The Duo Pacey (viola) – Fabius (cello)
first performed in 1993 following an invitation to give a concert in The Hague. The consequence of this invitation was the discovery of a considerable repertoire, said to be more than 100 compositions, for this unusual combination. Many other concerts were to follow including a tour of Indonesia. Two composers, Miriam Rainsford and Egmont Swaan, have each written a composition specially for the Duo.
A selection of comments from the press:
“...Surprising variety of music styles...”
“The sound is exceptionally homogenous...”
“...Difficult to discover who is playing what...”.
Guus Fabius and Prunella Pacey have two children and live in Holland.
At the end of 2010 a CD from the Duo will become available with sonatas by J.Braun and G.Templeton Strong and smaller pieces by R.Clarke and W.Lutoslawski,
Prunella Pacey - viola
was born in Durham (England) in a musical environment: her mother was the composer-pianist Margot Wright, who used to accompany Kathleen Ferrier. Prunella was fortunate enough to have this great singer as a godmother and an inspiration for her viola-playing.
For many years Prunella has been a well-known figure in the viola world. After winning scholarships to the Royal College of Music and the Hochschulen of Vienna and Detmold Prunella became Principal Viola of the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra. Having played chamber music since the age of ten, performing in Europe and the U.S.A., she joined the Allegri String Quartet.
After moving to Holland in 1982 Prunella branched out into numerous viola-playing activities. These include a viola-piano Duo which gave a successful Purcell Room (London) recital in 1986, membership of the Dutch Mondriaan Quartet, specializing in modern music, and the making of more than twenty-five CDs. These include the labels EMI, Decca and Etcetera. Prunella has taught viola and chamber music at the Utrecht Conservatory since 1986 and is currently a member of several chamber music ensembles including the Spinoza String Quartet. She is a frequent performer and guest-teacher at international festivals and is consultant viola teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama since 2006. Prunella plays an instrument built in 1948 by Max Möller.
Guus Fabius, born in California, grew up in a family which stimulated his musical development. His love of chamber music surfaced at a young age whilst playing in bamboo flute groups. Guus enjoyed many years of cello lessons from Dries Munnik and was a member of the Leiden Youth Orchestra (JKL).
The decision to become a professional cellist was not evident after leaving school but a lot of chamber music, especially string quartets, paved the way to start a professional study with Ben de Ligt at the conservatory of Groningen. Guus was member of the Dutch Student Chamber Orchestra (NESKO) and the National Youth Orchestra of Holland (NJO). After living in Groningen for five years he moved to Amsterdam and completed his formal studies in Utrecht.
After his studies Guus gave a series of recitals with the pianist, Ian Gaukroger: in 1997 they gave a premiere (revival) of the sonata (1931) by Margot Wright in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. The love of chamber music involved Guus as a founder member of several ensembles. In his years in Groningen he met the violinist, Hans Rijkmans with whom he played many concerts and several international tours under the name of "Alauda". In 1993 the cello-viola duo with Prunella Pacey was formed. A chamber music series was established in 1995 with the newly formed ARTO-ensemble and continues to perform to an ever-growing audience in Utrecht (Bunnik). Two other ensembles which Guus formed are the Dutch String Trio (2005) and a cello duo with Liesbeth Bos (cello) (2010).
Besides his private teaching practice Guus Fabius performs regularly in solo-cello recitals. His cello, built in 1997 by David Collins, was made following the model of the unusually large Stradivarius known as"Servais".