Erika Miranda - Director Violin/Viola USA

Trained in the USA, (San Francisco Conservatory of Music and St Louis Conservatory of Music), UK (Anglo-American Chamber Music for Strings in England), Canada (Johanessen International School for the Arts) and France (European Community Baroque Orchestra) She lived and worked in England for many years taking additional training with Kato Havas in Oxford . For seven years, Erika was Principal for English Festival Opera as well as playing for orchestras such as London Schubert Players, London Apollo Orchestra, and the City of Oxford Orchestra touring and recording with these ensembles.

While living in Oxford she became a Founder/ Director of her own ensemble and established two highly successful concert series in collaboration with (and sponsored by) the Oxford City Council and local businesses. Ms. Miranda has also adjudicated for concertmaster auditions at Oxford University.

For the last 10 years, since returning to the States, she has been on the music faculty and directed programs for the musically eminent Crowden School in Berkeley, California and has developed a highly respected violin studio with many prize-winning students and string quartets. She has also acted as Interim-Director for the Sacramento Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program in 2002, has been Head of Strings for the Berkeley Youth Orchestra where she was instrumental in founding and directing the chamber music program for strings.

In 2003 Erika first brought gifted American students to England to collaborate in chamber music with English students. This collaboration then gave birth to the idea of founding the British and American Chamber Music Exchange which eventually led to Youth Music International. In 2006 YouMI launched the First International Youth Music Festival in San Francisco in collaboration with SF State University’s School of Music and Dance and the National Youth Strings Academy in Britain . The festival brought together an eminent international faculty from the US and UK as well as 60 highly gifted students from California and Britain . After an exciting masterclass given by the Alexander String Quartet, the festival culminated with diverse and unforgettable performances at three of the most historic landmarks in San Francisco : Grace Cathedral, Mission Dolores and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Since then the Festival has taken place on alternative summers in San Francisco or Oxford UK where performances take place in Oxford University Colleges , Christ Church Cathedral and Blenheim Palace.

Erika has also been Principle for the Sacramento Opera and Choral Society and is a member of the Russian Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco . She also continues to play with orchestras and chamber music ensembles, musicals & shows in San Francisco and Sacramento . Most recently, she has accepted the position of Chair of Northern California for the prestigious VOCE competition sponsored by the Music Teachers Association of California.

Vocal Programme Director

Simon Dearsley Concert Organist, Conductor, Composer and Acclaimed Accompanist, UK

Simon Dearsley is a teacher, an established concert organist, conductor, composer and acclaimed accompanist. In 1997 he relocated to the United States, to take up the position of Director of Music Ministries at the Congregational Church, New Canaan and a Faculty Member of the Juilliard School of Music, teaching composition and theory. As Professor of Organ and Theory he worked at the Elisabeth University, Hiroshima, Japan with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has been on the faculty of the Dartington International Summer School, UK since 1988.

Simon Dearsley is a concert organist, performing tours in the USA, UK, Japan and Australia. He was an Organ Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge and studied with Colin Mawby and Dame Gillian Weir. He went on to study with Professor Marilyn Mason gaining a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan. He performs programmes, with his wife, for organ or piano and soprano, music ranging from Verdi arias to popular reviews. Simon was organist & harpsichordist with the New England Bach Soloists, a professional ensemble based and performing in Connecticut and New York, and he directed group of professional singers dedicated to making Opera accessible called "Divas in the Drawing Room".

From early on in his career he balanced a busy performing schedule with teaching. He started teaching at Westminster School, where he was also the school organist and one of the organists for Westminster Abbey. He went on to be Director of Music at Gordonstoun School, Head of Composition at Wells Cathedral Specialist Music School and in 2003 the Organist and Director of Chapel Music at Shrewsbury School. Since 2009 he has been the Director of Music at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire.

Simon Dearsley is a conductor and has worked with many chamber choirs, choruses, and orchestras in all areas of musical style. In London, he conducted St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Choir, Europa Singers, and Bourne Singers. In Scotland he was the founding Director of the Gordonstoun Festival Chorus and in Shropshire the Director of the Beaumaris Singers (Winner of Sainsbury Choir of the Year Award). With these choirs he conducted music ranging from Gesualdo to Cole Porter and Brahms through to Bernstein. He is recognized as being a conductor equally at home with an orchestra or acapella chorus. He was the conductor of the Dartington Summer School Orchestra for many years and conducted the Chamber Choir. He has been Musical Director of Opera, Operetta, Oratorio and Musical Theatre for adult groups as well as youth ensembles, with whom he has proved to be a wonderful motivator, encouraging the talent to achieve and go beyond perceived potential.

 Orchestra Director
Christopher Windass - Violin/Viola (UK - Oxford)

Chris studied Violin and Viola at Birmingham Conservatoire under Ernest Element, John White and Peter Thomas. While at Birmingham, Chris became a member of the string quartet in residence at the college sponsored by BRMB radio and gave numerous concerts throughout the country playing in many major festivals. He continued his studies privately with Emmanuel Hurwitz , David Takeno and Manoug Parikian. Chris leads a busy career both as a orchestral player and chamber musician appearing with groups ranging from the Medici and Brodsky string quartets to the Philharmonia Orchestra ,Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Chris has always had a passion for chamber music which lead him to establish the now famous Oxford Coffee Concert series in the Holywell Music Room on Sunday mornings and Music in Adderbury. In 1986 he set up the Adderbury Ensemble, a flexible group of players performing string quartets and expanding on occasions up to orchestra size large enough to play Beethoven Symphonies (never with a conductor!) The group has an increasingly busy schedule of concerts and recording both in UK and Europe.

Vocal Programme Assistant Director

John Cotton - Vocal Programme Assistant Director Countertenor UK

John's formal singing training began, aged 7, as a chorister with the Southend Boys Choir. Aged 9 he became a chorister (later Head Chorister for 2 years) at Rochester Cathedral, Kent, and a music scholar at the Choir School. Aged 13, he was awarded a music scholarship to Harrow School where he played Piano, Violin and Organ. In his lower 6th year, John discovered his falsetto and a term later was offered a choral scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Theology. After completing his degree, he was invited to continue singing in the Magdalen Chapel Choir as an alto Lay Clerk.

In 1999, John was appointed an alto Lay Clerk at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, where he continued to sing until 2007. During his first year at Christ Church he studied as a postgraduate at Trinity College of Music, where he gained a vocal diploma. John has sung in London and abroad with a variety of ensembles, including the Gabrieli Consort. He has also performed on television and in a number of films, including Longitude, How Music Works, and Stage Beauty; and his voice has been featured on a number of soundtracks, including Ever After and most recently Mr Bean's Holiday. He can be heard on dozens of recordings from each of the choirs in which he has sung, including his last recording with Christ Church, a critically acclaimed account of Taverner's Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas.

John's experience as a Choral Director began at school and continued at university, where he was director of the Magdalen Singers from 1996-7. At Christ Church he founded, in 2001, an a capella group, The Clerks of Christ Church, which has performed in venues as various as Christ Church, Oxford, Christchurch, New Zealand (where they toured in 2002, 2003 and 2004), Le Manoir aux Quatr'Saisons (Raymond Blanc's Restaurant and Hotel), and Dorchester and Douai Abbeys, as well as for the memorial service of Lord Jenkins, the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and in the presence of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair. In July 2004 The Clerks of Christ Church made their film debut in Sir Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty, starring Billy Crudup and Clare Danes. The Clerks of Christ Church have signed exclusively to SOMM Records. Their debut disc, In Pace, was released in 2004, and was followed by A Garland of the Elizabethan. A recording of Tallis' contribution to the 1575 publication Cantiones Sacrae is to follow shortly, all the music being edited anew by John.

John has recently formed another group, The Renaissance Men, with the intention of recording the complete works of Tomas Luis de Victoria, using his own editions. Their first recording, the Missa Pro Defunctis (1583) and Officium Defunctorum (1592), is due for release soon.

From 2006-7, John was Director of the Cherwell Singers, an Oxford-based chamber choir. Concerts included major programmes at Merton College Chapel, Oxford and the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, as well as smaller engagements. The choir made great progress under John's direction, and was very sad when, in 2007, he left to take up his current role as Head of Music at Wychwood School in Oxford, where he had conducted the Chamber Choir and taught singing since 2003. John is now solely responsible for the musical life of the school and recent projects have included a highly successful production of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas. He was present as an observer at the 2007 International Youth Music Festival in Oxford, UK and was asked by Erika Miranda to direct the Choral Course which is running in conjunction with the Chamber Music Course for the first time at the 2008 Festival in San Francisco.


Laura Samuel - Violinist, Belcea Quartet UK

Established whilst studying at the Royal College of Music in 1994, the Belcea Quartet has quickly gained a reputation as one of the world's leading chamber ensembles. They represented Great Britian in the ECHO Rising Stars series and were selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generations scheme from 1999 to 2001. They won first prizes at both the Osaka and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions in 1999 and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Chamber Music Award in both in 2001 and 2003. In 2001 the quartet began an exclusive recording contract with EMI and won the Gramophone Award for the Best Debut Recording. Their future recording plans for EMI include the complete Bartok quartets. The Belcea Quartet's international engagements take them to the Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Brussels' Palais des Beaux Arts, New York's Carnegie Hall and the Chatelet in Paris and to festivals including Luberon, Istanbul, Trondheim, Lausanne, Salzburg and the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade. In the UK they regularly appear at the Bath, Petworth, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Perth and Edinburgh festivals and at Wigmore Hall where they were resident Quartet from 2001 to 2006. More info at :


Jonathan Willcocks Singer, Conductor & Composer, UK

Jonathan Willcocks was born in Worcester, England, in 1953 and after early musical training as a boy chorister at King's College, Cambridge and an Open Music Scholar at Clifton College, he took an Honours degree in Music from Cambridge University where he held a choral scholarship at Trinity College.

As a composer, Jonathan's music is published by Oxford University Press, the Lorenz group of companies, MorningStar and Prime Music (who are represented in USA/Canada by MorningStar). His published music includes major choral works, works for children's choir, many shorter pieces (including anthems and secular choral music), and instrumental works. There are now many recordings of Jonathan's music, and his music is frequently performed and broadcast in many parts of the world.

Jonathan is currently conductor and musical director of the Portsmouth Choral Union, the Chichester Singers, and the professional chamber orchestra Southern Pro Musica, and freelance conducting engagements in recent seasons have taken him to many parts of the world including USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and most of the European countries, as well as the United Kingdom. Throughout his career, Jonathan has maintained a strong interest in music education, most recently as Director of the Junior Academy, Royal Academy of Music in London, who awarded him an Hon RAM degree in recognition of his work in the development of talented young musicians.

His extensive choral and orchestral conducting experience results in many invitations to take choral workshops and adjudicate competitions and festivals, and in 2008 he served as Chairman of the Jury for the prestigious Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Choral Competition in Toronto and Montreal. He is currently Artistic Director of the Leipzig International Choral Festival, and the Quebec Choral Festival, and he has a developing relationship with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale Summer Festival in New Mexico.


Peter Adams - cello UK

Peter began his musical studies whilst at school with Dennis Nesbitt and Maurice Zimbler. At the age of 16 he joined the orchestra of London Festival Ballet and in 1984 was made principal cellist with the London String Orchestra and London City Ballet. In the same year he was appointed professor of viola da gamba and baroque cello at the Royal Academy of Music where, at 21, he was the youngest ever professor at the RAM.

In 1988 Peter left England to study for two years at Indiana University, USA, where he took lessons and masterclasses with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier and Rostislav Dubinsky. Upon returning to England He undertook a period of study with William Pleeth. He was a founder member of the Rogeri Trio and is currently a member of the Bochmann String Quartet, both with a large list of recordings and broadcasts.

Peter appears as guest principal cellist with a variety of orchestras all over Britain and is the principal cellist of the English String Orchestra, Brighton Philharmonic, Oxford Philomusica and the City of Oxford Orchestra.

Peter’s interest in the viol continues with solo appearances on viola da gamba and as the director of the Elizabethan Consort of Viols. He is greatly sought after as a teacher both of the cello and as a chamber music coach giving masterclasses, adjudicating and judging a wide variety of students and young professionals across the country. He is currently teaching ‘cello for Oxford University and for Oundle and Bloxham Schools.

Peter plays a cello by G. B. Rogeri dated 1697.
2007 has seen Peter appear in the BBC s Classical Star competition as a judge, coach and commentator.


Caroline Balding - Violin UK

Caroline Balding has been described as a violinist of “poetic intensity” ( Music and Musicians), “rapt beauty” and “virtuosic distinction” (Gramophone) and “a formidable soloist combining beauty of sound with infallible articulation” (La Nacion, Buenos Aires). As the violinist with the chamber ensembles Gemini and Lontano, amongst others, she has given recitals throughout the world at such venues as La Fenice in Venice, the Wigmore Hall, London, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and gave the Taiwanese premiere of “Quartet for the End of Time”. Often to be heard on BBC Radio 3 and numerous other European radio stations, she also participated in the series “Women in Music” for Channel 4 television, and in a series about Beethoven for the BBC (dressed as a man). She made her second solo Proms appearance in 1999 with Lontano.

Caroline was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music to study with Emanuel Hurwitz, and formed a close association with the Britten Pears School, taking part in masterclasses and becoming leader of the orchestra. She now enjoys a wide spectrum of musical activities and has had the privilege of giving very many premiere performances and working alongside the foremost composers of our day, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, Judith Weir, Brian Ferneyhough, Nicola Lefanu and Michael Finissy to name but a few. Wielding a baroque violin, she has appeared as guest leader with Florilegium, The English Concert and the Hanover Band, in addition to being first violin of “The Band of Instruments” based in her home town of Oxford. Her extensive discography ranges from 17th century English chamber music to new works by British composers, via such things as solo violin music by Roberto Gerhard (Metier), Kuhlau quintets (ASV), and the first recordings of early 20th century piano trios for the British Music Society. With associations at King’s College, London and the universities of Oxford, Southampton and Surrey, she devotes much time to workshops and classes. Education projects with younger students have taken place all over Great Britain from Belfast to Tower Hamlets, and abroad in Italy, Taiwan, Argentina and Macedonia.

Perennially fascinated by the complex challenges and achievements of musicians, Caroline is also a qualified Craniosacral therapist.


Sheila Barnes - Soprano UK

Sheila Barnes, soprano, developed her teaching work after an international career in singing which included performances at the Spoleto Festival in Italy and the New York City Opera, Houston and Dallas Opera companies, as well as with major North American and European orchestras and festivals.

Trained at the Yale School of Music, the Mozarteum, and the Juilliard School in New York, Sheila Barnes employs a combination of her wide-ranging musical knowledge, years of research on the voice and humanistic educational techniques to stimulate remarkable growth and vocal excellence in her students. She has been invited to teach masterclasses and workshops at the Dartington International Summer School in the UK, the Centro di Musica Antica di Roma in Prato, the Scuola di Musica Antica in San Giovannino in Alessandria, the Accademia Musicale di Firenze, the Horn Festival in Austria, the "Singing in Spain" course in Tarazona (Zaragoza), Spain, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Tel Aviv Museum, Trinity College of Music in London, and for numerous privately-organised workshops, including those sponsored by the European communities in Luxembourg. Her students regularly perform at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Garsington, Opera North, Royal Opera of the Netherlands in Amsterdam, Australian Opera and Welsh National Opera. She trains not only opera singers: but also many of her students are outstanding chamber musicians appearing regularly with such conductors as Renee Jacobs and John Elliot Gardiner. Her students are also among the winners of prestigious prizes such as the Mietta Song Prize in Australia and the London Handel Prize (Erica Eloff, 2008 winner).

Sheila Barnes has used her fluent language skills in Italian, acquired studying and then living in Italy, to research and bring to life the performance practices of Italian "maestri di canto" of the past, and teaches the rudiments of bel canto singing in private studio lessons based in London, the Hague in the Netherlands, and Kiel in Germany.

Sheila Barnes's expertise in singing encompasses a broad spectrum of styles ranging from Medieval music, through Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic and contemporary idioms. She gained Early Music credentials in New York, studying on a Historical Performance Practice programme at the Mannes College of Music. A chosen collaborator in New York for composers Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson in revivals of their works in their lifetimes, she has also commissioned and performed new works, including "Trio for Four" by Graham Treacher, premiered at St. George's Brandon Hill in Bristol.

Sheila Barnes was recently invited to Aldeburgh to lecture on the Voice to composers involved in the "writing new opera" project at the Britten-Pears School. She has acted as Vocal Advisor for an Aldeburgh residency of the Early Music group "La Nuova Musica," and has coached soloists for performances at the Aldeburgh Festival.

An active performer, Sheila Barnes will this autumn premiere new works by Elgar Howarth, with the composer conducting the London Mozart Players, at the Beccles Music Festival in September 2010


Philippa Dearsley - Soprano UK

Philippa Dearsley, soprano, has performed Opera, Oratorio, Popular Song, Spirituals and Jazz throughout Europe, the USA, Australia and Japan. She is also increasingly recognised as a teacher and mentor having been a guest professor and performer at the Elisabeth Conservatoire of Music, Hiroshima, Japan and The Westchester Conservatoire, New York , USA. At present she is delighted to have a very active studio of private students in Shrewsbury, Shropshire where she also teaches singing at the Shrewsbury High School for Girls as well as teaching at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire. In addition to working as a vocal coach at Dartington International Summer School, she has been vocal coach for several years at the Hereford International Summer School, ( due to its recent move is now the International Summer School of Music, Shrewsbury)

She began her musical studies at Dartington College of Arts, later London University, before taking a performers course at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. For six years she was the Soprano Soloist at the Congregational Church, New Canaan, CT, USA and worked with the company ‘Divas in the Drawing Room’, performing operatic scenes in smaller venues. Philippa Dearsley performs with her husband Simon Dearsley in their duo ‘The King David Duo’. They perform recitals with a wide variety of programmes stretching from Opera to Broadway, which have been very successful in both Japan and the US. In Britain they have featured in the Chelsea Festival and at the Dartington International Summer School of Music, the Arundel Festival and Much Wenlock Festival. Most recently performing at Dartington International Summer School a programme of music from the rich seam of Tin-Pan Alley composers and lyricists, which was followed as the guest soloist with Talkestra under the baton of its founder Stephen Dummer at the Arundel Festival for a performance of Walton’s Facade.

Highlights from last year’s performances include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Messiah and Verdi’s Requiem, an evening of Operatic Greats with orchestra, featuring arias by Verdi, Puccini and Mozart and soprano soloist in Bach’s B minor Mass.

Forthcoming performances include soprano soloist in PoForthcoming performances include soprano soloist in Poulanc’s Gloria & a “Handel Fest” where she will be performing a variety of Handel arias in concert.


David Owen Norris - Piano UK

David Owen Norris, Piano ’s pianism is past praise in its scrupulous poise, immaculate touch and attention to dynamic nuance. What’s more, he also displays an acute intellectual and emotional understanding … artistry of a very high order.’ Gramophone October 2009 on Elgar at the Piano Vol.2

‘Norris gives the performance of his life, handling the bravura with aplomb and total conviction. He also has a marvellous repose at the keyboard. Less, he knows, is more.’ Gramophone August 2008, on Montague Phillips Piano Concertos

‘a famous thinker/philosopher of the keyboard’ Seattle Times

‘visionary musical leadership’ Classic FM Magazine

‘quite possibly the most interesting pianist in the world’ Globe & Mail, Toronto

In the last twelve months or so, David Owen Norris has played English music across the UK, in Amsterdam, Dresden, Berlin, Taipei, San Diego, Chicago, and in the Gilmore Festival in Michigan, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his appointment as the first Gilmore Artist. His projects with the musicians’ collective THE WORKS (‘a treasure trove’ BBC Radio 3;‘a treasure house’ Sunday Times) included his Haydn adaptation A New Creation, where six hundred children sang, played and danced in Winchester Cathedral, with Timothy West as the Book of Genesis; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the newly reconstructed Dresden version in Poole; and further performances of the widely travelled operatic sequence 2 Murders & a Marriage incorporating Norris’s new radio-opera Pugwash walks the plank, which was also featured at the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House. He is currently working on another radio-opera, The Body in the Ballroom.

Norris is an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford, Professor of Musical Performance at the University of Southampton, Visiting Professor of Fortepiano at the Royal College of Music, Educational Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and of the Royal College of Organists. He is the Director of Music at Poole Parish Church. He was Organ Scholar at Keble, and left Oxford with a First and a Composition Scholarship to study in London and Paris. He was a Repetiteur at the Royal Opera House, and Harpist at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has been Artistic Director of the Cardiff International Festival and the Petworth Festival, Chairman of the Steans Institute for Singers at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and the Gresham Professor of Music in the City of London.



Zakarias Graffilo violin
Fred Lifsitz
Paul Yarbrough
Sandy Walsh-Wilson

At home in San Francisco, the members of the Alexander String Quartet are a major artistic presence, serving as Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances and as directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at the School of Music and Dance in the College of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University.

The Alexander String Quartet was formed in New York City in 1981 and the following year became the first string quartet to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition. In 1985, the Quartet captured international attention as the first and only American Quartet to win the London International String Quartet Competition, receiving both the jury's highest award and the Audience Prize. In May of 1995, Allegheny College awarded Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees to the members of the Quartet in recognition of their unique contribution to the arts. Honorary degrees were conferred on the ensemble by St. Lawrence University in May 2000.


Photo by Hanya Chlala -

Guy Johnston - Cellist UK

BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2000, Guy Johnston's teachers have included Doane and Kirshbaum. Projects in 06/07 include performances of the Elgar Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Walton Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the St. Petersburg Symphony; Guy looks forward to working in future seasons with the Deutsches Sinfonie Berlin (Brahms Double Concerto with Sophia Jaffe), the Philharmonia and Camerata Ireland (Schumann and Tavener). Guy has also collaborated with the BBC Symphony at the Proms, as well as orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the Osaka Philharmonic, and has worked with Vassily Sinaisky, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Alexander Dimitriev and Leonard Slatkin. Guy Johnston performs regularly at Wigmore Hall, and has recently joined the BBC New Generation Scheme with the Aronowitz Ensemble, with whom he will be giving future concerts at many of the major music festivals at home and abroad. More Information at : Guy plays on a rare cello made by Pellizon dated 1820.

Deirdre Cooper- Cellist (UK - Oxford)

Born in Edinburgh, Deirdre emigrated to the US and studied both cello and extensive chamber music in California and New York with Colin Hampton, Bernard Greenhouse & Zara Nelsova. She has received numerous chamber music and concerto prizes both as a student as well as a professional and has been a soloist with many orchestras in both the US and UK including the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ballet Orchestra and the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra. Deirdre has also been principal cellist with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra and sub-principal of The BBC Scottish Symphony as well as a guest principal cellist with the Philharmonia Orchestra-London, BBC Scottish Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Musici, Sinfonia 21, English Sinfonia and other orchestras and ensembles both in the UK and the USA. She was a member of the Robert Bloch String Quartet (quartet in residence at UC Davis) playing Baroque and classical repertoire on period instruments and also commissioning many new works by American composers. She has championed new music with both the Hebrides and Paragon Ensembles of Scotland as well as playing with the Philharmonia Orchestra-London soloists and the Edinburgh String Quartet. For several years now, Deirdre has been a member of the Smith quartet which specializes in performing contemporary works both acoustic and with tape and/or live electronics. The quartet has commissioned many works and has performed throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, South America and Canada. They have recorded for Sony, Decca, BMG and others and on radio for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and BBC2's the Culture Show with Steve Reich. Their latest album 'Different Trains' has received rave reviews from the press and radio around the world.

Photo by John G. VanWinkle

Don Ehrlich - Violist (USA - San Francisco)

Until his recent retirement, Don was Assistant Principal Violist of the San Francisco Symphony. He holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Michigan, where he earned his doctorate. A dedicated music educator, he is a longtime faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and coaches young musicians each Saturday for the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. Mr. Ehrlich was a founding member of the Aurora String Quartet and a member of the Stanford Quartet, and he is a regular at the Mendocino Music Festival. He plays a special ergonomic viola made by David Rivinus of Portland, Oregon. Don's latest CD, "The Six Cello Suites of Bach" (arranged for viola), is available exclusively through the SF Symphony Store, or online at .

Jacqueline Johnson - Cellist (Australia),

graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. During her studies there she took part in masterclasses with cellists Rohan da Sarem, Anner Bylsma and Paul Tortelier. She was a full time member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, played with the Australian Opera and Ballet companies and broadcast and recorded recitals for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She gave many solo and chamber recitals throughout Australia, and also in China and Hong Kong and made several recordings and CDs. On moving to the United Kingdom in 1990, Jacqueline undertook further study with Christopher Bunting, and has also received coaching from Steven Isserlis and Colin Carr. Now based in Oxford, Jacqueline freelances combining chamber music and solo performances with orchestral work and teaching. Recent concerto performances include Dvorak Concerto, Brahms Double Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, Shostakovich Cello Concerto, no 1, and Schumann concerto.

Andrew MacDonald - Violin (UK - Oxford),

was awarded the Laurence Turner Prize at Huddersfield University where he was also greatly involved in the Contemporary Music Festival. He has also studied at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies. He is now a highly respected teacher for the London Borough of Enfield and at the Hall School Hampstead, where he has helped build a thriving chamber music program. Several of his groups have reached the finals of the National Chamber Music Competition and the Youth and Music Festival. For 10 years he was also the leader of Redhill Sinfonia.

Victor Romasevich - Violinist/Violist, (USA - San Francisco),

was born in Minsk, Belarus, and as a youth studied with Rostislav Dubinsky of the famed Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory and, following his emigration to the United States in 1977, at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979 he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Mr. Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Violist in 1990 and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist, and keyboard player.

Glen Sheldon - Violin/Conductor (UK - Oxford),

was already appearing as soloist while in school and was also Concertmaster for the Jewish Youth Orchestra. He was awarded the Peter Latham Prize in Musicology at the Royal Academy of Music and the Robert Naylor Recital Prize at Surrey University. He is now a member of the orchestra for English National Opera and has been in demand as an orchestral leader and soloist. His playing has been described in reviews as "eloquent and moving". Both he and Andrew MacDonald (above) are also tremendously dedicated to their String Quartet Anything Goes which has always committed itself to performing both classical string quartet repertoire and their own colourful arrangements of light music. "I was very impressed with the high standard and flexibility of ANYTHING GOES" Senior Producer, Nigel Acheson, BBC Radio 4.

Jassen Todorov - Violinist (USA - San Francisco),

first came to international attention after his Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall debut in 1999. Since then he has released two solo CDs featuring works by Brahms as well as contemporary composers. He tours regularly as a soloist and chamber musician, and has recently performed both the Sibelius and Mendelssohn violin concertos in European venues. Mr. Todorov is currently completing his DMA at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, from which he also received a Master of Music Degree in the year 2000.

International Youth Music Festival 2006 also included:

The NYSA Faculty

Roger Garland-
Violinist, (UK),

studied the violin with Manoug Parikian whilst reading Music at Cambridge. In 1969, he joined the English Chamber Orchestra, combining this with recital and solo work throughout the country. In 1973, he joined the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields with whom he has made many solo appearances and broadcasts in Europe, North America and Australia. He has also appeared as soloist in broadcasts for the Chichester Festival and the Flanders Festival. He has broadcast solo recitals and chamber music on B B C Radio 3 and is a keen champion of 20th century music, his latest CD being of the Trio by Michael Finnissy on Et Cetera Records with the Gagliano Trio. He also leads the Guarnerius String Quintet.

Levon Parikian- Conductor, (UK),

studied conducting with George Hurst and, at his encouragement, auditioned successfully for a position in Ilya Musin's class at the St. Petersburg conservatoire. Here he gained an insight into Musin's rigorous technique of conducting, which has influenced generations of Russian conductors. Since his return from Russia, Levon has pursued a freelance conducting career, and is much in demand as Guest Conductor with orchestras in Britain. He currently holds Principal Conductor posts with several London-based orchestras, and is Chief Guest Conductor of the City of Oxford Orchestra. He was recently appointed Conductor of the Royal College of Music Junior Sinfonia, Visiting Guest Conductor at Royal Holloway University of London, and Artistic Director of The Rehearsal Orchestra. He has also worked with, among others, English Sinfonia, European Chamber Opera, City of Southampton Orchestra, and the Royal Orchestral Society. Levon has been Assistant Conductor on recordings with the Philharmonia and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and to Sir Simon Rattle in The Rehearsal Orchestra's weekend on Bruckner's Ninth Symphony.

Viviane Ronchetti- Violinist, (UK),

was awarded an Exhibition from the Royal Manchester College of Music to study the violin with Endre Wolf at the age of 13. She won several awards at the RMCM and continued her studies with Alexandre Moskovsky and Manoug Parikian. She has freelanced with the major London chamber orchestras and, as a member of the Park Lane Sextet, has appeared at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and on Radio 3. She has held Head of Strings positions at both Harrow School and Queenswood School. She is Director of the National Youth Strings Academy - the nationwide string chamber orchestra dedicated to furthering the musical education of talented young string-players aged 11-21. She is a violin professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Junior Department and has recently become an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.