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Tasmin Little (born Londonmarker, 13 May 1965) is an Englishmarker violinist.

She studied under Pauline Scott at the Yehudi Menuhin School and later at the Guildhall School of Music, coming to prominence as a string section finalist in the 1982 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. Her father is George Little, the English TV actor.

In 1988 she made her professional solo debut with the Hallé Orchestra.

In 1996 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradfordmarker, where its music centre is named after her.

She has now established an international reputation, and has recorded violin concertos by Bruch, Brahms, Sibelius and others, giving some their first recordings — or second, as with Edmund Rubbra's. She has premiered works, including Stuart MacRae's violin concerto at the 2001 BBC Proms.

Robert Maycock of The Independent newspaper wrote "Tasmin Little was ideal to represent the Menuhin School's alumni. She is a true successor: international star, enthusiastic chamber player, and now conducting, too".

In addition to a flourishing career as violin soloist which has taken her to every continent of the world, Tasmin Little has further established her reputation as Artistic Director with her hugely successful “Delius Inspired” festival, which was broadcast for a week on BBC Radio 3 in July 2006. The festival, which comprised events ranging from orchestral concerts and chamber music to films and exhibitions, also reached 800 school children in an ambitious programme designed to widen interest in classical music for young people.

In the 2005–2006 season, Tasmin performed concertos in Swedenmarker, Sloveniamarker, Icelandmarker, Denmarkmarker, Spainmarker, Belgiummarker as well as Londonmarker (including the BBC Proms). Her recent chamber music tours have ranged from a UKmarker tour in Manchestermarker’s Bridgewater Hallmarker, Symphony Hall, Birminghammarker, Liverpool Philharmonic Hallmarker to Brazilmarker, Colombiamarker and Perumarker.

She now plays/directs orchestras such as the Norwegian Chamber, Britten Sinfonia and Royal Philharmonic. During her recent tour with the Britten Sinfonia, her 1000th professional performance at London’s South Bank Centremarker resulted in the following review in The Independent: "The second half evinced an extraordinary quality of sharing, as you expect to find in a trio or quartet... with both Little and Outram at the front for Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante. Usually this work feels like a double concerto, but here the lead role passed around, with soloists determined to cooperate rather than compete. All the performers succeeded, not only in placing the work before its public but in drawing listeners into its heart".

In 2006, Tasmin made her fourteenth appearance at the BBC Proms in a performance of the rarely heard concerto by Alexander Glazunov and in 2008 she performed the Concerto for violin and horn by Dame Ethel Smyth. She continues to champion seldom-performed repertoire and during the 2006–7 season she played Max Bruch's second violin concerto with the London Philharmonic, the Korngold concerto in Symphony Hall, Birmingham. She is one of the few violinists to have tackled Ligeti’s challenging violin concerto — according to an interview on BBC Radio 4, only four violinists in the world currently have this in their repertoire. During her 2003 tour she played the work with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle at the BBC Proms, in Berlin, at the Salzburg Festival, New Yorkmarker’s Carnegie Hallmarker and in Philadelphiamarker. In 2006–2007 she returned to the work by performing it with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and at the Concertgebouwmarker, Amsterdammarker.

In 2007, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edward Elgar, she performed his violin concerto on a major tour to Southeast Asia and Australia.

Orchestras she has played with throughout her career include the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Thorington Players, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic and with conductors including Kurt Masur, Simon Rattle, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Neeme Järvi, Leonard Slatkin, Rostropovich, Daniele Gatti, Rozhdestvensky, Gerard Schwarz, Tadaaki Otaka, Charles Mackerras, Yehudi Menuhin, Andrew Davis and Roger Norrington.

In 1996 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford, where its music centre is named after her and has subsequently received further Honorary degrees from the Universities of Leicester, Hertfordshire and City of London.

Tasmin plays a 1757 Guadagnini violin and has, on loan from the Royal Academy of Musicmarker, the 1708 "Regent" Stradivarius.

On Sunday June 15 2008 Tasmin and the Naked Violin project featured in the South Bank Show on ITV1.

Recordings

She has made 23 recordings, with repertoire ranging from Max Bruch and Brahms to Mieczysław Karlowicz and Arvo Pärt.She currently has a cd of her recordings available for free on her website, as part of her, "Three Step Challenge." The gist is to encourage people to listen to classical music by giving some away. She asks that people listen to the piece more than once, then write her, letting her know if anything is still keeping them from enjoying classical music.

For the "The Naked Violin" project, Tasmin received the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Award for Audience Innovation on Thursday, September 25th 2008 in London.

Tasmin's latest recording on the BIS label was released on 2nd March 2009. "Partners in Time"is a follow-up to the Naked Violin project — a disc of works for violin and piano illustrating the chronological development of the relationship between the two instruments and the ways that composers have fallen in love with, and responded to, this partnership. The pianist is John Lenehan.A dedicated website was created for this project where Tasmin has recorded spoken introductions to the music with musical illustrations of the pieces. http://www.partnersintime.eu

References

  1. IMDB.
  2. The Independent, 10 March 2006.
  3. The South Bank Show | Ep10 Tasmin Little Wk25 08


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