Madeleine Mitchell

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This article is about the British violinist. For the American beauty queen, see Madeline Mitchell.
Madeleine Mitchell
Madeleine Mitchell.jpg
Background information
Genres Classical music
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Violin
Years active 1985–present
Labels Divine Art, Naxos, NMC Records, Signum Records, Somm, Meridian
Associated acts Fires of London
Michael Nyman Band
Notable instruments
Giuseppe Rocca[1] 1839

Madeleine Louise Mitchell MMus, ARCM, GRSM, FRSA is a British violinist who has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in over forty countries.[2] She has a wide repertoire and is particularly known for commissioning and premiering new works.

Mitchell is a Professor at the Royal College of Music, Artistic Director of the Red Violin Festival and Director of the London Chamber Ensemble.[3] She was also a member of The Fires of London and the Michael Nyman Band.



Mitchell attended Rise Park Junior School and became a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music[4] in piano from the age of 6, adding violin at 8½. Mitchell's Secondary education was at Hornchurch Grammar School.[4]

As a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music, Mirchell studied with Bertha Stevens (violin) and Aida Lovell (piano). In 1978 she won the Tagore Gold Medal[3] and graduated with First Class Honours.[4]

As Fulbright/ITT Fellow Mitchell gained a Master's degree in New York at the Eastman and Juilliard schools studying with Dorothy DeLay and Donald Weilerstein. Mitchell recalls that DeLay was "kind, perceptive and inspiring" teacher and that the "late night lessons in Aspen… were some of the best".[5] Mitchell received a Fellowship to the Aspen Festival and worked as graduate assistant to Sylvia Rosenberg.[3]

Performing career[edit]

Mitchell served from 1985-1987 as a member of Peter Maxwell Davies's performing group, The Fires of London.[6] In 1992, she was briefly a member of the Michael Nyman Band[citation needed] she performed on the recording; The Michael Nyman Songbook appeared in Volker Schlöndorff's concert film.[citation needed]

Mitchell was one of the artists representing Britain in both the festival UKinNY with a recital at Lincoln Center[citation needed] and for the centenary of Entente Cordiale with France.[citation needed] She has given recitals at Sydney Opera House,[citation needed] Seoul Center for the Arts[citation needed] and Hong Kong.[citation needed] Mitchell has played at many international and most of the major British festivals and frequently performs in London.[citation needed] She was invited by Norbert Brainin to perform with him for his 80th birthday concert at Wigmore Hall in 2003.[citation needed] Mitchel performed a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall in March 2015 accompanied by Nigel Clayton.[7] Other artists with whom she has collaborated include Paul Watkins, Joanna MacGregor, Craig Ogden and Roger Chase. Her recitals have frequently been broadcast by BBC, S4C, ABC and Bayersicher Rundfunk.[citation needed]

Mitchell has performed a wide repertoire of concertos with major orchestras including the St Petersburg Philharmonic (2009),[citation needed] Czech and Polish Radio Symphony,[citation needed] Wurttemberg and Munich Chamber,[citation needed] the Royal Philharmonic[citation needed], Welsh Chamber Orchestra,[citation needed] Orchestra de Bahia Brazil,[citation needed] Malaga Symphony of Spain[citation needed] and for the BBC.[citation needed]

Mitchell is the Director of the London Chamber Ensemble.[citation needed] She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2000.[citation needed]


Mitchell has been a Professor at the Royal College of Music since 1994 and is a member of the RCM Council. Mitchell's students have won the Making Music prize and Park Lane Young Artists' Awards.[3] Mitchell instigated Performance Seminars as the Graduate Pathway Leader for Solo/Ensemble students 2000-2011. She frequently chairs examination panels and mentors students in the Centre for Performance Science.[3]

Red Violin Festival[edit]

Mitchell was the Artistic Director of the Red Violin Festival in 1997 and 2007. The Cardiff-based festival covers "all things violin, including classical, fiddling, Indian and jazz use of the instrument"[8] and was enthusiastically received by the media.[9] Mitchell interviewed the Festival's Founder Patron, Lord Menuhin in 1997 for the BBC.[10]

The October 2007 Red Violin Festival included two world premieres performances by Mitchell with percussion group Ensemble Bash and the launch of her CD 'Violin Songs' featuring Elizabeth Watts.[11]

Commissions and Premieres[edit]

Mitchell is noted for commissioning new music.

Mirchel recorded Nyman's work 'On The Fiddle', written for her in 1993,[citation needed] as part of her album In Sunlight: Pieces for Madeleine Mitchell NMC D098 of music written for her by Brian Elias, Stuart Jones, James MacMillan, Stephen Montague, Nigel Osborne, Anthony Powers, and John Woolrich with pianist Andrew Ball in 2005.[citation needed]

Mitchell had a violin concerto written for her by Piers Hellawell and commissioned and premiered a unique 'concerto' for violin with voices by Jonathan Harvey, Thierry Pecou and Roxanna Panufnik.[citation needed]


Year Album title Works(Composer) Label Disc Reference
1993 Essential Michael Nyman (with the Michael Nyman Band) Decca
2003 British Treasures (with Andrew Ball) SOMM SOMMCD031
2004 Frank Bridge
  • String quartet in Bb (previously unpublished - premiere recording)
  • Viola Quintet
2004 Johann Nepomuk Hummel Violin Sonatas Meridian
2004 Quiet Music (with Joanna MacGregor) SoundCircus
2005 In Sunlight: Pieces for Madeleine Mitchell (with Andrew Ball) NMC NMC D098
2007 Alwyn: Chamber Music and Songs (with
  • Roger Chase
  • Andrew Ball
  • Lucy Wilding
  • Jeremy Huw WiIliams
  • Iain Burnside)
  • Rhapsody for Piano Quartet
  • Sonata Impromptu for Violin and Viola
  • Two Songs for Voice
  • Violin and Piano
  • Sonatina for Violin and Piano (all by William Alwyn)
Naxos 8.570340
2007 FiddleSticks (with ensemble bash) Signum Classics SIGCD111
2007 Violin Songs (with Andrew Ball and Elizabeth Watts) Divine Art DDA25063
2008 Howard Blake: Music for Piano and Strings (with Andrew Ball)
  • Violin Sonata Op. 586
  • Penillion for violin and piano Op. 571
  • Jazz Dances for violin and piano Op. 520a
Naxos 8.572083
2010 Messiaen (with

Gramophone Magazine recommended recording.

Warner Classical 825646820924
2011 Wendy Hiscocks Violin works and chamber music Symposium
2012 Associated Board Royal Schools of Music violin syllabus 2012-15 Items on the demonstration CDs accompanying the volumes of exam pieces. ABRM
2013 Alpha and Omega (with Cappella Nova) Domine non secundum peccata nostra (James MacMillan) BBC Music Magazine Choral CD of the Month March 2014 Linn Records CKD439


  1. ^ The Strad Magazine, November 2008, Pages 54 to 58, 'History Rewritten'
  2. ^ "Celebrity recital by 'one of Britain's liveliest musical forces'", Times of Malta, 13 April 2007, retrieved 2011-07-29
  3. ^ a b c d e "Madeleine Mitchell", Royal College of Music Website; Professors|Strings|Profile, accessed 5 June 2016
  4. ^ a b c Who's Who (UK) 2015 Edition; "MITCHELL, Madeleine Louise"
  5. ^ The Strad Magazine, September 2002
  6. ^ Holland, Bernhard (1985) "Music: Fires of London", The New York Times, December 2, 1985, retrieved 2011-07-29
  7. ^ "" Lisa Peacock Presents Thursday Lunchtime Showcases; accessed 12 June 2016
  8. ^ Cora Cooper (7 March 2007) "K-State Today, 7 March 2012: Noted violinist Madeleine Mitchell to perform March 12"; accessed 5 June 2016
  9. ^ "Media Coverage of 1997 Red Violin Festival"; accessed 5 June 2016
  10. ^ YouTube "Madeleine Mitchell violin & Menuhin, Red Violin Festival"; accessed 5 June 2016
  11. ^ "Red Violin/Ffidil Goch"; accessed 5 June 2016

External links[edit]