Internationally acknowledged as one of the world's leading horn players, Michael Thompson is also regarded as a charismatic and inspirational teacher. As a conductor, he is known as a fine orchestral trainer and has received acclaim for his work with young musicians. After studies at the Royal Academy of Music, he was appointed principal horn with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the age of eighteen. Within three years, he was offered the principal horn positions of both the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He joined the Philharmonia and remained in that post for ten years before leaving to concentrate on his solo and chamber music career. His work as director/soloist or conductor has seen him perform in Japan, Australia, the U.S.A. Europe and Scandinavia, including his debut with the Danish Radio Sinfonietta in Copenhagen, the Ostgota Winds Symphony in Sweden and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In the UK, he has directed the London Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Britten Pears Orchestra, Ulster Youth Orchestra and the Royal Academy's Sinfonia and Concert orchestras. He has conducted a number of community orchestras and was Principal Conductor of the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra from 2003 until 2008.
His concert schedule takes him worldwide and his discography includes the major solo horn repertoire, period instrument recordings and a number of critically acclaimed CDs with his wind quintet and horn quartet. As a member of the London Sinfonietta, he is at the forefront of new music and has given many first performances, including the UK premieres of Ligeti's Hamburg Concerto and Richard Ayres' Noncerto. In addition to his classical work, he is very active as a studio musician, playing on sound tracks too numerous to list but including The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Bond films. His work for Sir Paul McCartney resulted in the composition of Stately Horn which the Michael Thompson horn quartet premiered in the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Michael is a Fellow and Aubrey Brain professor of horn at the Royal Academy of Music and gives regular master-classes and lectures throughout the world. He plays on an instrument made by Paxman of London.
Adrian Levine 1st Violin Tutor
Born in London, Adrian Levine studied at the Royal Academy of Music where his teachers included Gyorgy Pauk, Sidney Griller and Emanuel Hurwitz. Later study followed with members of the Amadeus Quartet for chamber music, a special study of the Janacek quartets with the Janacek Quartet, and further violin studies with the great Polish virtuoso, Henryk Szerying.
At the age of 24, he joined the English Chamber Orchestra, working with such artists as Barenboim, Rostropovich, Zuckerman and Stern. After three years with the ECO, touring widely to such places as Hong Kong, the Caribbean, Europe and the USA, he left to become leader of the Amphion String Quartet, taking residencies first at the Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire) then at the University of Liverpool. With the Quartet he toured Europe, the Far East and the USA and made many broadcasts for the BBC. During this period, he also toured Korea and Hong Kong for the British Council.
In 1985, he became co-leader of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. In his five years with the Academy, he frequently appeared as soloist, leader and director, making many recordings and performing in the USA, Australia, Japan, Korea, Scandinavia and nearly every European country.
In 1990, he was invited to become associate leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he led many international tours and concerts, including the famous Pavarotti in the Park open-air concert in Hyde Park, London, in 1991, televised throughout the world.
In 1992, he left the Philharmonia to accept a five year post as leader of the Opera House of Rome.
Adrian has worked as guest leader with such orchestras as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Ballet, BBC Welsh and Welsh National Opera.
Since returning to work in London, Adrian has become much in demand as a teacher and chamber music coach. He was a member of the faculty at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, USA, and from 2002 to 2010 taught and performed at the International Musical Arts Institute in Maine, USA, where he returns in 2013.
He was until 2004 Head of Strings at London's Centre for Young Musicians, and is now a Professor at the Royal College of Music in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Royal Society of Musicians. He is also on the staff at Chetham’s School, Manchester, where he teaches violin, viola and chamber music. He plays a Petrus Guarneri violin made in Venice, c 1740. Later this year, he will run a viola course for ProCorda.
Joanne Quigley 2nd Violin Tutor
Irish violinist Joanne Quigley enjoys a wide and varied career in music. She was the acting leader of the RTE Concert Orchestra 2011-2012 and plays regularly as a principal violinist with the English Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic. She has also appeared as guest leader of the Royal National Scottish Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Joanne plays regularly with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s period instrument group, Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. She has toured extensively with these groups in China, Japan, Europe and the USA.
Away from the orchestra, Joanne is in much demand as a chamber musician recitalist and soloist. She has performed and broadcast throughout the UK, Ireland and abroad to critical acclaim with her pianist brother, David Quigley, and in 2010 they released their first recording entitled Rediscoveries, Old and New Music of Ireland. She also founded the Belfast Piano Trio in 2009 with David and Bulgarian Cellist, Sasho Somov.
Joanne is a lecturer in violin at The Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is passionate about outreach work and in 2010 had the great privilege of travelling to Iraq to coach the newly formed National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. She has been a coach for the Ulster Youth Orchestra since 2005.
Joanne is a graduate of The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. She is a Performance Associate of the Banff Centre, Alberta and founder and Director of Newry Chamber Music.
Joanne was a member of the first UYO and led the orchestra from 1995-1997.
Stephen Tees Viola Tutor
Steve Tees was born in Dumfries but grew up in Aberdeen. He studied with Cecil Aronowitz at the Royal College of Music in London, then subsequently with Peter Schidlof and Emanuel Hurwitz.
From 1971 - 1984 he was a member of the Amphion String Quartet with whom he made regular BBC radio 3 broadcasts and Wigmore Hall appearances, and toured Europe, U.S.A. and the Far East. The Quartet was resident at Hatfield Polytechnic 1973 - 1976 and Liverpool University 1977 - 1980.
He was principal viola with the City of London Sinfonia 1986 – 2009 under Richard Hickox. As soloist with the CLS, he appeared many times at venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Barbican, and St. Johns Smith Square, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, as well as making various CDs with the orchestra for Chandos Records. In addition to concert work, he particularly enjoyed participating in the very active education, community and management training work which the CLS pioneered.
From 1988 - 2002, he was also a member of the Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble. With them, he travelled widely throughout Europe, U.S.A., Canada, South America, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, and recorded a large amount of string chamber music on the Chandos and Phillips record labels.
In the past, his many activities have included several tours with John Williams (the guitarist) and friends, a performance of Hindemith`s Trauermusik with the London Chamber Orchestra broadcast live from Geneva on television to 26 countries, the solo recording of the incidental music for the BBC television production of Ibsen’s HeddaGabler and many world premieres with the London Sinfonietta of composers, such as Birtwhistle, Knussen, Colin Mathews and Xenakis.
For twenty years, he was Professor of Viola at Trinity College of Music London and was recently appointed to the same role at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
Since 2009, he has been living with his family in Kelso and, whilst still keeping some of his contacts in the classical world going, he has been discovering the world of folk and jazz viola.
Bozidar Vukotic Cello Tutor
Bozidar Vukotic is the founder member of the Tippett String Quartet. Born in London, he studied as a Goldsmith Company Scholar with the protegé of the great Mistslav Rostropovich, Professor Stefan Popov, at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and was awarded the prestigious Premier Prix. He continued his studies with William Pleeth, teacher of the legendary Jacqueline du Pre, and completed his training with Alexeander Kniazev in Moscow with the aid of Wingate Trust and Hattori Foundation Scholarships.
A prize-winner in the National Federation of Music Societies and Jeunesses Musicales International Cello competitions, Bozidar has performed as a soloist in the UK, USA, France, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Serbia and Montenegro. He has also appeared on BBC Radio 3,Classic FM and in 2010 he made his debut for EMI Classics as soloist on Howard Goodall’s The Seasons.
As a member of the Tippett Quartet, he performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Purcell Room, on BBC Radio 3 and has appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Opera House, Bridgewater Hall, the Sage, Gateshead and at the BBC Proms. He has recorded extensively to much critical acclaim for Naxos, EMI Classics, Classic FM Records, Signum, Guild, Dutton Epoque and Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records. 2010 saw the Quartet’s highly successful debut in the Gramophone Classical Chart with their recordings of Bax and Bridge Piano Quintets.
Bozidar has been invited to play as guest principal with many of this country’s finest orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Spain's Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife.
Bozidar teaches at the Royal Academy of Music.
Paul Sherman Double Bass Tutor
Paul Sherman was born in East Sussex and started to play the double bass at the age of 12. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Thomas Martin. Paul has been a member and regular principal player with the English Chamber Orchestra since 1992 and has toured and performed in over 40 countries.
Guest principal enggements with other orchestras and ensembles include the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia, Gabrielli Ensemble and Players, Glyndebourne on Tour, Goldberg Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, London Festival Orchestra, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of St. John’s, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Norway’s Trondheim Symfoniokester.
As a soloist, Paul commissioned and gave the first performance of Chiaroscuro for solo double bass strings by Paul Archbold with the London based contemporary music ensemble, Opus 20.
John Orford Bassoon and Woodwind Tutor
‘It was really just a case of one thing leading to another’ is John Orford’s characteristically modest description of his spectacularly successful career.
After a period of Gold Medal winning study at the Royal Manchester College of Music with such luminaries as Charles Cracknell and William Waterhouse, the sequence of things which led to others included, while still in his early twenties, positions with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and BBC Symphony Orchestra where he worked with the legendary Pierre Boulez. By 1984 he had been appointed to Professorships at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, no doubt in recognition of a decade of dominance of the London bassoon playing scene.
John Orford describes himself as being very much a 20th and 21st century musician, and his appointment as bassoonist to the pioneering London Sinfonietta in 1982 established what has ever since remained a central plank in his career. Amongst the remarkable range of John’s achievements with the Sinfonietta are performances of Richard Strauss’ Duo Concertante with clarinettist Michael Collins, the UK premiere of Bernd Franke’s Seasons of Light and the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s The Miracle of the Rose. For the latter, the composer persuaded John to learn the heckelphon – thereby unexpectedly opening up a new career strand in that instrument’s rarefied repertoire, notably Richard Strauss’ Salome and Elektra! However, perhaps the most extraordinary demands on John’s skills both as virtuoso instrumentalist and actor, have come from recent performances of Michael Daugherty’s music theatre piece Dead Elvis in which, as the composer explains, ‘the bassoon soloist is an Elvis impersonator who gyrates, double-tongues, and croons his way through variations of Dies Irae.’
Denis Curlett Brass Tutor
Originally from Belfast, Dennis left in 1968 to study at Trinity College of Music, London. On leaving college his career progressed and he became a member of five orchestras, Welsh National Opera, BBC Welsh, Halle, London Philharmonic and lastly Bournemouth Symphony, from which he took early retirement some 2 years ago.
During his time in London, he was an examiner for Trinity College and visiting tutor for the Royal College and London Colleges of Music, and his freelance work included London Brass. Denis is now a regular tutor with the National Childrens’ Orchestra and European Youth Music, and teaches a number of pupils. Denis also continues to freelance as a player.
Mick Doran Percussion Tutor
Mick Doran is Principal Percussionist of English National Opera Orchestra. After studying at the Royal Academy of Music he was appointed as the Principal Percussionist for the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra before moving to ENO. He enjoys a busy freelance career with the UK's premier orchestras, has played on many film scores, is percussion professor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, coaches the Ulster Youth Orchestra and enjoys playing jazz. He is drawn to the quirkier instruments of percussion, he was the "Spoon Man" on Radio 2's Chris Evans Show. He is honored to be an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and delighted to be a Zildjian Artist. Other passions of his life are his family, cricket, food, wine, Man Utd and scuba.
Aisling Ennis Harp Tutor
Aisling was an annoying child. She just wouldn’t stop singing - about the trees, the birds, and her favourite teddy. Something had to be done. So, her mum rented a harp, the quietest of the instruments. At the age of six, Aisling took to the harp, like any little angel would, and made quite a name for herself, winning many national awards and studying at the Royal Irish Academy of Music on continuous scholarship for over ten years. But as she got bigger, the harp got bigger… and louder… and, well, GOLDER!
Aisling Ennis is a passionate performer, composer and educator who enjoys a varied career as a freelance concert harpist. A former student of the Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, she holds a first class honours degree in performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and a first class Masters degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from UCD. Aisling is currently completing a PGCE in primary education to develop her work in music education further.
Her early performing career includes numerous awards at a national level, including the Feis Ceoil Rose Bowl on three occasions and continuous scholarship at the Royal Irish Academy of Music for 10 years. Aisling appeared on the Late Late Toy Show at the early age of ten, performing her own composition, Raindrops, and since then has travelled in Ireland, the UK, USA and Asia as a solo, chamber and orchestral performer.
Aisling’s concert performances are extensive and varied, ranging from solo concerto performances, to ongoing orchestral appearances with the Hallé, Opera North, Royal Liverpool Philarharmonic Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and Irish Film Orchestra, to appearances in concert with artists including Sinead O’Connor, Paul Potts, Josh Ritter, rap artist Kanye West and renowned British comedian Bill Bailey.
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