Kingston Chamber Orchestra

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Orchestra Members

Andy Meyers - Conductor

Andy Meyers,KCO conductor
Andy Meyers,
KCO conductor

Andy studied conducting at Trinity College of Music with Bernard Keeffe, and has worked in master classes with Diego Masson and Sir Charles Groves. In 1983 he was awarded the "Ricordi Prize" for conducting, and in 1985 he was a prize winner in the "Stroud International Composers Competition", with his Sonata for Oboe and Piano. He has written a number of works, including concertos for flute and recorder, and a number of children's musicals. In 2005 he was a runner-up in the St Martin-in-the-Fields / BBC Radio 4 Christmas Carol Competition.

He was Head of Music at Finton House School for twenty years, and is now Head of Music at Homefield School, Sutton.

Andy has conducted groups ranging from the "Enfield String Players" to the London Festival Ballet, and he is presently Musical Director of the Kingston Chamber Orchestra. In 1997 he was awarded an MA (Music Education) from the Roehampton Institute.

Andy's recorder pieces are published by Peacock Press and some of his educational musicals are available from Watnots music. Cantilena, the piece he wrote in memory of Mark, Jean and Samuel Price is available on the Sibelius Music Store.

Helena Ruinard - Leader

Helena Ruinard,leader
Helena Ruinard,

Helenaread Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge and studied the violin with Yossi Zivoni at the Royal College of Music where she was supported by an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

She pursues a freelance career, performing with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and the Ulster Orchestra, and a range of smaller orchestras and opera companies. Solo performances include a concerto with Southbank Sinfonia, and concertos and recitals for music societies and venues throughout the London area, most recently at The Forge Camden.

With chamber ensembles she has performed across Europe, from the Westival in Somerset to the Nehru Centre for Indian culture in London, to the shores of Turkey and Egypt aboard a Swan Hellenic cruise. Through her orchestral work she contributes to commercial and Radio 3 recordings and has also featured as a chamber musician on a disc of works by Christopher Wright on Merlin Classics.

As a teacher she works at a school in central London as well as teaching privately and contributes regularly to Music Teacher Magazine.

Helena went to school in Hampton and has strong memories of performing at Kingston Parish Church as a member of Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra. She gave a delightful performance of Schubert's Rondo for Violin and Strings at our charity concert for the Down's Syndrome Association in December 2011.

Guest Performers

Mathilde Milwidsky, Violin

Mathilde Milwidsky
Mathilde Milwidsky

Born in London in 1994, 22 year old Mathilde Milwidsky has been described as 'an exceptional talent' by Maxim Vengerov, and was recently praised for her "surprisingly mature lyrical insight [and] compelling nuances and colours" ( She has performed as a soloist at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room and Three Choirs Festival as well as across Europe in Finland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Sweden. She is regularly invited to festivals such as Prussia Cove, East Neuk, Musikdorf Ernen, Musique à Marsac, Peasmarsh, Kings Lynn, Lewes, Wye Valley and Roman River, collaborating with musicians such as Anthony Marwood, Avi Avital, Huw Watkins, Christian Poltéra, Alasdair Beatson, Christoph Richter and Ksenija Sidorova, as well as woodwind principals of the Philharmonia and die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. She has been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Radio Swiss Classic, Classic FM and appeared live on the BBC One Show.

Mathilde recently won the string section of the 2017 Royal Overseas League Music Competition and was awarded a place on the St John's Smith Square Young Artist Scheme for the 2017/18 season. She won the 2011 Madeira International Violin Competition and was a finalist in Orchid Classics' Young British Soloist Competition (2015), RAM's prestigious 'Patron's Award' (2015) and the Karl Jenkins Classic FM Music Competition (2017). She has been awarded scholarships from the Hattori Foundation, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Philharmonia Orchestra's Martin Musical Scholarship, the Drake Calleja Foundation, the Tillett Trust and the Sir John Cass Foundation. In 2016 Mathilde was one of 20 selected from 300 to participate in the international Menuhin Competition.

Recent performance highlights include Arvo Pärt's Fratres with the composer himself present at St John's Smith Square, Schubert's Rondo in A Major for Violin and Strings at Festival Musikdorf Ernen broadcast live on Radio Swiss Classic, a recital with Huw Watkins in Belfast and Dvorak and Mendelssohn concerti in London.

Mathilde's studies began at the Royal College of Music Junior Department where she was a Tsukanov Scholar taught by Viktoria Grigoreva and David Takeno. Mathilde subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music as a full scholarship student under György Pauk, graduating in July 2017 with First Class Honours and the Regency Award for notable achievement, the Louise Child Memorial Prize for highest-achieving graduate and the Marjorie Heyward Fund for the highest violin mark of the year. She will be starting her Masters degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München in October under Professor Mi-kyung Lee, funded by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Additional inspiration has come from masterclases with violinists such as Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Mihaela Martin, Pierre Amoyal, Miriam Fried and Igor Ozim. Mathilde has also received invaluable advice from members of the London Haydn Quartet, Alina Ibragimova and Tasmin Little.

Mary Reid, Harp

Mary Reid
Mary Reid

Mary Reid performs as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral harpist, and in the community. Her solo recitals explore everything from Baroque transcriptions to new music by living composers. Previous recital venues include London's Wigmore Hall, the 11th Russian Harp Festival in Moscow, the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, the 9th International USA Competition in Indiana, Ripon Cathedral, the Bowes Museum, Hove Music Society, Deptford Town Hall, and the Brantwood Young Artist Series.

Her discography includes a solo performance on Paul Patterson's music for harp and a CD of German chamber works conducted by Trevor Pinnock. Mary has been concerto soloist with the St Cecilia Orchestra, the Vacation Chamber Orchestra and the Dacorum Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestral work this past year has included projects with the Royal Opera House, Opera North, the Halle, London Mozart Players, Northern Ballet and at the BBC Proms and the International Edinburgh Festival with the RSNO. Mary toured to Moscow with the London Sinfonietta under Vladimir Jurowski and enjoys a wide range of contemporary music projects.

With a passion for chamber music, Mary founded Zamira Duo with violinist Tansy Garrod; they have given workshops for Wigmore Hall's Chamber Tots Series and this year performed for the Thames Concert Series in Surbiton. Mary is also a founding member of the London Harp Quartet. Mary loves performing to those who might otherwise never hear classical music, in schools, churches and hospices and she performs through the Live Music Now scheme, founded by Yehudi Menuhin, giving participatory performances for adults in care homes and children with special education needs. Mary is also involved with Westminster Arts 'Music for the Moment' workshops and recitals for those living with a dementia and their carers.

Alasdair Macaskill, Piano

Alasdair Macaskill
Alasdair Macaskill

Alasdair Macaskill is a British pianist. After graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2012, he moved to London and began studying with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. During his studies he performed a wide and eclectic range of repertoire - from Bach to Birtwistle - and won prizes in chamber music, song accompaniment and contemporary music. He premiered several new solo and chamber works by Scottish composers at venues including Glasgow City Halls and the Usher Hall.

Other past performances include recitals at the Cheltenham and City of London music festivals as well as appearances with the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra. Alasdair maintains an active performing career around the UK as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to his activities in the classical music tradition, Alasdair is involved in several projects devoted to free improvisation and electronic music. He is also in demand as a piano teacher and holds visiting posts at several schools in south-west London.

Daniel Defry, Harp

Daniel Defry
Daniel Defry

Harpist Daniel Defry graduated from the Royal College of Music, with distinction in July 2008 and he was presented with the Tagore Gold Medal by HRH the Prince of Wales in May 2009. Daniel has enjoyed working with world-class conductors such as Gianandrea Noseda, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Litton, Sir Roger Norrington, Alexander Polianichko, Pierre André Valade, Neil Thompson, Robin O'Neill and Martin André.

In October 2008 Daniel was chosen to play in a highly successful production of Britten's Chamber Opera Albert Herring directed and conducted by Lorin Maazel in the US. Daniel has since performed for Lorin Maazel in Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw. After winning the Royal College of Music harp competition in May 2008, Daniel made his solo debut at Cadogan Hall. In 2009, he reached the string final of the Royal Over Seas League Music Competition and won the Marisa Robles Harp Prize.

Sadie Fields, Violin

Sadie Fields
Sadie Fields

Canadian/British violinist Sadie Fields enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, and writer. She has been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio New Zealand, NDR (Germany), and Swedish radio. As a recording artist, she has recorded extensively for BIS Records with the Swedish ensemble Camerata Nordica, and has released two discs with Champs Hill Records. The first, a disc of Mendelssohn chamber music, was chosen as BBC Music Magazine's Editor's Choice and 'Chamber Disc of the Month' for September 2014, and was also 'Chamber Music Disc of the Quarter' by the German Record Critics' Award Association (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik). Sadie's second disc for Champs Hill is the complete Brahms Sonatas with pianist Jeremy Young, released in May 2015.

Sadie holds a PhD from the Royal Academy of Music (2015). Her practice-led doctoral research addresses practical and philosophical ideas associated with the concepts of learning and 'tradition', focusing on her own engagement with Bartok's violin writing. Sadie has won awards from over twenty UK and international associations, and has been a Leverhulme Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and the Edison Visiting Fellow at the British Library.

Principal teachers include Gyorgy Pauk, Yair Kless, and Atis Bankas, and Sadie has also been guided and mentored by Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel, and Ferenc Rados. As a teacher herself, Sadie teaches violin and chamber music, and she has given masterclasses at conservatoires and universities in China and the UK.

Tom McLauchlan, Guitar

Tom McLauchlan
Tom McLauchlan

Tom McLauchlan is a prize-winning classical guitarist. A graduate of the Royal College of Music, Tom is fast establishing himself as one of the most dynamic and versatile guitarists of the new generation. He studied with Gary Ryan and now maintains an eventful performing career in duos featuring flute, violin, voice or guitar.

Performances have taken Tom all over the world, including concerts at some of the UK's leading festivals and venues. He has performed at the Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Purcell Room London, Cardiff Millennium Centre, Fishguard International Music Festival, Dundee Guitar Festival and for the 7th and 8th International Guitar Festivals in London.

He made his concerto debut with the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra and conductor John Forster, performing Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, and in 2000 was presented with an Exhibition Award from Trinity College of Music.

Tom is visiting tutor of guitar at Charterhouse, Surrey.

Rebecca Herman, Cello

Rebecca Herman
Rebecca Herman

As a soloist and chamber musician, Rebecca Herman has performed at major venues including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, The Purcell Rooms, and the Cheltenham and Edinburgh Festivals. Internationally, she has performed in the US, Canada, Israel, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and China.

Rebecca started learning the cello at the age of 13, and within a year won an Associated Board Gold Bursary, the Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize and a place at Cheltenham's School of Music. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in New York, she studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She subsequently held the Leverhulme (Chamber Music) and Meaker (Solo) Fellowships at the Academy, which included the loan of the 1962 'Segelman' Stradivarius.

Rebecca has won the May Mukle Virtuoso Solo Cello Competition, the Stanley Picker Award, the Ian Alexander Award, and the William Elkin Memorial Prize. As a recipient of the MBF's Eleanor Warren Award she is delighted to collaborate with Making Music.

Jamal Aliyev, Cello

Jamal Aliyev
Jamal Aliyev

Jamal Aliyev made his debut with BBC Concert Orchestra live broadcast on Radio 3 at the Yehudi Menuhin Hall in 2012.

Jamal is the winner of three international competitions: the Trakya International Competition, the Muriel Taylor Cello Competition and the V. Antonio Janigro International Competition. He is also the winner of the Royal College of Music "RCM Concerto Competition 2014", "RCM Violoncello Competition 2014" and "RCM Concerto Competition 2015". He has participated in masterclasses with great cellists such as Steven Isserlis, Mstislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Schiff, Julian Lloyd Webber, Johannes Goritzki, Gary Hoffman and Natalia Shakhovskaya.

As well as performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Jamal has collaborated as soloist on several occasions with orchestras such as the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, the Dogus Cocuk Symphony Orchestra, RCM Classical, the Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra, Kennemer Jeugd Orkest, Orpheus Sinfonia, LGSO, and the Whitehall Orchestra.

Yume Fujise, Violin

Yume Fujise
Yume Fujise

Yume Fujise was born in Japan and grew up in Singapore. She started the violin at the Suzuki Music School at the age of three, and before her 8th birthday, she had performed at the Asia Suzuki Conference Grand Concert. In 2003, she began violin studies with Alexander Souptel, (Concertmaster of the SSO) and in 2005 she attended The Juilliard School for private lessons with Prof. Masao Kawasaki.

In 2005 Yume was awarded the 1st Prize in the Trinity College London Music Competition, and was a finalist in the Open Category of the Singapore National Violin Competition. In 2007 she was a finalist in the International Violin Competition at Kloster Schontal in Germany and received a full Scholarship to study at The Conservatoire National de Paris. Following her studies at the Menuhin School, she was also granted a full scholarship award and the Lee Abbey award from the Royal College of Music in London to study with the Head of Strings, Mark Messenger.

Yume has performed as soloist with the Braddel Heights Orchestra, SNYTO, The Hague Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, performing at The Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, Windsor Castle and Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing amongst others.

Andrew Zolinsky, Piano

Andrew Zolinsky
Andrew Zolinsky

Pianist Andrew Zolinsky is one of the most distinctive musical voices of his generation. With a repertoire ranging from Haydn to the present day, his unique style of programming and his individual interpretations have secured performances at many prestigious venues and festivals. In the contemporary field, he is closely associated with the music of Unsuk Chin, James Clarke, Laurence Crane, Donnacha Dennehey, Ivan Fedele, Michael Finnissy, Simon Holt, David Lang, Valentin Silvestrov and Michael Zev Gordon.

Andrew has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lorraine, and has worked under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Stefan Asbury, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Martyn Brabbins, Nicholas Cleobury, Thierry Fischer, Charles Hazlewood, Owain Arwel Hughes, Grant Llewellyn, Diego Masson, David Robertson and Pascal Rophe. In addition to concerts in the UK, he has also given concerts in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, New York and Spain.

Andrew has given World and regional premieres of many of David Lang's works, including, the world premiere in New York of the complete set of Memory pieces, and the Piano Concerto, Fur, commissioned by the BBC, at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Grant Llewellyn. He is also very closely associated with the music of Unsuk Chin. He has performed her complete Etudes for solo piano on many occasions, and also gave the London première of her Piano Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Andrew is a professor of piano at the Royal College of Music and at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Daniel Shao, Flute

Daniel Shao
Daniel Shao

Daniel Shao, born in 1995 in London, is a half-Chinese flute student currently studying with Katherine Bicknell at the Purcell School of Music and Royal College of Music Junior Department. He started his musical studies at age 7 on the piano, and began to study flute at age 9 with Deanne Payne. When he was 12 he began lessons with the flautist Susan Milan. Also an enthusiastic pianist, he won the Prize for the Best Second Study Piano Assessment at the Purcell School, has ABRSM Grade 8 Distinction and studies with Lidia Amorelli.

Daniel is Co-Principal Flute of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Principal Flute of the Purcell School Symphony Orchestra, and was Principal Flute of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys playing regularly at the UK's top venues, and under the baton of conductors such as Paul Daniel, Leif Segerstam, John Rutter, John Wilson, Simone Young and Vasily Petrenko.

Daniel has played solo on Chinese Television several times, including a concert filmed in August 2012 for the Chinese Olympic team at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel. He was the youngest featured soloist at the Eighth International British Flute Society Convention 2012. In September 2012 he played a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall through the Purcell School, premiering a new work for solo flute by Philip Dutton. He performed as a soloist at New York's Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) in October 2012 and played a full length recital at the Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room in January 2013 for the 'Classical Coffee Mornings' series. As a chamber musician Daniel tries to play in as many combinations as possible, and has performed with his Wind Quintet from Purcell at Wigmore Hall and Live on Radio 3's 'In Tune'.

Daniel has won prizes in National and International Competitions including 1st Prize at the British Flute Society Competition 'School Performer' 2012, 1st Prize in the Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition, 2nd Prize and Wind Prize in the Gregynog Young Musician competition, 3rd Prize and Duke of Devonshire Prize in the Eastbourne Young Soloist Competition, 1st Prize in the Louis Watt Memorial Competition (CYM London), and prizes in the Marjory Humby, Gordon Turner, Peter Morrisson and Angela Bull Competitions at Junior RCM. He is currently a semi-finalist in the prestigious International Ernest Bloch Music Competition.

Lisa Ueda, Violin

Lisa Ueda
Lisa Ueda

"Uprising Young Artist" Lisa Ueda made her debut playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Sachio Fujioka in 2009. 1st prize winner in many competitions, Lisa has received the ABRSM Macklin Bursary Award, Carr Gregory Award, San Martino Scholarship, Goetze Bequest Award, Arthur Hervey Scholarship, Clumber Studio Scholarship, Kobler Award, Poulett Scholarship, D Day Fund Award, Moir Carnegie Prize for Violin, among others. Most recently, she received the Tunnell Trust Award in duo with Daniele Rinaldo.

Last season kept her busy performing recitals and concerti in Japan and Europe. World premieres include Dmitri Smirnov's Dream Journey and Nobuya Monta's Otohime. UK premieres include Monta's Sakura Mai and Tomiko Kohjiba's Rublyov's Door performed at the Barbican. She was invited to perform at the the UK-Japan Music Society, subsequently played for the Minister, Consul-General of the Embassy of Japan on several occasions.

Lisa was born and raised in Japan, but educated at Osaka International School where she achieved the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and IB Bilingual Diploma. She studied violin with Miyuki Emura and Hisako Tsuji, during which she performed in London, Boston Tanglewood, Toronto, Japan, Shanghai, Munich, Geneva, and Vienna to name a few. Upon completing high school, Lisa moved to London on a full ABRSM International Scholarship, where she graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). She completed her Masters degree with Distinction on a scholarship from RAM, under the tutelage of Richard Deakin on 2011.

Future engagements include recitals in St James Piccadilly sponsored by the Concordia Foundation, The Forge Venue London, Senate House Gala Evening Recital, Lake District Summer Music Patrons' Concert, and a tour around Scotland supported by the Tunnell Trust. In June 2012, she will give the World premiere of Nobuya Monta's Violin Concerto(dedicated to Lisa).

Lisa plays on a 1596 Brothers Amati on kind loan from Filippo Protani Violins.

Enika Magyar, Viola

Enika Magyar
Enika Magyar

After making her solo debut at the age of 13, and winning the first prize at the Franz Liszt Academy's violin competition at 17, Enika performed in concerts in Germany, Romania and Hungary. She graduated summa cum laude from the Franz Liszt Academy and was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. During her studies she was awarded the Theodore Holland Viola Prize and received the second prize at the NYOS Staffa Awards in Glasgow.

Her debut CD "The English Viola" (Naxos) received rave reviews from the international press and has been broadcast on Radio 3, Classic FM, the US nationally syndicated programme "Classical 24" and other stations around the world.

Eniko enjoys a varied career as a soloist and chamber musician and has been selected to be promoted by the Making Music Concert Promoters Network. She has performed with major orchestras and appeared in prestigious music festivals such as the Verbier Academy, IMS Prussia Cove, Academia Musica de Santander, the Budapest Spring Festival, Young Praha Festival and the Cork Chamber Music Festival. She has appeared in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Musikverein, St John's Smith Square, Conway Hall and King's Place.

Hiroaki Takenouchi, Piano

Hiroaki Takenouchi
Hiroaki Takenouchi

Hiroaki Takenouchi was born in Japan but is now based in London, where he came in 1997 to study piano with Yonty Solomon and Andrew Ball, composition with Edwin Roxburgh and fortepiano with David Ward at the Royal College of Music. On completion of his studies, he received the RCM's The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Rosebowl presented by HRH The Prince of Wales. From 2007 to 2009, he was a Constant & Kit Lambert Junior Fellow (RCM) supported by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

As a soloist, he has appeared on many concert platforms including the Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Opera City, the South Bank Centre, the Fairfield Halls, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and Steinway Halls in London, Hamburg and Tokyo. He has also performed at festivals in Bath, Cheltenham and Salzburg and has given recitals in the UK, Japan, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Italy. He is an active chamber musician in an extensive range of work, working with such eminent artists as Raphael Wallfisch and Tara Helen O'Connor.

In the summer of 2010, he returned to join the summer masterclass at the Banff Centre (Canada) as a collaborative pianist, and gave piano masterclasses at the Poros International Piano Academy, Greece. In 2010, he was filmed for a BBC TV documentary on Sir Hubert Parry (aired in 2011) and appeared for the second time in the Husum "Rarities of Piano Repertoire" Festival in Germany to great critical acclaim.

Takenouchi's discography includes the world premiere recordings of works by James Dillon (with Noriko Kawai, NMC), Edwin Roxburgh (NMC) and Jeremy Dale Roberts (LORELT), as well as a debut solo CD Cosmos Haptic: Contemporary Piano Music from Japan (LORELT), and most recently Husum Festival Highlights 2010 (Danacord). In 2011 he will record two further CDs, firstly Delius's orchestral works arranged for two pianos by various contemporaries (Somm Records), and piano concertos by Sherwood, Catoire and Collingwood with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Dutton Epoch).

Takenouchi has worked with many leading musicians such as Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emanuel Ax, Imogen Cooper, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Robert Levin, Sir Roger Norrington and Howard Shelley.

Karen Gibbard, Oboe

Karen Gibbard
Karen Gibbard
Karen Gibbard is a freelance oboist and was awarded a place on The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Ann and Peter Law Experience 2010 scheme.

Karen graduated with distinction from the 'MMus Oboe Performance - Orchestral Training' course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, funded by the H R Taylor Charitable Trust and the Mercers' Company in 2008. Karen plays in a variety of solo, chamber and orchestral settings. This has included solo performances with the International Double Reed Society, the Leeds International Concert Season and the Dartington International Summer School.

Karen is a keen chamber musician and her Kariosa Ensemble performs in a multitude of settings through the Live Music Now scheme. Her orchestral engagements have included the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, Sinfonia Cymru, All Souls Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Orchestra of the Teatro Olimpico of Vicenza at the New York Carnegie Hall.

Jeanine Thorpe, Violin

Jeanine Thorpe
Jeanine Thorpe
Born in 1989, Jeanine Thorpe began playing the violin at the age of 6, entering Royal Academy of Music's Junior Department aged eight. Her teachers have included David Takeno and Detlief Hahn and she has participated in numerous masterclasses with Mstislav Rostropovich and Igor Ozim.

Jeanine is much in demand as a soloist, and recent concerto performances have included the Walton, Elgar and Prokofiev violin concertos with various orchestras acros the UK, in major venues such as St John's Smith Square, St James Piccadilly and the Barbican Hall. In December 2002 Jeanine was awarded first prize in the Remember Enescu International Violin Competition in Romania by an international panel of judges, being the first West European to win this award.

In October 2004 Jeanine won the Gold Medal for her category and overall First Prize in the London International Concerto Competition (formerly the Marlow Concerto Competition). Subsequently she was invited back to perform concertos with the Elgar Chamber Orchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia at Cadogan Hall.

In 2005 Jeanine was awarded the title "ESTA (European String Teachers' Association) Student of the Year Award," after a final round held in Malta's Manoel Theatre. Subsequently she was invited to give recitals in numerous European countries including Estonia, Holland and Italy. Other awards include the Royal Philharmonic Society's Emily Anderson Award and the Royal College of Music's Isolde Menges prize for the best unaccompanied Bach.

Jeanine has appeared in numerous television programmes, including ITV's Trial and Retribution, BBC's Maestro, and most recently was the featured violinist in the BBC's programme Clash, encouraging children to become involved in classical music.

Since early 2009, Jeanine has been the concert mistress of the Docklands Symphony Orchestra in London. Most recently, following a chamber music masterclass in Geneva over Easter 2010, Jeanine has embarked on a post-graduate degree at the Frankfurter Hochschule fur Musik under the tutelage of Markus Daunert.

Jane Wilkinson, Soprano

Jane Wilkinson
Jane Wilkinson
English soprano Jane Wilkinson grew up on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire and began her vocal training with singing teacher Brenda Waddington. After a year studying with Barbara Robotham, she was accepted in 2002 to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow, on the Bachelor of Music course with Helen Lawson. Jane then studied as a post graduate at the Royal College of Music, London, with Jennifer Smith. Her current teacher is Jane Irwin.

During her time as a music student, Jane has been involved in many major opera productions and worked with a variety of esteemed conductors such as Timothy Dean, Christian Curnyn and Sir Charles Mackerras and directors such as Lee Blakely, Martin Lloyd Evans and James Conway. Jane has also taken part in masterclasses with Malcolm Martineau, Sarah Walker, Jane Irwin, Margaret Marshall, Philip Langridge and Patricia McMahon.

Jane has sung in Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Vaughan Williams' Flos Campi - live on BBC Radio 3. She has also appeared on ITV's My Favourite Hymns. Jane has sung on many CDs for The Early Learning Centre and she has provided the vocals for the Early Learning Music Academy.

Jane is also an accomplished actress and dancer. In 1996, she received a NODA award for her performance in The Wizard of Oz, playing the role of Dorothy at Blackpool Opera House.

Simon Callaghan, Piano

Simon Callaghan
Simon Callaghan

What a wonderful pianist, who combines complete understanding of the style of music he is playing with a rare sublety and brilliance of execution

-- Sir Roger Norrington

Winner of the Prix Special in the 8eme Concours International Jean Francaix in Paris, the British pianist Simon Callaghan is establishing an impressive career as a solo artist, performing large-scale works in major venues and with many leading orchestras around the United Kingdom and abroad to high critical acclaim. Recent public performance highlights include concertos by Beethoven, Chopin, Francaix, Grieg, Hummel, Liszt, Mozart and Rachmaninov, including a début with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz playing Liszt's Piano Concerto No.1.

Simon has also given numerous solo and chamber music recitals in London (Fairfield Halls, Steinway Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields), Manchester (Bridgewater Hall, Lowry Centre), Liverpool (Philharmonic Hall), Austria (Mozarteum), France, Sri Lanka, South Korea and on classical music tours worldwide. In 2006 he presented a charity gala concert with English National Opera principals John Graham-Hall and Mary Hegarty at Longborough Opera House and gave a debut recital at the Prestigious De Rode Pomp concert hall in Ghent, Belgium. Following this recital Simon was invited to record a disc of English piano music on the De Rode Pomp label, which will be released in Summer 2007.

Simon has taken prizes in numerous other competitions, including the Liverpool Young Musician of the Year Competition and the Bromsgrove International Young Musician's Platform. In 2005 he was awarded the Colonel Howes Prize by the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra and won the Edward Dannreuther Prize and the Fortepiano Award at the Royal College of Music.

Following his studies at Chetham's School of Music with Bernard Roberts, Simon became a scholar at the Royal College of Music studying under Yonty Solomon, from where he recently graduated with First Class Honours. In 2005, he gave the world premiere performance of his own restored arrangement of Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor for piano and string quintet, also playing Schubert's Trout Quintet.

Simon has appeared on BBC Television channels 1, 2 and 3 as well as BBC Radio. He has received invaluable guidance from several eminent international artists including Dmitri Alexeev, Noretta Conci, Alicya Fiderkiewicz, Claude Frank, Stephen Hough, Peter Lawson, Sir Roger Norrington and Frank Wibaut. He recently brought out a CD of Victorian English piano music, including two world premieres,

Fenella Humphreys, Violin

Fenella Humphreys
Fenella Humphreys
Over the past year violinist Fenella Humphreys has performed as soloist at prestigious venues including London's South Bank Centre, Cheltenham's Pump Room and the Teatro Coliseo in Buenos Aires. She was a 2006 Park Lane Group Young Artist, received Making Music's 2005 Philip and Dorothy Green Award for Young Concert Artists, and has performed at the Wigmore Hall as a YCAT finalist. Solo and chamber performances have included broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, DeutschlandRadio Berlin and West-Deutsche-Rundfunk as well as appearances around Europe, North and South America and Israel. In September 2006, Fenella performed the Walton Concerto at the composer's home at the invitation of the Walton Trust, to open the newly built Greek Theatre, and celebrate the 80th birthday of Lady Walton.

A busy chamber musician, Fenella has collaborated with artists including Martin Lovett, Alexander Baillie, Hariolf Schlichtig and Pekka Kuusisto, and is regularly invited to take part in the celebrated Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove. Fenella is violinist with piano trio, the Lawson Trio. In addition to a busy concert schedule, the trio gives workshops and masterclasses in association with the Schubert Ensemble and the Chamber Music 2000 scheme.

Fenella is also in demand as orchestral leader, working regularly with the Deutsche Kammerakademie in Germany both as leader and director, and as guest leader with a number of ensembles including the Salzburg Chamber Soloists. She has participated in masterclasses with musicians including the Florestan Trio, Melos Quartet, Takács Quartet, Pamela Frank, Lorand Fenyves, Thomas Brandis, Thomas Riebl and Krzysztof Penderecki.

Fenella studied with Sidney Griller CBE and Itzhak Rashkovsky whilst a scholar at the Purcell School. She was subsequently a scholar at Guildhall School of Music and Drama learning with David Takeno. She completed postrgraduate studies in Ida Bieler's class at the Robert Schumann Hochschule, Düsseldorf, whilst in Andreas Reiner's chamber music class at the Folkwang-Hochschule, Essen.

Highlights of 2009/10 include concertos and chamber performances at venues including St. John's, Smith Square and the South Bank Centre, giving masterclasses and concerts at Queens University, Belfast, and concerts internationally with Grammy and Oscar winning bandoneonist, Hector Ulises Passarella.

You can keep up to date with Fenella's concerts at She is commissioning three new pieces for solo violin by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Piers Hellawell & Gordon Crosse, which she will perform and record. You can find all about her "Bach to the Future Project" here.

Robbie Stanley-Smith, Cello

Robbie Stanley-Smith
Robbie Stanley-Smith
Robbie, 17, started learning the cello when he was three and a half, but wasn't really sure that he liked it until he was about 11.

When he was 13 he was proud to be awarded the Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize for cello (Grade 8) which is awarded annually to the candidate gaining the highest marks in the country. More recently he achieved distinctions in both the dipABRSM and LRSM performance diplomas, and after (rather belatedly) applying for the first time in July, has just enjoyed his first course with the National Youth Orchestra.

He is a music scholar at Hampton School, where he is currently in the upper sixth form, studying Latin, Maths, Economics and Spanish. Next year he plans to study Latin and Spanish at Cambridge University, where he will no doubt spend a great deal of time playing music!

When he is not playing either the cello or the piano he likes to make amateur films with friends, including writing, shooting, acting and editing. He also loves skiing and snowboarding, and enjoys arranging music, mostly for string and cello quartets.

Jonathan Strange, Violin

Jonathan Strange
Jonathan Strange
Jonathan studied the violin with Hugh Maguire and Frederick Grinke at the Royal Academy of Music and later with Roy Gillard.

In a varied career, he has toured the world as a member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and other major orchestras, and was co-leader of the London Mozart Players. Along with Kenneth Essex and Denis Vigay, he is a member of the Lansdowne String Trio. In the studios, he works with the stars of rock and pop and on the scores of Hollywood movies.

He performs on a Grancino violin of 1689.

Lesley Shrigley Jones, Cello

Lesley Shrigley Jones
Lesley Shrigley Jones
Lesley Shrigley Jones studied the cello, viola da gamba, piano and singing at the Royal Manchester College of Music and the The Royal Northern College of Music. Later she joined the master class of Antonio Janigro at the Staatliche Hochschule, Stuttgart, from where she was awarded the highest honours.

Since giving her debut recital at the Purcell Room, under the auspices of the Park Lane Group, Lesley Shrigley Jones has played throughout the British Isles, Europe and Latin America. She has Broadcast on BBC, ITV and French Radio and appeared in Paul Tortelier's Master Class series on BBC2.

As a member of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' avant-garde chamber group "The Fires of London", she received a standing ovation for her performance of "Vesalii" Icones at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. She has also given several first performances of contemporary works and recordings include "Fantasia Concertante" for solo cello by Camilleri.

More recent and current projects include performing the six solo Bach Cello Suites in a series of concerts with organ, a recording project entitled "The Cello in Song" and an exciting collaboration with Yekaterina Lebedeva in a series of concerts entitled "Fusion".

Helen Oughtibridge, Clarinet

Helen Oughtibridge
Helen Oughtibridge
Helen studied at Trinity College of Music with Hale Hambleton, Joan-Enric Lluna, Anthony Jennings and Michael Whight. She gained First Class Honours in 2003 and then completed a Postgraduate Course assisted by a Trinity College scholarship.

Competition successes include the Wilfred Hambleton Award, the Gladys Puttick Improvisation Prize and woodwind finalist in the Tunbridge Wells Young Concert Artist Competition.

Helen is co-principal clarinet in St. Paul's Sinfonia, principal clarinet in the Jersey Symphony Orchestra and is on the extra list of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. She also plays on a freelance basis with many orchestras.

Helen is a member of several chamber music groups: Clariphonics clarinet quartet, the Acacia Wind Quintet, the Vena Reed Trio and a trio with violin and piano. Recent chamber music performances include appearances at the Hampstead and Highgate Festival, the Purcell Room with Joan Enric Lluna and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Helen also plays clarinet and saxophone in the jazz/rock band T.Mandrake, who opened the 2007 Hua Hin Jazz Festival, Thailand.

Aside from playing, Helen is an enthusiastic teacher and currently teaches clarinet at Finton House School, Homefield Preparatory School and Merton Music Foundation.

Leanne Alexander, Violin

Leanne Alexander was born in 1987. She began to play the violin when she was five, and when she was only nine years old, she led the West of Scotland Independent Schools Orchestra with other members up to the age of eighteen! She joined the Yehudi Menuhin School in 1998, and she is now at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a full scholarship to continue her studies with Simon Fischer until 2009.

Leanne has performed Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor and the Sibelius Concerto with the Glasgow Symphony Orchestra, Saint-Saens' Havanaise, the Beethoven Concerto, the Brahms Concerto and Barber's Virtuosic Concerto with the Strathclyde University Orchestra. In 2002, Leanne gave a recital for the BBC Radio Scotland programme Grace Notes and in 2003, she reached the Quarter Finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. In November 2005, Leanne gave the World Premiere of a concerto that was written for her by Scottish composer Tommy Fowler in Adelaides, Glasgow and in February 2007 she performed Alban Berg's Violin Concerto with the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Leanne has recently formed her own string quartet, which has performed at many venues around London. The quartet have conducted a workshop for children between the ages of two and five at the Wigmore Hall.

Emma Baldock, Kathryn Parry and Roy Stratford

Emma Baldock (cello) was a music scholar at St Paul's Girls' School, co-principal of the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Chamber Orchestra, and subsequently a music scholar at Cambridge University where she performed regularly as a soloist and continuo-player. She studied throughout this period with Margaret Moncrieff in London. Since graduating she has divided her time between music (performing and teaching) and PhD research in medical ethics at King's College London.

Kathryn Parry (violin) read music at Selwyn College, Cambridge and studied the violin with Howard Davis at the Royal Academy of Music where she won several prizes for chamber music and was awarded the prestigious Dip RAM for ensemble playing. She has performed chamber music in recitals for music clubs and festivals all over Britain. As a member of the Bell' Arte Ensemble, she gave the inaugural chamber concert in Birmingham's Symphony Hall and played regularly with Sir Simon Rattle as pianist. She has played with many London orchestras, including the Academy of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, London Mozart Players and City of London Sinfonia and was a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She recently played with the Composers' Ensemble at the Aldeburgh Festival and Endymion Ensemble at the Purcell Room.

Kathryn was a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and for eight years lived in Edinburgh with her husband and their three children. She still plays frequently with the orchestra, has appeared as leader of the Edinburgh Quartet, and is a regular guest of the Hebrides Ensemble.

Roy Stratford (piano) studied music at Reading University where, in his final year he was appointed music director of the Opera Society and conducted four performances of Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Snow Maiden." He went on as a postgraduate to the Royal College of Music to study conducting with Norman Del Mar and piano with David Ward. He also received advice and encourragement from Andrzej Panufnik and Sir Georg Solti. In l987 he was invited to participate in the "BBC European Conductors' Seminar" in Manchester and was selected to make his Radio 3 debut directing Constant Lambert's Piano Concerto. He also had the opportunity to work with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra during the course and was coached by Sir Edward Downes.

He has since worked with many orchestras including the Royal Ballet, the London Philharmonic and has guest conducted many leading amateur groups. He has a wide interest in music education and has worked on the Baylis Programme at English National Opera, with the London Philharmonic's education programme and is currently undertaking a lecture series at the Wigmore Hall. He also runs lecture/recital weekends at West Dean College and at Jackdaws, near Frome in Somerset.

He has taught piano at St. Paul's School since 1991 and in 2003 was appointed Head of Ensemble. He also teaches piano at Richmond College and runs a youth training orchestra for Richmond Music Trust as well as conducting the Woking Symphony Orchestra. He has had arrangements published by Faber Music and original compositions by Oxford Universitv Press.

Andrew Nicholson, Flute

Andrew Nicholson
Andrew Nicholson

Andrew was introduced to the flute at the age of eight by Robin Soldan and later went on to be taught by Clare Southworth and Janet Alexander. At the age of thirteen he won the National Music for Youth Woodwind prize at the London Festival Hall, and was also regional finalist in the Shell L.S.O completion in 1984 in London. In 1985, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Chethams School of Music and in 1987 he was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. He went on to continue his musical education at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (RNCM), winning several major concerto awards including the Malcolm Sargent Award.

Andrew began his professional career working with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and was appointed Principal flautist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992. 1999 saw his return to England with his appointment as Principal flautist with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester. In 2000 he performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto, conducted by Kent Negano, and appeared as a soloist at the Bridgewater Hall as part of the Lunchtime Recital Series. He performed both the Nielsen Concerto and Mozart Flute Concerto in G with the Halle Orchestra conducted by Thierry Fisher, and it was as a result of these performances that Andrew was asked to record the Nielsen Flute Concerto with the Halle and Mark Elder CBE.

In 2002, he moved to London after accepting the position of Principal flute with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Since his move to London, he has toured extensively with the orchestra and has also given masterclasses and recitals at the Royal College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music.

He has recently recorded a solo CD of John Rutter's music with John Rutter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has also recorded the Mozart flue concerto in G major.

An more detailed biography of Andrew can be found here.

Clare Howick, Violin

Clare Howick
Clare Howick
Clare Howick is at the forefront of a new generation of virtuoso violinists. As a student she shared a recital with Maxim Vengerov. Clare has also appeared as soloist with The Philharmonia and has performed in many leading concert venues, including the Wigmore Hall, St.John's Smith Square, Blackheath Concert Halls, and Windsor Castle, with a concerto series at St.Martin-in-the-Fields. She has performed at various festivals, both in London and around the country including the Covent Garden, Buxton and Petersfield Festivals, and in 2001 performed at the Cheltenham International Festival, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

As a champion of new music, Clare performed the London premiere of John McLeod's 'The Song of Icarus'. She has also performed works by Paul Patterson, Nigel Clarke and Gerard Schurmann (as part of the Schurmann Festival), in the presence of the composers.

As a guest leader of many orchestras, she has led The Philharmonia, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony and Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ulster Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Northern Sinfonia and National Sinfonia.

Clare Howick was a student of Maurice Hasson at the Royal Academy of Music, where she won all the major violin prizes and was awarded the highest accolade for performance. She also studied with Dorothy DeLay, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Zahkar Bron and participated in masterclasses with Ida Haendel, Gerard Poulet and Bela Katona. Clare's outstanding talent has been recognized by winning many other awards including The Worshipful Company of Musicians, The Tillett Trust, the Jellinek Award and the Countess of Munster Trust which also selected her for a nationwide series of concerts under their prestigious Recital Scheme.

Clare performed the Dvorak Violin Concerto with us in March 2006.

Margaret Cameron, Mezzo-Soprano

Margaret Cameron studied at Trinity College, London and the Royal College of Music. On the concert platform she has appeared as a soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir, performing music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Haydn in Britain, Europe and the USA, and recording Vivaldi's Gloria for Phillips. She has also toured Holland with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging in Bach's Mass in B Minor and recorded Rachmaninov's Vespers with Kings College Cambridge for EMI.

Her work on the operatic stage includes Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Marriage of Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera, Dido and Aeneas for the Spitalfields Festival, Magic Flute for English Touring Opera, the title role in La Cenerentola for Camberwell Pocket Opera and an Actor in Judith Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera for Kent Opera.

She has extensive experience in the field of contemporary music, working with groups such as Electric Voice Theatre, Singcircle and the BBC Singers. She has appeared in Andrew Toovey's Ubu with Music Theatre Wales and Orlando Gough's Shouting Fence in Haarlem. She gave the first performance of Ophelia/Ophelia by Andrew Poppy at the Purcell Room and her subsequent recording was featured on Private Passions on Radio 3.

Most recently, she performed The Voice of Desire, a song cycle by Judith Weir in the opening concert of the bmic Cutting Edge series at The Warehouse, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio Three.

Margaret performed A Charm of Lullabies by Benjamin Britten with us in November 2005, together with an encore of Seguidilla from Bizet's Carmen.

Samantha Ward, Piano

Samantha Ward
Samantha Ward
22 year old Samantha made her concerto debut in 2000 as a result of winning the Chetham's concerto auditions, and she has since been offered concerto appearances with several orchestras around the UK. She has given recitals in venues such as Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, St David's Hall, Cardiff and St James Church Piccadilly, London. She has appeared on HTV Wales, S4C and Granada television, as well as on Classic FM Radio and in the Classical Music Magazine in January 2003.

Samantha was a prize winner in the finals of the Texaco Young Musician of Wales Competition and the Oxford Music Festival, and recently, she won both the John Ireland Piano Award at the Guildhall School of Music and the Making Music Award for Young Concert Artists. A review of a concert she gave in St Catherine's College, Oxford University, 2004, said, 'Samantha Ward is a pianist of outstanding quality.'

Samantha performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb, the "Emperor" with us in July 2005.


You can read about composers who have written specially for the Kingston Chamber Orchestra on the Commissions page.

Freddie Meyers

Freddie Meyers
Freddie Meyers
Freddie Meyers is currently in his second year as a music student at St Hilda's College, Oxford. He studies composition with Martyn Harry and Manuel Martinez Burgos and he has had tuition from both Huw Watkins (RAM) and Martin Suckling (York University).

In 2012 Freddie was a winner of the BBC inspire Competition with Three Apparitions, resulting in a performance by the Aurora Orchestra in an early evening Prom and the commissioning of In a Solitude of the Sea for small ensemble by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2015. His song for solo baritone Remember was sung at the Wigmore Hall in 2011 and 2012 and in 2014 he was a finalist in the NCEM Young Composers Award with his setting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Freddie became a composer with the National Youth Orchestra in 2013 who performed Fanfare for Brass Quintet in Belfast and Derry, Gyre at the Sage and the RFH, and Altitudes, for string orchestra, at the Tate Modern. A fully orchestrated version of Gyre was premiered by the Kingston Chamber Orchestra in June 2013.

He premiered his Fantasia for Voiceflute in a recorder recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields in June 2014, and he was commissioned in 2015 to write Quanta for baroque trio of Recorder, Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord. In 2016 Yat-Soon Yeo commissioned Meditation for solo Harpsichord to be performed in his recital series commemorating 400 years since the birth of Froberger. Freddie is currently writing a piece for baroque viola and harpsichord to be premiered at the Holywell Music Room in June.

He has been commissioned twice by the Oxford University Brass Band: The Dragon Curve (2016), and Griffin (2017), and his Sonata for Solo Horn and Piano was premiered by Myrddin Rees Davies and Harry Baker in November 2016. Aside from his composition, Freddie is also a keen conductor, conducting the Oxford University Sinfonietta and his own 18th-century period orchestra that is based at the Jacqueline du Pré concert hall in St Hilda's College.

Mike Bridge

Mike Bridge is a composer, songwriter and producer of TV and computer game music based in Guildford, UK. We were delighted record Mike's new work, the score for a film called "Red Mars", at a special rehearsal on 6 July 2016. Mike gave us this plot summary:

Red Mars starts in 2026 with the first colonial voyage to Mars aboard the Ares, the largest interplanetary spacecraft ever built, and home to a crew who are to be the first hundred Martian colonists. The mission is a joint Russian-American undertaking, and seventy of the First Hundred are drawn from these countries (except, for example, Michel Duval, a French psychologist assigned to observe their behaviour). The book details the trip out, construction of the first settlement on Mars (eventually called Underhill) by Nadia Chernyshevski, as well as establishing colonies on Mars' hollowed out asteroid-moon Phobos, the ever-changing relationships between the colonists, debates among the colonists regarding both the terraforming of the planet and its future relationship to Earth.

The two extreme views on terraforming are personified by Saxifrage "Sax" Russell, who believes their very presence on the planet means some level of terraforming has already begun and that it is humanity's obligation to spread life as it is the most scarce thing in the known universe, and Ann Clayborne, who stakes out the position that humankind does not have the right to change entire planets at their will.

You can find some photos from the recording here.


Jillian Warburton - Guest Leader

Jillian Warburton,guest leader
Jillian Warburton,
guest leader

Jill studied piano, piano accompanying and violin at the Royal Academy of Music and has since led a busy life as a free-lance musician and teacher. She has played as a violinist and violist with many orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and other orchestras, and has been guest leader of many amateur orchestras.

She was appointed leader of the Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra in 1980, and has been the leader of the Lambeth Orchestra since 1985.

She is an enthusiastic chamber music player enjoying the vast repertoire available to string players and is in demand as a piano accompanist for instrumental exams and auditions.

We were delighted to welcome Jill as our Guest Leader for our concert in March 2014, when Helena Ruinard was unavailable.

Charles Knights - Former Leader

Charles Knights
Charles Knights

Charles was our leader up until the summer of 2007. We were sorry to see him go but wish him well in his new venture.

Charles studied the violin at the Royal College of Music followed by six years as a member of the Wurzburg Philharmonic. Returning to London in 1984, he has worked with many of the world's leading conductors and orchestras including the Philharmonia and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. He is in demand as an orchestral leader and has led performances for, amongst others, Sir David Willcocks at the Royal Albert Hall.

In recent years Charles has enjoyed working in the field of music education. Since 1992 he has been string coach with the National Children's Orchestra and is regularly invited to direct the London Schools String Ensemble. In 1993 he was appointed Director of Music at St George's College, Weybridge and it was through this local connection that he was invited in 1997 to join the Kingston Chamber Orchestra as leader.

In 2007 Charles moved on to take on some new musical challenges at the Menuhin Foundation in Bermuda.

Orchestra Committee

The current committee members are as follows.

ChairRichard Elliston
SecretaryCaroline Ditchfield
TreasurerLinda Webber
LibrarianJuliet Edwards
Concert Day ManagerLouisa Sadler
Advertising and PublicityPauline Moore
Musical DirectorAndy Meyers

The KCO webmaster is Nick Rozanski.