top of page

The Orchestra

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

jack ridley conductor

Jack Ridley

Conductor

The son of two actors, it was perhaps inevitable that Jack’s musical sensibilities would tend towards the dramatic. After making his Glyndebourne debut while still a conducting student in Vienna, Jack has worked regularly at many of the UK opera houses and festivals, including Garsington, ETO, WNO and Scottish Opera; as well as for Neue Oper Wien, Drottningholm Slottsteater and Nederlandse Reisopera in Europe.
 

Having trained as a primary school teacher during the pandemic, Jack is passionate about working with young people in particular, and an advocate for the role that music has to play in education and wider society in general. One recent performance, a concert realisation of an artwork with a range of collaborators from across the world and all walks of life, has been nominated for the Turner Prize. Another, at the Hay Literary Festival, based on a children’s book, and involving puppetry and multimedia, speaks to Jack’s keenness to push the boundaries between different genres and art forms.
 

His first love being the piano, Jack is in demand as an accompanist, vocal coach and MD, and was a finalist of the inaugural Hans-von-Bülow Klavierwettbewerb in Meiningen, conducting Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in C minor from the keyboard with the Meininger Hofkapelle.

felicity cliffe conductor

Felicity Cliffe

Conductor

Felicity Cliffe is a freelance conductor who studied at Royal Northern College of Music with Mark Heron and Clark Rundell.  


Before her recent move to Manchester, she held positions with the Hayes Symphony Orchestra and Beckenham Concert Band and is currently, assistant conductor to Philip Mackenzie at the Amadeus Academy and with the Mozart Symphony Orchestra, who she has conducted in performance. 


Highlights of her freelance portfolio include being Musical Director of the new opera, ‘Minutes to Midnight’ by John Sturt and Sophia Chapadjiev, as part of the Tête-á-Tête Festival in London and taking up the role of assistant conductor to Olivia Clarke with the Southbank Sinfonia, working on a programme of works by British composers. 


She has participated in masterclasses with Denise Ham, Colin Metters, Dominic Grier, Richard Farnes, Alice Farnham, Sian Edwards and Richard Hetherington and Paul Wynne Griffiths at the Royal Opera House. 


Last year Felicity ran a concert series in Islington under the name of ‘The Orchestra of St. Clement’s’ which focused on core repertoire and provided free concerts for the local community.

jessica meakin concert master violinist

Jessica Meakin

Concert Master

Jessica Meakin is recognised as a dynamic, versatile, and sought-after young artist. Her versatility as a performer has seen her in orchestral, chamber, session, and musical theatre settings, bringing exceptional poise and musicality to every performance. She a graduate of the Royal College of Music studying her Masters degree with Sasha Rozhdestvensky and previously graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying with Bartosz Woroch.

Prior to this, she spent two years studying privately in Madrid with renowned pedagogue Sergey Fatkulin, ex-assistant of Zakhar Bron, travelling there every month for lessons. During this period, she was also regularly invited to perform in the Llanes Music Festival in North-West Spain. 

 

As a passionate orchestral musician, Jessica is delighted to be the leader of the Cinematic Orchestra of London and she regularly co-leads the Fidelio Orchestra. Throughout her studies she frequently performed with RCM Symphony & Philharmonic Orchestras and GSMD Symphony & Chamber Orchestras under world-renowned conductors. Jessica led the Cumbria Opera Group’s 2023 production of Don Giovanni. Additionally, she has both led and co-led the RCM’s productions of Orpheus in the Underworld and Hansel and Gretel under Michael Rosewell. An experienced pit musician, Jessica has performed with multiple Musical Theatre groups, as well as recording first violin for the original cast soundtrack for a new musical ‘Between’.

 

A devoted chamber musician, Jessica has performed as a guest with Quartet Draig as Young Artists of the Cowbridge Music Festival and performs alongside 97 Ensemble, an ensemble dedicated to championing works by underrepresented composers. During her time at the RCM, she led the New Perspectives Orchestra conducted by Gabriella Techenné, performing chamber works such as Six tempi for 10 Instruments by Elisabeth Lutyens and Januaries by Lisa Illean. Jessica attended the Maiastra Chamber Course (2022) where she performed as part of the Maiastra Piano Quintet alongside Bartosz Woroch. She was also a founding member of The De Kooning Ensemble, recipients of the Guildhall School’s Ivan Sutton Prize

2021.

 

Jessica is passionate about outreach and is committed to music education. Alongside being a Violin Mentor and a regular member of Social Staff and with the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, she has delivered workshops to children in multiple London primary schools throughout her studies. She has also coached students at Bryanston School, Trull Primary School and CYM Taunton with The De Kooning Ensemble. Additionally, Jessica is the violin teacher at the Langley Hall Music Academy in Slough.

 

Jessica plays on a Bernadel violin dated 1844.

olivia danielewicz orchestra violinist

Olivia Danielewicz

Violin

Olivia is an award-winning classical and session violinist based in London. Since 

a very young age, she has been performing across the globe as a soloist,

chamber musician and improviser. She won her first violin competition at the

age of 7 and made her solo debut with orchestra at the age of 10.

 

Olivia graduated with First Class Honours from Guildhall School of Music and

Drama in London, where she has been trained to the highest level of classical

musicianship. Thanks to her extraordinary skills, she received a prestigious

Concert Recital Diploma award for exceptional Final Recital performance.

To ensure that her technique and musicality are of the highest standard, Olivia

regularly gives recitals and works with various chamber groups. Before moving to London, Olivia was a concertmaster of CoOperate Orchestra – a film music orchestra performing across Poland.

As a session musician, she has worked with numerous high-profile artists

including  Graham Norton,  Maksim Mrvica, Cat Burns, Freya Ridings, Tom Walker, Gentleman and Revolution Band and music producer Neil Tucker. Her dexterity has taken her all around the world, most recently to Qatar to perform at the World Cup 2022, where she shared a stage with artists including Calvin Harris, Diplo and Sean Paul. In 2021 she was invited to perform for Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, at F1 Grand Prix in Jeddah. Olivia regularly plays at high-end private venues in the UK and she recently performed for Beyonce, Jay-Z, Gordon Ramsey and Sarah Ferguson.

abi brewster violist

Abi Brewster

Viola

Abi is a freelance violist and violinist, who performs across the country and worldwide. Regular performing work includes as part of orchestras and string quartets, function work and recording. Abi’s performing includes under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, John Wilson, Marin Alsop and Gustavo Dudamel, and at many major venues across the UK including at the Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms.


Abi is also an experienced teacher of both viola and violin and ensemble coaching. She completed her Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, learning with Jim Sleigh and Juan-Miguel Hernandez, and her BMus (Hons) degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where, as a scholarship holder, she studied with Matthew Jones.

catarina de silva concert violist

Catarina De Silva

Viola

Born in Lisbon, Catarina finished her Professional Diploma degree at the Royal Academy of Music in 2018 under the guidance of prof. Hélène Clement. During her studies in the UK, Portugal (Undergraduate degree, at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa with prof. Pedro Muñoz), and Spain (Master's degree in orchestral studies at Centro Superior de Música del Pais Vasco, San Sebastian, under the guidance of profs. Natalia Tchitch and David Quiggle) Catarina joined several
professional orchestras such as Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa, Euskadiko Sinfonikoa Orkestra, Bilbao Sinfonikoa Orkestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BBC NOW, London Sinfonietta, British Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, playing in major concert halls in Europe and UK.


Catarina has been a part of well-known Chamber Music Festivals such as Classical Logroño sharing the stage with the violinist Tatiana Samouil, Classical Summer 2016 when she was awarded 2nd prize winner in viola by Gerard Caussé, Virtuoso Belcanto 2019 working closely with Lars Tomter and Bruno Guiranna, Aurora Music Festival 2019 working with Alexander Zemtov.


Since 2014, has performed solo, being accompanied by the Orquestra Sinfónica da ESML (Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa), Orquestra Sinfónica Juvenil (Lisbon), and with the String Camerata Gareguin Aroutiounian (Lisbon).
Since 2019, Catarina shares her passion for performing with her love for teaching. Catarina has been exploring instrument music teaching in various ways: one-to-one private lessons, ensemble teaching, and group Violin/Viola teaching. Currently, Catarina teaches Viola and Violin at the Nucleo Project and Viola, Violin, and Piano at the Whitefield School.

wallis power cellist

Wallis Power

Cello

Wallis enjoys a varied career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber player. A graduate of Cambridge University and The Royal College of Music, she regularly plays with The Philharmonia, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, English National Opera, amongst others.

 

She is a founding member of The Farrenc Trio and Brompton String Quartet. Her Quartet have performed at venues such as The Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and St Martin-in-the-Fields and were recently Quartet-in-residence at The Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival. Last Spring, Wallis made her Concerto debut at the Endellion Festival with Errollyn Wallen’s Cello Concerto.

pam pecko smith flautist

Pam Pecko-Smith

Flute

Pam Pecko Smith is a London-based freelance flutist performing within an eclectic range of ensembles. She is a member of the London Touring Orchestra, and The Lodore Trio (founded 2011) with whom she has recorded two albums.  Also a vocalist, Pam sings with her vintage jazz band Honeysuckle Jazz. 

A native of the USA, Pam earned a Bachelor of Music with Honours at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, followed by five years of intensive graduate studies at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, Hungary.  Her main mentors and professors were Adeline Tomasone and the late Seán Deibler (Philadelphia);  István Matuz and Ferenc Rados (Budapest).  

Since relocating to London in 2008, Pam has performed widely throughout the UK and abroad in varied genres spanning orchestral, chamber music, folk music, film music, world music, and jazz.  Venues include St. John's Smith Square, LSO St. Luke's, Jazz Cafe POSK, Berkhamsted Jazz Club, Brangwyn Hall, Ely Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral, the Sheldonian Theatre, Guildford Cathedral, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, to name a few.  Festivals in the UK and abroad include the Wireless Festival, Henley Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. 

A dedicated teacher of performing ensembles, Pam has served on music faculties in private and international schools in Hungary, Portugal, the US, England, Kenya, Turkey, and Poland.  

francesca cox oboe player

Francesca Cox 

Oboe

Francesca received a scholarship to study on the Orchestral Artistry Course at Guildhall, where she completed her studies with a Distinction. 

 

For her BMus, she studied with scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. Francesca is a founding member of Ensemble Renard, who are current Stoller Hall Emerging Artists and Munster Recital Scheme awardees.

 

She is also a member of Meliora Collective, a ‘pocket orchestra’ dectet. Francesca has played with many orchestras, including most recently Opera North, English Touring Opera and Orchestra for the Earth.

 

She is also on the extras list for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Cymru.

joseph skypala trumpet player

Joseph Skypala

Trumpet

Having recently graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the Royal Academy of Music, trumpeter Joseph Skypala is beginning a busy freelance career in London and across the UK. A keen orchestral trumpet player, Joseph is currently a member of the 2022-23 Southbank Sinfonia Fellowship and has freelanced with many of the UK’s top orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC concert orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. 

 

As well as orchestral playing, Joseph enjoys all the aspects and styles playing the trumpet has to offer, one area has been playing in Opera productions such as working with the English National opera and schemes with the Royal Opera House as well as musical theatre productions and pop orchestras. 

 

Solo and chamber work is a major part of Joseph’s day to day schedule, having given world premieres of 2 works in the last year and being a founding member of Natrio, a natural trumpet group regularly performing recitals in London as well as being a member of the European Brass Ensemble. He is looking forward to what the future holds with his career and looks forward to working with the Cinematic Orchestra of London. 

James Owen trombone player.png

James Owen

Trombone

James began playing the trombone at the age of 10,  and progressed his way into the Surrey Arts music service before moving onto study at the Royal Academy of Music.

 

While at the academy he had numerous performance opportunities with the academy symphony orchestra and was also a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester which included performances in the Salzburg Festival.

 

On top of this, James is beginning to freelance with a number of professional orchestras in the UK, such as the Ulster Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the English National Opera. 

horn.jpg

Alex Ross

Horn

Alec Ross is a London-based horn player, originally from Glasgow. A recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Alec has established a wealth of orchestral and chamber playing experience, performing in prominent concert venues around the UK and in Europe.

 

He has worked with a number of the UK's leading symphony orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Previously, he regularly featured as the Principal Horn of the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, in which he performed under the baton of numerous world-renowned conductors. He is a passionate chamber musician, with experience playing in a variety of wind and brass ensembles, ranging from quintets to dectets, and recently collaborated with the Asaka String Quartet.

As well as performing, Alec is strongly invested in education work, carrying this out through projects with Ormonde Ensemble and individual instrumental tuition. Alec completed his undergraduate degree in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Birmingham, before going on to postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where he earned an MA in Performance with Distinction.

peter rayner percussion

Peter Rayner

Percussion

Peter is a freelance drummer and percussionist trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As a young percussionist, Peter attended Junior Guildhall, where he was awarded the Jam Percussion prize. Peter was also a percussion category finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012 and a finalist in Mike Dolbear's Young Drummer of the Year 2013. 

 

Peter is a versatile drummer and percussionist who can be found in various settings, from symphony orchestras to jazz, pit and function bands. His notable recent work has been touring internationally with pianist Maksim Mrvica  - the world’s biggest-selling crossover pianist. Peter also enjoys exploring music and percussion from around the world and is a member of the Happy Beigel Klezmer Orkester, performing traditional klezmer music with jazz inflections. Peter also enjoys composing and recording music, most recently library music for The Nerve.

 

As a teacher, Peter currently is a member of staff with St Catherine’s Bramley, Cranmore School, Portsmouth Grammar School, Surrey Arts and a deputy teacher at Junior Guildhall. His teaching includes one-to-one lessons, group classes and as both a conductor and tutor for orchestras and ensembles. 

ethan skuodas percussion player

Ethan Skuodas

Percussion

Scottish percussionist Ethan Skuodas performs music in a wide range of genres including experimental, pop, electronic and classical to name a few. Having recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) after completing a Professional Diploma, Ethan has performed with many different ensembles after his diploma and during his studies at RAM.


These include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra and the London
Symphony Orchestra amongst others and he has performed at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Usher Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican with some of the ensembles mentioned above.


A passionate music educator, Ethan has also participated in workshops with the Bath
Festival Orchestra, performances with Ignite Music and delivered masterclasses in the
American School in London. He creates his own music in the percussion/electronic duo ‘UtoElektronika’.

oliver wass harp player

Oliver Wass

Harp

Oliver Wass holds a First Class Masters Degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he studied with Imogen Barford. He graduated from the University of York with a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry. 

 

He has won the Suoni d’Arpa International Competition in Italy, the International Harp Competition of Slovenia, and the Jury Prize at the International Harp Competition in Szeged, Hungary. In May 2016 he became the first harpist ever to win the Guildhall Gold Medal – the Guildhall’s most prestigious prize. Previous winners of the competition include Jacqueline du Pré, Bryn Terfel and Tasmin Little. 

 

He has performed every major harp concerto, including Lyra Angelica with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with The Mozartists at the Wigmore Hall, and he has directed the Handel Harp Concerto in the Barbican Hall. Last season, he gave recitals in Rome, Paris, Budapest, Utrecht and London. 

 

He has given recitals at the Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall, where he was praised by Seen and Heard International for his “tremendous dynamism” and "remarkable range of timbres and warmth of tone”. He is an experienced orchestral player, and has performed with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the Ulster Orchestra. 

 

He spent his teenage years making fireworks in his parents’ basement, which is – remarkably – still surviving 

alex beason soprano singer

Alex Beason

Soprano

Alexandra Beason has just completed her postgraduate at the Royal

Academy of Music, with a Master of Arts

(distinction), a Dip RAM for achievement and the Regency Award.

 

She is under the tutelage of Mary Nelson and James Baillieu.

Alexandra has been generously supported by the RAM and holds the Nan

Copland scholarship. She graduated with first-class honours from her

undergraduate degree, with the Ethel Bilsland Award for achievement.

Recently Alexandra won first place in the Edith Poulsen prize at the

North London Music Festival and the Yorkshire Music Future fund

prize at the Northern Aldborough Festival. Upcoming events include a

CD release for Linn Records, a disc of Stravinsky chamber music for

high voice and orchestra conducted by Barbara Hannigan.

 

Last summer, Alexandra made her international debut at the Encuentro

de Música festival in Santander, Spain. She was a Young Artist

performing around Spain in venues including the Palacio de

Festivales de Cantabria and had the opportunity to work with

esteemed mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink.

 

In 2021, Alexandra made her debut at Opera Holland Park performing

the roles of Gretel and the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel for Silent

Opera and British Youth Opera. She sang the solos in Vaughan

William’s Serenade to Music with Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by

Dame Jane Glover at St John’s Smith Square.

 

During her time at the Academy, Alexandra has performed in the

Bicentenary Chamber Music Festival and in the Transcending Borders

series at the Italian Cultural Institute. She is a member of the

Academy Song Circle and Bach Consort. She has sung under the

batons of such conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Masaaki Suzuki and

John Butt.

bottom of page