Julia Isaksson and Theo Hillborg won the The Chamber Music Association’s Young & Promising 2021 competition and our concert is part of their Sweden tour. The jury’s reasoning was:
”With a natural artistry that arouses curiosity and broadens the listeners’ horizons, Duo Julia & Theo offers music that moves seamlessly between genres. The performance is permeated by a charming communication between the musicians, as well as with the audience.”
The duo has developed a large repertoire and performed both in Great Britain and in Sweden. They strive to think outside the box and often mix genres such as folk, jazz, classical and modern music.
Chick Corea (1941-2021) – Children’s Songs – Arr. Rob Buckland
Alessandro Marcello (1673-1747) – Adagio and Presto
Magnus Lindgren (1974) – Kind of a Sonata (commissioned by the duo)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) – 1. Pagodes from Estampes
Takashi Yoshimatsu (1953) – Fuzzy Bird Sonata
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) – The Nordics
Gary Carpenter (1951) – Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano
Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) – Prelude
Phil Woods (1931-2015) – Sonata
Julia Isaksson, piano (b. 1996) made her international solo debut at the age of 18 when she performed to a packed Laeiszhalle in Hamburg at the International Steinway Festival after winning first prize in the Steinway Piano Festival in Stockholm in 2014. Julia has won prize in several international competitions such as first prize in the Feurich International Music Competition in Vienna 2016 and second prize in the Wilfrid Parry Prize 2019. Recently she has also received second prize in the prestigious competition Sterndale Bennett Prize 2020. She has played in Copenhagen Tivoli’s concert hall, Gothenburg Concert Hall and Stockholm Concert Hall. Julia obtained her bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London with First Class Honours, where she is also doing her master’s studies with Professor Colin Stone. In autumn 2020, she also started studying for the Interpretation Diploma at the Academy of Music in Malmö for Francisca Skoogh in parallel with her studies in London.
Theo Hillborg, saxophone (b. 1996) obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London with First Class Honors where he studied with Simon Haram and Martin Speake. He then continued with a master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm under professor Christer Johnsson. As a soloist, Theo has won prizes in national and international competitions such as the Stockholm International Music Competition and the Polstjärne prize. He is a member of the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, one of Europe’s foremost ensembles for new music. Theo is also an experienced orchestral musician and has worked with conductors such as Sakari Oramo, Edward Gardner, Oliver Knussen and Yan Pascal Tortelier and with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata.