Music

Alasdair Tait

Scottish cellist Alasdair Tait has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and is also much sought after as a chamber music coach and teacher. In 2009 Alasdair took up the position of Head of Chamber Music at the Guildhall School alongside his continuing role as Chief Executive of Young Concert Artists Trust. Prior to this appointment, he held the post of Director of Chamber Music at the RNCM in Manchester, Artistic Director of the RNCM International Chamber Music Festival, Professor of Chamber Music at the International Chamber Music Institute of the Reina Sofia Conservatoire in Madrid and has been a regular professor on the Britten-Pears International Quartet Academy and Lake District Summer Music. He is frequently invited as jury member on international competitions such as Chamber Music Australia and the Joseph Haydn Wettbewerb, Vienna. Most recently he has given masterclasses in Australia, Japan and Singapore as well as throughout Europe.

Alasdair studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum and at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland, with Thomas Demenga. On returning to the UK in 1998, Alasdair joined the Belcea Quartet and was its cellist until 2006. During this time he has performed around the world with tours to Australia and New Zealand, the Far East, North and South America as well as throughout Europe and at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Köln Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, Chatelet, Cité de la Musique, Frankfurt Alte Oper and the Casals Hall in Tokyo. For five years the quartet was Resident Quartet at Wigmore Hall, a position which also included regular education work. As a member of the Belcea Quartet Alasdair has recorded for EMI CDs of Schubert, Brahms, Britten, Mozart, Fauré and Barber and collaborated with Ian Bostridge, Thomas Ades, Thomas Kakushka and Jonathan Lemalu. Their disc of Debussy, Ravel and Duttilleux quartets won a Gramaphone Award and an earlier recording of Janacek was awarded a Diapason d’Or in France. As well as being one of the first groups to participate in the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme, the quartet were also twice recipients of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Awards for Chamber Music Ensemble.

Alasdair has participated in many of the world’s important festivals including Edinburgh, Salzburg, Schubertiade, Risør, Delft, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Bath, performing alongside artists including Piotr Andrezewski, Christian Zacharias, Kathryn Stott, Imogen Cooper, Aleksander Madzar, Isabelle van Keulen, Alexander Janicek, Valentin Erben, Borodin Quartet, Heinz Holliger, Michael Collins, Simon Keenlyside, Dame Anne Murray and Lisa Milne.

In 2004 he formed the Ulysses Ensemble, a group of international chamber musicians dedicated to exploring the various musical styles and genres of the 20th and 21st centuries. They have formed a close relationship with the Aldeburgh Festival, participating in two residencies culminating in their inaugural concert at the 2005 festival. Since then they have appeared at Wigmore Hall with Christine Schäfer in Pierrot Lunaire and Het Concertgebouw in 2009.