BRUNCH BITE: September 8
Gabriella Swallow has emerged as one of the most versatile and exciting cellists of her generation.
She studied at The Royal College of Music with Jerome Pernoo. She was awarded the coveted Tagore Gold Medal and performed Hugh Wood’s Cello Concerto in her final year after winning the concerto competition.As a soloist Gabriella went on to make her South Bank debut withthe London Sinfonietta in the world premiere of 'About Water' by Mark-Anthony Turnage. In the same year she performed Paul Max Edlin's Cello Concerto with the South Bank Sinfonia, which firmly launched her place as a leading performer of contemporary music. This has led her to commission and work with many of the major living Composers of today.
Gabriella has given two premieres by the composer Colin Riley. In April 2017 she was the soloist in ‘ROADS SHINING LIKE RIVER UP HILL AFTER RAIN’ based on the poetry of Edward Thomas which she has recently recorded with Pegasus Choir. In the same year she performed Riley’s double cello concerto along side Guy Johnston with the Manchester Camerata in Manchester conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy.
In 2013 she made her Wigmore Hall debut with the soprano Ruby Hughes and in the same season performed at the La Jolla SummerFest in San Diego, the Aldeburgh Festival with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Cambridge Jazz Festival as a member of the celebrated British Jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock's Quintet. She was also invited by Nigel Kennedy and his band to perform with them at the Bethlehem Unwrapped Festival at St James's Church, Piccadilly. . She also toured the U.K. with Nigel Kennedy and his new Four Season band. In 2019 she continued her collaboration with Kennedy playing concerts of Gershwin and in Poland they performed his Hendrix Project with legendary guitarist Mike Stern.
Gabriella is very involved with the classical club night scene and has acted as string curator of Music Orbit's string night 'Strung Out' and performs frequently at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club 'Classical Kicks' night curated by violinist Lizzie Ball and at Gabriel Prokofiev's Nonclassical club nights. In February 2014 she launched her first classical club night under her own name 'Gabriella Swallow and her Urban Family' at The Forge in Camden. This concert featured artists such as Guy Johnston, Ian Shaw, Martynas Levikis and The Ronnie Scott's All Stars. Gabriella was invited to play with her band at the Wilderness Festival. On July 12th 2016 she hosted an Urban Family concert in aid of the Calais Jungle again at the Forge in Camden with performers including Judith Owen, Ruth McGinley and actor Victoria Hamilton.
In the same year she made her BBC Proms debut with Guy Johnston and his 12 cello ensemble at Cadogan Hall.
As a recording artist she has recorded all the chamber music of Hugh Wood for Toccata Classics with the London Archduke Piano Trio, which was released to critical acclaim in 2009. 2012 saw the release of 'Ivr d'amour', a disc of Massenet Songs where she appeared with soprano Sally Silver and celebrated pianist Richard Bonynge for the Guild label and also soprano Lucy Shaufer's debut disc 'Carpentersville' for ABC Classics where Gabriella features as soloist. This CD was launched with a concert at The Aldeburgh Festival 2013. In 2015 she featured on Sally Silver and Richard Bonynge's prize winning second disc of Massenet Songs called 'Les amoureuses song des folles' (Somm).
Alongside her classical career she regularly crosses over in the fields of jazz and pop and is a sought after session musician appearing on many movie and television scores. She has recorded and performed with many of the leading Jazz musicians on the UK scene including Ian Shaw, Barb Jungr, Gwilym Simcock, Peter King, Liane Carroll, Guy Barker, Laurence Cottle, Pedro Segundo, Graeme Flowers, Jannette Mason and Claire Martin OBE. She also has performed and recorded with Skunk Anansie, Sade, Dionne Warwick, Beverley Craven, Charlotte Church and Ariana Grande.
In 2019 she founded the string quartet ShowStrings with Lizzie Ball, Shlomy Dobrinsky and Meghan Cassidy who accompanied Hugh Jackman on his 27 date ’ Greatest Show’ European Tour.
She has been a member of singer-songwriter Judith Owen's band since 2007 and has appeared on her last three albums 'Ebb and Flow' and 'Somebody's Child" and ‘Re-Discovered’ with Russ Kunkel, Waddy Wachtel, Pedro Segundo and Leland Sklar. They regularly tour as a band across the world and in March-August 2017 supported Bryan Ferry on his North American Tour. 2020 will see the release Judith’s new Picasso inspired album ‘Elegada’ which they will tour in America and Europe.
Gabriella is also a passionate broadcaster and arts commentator and has been a regular guest on BBC 4's coverage of The Proms, Radio 3's InTune and Music Matters and Songs of Praise. She has been a guest speaker at the Bath Literary Festival and The Battle of Ideas. She recently filmed with Gareth Malone for his new documentary which will be broadcast in 2020.