Reviews and Articles

10th November concert at St John’s, Smith Square:

‘Mozart’s sublime Sinfonia Concertante K364 had the admirable advantage of Tasmin Little and Philip Dukes as soloists.  This was an account of considerable musical insight and stature, the soloists playing from the start, and thereby making their later solo-and-duet statements thoroughly threaded through Mozart’s myriad texture.  The depth of realisation, especially in the finely-paced Andantino, was very moving: a quite memorable performance.”  Published in Musical Opinion Magazine November 2019 .

‘After a beautiful performance of Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Dukes went on to give one of the most eloquent performances of Britten’s Lachrymae I have ever heard……and this fine concert concluded with a passionate performance of Brahms’ Viola Sonata in E Flat, in which time and again one was able to admire the rich tone and artistry….’ Financial Times. 2016

In the Double Concerto by Huw Watkins, which was premiered at the BBC Proms by the same soloists, Philip Dukes and Josephine Knight were the again the persuasive and engaging soloists, in which both the dramatic and lyrical lines were delivered with the same unerring control. The Guardian 2016

20th anniversary concert at Purcell Room

Full review available online here.

“It is twenty years since Philip Dukes made his Purcell Room debut. He chose to mark the occasion with this afternoon recital, enticing in choice of repertoire and excellent in quality of performance, Dukes enjoying the dedicated collaboration of Piers Lane and Julian Lloyd Webber.” Review by Colin Anderson.

Philip Dukes and the Archinto Stradivarius

A podcast is available featuring Philip playing a rare Stradivarius Viola.Podcast © The Guardian.

Stradivarius made c. 10 violas. 8 remain and only 2 are playable. One of these, the “Archinto viola”, was allowed out of a museum to be played at the 2007 Proms in the Tippett triple concerto. It wass the first time it had been played in nearly 10 years. The podcast features Philip Dukes, Britain’s top concert viola player, who was one of the three soloists in the piece at the Royal Albert Hall. It compares the sound of the Strad with that of his own viola, a modern Japanese/American instrument and allows listeners to try to tell the difference. Peter Kingston reports (13mins 33s).

Press Quotes

A collection of critical acclaim Philip has received over the years.

“Philip Dukes… World Class, and perfect technical mastery” – The Strad

“Tippett’s piece is stunning: an arch-like journey (perhaps of life, death and rebirth) that melds Balinese jangles and strumming, jagged brass fanfares, anguished string counterpoints and, for the three soloists in the middle section, a glorious twisting melody that has stayed in my mind since I first heard the piece 27 years ago. The violin, viola and cello soloists here – Daniel Hope, Philip Dukes and Christian Poltéra – were superbly incisive, and swept through this ferociously demanding piece as if with a single heart and mind.” – The Times BBC Proms

Rebecca Clarke, Viola Music, Naxos recording – “Violist Philip Dukes and pianist Sophia Rahman are near unimpeachable in their empathy and feel for this music. This viola recital is a total treat.” – Inkpot Music

Rebecca Clarke, Viola Music, Naxos recording – “All the players here make convincing advocates for Clarke’s too-rarely-heard music, and besides Philip Dukes’ solid and eminently, easily listenable viola performance, special mention must go to pianist Sophia Rahman for her unfailingly stylish accompaniments, especially in the sonata. Strongly recommended.” – David Vernier, Classics Today

BIS CD 971, Sally Beamish Viola Concerto – “The single movement Viola Concerto has a particular appeal for its uncompromising, technical demands performed effortelessly by Philip Dukes.” – Daily Telegraph

World Première of Piers Hellawell Concerto for Violin and Viola – “Clio Gould, Violin, and Philip Dukes, Viola for whom the pieces was written, gave well matched, richly expressive performances.” – The Observer, BBC Proms

World Première of Piers Hellawell Concerto for Violin and Viola – “A very good Concerto it was, which kept first rate soloist Clio Gould and Philip Dukes ferociously busy for most of its 20 minutes.” – The Independent, BBCProms

ASV: Quicksilva “Homage to Schumann” CD Q56221 – “This debut disc from the immensely gifted Plane/Dukes/Rahman Trio offers considerable musical rewards. I am particularly impressed with the Viola playing of Philip Dukes, who delivers a wonderfully sensitive account of Schumann’s Marchenbilder. Likewise, Dukes makes the best possible case for hearing the Adagio and the Allegro on the viola. A very good disc by any standard.” – Classic CD

World Première of Britten’s Concerto for Violin and Viola – “The Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra by Benjamin Britten is an important work, well worth the care lavished on it by the outstanding young soloists Katherine Hunka and Philip Dukes.” – Sunday Telegraph, Aldeburgh Festival

“Perhaps the most immediately interesting and surprising of the new works was Sally Beamish’s Viola Concerto, eloquently played by Philip Dukes…By far the most striking feature is the torrent of emotions written into the soloist’s part…Dukes rose splendidly to his role.” – Financial Times, BBC Proms.

“Monday morning’s Pittville Pump Room concert was a perfect advertisement for this year’s Chelthenham Festival. The Plane Dukes Rahman Trio were on top form, there was a friendly rapport between performers and audience, and the programme exemplified the thoughtful planning of the new artistic director, Michael Berkeley… The whole programme suggested that these musicians, superb playing is the most natural thing in the world.” – Daily Telegraph, Cheltenham Music Festival