Chair supported by John and Angela Kessler
Vesselin Gellev was born in Bulgaria and has been a featured soloist with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.
As violinist of the Antares quartet, he won First Prize at the 2002 Concert Artists Guild competition in New York. As Concertmaster of Kristjan Järvi’s Absolute Ensemble, a Grammy-nominated, genre-blending ‘classical band’, he has recorded several CDs, appeared in venues like the Sydney Opera House, Concertgebouw and Wiener Konzerthaus, and collaborated with many world-renowned artists, as diverse as Paquito D'Rivera, Goran Bregovic, L. Subramaniam and the late Joe Zawinul. He has also performed as Guest Leader with a number of orchestras, such as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Vesselin received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from The Juilliard School in New York, and, prior to joining the LPO in 2007, held the position of Concertmaster with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy. He has led the LPO in numerous concerts and several recordings for the Orchestra's own record label, most recently on the Official Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant CD. An avid chamber musician, Vesselin also performs regularly in the LPO's Chamber Contrasts series at Wigmore Hall.
Chair supported by Moya Greene
Katalin Varnagy was born in Hungary and came to the UK in 1997 to study with Gyorgy Pauk at the Royal Academy of Music. She has won several prizes, including first prize at the Hungarian Flesch Karoly Competition, the Craxton Chamber Music Prize at the Royal Academy of Music, the David Martin/Florence Hooton Concerto Prize and the Roth Prize for the best final exam (violin). She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Hungary and has broadcast on Hungarian Radio and Television, Radio Suisse Romande and on BBC Radio 3. She was a member of the international prizewinning Carducci String Quartet and held the position of Sub-Principal First Violin in the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. She joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003, and in 2010 was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Thomas Eisner spent five years in Denmark as a member of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra before returning to England and joining the first violin section of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1986.
He has performed as a soloist in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra), and played with the Razumovsky Ensemble. His recent recording of Bartok’s violin duet Sorrow with Philippe Graffin, was hailed as pick of the album in The Independent. Languages and travel are passions, and Thomas enjoys touring with the Orchestra. In 2008 he visited Palestine where he played in schools and refugee camps. Thomas has always found it intriguing that his great grandfather played cards with Richard Strauss.
Tina Gruenberg made her debut aged 9 playing a Mozart concerto at the Aldeburgh Festival. At 16, she won a scholarship to study with Emmanuel Hurwitz at the Royal Academy of Music and with Josef Suk in Vienna.
She has appeared as Soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. She has performed the Brahms Double concerto with Steven Isserlis and the Ulster Orchestra. Concertos performed at the Royal Festival Hall include Tchaikovsky, Lalo Symphonie Espagnole and Mozart. As a member of the Trio Zingara, she has given recitals and broadcasts throughout Britain and abroad.
Tina was appointed sub-leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1990.
Martin Höhmann was born in Germany and studied with Uwe-Martin Haiberg at the Musikhochschule Lübeck and with Thomas Brandis at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin. He also received additional chamber music coaching from Walter Levin, Heinrich Schiff, Miriam Fried and Christoph Poppen. As a soloist he has appeared with orchestras such as the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, the Hamburger Camerata, the Philharmonica Hungarica and the Berliner Sinfoniker, and he has been invited to play at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and at the festivals of Salzburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Menorca. In 2000 he joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra as a member of the first violin section. In 2003 he joined the Orchestra’s Board of Directors, and was Chairman from 2005-2012.
Geoffrey was born in Stirling, Scotland, and studied two years of medicine before changing his mind and entering the Royal College of Music in 1970 to learn with Frances Mason. At college he won the Ian Stoutzker Prize for violin playing as well as awards for composition. In 1974 he joined the first violin section of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, where he has worked ever since.
In addition to his orchestral work, he has performed a wide range of concertos and chamber music, including broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.
For over fifteen years he has been involved in creative music projects run by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in schools, special needs schools and community outreach situations, until recently holding a part time administrative post to organize these activities. Geoffrey is also an active teacher and has taught in many London schools as well as private tuition on violin and viola.
After early training as a junior exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music, Robert studied for a further four years there with Jaroslav Vanacek. The awards of the Sir James Caird and Countess of Munster scholarships enabled him to study, for a further two years, at the Cologne Musikhoschule with Igor Ozim, and with members of the Amadeus String Quartet. Some summer weeks were spent playing at the annual festival at Montepulciano.
It was in Germany that Robert began his professional career- with both the Rhenish and the Cologne Chamber Orchestras.
He returned to London to join the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and moved to the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1986.
Much travelled, like many of his colleagues, Robert enjoys being able to walk to work from his home when the orchestra is in London, and has a keen interest in the city’s new buildings.
(1984 / 1993)
Sarah was born into a musical family; both her parents are professional musicians. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Manoug Parikian and chamber music with Sidney Griller. She then furthered her studies in Freiburg, Germany, with Wolfgang Marschner on a Royal Society of Arts scholarship. She attended the summer festival at Tanglewood where she led the orchestra and was coached in chamber music by Joel Krosnick and Elliot Carter for a performance of his 2nd string quartet. She has played in the English Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Kent opera and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Sarah has also played in the period instruments orchestras, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. Sarah has twice been a member of the LPO! She first joined in 1984 but left in 1987 to have 2 children. She rejoined in 1993. Her interests include current affairs, gardening, eating, and drinking.
Yang was born in China and started to play the violin at the age of five. She trained at the Shang Hai Conservatory of Music before studying with violinist Mayumi Fujikawa in London. She has been a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 2003.
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