Philip Dukes is recognised as one of the world’s leading viola players. In a career that has spanned over 30 years he is an accomplished performer, be it as a concerto soloist, a recitalist or chamber musician.
Dukes made his solo recital debut at London’s Southbank Centre in 1991, a performance in which he was hailed by the London Times as ‘Great Britain’s most outstanding solo viola player’ with The Strad magazine describing it as ‘world class’. As a winner of the coveted ‘European Rising Stars Award’ in 1997 he made his European recital debuts in Vienna, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam in the same year, all to critical acclaim.
Since then Philip has appeared with all the UK major orchestras as a concerto soloist and in addition appeared as a soloist at the BBC Proms on five separate occasions. This included an appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, performing the Triple Concerto by Sir Michael Tippett, a live recording of which is available on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Dukes also gave the world premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra.
As a recording artist Philip has recorded an extensive catalogue of repertoire, most notably for the Deutsche Grammophon, Chandos, Naxos, Bis, Hyperion, and Nimbus recording labels, as well as more diverse collaborations with Eric Clapton, Sir Paul McCartney, Massive Attack, Madonna, Bjork, Bryan Ferry, Nigel Kennedy, Robbie Williams, Oasis and
David Gilmour. Dukes has also enjoyed close musical associations with Yehudi Menuhin, György Kurtág, Daniel Hope, Julian Lloyd Webber, Tasmin Little, Michael Tree, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, the Beaux Arts Piano Trio, Debbie Wiseman and Sir Andrew Davis.
Dukes is also in demand worldwide as a director/conductor/soloist, as well as holding guest teaching positions at London’s Royal Academy of Music and Wells Cathedral School. Mr Dukes is also Artistic Director at Marlborough College, and in 2006 was unanimously elected a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, in recognition of his success as an international viola soloist, with a further award of an Honorary Associate at the Royal Academy of Music made in 2007.
Philip is also Artistic Director of the acclaimed Vaughan Williams Festival, and will also take up a position as Artistic Advisor to the Savannah Music Festival in the USA for 2020. Future engagements for 2019/20 include appearances in London (Southbank Centre and
St John’s Smith Square), the USA (Savannah), Germany (Schleswig-Holstein Festival), Portugal, across the UK, broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, Director/Soloist appearances including the Polish Chamber Orchestra, and the release of the Brahms Viola Sonatas for the Chandos Label with the eminent British pianist John Lill.
Roger Coull studied the violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Trevor Williams and subsequently Frederick Grinke. Always passionate about chamber music, he formed the Coull Quartet as a student under the guidance of Sidney Griller.
The Coull Quartet was appointed quartet-in-residence at the University of Warwick in 1977, and soon established itself as one of Britain’s leading string quartets. The Quartet performs regularly in concerts and radio broadcasts in Britain, Western Europe and the USA and has also toured India, the Far East, Middle East, South America, Australia, China, and more recently Brazil, Berlin, Poland, Iceland and Singapore.
Included in their many critically acclaimed recordings are the complete Schubert Quartets on Upbeat Classics, the complete Mendelssohn Quartets on Hyperion Records (the recommended choice of BBC Radio 3’s Record Review) and a recording of quartets by Walton, Elgar and Bridge which was voted ‘Record of the Year’ by the BBC Music Magazine. The ensemble has a broad repertoire and has retained a strong commitment to contemporary music, commissioning works from eminent British composers such as Robert Simpson, Nicholas Maw and Edward Cowie. One of the Coull Quartet’s recent recordings (Sibelius quartet and piano quintet) was Editor’s choice in the Gramophone magazine. Recently their CD of Alan Ridout’s Six Quartets has been issued on the Omnibus Classics label and in 2019 they recorded piano quintets by Amy Beach and Henrique Oswald for Somm with pianist Clelia Iruzun.
In addition to performing with the Coull Quartet and the Warwick Piano Trio, Roger is versatile musician and also enjoys performing concertos, recitals with piano and conducting orchestras. He was appointed principal conductor of the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra in 2014. He is also a regular guest conductor of the Beauchamp Sinfonietta, the Guernsey Symphony Orchestra, the Helix Ensemble and the Academy of St Thomas in Norwich, amongst others, and has been recently been invited to conduct the Kammermusik Chamber Orchestra on an annual basis in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Roger also has much experience as a teacher and has given many masterclasses internationally. He is a regular guest at Britain’s music colleges as teacher, examiner, and adjudicator and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music for his services to professional music making.
He plays on a violin made in Naples by Nicolo Gagliano which dates from 1761.
In his spare time his hobbies include cycling and photography.
Jonathan studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Atar Arad and Mischa Geller and was awarded all the major prizes for viola. He graduated with distinction in 1983 and was immediately offered a position with the English Chamber Orchestra where he was appointed co-principal viola in 1988. He was sponsored by the ECO Music Society in his London recital debut at the Purcell Room, and he has since regularly played concertos with the orchestra.
As a very versatile artist, Jonathan has managed a varied career and is much in demand as a soloist and chamber musician both in the UK and abroad.
He has subsequently worked with most of the London Orchestras and has guest led the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, London Mozart Players and BBC viola sections.
He has worked with many chamber groups including Capricorn, Divertimenti, Raphael, Gaudier and Primavera ensembles and has given Quartet concerts with William Pleeth, James Galway and Kiri Ta Kanawa.
In 1995 Jonathan left the English Chamber orchestra to join the Allegri String Quartet. After six years with the quartet he returned to the ECO as principal viola.
He is a professor of viola at the Royal College of Music and the Junior Academy of Music.
Viola by: Giovanni and Francesco Grancino c.1680
Combining performing, teaching, examining, writing, mentoring, adjudicating and editing, Jessica has a persuasive portfolio career. Jessica has recorded and toured internationally as a professional violinist and member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Principal 2nd violin of the Orchestra of St. John’s for twenty-five years.
Jessica is passionate about playing and teaching music in a variety of styles and has worked with Madonna, Led Zeppelin, London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Opera House. She has performed in a variety of venues including Carnegie and Wigmore Halls, Sydney and Royal Opera Houses and pop arenas in London and Dubai.
She is a string consultant and examiner for ABRSM and regularly presents seminars including a tour of South East Asia in 2019. Her Best of Grade 1-5 violin books are a series of current and past exam pieces and her series of Violin Studies (in two volumes) are also published by Faber. She has written articles for the Music Teacher magazine including her ‘notes’ on violin repertoire and ‘behind the examiner’s desk’. She is a mentor on ESTA (European String Teacher’s Association) PGCE teaching course.
Coming from a family of innovative string teachers who were the first to start the Suzuki method in Europe, Jessica played in the Cork, Irish and European Youth Orchestras before moving to London to take up a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music where she studied chamber music with the Amadeus String Quartet. She is Head of Strings at Eltham College, London and taught violin and viola at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London for fifteen years. She has been a tutor on National Youth Orchestra Outreach days, works with the Autistic society, regularly plays chamber music and has recently taken up the harp.
Josephine Horder studied in London, Salzburg and Düsseldorf. Her career in chamber music has included many performances at the Wigmore Hall, and the South Bank as well as numerous recordings for radio. She was a founder member of Divertimenti Ensemble and the Schubert Ensemble and was a member of the Adriano String Quartet. Her commercial recordings include several with Divertimenti, most notably the Mendelssohn Octet, and chamber works of Arnold Bax, Brahms and Weber. Her recording of the complete Mozart Flute Quartets for Collins Classics has remained consistently high on the classical ‘charts,’ and was the recommended version on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review. In recent seasons she has played with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the batons of Sir Mark Elder, Sir Roger Norrington and Marin Alsop at the Proms and in Brussels, Warsaw, Glyndebourne and Helsinki. She is a committed and highly respected cello teacher. In 2015 she graduated as a Feldenkrais Method practitioner, teaching weekly public classes in ‘Awareness Through Movement’ in West Hertfordshire. She has held specialist Feldenkrais workshops for musicians, notably for the European String Teachers Association in London, a weekend for musicians at Benslow, and most recently at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Paul Barritt is Permanent Guest Leader of the Hallé Orchestra, having previously held the position of leader of the Northern Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra. His numerous recordings for violin and piano include the complete violin sonatas of Howells, Ireland, Stanford and Schoeck as well as the salon pieces of Albert Sammons (‘The English Kreisler’). During the 2005-6 season he recorded the complete Beethoven violin and piano music with James Lisney, receiving unanimous acclaim. A recording of the Brahms Violin Sonatas on the Woodhouse label was released in 2012 as was a recording of Antony Hopkins’ Partita for solo violin. Paul Barritt and James Lisney have presented cycles of the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas some 20 times, most recently in Holland and Belgium. (The Duo presented the whole cycle in a Beethoven weekend for Tring Chamber Music in 2017). In the Summer of 2014 he gave a series of Brahms’ Sonata masterclasses at the Royal Northern College of Music and toured Scotland with concerts of string sextets and quintets. Recent engagements have included concerts with the Hallé at the Proms and Edinburgh Festival. Future concerts include an appearance as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending with the Hallé Orchestra as well as many concerts of chamber music including a special commissioned string quintet from Sally Beamish.
Stephanie Waite, began playing the violin at the age of two and then studied in the Junior department at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Later, while reading English Literature at Cambridge University she studied violin with Levon Chilingirian. After a gap of several years, during which she ran arts and music projects for prison inmates, she returned to her playing, studying intensively with Diana Cummings. Now she enjoys a diverse career performing in many orchestras and string ensembles, and teaching a small but cherished group of students.