Poppy Beddoe (Co-Artistic Director - clarinet)
In much demand as a soloist and a chamber musician, Poppy performs extensively throughout the UK and Europe. Poppy graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2016.
In 2021 she will be the Artist in Residence of the Clifton International Music Festival. In 2020 she was a semifinalist for the Royal Over-Seas League Competition and a finalist in the World Bach Competition. She has recently given recitals at the Marlborough Summer School and St Martin in the Fields. Poppy has recently signed a recording contract with Ulysses Arts and will be releasing her debut album in July 2021. She is grateful for the continued support of the Talent Unlimited Charity.
With the Oriole Quartet, she has performed at the Barnes Festival, the Clifton International Music Festival and in Carmona, Spain. They are looking forward to playing the Messaein Quatuor pour la fin du temps in Hay on Wye in December 2020. In 2014 Poppy formed the Temple Ensemble, a mixed Chamber Ensemble which expands and contracts according to the chosen repertoire. The group have performed at the Wigmore Hall, Gloucester Cathedral and at the Pastel en Scène and Marcilhac Festivals in France. Each year Poppy organises an eight concert tour for the group in the South of France.
Poppy is a Chamber Music coach and Musicianship Teacher at the Junior Royal Academy of Music and she also teaches Clarinet and Chamber Music at Bradfield College.
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.
Courtenay Cleary (violin)
Courtenay is currently a scholar at The Juilliard School in New York, studying with violin professor Naoko Tanaka whilst completing her Master of Music degree. Last year she received her Bachelor of Music degree with first-class honours from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with professor Maureen Smith.
In 2017 she performed as a soloist for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other distinguished guests at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Commonwealth Service which was broadcast live on BBC television. She was then asked again to perform for the HM the Queen at Buckingham Palace for the 2018 Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. As a soloist she has performed at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, St James’ Piccadilly, the Regent Hall, Colston Hall and the Lincoln Centre. She recently performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra in Sydney and gave the Australian premiere of David Lang’s Mystery Sonatas.
She is a Tait Memorial Trust and ABRSM scholar, and was recently awarded second prize at the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition as well as the the Dame Joan Sutherland Award from the American Australian Association and the Guy Parsons Award from the Portland House and Australian Music Foundations.
Jonathan Ferrucci (Piano)
Jonathan grew up in Italy and Australia, and being bilingual has always enriched his cultural identity. Alongside his training with Giovanni Carmassi in Florence and Joan Havill at the Guildhall School in London, his artistic sensibility has been profoundly influenced by his studies with Angela Hewitt, Robert Levin and Aldo Ciccolini, and by masterclasses with Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Christian Zacharias and Peter Frankl.
Jonathan has had the fortune of travelling around the world to play music, performing in big cities and small towns, on islands and in deserts, in Wigmore Halls and small living rooms. This is his favourite part of the profession. Each experience is unique to its time and place.
In 2015, Jonathan co-founded Made in Music, a non-profit organization through which they organised two festivals, bringing together musicians from eight different countries. He strongly believes that music is a universal language that can unite people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Parallel to his time spent at the piano, he practises Ashtanga Yoga daily, and consider it an integral part of his work, and essential to life.
Samuel Andrews (violin)
Samuel is a violinist, originating from Brisbane, Australia. He attained his Bachelor of Music and Masters degrees from the University of Queensland with first class honours and now frequently appears with various ensembles throughout the country. He has toured across Europe and South East Asia performing with the Australian Youth Orchestra and with the Queensland Youth Symphony. Currently he teaches the upper strings students at John Paul College and is a founder member of the indie-classical group, Nonsemble.
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.