Dr Jonathan James
Jonathan is a music educator, presenter and conductor, having been Head of Performing Arts and Director of Music at the South West Academy of Dramatic Arts (SWADA) in Bristol. His PhD (Bristol) is in Music Education and creativity, focussing on how to get classical and jazz musicians to improvise together on equal terms. He had private tuition at the Royal College of Music in Conducting, and further conductor training in Germany and at various international masterclasses. In 1996 he founded the New Bristol Sinfonia, a 90-piece semi-professional orchestra which he ran for six years. He then freelanced in the UK, Europe and the States and was a Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008-2012, he was principal conductor for the Bristol Ensemble, a professional chamber orchestra based in the city, and led their talented youth orchestra, the Bristol Ensemble Training Orchestra (BETO).
At SWADA, he headed up an intensive one-year music performance course in all styles, from classical through to pop, rock and jazz. A qualified teacher, he worked for Keynote Education as a trainer on GCSE and A level Music, and currently writes monthly for Music Teacher magazine. He is an education consultant for concert halls, music hubs and schools. This year he taught Orchestration at Bristol University for their BA and MA students.
Jonathan is in demand as a speaker on classical and jazz music, giving popular pre-concert lectures and talks series at venues throughout the country. He runs creative workshops and provides a range of training for those working in the classical music business. Recent clients include IMG Artists, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (as Participation Associate), BBC National Orchestra of Wales (as Discovery Guide), London Philharmonic Orchestra, and major UK concert halls. He is also a creative lead on residential courses run by the National Children's Orchestra and Pro Corda, and presents and conducts family concerts.
Sue is an experienced artistic planner, event manager, administrator and musician, with current freelance roles including Artistic Planning Manager for the Hallé Orchestra. Sue has worked with the Hallé for 30 years, initially as a member of the viola section and, more recently, in a management capacity. Specific roles with the Hallé have included Head of Ensembles - incorporating education projects such as the Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir - and Co-ordinator of the String Leadership Scheme, a collaboration between the Hallé and the Royal Northern College of Music. Sue is also a member of the management team for Broadway Arts Festival in the Cotswolds and has worked as Concerts Administrator for Manchester Chamber Concerts Society. Sue trained at the University of Birmingham and the Royal Northern College of Music.
John is a professional tenor and voice teacher, and is recognised as a singer of exceptional musicianship, warmth, style and character. Having performed throughout Europe and North America, he has also been praised for his dramatic intensity, vocal beauty, clarity and agility.
John’s singing career has taken him as far as New Zealand, Japan, Mexico and Canada on both the operatic stage and concert platform. He has sung leading roles in works ranging from Monteverdi to Jonathan Dove and major oratorio and recital works from Bach to Britten. Throughout his career he has also been fortunate to work with such distinguished artists as Graham Johnson, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sian Edwards and Ronald Corp.
Through the generous support of the Koerner Foundation Artist Award, and the COB Foundation of Canada, he completed a Master Degree on the postgraduate Opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Rudolf Piernay. While at the Guildhall, Mr. Bacon was a prize winner in the English Song Competition, represented the college in an LSO Discovery Lunchtime Concert, and worked with the likes of Philip Langridge, Martin Katz, and Malcolm Martineau.
Prior to this, John sang with the Juno award-nominated vocal ensemble musica intima, was a winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio Two Début Series for Young Performers, and completed a Bachelor of Music at the University British Columbia.
Having grown up in Vancouver, Canada then spent seven years based in London, John moved to Bristol to take singing teaching positions at both Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School and Taunton School. John is currently a resident artist of Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now performing regularly with pianist Helen Mills.
Luke Gilbert began learning the trombone at an early age having been inspired by his late grandfather, the renowned musician Dennis Chalk BEM. It was this inspiration that led him to achieve a place to study at the Junior Royal College of Music with David Whitson and then subsequently at the Royal Northern College of Music with Chris Houlding, Les Storey and Adrian Morris. Following this he returned to the Royal College of Music as a postgraduate student to complete his studies with the eminent bass trombonist Bob Hughes.
Since embarking on a successful and productive freelance career, Luke has performed with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BBC NOW, BBC Philharmonic and English National Ballet. He has made recordings for radio and film and has worked with well known artists such as Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson and has also played for Her Majesty the Queen.
Luke is currently trombone tutor at Millfield, Dean Close, Clifton College and Wellington School.
Nick is an original, exciting and heart-felt improviser. His rich, warm sound and sense of improvisational daring inform each and every musical situation and he plays with a total commitment to the music in the moment, whatever the stylistic context. His own quartet plays original compositions combining the rhythmic and harmonic complexities of contemporary jazz with the intensity and interaction of free improvisation. They have made a big impression at The Vortex, Manchester Jazz Festival and Ealing Jazz Festival during the summer of 2011 and toured nationally in 2012 to coincide with the release of their first album. He also plays in an open trio setting featuring world-class rhythm section of Olie Brice and Mark Sanders.
Nick has also played at the 606 Club, Cheltenham, Glastonbury and Oxford festivals, London Jazz Cafe and Ronnie Scotts with musicians such as Gail Brand, Chris Batchelor, Alexander Hawkins and Nostalgia 77. Nick is also highly committed to music, particularly jazz, education. He believes that learning to improvise should be a rigorous, joyful and heartfelt process. He has a 1st Class BMus from King’s College London and a Masters in Jazz Performance from Trinity College, London. He has studied with Chris Batchelor, Dave Wickins and Ralph Alessi and teaches jazz trumpet at Wells Cathedral School.
Imogen studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Neil Black and Gordon Hunt, where she won many of the major prizes, including the Paddy Purcell Prize for all wind instruments. She was awarded a Countess of Munster Scholarship and then a Winston Churchill Fellowship to continue her studies with the Berlin Philharmonic’s solo oboist, Lothar Koch over 2 years.
Imogen Triner is one of Britain’s foremost oboe soloists and performances have included major concertos with the Tivoli Festival Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic and Kuopio Symphony Orchestras – both in Finland, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway, Kansas Chamber Orchestra, National Italian Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Radio and Television Orchestra, Norkoping Chamber Orchestra in Sweden and many orchestras in the UK, with whom she has played numerous concertos and recorded 3 CDs. Many of these performances have been recorded for the radio. Imogen has given master-classes in Scandinavia and America.
As a chamber musician Imogen has performed highly acclaimed recitals in major London venues and in festivals throughout the UK. She has toured all over Scandinavia, America and Japan both as a recitalist and with her Oboe Quartet - oboeworks - with whom she has recorded 2 CDs which include works written especially for her. Imogen now lives in Bristol and continues her playing, coaching, teaching (Bristol University) and recording sessions.