A graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School, Cambridge University, and Berlin's UdK, British-German violinist and violist Max Baillie is sought after as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader in the UK and abroad.
Max's musical life reflects his interest in the cross-pollination of musical styles. Artists has worked with include Steve Reich, Mischa Maisky, Bjork, John Williams, Thomas Adès, Bobby McFerrin, Zakir Hussain, James Thierrée, and many more. From folk tunes in the Welsh hills to major festivals across the world, Max leads a dynamic life which embraces classical, improvisation, contemporary, and experimental music.
As regular guest-director of Swiss chamber orchestra CHAARTS he has toured with artists including Mischa Maisky and Fazil Say, in Switzerland, Germany, and China, and has recorded for Sony and Berlin Classics. He has also guest-directed other ensembles including Scottish Ensemble and is a regular guest-leader of the UK's trail-blazing Manchester Collective.
Max founded Lodestar Trio with stars of the Scandinavian folk scene Erik Rydvall and Olav Mjelva, exploring Baroque music through the meeting of violin, Swedish nyckelharpa, and Norwegian hardanger fiddle, and with whom he released the group's debut disc Bach to Folk for a the Naxos label last year to critical acclaim.
Max plays in ZRI, a quintet drawing together the folk and gypsy influences in works by Brahms, Schubert, and Janacek, and which was inspired by the Red Hedgehog Tavern: a Viennese gateway to the East as well as a favourite drinking hole. Together they have played at festivals across the UK and in Europe and most recently appeared as featured artists and on Swiss radio at the Boswil Sommerfest. They also tour their own live score to Charlie Chaplin's early classic 'The Adventurer'. ZRI looks forward to releasing its 4th album 2024.
Max is a regular at chamber music festivals, which in the last few years have included SoNoRo in Romania and Italy, Natalie Clein's Purbeck International Chamber Muisc Festival, Lawrence Power’s West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival, Plush Music, and plays regular duo concerts with his father, cellist Alexander Baillie, including touring the Brahms Double concerto with national orchestras of South Africa.
Max is one half of Sonnen, an experimental electronic music duo with Vahakn Mattosian which has taken part in Snape Maltings' Festival of New and been resident artists supported by the Britten Pears Foundation.
Max's teachers include Natasha Boyarsky, Itzhak Rashkovsky, and Ivry Gitlis. He plays the mandolin, and graduated Christ’s College, Cambridge, with a first class degree in Political Philosophy. He is proud to be supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society as part of their Enterprise Fund towards his project re-visualising Bach's solo works for violin and cello.
Max plays on an 1845 J.B Vuillaume violin and a 2009 viola by Stephan von Baehr.
Concerts & Events
Sat 11th NOV 8pm / Lodestar Trio @ Tonhalle Duesseldorf with Igudesman & Joo, Germany
Thurs 23rd NOV / Lodestar Trio UK tour Sheffield
Fri 24th NOV / Lodestar Trio UK tour / Birmingham for Through the Noise
Sat 25th NOV / Lodestar Trio UK tour / Jago London for Through the Noise
Sun 26th NOV 3pm / Lodestar Trio UK tour / St Leonard's Concerts
Wed 29th NOV / Lodestar Trio UK tour / Presteigne Music Rooms
Fri 1st DEC / Lodestar Trio UK tour / Stoller Hall Manchester
Tues 5th DEC / Lodestar Trio Brucknerhaus Linz, Austria
7th Dec / Fleeting Paradise Orchestra, London
Wed 20th DEC / Lodestar Trio Budapest, Hungary
21st JAN / with Abel Selacoe @ Barbican, London
Sat 3rd FEB / St Leonards Concerts weekender festival with special guest Alice Zawadzki
Sunday 4th FEB / St Leonards Concerts weekender festival with special guest Dmitry Smirnov
MARCH - 10th - 17th Lodestar Trio Germany Tour
‘…an exquisitely executed rendition, and one which had its audience utterly transfixed.’
– Julia Savage | Review on Bachtrack of Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy played at Kings Place
‘Max Baillie’s gutsy viola playing was a particular delight’
– Geoff Brown, The Times
‘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