Biographies - Cellos

Yvonne Parsons - Cello

Beginning on the french horn at 9, at 14 Yvonne Parsons found the cello and her diverse musical career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician has taken her around the world. She plays with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestra of St John's, London Concertante, City of London Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and concertos include Shostakovich with Kensington Chamber Orchestra, Elgar, Haydn, Vivaldi, Bruch's 'Kol Nidrei' in Australia, and Dvorak Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow.

Yvonne was the cellist in the spectacular The Lord of the Rings at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and now plays regularly in Les Mis?rables and Oliver, with previous shows including The last 5 Years at the Pump House, Watford, Oklahoma at the Chichester Festival Theatre, West Side Story, Porgy and Bess, The Woman in White and Carousel Also a composer, her varied works from solo instrumental to various chamber group sizes and combinations, small and large scale orchestral and choral works, have been performed around the world, from across the UK and Europe to as far as Columbia, and her composition for Solo Cello, 'dove l'anima riposa', is due for release on May 5th 2010.

Jessica Burroughs - Cello

Jessica Burroughs is in regular demand as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. She has won numerous awards, such as, Making Music Young Artists Award and the British Federation of Music Festivals Gold Medal and has toured extensively with, Countess of Munster Recital Scheme and Tunnell Trust winners, Swan Duo (harp and cello) and Octet, Liquid Architecture. She has also been invited as guest principal with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra and NorrlandsOperans Symfoniorkester, Sweden, and has recorded for Naxos, EMI and most recently as Solo Cello in Tchaikovsky's 'Sleeping Beauty', for Orchid Classics, under Barry Wordsworth.

Jessica completed her studies, with distinction, at Wells Cathedral School and as an ABRSM Home Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music. Her primary teachers have been Mary Cawood, Dr. Ioan Davies and Karine Georgian. She has also participated in numerous public masterclasses around the world with International Artists such as Lluis Claret (Manchester International Cello Festival), Bernard Greenhouse (Kronberg Akademie), Ralph Kirshbaum, Steven Doane, and Joan Dickson.

Jonathan Deakin - Cello

Jonathan Deakin was for three years both an academic scholar and prizewinner at Christ's College, Cambridge, from where he graduated with first class honours in Mathematics. He was subsequently awarded a major scholarship to study with David Strange and Colin Carr at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with distinction, and the DipRAM award. He completed his studies in Berlin with Hans-Jakob Eschenburg.

Recent performances have included chamber music recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, St. James's, Piccadilly and on BBC Radio 3 as well as in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna. As a founding member and solo cellist of the London-based chamber orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, he has appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival, the Al-Bustan Festival in Beirut, Lebanon and with Sir Thomas Allen and Malcolm Martineau at the Wigmore Hall as well at the BBC Proms.

Jonathan has given recitals at the Amsterdam Cello Festival and Norwich & Norfolk Festival as well as performances as both a cellist and pianist on BBC Radio 3, at the Purcell Room and at the Cheltenham International Festival. Solo performances with orchestra include the concertos of Dvorak, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Elgar (for BBC television), Saint-Saens and Wigglesworth (in the 2008 Aldeburgh Festival), with conductors Robin Ticciati, David Hill, Clio Gould and Roger Coull.

Jonathan currently plays on a Matthew Hardie cello, made in Edinburgh in 1795.

Tim Wells - Cello

Tim Wells started learning the cello with William Bruce while a chorister at Westminster Cathedral and continued at the RCM, Junior Department. He went on to read Music with both Choral and Instrumental Scholarships at Christ Church, Oxford, and later studied with Mats Lidström at the Royal Academy of Music where he won most of the cello prizes. He plays in the Agon Piano Trio and his engagements have taken him worldwide to international festivals. He has taught at the RAM, Junior Department and is presently Head of Strings at Eltham College. He also teaches at Dulwich College Preparatory School. An avid arranger and composer, Tim has composed music for television and his works have been published in several volumes. In addition to examining for the ABRSM on both the graded and diploma panels, he is regularly involved in other aspects of the Board's work including syllabus selection, recording projects and composition commissions.

Bryony James - Cello

For the last twelve years Bryony James has been a member of the Pavão Quartet, with whom she was nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2008. The quartet has recorded for Universal, Decca, Classic FM and Landor Records and their performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, Classic FM and sister stations in The Netherlands and Australia. Appearances include The Michael Parkinson Show and as guest artists on Friday Night is Music Night. Their Elgar and Bax CD was hailed "disc of the year" by MusicWeb International.

Extensive UK concert tours have featured such venues as the Wigmore, Queen Elizabeth, and Bridgewater Halls, whilst foreign tours have encompassed China, the USA, Syria, Oman, Monaco, Israel, Portugal and France. The quartet has also enjoyed collaborations with Richard Baker, Sir Willard White, John Lill and the award-winning Henri Oguike Dance Company. Most recently the Pavãos featured on a disc of music by Eric Whitacre called Light And Gold, which was released by Decca in mid-October 2010 and shot straight to No.1 in the US Billboard Chart.

As a solo 'cellist Bryony appears on albums by Robbie Williams, Hayley Westenra and Victoria Hart and has performed live with an array of artists, including Robert Downey Jnr, Jamie Cullum and Charlotte Church. Bryony also played at the Queen's Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace, supporting such artists as Sir Paul McCartney and Brian May.

She played live at the National Movie Awards and as the solo 'cellist on television shows including Jonathan Ross, Parkinson, This Morning, Any Dream Will Do and Over the Rainbow (series BBC1). A diversity of orchestral work has included concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Soloists Orchestra and the Belmont Ensemble, and recordings with Leona Lewis, Peter Kay and Nicole Scherzinger.

Bryony studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where she received the EMI Award, Hovis Prize, RAM Foundation Award and the John B. McEwen Prize. With the Pavão Quartet she held an RAM fellowship for two years. Bryony also enjoys playing for West End shows, most recently Sister Act and Les Misérables.

Sonia Cromarty - Cello

Aberdeen-born Sonia Cromarty studied cello and baroque cello at the RSAMD gaining a First Class Honours degree and Post-graduate Diploma with Distinction.

During her college years she won numerous prizes for solo and ensemble playing and since graduating she has enjoyed a busy and varied freelance career. Highlights include tours of South America, China and Greenland while closer to home she has performed across Europe and the UK including the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival and the St Magnus Festival. Sonia particularly enjoys chamber music and is a member of Daniel's Beard Ensemble, the Rhona Mackay Trio and Beinn Artair Piano Trio.

She performs regularly with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Opera and has also appeared with the RSNO, Scottish Ballet, The Scottish Ensemble, Paragon Ensemble and Red Note Ensemble. As well as performing Sonia enjoys bringing music to the community through teaching and education projects in a wide range of settings.

Yvonne Parsons

Jessica Burroughs

Jonathan Deakin

Tim Wells

Bryony James

Sonia Cromarty