Jury members

Here you will find more information about this years jury members: Stefan Metz, Viola de Hoog, Gina McCormack, James Austin Smith and Catherine Yates.

Stefan Metz, violoncello (president)

The Transsylvanian-born Stefan Metz studied cello at the Bucharest Conservatory and continued his studies with Paul Tortelier. A masterclass of the Amadeus Quartet brought him to The Netherlands, where he founded the Orlando Quartet in 1976. With this Quartet he toured extensively and made more than 20 CD recordings. The Orlando Quartet won the Grand Prix du Disque twice. In 1982 Stefan Metz founded the Orlando Festival, an international chamber music festival, and commissioned composers as Alfred Schnittke, Tristan Keuris, András Szöllösy and Marius Constant to write string quartets, which were first performed at the festival. György Kurtág’s frequent visits to the Orlando Festival resulted in a close working relationship with Stefan Metz. As a result of this, he has frequently performed Kurtág’s music, amongst others at the Edinburgh Festival, Luzern Festwochen, Wien Modern and Festival d’Automne de Paris.

Stefan Metz performed with Heinz Holliger, Nobuko Imai, Gidon Kremer, Menahem Pressler, Heinrich Schiff, the Borodin Quartet and members of the Amadeus Quartet. He regularly holds masterclasses in Holland in Holland, Germany, Great Britain and USA and often appears on the jury of international chamber music competitions, e.g. Bordeaux, Florence, London, Moscow and Prague.

In 2011 Stefan Metz retired from the Orlando Festival as artistic director.

Viola de Hoog, violoncello

Viola de Hoog (www.violadehoog.com) has an international career not only in the world of Early Music, but also as a member of the most renowned Dutch Schoenberg String Quartet with which she has traveled the world over during 20 years.

After finishing her studies in Amsterdam with Anner Bijlsma with a solo- and chamber music degree she has concentrated mainly on playing chamber music, both on modern and baroque-cello.

In 1986 she was a finalist in the First International Baroque-cello Competition held in Paris.

In the orchestral world of Early Music she has been working as principal cellist with a.o. Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Jos van Veldhoven and Jos van Immerseel, currently with The King’s Consort and Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht.

Her chamber groups Ensemble Schönbrunn (since 1987) and Schoenberg String Quartet (1990-2009) have specialized in performing repertoire ranging from the early 17th century up to the 20st century.

After the end of the Schoenberg Quartet’s existence in 2009, Viola de Hoog founded the Narratio String Quartet with the aim of playing Beethoven’s String Quartets on period instruments.

As a soloist Viola de Hoog has been performing series of Bach’s 6 Suites for cello solo in Japan, in Amsterdam and Paris, her recent recording of the suites for VIVAT has been received with enthousiasm:

“A formidable player…fine sound…elegance and finesse…entirely convincing” (Gramophone)

“outstanding … first class recording … among the very best versions ***** ” (BBC Music Magazine)

Viola de Hoog is playing a cello built by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Milano ca.1750, made available by the ‘Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds’.

Viola de Hoog has been teaching at the Utrechts Conservatory since 1990, the HfK Bremen since 2003 and the Conservatory of Amsterdam since 2007.

Foto: © Marten Root, Amsterdam

Gina McCormack, violin

Gina McCormack is well established as one of Britain’s leading  artists, with regular solo appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre and at venues across the country. She has performed at many British Festivals, including the City of London, Henley, Edinburgh, Buxton, Aldeburgh and Salisbury Festivals, and has appeared as soloist in the UK with the Hallé and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras and the former Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Tours abroad have taken her to France, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, South Africa and South America, and most recently to Austria and Switzerland.
Gina studied with György Pauk at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and attended masterclasses with Sandor Vegh (at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at Prussia Cove in Cornwall), Dorothy DeLay, Andras Mihaly and Siegmund Nissel (from the Amadeus Quartet). While still a student, she was a prizewinner at the Royal Overseas League Music Competition in London and at the International Young Concert Artists’ Competition in Tunbridge Wells, where she has since returned to serve on the jury.
For thirteen years Gina was the leader of the Sorrel Quartet, with whom she was frequently heard on BBC Radio Three. The quartet made twelve CDs for Chandos Records, of works by Britten, Mendelssohn, Schubert and the complete cycle of Shostakovich quartets. Their Elgar CD was chosen as one of Classic FM’s records of the year and was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. The group also recorded John Pickard’s Quartets on the Dutton label.
She then led the Maggini Quartet for two years, and decided to leave the group in March 2010 to focus on her solo work, continuing a long association with her duo partner, pianist Nigel Clayton. Since then the duo has had engagements in Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, and all around the UK.
Gina McCormack is also well-known as a teacher, having spent 11 years as professor of Violin at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (formerly Trinity College of Music) in London. She is currently teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, and St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. She also gives regular masterclasses both in the UK and at summer festivals abroad.

James Austin Smith, oboe

Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling” and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs equal parts new and old music across the United States and around the world.  Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Chamber Music Society Two), the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Talea Ensemble, Cygnus and Decoda, and a regular guest of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  He is a member of the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase and co-Artistic Director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants around New York City.

Mr. Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Lucerne, Chamber Music Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein, Stellenbosch, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, OK Mozart, Schwetzingen and Spoleto USA; he has performed with the St. Lawrence, Orion and Parker string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode and Kairos labels.  His debut solo recording “Distance” was released in early 2015 on South Africa’s TwoPianists Record Label.

Mr. Smith received his Master of Music degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music and graduated in 2005 with Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Bachelor of Music degrees from Northwestern University.  He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Leipzig, Germany at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy”.  Mr. Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli and Ray Still.

Catherine Yates, violin

Catherine Yates began her musical studies with Marion Hillier before going on to study the violin with Malcolm Layfield and Lydia Mordkovich at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Further training included courses at Yale University and at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies at Aldeburgh. In 1989, Catherine became a member of the Sorrel Quartet, performing extensively both at home and abroad, broadcasting regularly on BBC Radio and holding Artists-in-Residence positions at six of Britain’s major universities. The Quartet built up a sizeable discography through their association with Chandos Records, a collaboration which resulted in many critically acclaimed discs, most notably the complete cycle of Shostakovich Quartets and major works of Britten and Elgar.

Catherine combined quartet life with a busy freelance performing and teaching career before taking up the post of Principal Second Violin with the Halle in September 2007. Whilst relishing the challenges of symphony orchestra life, she still enjoys recitals around the country as both violinist and viola player, coaching on various chamber music and orchestral courses, including the National Youth Orchestra, and teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music.