The Musicians

Adam Summerhayes and Murray Grainger have been playing together for over a decade, with many wild adventures behind them, musical and otherwise. 

They have performed in more festivals than they can remember, but recent highlights included Glastonbury, Edinburgh Festival, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Buxton Festival,  Petworth Festival, Swaledale Festival and the Great British Folk Festival. 

They had a productive pandemic. filming and producing a series of films for the UK’s Arts Council that combined landscape, music, poetry, history and archaeology in a unique way, as well as recording several albums. Their music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and they were commissioned to create the music for a BBC Radio 4 Feature Drama, which was also a first for the genre, in that the music not only runs underneath the entire drama, as a piece of music in itself, but was also improvised in the studio to the finished version of the actors’ words.

They were awarded the Instrumental Album of the Year 2022 by the prestigious UK music magazine FATEA.

Adam Summerhayes

Fêted as folk music’s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2021, Adam’s classical pedigree is also impeccable, with direct links via his grandfather to the violinists who premiered Brahms’s and Tchaikovsky’s violin concertos. He has an impressive classical discography including discs that have received exceptionally high praise in the press and been played on Radio 3, Classic FM and throughout the world.

Adam’s career has been astonishingly varied, the only consistent feature being the high critical acclaim attracted by his performances and recordings. His first disc of chamber music, including premiere recordings of works by Copland, was described as being “to die for” by the UK’s The Strad magazine and, recently, the New York Times reported “astonishing, all-out virtuosity on violin by Adam Summerhayes”  — the references to virtuosity are frequent in the international press: “breath-taking violin wizardry” from New Zealand; “like the direct descendant of the devil’s violinist Paganini” from Germany; “intoxicating … virtuoso fiddle playing” (The Times). 

As a classical chamber musician, he has performed in many prestigious venues: the South Bank Centre’s Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, as well as the prestigious Wigmore Hall; the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music Concert Hall; the Théatre du Chatelet, Paris; and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Extensive international touring has taken him across the majority of Europe and to Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Canada, Alaska, and New Zealand — and a total of 45 US states. He joined the extraordinarily dynamic baroque group Red Priest in 2015 and arranged and composed most of their latest album “The Baroque Bohemians”, which topped the classical charts. Outside the classical sphere, Adam played over much of the globe with the gypsy-tango band ZUM and enjoyed a period as featured solo violinist in the band of Dutch multi-platinum-selling pop star Caro Emerald (including in London’s O2 arena to 20,000 people). He also wrote a track for a blockbuster movie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and had a brief cameo role — as a Roma violinist. Fun-fact: Robert Downey Jnr. ‘played’ Adam’s violin on set.

Adam considers his career highlights to be falling in an extremely deep ditch in Denmark at four in the morning, losing the skin from the end of his right thumb through ‘frostnip’ halfway through a winter tour of the Mid West as concerto soloist, and being (wrongfully) arrested by the US Border Force in Arizona in a surprising episode that involved two helicopters, three police trucks, a lot of men with machine guns … and some cacti.

Murray Grainger

Murray  is established as one of Britain’s most influential and innovative accordionists. Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music, his exceptional ability to move between genres has seen him crossing boundaries across the musical spectrum from traditional, through classical and jazz, to commercial and popular music.

He has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, and Scottish Ballet; at Glastonbury Festival of Arts, Sidmouth International Folk Festival, Edinburgh Festival, and Celtic Connections; and collaborated with many of the world’s top performers, including Cormac Byrne, Piers Adams, Adam Summerhayes, Miranda Sykes and Martin Allcock.

Murray is a respected educator teaching at Halsway Manor, Hands on Music in Witney and former head of accordion studies at Chetham’s School of Music. A talented music engineer, he regularly produces successful albums, including The Baroque Bohemians, Red Priest, which topped the classical charts.

An accomplished player of both piano and button key accordions (as well as the bandoneon and the accordina) he has collaborated with composers creating new works for the instrument and given world premiers to pieces by composers such as Jonathon Dove, Eddie McGuire, and Gerhard Stäbler.

His current projects include gypsy klezmer group Dodo Street Band, folk tone poem trio Words of a Fiddler’s Daughter, folk-improv duo The Ciderhouse Rebellion and new improv-trad group The Haar.

Much of Murray’s last decade has been spent making sure that Adam does not leave his violin in a pub, or on the roof of the car, or at the venue … or forget to take it to the gig in the first place.