Chair supported by The Sharp Family
Sue Thomas was born in Merthyr Tydfil and began playing the flute at the age of ten. She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University with Trevor Wye and at the Royal Academy of Music with William Bennett. Whilst at the Academy she won the Flute Prize and graduated with a Dip RAM, the highest diploma awarded by the Academy. Her orchestral career has included work with all the main London orchestras and she is currently Sub-Principal Flute with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent solo engagements have included a performance of the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with Rachel Masters and the City of London Sinfonia. Sue currently plays, with the aid of an Ian Fleming Scholarship, a Louis Lott flute, the Flautists’ equivalent of a Stradivarius.
Principal Piccolo (1997)
Stewart McIlwham began his studies at the Douglas Academy Music School in Glasgow with John Wiggins. He continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Peter Lloyd, before being appointed principal piccolo of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in 1985, a position he held until 1990. As a student Stewart McIlwham was a founder member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, as well as playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the European Community Youth Orchestra. He was also a finalist in the Shell LSO Competition on two occasions in 1981 and 1985. Stewart McIlwham was principal piccolo of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1990 to 1997. He gave the world premiere of the Maxwell Davies piccolo concerto with the RPO conducted by the Composer in Nottingham, followed by the London premiere at the Barbican in April 1997. Stewart McIlwham is currently principal piccolo of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and professor of piccolo at the Royal College of Music in London. Stewart joined the Board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003, and was elected President in 2012.
Principal Oboe (1992)
Ian Hardwick studied at the Royal College of Music with Michael Winfield and was awarded funds from the Munster Trust for further studies and concerts, following graduation. Other performances as a young graduate included recitals and concertos with the South East Arts Scheme at the Wigmore Hall, and performances at the Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series. In 1987 Ian joined the English National Opera Orchestra, where he was Principal Oboe for five years before joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Oboe in 1992.
Angela Tennick began to play the oboe at the age of 14. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and for ten years worked as a freelance player in London. She played with most of London’s chamber orchestras and also worked as a recitalist in London and the home counties. She joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra as sub-principal oboe in 1983 and has been with the Orchestra ever since. She lives in Haywards Heath.
Principal Cor Anglais (1996)
Chair supported by Julian & Gill Simmonds
Sue Bohling fell into the music world by accident when she was handed an oboe at her secondary school. It was a late start to learning at 15 years old but it quickly became a major part of her life. She studied with John Anderson and on gaining a place at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Tess Miller and George Caird, she won numerous prizes and scholarships including opportunities to study abroad but when she was offered the cor anglais position with the Royal Ballet she chose to remain in London. She combined working for the Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet with a busy freelance career working regularly with all the London orchestras and covered a vast variety of the orchestral, chamber and solo repertoire on both oboe and cor anglais.
She joined the LPO in 1996 as the principal cor anglais player and can be heard on many film and television soundtracks. She enjoys the travel and opportunities to perform in some of the best concert halls across the globe but loves living in central London and relishes her spare time at home with her husband, family and friends.
Principal Clarinet (1972)
Robert Hill was born in Middlesex and studied the clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music with John Davies. He was Co-Principal Clarinet in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for two years before joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Clarinet in 1972. Despite an extensive schedule of concerts and recordings with the Orchestra, Robert was also a member of the Barry Tuckwell Wind Quintet and a founder member of London Sinfonietta. He has appeared as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on several occasions including performances of the Weber and Mozart Clarinet Concertos at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.
Principal E-flat Clarinet
Nicholas Carpenter studied clarinet at the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied with Dame Thea King and John McCaw, and enjoyed a prize-winning studentship. Immediately upon leaving, Nicholas was invited to appear as Guest Principal Clarinet with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and six months later was asked to take up that position permanently, a post that he held for the next ten years. During this time he frequently appeared as soloist and director and as such, broadcast many times throughout the UK and abroad. In 1995 he was invited to join the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he holds to this date. He also plays regularly as Guest Principal Clarinet with most major symphony orchestras in England.
Nicholas has always enjoyed a busy career as a solo and chamber musician, which has included performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In 1992, his first solo recording of British Music for Clarinet and Piano was released to much critical acclaim, and in 1997 his recording of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with the Brindisi Quartet for EMI was released. This EMI recording is still the recommended performance by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library.
In 2008 he joined the staff of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama as Professor of Clarinet, and is much in demand as a teacher. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses throughout the UK and has coached many orchestral wind sections, including that of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Nicholas Carpenter plays Yamaha Custom Clarinets.
Principal Bass Clarinet (1998)
Paul studied clarinet at Chetham's School of Music and the Royal College of Music, London. He joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998 - his first appointment following a freelance career. He teaches bass clarinet at the Royal College of Music.
Gareth Newman studied privately with Charles Cracknell. Orchestral positions have included the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. He joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra as sub-principal bassoon in 2008. Concerto and chamber works includes the Weber Bassoon Concerto at the 1994 BBC Proms and performances with the Nash Ensemble and Soloists of the London Symphony Orchestra. He has been a professor of bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music since 1994, and also teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Gareth is a keen golfer.
Principal Contra Bassoon (2002)
Simon Estell grew up in Yorkshire and started to play the bassoon at the age of seven. He studied with Stephen Reay in Newcastle and then spent a year at Leeds College of Music with Sebastian New before moving to the Royal Academy of Music to study bassoon with John Orford and Gareth Newman, and contra bassoon with David Chatterton. After enjoying a freelance career for some years, he joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002 as Principal Contra Bassoon.
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