Classical musicians and VSO School of Music colleagues Jennie Press (violin) and Louise Southwood (guitar) have united to form a remarkable duo.. "Sequoia".
Their repertoire is extensive, including elegant Elizabethan and Baroque suites, favorites by the classical masters, fiery Spanish dances and rhythmic Latin Bossa Novas and Sambas.
Their combined international performing experience and technical excellence has produced a world class ensemble which can be both exhilarating and calming, creating the perfect ambience for any event.
Louise Southwood - Classical Guitar.
Louise's career began at an early age with many competitive successes and concerts throughout the UK.
Her musical world was opened up under the mentorship of the eminent guitarist Carlos Bonell, described as, "one of the great communicators of the guitar world". Under Carlos' guidance Louise's playing blossomed leading her to the prestigious Royal College of Music in London from which she graduated with Honours in 2000.
While attending the Royal College Louise had the privilege of working with the one of the world's foremost classical guitarists, Gary Ryan, on both solo and guitar accompaniment. The Royal College represented an extremely intense period or performance and collaboration as well as master classes with some of the world's most renowned guitarists. Numerous engagements within the UK were highlighted by appearances at the Trinity Chapel in Cambridge and the National Gallery and St. Martin in the Fields in London.
Following a number of years teaching at several prominent private schools and performing in London, Louise accepted a position at the Bermuda School of Music where she spent seven years teaching, performing solo and as part of the 'Southwood-France Duo' with acclaimed violinist and educator David France. Together they performed regularly at The Bermuda International Guitar Festival and opened The Kodaikanal International Guitar Festival 2009 in India. Douglas Lora of the celebrated 'Brazil Guitar Duo' was so impressed with their performance that he dedicated a composition to the pair. Louise's solo playing has been publicly recognized by the renowned Grammy winning guitarist Andrew York.
Louise's most recent recordings, 'Emergence' and 'Chrysalis' illustrate her varied instrumental techniques and musical interests, with a selection of favourite pieces, ancient and modern which have enchanted audiences around the world.
Louise is now settled in Vancouver where she teaches privately and at The VSO School of Music while maintaining a full performing schedule as a soloist, as part of The Vancouver Guitar Duo and with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra violinist Jennie Press as "Sequoia".
Jennie Press - Violin.
Jennie Press began her violin studies at the age of three in St. John's, NL. She made her solo debut with the Newfoundland Symphony at thirteen and has since had solo appearances with several symphonies and chamber orchestras in Canada and the United States. Ms. Press has been a national finalist numerous times in the Canadian Music Competitions, the Shean Strings Competition and the National Music Festival, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She has also been a prize winner in numerous competitions including the Marbury Violin Competition, the Yale Gordon String Competition, the Alexandria Symphony Competition and the Wellesly Symphony Competition.
Jennie has performed in many symphony and chamber orchestras including the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, and Key West Symphony, and has served as concertmaster in several orchestras including Royal Opera Canada, Annapolis Opera, Washington Summer Opera, De Camera Chamber Players, Peabody Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Concert Orchestra. She has also performed with many pops orchestras which have led to performances in Hong Kong, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Ms. Press spent one year at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA as a student of Eric Rosenblith and was a member of the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra which toured South America. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree and subsequently earned a Master of Music degree as a full scholarship recipient from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD as a student of Victor Danchenko. She also spent one year as an Artist Diploma candidate under full scholarship at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, ON as a student of Atis Bankas. Ms. Press has played in masterclasses and lessons for such internationally renowned artists as Midori, Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleisher, Donald Weilerstein, Camilla Wicks, Andreas Cardenes, Laurence Lesser, Lorand Fenyves, and members of the Juilliard, Orford and Vogler Quartets.
Ms. Press is currently Second Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the first violin section of the now defunct CBC Radio Orchestra.