Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra welcomes Alex Postlethwaite as guest leader
Alex Postlethwaite is a freelance violinist based in the West Midlands. He is in much demand as orchestral leader, chamber musician, soloist and recording artist having worked with top chart acts, including appearances on Top of the Pops, BBC, Channel 4, and French channel TF1.
Musically one of his passions is modern and contemporary music. For ten years he ran and led the Richmond Chamber Symphony, a group dedicated to playing the chamber orchestra music of the Twentieth Century, with whom he performed Schnittke’s 3rd Violin Concerto and Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne as soloist. Alex leads the Alexandria Ensemble whose recent concert performances include Martinu’s Piano Trio, John McCabe Musica notturno, and Schnittke Moz-Art. He is keen to introduce Dorking Philharmonia and open their ears to the amazing sound-worlds that flourished in the last century. A tough but rewarding task!
He also plays with the Blaze Ensemble performing chamber recitals around London including St James, Piccadilly and St.Martin-in-the-fields. His favourite place is in the depths of an opera pit and leads many operatic groups including Park Opera, Guildford Opera, Windsor and Eton, and touring around stately homes in the UK with Candlelight Opera Company. He was also guest leader with the London Shostakovich Orchestra in 2015 and more recently in the West Midlands he has lead the British Police Symphony Orchestra.
In 2008 he was fortunate to be asked to lead “Toccata”, a charitable touring musical production company; with them he has toured Zambia, India, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and Kenya playing dozens of shows and raising money for a number of charities in those countries.
As a soloist, he has performed concerti by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schnittke, Bartok, Ravel, Szymanowski, Vivaldi, Mozart (including the Sinfonia Concertante with his wife Jane) and the Beethoven Triple with fellow members of the Toccata band – a far cry from the ‘cheese’ of Broadway and pop music from the seventies and eighties! Hobbies include staying up late with his telescope (amateur astronomy), staying active (containing three youngish children) and mashing malt (brewing beer). His violin is a 1732 copy of a Guarneri which he calls Kylie.
Recent groups leading:
British Police Symphony Orchestra
London Shostakovich Orchestra
Epsom Light Opera
Maidenhead Operatic Soc.
Windsor and EToN Opera
South East London Orchestra (as dep)
Sainsbury Singers (annual shows)
Epsom College Choral Society
Vincent Barrella to perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2
Anglo-Italian pianist Vincent Barrella studied at the Royal Academy of Music before embarking upon a busy soloist and teaching career. In recognition for services to music and for his outstanding concert work, especially with young musicians, he was awarded the prestigious ARAM, Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2001, one of the highest awards for former students.
He has appeared as official accompanist in many masterclasses and in recitals at the BBC (Radio 3 Live), Radio Kent, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square, Meridian TV and BBC Young Musician of the Year (televised rounds).
His solo work has included appearances with the London Philharmonic (Alfriston Festival 2009), Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra, Kent County Youth Orchestra and Dartford Symphony Orchestra, as well as professional recordings for television (Poirot, 2013).
He is the current head of keyboard studies at Highgate School, London and a visiting piano teacher at Tonbridge School. He was elected to be a member of the Examiners Panel for ABRSM in 2004 and has served as lead judge for the Finals of the Rotary Club ‘Young Musician of the Year’.