Madeleine Pickering (violin) & John Paul Ekins (piano)

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Franck, Debussy, Ravel and Fauré



Violinist and violist Madeleine Pickering studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Maureen Smith, Tasmin Little and Michael Foyle (violin), Garfield Jackson and Martin Outram (viola).


She has been the recipient of several prizes, including the Theodore Holland Viola Prize (2016), the Winifred Small Prize for Solo Violin (2020) and the Martin/Hooton Violin Concerto Prize (2021).  She became a member of the Musicians’ Company Young Artists’ Programme in 2019 when she received the Biddy Baxter and John Hosier Music Trust Special Award, and she is a Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist 2021-22 for Making Music UK.


Apart from recital and concerto performances, Madeleine loves playing with other musicians in chamber and orchestral collaborations of various types.  She particularly enjoys directing from the violin, and, as winner of the Martin/Hooton Violin Concerto Prize in 2021, she directed and performed as soloist with the Academy String Orchestra in a recording of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D minor for Violin and String Orchestra.  She enjoys work with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mozart Symphony Orchestra, Fantasia Orchestra, Echo Ensemble and Piccadilly Sinfonietta.


She plays on a violin by Giovanni Pistucci c.1800, generously loaned to her by the Harrison-Frank Foundation in association with J&A Beare.


In demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, John Paul Ekins has given performances throughout the UK and Northern Ireland, and overseas in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and Switzerland, and he has been broadcast on the BBC, on Romanian national television and radio, and on Polish television. He gained First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music and a Distinction in Master of Performance as a scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied with John Barstow and Charles Owen respectively. He was the recipient of a Music Education Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and received generous support from Making Music, The Concordia Foundation, The Razumovsky Trust and The Keyboard Charitable Trust.


International Competition successes have seen him awarded as many as 19 scholarships and prizes, and performance highlights have included Rhapsody in Blue and the Warsaw Concerto at The Royal Albert Hall.


Educational and outreach work is enormously important to John Paul, and he has given workshops and masterclass-recitals with great success in the UK. For many years he was visiting piano teacher at St. Paul’s School, London from 2013-2020.


In response to the Covid pandemic John Paul set up Cats, Chats & 88 Keys (, a live online concert series for maintaining a connection with audiences, which raised over £5,000 for the NHS. With performances coming live from his music room in south-west London, the series was founded on a passionate belief that classical music is for everyone, fuelled by a desire to instil his love for music in others. He delivers informal yet enlightening introductions to welcome and inspire those who are new to classical music, while deepening the experience for those who are more familiar with the genre.


John Paul was particularly honoured to be presented to Her late Majesty, The Queen and His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip at a Reception for Young Performers at Buckingham Palace.