David Adams, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

David Adams


David Adams is the Concertmaster of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, co-Artistic Director of the Penarth Chamber Music Festival and teaches at RWCMD. In his role at WNO, he performs concertos with the orchestra and often directs concerts from the violin. He has appeared as guest leader with most of the major orchestras in the UK most recently the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Orchestra of English National Opera and the Halle Orchestra.

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    Equally at home on violin and viola David has made guest appearances, recordings and broadcasts with the Nash Ensemble, Endellion String Quartet, Gould Piano Trio and Hebrides Ensemble including recording the Brahms Piano Quartets (Gould Piano Trio) and the Beethoven String Quintets (Endellion String Quartet). Previously a member of the London Bridge Trio and the Raphael Ensemble, his recordings of Schumann and Mendelssohn Piano Trios were received with critical acclaim and the London Bridge Trio’s live broadcast of Fanny Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio was selected to be the cover disc of BBC music magazine.

    This year David will appear at the Winchester and Wye Valley chamber music festivals, direct a summer tour of concerts with WNO. He was honoured to be invited to participate in the IMS Prussia Cove 50th anniversary celebrations at the Wigmore Hall in 2022.

    David belongs to a musical family - his father, John Adams, was Principal Viola of the Halle Orchestra and his wife is cellist Alice Neary.

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.

Isobel Neary-Adams, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Isobel Neary-Adams


Isobel Neary-Adams is currently studying with David Takeno alongside being in the second year of her Music degree at the University of Oxford as an academic and music scholar.

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    She cultivated her passion for chamber music at MusicWorks, Festival Resonances Academy (Belgium) and more recently IMS Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music seminar. This November and December she participated in Maiastra chamber music projects with David Waterman and Florence Cooke.

    She has also recently played in the Holywell music room, Oxford, West Road concert hall, Cambridge and at Frinton, Wye Valley and Winchester Chamber Music Festivals. In April 2023 she attended the Masterclasses at IMS Prussia Cove in Thomas Reibl’s class. She was co principal viola of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and has recently started working with Sinfonia Cymru. She is hugely grateful to Oxford University for enabling collaborations with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective (Mendelssohn octet) and the Castalian Quartet (Brahms sextet). 

    Isobel is looking forward to performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in February with Fidelio Orchestra Oxford, and the first movement of Walton’s viola concerto in the final of the Oxford Philharmonic concerto competition in March. She has upcoming chamber music engagements as Young Artist in residence at 2024 Penarth Chamber Music Festival and with the newly formed Telyn Quartet.

Alice Neary, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Alice Neary


Alice enjoys a varied performing career as a chamber musician, soloist and as principal cellist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Familiar to listeners of Radio 3, festival performances include BBC Proms chamber series, Marlboro (USA), Bath International, Santa Fe (USA) and Lofoten. Recent concerto performances include Honegger and Cheryl Frances-Hoade concertos with BBC NOW.

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    Alice was a member of the Gould Piano Trio from 2001-2018 - 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 has appeared as guest cellist with numerous groups including the Nash Ensemble, Ensemble 360 and the Endellion, Elias, Bingham and Heath quartets. She collaborates with pianists Viv McLean, Benjamin Frith, Robin Green and Daniel Tong. Regular visits to International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Marlboro Festival USA and Wye Valley Chamber Music festival provide ongoing inspiration. In January 2022 Alice took part in a USA tour with Marlboro Music Festival musicians, (including performances at Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society).  Future plans include Don Quixote with BBC National Orchestra of Wales in June 2023.

    Alice studied with Ralph Kirshbaum at the RNCM and, as a Fulbright scholar, with Timothy Eddy at Stonybrook, USA.  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. Alice is also a mentor for ChamberStudio. She and her husband, David Adams founded the Penarth Chamber Music Festival in 2014.   Alice plays a cello by Alessandro Gagliano of 1710.

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The Artists

Artistic Directors

  • David Adams and Alice Neary


  • Rebecca Evans CBE