Kristina Blaumane was born in Riga and graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Latvia as well as with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Kremerata Baltica, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and Netherlands Wind Ensemble. She has also been a guest at many festivals including Salzburg, Verbier, Gstaad, Lockenhaus, Jerusalem, Cheltenham and Aldeburgh. In chamber music, she has collaborated with such renowned artists as Isaac Stern, Gidon Kremer, Yo Yo Ma, Yuri Bashmet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Nikolaj Znaider and Oleg Maisenberg. She joined the Orchestra as Principal Cello in 2007.
Susanne Beer has been co-principal cellist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995. She is regularly invited to be guest principal with several orchestras in Europe and North America. She gives chamber music concerts with members of the World Orchestra for Peace, founded by Sir George Solti and also with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in their chamber series at London's Wigmore Hall. For two years she was principal cellist in the contemporary music group ‘Ensemble Wien 2001' and cellist in the Goldschmidt ensemble. As a soloist she has performed at the ‘Festival Modern' in the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Mirabellschloss and the Schloss Residenz in Salzburg, and at the Prinzregententheater and Koenigsaal (Bayerische Staatsoper) in Munich.
Susanne's debut recording was of Britten's Solo Suite No.1 for Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt, and she has recorded solo and chamber music for Bayerischer Rundfunk, Oesterreichischer Rundfunk, Radio Milano, the BBC and Divine Art. She coaches sporadically at some colleges and academies in England, Germany and Spain. Her own studies began in Salzburg with Heidi Litschauer and continued in Munich and Wuerzburg. Subsequently she studied in London with William Pleeth. www.susannebeer.co.uk
Francis grew up in Monmouth and went to St Michael's College, Tenbury and then on to Monmouth School. Following two years of a mechanical engineering course, Francis changed direction and spent four years studying the cello with Derek Aviss at Trinity College of Music, London. He then went on to study with William Pleeth and Alexander Baillie before becoming No. 3 cellist in the LPO in 1989. Francis plays on a cello by Giovanni Grancino made in 1685.
Francis is also a keen sailor, specialising in dinghy racing, as well as a many other outdoor activities. He has two children 11 and 14 years old, both of whom are musical.
(1996)Laura Donoghue began her musical education at the Junior Department of the Trinity College of Music and continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music. She joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996.
Chamber music highlights include performances with Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Gyorgy Pauk and Lynn Harrell. As a soloist, she has performed the cello solo in Sofia Gubaidulina’s “7 words” conducted by Lyn Harrell.
Santiago was born in Brazil, and after winning a National Competition in 1964 was awarded a scholarship to study at London's Royal Academy of Music. He also studied in Siena and in Paris for three years with André Navarra. He was a member of the Royal Opera House orchestra, and joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1972. In 1975 he was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Brazilian Order of Rio Branco. Santiago plays a 1692 Italian cello by Giovanni Batista Grancino.
Gregory Walmsley was born in Hockley in Essex and started to play the cello when he was ten. He was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where we won various prizes including the John Barbirolli Cello Prize. From there he continued his studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey with Bernard Greenhouse. He spent some time as Co-Principal Cello in the Opera House in Seville before joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003. Gregory also enjoys an active career in chamber music and solo recitals and is currently working on a Bach Cello Suites project. He has just qualified as a plasterer.
Back to top >