Kwêsi Edman
Head of Performance, Advanced & Alpine Courses
Kwesi Edman graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied with David Strange and Philip Sheppard. Since leaving the Academy his career has branched out to include other art forms such as the spoken word, dance and artists. He performs regularly across the world as a soloist, chamber musician, pop musician and conductor and has collaborated with players from the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-fields, Southbank Sinfonia, the Royal Opera Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has worked alongside artists such as Shirley Bassey, Damon Albarn and Elton John and even played on a bus next to David Beckham at the Beijing Olympics. Kwesi founded Chamber Academy Orchestra in 2007 of which he is the principal conductor. He is head of the Performance, Advanced and Alpine courses at Oxford Cello School and teaches privately in North London, closely monitored by his elderly cat Cindy.

 

Paul Cox
Head of Adult Performance & Adult Improvers' Courses
Paul first studied cello with Myra Chahin and Janet Tinbergen, and participated in master classes with Harro Ruijsenaas. He read Music at the University of East Anglia where, as part of the performers' course, he was able to further his cello studies in London with Christopher Bunting. After graduating, he was awarded a scholarship to Reading University, enabling him to complete a Master of Music degree in Performance Studies. Since then, he has given numerous concerto and recital performances and played in a wide variety of chamber groups. He has broadcast on the BBC, Independent Radio Network and Swiss Radio. He has recently recorded the works for cello and piano by Bortkiewicz. He is now Head of Strings at University of Southampton and is String Editor and Tutor for the Music Teaching in Professional Practice Course developed by Reading University and the Incorporated Society of Musicians. This is part of the International Centre for Research in Music Education. He is involved in conducting and has a particular interest in youth orchestra activities. In 1997 he set up the Eureka! Foundation and is now its Chairman. The Foundation provides an original way of supporting instrumental teaching and also promotes concerts and raises money for community groups. Recently, he was soloist in a performance of the Triple Concerto by Beethoven with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and, as cellist in the Franke Piano Quintet, he played in a major series of concerts at St John's Smith Square, London - a series which included the world premiere of the Quintet by Eduard Lalo. The Franke Quintet is currently in preparation to record three quintets by Boccherini.

 

Elizabeth Parkin 
Head of Intermediate Course
Elizabeth first started learning the cello with Angela East and later with Rhuna Martin and Joan Dickson at the Purcell School where she was awarded a scholarship. She now divides her time between teaching around Oxfordshire, particularly for Oxfordshire Music Service, and performing. She has worked at Oxford Cello School since 1999.



 

Erin James
Head of Junior Course
Erin is a cellist, teacher and musicianship trainer. She was awarded an Associate Performance Diploma with London College of Music at the age of 17, after studying for 5 years with Anne Christine Smith from the Halle Orchestra. Erin then went on to study cello at Birmingham Conservatoire with Jill Heartfield & Catherine Ardagh-Walter of the CBSO, graduating in 2001. During her studies at the conservatoire, she was part of the Folk, Andean & Medieval music groups and even took Medieval Harp as her 2nd study instrument! As part of this wide & varied background, Erin performed in the guitar & cello duo 'Strings Attached' and the Folk-Pop band 'Banska', for many years. Erin recorded with several local artists & bands, and 'Banska' released 3 albums between 2002-07. Since 2009 life has been a balance between music and family. She now has two young children who themselves now play the cello and lever harp. Erin now plays with a local orchestra called 'Asklepios'. Erin is a cello teacher for Birmingham Music Service and organises regular concerts of her own pupils and runs a cello ensemble once a year which has included harp, double bass, keyboard and even bass guitar. Erin is a qualified Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher and has also studied Kodaly and Dalcroze Eurythmics. She previously worked for the Midlands Arts Centre with 6 months to 7 year olds in the Colourstrings Musicainship training programme. Classes included: listening, singing, percussion, dance, movement & musical games. More recently she has adapted these skills to teach in Sunday Club (ages 2.5-5) and run preschool christian activity sessions teaching Bible stories through music, singing, dance, puppets and craft. Erin has run Dalcroze sessions and taught on the Junior Course at OCS since 2005 and been the Head of the Course since 2008.
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Elizabeth Ha
rré
Head of Double Bass Courses

Elizabeth studied at the Royal Academy of Music and was taught by RodneySlatford. She is a successful freelance teacher and player having performed in Europe, the USA and Australia. She currently teaches at several independent schools including Radley College.
 

 
 

Claire Babington
Since leaving the Royal Northern College of Music, Claire has had a busy and varied career as a freelance cellist working with the Hallé, Manchester Camerata and Liverpool Philharmonic. Her enthusiasm for contemporary music in particular has resulted in the participation of premiers all around the North West and London. As a member of electric string quartet Litmus she has performed at a huge variety of concerts and functions in Manchester, London, Cannes and Brussels. As a baroque cellist Claire has combined solo performance with playing continuo for a wide range of vocal and instrumental repertoire. In demand as a continuo cellist she has worked on operas by Handel, Monteverdi and Rameau in Norfolk for the York Trust as well as Purcell's Fairy Queen and Dido and Aneas in Snape, Suffolk, the Lak e District and The Lowry in Manchester. As well as many historically - informed performances of Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion as well as Handel's Messiah, Claire has also played in continuo workshops with Mark Padmore as part of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's St John Passion project at Snape Maltings. She has recently completed an MA at Manchester University, researching the sources and inspiration behind modern day continuo cellist's performance practices. As well as giving continuo coaching and workshops at Manchester and Liverpool University and Oxford Cello School, Claire has recently performed two Vivaldi Cello Concertos with the Manchester University Baroque Orchestra. She also gave a recital of early Italian cello sonatas by Lanzetti, Caporale and Bononcinci, as a result of extra research on cellist/composers resident in London at the beginning of the 18th century. Other recent baroque performances include Bach's Solo Suite in G as part of a recital given at the Town Hall in Dewsbury and Bach's B minor Mass in Glasgow and Acis and Galatea in Tel Aviv with the Dunedin Consort. Claire plays on a modern copy of an early Stradivarius model.

 

Matthew Forbes
Matthew Forbes studied at the Royal Academy of Music and has since become a versatile and sought-after musician in many areas. He plays regularly with some of the UK's most prestigious ensembles including the Royal Opera House, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC orchestras in London. He has been a soloist and chamber musician with many groups and has travelled extensively throughout Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and the Far East, as well as his work as a concert and recording artist in the UK. He also works as a composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, folk musician and jazz pianist. He led the 2015 schools composition programme for the London Symphony Orchestra, wrote a piece for 23 pianos for Loughborough Endowed Schools and a children's opera for the Birmingham Hippodrome as well as many pieces and arrangements for this course. His ceilidh band is a regular feature here and his annual junk-instrument samba band is not to be missed!

 

Katy Cox
Katy has performed extensively as an orchestral and chamber musician both in the UK and abroad. She has worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras .As a chamber musician, she has performed as guest cellist with the Badke and Pavao String Quartets and performs regularly with the Belmont Ensemble of London in St Martin In The Fields. Katy has recorded for many major labels and has performed both live in concert and on television with internationally renowned artists including Michael Bublé, Sir Elton John, Take That, Alison Moyet and Bryan Ferry. Katy teaches the cello at Bedales School and at St Benedict's School in Ealing. She studied as scholar with Josephine Knight and David Strange at the Royal Academy of Music and graduated with distinction in 2004. She studied for a period in the Hochschule Fur Musik Und Theater in Leipzig with Christian Giger. Katy lives in Berkshire with her husband and two young sons.

 

David Kadumukasa
David has studied the cello since the age of six. His post-school studies took him to the University of Manchester where studying under Bernard Gregor- Smith, of The Lindsay String Quartet, he performed Andrejz Panufnik cello concerto. After graduation David was offered a Leverhulme scholarship and a Countess of Munster award to undertake performance postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music where he studied with Leonid Gorokhov. Since completing his studies David has freelanced with a number of professional orchestras including Royal Philharmonic orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and London Musici freelance orchestra. David has also recently appeared as soloist in a performance of Dvorak cello concerto.

 

Tim Smedley
Tim studied at Chetham's School of Music with Peter Worrall and at the Royal Northern College of Music with Hannah Roberts. After being awarded his degree, he chose to continue his studies with Hannah for a further year and was later awarded a distinction in his PostGraduate Diploma. Whilst at college he was awarded places on access schemes with the Halle, BBC Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works regularly as a cellist with orchestras such as the Halle, Manchester Camerata (including as a gues t principal) and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Upon leaving college, he was awarded the Amy Lindley Cello Prize, the Pilsner Bach Prize, a Career Development scholarship from the Friends of the RNCM and was chosen to give a recital in the RNCM's Young Artist Series. During his time at the RNCM, Tim developed an interest in the Baroque cello and he now combines both instruments professionally by working groups such as The King's Consort, the English Concert, English Touring Opera, the Early Opera Company, Independent Opera and the Classical Opera Company on period instruments. He frequently works as a continuo opera cellist, with recent productions including Handel's Alcina, Tolomeo, Orlando, Aces & Galatea and Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with musical directors such as Gary Cooper, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn and Peter Seymour. He is also involved in a cycle of Mozart's complete operas with the Classical Opera Company. Tim's concerto appearances include a performance of Haydn's D Major Concerto with the members of Manchester Camerata and two further performances with the Manchester Chamber Orhcestra. He has also performed concertos by Schumann and Vivaldi and frequently gives recitals around the Northwest of England including regular performances for Chester Music Society. Tim's teaching commitments include the Oxford Cello School at Junior RNCM in Manchester. 

 

Helen Downham 
Helen began to play the 'cello at the age of eight with Doreen Cresswell. She subsequently went on to study with Catherine Ardagh-Walter of the CBSO and Bernard Gregor-Smith of the Lindsay String Quartet at the University of Manchester. Upon graduating in 2002, she received a Proctor-Gregg Performance Prize from the University. Following this, Helen gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance studying with Hannah Roberts at the Royal Northern College of Music. Helen has performed several concerti including the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Celli, and Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme. Other concerto performances include Haydn's Cello Concerto in D major with the Orchestra of the Swan and the Bridge Ensemble and most recently, Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No.1 with the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Helen is a founding member of the Rivoli String Quartet which was formed in 1999 at the University of Manchester. Whilst continuing their studies at the RNCM they won prizes in several competitions. They were finalists in the 2006 Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Competition and won the Prix Ravel at the Academie Internationale de Musique, Maurice Ravel in September 2006. The quartet is a regular participant at IMS Prussia Cove and they are currently completing a Masters degree in String Quartet Performance at Sheffield University with Peter Cropper. Concerts this season have included performances with the Quatuor Danel and with Predrag Katanic of the Stadler Quartett as well as a recital at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, London. They are also regular recording artists for the Dartington Summer School Film Composition Course. Helen is currently pursuing a career that includes both chamber and orchestral playing as well as instrumental teaching. This includes teaching for the Oxford Cello School, coaching the Nottingham Youth Orchestra cello section and coaching chamber music ensembles on various residential courses.

 

Frédérique Legrand
Having started playing the piano at the age of 3, Frederique went on to complete her diploma at the Valenciennes Conservatoire, to obtain Bachelor of Music Degree from the Royal College of Music, under the instruction of Alexander Boyarsky, and in 2009, to finish her Masters Degree at the Royal College, studying with Thomas Carroll. During the last three consecutive years at College she was nominated as an RCM 'Rising Star', in addition to which she has been selected as the Mills Williams junior fellow and in 2012 finished her Artist Diploma. She also received the Benevolent Fund award for solo postgraduate in 2011. Frederique was a member of the Hera Quartet (Proms 2010, Wigmore Hall, Elgar Room, South Bank) and plays in severalorchestras and chamber music ensembles. In addition she works, composes and plays regularly with bands such as "Outside Royalty" (Rolling stones magazine, Sony "Pop law" distribution), Young Knives, Stephane Corbin, Kaleida, Evelina de Lain, playing keyboard and electric cello for recordings and at festivals such as Glastonbury, V festival, Channel 4, BBC 3, Cranberries Tour 2010 etc. In 2009, she was invited to work with Maestro Lorin Maazel at his Castleton festival in America and had been invited back again. She also started to perform since July 2013 for the New Virtuosi, led by Ani Schnarch and Itzhak Rashkovsky. In 2013, she also became first cello leader of the Orpheus Sinfonia and the Live Film Orchestra. Frederique has developed an early interest in teaching, leading classes and teaching privately since the age of 13; she is the Deputy cello teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School since  2012. 

 

Chris Doggett
Chris graduated in music from King's College, Cambridge in 2002. Since then he has further pursued his cello studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire where he won a place on the CBSO scheme and came 2nd in the Sylvia Cleaver chamber music prize. He has studied with John Todd and more recently Natalia Pavlutskaya. He now teaches for Luton Borough Council and directs the Beechwood Saturday Morning School.



 

Peteris Sokolovskis
Peteris Sokolovskis was born into a musical family in Novokuznetsk, Russia and he took up the Cello at the age of 6 with teacher Lija Sudraba in Riga, Latvia. In his time in Latvia he won various competitions including the national competiton 'Talent Latvia'. Through auditions Peteris was selected to play in Riga's M. Rostropovich festival youth ensemble. In that festival they were conducted by Rostropovich. In 2002 Peteris took 3rd place, the Audience Prize and the best interpretation of the compulsory piece in Tallin international competition 'Young Musician', in the final he played with the Tallin Chamber Orchestra. In 2003 Peteris received a place with a full scholarship at the Purcell School of Music where he studied 'cello with Prof. Alexander Boyarsky. In his time at the school Peteris played in the Wigmore Hall as a chamber musician several times and also played the Debussy Cello Sonata there. Through Auditions for the MBF String Award Peteris received the Geoffrey Shaw Scholarship. And he also received the Young Cellist Award from the Pierre Fournier foundation. Peteris Currently studies at the Royal College of Music with a foundation scholarship and also a Henry Wood Trust Award. His teacher is A. Boyarsky. Peteris has participated in masterclass with Bernard Greenhouse, Louise Hopkins and Robert Cohen. In 2010 he performed H. Villa-Lobos's 'Jet Whistle' with his sister Renate Sokolovska at the Royal Festival Hall. In 2011 he won the RCM Cello Competition and was awarded a Martin Musical Scholarship Award through competitive auditions and he was also selected to be part of the RCM Rising Stars concert series at the Cadogan Hall. Peteris is an active chamber musician and performs many contemporary pieces composed by his colleagues. He has been a member of teaching staff at the Oxford Cello School from 2009 and has been teaching privately from the age of 15.

 

Arthur Boutillier
Born in Paris, Arthur discover music with the cello from the age of 5 under the guidance of Erwan Faure at the Schola Cantorum where he obtained the highest distinctions. He was then taught by Marc Coppey and Phillipe Muller between 2007 and 2010. After one year in cellist Francois Salque's class, he moved to London to study with Helene Dautry at the Royal College of Music and then became a scholar student of Louise Hopkins at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama thanks to the generous support of the Guildhall Trust. He is the recipiant of the Marjorie and Dorothy Whyte Memorial Fund and a Fellow. He took part in master classes with cellist Gary Hoffman, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Gauthier Capuçon and Pieter Wispelwey. Arthur is often performing in London but also in Europe. He played in the City of London Festival, Handel Festival, Southrepps Festival, Aurora Festival in Sweden, Lausanne Estival in Switzerland. He was a member of the european chamber music programme ProQuartet. In 2013, he performed the End of time quartet by Messiaen at the Cadogan Hall as part of the Rising star Series. Recently, as a soloist he performed Schumann's cello concerto and Tchaikovsky's Rococo variation with the Croydon Symphony Orchestra, Elgar's cello concerto with the Guildford Symphony Orchestra and Dvorak's cello concerto with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra as part of the LSO Donatella Flick conducting competition. Arthur was a member of Southbank Sinfonia as principal cello. He performed in all major venues in London such as the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall or the Royal Opera House under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy or Paul Daniel. During 2015, he performed with the LSO as part of the string scheme experience and with the Bornemouth Symphony Orchestra. He is now sub-principal cello of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He was a member of the Lausanne Camerata led by violin player Pierre Amoyal and a current member of the London based unconducted Camerata Alma Viva led by Charlotte Maclet. He collaborated with composers such as Philippe Hersant , John Joubert , Pierre Jalbert , Marcello Panni, Sally Beamish and more recently with Georges Fenton and the National Theatre in 2012 for Untold Stories, a play written by Alan Bennet. He also premiered at the Royal Opera House 4X4 Ephemeral Architectures, a show in partnership with Gandini Juggling, the Royal Ballet of London, the Camerata Alma Viva and the composer Nimrod Borenstein. Arthur Has been a member of teaching staff at Oxford Cello School since 2014

 

Mike Nowland
Mike is currently making a living from music after finishing a performance degree at Birmingham Conservatoire, studying cello under John Todd (former member of the
Coull Quartet). Although classical music is a major part of his life, Mike is also involved with a progressive rock band, The Chinese Burn Society. Together, they create original music and play at venues around the Midlands, and hope to make an impact in the London area. As well as performing on regular occasions, they have been hard at work on releasing an ep for loyal fans, which will be available on iTunes. In recent times Mike has performed in London with up and coming Tamanda Walker, The Bays, and also Miles Hunt (Lead singer of the Wonderstuff) at Birmingham's Town Hall. Other work includes being part of the recent West Side Story tour for The Ambassador Theatre Group, South Pacific tour for Lincoln Center Theater Productions, Alfie Boe Tour 2012; Callabro Tour 2015/2016 and performing with The Armonico Consort. Other ensembles include, Signature String Quartet; The New English Chamber Orchestra; The Heart of England Chamber Orchestra; and Queen's Park Sinfonia.