Ulster Youth Orchestra of Northern Ireland
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Course Tutors

Michael Thompson

Rehearsal Conductor

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.

Richard Milone  2nd Violin Tutor

Richard Milone regularly performs in a variety of venues throughout the world, ranging from solo concertos, recitals and chamber music to countless opera, chamber and symphony orchestra concerts.


Richard studied at both Yehudi Menuhin and Chetham’s schools of music followed by graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. During this period he began his professional career, freelancing with the Manchester Camerata and the Goldberg Ensemble.  At the age of twenty-two, he was appointed as principal second violin in Opera North, Leeds. A year later he was appointed to the same position in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, working with such artists as Georg Solti, Bernard Haitink, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Darcey Bussell.


Richard now freelances in London dividing his time between as many different orchestras and chamber music ensembles as time allows.

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.

Tanya Houghton – Harp Tutor

Originally from Birmingham, Tanya studied in Cambridge, London and Paris before embarking on a freelance career based in the UK and Ireland. She enjoys playing for a wide range of ensembles from symphony orchestras to chamber groups, and accompanying soloists and choirs. Her recent orchestral work includes appearances with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the RTE NSO in Dublin and she is principal harpist of the chamber orchestra Orchestra of the Swan. As a choral accompanist she is fortunate to have worked with composers and conductors including John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, David Hill and Graham Ross, with whom she has appeared on BBC Radio 3's 'In tune' programme and also features on his CD of music by Imogen Holst, recently nominated for a Gramophone award. The recording ‘A rose in the middle of winter’ in which she accompanies Commotio choir in music by Bob Chilcott reached the top of last year’s classical charts. Last year she played for Britten’s 100th birthday concert in Wigmore Hall, accompanying tenor Nicholas Mulroy, and works regularly as a recital accompanist for singers. Aside from playing, Tanya works as an examiner for both the ABRSM and the Royal Northern College of Music, and has adjudicated the harp class at the Bromley and Redhill & Reigate competitions. Also a singer, she directs and sings in Melisma, the Belfast-based 8 voice choir.
Meyrick Alexander – Woodwind Tutor

Before taking up his position as Head of Woodwind at RWCMD in 2010, Meyrick Alexander had held the position of Principal Bassoon in the Philharmonia Orchestra since 1980, before which he was a member of several leading orchestras including the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia.
Meyrick is Principal Bassoon of the London Chamber Orchestra and has played period instruments with John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. He is a regular guest principal with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.  He has performed extensively as a chamber musician and as a guest with nearly every British symphony and chamber orchestra, and is also a regular soloist at the annual International Double Reed Conference in the USA, Australia and the UK. 

In contemporary music, he is the dedicatee of a number of solo works and has performed with the London Sinfonietta.  He has been a member of the teaching staff at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, and the RNCM and he regularly gives masterclasses and recitals at all the leading conservatoires in Britain and several in Europe, Australia, USA and the Far East. He has also served on the jury on two major international competitions.

Currently, Meyrick is involved in the creation of the I Culture Orchestra in Poland which consists of young musicians and draws its members from Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Armenia and Poland.

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.

Chris Bradley – UYO Percussion Tutor

Chris Bradley is a member of the Orchestra of Opera North which has enabled him to perform a large amount of the operatic repertoire including many world premieres as well as performances with the Royal Opera House (Die Fledermaus, Gawain & the Green Knight, The Minotaur), Glyndebourne Opera (The Second Mrs Kong), Hackney Music Development Trust (Confusious Says) and for the Opera Group/London Sinfonietta Into the Little Hill by George Benjamin. 

Since 2000, Chris has been involved with the World Orchestra for Peace under the direction of Maestro Valery Gergiev performing at the BBC Proms and festivals in Edinburgh, Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, Rotterdam, Budapest, Brussels, Krakov, Jerusalem and Salzburg.

Chris also plays the cimbalom and has played with most of the British orchestras and ensembles recently with the London Symphony Orchestra in the Stravinsky Festival/Gergiev (2012), Turnage Showcase/Harding (2013) and Gladiator Live/Philharmonia (2014) as well as international ensembles such as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In 2012 he was involved with the Royal Academy of Dance recording the music for their examinations.
Chris has been tutor in percussion at the University of Huddersfield for over 20 years and has been involved with the National Children's Orchestra for 25 years and conducted the NCO Northerlies from 2010-2014. He has adjudicated for the BBC Young Musician competition most recently in 2011 and was percussion advisor to the East Riding of Yorkshire music services for 12 years and is currently a board member of Yorkshire Young Musicians.
In March 2011 he appeared on ITV's "Push the Button" alongside Ant & Dec coaching 2 members of the public to play the xylophone part in Saint-Saens "Fossils" from Carnival of the Animals with the CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. 

And in 2013 he performed at the Beijing Music Festival and the Messiaen Festival (Into the Little Hill) and the Festival of Britten (Peter Grimes, Midsummer Night's Dream, Death in Venice). He conducted the Under 12 National Children's Orchestra in Birmingham and in June 2014 he created and organised the Tour de Northerlies bicycle concert, captured in pictures by Classic FM, in celebration of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire.
In August 2014 he tutored the percussion section of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and conducted Yorchestra2 and is looking forward to returning to Yorchestra2 in 2015 as well as tutoring the percussion section of the Ulster Youth Orchestra.


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