Violinist and violist Max Baillie's musical life reflects his interest in the cross-pollination of musical styles. He has performed with Tuareg nomads at the Festival du Desert outside of Timbuktou, led Bjork’s string orchestra in the Albert Hall, and dueted with Bobby McFerrin in New York. From folk tunes in the Welsh hills to collaborations with John Williams, Max leads a chameleonic life embracing classical, improvisation, and appearances on stages big and small.
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'.
Max also 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. Max is a regular at chamber music festivals, which in the last few years have included SoNoRo in Romania and Italy, Lawrence Power’s West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival, and plays regular duo concerts with his father, cellist Alexander Baillie, including touring the Brahms Double concerto with national orchestras of South Africa. For almost 10 years Max has played with Notes Inegales, an innovative contemporary music and improvisation group which invites diverse musical guests for each of their club nights near Euston, including regular slots for the London Jazz Festival.
Max regularly leads Swiss chamber orchestra CHAARTS including tours of China and Switzerland, appearing with Mischa Maisky, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, and Fazil Say, and recording for Sony. He also looks forward to leading the Baroque ensemble Arcangelo at the Barbican next year in London.
Max is working on an album of his own electronic music, plays the mandolin, and has a Political Philosophy degree from Christ’s College, Cambridge.
‘…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