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Vanessa founded National Strings over 10 years ago and passionately developed the course to give high quality musical education to young musicians from around the world. 

Principal 1st violin with Royal Ballet Sinfonia, which she has led at venues such as the Barbican and Symphony Hall and is mentoring scheme co-ordinator. In her freelance career she has guest led National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, London City Ballet, Welsh Chamber Orchestra and London Concertante; co-led the Ulster Orchestra, English chamber Orchestra and  Bournemouth Sinfonietta; Worked with Academy of St. Martin’s in the Fields and ROH. Broadcast as a soloist on Radio 3, Radio Wales, BBC Wales & HTV. Vanessa has taught at Junior Guildhall for over 15 years and coaches many youth orchestras and is the musical director of London Youth String Orchestra and London Children's String Orchestra. She is also a visiting professor at Royal Academy of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Birmingham Conservatoire.


William Bruce is Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall, a passionate music educator, William is much in demand in the UK for masterclasses, workshops, summer schools and insets and he runs a residential summer school for cellists each year at Hindhead Music Centre. In addition to many years experience as an adjucator, William is a Consultant Moderator for the ABRSM. He studied with Christopher Bunting and took part in classes with Jacqueline du Pré and William Pleeth. He also attended chamber music courses at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies with the Amadeus Quartet. He has been a visiting professor at the University of South Carolina and was a member of the orchestra of English National Opera since 1982.


Rebecca studied piano and piano accompaniment with Yu Chun Yee and Robert Sutherland at the Royal College of Music. Whilst there she won the John Ireland Prize for accompanists, and played for masterclasses given by, amongst others, William Pleeth, Dorothy Delay and Benjamin Luxon; more recently she has played in masterclasses for such eminent musicians as Maxim Vengerov, James Ehnes, Dong-Suk Kang, Leonid Gorokhov, Roger Chase, Simon Rowland Jones, Alban Gerhardt, Thomas Carroll, Boris Garlitsky, Rachel Podger and Pamela Frank. She has also given recitals with Tim Hugh, Leon Bosch and Dominic Seldis. Rebecca gives piano trio recitals with The Vale Piano Trio and is a regular pianist in the BBC NOW chamber series. She has made frequent appearances at the Wales Millennium Centre, including accompanying competitors of the Menuhin Competition and BBC Young Musician of the Year.

Rebecca also works as an accompanist for BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera and Royal Welsh college of Music and Drama.

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As a soloist Simon has performed with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with the Philharmonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square. He has given recitals in the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room. As a chamber musician Simon was a member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Octet. He is much in demand as an orchestral leader, performing with orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony, RLPO, City of London Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Halle and Salzburg Camerata. He is a visiting lecturer at the Birmingham Conservatoire, RNCM and Trinity Laban and teaches at Junior RCM and is head of strings at Wells Cathedral School.





As a member of the internationally renowned Maggini Quartet he has played throughout Europe, North America and the Far East. With the Quartet and other groups he has recorded more than forty discs and has won major prizes including the Gramophone Award and the Diapason d’Or. In 2009 he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Chamber Music as a member of the Britten Sinfonia Soloists Ensemble. Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, where he has been a professor since 1984. He is also an Honorary Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and an Honorary Fellow of Brunel University.




Performer, editor, composer and teacher Simon Rowland-Jones has always led a very varied musical life. He was founder violist of the Chilingirian Quartet and made his début solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1979. Simon is also a viola and chamber music professor at the Royal College of Music and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is, alongside Barry Cheeseman, a co-director of the North Norfolk Music Festival. 

Peters Edition published his viola transcription of the cello suites shortly after he recorded them made and he then went on to make a new critical/performing edition of the Haydn String Quartets.




Ben Davies is a cellist and teacher based in London. Alongside a wide variety of freelance work he has, since 2000, been Principal Cello at English Touring Opera as well as a member of the cello sections at Glyndebourne and Garsington Opera.

Ben has 30 years experience as a teacher and currently holds teaching positions at the Royal

Academy of Music junior department, the Purcell School for young musicians, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and London University. He also coaches young musicians at the National Children’s Orchestra, Encore Music Project summer school and National Chamber Music Course. Quite a number of his students have been prize winners at competitions, secured scholarships and gone on to have successful careers in the music profession, notably including Sheku Kanneh-Mason.




Errika Horsley is the Principal of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and previously held a position in the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. She has also performed and recorded with other orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra and for film sessions with the Chamber Orchestra of London. Errika is also passionate about teaching and coaching young musicians in preparation for music college and beyond.




She won the Queen Mary II accompanists prize at the Guildhall, and has now been made an accompanist for Junior and Senior Guildhall, the Royal College of Music and the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. Jennifer was a Junior Fellow in Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music and was the first person to be awarded a further extension of this fellowship for an unprecedented third year. She has now been made a Concordia Artist. Jennifer has enjoyed playing in the Edinburgh Festival, LSO St Luke's as part of the LSO Discovery series, the Colston Hall in Bristol, the Barbican Centre as part of the Barbican Lates series, St James Piccadilly, St John's Smith Square, St Martin-intheFields, the Royal Albert Hall and Kings Place and has also toured Norway and Germany with her piano trios.




Anne Copéry is the cellist and founder member of the Ludwig Quartet, winner of numerous international chamber music competitions (Portsmouth, Florence Vittorio Gui prize, Arthur Honegger.) She spent a year in residence at Yale University under the tutelage of the Tokyo Quartet, and worked with members of the Berg, Amadeus and Kolish quartets, as well as with the conductor Sergiu Celibidache. For many years she was teacher of chamber music and a string quartet coach at The Paris National Conservatoire (CNSMDP). As a member of the Ludwig Quartet she has performed in over sixty countries (USA, Canada, China, Japan, Korea) in such prestigious venues as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Merkin Hall in New York, the National Theatre of Taipei and the Champs Elysées Théâtre, Paris. She regularly gives masterclasses in cello and chamber music in France and abroad.  In 2011 she was awarded the title of “Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres” by the French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand.




Ishani is an acclaimed violinist, in demand as performer and educator in both the UK and USA. Ishani has been a member of several international orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra in the UK, and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Opera in the US. In the UK she launched the Haslemere String Competition to give young string players across England the opportunity to perform and develop their future careers. She established the Waverley Ensemble, bringing baroque chamber music to wider audiences. She has recently been invited to become the first Patron of the West Coast Youth Orchestra, a Youth Orchestra based in Cape Town, South Africa, a culturally diverse non-profit organisation providing opportunity for young musicians on South Africa's West Coast. In France Ishani established the Issigeac International Music Academy to bring professional chamber music coaching to amateur string players.


“It was immensely rewarding with friends and Colleagues under the guidance of such inspiring tutors. A very valuable experience” 

Seb (19)


“Amazing feedback from different tutors which give their own insights to playing and I enjoy playing chamber music from trios to octets” 

Kayla (16)

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