Biography

“Cellist Louise McMonagle’s playing was especially vivid, with its powerful combination of precision and intensity.” Jonathan Russell – Bachtrack.

London cellist Louise McMonagle graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with the “dipRAM” award for outstanding final recital.  Solo and chamber music performances include Purcell Room, Kings Place, The Sage Gateshead, Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, Tête à Tête Festival, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Cheltenham International Music Festival, Nonclassical, The Vortex, and broadcasts on BBC Radio.

A keen interpreter of contemporary music Louise works with many composers, notably Heinz Holliger who invited Louise to perform his Chaconne for solo cello at his festival, Ittingen Pfingstkonzert (Switzerland).   Also in Switzerland Louise performed as solo cello in Boulez Messagesquisse in the Viva Cello Festival in Liestal.

Louise is a member of London contemporary music group Ensemble Amorpha.  Directed by composer Luke Styles (Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence),  the group is dedicated to bringing contemporary music from around the world to the UK, in a variety of performance formats collaborating with artists in all fields.

Louise also works regularly with jazz saxophonist Trish Clowes (BBC New Generation Artist) in her group Tangent, her Festival Emulsion, and on both of her albums, Tangent, and And In The Night Time She Is There, released on UK jazz label Basho Records.    Recently Louise recorded some new tracks with Clowes and drummer James Maddren, forming “The Odd Trio”.   These tracks will be broadcast on BBC Jazz on 3 in August 2014.

Also in 2014, Louise has enjoyed spending time in Amsterdam performing as guest cellist with exciting Dutch string quartet Ragazze, who pride themselves on energetic performances, wide ranging repertoire and crossing the boundaries of the traditional classical concert.

Louise was invited by film composer Fraya Thomsen to play the score to Sam Firth’s award winning short film “Stay the Same“. The fourteen minute film is accompanied by an evocative soundtrack comprising many layers of solo cello. After premiering at the London Film Festival, awards include overall winner of the International Competition, Videoex Experimental Film Festival, Zurich 2014 and the Wand 5 Honorary Prize for Concept and Design, Stuttgart WinterFilm Festival 2014. The score also won an award for Best Composer, Underwire Festival 2013.

When not doing all of these things Louise works as a guest with many of the UK orchestras:  Louise has appeared as principal cello with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Brandenburg Sinfonia; assistant principal with Aurora Orchestra; sub principal with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and also works freelance for the Philharmonia, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, London Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and City of London Sinfonia.

Louise studied with Robert Irvine in Scotland, David Strange, Philip Sheppard and Colin Carr at the Royal Academy of Music, and later with Thomas Demenga in Switzerland. She is thankful to Dewar Arts Awards, Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships, The English Speaking Union and Craxton Memorial Awards.

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