Orlando Jopling enjoyed a varied career as a cellist, giving hundreds of solo and chamber music recitals between performing as part of the LSO, Philharmonia, LPO and BBCSO with the greatest living conductors including Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis.
Orlando’s conducting career has recently overtaken his cello work. He has guest-conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, the RPO, the London Mozart Players, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva as well as over twenty amateur orchestras. He has a particular passion for opera, having conducted over 30 opera productions and co-founded two companies – the contemporary opera specialist Tête à Tête, and the summer festival Stanley Hall Opera, conducting Falstaff, Così fan tutte, Figaro, Don Pasquale and Cenerentola.
He is now artistic director of the 140-year-old Royal Orchestral Society, one of the UK’s most accomplished and ambitious amateur orchestras, and of Roman River Music, an international quality arts festival based in coastal Essex, whose concerts are regularly broadcast on Radio 3.
John Crawford has had extensive experience as a performer, teacher and adjudicator. After holding a Foundation scholarship at the RCM he studied further in Vienna before joining the BBC Symphony orchestra. A growing interest in teaching gradually took over, and as well as holding a position at TrinityLaban conservatory he spent many years also at the RCM Junior Department and the Purcell school. John is also a qualified Alexander technique teacher, and works extensively on freedom of movement for string players. He leads the Forest Philharmonic, Ernest Read and Camden Symphony orchestras.
Diana is one of the most distinguished violinists in Great Britain, her career spanning a wide spectrum of musical activities. Born in London, she studied with David Martin at the Academy, with Remy Principe in Rome and Louis Persinger in New York . After winning prizes in the International Competition ‘Nicolò Paganini’ and the International Violin Competition ‘A. Curci’, she developed a busy international solo career as a recitalist and concerto soloist, playing an extensive repertoire from the Baroque to the Contemporary. She gave the first performance in Finland of the Violin Concerto by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and is dedicated to the promotion and performance of new works.
As leader of the Cummings String Trio and the English String Quartet Diana has performed widely both nationally and internationally. The English String Quartet was also the resident ensemble of the London Festival of Chamber Music, a month-long event which during the course of thirteen consecutive years (1995–2007) gave over 200 concerts, bringing an extensive repertoire of both familiar and rarely heard works to audiences London-wide.
Orchestrally, Diana has guest-led the London Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic, the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Halle Orchestra, and has played with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra. With the London Bach Orchestra she performed several times the complete concerto repertoire of Bach at London’s South Bank, and she was leader and soloist of the Northern Chamber Orchestra.
In all these capacities Diana has broadcast frequently, and has made many recordings for major labels.
Diana is a Fellow and professor at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is also the specialist for the LRAM Teaching Diploma. She is also a professor at TrinityLaban Conservatoire for Music and Dance. She is violin coach of the National Youth String Orchestra. She is frequently invited to give masterclasses and workshops, and to participate as adjudicator and jury member at competitions and festivals both nationally and internationally.
Liz Partridge began her musical education as a junior at the Royal Academy of Music, and subsequently went to Trinity College of Music on a scholarship, where she studied both the violin and the piano. Whilst at college she co-founded the Court String quartet and still thrives on playing chamber music whenever possible.
Positions in the BBC concert orchestra and ENO were followed by ten years at the Royal Opera House as a sub-principal first violin, where she had the privilege of working with such luminaries of the conducting world as Bernard Haitink, Georg Solti and Carlos Kleiber and listening to Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. For some years now she has been a freelance musician, working mainly in London and around the world, with the major orchestras, in west end shows and in recording studios.
Recent solo recordings have included work with the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and recordings of the last two Trinity College violin exam syllabi, and for whom she helped choose the violin grade Initial – 8 pieces, and is also an examiner. She is currently working with Boosey and Hawkes, contributing to their string education music and has commissioned and edited a recently published series of new string quartets (4 Strings) for children and adult learners.
She has led many orchestras during her freelance career and directed chamber groups from the violin. Teaching features highly in her portfolio. She has taught all age pupils, from beginner to post graduate level both privately and at Junior Trinity Laban. She has an evening class position coaching and leading the second violins (and sometimes the orchestra) with the Forest Philharmonic Orchestra. She has contributed presentations and seminars to members of ESTA and currently sits on council for the ISM.
Ian studied cello with Elizabeth Braddock, Joseph Koos, Florence Hooton, Colin Walker and Donald Mcall. At Trinity College of Music London he won the Sonata, Louise Bande and Sir John Barbirolli prizes for cello. Following membership of the BBC Concert Orchestra he joined the Rasumovsky String Quartet, coached at and became Assistant Director of Pro Corda (The National Association for Young Chamber Music Players).
Ian is a music education consultant to the London Chamber Orchestra, continues to perform, teach and coach, and is a string coach and principal cellist of the Forest Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hilary Sturt studied the violin with Sheila Nelson, David Takeno, and Felix Andrievsky, graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal College of Music with solo, chamber and contemporary music prizes. As a violinist and violist she performed and recorded worldwide with Ensemble Modern for 20 years, including notable projects with Frank Zappa, Peter Eotvos and Pierre Boulez. She has been guest leader of many British ensembles and chamber orchestras, a member of the Rasumovsky Quartet and Apartment House, winners of the Philharmonic Society Award for the Most Outstanding Chamber Music in 2011. Hilary is much in demand as a teacher, adjudicator, conductor and sits on many audition and interview panels throughout the UK. She is Head of Strings at St Paul’s Girls’ School, Professor at the Royal College of Music, a Diploma examiner for the Associated Board and an examiner for AQA exam board. Hilary recorded the new violin syllabus Grades 1-4 for the ABRSM in 2015 and is completing an MA at the Institute of Education. A delightfully misbehaved rescue dog and her husband’s home-made bread keep her grounded.