MARK HARTT-PALMER - CONDUCTOR
Mark studied the violin locally with Samuel Coates and subsequently continued under Frances Mason at the Royal College of Music, where he studied violin, viola and piano. Mark is well-known as a soloist, recitalist, arranger and musical director
Solo performances have included the concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch, Sibelius, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Elgar. He gave one of the first performances of the Coleridge-Taylor concerto by an amateur orchestra in the 2006 Chichester Festivities, and performed the Canadian première of the work with the Divertimento Orchestra in Ottawa in April 2008.
As a recitalist, Mark has played for many years as a duo with Richard Barnes - notable features of their partnership being a recital series in Portsmouth's Menuhin Room, a concert at Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford, and more recently in Temple Church, London, as well as Valletta Cathedral, Malta. As a duo, they specialise in exploring little-known British Romantic repertoire, performing Stanford's 2nd and Parry's 3rd Violin Sonatas as part of the Chichester Cathedral Lunchtime Series in 2009. They gave a recital of British violin music in the 2010 Chichester Festivities.
As a Musical Director, Mark has worked with the Petersfield Theatre Group (formerly the Petersfield Operatic Society and Petersfield Hi-Lights) and their performances of Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Merry Widow received critical acclaim. He has also worked with Havant Light Opera, directing a number of Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
As an arranger, Mark has re-orchestrated several Gilbert and Sullivan operas for reduced forces, which have been performed in the UK, the USA and Germany. His reduced orchestration of The Pirates of Penzance was performed by CAOS Musical Productions in 2011. His orchestrations of two Debussy Préludes were played by the CSO in 2006, and his arrangement of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque was performed by the Chichester String Ensemble in 2014 and 2015, played by the Chichester String Ensemble.
Mark is the Artistic Director of Willowhayne Records, an independent classical record label with a growing reputation and several critically acclaimed releases.
JOSEP GIL - ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR
Josep was born in Vila-real (Spain), and started his studies in the Music School "Unió Musicla La Lira", playing saxophone. He continued studying Saxophone in the Conservatorio Superior " Slavador Seguí" and Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Madrid. He was a member of the SAPA Saxophone Quartet, with whom he won competitions and toured the South-west of France.
He started conducting at the age of 18 with the Youth Wind Band La Lira of Vila-real, where he worked for five seasons. He later became a conductor of the Youth Choir and Mixed Choir "Schola Cantorum" from La Vall d'Uixò. In 2012 he decided to travel to Estonia study Conducting. He stayed there for three years, where he gained a Master's degree in Choral Conducting and Orchestral Conducting. There he founded a chamber orchestra, "Primavera Orkester", and vocal ensemble "Estiu Vocal". He won Second Prize in the 6th Estonian National Competition for Choral Conductors, and also the prize from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and EMTA's Academy Mixed Choir as their favourite conductor.
In his career he has conducted groups such as the Orchestra and Choir from Opera Royal de Wallonie, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Estonian National Male Choir, the Estonian Conservatory's Choir, the Latvian Mixed Choir in Estonia, the Mixed Choir from the Latvian National Bank, the Vocal ensemble "Bergamasque" from Paris, Coro Città di Torino, the Ensemble Femenino La Rose de Veneto (Italy), Orquestra Supramusica (Spain), Veus de Cambra (Spain) and the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra from Catalonia
In the season 2015/16 Josep was assistant Conductor in Opera Royal de Wallonie, where he worked with conductors like Paolo Arribaveni, Claudio Scimone and Cristopher Franklin, and singers like Annick Massis, Celso Albelo, Olga Peretyatko, Elina Garanca, Sumi Jo and Mario Cassi.
During the season 2016/17 he will be assisting conductors Jesús López Cobos and Karel Mark Chichon.