TOM BLOMFIELD (oboe). Tom grew up in North Wales where he began learning the oboe aged 10. He studied at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music where he was taught by Rachael Pankhurst and was a member of both the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for a number of years. Tom graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in the summer of 2017 shortly before joining the Philharmonia Orchestra as their new joint principal oboe just a couple of months later at the age of 22. While at the Academy he studied with his predecessor at the Philharmonia, Christopher Cowie, and London Philharmonic principal Ian Hardwick. Tom is now a professor of oboe at the Royal Academy of Music, a role he undertook only a year following completion of his own studies there. Tom's career so far, outside of the Philharmonia, has led him to play principal oboe with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Aurora Orchestra, and he can be heard on many film and commercial soundtracks. He regularly plays and tours with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, with whom he has travelled to America and all over Europe.
When not playing music Tom can be found on the tennis court with friends; a favorite past time along with watching the sport live. He supports Chelsea Football Club and has an unhealthy (and expensive) obsession with technology.
JAMES BURKE (clarinet). James leads a busy career as both co-principal of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and principal clarinet of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. When not performing, he teaches as a clarinet professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he once studied with teachers such as Andrew Webster, Nick Carpenter, Barnaby Robson, and Joy Farrall. James continues to play as guest principal in other orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. James' work with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields means that he also has many opportunities to perform chamber music on a regular basis, often with Music Director Joshua Bell. He has also worked with the London Sinfonietta, London Conchord Ensemble, Irish Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Soloists. As a soloist, James recently performed the Howard Blake Clarinet Concerto, with Sir Neville Marriner conducting.
James also gives master classes, as well as orchestral and chamber coaching sessions in some of the best music institutions in the country, including the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Southbank Sinfonia, and for the educational departments in the London Symphony Orchestra and Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
JULIE PRICE (bassoon). An orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, and teacher, Julie Price has held positions as principal bassoon with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been principal bassoon of the English Chamber Orchestra since 1994 and co-principal, now principal bassoon, of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2001. With conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ralf Gothóni, Andrew Litton, Edward Gardner, and Douglas Boyd she has appeared as a soloist at the Barbican, Cadogan Hall, and Royal Festival Hall as well as many venues outside London and abroad. As a chamber musician she has appeared with such groups as the Nash, Gaudier, and Razumovsky ensembles, London Winds, and the Lindsay and Chilingirian string quartets. She first studied the bassoon with Sonja Smith, then with Edward Warren and William Waterhouse in Manchester, and later with Roger Birnstingl in Geneva.
Julie Price has been a teacher at the Royal College of Music in London since 1998. Her discography includes recordings of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto and Sinfonia Concertante and Elgar's Romance, all with the English Chamber Orchestra.
STEPHEN STIRLING (horn). Stephen Stirling is a renowned soloist who has appeared at almost every major British venue and with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, BBC NOW, BBC SSO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St John's. Recordings of Mozart Horn Concertos with the City of London Sinfonia feature constantly on classic FM, and he gave the world première of Gary Carpenter's Horn Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic on Radio 3. He holds the unique distinction of having been the soloist for the opening of both of London's newest purpose-built concert halls -- Cabot Hall and King's Place. His recording of the Weber Concertino Op. 45 with CLS conducted by Michael Collins recently came out with Chandos. He has a world-wide reputation as a chamber musician, in constant demand at festivals in the U.K. and abroad as well as being a founder member of Endymion, The Fibonacci Sequence, the Audley Trio, Arpège, and the New London Chamber Ensemble. Amongst over 75 recorded chamber works, Brahms' Horn Trio, with the Florestan Trio, was nominated for a Gramophone award. CDs of York Bowen, Thomas Dunhill, Stanford, and Horn a Fibonacci/Deux Elles CD of rare chamber works featuring the horn, have met with great critical acclaim. Principal of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and the City of London Sinfonia, guest principal horn with the Capella Andrea Barca, Orquestra de Cadaques and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and member then guest principal of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Stephen is privileged to have worked with many of the world's finest chamber orchestras.
Other recent highlights include performing at the Wigmore Hall with Angela Hewitt and Isabelle Faust, releases of chamber music by Nielsen, Lennox Berkeley, Sound Census with Endymion for NMC and a disc of music for oboe, horn, and piano for Oboe Classics.
Professor of horn at Trinity College of Music, London, on the faculty of the Yellow Barn Summer Music School and Festival in Vermont, Stephen is also a veteran of the Dartington International Summer School.
SIMON CRAWFORD-PHILLIPS (piano). Simon is a multi-festival director, renowned pianist, creative programmer with a passion for championing contemporary repertoire, and a chamber musician who regularly collaborates with artists such as Daniel Hope and Lawrence Power in repertoire from Haydn and Schumann to Adès, Byström, Dean and Reich. His own ensembles include The Kungsbacka Piano Trio, and Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble (resident artists at Stockholm Konzerthus). Simon is the artistic adviser and chief conductor of Västerås Sinfonietta as well as the artistic director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland, Västerås Music Festival and co-artistic director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival. Simon is conductor fellow of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra working alongside chief conductor Alan Gilbert.
Simon's eclectic programming is reflected in an extraordinarily varied career as a conductor/director alongside his solo collaborations. Highlights have included debuts with Zurich Chamber Orchestra for an extensive European tour alongside Daniel Hope, directing Sinfonia Varsovia in Warsaw's Lutosławski Chain Festival, and debuting Wild Waves and Woods at Kings Place with Västerås Sinfonietta, Paul Watkins and Lawrence Power.
As a pianist The Guardian says Simon has "profound sensitivity and technical brilliance, achieving an expressive intensity that made for compelling listening." He performs in premiere festivals and concert halls across Europe including Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Edinburgh, and at Wigmore Hall where he will appear as the regular pianist with chamber ensemble-in-residence, the acclaimed Nash Ensemble. Notable concerto debuts include the NHK Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra directing from the keyboard.
Simon Crawford-Phillips is managed worldwide by Percius.