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 master-cellists 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 has 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 loop-station.
Karel plays a cello by Paul Blanchard built in 1902, Lyon.
Steinway Artist Simon Callaghan performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, in parallel with his highly successful career as a recording artist. In response to his regular performances in the UK’s major concert halls, his international tours to Asia, North America and Europe, and his extensive, acclaimed discography, Callaghan has developed a wide following. A favourite artist at the internationally-renowned Husum Festival of Piano Rarities in Germany, Callaghan’s recent sell-out recital drew praise from audience and critics, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describing his “cleverly curated recital full of discoveries” (VAN Magazine) as “technically brilliant”. His recital partners have included Raphael Wallfisch, Adrian Brendel, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Nicholas Daniel, Feng Ning, Samuel West, Prunella Scales and Timothy West.
Callaghan’s repertoire includes over fifty concertos, highlights of the standard solo and chamber works of the 19th and 20th centuries, and much that is rare and unexplored. One cornerstone of his work is his commitment to British music, and he has recently begun a projected series with Lyrita, presenting world premiere recordings of British concertos with Martyn Brabbins and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. By the end of 2022 he will have recorded four albums for Hyperion’s celebrated The Romantic Piano Concerto series. Callaghan’s first disc for Hyperion, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, formed part of his successful PhD project at the Royal Northern College of Music.
His three-year Poulenc project for Nimbus Records launched in 2019, recording L’histoire du Babar with Harry Potter actor Miriam Margolyes (The Independent, Five Stars). BBC Young Musician of the Year String Finalist Coco Tomita and Callaghan have begun a duo partnership which will see their first record released in 2022 on Orchid Classics. His latest release features world premiere recordings of works by Josef Holbrooke on Lyrita.
Callaghan has also recorded for Somm, Resonus and EM Records, and has expanded his role to encompass performing and producing in an exciting association with Nimbus Records and The Lyrita Recorded Edition Trust. His reputation and experience in chamber music led to his accepting the role of Director of Music at London’s celebrated Conway Hall, curating the longest-running series of its kind in Europe. He counts among his most important teachers a trio of masters: Bernard Roberts, Yonty Solomon and Frank Wibaut.