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String Trio Plus

St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets £15 (student cards £7.50, under 18s free)

Tickets in person from Richard Booth's Bookshop, 44 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye

or online through Booth's Bookshop

or at the door if available (cash only)

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.

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Max Baillie – violin     Ruth Gibson – viola  

Robin Michael – cello     William Conway – cello

Centred round the great Op. 9 String Trio of Beethoven, this quartet of amazing players will also perform three lesser known but wonderful string works from Russia. 


Beethoven (1770 – 1827):  String Trio Op. 9 No.1

Alfred Schnittke (1934 – 1998):  String Trio (1985)

Reinhold Gliere (1875 – 1956):  Duos for 2 cellos, Op 53

Anton Arensky (1861 – 1906):  Quartet Op. 35 in A minor - version for violin, viola and two cellos.

Maverick violinist and violist Max Baillie performs across a diverse spectrum of music embracing new commissions, improvisation, and collaborations with artists from all over the world. Based in London, England, he has performed as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader on stages from the Royal Albert Hall to Glastonbury and from Mali to Moscow. Artists he has worked with come from many backgrounds and include Bobby McFerrin, John Williams, Bjork, Stevie Wonder and Anoushka Shankar.

Max is a member of ZRI, Zum Roten Igel. Named after the Red Hedgehog Tavern in Vienna, the ensemble has toured to major festivals with its re-scored versions of the Brahms clarinet quintet and the Schubert C major quintet, including accordion and santouri (dulcimer). The group has recently added a new program Adventures with Charlie Chaplin to its repertoire, a live score to an early Chaplin classic.

Since April 2017 Max has been regularly leading and directing Swiss-based chamber orchestra CHAARTS, with whom he made a disc for Sony and toured with Turkish pianist Fazil Say. He looks forward to projects next year including the Boswil Summer Festival and a tour with cellist Mischa Maisky.

Max is a graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School, Berlin’s UdK, and has a degree in Political Philosophy from Christ's College, Cambridge.


Irish Violist Ruth Gibson manages a busy career of solo and chamber work. She began her musical studies at the age of 5, studying the violin with Maria Kelemen. At 12 she started learning the viola and it soon became her principal instrument, studying with Prof. Ronald Masin. Ruth has won many solo and chamber cups in the Irish Feis Ceoil including the repertoire, concerto, viola solo and chamber competitions. In December 2003 and 2004 she performed Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Young European Strings Chamber Orchestra in Dublin's National Concert Hall. In the summer of 2004, Ruth was runner-up at the European String Teachers Association Young Musician of the Year in Rotterdam.

In 2009, Ruth graduated with First-class honours from the Royal Northern College of Music and in 2011 completed her Masters in Performance with Lawrence Power at the Royal College of Music.  In 2011 she was soloist with the Bournemouth Symphony where she played Holst’s elegiac Lyric Movement for Viola and Orchestra under Sir John Elliot Gardiner. Ruth performs with the Mercury Piano Quartet, the Barbirolli and Benyounes String Quartets, and has collaborated with numerous notable soloists including Erika Raum, Philip Graffin, Andrés Díaz, Barry Douglas and Amy Norrington.

Ruth plays regularly with Camerata Ireland, and led the viola section whilst the orchestra was on tour in South America, Russia, Finland and France.


Robin Michael studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange and Colin Carr and later with Ferenc Rados. He is principal cellist in Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Solo cellist with Orchestre Les Siecles (Paris) as well as regular guest principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, RTE Concert Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, English National Opera and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Robin was the cellist in the Fidelio trio for over 10 years with whom he toured Europe, North America, Asia and South Africa. He has also appeared in collaboration with the Dante and Eroica quartets. Recent concert highlights include complete Bach and Britten suite cycles in France and London, the South Korean premier of Jonathan Harvey's 'Advaya' for cello and electronics, both Haydn concertos at the Spier festival in South Africa as well as festival appearances in Buenos Aires, Library of Congress, Washington, and European festivals including Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and St. Magnus. 

Forthcoming projects include a recording of the Brahms sonatas with Daniel Tong for Resonus Classics to be released in spring 2017, a Bach suite cycle at the St. Magnus festival, Britten Suite cycle at festival 'Phil Grobi' in the Auvergne and the first Kinnordy Chamber music festival in Scotland where he is co-artistic director with Daniel Tong.Robin plays on a cello made for him by the German luthier Stephan von Behr, 2010.


William Conway is an internationally renowned conductor and cellist, whose performances have been described as ‘astonishingly convincing’ (Opera magazine), ‘a tour de force’ (Guardian), with ‘a flair for the unpredictable’ (Financial Times). On the podium, he is known for his conviction, clarity and intelligent musicianship, while his collaborations with Hebrides Ensemble, of whom he is the Artistic Director and founding member, have been praised for their fresh and inspirational approach to programming.

Born in Glasgow, Conway studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music then London’s Royal College of Music before returning to Scotland to take the position of Principal Cello with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a post he held for ten years. He is a founding member and Co-principal Cello of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has worked with many of the great conductors including Abbado, Berglund, Boulez, Karajan, Guilini, Haitink, Harnoncourt, Maazel, Nezet-Seguin and Rattle. He is a passionate advocate of contemporary music, is the dedicatee of several works and has commissioned and performed a huge range of new works from composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir James MacMillan, Nigel Osborne, Stuart MacRae and David Fenessy.  His work with Hebrides Ensemble, described by The Scotsman as ‘one of the most innovative and thrilling ensembles in Europe’ and now in its 25th year, underpins this commitment. By placing new music at the heart of a diverse range of repertoire, often in new and surprising contexts, Hebrides Ensemble encourages audiences to approach familiar music with fresh ears. His dedication to developing contemporary music has been recognised by an award from the Scottish Society of Composers for an outstanding contribution to new music.

As a conductor, he studied in Helsinki with Jukka-Pekka Saraste and was a finalist and prizewinner in the 1994 Leeds Conductors’ Competition. Since then, he has established himself as a conductor of versatility in chamber, symphonic and operatic repertoire and has conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, English Sinfonia, Chamber Orchestra of Europe (with whom he has made a CD recording released by Warner), and the Symphony Orchestras of Cairo, Sofia, Zagreb, de Filharmonie of Flanders, the Belgian orchestra Beethoven Academie, Teatro di Cagliari, Göettingen and  the American Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in all repertoires from baroque to present day. He has conducted many operas and in 2018 he made his conducting debut at the BBC Proms in a performance of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale. 

He is Music Director of Edinburgh Studio Opera and is Artistic Director and Head of Strings at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh.  He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Linn Records, Unicorn-Kanchana and Delphian Records in a series of highly successful recordings of music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir James MacMillan which have both reached no 3 and no 1 respectively in the classical music charts. 

Refreshments available during the interval