Britten s meeting with Rostropovich in 1960 was a watershed, the great Russian cellist becoming the primary collaborator of his later years, and inspiring a whole series of masterworks. Among them are the three suites for solo cello, written as a conscious homage to those of Bach (there were originally to have been six). Intriguingly, the Britten scholar Paul Kildea sees the first as a coda to the War Requiem, the second as a snapshot of a lifetime of musical obsessions, and the third as reaching back to much earlier works and suffused with primordial Russian melody. The young virtuoso Philip Higham brings a youthful vigour and deep intelligence to these seminal masterpieces, resulting in performances of commanding authority and intensity. Philip Higham is rapidly emerging as one of the most prominent young cellists from the UK. In 2010 he won 2nd prize in the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann Competition in Berlin, making him the first British cellist in generations to have won top prizes at three major international competitions, including 1st Prize in the 2008 Bach Leipzig and 2009 Lutoslawski Competitions. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2009. Born in Edinburgh in 1985, Philip studied cello with Ruth Beauchamp at St Mary's Music School and continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum. He graduated in 2007 with First class Honours and was immediately selected as an International Artist Diploma student. In 2010 he was one of the first artists invited to take part in the Royal Philharmonic Society/YCAT Philip Langridge Mentoring Scheme with Steven Isserlis.
just listen to the clarity and accuracy of the hair-raising passagework in the final movement [No.1] ... His mastery of pace. Phrasing and colour ensures that the Lament perfectly reflects the title ... the Second Suite is a towering achievement ... a gripping experience. I have heard no more convincing performance of the Second Suite than this one ... very special. --William Hedley, International Record Review April 2013