© Kosmos Ensemble 2018 – please do not download for programme use or edit without written permission of the artist or artist representative(s).

Described by Richard Morrison (The Times) as having “telepathic rapport, dazzling virtuosity, serious scholarship, intellectual curiosity and impeccable musicianship, I defy you not to be mesmerised", Kosmos Ensemble is re-defining the relationship between classical and world music. The trio has twice been winners of 'Selected Artists' by the Making Music organisation and has gathered accolades from all over the world. United by a shared passion for improvisation, music from around the globe as well as the rigours of classical training, each member of Kosmos is an international soloist in their own right and brings individual flavour to the group.

Harriet Mackenzie: international violinist, concerto soloist and chamber musician who has recorded concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Nova: “Superbly responsive playing from Harriet Mackenzie...faultless technique and unfailing insight” Gramophone Magazine

Meg-Rosaleen Hamilton: unique viola player specialising in world and folk music styles including Celtic, Romanian, Greek and Middle-Eastern music: “Meg Hamilton explored the highest range of sounds...the sound was beautiful and truly evocative...charming and vivacious” - Chichester Observer

Miloš Milivojević: Serbian classical accordionist, awarded a full scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, winner of many international competitions and the prestigious Derek Butler London Prize at the Wigmore Hall - contested by students from all four of the London conservatoires. In 2018 he will be recording his debut solo album on the Nimbus Label. "a hurricane of imaginative invention" - The Times

The members of Kosmos have travelled extensively, performing with musicians all over the world, as well as within the broad multiculturalism of London’s music scene. They have collectively studied music from North Africa, the Middle East, Jewish, Balkan and Gypsy music, Argentine tango, flamenco, Celtic and jazz traditions as well as contemporary classical music. They combine all their knowledge with a respect for their own Western classical music training, performing freely with panache, innovation and creativity, incorporating improvisation into their own unique arrangements and compositions.

Kosmos has performed across Europe as well as at the UK’s most prestigious music festivals. Performing highlights include London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Institute of Contemporary Arts,  Kings Place, Padova River Festival (Italy), Festival Estival (Poland), Hydra Festival (Greece), Leeds International Concert Season, Oundel, Ryedale, Swaledale, Deal, Wales and Wimbledon International Festivals, tours of the the Channel Islands, Scotland and Wales. Broadcasts include BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. 2018 sees Kosmos performing a triple concerto specially written for the ensemble by the eminent composer Errollyn Wallen. The premiere will take place at the Jersey Liberation Festival with the Jersey Chamber Orchestra and subsequent performances include Chichester Cathedral with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra and the Beaumaris and Tintern Abbey Festival with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra.

 Reviews:

“Revelatory.....their wild synthesis of tango arrangements, Jewish folk songs, Leonard Bernstein riffs and improvised takes on Vaughan Williams was an unexpected gift: brilliantly done with style and spunk.” -  Michael White, The Telegraph

 

“major verve and musicality......the way the three of them work together, seamlessly swapping melodic and accompanist roles can be as breath-taking as it is moving...Each piece is arranged for maximum dramatic effect, with much percussive use of the bows and attacking energy but also with superb restraint and fluency and a genuinely emotional engagement in Mackenzie and Hamilton’s melting glissandi..... both deeply impressive and brilliantly effective.” Rob Adams, The Herald

 

“Imagine everything that is great about music, the rigour of the classical repertoire, the tunefulness of folk music, the willingness to seek the new in modern, and above all, the source of music itself, the passions of the human spirit, that is what Kosmos is about....Our only disappointment was that it did not last forever. Kosmos involves you like no other music I know.…. All three – Meg Hamilton on the viola, Harriet Mackenzie on the violin, the Serbian Milos Milivojevic on the accordion – are classically trained, and the virtuoso pieces are phenomenal. But what they have done, quite literally, is to travel the world (‘Kosmos’ means ‘world’, ‘order’, ‘beauty’ in Greek), seeking out its oldest and most enduring music, and create something quite new and magical, something you have to hear to believe.” Olivia Fane, Chichester Observer

 

“..few artists brought up in the Western classical tradition have any interest or understanding of modal music of the kind performed in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean. Kosmos is breaking new ground by taking such material and interpreting it in accordance with the highest standards of Western musical training.....there are echoes here of Ravel and the Minimalists as well as much that is original. The arrangements ebb and flow, shifting from turmoil to tranquillity.... The playing is faultless, virtuoso where necessary and always refined and controlled......as the ensemble continues its journey it will undoubtedly scale very great heights indeed.” fRroots, Worldwide Roots Music Guide
 

“In the music world, it is a rare treat to have something new and refreshing burst onto the scene. But Kosmos, the talented and vibrant trio is just such a treat... Everyone should make the effort to hear them; amongst the brightest of the rising stars in Britain, Kosmos are truly exceptional.”

Jethro Marsh, Editor, FE News

 

"Lively, passionate, poignant, serene, mesmerising....words are inadequate to convey the magic of the playing...."

John Holt, Advertising Courier, Argyll and Bute Concert tour

 

“The sound of Kosmos is rich and full, with exquisite detail in the writing and performance, ambitious and humourous arranging with the innovative and complex sitting alongside the spacious and serene. In musical terms, they have found a fine and contemporary balance between the urban and rural, between technique and emotion, one that shows at the same time deep promise, maturity and vision.”  Barak Schmool, MA GRSM LRAM (Lecturer RAM, Guildhall School of Music, Trinity College of Music, City University, Leeds College of Music)

 

“Between them there was not a single piece in the programme that seemed mundane, or was not played with sparkling panache. Each piece was their own composition or arrangement and their improvising skills second to none.” Alisdair Crosby, Jersey Evening Post.

“The Kosmos Ensemble (violin, viola and accordion) gave us a programme full of passion, sunshine and joy which blew away the winter miseries and left us in awe, and in high spirits” Galloway Gazette

 

“Immensely gifted -  Kosmos, St John's Chapel, Chichester Festival.

Such was their excellence and professionalism...The immensely gifted group performed an exciting and fast moving selection of traditional music from Eastern Europe and the Middle East.....Harriet Mackenzie and Meg Hamilton explored the highest range of sounds from their instruments. The sound was beautiful and truly evocative...A brilliant and sparkling version of Brahms Hungarian Dance confirmed that the trio were talented Classical musicians.. charming and vivacious.” Graham Hewitt, Chichester today

 

"Sparkling virtuosity and imaginative improvisation, all presented with complete professionalism and boundless youthful energy. What more could you ask for?" James Ross, Nairnshire Telegraph

 

“.... the Kosmos Ensemble perform chamber music with the charge and energy of a rock group.... Each of the musicians is capable of combining technique and passion...."  Alessandro Michelucci, 'Cultura Commestibile' (Edible Culture) 

 

Promoter feedback:

"Kosmos are one of the most exciting ensembles I have heard in recent years…..  It is music which engages the mind and the heart; by turns soulful and searching, and then creating an almost overpowering urge to dance. Great stuff !' - David Sumner, Swallow Theatre Association, Wigtown Book Festival

"It was an absolute pleasure to have Kosmos here - a sold out venue, wonderful musicians and an ecstatic audience.....when are you coming back?!" -  Nick Wells, director of Bury St Edmunds International Festival

"Fantastic musicianship and joyous music making" - Stephen Leeder, Director, North Wales International Concert Series

"Any promoter can feel assured when thinking of offering Kosmos an engagement in the knowledge that they are a very crowd-pleasing trio whose repertoire extends across wide genres and enthralls music lovers of very different types. Their incredible musicianship, strong visual stage impact and charming personalities create a winning performance. It's always a pleasure to promote such gifted and delightful people and we eagerly await their next visit".   - William Wilson, Director, Lyth Arts Centre, Scotland