“…faultless technique and unfailing insight.” Gramophone Magazine
"The ingenuity of the writing was quite dazzling: so was the playing – the expertise of Mo’s near- instantaneous transitions from one style to another was often startling and always impressive”
“Philippa Mo has a lovely warm sound in the lower register that can turn remarkably dark; she possesses a silky-smooth legato”
Philippa studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing. Philippa now performs extensively as a chamber musician. She has given performances and live broadcasts worldwide, including her acclaimed debut at the Wigmore Hall, recitals at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, St John’s, Smith Square, London, the Deutsches Museum, Munich, the Natural History Museum, Ulaan Bataar, when she was invited as the only British musician to participate as soloist in the International Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Mongolia in 2002. Philippa has also been invited to play at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and The Tate St Ives in the UK and more further afield at the Ankara International Music Festival and the Lincoln Center, New York.
A champion of contemporary music, Philippa has given workshops on British music at the Central Conservatory, Beijing and at Bilkent and Hacettep Universities in Ankara, Turkey. She coached students of the Kurmangazy National Conservatory of Kazakhstan in Almaty 2007-09. She has worked closely with many leading British composers including Gabriel Prokofiev, Robert Fokkens, Cecilia McDowall, Leo Geyer, David Matthews, John McCabe, Jim Aitchison, Wendy Hiscocks and Errollyn Wallen and has given premieres of their solo and violin duo works.
Philippa has established an ongoing relationship with the Tate St Ives and recorded a solo work written for her by Leo Geyer on the anniversary of Barbara Hepworth to be used as a sound installation at the Tate. She also premiered a new solo work by composer Jim Aitchison alongside his monumental solo work Shibboleth at CAST, Helston and at the Porthmeor studios, St Ives. Concerto appearances include a newly commissioned work for Truro Cathedral as part of the innovative Online Orchestra Project with the Philharmonia Orchestra. and Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires in The Venue, Leeds with conductor Natalia Luis Bassa as well as John McCabe's Les Martinets Noirs at the Lidköping Festival, Sweden.
Philippa has performed at the gallery Sladers Yard in Dorset for a number of years and gave her solo series Partita Fantasia Caprice in six concerts in which she explored the complete solo works of JS Bach and the complete Telemann Fantasias in the context of early Baroque solo violin repertoire right through to newly written works.
In 2018, Philippa founded the series Philippa Mo @ Shortwave Nights and gave ten solo and duo concerts with international guest artists on viola, cello, guitar, harp and counter tenor to name but a few. She has continued the series in various venues including the Rooftop Bar, Leeds Conservatoire and the exclusive hotel and private members club, The Curtain in Shoreditch.
Philippa has released critically acclaimed recordings for the NMC, Dutton and Nimbus labels. She was appointed Senior Lecture in Violin at Leeds Conservatoire and awarded Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 2015.
Philippa is also the founding member of the Retorica violin duo:
“The two violins are wielded with enough delicacy and charm to immerse the listener into some really penetrating expression on the vivid scale of a full symphony orchestra” - British Music Society News
“...faultless technique and unfailing insight.” Gramophone Magazine
Retorica have performed worldwide to great acclaim. Highlights include recitals in the most prestigious halls in China, the Beijing NCPA and Shanghai SHAOC, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Japan, Germany and the Channel Islands. In the UK their performances include the Barbican Centre, International festivals of Bury St Edmunds and Ripon, Presteigne and the William Alwyn Festival.
Retorica’s debut CD English Violin Duos was chosen as Gramophone Magazine's 'Editor's choice' and the 'must hear' CD for chamber music: "superbly responsive playing .... faultless technique and unfailing insight" . Retorica have also received critical acclaim for their Dutton recording of John McCabe's Double violin concerto and most recently received five stars for their receding of Paul Patterson's Allusions with the English Symphony Orchestra.
Philippa plays a violin by Julius Cesare Gigli from 1786.