Testimonials

For press reviews please click the button below. A downloadable press kit in PDF format is also available here

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Haig Mardirosian

Presenter

University of Tampa, FL, USA

‘It was as lyric and expressive a concert as I have ever presented. The program was enticing. The maturity and charm of the performance compared to the most legendary names easily. The audience was enthralled and, most to the point, the university president himself asked me to ensure the Svyati Duo’s return to the series. Such was the immediate interest piqued by the artists, their clear uniqueness, and the utter charm of their communication with our important audiences here.’

Steven Betancourt

Presenter

Loyola University, Chicago, IL, USA

‘Thank you both again for what was the concert highlight of my summer this year, hearing you both as the Svyati Duo. Your program was engaging and educational, providing multiple avenues of new experiences for our audience. We were delighted with the world premiere of Russell’s Fanfare and grateful for that unique opportunity. But for me, the star was the Rheinberger, Jongen and the Wammes. These three pieces showed the versatility of the organ, but also demonstrated different experiences of organ and cello together. Audience members are still commenting about how moving the ‘In croce’ of Sofia Gubaidulina and how emotion filled Rebecca’s playing was on this piece.

You both were a joy to be around and I was sad to see you leave at the conclusion of our time together. It is rare to see musicians that are a testament to the creation of music - you are engaged, dedicated, and committed. Thank you so much for a glorious few days together.’

Dennis McCleary

Presenter

Vineville UMC, Macon, GA, USA

'Clever and dynamic in both personality and presentation, the artists of Svyati brought much pleasure to our Sunday afternoon audience, which was wooed and wowed by the unique combination of tones from both musicians. They WILL be invited to return!'

Richard Moore

Presenter

St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK

'The Svyati Duo played a thrilling programme of music in recital at St Paul's Cathedral, London: Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch and Sofia Gubaidulina's In Croce. The In Croce was played fearlessly, and with great intensity and passion, and the audience loved the recital.'

Keith Shafer

Presenter

Tuesday's Music Live, Augusta, GA, USA

'The Svyati Duo appeared on the Tuesday's Music Live in Augusta, Georgia, the country's largest luncheon concert series. More than 400 people gave the Duo a well-deserved standing ovation for a spectacular performance. Ms. Hewes' cello technique was incredible and what a great combination with the organ which was skillfully managed by Julian Collings. We enjoyed their concert tremendously and look forward to a return engagement.'

Paul Dixon

Presenter

St Petersburg College, FL, USA

'Like a fine wine that perfectly complements the meal, the sound of a cello accompanied by an organ proved to be a delightful combination when The Svyati Duo, featuring Rebecca Hepplewhite, cellist, and Julian Collings, organist, performed on the Heissler organ concert series of St. Petersburg College (FL) this past spring. These two performers conclusively proved themselves to be artists of the highest caliber. While experiencing the magnificent artistry of these two young people, I found myself listening with eyes closed and imagining that I was in Carnegie Hall. I am certain that the audience in attendance that evening felt the same way. The Svyati Duo has a fascinating and varied repertoire, and it was this repertoire that initially attracted my attention as a presenter. I was not disappointed in the least. Their concert wound up being one of the highlights of the season, and I can scarcely contain my enthusiasm to have them perform again in the future. For those who might wonder if the grandeur of an organ would overpower the intimacy of the cello-fear not. Mr. Collings is a master at picking the proper balance so as to best present both instruments, and Ms. Hepplewhie is quite successful at bringing out the complete range of dynamics and expressiveness that the cello can offer. On a personal note, I found both Rebecca and Julian to be down-to-earth, easy-going, and full of good humor. Presenters know to value highly the personal as well as the professional relationship! Please consider this to be a thoroughly confident endorsement of the artistry, dedication and professionalism that The Svyati Duo brings to the concert stage.'

John Fenstermaker

'A kaleidoscope of colours and styles: they played with confidence and panache, connecting immediately with the audience.'

Presenter

Bower Chapel, Naples, FL, USA

Stephen Tappe

Presenter

St John's Cathedral, Denver, CO, USA

'Rebecca Hewes' and Julian Collings' performance as Svyati Duo has been a real highlight of the 2012-13 season at Denver Cathedral. Julian's organ registration was masterful, finding color and power without overwhelming Rebecca's singing cello. His technique was flawless. The sound of Rebecca's cello was as mesmerizing as its player who commanded our aural attention through the sheer beauty of her playing. The program was varied - from Bach to Gárdonyi to Bednall. In addition, they are personally delightful and communicated exceedingly well with the audience.'

Lee Afdahl

Presenter

First Presbyterian, Rochester, MN, USA

'We experienced a perfect blend of musicality and musical interpretation by two extraordinary performers in a consummate presentation of compositions. In addition to their technical proficiency, the kindness and warmth of their personalities shine through their performances.'

Angela Saunders

Presenter

St George's, Germantown, TN, USA

'One of the highlights of our concert series was a programme by the Svyati Duo from England. Rebecca and Julian dazzled the audience with their virtuosity and lively programming. Our local audiences are not attuned to truly contemporary classical music, and yet Svyati Duo were able to project the music in a delightful and engaging way. It was great fun to listen to, and the audience, from seasoned musician to 'buffs' were enjoying the programme as much as I was. This unusual pairing of organ and cello has a fascinating repertoire. We heard the organ and cello do things that I didn't know they could do. Then I did myself an enormous favour and purchased a CD from the duo, and have been luxuriating in even more music for this genre. We'll have to have the Svyati Duo back again - this is good stuff!'

Sarah Hawbecker

Presenter

Lutheran Redeemer, Atlanta, GA, USA

'Thank you so much for the wonderful concert the Svyati Duo provided on April 10 for our concert series. It was a very refreshing and enjoyable program, and it was inspiring to be introduced to some new repertoire. Rebecca and Julian are each superb musicians and complement each other so beautifully. The sound of the cello and organ together was exquisite.'

Al Fedak

Presenter

Westminster Presbyterian, Albany, NY, USA

'Thank you for your wonderful concert here last spring. You are absolutely delightful people and your performance at Westminster was brilliant! The Gubaidulina was especially powerful and riveting.'

Charles Lindsey Jr

Presenter

St Paul's Church, Petersburg, VA, USA

'On Friday evening 12 February, the Syvati Duo performed at St. Paul's Church, Bristol Parish, Petersburg, VA.  They delivered a stellar performance of varied and captivating repertoire.  Of course, the combination of cello and organ is not commonly heard, which made the program even more interesting. Rebecca produced sonorous, warm tones, displaying mature expression and solid intonation and technique.  Organist Julian Collings supported cellist Rebecca Hewes with tasteful, colorful registration and musical, precise playing.  The organ balanced perfectly with the cello at all times. I spoke with many of the audience members following the performance, all of whom were very impressed with and gratified by the concert.  All in all, this duo is first-rate.  As organist and choirmaster of St. Paul's, Bristol Parish, I maintain a monthly concert series and highly recommend the Syvati Duo.'