Abigail Dolan joined the Symphonova Project in 2011 as a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. Since then she brought to the Project
The Symphonova is the brainchild of Shelley Katz. He first dreamed of it in 1989 when employed as StudienLeiter and Kappelmeister at the opera house.
Goran Tchubrilo is fascinated by Symphonova’s unique concept of integrating musicians with the most recent developments
Abigail Dolan joined the Symphonova Project in 2011 as a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. Since then she brought to the Project her extensive experience as a concert flautist and artistic director, and her background in performance studies. Abigail is deeply excited about the new horizons offered by the Symphonova, and passionate about exploring the new territories with musicians, visual artists and audiences, in both artistic and social contexts.
Abigail has appeared solo and in various chamber music ensembles in numerous international festivals and concert venues worldwide, and has made live recordings and broadcasts for radio stations and television programmes.
Concerto performances include her arrangement for flute of Mendelssohn’s violin concerto and the Nielsen flute concerto performed with the Symphonova Orchestra, the Oeden Partos’ flute concerto with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Paul Ben-Haim’s Divertimento Concertante for flute and chamber orchestra with the Kaprizma Ensemble (first recording). In collaboration with dancer and choreographer Amos Hetz, Abigail has performed John Cage’s Cheap Imitation for flute solo in Zurich, Potsdam and Stuttgart festivals. Chamber music collaborations include performances with soprano Emma Kirkby, cellist Thomas Carroll, violinist Pierre Amoyal, pianist Shelley Katz, the Lendvai String Trio, the Tate Ensemble, Kaprizma Ensemble, Musica Nova, and pianist David Dolan, with whom she regularly performs as a duo. Abigail’s discography under the French label Selena includes French repertoire for flute and piano with David Dolan, as well as a French music programme for flute, viola and harp with Ensemble Lumina. The CD was nominated ‘CD of the month’ (December 2000) by the French professional magazine Haute Fidelité. Her performance of Michael Wolpe’s flute concerto with the Ars Musica chamber orchestra at the international Palermo Festival won the Special Festival Award and was issued on CD (Memus publication). She has recorded works written by the Israeli composers Andre Hajdu (The Jerusalem Artists Series) and Yinam Leef (The Rubin Academy in Jerusalem).
Abigail has been teaching flute and chamber music as part of the Instrumental Award Scheme, University of Cambridge. She has been conducting workshops for performers in various occasions, including at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Royal College of Music and King’s College, London, and presented papers at the Royal College of Music, CMPCP Conferences in Cambridge, the Institute of Musical Research (IMR) in London, the Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture at Goldsmiths College, the School of Music at the University of Leeds, the Performa Conference in Aveiro in Portugal, the Orpheus Institute in Belgium, the British Library’s Saul Seminar and at the CHARM/RMA Annual Conference.
Abigail’s research focuses on the study of musical performance, examining it from historical and cognitive perspectives, with a special interest in exploring ways to apply the insights gained in performance. Abigail received her PhD from King’s College London. Entitled Landmarks in Flute Performance Style on Record 1900-1950, it is an examination of the changes in flute performance style in 78rpm recordings, using software for sound analysis and focusing on tone qualities and expressivity in performance. The research was awarded the AVI Fellowship and the Edison Fellowship of the British Library Sound Archive.
Abigail is the founder and Artistic Director of the Intimate Engagements chamber-music concert series at Clare Hall, Cambridge University. The series provides a unique format in which prominent artists combine their performance with informally sharing their personal reflections on the musical themes. The series was inaugurated in 2008 by soprano Emma Kirkby, and since then featured distinguished artists. Abigail was elected as Fellow Commoner for a conspicuous and exceptional contribution to the College life.
The Symphonova is the brainchild of Shelley Katz. He first dreamed of it in 1989 when employed as StudienLeiter and Kappelmeister at the opera house in Koblenz, and since then has been working on its conceptualisation and design alongside his eclectic career as a pianist, conductor, composer and music-technologist.
Born in Canada, Shelley graduated from the Julliard School where he studied piano under Nadia Reisenberg. He worked under eminent conductors including Bernstein and Oszawa, and for four years under Skrowaczewski as the pianist in the New York Contemporary Ensemble. After moving to Germany, Shelley worked as a conductor and Studienleiter at the Staatstheater Mainz, the Theater der Stadt Koblenz, as solorepetitor at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and as conductor of the Duisburg Studio Orchestra.
Shelley developed close performance and recording relationships with some of the world’s greatest singers, including tenor Nikolai Gedda, with whom he toured throughout Europe for three years, with soprano Dame Gwyneth Jones, recording ‘O Malvina’ for Deutsche Gramophone, and with Altus Jochen Kowalski, recording Lieder by Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann for Cappriccio. Together with soprano Dagmar Schellenberger, Shelley recorded Blumenlieder by Robert Stolz for CPO, and with bass-baritone Jonathan Veira Forgotten Memories, Of Fire and Dew by John Jeffries for Somm Recordings. His discography also includes Songs of Canada for the Canadian Heritage Society together with soprano Diana Gilchrist, and the recording for a Unicef Gala for Koch/Schwann with Baritone Eugene Holmes and soprano Bonnita Glenn. Shelley also assisted conductor Edo De Waart in the preparation for the first recording of Die Gezeichneten by Schreker for the Marco Polo label. Solo recordings include Bach’s Goldberg Variations and piano works by Canadian composers From Molt to McPhee for the Canadian Heritage Society.
Shelley has performed as an accompanist and in chamber-music concerts in leading festivals and venues worldwide, including the Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square and Purcell Room in London, and in a performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. His many appearances include the Musikverein in Vienna, and in Berlin at the Bellevue Castle, the Staatsoper, the Apollo Saal, the Deutsche Oper, the Hebbel Theater, the Sommerfestspiel and the Brandenburg Dom. Distinguished performances in Germany also include the exclusive Markgraflichen Theatre in Bayreuth, the Staatsoper in Munich, the Staatsoper and Konzert Saal in Hamburg, the first lieder abend at the Semper Oper in Dresden after its renovation and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. Shelley has also performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Montreal’s Place des Arts, Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional, the Isola di San Giorgio in Venice, at the Prague’s Spring Festival and in Russia at Moscow’s Kremlin Armory (broadcast on Russian National Television) and at the Rachmaninoff Concert Hall. Performances also include the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the Nagoya Metropolitan Art Space and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Barcelona’s National Concert Hall and the Concert Hall in Santiago del Compostello.
Pursuing his interest into new technologies for ultra-high-fidelity sound reproduction and gestural control of artificial systems, Shelley completed a PhD through the Ton-Meister (audio engineering) program at the University of Surrey. His thesis examines rule-based expression in computer-mediated performances of orchestral excerpts from romantic opera. He is the holder of several granted patents in loudspeaker related technologies, and designed the highly-acclaimed Podium Sound loudspeakers, the only audiophile quality, passive flat-panel loudspeakers in the world.
As a composer, Shelley has written incidental music, music theatre, symphonic works and chamber music. Commissions include the oratorio to those on His left for two actors, soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra, commissioned for its premiere performance in Eastbourne and supported by the city (with subsequent performances in both the UK and Germany), Drei Jüdische Lieder for soprano and orchestra commissioned by the city of Duisburg in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Kristal Nacht, and The world’s greatest national anthems in two minutes or less commissioned by the Dresdner Bank for an exhibition of political cartoons.
Shelley is a former Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, and Musician in Residence and Choral Conductor at the BISC at Herstmonceux Castle, the overseas undergraduate college of Queens University, Canada.
Goran Tchubrilo is fascinated by Symphonova’s unique concept of integrating musicians with the most recent developments in music technology, as well as by the new opportunities that open-up to composers, performers, and in the concert arena in general. He was trained as a composer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz in Austria. In 2005 he started his training in sample based music production, with Vienna Symphonic Library as his main (but not only) area of interest. He is also the author and lecturer of the Art of VSL, an online learning platform for VSL libraries and software.