Biography

Education

I was educated at St Francis Xavier College in Liverpool, but, after my O’Levels gained a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester where I was a weekly boarder.

It was here that I won a National Chamber Music Competition, receiving chamber coaching from Eli Goren (Allegri Quartet), Sigmund Nissel (Amadeus Quartet) and Philip de Groote (Chilingirian Quartet). My teacher was Haroutune Bedelian (a Milstein student himself).

From there I progressed to the Guildhall School of Music. My teacher was Pauline Scott and, notably, Hans Keller.

Performing

After leaving college I was lucky to get into the Kreisler String Orchestra (KSO) which was a chamber group of 17 players that performed the string orchestral repertoire without a conductor. With the KSO, I performed all over Europe and made several classical, jazz and pop recordings. After about 5 years I became the general manager. In this role I secured a recording contract and obtained funding from the Arts Council and British Council. I organised tours to Russian, France, Hungary, Holland and Spain and liaised with agents and concert organisers.

I was always a free-lance player performing with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet to name just a few. I had several leadership positions and seemed to gravitate to opera and ballet work. I have done a stint in the West End performing in Oklahoma, Show Boat, Les Mis, Phantom, Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre, Lion King… In addition, I am on Park Life (Blur) and worked with Sting to perform a piece at his wife’s 40th birthday. We also performed with Brian Eno on an experimental project and Youssou N’Dour.

Teaching

I have always had a small teaching practice. I did try teaching at the start of my career with Bromley Council and at the Bexley College of Music but did not find that very rewarding. Over the years, I have taught at the Blackheath Conservatoire and at the Dartington International Music Festival for a number of seasons. I was asked on a few occasions to work on some residential kids course in Essex, which involved taking orchestral sections and coaching chamber groups.

I have had such a mixture of students from ages 6 to 60, from beginner to music college students. I think this has given me quite an insight into the discipline of learning and performing…

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