to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada and throughout Europe, and he has performed at all of the UK’s major concert halls.
Simon has a particular interest in bringing rarely performed works to new audiences. He has made two recordings for Hyperion’s lauded series The Romantic Piano Concerto, the first (Roger Sacheverell Coke’s Concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins in 2017) reaching no. 2 in the specialist classical charts.
Simon’s first solo disc for Hyperion, world premiere recordings of works by Jean Louis Nicodé, was released in 2019 to critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising his “superb artistry”. The most recent additions to Simon’s catalogue of solo recordings are sets of miniatures by Schumann and Poulenc on Nimbus, the first complete survey on disc of George Dyson’s music for piano for SOMM and the first disc in his latest project – to record all of Poulenc’s piano music: Babar the Little Elephant, narrated by Miriam Margolyes.
Simon’s discography also includes solo works by Sterndale Bennett, Parry and Sacheverell Coke, chamber music by Brahms, Schumann, Chopin and Ravel, and recordings of music for two pianos by Parry, Sherwood, Delius, Chopin and Liszt with Parnassius Duo partner Hiroaki Takenouchi. Simon has recently expanded his role to both artist and producer in an exciting association with Nimbus and Lyrita. Releases on Lyrita include the world premiere recording of Roger Sacheverell Coke’s cello sonatas with Raphael Wallfisch.
Festival invitations have included Husum Piano Rarities, the English Music Festival, Wintertide Festival (Canada), Absolute Classics, Highgate, Cervo, Hertfordshire and Whittington. In chamber music he has collaborated with Feng Ning, Jack Liebeck, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Thomas Gould, Nicholas Daniel, Raphael Wallfisch and the actors Timothy West, Prunella Scales, and Samuel West. Contemporary music performances have included works by Joseph Phibbs, Julian Anderson and Kenneth Hesketh, and his world premiere recording of Paul Patterson’s ‘Allusions’ for two violins and piano (with Midori Komachi and Sophie Rosa) was released in 2017.
Simon puts great value on teaching, giving frequent masterclasses alongside his roles as Head of Piano at the Ingenium Academy (Winchester) and Director of Music at Conway Hall, where he oversees the longest-running chamber music series in Europe. In 2020 the Royal Northern College of Music awarded Simon a PhD in Performance for his work on Roger Sacheverell Coke.