After learning the violin and piano at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Martin studied music at Cambridge University, then took up conducting and made his professional début for Welsh National Opera in 1982. Dividing his time between opera and symphonic work, he recently celebrated 30 years of conducting all around the world. Martin André has a very wide operatic repertoire, but is particularly known for his Janáček, Verdi and Mozart. He has the rare distinction of being the only conductor to have performed for all the major British opera companies. During the past decade, he has enjoyed a close relationship with Opera North. From 1993-96, Martin was Music Director of English Touring Opera. In 1986 he began conducting opera in the international arena, starting with the North American premiere of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead. Since then, he has been regularly appearing in the following countries: Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa and USA. In the symphonic world, he also has an extremely varied and long list of repertoire, but particularly enjoys the works of Mozart, Nielsen, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. He has enjoyed long relationships with Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (Holland), Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música (Portugal), Collegium Musicum Bergen (Norway). He has worked with many of the major British orchestras, and abroad in Australia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Martin is passionate about helping the next generation of musicians, especially conductors: he has been closely associated with the Royal College of Music (London) since 2000, where he is a Fellow. He visits the RCM regularly as part of the 4 Year Orchestra Repertoire Training Programme which he created for them recently. In 2006 Martin created the National Youth Orchestra of Portugal, (named Momentum Perpetuum), which he managed for 5 years, including a triumphant tour of Italy: the first Portuguese orchestra of any kind to visit Italy. From 2010 until 2013, he was Artistic Director of Teatro Nacional de Saõ Carlos, Lisbon. As such, he was the Chief Executive of 2 major Portuguese Cultural Institutions: the National Opera Company and the National Symphony Orchestra. As well as all his administrative duties, he conducted several new opera productions, including a Trilogy of La traviata, Il trovatore and Rigoletto to celebrate Verdi’s Anniversary in 2013. Since leaving Lisbon, Martin has completed 2 major operatic projects in Denmark, working with 5 different Danish orchestras in nationwide tours. For further information, please visit Martin's website: www.martinandreconductor.com
Portuguese violinist Joana started playing violin aged 4 and soon joined the Aveiro Conservatoire of Music where she studied with Ana Sofia Mota until she finished school. During the final 2 years, she also studied the viola with Hugo Diogo. In 2007 she went to the ANSO in Lisbon to do her bachelor and after that she continued her studies at the Royal College of Music, London, with Radu Blidar for her Masters Degree, which she completed in 2013. As chamber music is one of her main passions, Joana was a member of the Sattler Quartet for 2 years and attended many festivals such as Harmus Festival, Stift International Festival, Aurora Chamber Music and Lake District Chamber Music. She also participated in Masterclasses for solo and chamber music, given by distinguished Professors including Gordan Nikolic, Daniel Rowland, Leonid Kerbel, Zoltan Santa and the Chilingirian Quartet. Joana has been a member of several orchestras including Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Southbank Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, Garsington Opera, Orpheus Sinfonia, Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra, Philharmonia Amsterdam. Her interest for historical performance has led her to some festivals such as Dartington, EUBO Mobile Academy and Freiburg Barockorchester Academy where she had the opportunity of studying with wonderful violinists such as with Petra Müllejans, Margaret Faultless and Adrian Butterfield. She also plays regularly with period ensembles such as Brandenburg Sinfonia and Feuersinfonie(Utrecht Oude Muziek Fringe Festival). Whilst studying in London, Joana was a recipient of the Gulbenkian Scholarship. Now she is grateful to have the support of the Harrison Frank Foundation, for the loan of a Maurizi violin. In 2016 she received a Career career development bursary from Help Musicians UK and performed complete Beethoven Sonatas in a four-concert cycle in London. Currently Joana divides her work between London and Amsterdam and is studying with Gordan Nikolic.