King Edward's Music

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

Tag: viola

The Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham; viola players at the Cecil Aronowitz competition

A convocation of viola greatness: members of KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra in their safe space.

There has been speculation that there is, somewhere in the world, a mobile safe haven for violas. Its existence has since been confirmed, as the viola tribe manifested itself in the form of the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition at the Birmingham conservatoire during the penultimate week of November. Violists and other supporters flocked from far and wide to listen and participate in a week of masterclasses, recitals workshops and, of course, the main event: the international competition itself.

Several members of symphony orchestra headed down on Monday to get a piece of the action: Naina played in a masterclass with Timothy Ridout and later joined the rest of the merry band in a workshop hosted by the Absolute Zero (temperature, not skill) viola quartet – yes, viola quartets do exist. The workshop was an amusing time where arrangements for viola ensemble were played and new techniques picked up. They also watched Round 2 of the competition.

The Robin Ireland evening recital included one of his own works, Pairings II for two viola, a Bach Chaconne (played with a baroque bow), Seven Preludes by Shostakovich and Six pieces from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. A magical and inspirational performance by one of the viola greats.

All in all, it was an informative and fun experience – maybe next time we’ll be competing for real! … or not.


Gabriel and Junias Wong

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham


A musical afternoon for the Shells of King Edward’s School.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham: Tom Redmond working with our Shells

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham: Margaret Cookhorn working with our Shells

Friday, 3 November 2017
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Adam Romer, viola
Margaret Cookhorn, bassoon and contra-bassoon
Tom Redmond, horn

As a musician, I was delighted to find out that representatives of the CBSO would be coming to see us! When I was younger, I saw people from the CBSO on YouTube and they helped me massively with improving as a bassoonist. I enjoyed seeing the viola, the French horn and the bassoon and finding more about each of the instruments. I particularly enjoyed the bassoon duet as well as the tunes that we all knew on the French horn and some amazing pieces on the viola that had a lot of emotions – one moment  happy, the next sad. It was great to explore how the French horn turned from a hunter’s horn to something as complicated as it is now and how the colour impacts the sound, how the bassoon and the contrabassoon can go really low and quite high as well and also how the viola can be plucked and bowed. I also learnt how all instruments make their sound: vibration, and how they make it, from reeds to bows to mouth buzzes. It was a really interesting and hard to beat Friday afternoon activity!

Ben Woodward (Shell)

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

From the masterclass with Krysia Osostowicz

Music at King Edward's School: masterclass with Krysia Osostowicz

Music at King Edward's School: masterclass with Krysia OsostowiczOur thanks to Mr. Boardman for the photographs.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

The masterclass is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

Lunchtime Recital

Paul Hindemith at King Edward's School Music Department

Thursday, 15 January at 1305
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Daniel Pett, viola
Jedidiah Cheung, violin
Grace Mupanemunda, voice

works by Hindemith, de Falla, Schumann, Gershwin, and Rodgers and Hart.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls


Masterclass with Krysia Osostowicz

Krysia Osostowicz at King Edward's School, Music Department

Krysia Osostowicz

A splendid opportunity for the string players of King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls: Krysia Osostowicz, one of the finest players and teachers of her generation, gives a masterclass.

The class will take place on Wednesday, 15 January, between 1030 and 1600 in the Ruddock Hall; all are welcome to attend some or part of the day. Below, Krysia’s biography:

Krysia Osostowicz enjoys a busy career as a chamber musician, soloist and teacher. In 1995 she founded the Dante String Quartet which is recognised as one of Britain’s finest ensembles, winning a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2007.

Born in London of Polish descent, Krysia studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, at Cambridge University and in Salzburg with Sandor Vegh.  She has made a series of award-winning recordings for Hyperion, including sonatas by Bartok, Brahms and Ravel, and the string quartets of Debussy, Sibelius, Smetana and Kodaly.

Krysia teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has given masterclasses in the UK, France and Spain. She is artistic director of the thriving Dante Summer Festival in the Tamar Valley ( in the West of England.  In 2015 she will play all of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas, plus ten newly commissioned companion pieces, with pianist Daniel Tong at Kings Place and elsewhere in the UK: details on


Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

The masterclass is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls