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Madeleine Mitchell

Madeleine Mitchell

British violinist
The basics
Occupations Musician
Countries United Kingdom
Gender female
The details

Madeleine Louise Mitchell MMus, ARCM, GRSM, FRSA is a British violinist who has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in over forty countries. She has a wide repertoire and is particularly known for commissioning and premiering new works.

Mitchell is a Professor at the Royal College of Music, Artistic Director of the Red Violin Festival and Director of the London Chamber Ensemble. She was also a member of The Fires of London and the Michael Nyman Band.



Mitchell attended Rise Park Junior School and became a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music in piano from the age of 6, adding violin at 8½. Mitchell's Secondary education was at Hornchurch Grammar School.

As a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music, Mirchell studied with Bertha Stevens (violin) and Aida Lovell (piano). In 1978 she won the Tagore Gold Medal and graduated with First Class Honours.

As Fulbright/ITT Fellow Mitchell gained a Master's degree in New York at the Eastman and Juilliard schools studying with Dorothy DeLay and Donald Weilerstein. Mitchell recalls that DeLay was "kind, perceptive and inspiring" teacher and that the "late night lessons in Aspen… were some of the best". Mitchell received a Fellowship to the Aspen Festival and worked as graduate assistant to Sylvia Rosenberg.

Performing career

Mitchell served from 1985-1987 as a member of Peter Maxwell Davies's performing group, The Fires of London. In 1992, she was briefly a member of the Michael Nyman Band she performed on the recording; The Michael Nyman Songbook appeared in Volker Schlöndorff's concert film.

Mitchell was one of the artists representing Britain in both the festival UKinNY with a recital at Lincoln Center and for the centenary of Entente Cordiale with France. She has given recitals at Sydney Opera House, Seoul Center for the Arts and Hong Kong. Mitchell has played at many international and most of the major British festivals and frequently performs in London. She was invited by Norbert Brainin to perform with him for his 80th birthday concert at Wigmore Hall in 2003. Mitchel performed a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall in March 2015 accompanied by Nigel Clayton. Other artists with whom she has collaborated include Paul Watkins, Joanna MacGregor, Craig Ogden and Roger Chase. Her recitals have frequently been broadcast by BBC, S4C, ABC and Bayersicher Rundfunk.

Mitchell has performed a wide repertoire of concertos with major orchestras including the St Petersburg Philharmonic (2009), Czech and Polish Radio Symphony, Wurttemberg and Munich Chamber, the Royal Philharmonic, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra de Bahia Brazil, Malaga Symphony of Spain and for the BBC.

Mitchell is the Director of the London Chamber Ensemble. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2000.


Mitchell has been a Professor at the Royal College of Music since 1994 and is a member of the RCM Council. Mitchell's students have won the Making Music prize and Park Lane Young Artists' Awards. Mitchell instigated Performance Seminars as the Graduate Pathway Leader for Solo/Ensemble students 2000-2011. She frequently chairs examination panels and mentors students in the Centre for Performance Science.

Red Violin Festival

Mitchell was the Artistic Director of the Red Violin Festival in 1997 and 2007. The Cardiff-based festival covers "all things violin, including classical, fiddling, Indian and jazz use of the instrument" and was enthusiastically received by the media. Mitchell interviewed the Festival's Founder Patron, Lord Menuhin in 1997 for the BBC.

The October 2007 Red Violin Festival included two world premieres performances by Mitchell with percussion group Ensemble Bash and the launch of her CD 'Violin Songs' featuring Elizabeth Watts.

Commissions and Premieres

Mitchell is noted for commissioning new music.

Mirchel recorded Nyman's work 'On The Fiddle', written for her in 1993, as part of her album In Sunlight: Pieces for Madeleine Mitchell NMC D098 of music written for her by Brian Elias, Stuart Jones, James MacMillan, Stephen Montague, Nigel Osborne, Anthony Powers, and John Woolrich with pianist Andrew Ball in 2005.

Mitchell had a violin concerto written for her by Piers Hellawell and commissioned and premiered a unique 'concerto' for violin with voices by Jonathan Harvey, Thierry Pecou and Roxanna Panufnik.


Year Album title Works(Composer) Label Disc Reference
1993 Essential Michael Nyman (with the Michael Nyman Band) Decca
2003 British Treasures (with Andrew Ball)
  • Violin Sonata No. 1 (Eugène Goosens)
  • Violin Sonata in D Major (William Hurlstone)
  • Violin Sonata in E Minor (Percy Turnbull)
2004 Frank Bridge
  • String quartet in Bb (previously unpublished - premiere recording)
  • Viola Quintet
2004 Johann Nepomuk Hummel Violin Sonatas Meridian
2004 Quiet Music (with Joanna MacGregor) SoundCircus
2005 In Sunlight: Pieces for Madeleine Mitchell (with Andrew Ball)
  • On the Fiddle (Michael Nyman)
  • Kiss on Wood (James MacMillan)
  • Fantasia (Brian Elias)
  • Taw-Raw (Nigel Osborne)
  • Folk Dances (Stephen Montague)
  • …that is night (John Woolrich)
  • In Sunlight (Anthony Powers)
  • A Different World (James MacMillan)
  • Kothektche (Stuart Jones)
2007 Alwyn: Chamber Music and Songs (with
  • Roger Chase
  • Andrew Ball
  • Lucy Wilding
  • Jeremy Huw WiIliams
  • Iain Burnside)
  • Rhapsody for Piano Quartet
  • Sonata Impromptu for Violin and Viola
  • Two Songs for Voice
  • Violin and Piano
  • Sonatina for Violin and Piano (all by William Alwyn)
Naxos 8.570340
2007 FiddleSticks (with ensemble bash)
  • Concerto for the Violin with Percussion Orchestra (Lou Harrison)
  • Vermilion Rhapsody (Anne Dudley)
  • Fragments from a Gradual Process (Tarik O’Regan)
  • Gharnati (Stuart Jones)
  • Mopti Street (Simon Limbrick)
  • Kumpo (Trad Senegalese arr ensemble bash)
Signum Classics SIGCD111
2007 Violin Songs (with Andrew Ball and Elizabeth Watts)
  • Salut d'amour (Elgar, Edward)
  • Die Nachtigall (Alban Berg (arr Madeleine Mitchell))
  • Melodie (version for violin and piano) (Frank Bridge)
  • Nocturne: Lento moderato (Aaron Copland)
  • 5 Melodies Op. 35bis (Sergey Prokofiev)
  • Morceau Caracteristique (Frank Bridge)
  • Thais Act II: Meditation (Jules Massenet (arr. M. P. Marsick))
  • Chanson de nuit and Chanson de Matin Op. 15 (Elgar, Edward)
  • Amaryllis and Romanze (Frank Bridge)
  • Nocturne (version for violin and piano) (Lili Boulanger)
  • Spring Song (version for violin and piano) (Frank Bridge)
  • Violon (Francis Poulenc (arr. M. Mitchell))
  • Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Faure (Maurice Ravel)
  • Ellen's Gesang III (Ave Maria!) (Franz Schubert (arr. J. Palaschko))
  • Moto perpetuo (Frank Bridge)
  • Berceuse (version for violin and piano) (Frank Bridge)
  • Morgen (Richard Strauss)
Divine Art DDA25063
2008 Howard Blake: Music for Piano and Strings (with Andrew Ball)
  • Violin Sonata Op. 586
  • Penillion for violin and piano Op. 571
  • Jazz Dances for violin and piano Op. 520a
Naxos 8.572083
2010 Messiaen (with
  • Joanna MacGregor
  • David Campbell
  • Christopher van Kampen
  • Charlotte Riedijk)
  • Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Olivier Messiaen)
  • Quatuor pour la naissance (Zygmunt Krauze)

Gramophone Magazine recommended recording.

Warner Classical 825646820924
2011 Wendy Hiscocks Violin works and chamber music Symposium
2012 Associated Board Royal Schools of Music violin syllabus 2012-15 Items on the demonstration CDs accompanying the volumes of exam pieces. ABRM
2013 Alpha and Omega (with Cappella Nova) Domine non secundum peccata nostra (James MacMillan) BBC Music Magazine Choral CD of the Month March 2014 Linn Records CKD439
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