Anneka Sutcliffe

Manager, Violin

Anneka grew up in a musical family and began playing the violin aged 6. She played in the North Somerset Children’s Orchestra from age 7 and went on to study under Richard Crabtree at Clifton College, leading the school’s Symphony and String Orchestras and String Quartet to National Competition level.

She stayed in Bristol for university where she got a first-class joint-honours degree in Philosophy and Theology, playing in all her free time with many of Bristol’s excellent orchestras. She is currently leader and creative director of the Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra, leader of the Bristol Classical Players and a trustee and librarian of Bristol Concert Orchestra (set to be guest-leading in Spring 2018). She is the founder and managing director of the Insight Ensemble: Her own alternative orchestra that performs theatrical, immersive shows in the Loco Klub tunnels incorporating dance and circus performance.

Available for performances and recordings as a soloist, Anneka has a wide range of experience in genres from rock, pop, folk, electronic and recently Balkan music, performing with a Bristol-based 5-piece band, Troyka.

She is particularly passionate about spreading her love of classical music and regularly presents on Bristol Community Radio, showcasing upcoming concerts around the city. She also teaches the violin privately with students ranging from young beginners to diploma-level adults. If interested in lessons please email her directly: anneka.sutcliffe@gmail.com

David Ridley

Violin, Viola

David very humbly plays the odd gig with us in between touring with the National Theatre as Music Director or jetting off round the world on 'inspiration' trips for new compositions he is writing...

He's an incredibly versatile musician, playing both violin and viola and is very adept at improvisation. His natural musicality is second to none and he is a hugely valued member of the team, especially for his incredible attention to rhythmic detail in rehearsals.

One of the few full-time pro musicians in our group, he is a composer for film and theatre. A founding member of the theatre company 'Bucket Club', he performs as an actor-musician using home-made electronic instruments. He is currently touring with the National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre as musical director and working on long-term commissioned pieces for Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra and the Insight Ensemble.

He has orchestrated scores for BBC1, Channel 4 and the Royal Ballet, was shortlisted for composing the score for the new BBC Blue Planet and scored his first feature film in 2016, ‘Run for your Life’. Find out more: www.davidjridley.co.uk

Michael Cobb

Cello

Michael joined the quartet in summer 2017 and plays the gigs he can fit into his busy schedule between London and Lyon. First and foremost a professional conductor, we are very lucky to have his musicianship on board as a regular player for the Brunel Quartet. His knowledge and enthusiasm for a wide variety of musical repertoire is inspirational, whether bashing out the Game of Thrones theme-tune or sublimely serenading us with solo Bach.

He completed a masters in orchestral conducting at the Royal Welsh College in 2016 and moved to Lyon to assist with the Orchetsra Nationale de Lyon. He is also one of the founders and principal conductor of Orchestra Vitae, a vibrant youthful orchestra based in London and soon to be conducting the Insight Ensemble here in Bristol.

Sara Stagg

Violin, Viola

Sara met other members of the Brunel Quartet playing for Bristol Opera and particularly plays the gigs closer to her home in Wiltshire. An incredibly versatile musician, doubling on violin and viola, her enthusiasm and experience is highly valued.

Sara was born in Kenya 1979 and started playing the violin age 7. She has been performing in chamber ensembles from an early age, playing quartets for a wedding where royalty were present, at commercial functions, RAF events and even Masonic dinners! She has performed at the Southbank a number of times, playing duets in the Purcell room and leading an orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. She has also played in St. John Smith’s Square, and even sung grace before Tony Blair.

Sara graduated from Manchester University with honours in music. She has also achieved a performance diploma and received masterclasses from both the Lindsay Quartet and Hugh Bean.

Based in Wiltshire, she is heavily involved in local music making, leading two quartets that regularly perform, guest leading for the Dorking Chamber Orchestra and for a local string ensemble, and depping for many orchestras in the area. She also often performs solo pieces, both as recitals and at weddings. She teaches in schools and has numerous private pupils.

Osian Mineur

Viola

Osain first learnt the violin at a young age and later picked up the viola, realising he had found his instrument. He met Anneka back in 2008 playing in the University of the West of England Orchestra, and Anneka persuaded him to join the Brunel Sinfonia. Up until recently he was principal viola for the Brunel Sinfonia and now holds a considerable role as secretary of Bristol Concert Orchestra.

He very much enjoys a day job selling pianos at Mickleburgh’s as well as being a highly valued violist across the classical music scene in Bristol. He is principal violist in the Insight Ensemble, and sporadically plays for New Bristol Sinfonia, the Long Ashton Philharmonic, Keynsham Orchestra, Bristol Classical Players and enjoys some musical theatre playing in the pit for Western Opera Players.

A real passion for music comes through in Osain's sensitive playing, he is a great communicator in the musical ensemble and is a very reliable player, luxuriating the grandiose tone of the viola on the rare occasion it is given a solo line. He is also especially talented at baking high-energy vegan snacks and talking at very high speeds!

Charles Read

Cello

Charles has been a member of the quartet since 2014 when he met Anneka playing in Bristol Concert Orchestra.

He's played the cello all his life and now teaches the instrument privately along with enjoying a range of orchestral and chamber ensemble playing. Not only does he have exceptional skill and experience in the classical repertoire but he really knows how to get into a groove in some of our modern modern pop and funky arrangements.

Katie Wilson

Violin, Viola

Katie began her studies in violin at Wells Cathedral School and went on to achieve a BMus at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has since built up a career as a busy freelance violinist and teacher in London and Bristol, namely her schools of violin in Bristol: 'Clifton Strings.' She has also taught piano and worked as an orchestral assistant.

She has had teaching posts at the Gatehouse School, Montessori School, Kingston Music and Arts Service and Taunton School. As a performer she has played with singer songwriter artists Imogen Heap and Rumer, and recorded for the Giles Peterson show on Radio 1. She has also had the privilege of playing alongside Ilya Grigolts and Guy Johnson.

Previously a member of the Welsh Concert Orchestra, Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Bristol Ensemble, Katie currently plays regularly with the Cartol Quartet, bringing excellent small ensemble experience to the Brunel Quartet.

Christopher Greenhalgh 

Cello

Chris joined the quartet in 2015 and is a full-time pro cellist, hopefully returning to be based in Bristol after a 6month residency with the Maltease Philharmonic ending in March 2017. He is also principal cello for Insight Ensemble and has a particular talent for soaring dreamily in the higher register solos on the cello. He can often be seen spotted busking around Bristol, you simply cannot stop this boy playing his cello, whatever the weather!

Chris was born in 1984 in Sweden, but has grown up in the UK since the age of 7. He began learning the cello at 11, first with a private teacher and then later at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, London. He studied cello with Nicolas Jones at Royal Northern College of Music graduating with Bmus(hons) degree in 2008. He then moved to Bristol where he worked as a musician in St Christopher’s School for children with special needs as well as establishing the Greenbank Trio.

In 2012, he worked as a cellist in the Fundação Orquestra Estúdio, which was an orchestra set up for the European Capital of Culture in Guimarães, Portugal. While on his travels in Europe he not only excelled in classical music but gained huge experience in pop and jazz ensembles with the likes of Ute Lemper and Ivan Lins.

In his own words: “I enjoy working and being in the company of musicians and always believe that one has to have the courage to try something new.”

Paul Packwood

Violin

Paul started playing violin in 1964 which makes him our most experienced musician. His inspirational first teacher, Stefan Fragner, was a Polish violinist whose concert playing career was only interrupted by WWII. Paul’s love of classical music goes back to his primary school days; he always wanted to play the violin, and no other instrument appealed to him in the same way.

He studied at Trinity College of Music in 1973 with Mme Henriette Canter who was herself taught by the eminent Jaques Thibaut.

Paul played with Trinity College Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and for choral concerts. He also played in the British Youth Symphony Orchestra. He currently leads the 2nd violins in the Brunel Sinfonia and has led the Long Ashton Symphony Orchestra for an admirable 20 year stint and counting!

Paul describes the often undervalued role of the 2nd violinist as the “meat in the sandwich” of harmony and texture in the quartet. He particularly likes to use his G string and enjoys the opportunity for more intimate and sensitive playing in the quartet compared to the full orchestra, in which he has considerable experience.

A retired Primary Headteacher and Coastguard, Paul now devotes the majority of his time to music, with other interests including gardening, building and flying radio-controlled aircraft, and occasional painting.

He plays an Antonio Lecchi violin made in Cremona in 1923 and describes her as having “elegant proportions and an extremely attractive golden brown back.”