Violinist and violist Max Baillie is one of the most versatile musicians in the UK and is fast establishing himself as a leading instrumentalist of his generation. He is in demand across an exciting spectrum of music and performance mediums including classical, pop, improvisation, composing and directing and collaborations with dance and electronics. Artists he has worked with over the last two years range from American vocalist Bobby McFerrin, Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, guitarist John Williams, to pop superstar Tinie Tempah and others. Max has appeared on stages from Carnegie Hall to Glastonbury from Mali to Moscow, and plays regularly for TV and radio broadcast.
Coming from a classical background, Max’s interest in other music and dance forms inspired a series of unique collaboration projects. His first brought together classical music and the Brazilian martial dance form capoeira, with follow-ups for both the City of London Festival and the Proms with leading capoeira master Ponciano and the Aurora Orchestra, in which Max has played principal viola since 2007. In 2011 Aurora won the RPS Ensemble Award and released its first disc on Decca Classics, works by American composer Nico Muhly. Aurora has regularly received shining reviews in the National press and as well as international touring this year to China and St Petersburg, continues to play regular concerts at venues such as LSO St Luke’s, Kings Place, the Roundhouse, Wigmore Hall, SouthBank Centre, and has its concerts regularly broadcast on both the internet and on BBC Radio. For Aurora’s New Moves Series Max featured in a major new work by Julian Philips entitled Maxamorphosis. As well as featuring as viola soloist, the piece sees Max revisiting his past as a trained dancer, morphing from the ensemble to join members of distinguished choreographer Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere’s dance Company Decalage. A piece not quite like any other… The Times gave it 5 *s.
Other collaboration projects Max has directed have involved working with Gambian kora master Sura Susso, with whom Max plays often as a duo, mixing Baroque and West African lute music (see under Projects on this site for further info).
A dedicated teacher, Max founded his own summer chamber music course Es Muss Sein. This year he is developing the teaching ethos practiced on the course since its inception in 2005 into an online educational resource. Developing the content of the site is a long-term project, but you can see where things are at by going to www.es-muss-sein.org.
Max has edited numerous films and is publishing his second illustrated book later in 2014, Part II in a series of interlinked folk stories (more info under Projects).
He received first class degrees from both Christ’s College, Cambridge (Political Science, BA and MA, cantab.) and at the UdK in Berlin (Undergraduate and Konzertexam) and is based in London.
Max plays an 1845 J.B. Vuillaume violin and a viola by Stephan von Baehr, 2009