Susanna Ogata, Violin
Susanna Ogata, violinist, enjoys an active performance schedule in greater New England and beyond. She has been praised for “totally convincing, spontaneous and free flowing playing” (The Berkshire Review) and her musical “sensitivity and fire” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), and "playing of electrifying energy, awesome technical command, and rollicking dialogue" (Arts Fuse Magazine) where her concert appearance was distinguished as "best solo performance" of 2016. She is dedicated to exploring music on historical instruments and has participated in concerts presented by the Bach Ensemble led by Joshua Rifkin, Arcadia Players, Ensemble Florilège, Newton Baroque, L’Académie, Boston Baroque, Sarasa, Foundling, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Blue Hill Bach, The Henry Purcell Society of Boston, Music at Eden's Edge, Genesee Early Music Society, SoHIP concert series, and Boston Early Music Festival. She is a founding member of the Boston Classical Trio, Copley String Quartet, and Coriolan String Quartet. Ms. Ogata has appeared as soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society, Bach Ensemble, Blue Hill Bach, Foundling, Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, Boston Virtuosi, and the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra. She has recorded for Nonesuch and Telarc and has been featured on WGBH radio broadcasts. With fortepianist Ian Watson, her first of four CDs surveying the complete Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin of Beethoven was released on the CORO label in June, 2015. Their initial CD in this series recently gained acclaim from the New York Times for “elegant readings that are attentive to quicksilver changes in dynamics and articulation. Their performance of the Sonata No. 4 in A minor is darkly playful, their “Kreutzer” Sonata brilliant and stormy.” BBC Music Magazine praised the recording for its "altogether compelling performances" and the music for being "always vividly characterised" — and further pronounced that "the atmosphere of excitement in both works is very well captured by Susanna Ogata and Ian Watson". Their performances this past season included appearances on The Cambridge Society for Early Music, the beginning of a two-year MIT residency, and Tage Alter Musik Regensburg.
Susanna Ogata is a tenured member of the Handel and Haydn Society. She is Assistant Concertmaster of the orchestra.
Ms. Ogata received her Bachelor and Master degrees from the Eastman School of Music where she studied violin performance with and served as teaching assistant for Charles Castleman. She also received an Artist Diploma at the Longy School of Music where she studied with Laura Bossert and Baroque violin with Dana Maiben. Susanna Ogata served on the violin faculty at the Longy School of Music.
Susanna Ogata's website is www.susannaogata.com.
Ian Watson, Fortepiano
Ian Watson has been described by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “a conductor of formidable ability”, and by The Times in London as a keyboard performer with “virtuosic panache and brilliantly articulated playing” and “a world-class soloist.” His versatility is revealed in the equal ease with which he performs the roles of orchestral conductor, choral director, organist, harpsichordist, pianist, teacher and public speaker.
Ian Watson has appeared as soloist or conductor with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, Scottish Chamber, English Chamber, Polish Chamber, Irish Chamber and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, Bremen Philharmonic, Rhein-Main Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Handel and Haydn Society, English Baroque Soloists, and The Sixteen amongst many others. He has also been featured on more than 200 recordings and film soundtracks including Amadeus, Polanski’s Death and the Maiden, Restoration, Cry the Beloved Country, Voices from a Locked Room, and BBC‘s David Copperfield.
Ian's conducting engagements include Monteverdi's Vespers at St. James's Palace in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen; Bach's B Minor Mass at the Rheingau Festival with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Orchestra and Chorus; the opening concerts of the newly renovated Châtelet Theater in Paris with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and tours with Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra of Bruch and Mozart concerti. He was invited to be the assistant conductor, organ and harpsichord soloist and continuo player for Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, performing all Bach’s Cantatas on the correct liturgical day in places where Bach lived and worked.
An important part of Ian’s work is devoted to Arcadia Players period-instrument ensemble of which he is Artistic Director. Arcadia has a wide-ranging repertoire from viol consort to their recent exploration of all nine Beethoven Symphonies. Recent triumphs have included fully-staged performances of Handel’s Serse featured in the New York Times and compared very favorably with the legendary production by New York City Opera in the 90’s. The 2013/14 season is Arcadia Players’ 25th and Ian’s 10th as Artistic Director. Performances include Bach’s St John Passion, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and performances and recordings of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Ninth Symphony all on period-instruments.
Ian Watson has a distinguished career as both a solo and collaborative pianist. He is in demand as a chamber music partner, and has appeared in recital with Nigel Kennedy, Iona Brown, Julian Lloyd Webber, QX Boston and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble amongst many others. He is featured as a pianist on a number of films and recordings including an award-winning CD with Renee Fleming. As soloist, he has played and directed piano concerti with, notably, the English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and London Mozart Players as well as orchestras in Europe and Scandinavia.
Ian has had a career-long passion for opera, working first as a vocal coach and conductor at Glyndebourne, and subsequently conducting countless performances of over fifty operas throughout England, and internationally at Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Festival Hall, Bremen Opera, Giessen Opera, the Komische Opera, Berlin, houses in France and Scandinavia, and as a Principal Conductor with the Darmstadt State Opera in Germany in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi and Handel to Richard Strauss's Elektra and Janacek’s Macropoulos Case.
Born in England in the Buckinghamshire village of Wooburn Common, Ian won a scholarship to the Junior School of the Royal Academy of Music in London, at the age of 14. He later won all the prizes for organ performance and others for piano accompaniment including the coveted Recital Diploma, the highest award for performance excellence. He completed his studies with Flor Peeters in Belgium. As a distinguished graduate, he was honored in 1993, with an Associateship of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of his services to music and he is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Ian’s first major appointment was as Organist at St. Margaret's, Westminster Abbey, at the age of 19, a position he held for ten years, and has also held a number of important positions in London including Organist of St. Marylebone Parish Church, and Music Director of the historic Christopher Wren Church, St. James's Piccadilly.