Friends for many years, Bruno Heinen and Maria Chiara Argirò come from two distinctive places musically and are excited to bring each others music to life through their mutual respect for one another's artistry and compositional voice.
Coming from three generations of classical musicians, Bruno Heinen started playing piano at the age of four. He began composing pieces early on and was introduced to the world of jazz through the music of Bill Evans by his uncle (jazz pianist Johannes Heinen) in his late teens. His compositional voice has been informed by his love of composers from Duke Ellington to Béla Bártok and from Wayne Shorter to György Ligeti.
In 2019 he was awarded an AHRC-funded practice-based PhD investigating improvised counterpoint.
Described by the Guardian as "eclectic, eccentric, unobtrusively erudite", Bruno has written for groups ranging from two piano’s and percussion (for a project with Pete Saberton), to classical string ensemble (for a commission in 2017 from the Camerata Alma Viva). In 2009, Bruno was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Composers Award.
He recently held the piano chair for two performances of Bernstein's Wonderful Town at the Barbican Centre with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Maria Chiara Argirò has been quietly weaving her way around the UK jazz, classical and electronic worlds since she moved to London from Rome eleven years ago.
A pianist from the age of nine and a key player in the capital’s multi-national jazz scene, she’s lent her skills to indie band These New Puritans, lush jazz troupe Kinkajous and, more recently, collaborations with Jamie Leeming – their 2020 album Flow was nominated for one of the albums of the year in the Jazz Revelations Awards and was the Guardian’s jazz album of the month – and beat-driven duo Moonfish.
Her widely acclaimed new album, Forest City, finds a glistening thread between these movements: it marks her out as an exciting rising electronic artist, where jazz meets Kelly Lee Owens, Jon Hopkins and Radiohead. It’s a concept record, about the “duality of nature and city”, and where organic sounds and textures seem to flow above the urban sprawl.
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