David Adams, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Credit: Jake Moreley

David Adams


David Adams is leader of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and tutor in violin at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Having previously performed with the London Bridge Trio as guest violist, David was invited to join the trio as their new violinist in 2017. Passionate about chamber music David has been a member of the Raphael Ensemble and Ovid Ensemble is now delighted to be exploring the extraordinary piano trio repertoire with two such wonderful, distinguished musicians, Kate Gould and Daniel Tong.

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    With regular guest appearances, recordings and broadcasts on both violin and viola with the Nash Ensemble, Endellion String Quartet, Gould Piano Trio and Hebrides Ensemble, he has recently recorded the complete Brahms Piano Quartets with the Gould Piano Trio. He regularly attends the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove. This year also includes performances at the Winchester Festival, Leeds International Chamber Music Series, Corbridge Festival, and further concerts with the Nash Ensemble. David has also appeared as guest leader of many of the UK's symphony and chamber orchestras and recently enjoyed playing Principal Viola with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe

    In his role at WNO David has performed several concertos with the orchestra and enjoys directing concerts from the violin, including Mozart Symphonies 39, 40 and 41, Beethoven Symphony no.1, Viennese concerts, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and most recently Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Nights Dream. Their future plans include the Lark Ascending later in July at St David’s Hall, concerts at the Fishguard Festival including the Mendelssohn Octet and a tour of Viennese concerts in the New Year.

    David belongs to a musical family, his father was Principal Viola of the Halle Orchestra and he is married to the cellist Alice Neary. Alice and David take enormous pleasure in being the artistic directors of the Penarth Chamber Music Festival, which takes place each July on Penarth Pier. He began his studies at the age of 5 with his father continuing his training with Malcolm Layfield at Chetham’s School of Music and the RNCM and then in the USA with Zvi Zeitlin and Daniel Phillips. His instruments are a Joannes Gagliano violin from 1800 and a Betts viola c.1840 previously played by his father.

Alice Neary, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Credit: Jake Morley

Alice Neary


Alice enjoys a varied performing career and has recently been appointed principal cellist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She has played concertos with many leading orchestras including Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, BBCNOW, Liverpool Philharmonic, Israel Symphony and Baltimore Symphony. Familiar to listeners of BBC Radio 3, she has performed at major festivals including BBC Proms chamber series, Bath International, Santa Fe (USA) and Manchester International Cello Festival. Her discography includes the Mendelssohn cello sonatas and concertos by Howells and Tovey.

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    Alice studied with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music and, as a fulbright scholar, with Timothy Eddy at Stonybrook, USA. As winner of 1998 Pierre Fournier Award, Alice made her début at the Wigmore Hall, launching her career in the UK and abroad. Other competition successes include 2001 Leonard Rose (USA) and 1997Adam (NZ) International Cello Competitions, the Silver Medal in 1994 Shell/LSO competition and 1996 Royal Over-Seas League String prize.

    Alice is a member of the Gould Piano Trio, which has remained at the forefront of the international chamber music scene for the past 20 years. Career highlights include the complete piano trios of Beethoven, Schubert and Dvorak at the Wigmore Hall, the commissioning of new works from Sir James MacMillan and Mark Simpson, regular tours of USA and over 25 CD releases.

    Alice collaborates with pianists Benjamin Frith and Daniel Tong and has appeared as guest cellist with the Nash Ensemble, Ensemble 360 and the Endellion, Elias, Heath, Sorrel, and Bingham quartets. Regular visits to International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove provide ongoing inspiration.

    Much in demand as a teacher, Alice has been tutor in cello at the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal college of Music. She is now based in her home town of Cardiff at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she was awarded a Fellowship in 2015. She and her husband, David Adams founded the Penarth Chamber Music Festival in 2014. Alice plays a cello by Alessandro Gagliano of 1710.

Lesley Hatfield, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Lesley Hatfield


Lesley Hatfield leads a distinguished and varied musical life, combining her position as Leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with chamber music, solo playing and teaching. After graduating with First Class Honours from Clare College, Cambridge, she studied at the Royal Academy of Music. During her early career, as a chamber musician and member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, she worked with Sandor Vegh and Nicholas Harnoncourt, both of whom had a lasting influence on her musical approach. She was co-Leader of the Northern Sinfonia and Leader of the Ulster Orchestra before taking up her current position.

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    Chamber music has always been an important part of her musical life. Lesley is a member of the highly acclaimed Gaudier Ensemble and is regularly invited to participate as a guest in a wide range of ensembles and chamber music festivals, also collaborating with pianists such as Ian Brown, Alasdair Beatson and Huw Watkins. Participation in the International Musicians'Seminar at Prussia Cove has become a fixture in her diary.

    She has appeared as soloist and director with many orchestras around the UK, recorded for Chandos and Naxos labels, and is regularly heard on BBC radio 3.

    She is an enthusiastic exponent of contemporary music and has had a number of pieces written for her, including John Casken's 'Apres in Silence' which she performed in the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra. She is much in demand as a teacher, and has a busy schedule of students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In 2008 she was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

The Festival

World class concerts against a backdrop of stunning seascapes. Our distinguished musicians bring the international stage to Penarth.


The Artists

Our distinguished musicians bring the international stage to Penarth.

Artistic Directors

David Adams and Alice Neary


Rebecca Evans