In 2020, music-lovers around the world are celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Award-winning Russian/New Zealand violinist Natalia Lomeiko joins acclaimed New Zealand’s pianist Sarah Watkins in a programme showcasing Beethoven’s mighty Kreutzer Sonata, paired with Tchaikovsky’s richly poetic works for violin and piano, and ‘Dance’ by Auckland composer Josiah Carr.
Natalia Lomeiko – violin
Born into a family of musicians in Novosibirsk, Russia, Natalia has established herself internationally as a versatile performing artist. Since her debut with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of seven, Natalia performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra among many others.
Natalia has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Lionel Bringuier, Matthias Bamert, Arvo Volmer, Olari Elts, Vladimir Verbitsky, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Eckehard Stier, Mikhail Gerts, Valery Poliansky, Pavel Kogan, Yuri Simonov, Vladimir Ashkenazy and many others. She has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in numerous prestigious venues with distinguished musicians such as Maxim Vengerov, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, the late Boris Pergamenschikov, Tabea Zimmerman, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Schlomo Mintz, Daishin Kashimoto, Natalie Clein, and many others.
Natalia has been appointed a Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London in 2010 and currently resides in London.
Sarah Watkins – piano
Sarah’s lifelong love for accompanying and chamber music has led to an impressive career as a performer and recording artist. She is perhaps best known to New Zealand audiences as a founding member and her 16 years with NZTrio. She was recently appointed as an artist teacher and chamber music coach at the University of Auckland, and she enjoys a wide variety of collaborations with musicians all over New Zealand.
In addition to NZTrio, Sarah has been an official pianist for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition since its inception in 2001 and the Gisborne International Music Competition since 2008. She regularly appears as a freelance player in the APO, and has also performed as concerto soloist with the APO, ACO and St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra. In 2014 Sarah recorded Chris Watson's "sing songs self" for solo piano and orchestra with the NZSO, a composition which was awarded the prestigious 2015 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.
Her numerous CD recordings with NZTrio and other artists have been widely praised by audiences and critics alike; ‘Sway’ (NZTrio, 2017) and ‘Gung-ho’ (2009, with NZSO principal trombonist David Bremner) were both winners of the Vodafone NZ Music Award for best Classical album.