My own formative studies were with Steven Doane (Eastman School of Music, NY) and Steven Isserlis (Prussia Cove) following undergrad. with Emma Ferrand (Royal Northern College of Music) and postgrad. with Alexander Baillie (Royal Academy of Music). I also had solo masterclasses with Ralph Kirshbaum and Karine Georgian and inspiring chamber coaching from Eli Goren, William Pleeth and the Amadeus, Bartók and Smetena Quartets. As a postgraduate in the U.S. I pursued a new interest in historical performance practice.
I have been a member of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique since 1996 (on numerous projects from Purcell to Stravinsky including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage throughout 2000) and was continuo cello for concerts in Buckingham Palace, Aldeburgh Festival and the Château de Versailles during the Monteverdi Choir’s 50th Anniversary Year. During our curtailed 'Beethoven 250' project we performed his complete symphony cycle in Palau de la Música, Barcelona, Carnegie Hall, NYC and at the Harris Theatre, Chicago (Feb-Mar 2020).
I have also been a member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for 25 years (including several seasons at Glyndebourne), playing guest principal on occasion, including Handel (Belshazzar at the BBC Proms with Sir Charles Mackerras), Beethoven (Fidelio/Pastoral Symphony with Adàm Fischer in Brighton/ Bonn), Glyndbourne Opera Cup broadcast live on Sky Arts and Bach (Matthew Passion with John Butt in Valletta, Malta).
During the 2019-20 season I've been guest principal/continuo in diverse repertoire ranging from Monteverdi Vespers with Harry Christophers & The Sixteen (Canterbury Cathedral & The Temple Church, London), Handel and Charpentier with Christian Curnyn & Early Opera Company (Sicily), Cecelia Bartoli's Gala Concert ''Farinelli & Friends" with Les Musiciens du Prince (Salzburg Festival), Haydn's Nelson Mass & Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Moscow and Bonn) to 'Quatre Siècles de Ballet' with François-Xavier Roth & Les Siècles (Stravinsky Le Sacre de Printemps, Ravel La Valse, Debussy L'Après-Midi, Massenet, Delibes, Rameau and Lully, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie & Köln Philharmonie).
Previous principal work with Les Siècles includes Debussy La Mer (Paris Philharmonie concert pédagogique), Berlioz Anniversary including Symphonie Fantastique & Lélio (Hong Kong Arts Festival and live webstream from Paris Philharmonie, 2018) and 'Les Orientales' (Musée Guimet, Paris, 2017).
Principal work in the UK has included concerts and recordings with Avison Ensemble, Classical Opera, Dunedin Consort, English Concert (tours of Europe & USA with David Daniels), English National Opera (Charpentier’s Medea, on bass violin), Ex Cathedra, Gabrieli Consort, Hanover Band, The King's Consort, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Nicola Benedetti's 'Italia' disc) and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Chamber music has always featured strongly. I played with the Florin Ensemble since 2009, whose debut disc featuring Mozart’s Divertimento K.563 met with critical acclaim. In 2016 we commissioned “Itháka” - a new work for string trio by the distinguished composer Hugh Wood, which was generously supported by grants from the Britten-Pears Foundation, the RVW Trust and the Swaledale Festival where we gave its world premiere, followed by a second performance in the Cheltenham Festival. I previously replaced the cellist in the Skampa Quartet on major European and American tours and was a guest of the Eroica Quartet on several occasions. I joined principal players of the OAE in Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht for 'The ‘Night Shift’ series in 2017, returning with solo Bach in 2018. As soloist I have performed concerti by Haydn, John Garth, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
I have a wide range of teaching experience, having taught at the Royal College of Music since 2003. I have also coached string quartets at Pro Corda North, taken the cello sections of London Schools Symphony Orchestra and Cambridge University Music Society, taught on the Ithaca College Exchange Program and externally for the Purcell School and deputised for Alexander Baillie at the Bremen Hochschule.
I co-led a three-day Bach workshop for Sir John Eliot Gardiner's "Monteverdi Apprentice" Scheme together with Kati Debretzeni and have also taken part in a workshop on Verdi's Requiem with colleagues from the ORR. In 2018 I gave masterclasses on Bach's Cello Suites in the USA, as a guest of the Cello Faculty at the Eastman School, NY and at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I was also the continuo tutor for the Britten-Pears 'Young Artists' Programme' Baroque course (Handel's Theodora) at Snape Maltings.
Privately I have taken several younger students through to Grade 8 with excellent results. I am equally happy to help those who prefer not to take exams. I also enjoy working with adult amateurs on preparing chamber music and orchestral parts.
I aim to instil confidence by applying basic principles of balance & ease of movement, focusing on beauty of sound, good sense of pitch, strong rhythm and the subtleties of phrasing with the bow as our means of musical expression. I try to convey relevant technical tips, to give a sense of the musical context and to encourage a positive attitude to practising and performing, whatever the level!