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Biography

Wigmore Soloists is a new chamber ensemble comprising a roster of outstanding musicians, led by Michael Collins and Isabelle van Keulen, and created with Wigmore Hall’s Director, John Gilhooly.

This new and innovative ensemble performs repertoire both old and new, and commissions leading composers to expand upon the extensive catalogue of chamber music works. With a large core line up of string quintet, wind quintet and piano, the group performs a wide and varied repertoire and is dedicated to revitalising great works at the highest level.

Taking the name of one of the world’s most iconic concert halls (the first time an ensemble has been given this honour), the group gives regular concerts at Wigmore Hall and in other major venues around the world. The ensemble has recorded three discs so far: Schubert’s Octet, Mozart Clarinet Quintet and most recently a Clarinet Trios disc, on BIS Records. Their 2022/23 Season will see them continuing their residency at Wigmore Hall, as well as performing a busy schedule of UK engagements and making debut performances in Austria, Ireland and Turkey.

View our sample programmes here.

Meet the players

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Isabelle van Keulen

Violin/viola

Isabelle van Keulen is a Dutch violinist and violist, performing as a chamber musician and as a soloist. After winning the Eurovision Young Musician of the Year Competition in 1984, when she was only 17, she started a world wide carreer and played with orchestras allover the globe. For more than 30 years, she has formed a duo with the pianist Ronald Brautigam.

 

Her discography is extensive and ranges from early music to pieces especially written for her. In 2012 she became a professor at the Lucerne University for Music. In 2017 she has been appointed artistic director at Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss in Germany.

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Michael Collins

Clarinet

Michael Collins is one of the most complete musicians of his generation. In addition to a continuing, distinguished career as a soloist, he has in recent years also become highly regarded as a conductor, and is Artistic Director in Residence of the London Mozart Players.

 

Recent highlights include a return to the Philharmonia Orchestra as conductor; performances worldwide with orchestras including Minnesota Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Rheinische Philharmonie, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, and tours in South Africa, Australia (with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra), Japan and Mexico. His prolific recording career he has covered an extraordinarily wide range of solo repertoire, which also includes releases on Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, EMI and Sony. He is one of the world’s most recorded clarinettists.

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