Michael Foyle (violin) & John Paul Ekins (piano)

Wednesday 8 March 2023 7.45pm

Franck, Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, FWV 8 

Debussy, Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, L.140

Ravel, Violin Sonata in G major, M.77 

Faure, Violin Sonata No.1 in A major, Op.13


At the age of 30 MICHAEL FOYLE is already proving to be a violinist of great class and elegance on the concert platform. His total commitment to the musical integrity of each score combines with a constant pursuit of beauty of expression, resulting in a powerful communication style that has won over audiences internationally.

Praised for playing of ‘compelling conviction’ (The Daily Telegraph) and performances ‘full of sparkling detail, with tonal beauty and incisive rhythmic clarity, balancing wit and poetry’ (The Strad), Michael launched his career by winning The Netherlands Violin Competition 2016. His performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.1 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra led to an immediate invitation to give his debut recital in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

His London debut followed with a recital at the Wigmore Hall (‘superlative’ – Seen and Heard International) and since then he has performed recitals in the UK’s most prestigious venues, including Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Buckingham Palace, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bridgewater Hall and Usher Hall, regularly being broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Recent concerto appearances include with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Mozart), English Chamber Orchestra (Prokofiev), Polish Baltic Philharmonic (Elgar), Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia (Brahms) and a return to the Rotterdam Philharmonic (Korngold). He gives recitals at festivals worldwide, including St. Magnus International Festival, New York Chamber Music Festival, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Cervantino Festival (Mexico) and Mravinsky Festival (St. Petersburg).

In 2018-19 he released his debut CDs, The Great War Centenary – Debussy, Janacek and Respighi Sonatas on Challenge Records and Lutoslawski and Penderecki: Complete Violin and Piano Works on Delphian Records, both to critical acclaim (‘vividly and beautifully conceived and executed – BBC Music Magazine, ‘richly detailed and impassioned performances’ – The Daily Telegraph). In 2021, he released the Complete Beethoven Sonatas with pianist Maksim Stsura (‘Foyle produces an absolutely gorgeous sound … The recording is excellent’ – Fanfare).

Alongside his solo career, Michael is violinist of Trio Balthasar and Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London (the youngest appointed in the institution’s 200-year history) and at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.

Michael plays a Gennaro Gagliano violin from 1750 on private loan.



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 (www.youtube.com/CatsChats88Keys), 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.