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A commitment to expanding the solo cello repertoire has led Lionel Handy to commission and premiere many new works. He has transcribed pieces by Brahms, Delius and Messian, the latter being included in his 2008 Carter/Messian centenary celebration CD, which, along with his subsequent Kodaly recording (featuring the monumental Sonata for Solo Cello) and Bax CD, received much critical acclaim both at home and abroad.   Lionel performs throughout the UK and Europe and has given several solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank. Much in demand as a chamber musician, Lionel has broadcast frequently for BBC Radio 3 and for European networks. He has made many commercial recordings, most recently the Korngold Sextet for the German Tacet label. He is a member of the London Music Phoenix Ensemble and Trio Eluard, with which he has performed at festivals in Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain and the UK. He has participated twice as a soloist at the South African Chamber Music Festival.


Lionel’s interest in British Twentieth Century music has led to performances of the concertos by Finzi, Bax, Walton and Delius. With the London Sinfonietta he has worked with many of the leading composers of more recent times, including Tippett, Berio, Lutosłwski, Henze, Carter, Part, Birtwistle, Reich and Knussen.

Lionel was principal cello with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields for ten years, recording extensively with them and touring the US and Europe. Later, as solo cellist with Bournemouth Sinfonietta, he performed a wide range of concertos from CPE Bach and Boccherini to Tavener and Roxburgh. Lionel has been guest principal with most leading UK orchestras, including the Philharmonia, LSO, Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and English Chamber Orchestra.

As a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Lionel Handy won every prize for cello and chamber music, including the prestigious Moir Carnegie Recital Diploma prize and Principal’s Prize. He was also awarded first prize by Jacqueline du Pre in the Muriel Taylor Competition. With several other important scholarship awards, he was able to continue his studies with Janos Starker in Banff and with Pierre Fournier in Geneva. He has been a professor at the Royal Acadamy of Musicsince 1982, and teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire in addition to summer schools throughout Europe. Lionel founded the New Forest Cello Academy in 2008, and many of his former pupils hold key positions in orchestras and ensembles throughout the UK. A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music(FRAM. Lionel Plays a cello by Fendt (circa 1820).

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