'The performances are exemplary'
Since forming their duo partnership over twelve years ago, Rebecca Hepplewhite (cello) and Julian Collings (organ) have performed in venues of all sizes, from churches and town halls to major cathedrals and concert halls. Recent highlights include performances at the Hong Kong Cultural Center, where they performed to an audience of 1600, St Paul's Cathedral in London, Tokyo University Concert Hall and a concert at Worcester Cathedral, which included a performance of their own transcription of Elgar's Cello Concerto. In 2020 they were invited to perform two recitals for the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Atlanta.
Performing | Recording | Commissioning music for cello & organ
The duo takes its name from Julian and Rebecca's first collaboration as conductor and cellist in a performance of Tavener's masterpiece 'Svyati' for solo cello and choir. Sir John Tavener subsequently became the duo's Patron the following year and remained so until his death in 2013. Rebecca and Julian maintain a diverse and exciting repertoire, from Baroque sonatas through to substantial romantic and contemporary works, and are committed to performing music that displays the diversity of their wonderful instrumental combination. A tireless search for repertoire continues to reward them with unjustly neglected original works, and their passion for new music has led them to commission works from leading composers including David Bednall, Russell Hepplewhite, Colin Riley, Iain Farrington and Timothy Salter. They are currently preparing for the world-premiere performance of a new sonata by the American composer Christopher Schmitz and are enjoying working with the Dutch composer and organist Albert van der Hoeven on several new transcriptions.
The Svyati Duo has recorded two CDs on the Regent Records label, both of which received unanimous worldwide critical acclaim. Radio broadcasts include BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Lyric RTE and American Public Media. Their third recording will be released in 2023 and will feature contemporary music including three of the duo's own commissions. Many live concert recordings can be heard on their YouTube channel. Forthcoming engagements include two USA tours and a return to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
''...combines unbridled passion with brilliant virtuosity, richness of tone and color, rhythmic control, superb intonation and musical sensitivity.''
THE AMERICAN ORGANIST
Rebecca Hepplewhite | cello
Rebecca Hepplewhite performs internationally as a cellist and has given recitals throughout Europe, the USA, Asia and South Africa, with notable chamber and solo engagements including appearances at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Purcell Room. She is cellist with the Pomegranate Piano Trio and enjoys a busy freelance orchestral career performing and recording with many of the UK's leading chamber orchestras. A strong advocate of new music, she has commissioned and premiered many new works, both with the Svyati Duo and with other ensembles. Recent solo engagements include performances of the Elgar and Dvorak Concertos.
''...combines technical aplomb with collaborative sensitivity and stylistic understanding."
THE AMERICAN ORGANIST
Julian Collings | organ
Julian was educated as an organ scholar at Tonbridge School in Kent, before gaining an organ scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1999 studying under David Sanger and Thomas Trotter. He is currently Director of Music at St Cyprian's Church, Clarence Gate in London, a post which he combines with a busy international performing career as an organist and conductor. In addition to his schedule with Svyati Duo, he is Musical Director of the much acclaimed Arcubus Ensemble and also regularly performs with Benedict Lewis-Smith as the Oxbridge Organ Duo. Recent engagements have included Kristiansand Cathedral in Norway and the Victoria International Arts Festival in Gozo, Malta.