Poppy Beddoe (Co-Artistic Director - clarinet)
In much demand as a soloist and a chamber musician, Poppy performs extensively throughout the UK and internationally. Poppy graduated in Music from King's College London in 2014, followed by a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in 2016.
Poppy has recently signed a recording contract with Ulysses Arts and her debut
album, Soliloquy, was released in December 2021. The album has been a huge success and has been featured by Apple Music consistently since release.
She is also looking forward to recording a concerto written for her by Matthew Taylor with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She will première the concerto with the Farnham Sinfonia in 2022. In 2022 she will be the Artist in Residence of the Clifton International Music Festival.
She has been invited to give some solo recitals by the University of Houston, Texas in November 2022 where she will premiere several pieces written for her. This year she will also make her King’s Place debut and she is looking forward to playing at the St. Magnus International Festival in June. She has regular engagements in the South of France, notably at Conques and Marcilhac Abbeys.
Poppy is a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department.
She is grateful for the support of the Talent Unlimited Charity, the Malcolm Arnold Trust and the Nicholas Boas Foundation.
Poppy is delighted to be the Artistic Director of the Berkshire Chamber Music Festival and to bring outstanding chamber music to children and audiences around the county.
Matt Lowe (Co-Artistic Director - cello)
Before becoming Director of Music at Bradfield College, Matt led a busy and diverse life as a professional musician; playing the cello and teaching.
His musical journey started at the age of four, when his mum taught him the cello. He became a chorister at York Minster, something he looks back on with great fondness, but it was his cello that enabled him to win a major music scholarship to Eton. He enjoyed a very successful school career becoming President of the Eton Society (Headboy), Secretary to the Eton College Musical Society, House Captain, Captain of the 1st XI football to name but a few. He then went on to study as a cellist at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2008 he was invited to go to the Menuhin Academy in Switzerland, where he continued his studies and also played in the Lysy Camerata, a chamber orchestra which performed across Europe.
On his return to London, he became a freelance cellist playing regularly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As part of his freelance work, he was invited to trial for the post of Principal Cellist (no. 2) with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia, as well for a position with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has also played with the English Chamber Orchestra, English National Opera and Aurora, among others.
Over the last decade his teaching has seen him work alongside some of the leading cellists in Europe at the Eton International Cello Course and the International Cello Gathering (Bryanston), and as assistant to Alexander Baillie on his summer school in France (Carteret). Until his recent appointment, I had spent a decade teaching cello and chamber music at Eton College, having also taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Junior Department, City of London Girls’ School and St Mary’s, Ascot.
He continues to enjoy performing recitals and giving masterclasses, as well as directing the summer course for the Cello Gathering (www.cellogathering.com). He remains as passionate as ever about the importance music plays in lives of youngsters and wider society and is the main reason for taking up his post at Bradfield.
Abby Bowen (viola)
Abby has just finished her masters as a full scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno. She completed her Bachelors at the Royal Academy of music with First Class Hons, studying with Martin Outram.
During her time at Academy, Abby was awarded the Maurice Loban Viola prize, and was principal of the RAM Sainsbury Soloists Chamber ensemble, RAM Symphony Orchestra, and RAM opera. This year she is the violist for the LPO Future Firsts Scheme and will perform and record with the orchestra for the 2020/2021 season. As a keen chamber musician, she has participated in a variety of chamber masterclasses with Ida Hendel, the Doric String Quartet and Richard Ireland. Abby has represented the UK at the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan, as well as being awarded the St James’ Piano Quartet prize and performed widely across England, Italy and France in a variety of ensembles. She has given solo recitals at the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Room, and Benslow Music Trust and a series of performances at nursing homes across Hertfordshire aiming to bring live music to those who can no longer can easily access it.
Abby has also enjoyed performing extensively as a contemporary violist, having recorded for the Small Island Installation at the National Theatre, performed with artists such as Lewis Capaldi and Sam Smith, and performed the at London Fashion week 2020.
Tim Lowe (cello)
Following his recent Wigmore Hall recital Tim’s playing was described as “... compelling in every respect: probing, virtuosic and yielding by turns – a true example of outstanding musicianship.” (Musical Opinion)
Tim spends much of his time playing solo and Chamber recitals throughout the UK and Europe and has played recitals many times in major London venues including Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, QEH, Cadogan Hall and Purcell Room. He has played most of the major cello concertos in recent seasons and is also the cellist of the Rossetti Ensemble.
Tim has played live on TV and radio in the UK and across Europe including regularly on BBC Radio 3.
He has recorded chamber music CDs for various labels, including recently for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, and Champs Hill - the latter was highly recommended by Andrew McGregor on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review (Reynaldo Hahn).
Tim’s orchestral work sees him being Guest Principal Cello with many major UK orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Tim is a Cello Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he has a large class and also coaches chamber music. He teaches and coaches regularly on courses and festivals throughout the UK and Europe. He is the Artistic Director of York Chamber Music Festival. He plays a cello made by Carolus Tononi in Bologna in 1716.
John Paul Ekins (piano)
John Paul Ekins was born in London, began playing the piano at the age of five, and many years later graduated from the Royal College of Music and as a scholar at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with first class degrees, studying with John Barstow and Charles Owen respectively. A winner of nineteen prizes at international competitions, he was presented to her Majesty the Queen and enjoyed a busy career of performing and teaching around the UK and internationally; highlights included recitals at the Wigmore Hall and concerto performances at The Royal Albert Hall. Then Covid19 happened.
His concerts and teaching having disappeared, he set up Cats, Chats & 88 Keys, an online concert series for maintaining a connection with audiences and raising money for first the NHS, then Help Musicians UK. With performances coming live from his music room in south-west London, the series is founded on a passionate belief that classical music is for everyone, fuelled by determination to instil his love for music in others. He delivers informal yet enlightening introductions to welcome and inspire those who are new to classical music, while deepening the experience for those who are more familiar with the genre. He shares his home with five housemates and three quirky cats, who are never far from the music-making.
Henry Chandler (violin)
player following a successful Wigmore Hall debut with the Alke Quartet in March 2017 (finalists of ROSL competition 2017). He has appeared as soloist with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Oxford University Philharmonic and regularly performs recitals with pianist John Paul Ekins. Henry has performed in prestigious venues around the world, such as the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg, Banff Arts Centre in Canada, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall and all the major UK concert halls. He has also toured extensively around China, Japan and Denmark. Henry has performed chamber music alongside musicians such as Raphael Wallfisch. He regularly plays with the Royal Opera House Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and other London orchestras. As a young musician, Henry won numerous prizes such as the Award for Young Musicians in 2009 and the Esther Coleman prize for Outstanding Musician. He has participated in masterclasses with Maxim Vengerov, Rachel Podger and Alina Ibragimova, amongst others. Henry read music at Pembroke College, Oxford University with an instrumental scholarship, and appeared as a soloist in the Sheldonian Theatre after winning the university’s concerto competition. Henry plays on a fine Italian instrument by Fernando Gagliano (Naples, 1778), and a French bow by H.C.Lamy (c. 1920).
Soh-Yon Kim (Violin)
Soh-Yon was born in Seoul and started playing the violin at the age of four. She studied at The Yehudi Menuhin School with Susie Meszaros and Berent Korfker. She completed the Artist Diploma course at the Royal College of Music London under the guidance of Itzhak Rashkovsky, where she was a Mills Williams Junior Fellow 2014-15.
Soh-Yon has performed across the world playing in venues such as the Concertgebouw, UN Hall, Geneva, Winspear Hall, Edmonton, Tel Aviv Opera House, and Seoul Arts Centre, and has performed in festivals such as Menuhin Festival, Gstaad, Bath International Chamber Music Festival, Harrogate Festival, Lichfield Festival, and Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove. Her recent solo appearances include the Wigmore Hall, St James’s Piccadilly, Cadogan Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Purcell Room, and the Bridgewater Hall.
Soh-Yon won 1st prize in "Shabyt-Inspiration" International Competition in Astana, a finalist and Laureate of the 1st International Buenos Aires Violin Competition, and 3rd prize winner in Yampolsky International Violin Competition in Moscow. She is a recipient of Manoug Parikian Award, Help Musicians Postgraduate Award, PO/MMSF Award, Park Lane Group Artist in 2013/14 and 2015/16, Musicians Company Prize from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Tillett Trust, and Machester Midday Society Award. She has performed with orchestras around the world including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscovia Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, and Teatro Colon Orchestra of Buenos Aires with Shlomo Mintz conducting. During her studies at the RCM, she won the RCM Concerto Competition and performed Elgar Violin Concerto with the RCM Symphony Orchestra.