Ashan Pillai & Juan Carlos

Concert


 

 

Program

Sonata in C major for Viola and continuo (1805) – Juan Oliver y Astorga (1733-1830)
Adagio – Allegro

Intermezzo from Goyescas (1911) for Viola and Piano – Enrique Granados (1867-1916) / Casado arr. Pillai

Scherzino for Viola and Piano (1943) – Ricard Lamote de Grignon (1899- 1962)

Escena Andaluza for Viola and Piano – Joaquin Turina (1882- 1949)

  1. Crepusculo a la tarde
  2. A la ventana

Sonata for Viola and Piano, op. 28 (1984) – Salvador Brotons (1959 -)

  1. Moderato amabile
  2. Adagio lugubre
  3. Molto allegro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashan Pillai, Viola

Ashan Pillai (born 1 December 1969 in Colombo, Sri Lanka) is a British violist. He received his education as a music and academic scholar at Merchant Taylors School, London, followed by studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, the Banff Center for the Arts, Alberta, Canada, and the Juilliard School, New York City. His principal teachers were John White and distinguished American pedagogues, former students of William Primrose, namely Donald McInnes and Karen Tuttle.

Pillai has performed as a soloist under the batons of Christian Zacharias, Eiji Oue, Andrew Parrott, Christopher Hogwood, Robert King, and Lawrence Foster, collaborating with orchestras such as the English, Gulbenkian, Czech, Andorran, and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, as well as I Musici in London and New York. He has also collaborated with musicians such as Lynn Harrell, the Kreutzer and Brodsky Quartets, and the Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt.

Throughout his career, Pillai served as the assistant principal violist in the English Chamber Orchestra (1995–2000) and was a co-founding member of the Mobius Ensemble (London 1997–2006). He served as the violist in the Zukerman Chamber Players (New York/Ottawa 2004–2010) and the Trio Cervello (Barcelona 2016– ) with pianist Enrique Bagaria and clarinetist Josep Fuster. Additionally, he held the position of principal violist with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (2000–2018). Pillai is currently a Professor of Viola at Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) since 2001, the Conservatori Superior del Liceu in Barcelona since 2008, and the Alfonso X El Sabio University in Madrid since 2012. In 2014, he was appointed chair of viola and chamber music in Música en Compostela, a historic music festival specializing in Spanish music. In 2020, Pillai was appointed Artist in Residence and Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and was later appointed Professor in 2021.

As a recording artist, Pillai has an extensive discography, contributing to labels such as EMI, Naxos, ASV, Altara, Verso, Meridian, Bel, Columna, RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television), the BBC, and Oehms Classics. His recordings encompass a wide range of repertoire, including sonatas by Brahms, Bax, Debussy, Lluís Benejam, Felipe de los Rios, Juan Oliver Astorga, Mendelssohn, Naumann, Glinka, Schubert, Gerhard, and concerti by Hoffmeister, Mozart, Leonardo Balada, and Josep Soler. Notable recordings include “The Viola Sonatas from the Royal Palace in Madrid,” “The Virtuoso Viola in Spain,” the Hoffmeister Works for Viola, and the string quintets recorded with Zukerman.

Pillai is also recognized for his editorial work. He edited the “12 Estudios o caprichos de mediana dificultad (12 Studies or Capriccios of Medium Difficulty)” for viola solo (1881) by José María Beltrán Fernández (1827–1907), published by Clivis Publications. In 2016, he edited the first edition of the “11 sonatas from the Royal Palace in Madrid (1770-1819)” for Boileau Publications and released the first recording of this monumental collection of works for viola. He has also edited the “Sonata en Re” by Tomas Lestan (1884) for Edition Piles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juan Carlos Cornelles, Piano

Pianist Juan Carlos Cornelles enjoys a diverse career in the world of chamber music, marked by performances and collaborations with outstanding international instrumentalists and singers in major concert halls across Spain, the UK, USA, Italy, Austria, Holland, Portugal, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Slovenia. Particularly noteworthy are his performances at prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, St. John’s Smith Square, St. Martin’s in the Fields in London, Sala Cecilia Meirelles in Rio de Janeiro, Bernhard Haitink Hall in Amsterdam, Americas Society in New York, Foundation Juan March in Madrid, Auditori in Barcelona, and the Palau de la Musica in Valencia.

Juan Carlos has recorded five CDs with British violist Ashan Pillai and has contributed to several recordings for RNE and BBC Radio 3. He participated in a recording commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of Radio Clasica, dedicated to contemporary Spanish composers. Additionally, he has been involved in premieres of works by Antonio Gomez Schneekloth, Javier Costa, Vicente Roncero, and Jordi Cervello.

Juan Carlos studied at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid and the Guildhall School of Music (Masters) in London under the guidance of Almudena Cano, Graham Johnson, and Caroline Palmer. He also holds a Masters degree from the University of “Rey Juan Carlos” in Madrid in Performance Studies.

Balancing his concert schedule, Juan Carlos has a flourishing teaching career that has taken him to institutions such as the Guildhall School of Music, the conservatoires of Madrid, Zaragoza, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, and Castellon. He conducts piano and accompaniment masterclasses across Spain and currently serves as an accompanist for viola and cello repertoire at Liceu Conservatoire in Barcelona and at Santiago de Compostela Music courses focusing on Spanish music. He has been a consultant professor in the Masters program of Musical Investigation at the International University in Valencia and the Artistic Director of the Festival “Alcossebre en-Cant” in Alcossebre (Castellon).