‘…an exquisitely executed rendition, and one which had its audience utterly transfixed.’ – Julia Savage (Review on Bachtrack of Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy for solo viola played at Kings Place *****
‘Max Baillie’s gutsy viola playing was a particular delight’ – Geoff Brown, The Times (Aurora New Moves review) ****
‘Most impressive was violinist Max Baillie, who sounded exactly how I imagine the fiddler in a Chagall painting would sound. For a pale Englishman that’s quite a feat.’ – Ivan Hewett (Kafka’s Wound review) *****
Violinist and violist Max Baillie is one of the most versatile musicians in the UK and is in demand across an exciting spectrum of music and performance mediums including classical, 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.
A Bach obsessive, Max is currently working on a major new project called the Bach Voyager, creating a new online resource with leading ideas and interviews about Bach’s solo string music. This August Max appeared on the BBC Proms Extra television program, speaking on Bach and performing solo Bach as featured guest.
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. Last year Aurora released the first in a series of three discs for Warner Classics, including two tracks written and produced by Max alongside works by Adams, Copland, Ives and Muhly. Aurora regularly receives shining reviews in the national press and as well as international touring to China Russia and Australia, and is a regular at the BBC Proms, where for two years running it has performed Mozart and Beethoven Symphonies entirely from memory. 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. Max is curating a diverse program of concerts for the ‘late night lock-in’ series at Kings Place throughout 2016, for Aurora’s Mozart series.
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). They look forward to touring the USA in 2016.
A dedicated teacher, Max founded his own summer chamber music course Es Muss Sein. 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 option navigator.
Max has produced numerous films and has published the first in a set of original interlinked folk stories (more info under Projects) with Paravion Press.
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.