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.

Rebecca Jones, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Rebecca Jones


In 2016 Rebecca moved to Cardiff to take up the post of Principal Viola of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. For over ten years she has been a member of the Callino String Quartet, a group founded at the West Cork Music Festival which continues to enjoy a high profile in Ireland as well as making regular festival performances across Europe. They have played at London's Wigmore Hall, have twice been resident at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada where they met and collaborated with Arcade Fire, and spent a week in New York with the famed contemporary specialists the Kronos Quartet culminating in a recital at Carnegie Hall. They have recorded three commercial discs and will soon release their reading of Haydn's Seven Last Words on the Cross.

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    Rebecca's musically formative years were spent in Manchester at Chetham's School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. She then took the opportunity to study with Thomas Riebl at the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg where she performed the Balcom Concerto for Viola and 'Cello live on Austrian national radio as part of the 'Mozartwoche' festival. During this time she was placed 4th at the prestigious Lionel Tertis International Viola Prize.

    Most recently she was Assistant Principal Viola of the City of London Sinfonia and continues to guest with top UK chamber ensembles including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Aurora Orchestra and the baroque group Arcangelo with whom she performed the 6th Brandenburg Concerto at the Wigmore Hall. She is a frequent session musician and has toured with Adele, Bjørk and the Stereophonics. Since moving to Wales, she has also become a professor at the Royal Welsh College and the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Malin Broman, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Malin Broman


Born in Sweden, Malin studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with David Takeno. As soloist, Malin has performed with the Gothenburg, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Copenhagen Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, BBC Welsh and Swedish Radio orchestras.

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    Together with Simon Crawford-Phillips and Jesper Svedberg, Malin has toured the world with the Kungsbacka Piano Trio. She was also a member of the Nash Ensemble from 2004 to 2010. In 2008 Malin was appointed leader of the Swedish Radio Orchestra, she has performed Brahms’ double concerto with Steven Isserlis under the baton of Daniel Harding, recorded Nielsen Violin Concerto for Daphne Records and premiered a violin concerto written for her by Helen Grime. Malin has been invited to guest lead the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Philharmonia and LSO. Malin is Artistic Director of the Swedish chamber orchestra Musica Vitae and from 2019 artistic director of Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, taking over after Sakari Oramo. She is a professor of viola at Edsberg Institute of Music. Malin plays a 1709 Stradivarius violin and 1861 Bajoni viola, both on loan from the Järnåker Foundation.

Tom Dunn, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Tom Dunn


Tom Dunn was born in Yorkshire and studied on the Joint Course at Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music. Since then he has held Co-Principal Viola positions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players and from 2011-2014 was Principal Viola in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

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    Tom has also appeared as Guest Principal Viola with many orchestras including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. In 2014 he took up the position of Principal Viola in the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

    A keen Chamber Musician, Tom was a member of the Quince Quartet and the London Bridge Ensemble and has also collaborated with the Gould Piano Trio, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Martin Roscoe, the Scottish Ensemble and Ensemble 360 . Chamber Music recordings include music by Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge and Mozart for Chandos and Dutton.

    Tom is very lucky to play on a viola made by the Flemish maker Matthijs Hofmans in 1690.

Philip Higham, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Kaupo Kikkas

Philip Higham

Philip Higham enjoys a richly varied musical life: a passionate chamber musician, equally at home in concerto, duo and unaccompanied repertoire, he especially relishes Classical and German Romantic music, in which he is frequently and happily immersed as principal cellist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared frequently in recital at Wigmore Hall - including a notable performance of the six Bach suites there in 2017 - and at other prominent venues and festivals both at home and abroad, and is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

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    His two solo recordings for Delphian Records, of the Britten and Bach solo Suites, have received considerable praise, the Britten chosen as 'Instrumental disc of the month’ in Gramophone Magazine during 2013. He enjoys collaborations with pianists Alasdair Beatson and Susan Tomes, violinists Erich Höbarth and Alexander Janiczek, the Navarra and Benyounes string quartets, Hebrides Ensemble, and, as concerto soloist, with Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Philharmonia, the Hallé and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He also draws considerably on his musical experiences with conductors Emmanuel Krivine and Robin Ticciati.

    Born in Edinburgh, studied at St Mary’s Music School with Ruth Beauchamp and subsequently at the RNCM with Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum. He also enjoyed mentoring from Steven Isserlis, and was represented by YCAT between 2009 and 2014. In 2008 he became the first UK cellist to win 1st prize at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, and followed it with major prizes in the 2009 Lutoslawski Competition and the Grand Prix Emmanuel Feuermann 2010.

    Philip plays a cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore, made in 1697. He is grateful for continued support from Harriet's Trust.

David Stark, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

David Stark

Double Bass

David graduated with a first class BMus Hons Degree from the Royal Academy of Music in 2011, studying with Graham Mitchell and Duncan McTier. David has been Principal Bass of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales since 2013 and has been guest principal of many of the symphony orchestras and chamber orchestras in the UK, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the John Wilson Orchestra. David is also Associate Principal Bass of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, a position he has held since January 2017.

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    David also teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He regularly does classes at the Royal Northern College of Music, and coaches on both the National Children's Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. David plays on a William Fendt Double Bass 1848.

Lenny Sayers, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Lenny Sayers


Lenny Sayers is the Principal Bass Clarinet player of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and tutor in clarinet at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and at Cardiff University. He studied Music at York University and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

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    Education and outreach work plays a very important part in Lenny's work as a musician. As well as playing an active part in the outreach work of BBC NOW, he has had a long association with Live Music Now and tutors on the 'Outreach Skills' module at the RWCMD. From 2016-2018 he has worked as a Creative Agent on the Arts Council of Wales Lead Creative Schools scheme. As an animateur Lenny has devised and presented concerts for families at the Penarth Chamber Music Festival, and at the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival.

    His compositions have been performed on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Scotland. Two recent works for orchestra with audience participation, 'A Very Silly March' and 'Plinky Plonk Polka', have featured in the BBC NOW family concerts in Cardiff, Swansea, Llandudno and Cheltenham.

Rebecca Evans, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Rebecca Evans


Rebecca Evans was born in South Wales, and studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Recent highlights in Rebecca’s schedule include the title role in Rodelinda for the English National Opera, Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier for the Welsh National Opera and Alice Ford in concert performances of Falstaff opposite Sir Bryn Terfel in the title role with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko. This season she makes her debut at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Alice Ford in a new production of Falstaff.

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    She has sung Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, Mimì La bohème, Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina Don Giovanni and Despina at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Ginevra Ariodante, Despina, Ilia Idomeneo and Susanna Le nozze di Figaro at the Bayerische Staaatsoper, Munich and Despina at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. At the English National Opera she has sung the title role in Rodelinda, Governess The Turn of the Screw and Romilda Xerxes and Ginevra. Her many roles for the Welsh National Opera have included the Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier, Angelica Orlando, Liu Turandot, Mimì, Contessa, Pamina and Gretel Hänsel und Gretel. In the USA she has sung Susanna and Zerlina for the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Susanna in Santa Fe; Pamina and Adèle Die Fledermaus for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Zerlina, Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress and Adina L’elisir d’amore for the San Francisco Opera.

    In concert she has appeared at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals and she is a regular guest at the BBC Proms. Recent highlights have included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester/Blomstedt and with the London Symphony Orchestra/Gardiner, A Child of our Time with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg/Rizzi, The Apostles with the Hallé Orchestra/Elder and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Accademia Santa Cecilia/Pappano.

    A Grammy Award winning artist, she has recorded prolifically including Marzelline, Pamina and Gretel with Sir Charles Mackerras, Ilia with David Parry and Laila with Brad Cohen (Chandos); Nanetta with Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Philips); a series of Gilbert and Sullivan recordings with Sir Charles Mackerras and a solo recording of Italian songs (EMI).

    Rebecca is a Trustee of the Colwinston Charitable Trust and patron of several charities, among them Shelter Cymru, Ty Hapus and Music in Hospitals Cymru/Wales.

Laura Samuel, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Laura Samuel


Born in London in 1976, Laura studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music, London. Prizes include the Royal Over-Seas League String section,Musicians Benevolent Fund Manoug Parikian Award and the TWIYCA Competition, resulting in her South Bank Recital debut.

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    In 1994 she co-founded the Belcea Quartet and was a member for 16 years. The quartet won first prize in the Osaka and Bordeaux International Competitions. Worldwide tours included regular visits to the States, Far East and throughout Europe as well as a five-year residency at the Wigmore Hall, London. Their numerous recordings for EMI Classics include Bartók, Janácek and Britten cycles as well as Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Debussy and Ravel quartets and have won Gramophone, Midem, Edison and Echo Klassik Awards.

    Laura leads the BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra and joined the Nash ensemble in 2010.

    She plays the ex 'Nissel' Stradivarius of 1731.

Simon Crawford-Phillips, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Simon Crawford-Phillips


Simon Crawford-Phillips has established an extraordinarily varied career as soloist, chamber musician and most recently as a conductor. He was appointed artistic adviser and chief conductor of Västeras Sinfonietta in Sweden from 2017, a contract that has already been extended through 2023. Last season he conducted the orchestra in wide-ranging programmes at the Baltic Sea Festival (Berwaldhallen), Stockholm’s Konserthus and Gothenburg’s Konserthus as well as starting the Sinfonietta’s own festival in Västerås. He has also embarked on an ambitious cycle of all the Beethoven symphonies leading up to 2020. Recent conducting engagements have included Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, the Nash Ensemble, English Chamber Orchestra and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as assisting Daniel Harding, Alain Altinoglu and Stanislav Kochanovsky at the Verbier Festival.

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    As a pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips is a founding member of the Kungsbacka Piano Trio and ‘Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble’ and a regular member of the acclaimed Nash Ensemble. This season he records the Schumann Piano Trios for the BIS label, performs as part of the Nash Ensemble residency at Wigmore Hall and tours extensively with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Hope. Notable concerto debuts include the NHK Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov and more recently the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra directing from the keyboard.

    He works regularly with artists such as Colin Currie, Daniel Hope, Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood, Truls Mørk, Anne Sofie von Otter, Lawrence Power, Michael Schade, Roman Simović, Torleif Thedéen, and the Danish and Elias string quartets. Passionate about contemporary music he has recently given world premieres of music by Thomas Adès, Britta Byström, Steve Reich and Mark-Anthony Turnage as well as working alongside composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Simon Holt, Colin Matthews and Huw Watkins.

    In 2014 his piano duo together with Philip Moore, also a long-standing partnership, premiered Steve Reich’s Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones at London’s Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall NY (listed as one of “The Ten Best Classical Performances of 2014′′ by New York Magazine), Kölner Philharmonie and Cité de la Musique Paris.

    In addition to radio and television broadcasts in Europe, Australia and Japan he has also recorded for the BIS, Channel Classics, Deux-Elles, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, LSO Live, Naxos, Nonesuch and Signum CD labels. Further recordings are planned for Hyperion, BIS and Deutsche Grammophon.

    As well as performing Simon is heavily involved in curating concerts and designing programmes. He is the artistic director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland in Sweden, Västerås Music Festival, Sweden and co-artistic director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival, UK. He has also presented concerts for Sweden’s classical music radio station P2. In June 2010, Simon was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. Previously he has held teaching positions at the Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and currently teaches at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama. Recent guest teaching has included the Schymberg masterclasses in Sweden together with Anne Sofie von Otter and chamber music at Indiana University in Bloomington and the University of Colorado.

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