Spotlight on....Lucy Phillips & Jonny Ingall


This week we caught up with duo partners Lucy Phillips and Jonny Ingall to see what they've been up to during lockdown and what they're hoping to do in the future!

Have you both still been able to make music regularly during lockdown?

Yes. As a couple as well as duo partners, we were lucky to be able to live together during the main lockdown, so we could continue to play music with each other. It was difficult to maintain motivation, with all our concerts being cancelled, so we did have periods when we didn’t play at all. However, we did do a bit of recording: we made a short video of May music, arranged by Jonny, for our YouTube channel; and we also recorded some pieces for Whirlow Spirituality Centre to use for their Heritage Open Days this month. We’ve also used the time to begin work editing scripts and composing music for Jack and the Beanstalk, which will be the focus of our next Music for Kids day at Greenhill Library.

What kind of music have you been focusing on during this time of no concerts?

We have been preparing some new repertoire, including duos by Mozart and Fiorillo, and Bruch’s piano trio. We had hoped to perform the Bruch on 2nd October this year, which is the centenary of his death, although sadly, of course, this will no longer go ahead. We have also revisited several pieces we have performed in the past and worked on the three duos by Beethoven (originally composed for clarinet and bassoon), having planned to perform them all throughout this year of celebration of all things Beethoven. And … Jonny got to listen to the whole of Lucy’s wonderfully eclectic collection of classical CDs – one a day, every day – which was enlightening, entertaining, and educational!

Do you have a favourite work to play together? Why that choice?

We love Glière’s Eight Duets for Violin and Cello. There is so much variety and energy in the music, and each movement has its own character and mood. They are so cleverly written, with such rich textures, that it’s sometimes easy to forget that only two instruments are playing!

How long have you been playing together?

We have been a duo for three years now, having first got to know each other when we played in a quartet. We also discovered that we had unknowingly been in the same room on several occasions in the years prior to that, and most recently when we both played in Holst’s The Planets suite with Sheffield Rep Orchestra at the Crucible in 2015, but we never actually properly met until later!

Which venue in Sheffield are you most looking forward to performing in again?

Definitely Fulwood Old Chapel. It’s a lovely, intimate venue with a welcoming acoustic, and in the last two years we’ve established our own Sunday-afternoon concert series there. We also really enjoyed performing in the Upper Chapel at the Classical Weekend in 2019, and we hope to return there at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Which works are you most excited to play in front of an audience again?

We recently learnt Honegger’s Sonatine for Violin and Cello, but have only performed the first movement so far, so we can’t wait to present the whole work. We are also excited to play Erwin Schulhoff’s Zingaresca again (the second movement of his Duo for Violin and Cello). It has a real folky vibe and is full of humour – a great crowd pleaser!

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