Alasdair Tait is a British cellist and teacher.
As a freelance artist, Tait partners many musicians and is a founding member of the Ulysses Ensemble. He has performed in concert halls all over the world and is also much sought after as a chamber music coach and teacher. Tait studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum and at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland, with Thomas Demenga.
On returning to the UK in 1998, Tait joined the Belcea Quartet and was its cellist until 2006. During this time he performed around the world with tours to Australia and New Zealand, the Far East, North and South America as well as throughout Europe. For five years the quartet was Resident Quartet at Wigmore Hall, a position that also included regular education work. As a member of the Belcea Quartet, Tait has recorded (for EMI) CDs of Schubert, Brahms, Britten, Mozart, Fauré and Barber and collaborated with Ian Bostridge, Thomas Ades, Thomas Kakushka and Jonathan Lemalu. Their disc of Debussy, Ravel and Duttilleux quartets won a Gramophone Award and an earlier recording of Janáček was awarded a Diapason d’Or in France. Apart from being one of the first groups to participate in the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme, the quartet also received the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards for Chamber Music Ensemble twice.
In 2004 he formed the Ulysses Ensemble, a group of international chamber musicians dedicated to exploring the various musical styles and genres of the 20th and 21st centuries. They have formed a close relationship with the Aldeburgh Festival, participating in two residencies culminating in their inaugural concert at the 2005 festival. Future plans include their Wigmore debut with Christine Schäfer in Pierrot Lunaire, as well as directing masterclasses for mixed ensembles at the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and a project in collaboration with Streetwise Opera. The group initially met at the International Musicians' Seminar, Prussia Cove, where they are all regular participants at Open Chamber Music.
At present Tait is Director of Chamber Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has recently been appointed as Professor of Chamber Music at the International Chamber Music Institute of the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. He is also a regular professor on the Britten-Pears Summer International Quartet Academy and mentor during the winter quartet residencies. He has given chamber music masterclasses around the world, as far afield as Australia and Japan.
He is now CEO of YCAT which is a UK young artist charity which helps to launch the UK careers of young UK musicians. Recent successes include Alexandra Dariescu.
- Biography from the Royal Northern College of Music page
- Tumelty, Michael (June 28, 2006). "Welcome to the Tait modern". The Herald. Glasgow: Newsquest Media Group. p. 8.