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Duo Bayanello

Iosif Purits

One of the most exciting ensembles on the London chamber music scene, Duo Bayanello was created by accordionist Iosif Purits and cellist Cecilia Bignall in 2015. Although a relatively new ensemble, they have already performed at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place Festival, St John’s Smith Square, and the International House of Music in Moscow.

This unusual pairing of instruments creates a captivating and surprisingly harmonious tone, which enables audiences to experience classic repertoire in a different way, as well as inspiring numerous works by contemporary composers. It was said by the great cellist Mstistlav Rostropovich to be a more organic combination of sounds than cello and piano.

Duo Bayanello were selected as Park Lane Group Young Artists in 2015, which lead to recitals at St James’ Piccadilly and St Margaret’s at Westminster Abbey, alongside performances of contemporary works in a concert celebrating the composer Sally Beamish. They were broadcast live from the Southbank Centre on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’, as part of the festival ‘Sound Frontiers’ celebrating of the 70th anniversary of the 3rd Programme. They were also recorded by BBC2 Proms Extra in 2016, for a feature about the meeting of electronic music and young classical artists.

The same year, they performed a recital for Nonclassical at the Southbank Centre taking inspiration from Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which included arrangements of his Lieder and improvisations based on these works with composer and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev. They also appeared alongside Dr Barnabas Calder at the Royal Institute of British Architecture/Spitalfields Music, exploring links between contemporary architecture and music.

The idea for the ensemble was created when Cecilia had travelled to play at the international accordion festival in Moscow, where Iosif was also performing. This project was finally realised when Iosif arrived in London for his masters at the Royal Academy of Music a year later. Whilst studying at the Academy, they received coaching and masterclasses from distinguished soloists Owen Murray, Robert Cohen, Friedrich Lips, Matti Rantanen, Cristoph Richter, Raimondas Sviackevicius and Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi.

Plans for the duo in 2017 include the release of their debut album of contemporary music, a collaboration with jazz vibraphonist Ralph Wyld exploring improvisation and acoustic/electronic sonority and manipulation, and a number of concerts, including a recital at St-Martin-in-the-Fields.