“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 starling and always impressive” - Classical Source
“A little cracker” - The Times
“In particular Mo’s lyrical phrasing of the recurring theme which comes to characterise the love of Werther for Charlotte was full of tenderness and beauty...” - Opera Today
"she possesses a silky-smooth legato” - Musicweb International
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 concertos and chamber performances all over Europe, 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 David Matthews, John McCabe, Jim Aitchison and Errollyn Wallen and has given premieres of their solo and violin duo works, most recently a new concerto by Jim Aitchison at Truro Cathedral with members of the Philharmonia Orchestra for the innovative technology project , the Online Orchestra project.
In 2015 Philippa 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, and this year, continues her successful collaboration with the Tate, St Ives with a a newly commissioned solo work by Leo Geyer to celebrate the anniversary of the Hepworth Garden.
Philippa plays with the award winning contemporary opera company Music Theatre Wales and recently led Massanet's Werther for English Touring Opera in a new chamber arrangement. She was appointed to the post of Senior Lecturer in Violin at Leeds College of Music in 2015.
Philippa was awarded Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 2015.
She plays a violin by Julius Cesare Gigli from 1786.
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
Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo met at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Since then, 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 for the Park Lane Young Artists Series and at International festivals of Bury St Edmunds and Ripon, Presteigne and the William Alwyn Festival. Retorica have broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
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 from Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo.... faultless technique and unfailing insight" . Retorica have also received critical acclaim for their Dutton recording of John McCabe's Double violin concerto.
Retorica is totally unique bringing together dedication to the violin duo genre with superb musical and technical qualities from both violinists. Their extensive repertoire together showcases rarely-heard masterworks from the baroque era onwards and a legacy of many recent works written for them, including those by Gabriel Prokofiev, John McCabe, David Matthews, Dmitri Smirnov, Jim Aitchison, Robert Fokkens and Deborah Pritchard.
Future highlights include their debut in Madrid and South Korea in 2016.