Violinists Marie Schreer and John Garner formed ‘Mainly Two’ in 2013 with a view to expanding the repertoire for two violins and bringing greater attention to an often neglected medium.
After commissioning new works from some of the top composers of the moment, Mainly Two gave their début show in two parts at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Further performances soon followed in the ZHD Gallery, headquarters of the celebrated late architect Zaha Hadid, and in Italy on a four-date tour of Puglia. They have since appeared at new music events organised by Nonclassical, Listenpony, Bastard Assignments and From the Soundhouse, and have performed live at venues including Sage Gateshead, St David's Hall Cardiff, Handel & Hendrix, Science Museum London (live on ResonanceFM), The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, LSO St. Luke's, and Watermill Jazz Club.
Their two-part début album Poetry / Synergy was independently released in November 2014 and re-released digitally on Turquoise Coconut in May 2016. Having recently returned to the studio, Mainly Two will soon release their third album, Squirrels in Matchboxes, featuring three new works as well as duo improvisations, which will be accompanied by a UK tour.
Marie Schreer is a UK-based violinist from Southwest Germany. She started learning the violin aged three with Ute Frenzel at the Diapason Music Academy, later studying in London with Berent Korfker, Daniel Rowland, Krzysztof Smietana, Yuri Zhislin (viola) and David Dolan (classical improvisation), and graduated from the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, both with distinction, and a Concert Recital Diploma.
Over the past few years, Marie has worked with a diverse range of artists including John Williams, Jonny Greenwood, Stewart Copeland, and Rick Wakeman, performing on stages across Europe and South America. Marie's passion for chamber music led her to co-found The Guastalla Quartet and Mainly Two. With a strong interest in new music, she also regularly performs with Rarescale and The Riot Ensemble. As a soloist, Marie has performed with the Karlsruhe Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, and was the featured soloist on Nathan Stornetta’s music for Puy Du Fou‘s new show ‘Le Dernier Panache’ with the Prague Symphonic Ensemble.
As well as being a sub-principal first violin of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Marie is much in demand across the UK as a principal orchestral player, including with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Together with John Garner, Marie founded and directs the independent record label Turquoise Coconut, on which she has also released music with her own ensembles.
Throughout her education in Germany, Marie was sponsored by the L-Bank foundation and is very grateful to have received further scholarships from RCM, GSMD, the Henry Wood Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. Marie currently plays a 1898 Postiglione violin, kindly loaned to her by the Harrison Frank Family Foundation.
Driven by a desire to push the boundaries of the violin, John Garner pursues numerous avenues in his music-making.
John has performed to scores of audiences all over the world, in celebrated venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Synagogue of Novi Sad and the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. Much in demand with both classical ensembles and small-band jazz groups, he also appears regularly with his own outfits including Charkie Parlour, Mainly Two and The Guastalla Quartet.
After several years spent with the famous Russian virtuoso Rimma Sushanskaya (last student and protégée of the legendary David Oistrakh), John continued his studies at the Royal College of Music, graduating with a first class honours degree, and postgraduate studies in jazz violin at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, also studying South-Indian violin with the UK's leading exponent, Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth.
John has performed and collaborated with high-profile artists in many genres, including Chris Potter, Stewart Copeland, John Williams, Junior Marvin, Sway, The Last Skeptik, Scrufizzer, AZEDIA, Kate Williams, Lucy Claire, Othon Mataragas, William Goodchild, Joey Negro, Alpesh Chauhan and Pierre Amoyal. Also an active composer, John leads and composes for The John Garner Quartet, Charkie Parlour, EMANATA and The Future Ancients, with whom he co-wrote and performed the music for the first Boxing Yoga instructional DVD, releasing numerous albums featuring his own music. His YouTube channel has attracted 1,400 subscribers and reached over 700,000 views.
John is a senior lecturer of jazz at Leeds College of Music, and a tutor on the Young Musicians Programme at Sage Gateshead.