Timothy Barrett (Piano) studied on a Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, winning many major awards, and completed his studies with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris and Geoffrey Parsons. He has toured and broadcast extensively in the UK and abroad as soloist, accompanist and chamber music player. Whilst still a student he developed a special interest in song accompaniment through playing for Masterclasses at Aldeburgh, subsequently partnering such artists as Dame Felicity Lott and Robert White. In addition, instrumentalists he has worked with include Jack Brymer, Bradley Creswick and Haaken Hardenberger. Teaching forms a major part of his musical life and he works with pupils of all ages and levels from beginner to post-graduate. He was Head of Keyboard at Dulwich College for almost 25 years whilst also teaching at the RAM and TCM and now pursues a busy freelance career.
An ABRSM examiner since 1991, he is also a Trainer, Moderator and Mentor. Other work for the AB includes selecting the graded Piano pieces and presenting Seminars. He frequently directs Masterclasses for performers and teachers’ workshops in the UK and Far East and is in demand as a Competition and Festival adjudicator.
William Howard (Piano), described in The Independent as “a pianist of quite special lustrousness and versatility”, is established as one of Britain’s leading pianists, enjoying a career that has taken him to over 40 different countries. His performing life consists of solo recitals, concerto performances, guest appearances with chamber ensembles and instrumentalists. In 1983 he founded the Schubert Ensemble, with which he performed for the full 35 years of the Ensemble’s existence. William performs regularly at major venues and festivals in the UK and can be heard frequently on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. He has made over forty CD recordings and premiered several dozen new works by leading composers from the UK and abroad. Highlights of 2020 include concerts in the USA, the Czech Republic and around the UK, and the release of a recording of piano works by Howard Skempton, including 24 Preludes and Fugues which William premiered at the Hay Festival in 2019. www.williamhoward.co.uk
Catherine Manson (Strings) enjoys a versatile performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. As first violinist of the classical London Haydn Quartet she has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Sydney Opera House. The quartet’s series of recordings of the Haydn quartets on the Hyperion label has met with high critical acclaim internationally.
She was appointed as leader of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 2006. Together with the orchestra’s director, Ton Koopman, she has recorded the six obbligato sonatas by Bach, Haydn’s concerto for violin and organ and the complete chamber music by Buxtehude. They have given many concerts together throughout Europe. She is frequently invited as guest leader of ensembles such as The Orchestra of the 18th Century, Collegium Vocale, the Smithsonian Chamber Players in USA and Arcangelo in the UK. She has also appeared as soloist and director with Tafelmusik in Canada and with the Orquesta Barrocca de Sevilla.
Teaching has always been an important part of her musical life; in 2001 she co-founded and now directs MusicWorks, presenting chamber music courses for young musicians. She has given masterclasses and workshops at conservatories in London, Lyon, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore as well as at Juilliard School, Yale and Indiana Universities.
Elizabeth Childs (Wind) is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied flute with Gareth Morris and piano with Graeme Humphrey. Whilst at the RAM she performed regularly with all the orchestras, and was also engaged in many internal and external teaching projects: for Elizabeth the teaching of her students extends far beyond the turning up to a lesson each week and she believes in a totally holistic approach. International engagements have taken her to the USA and to many parts of Europe, and she has performed extensively throughout the UK as soloist, recitalist and orchestral player. Elizabeth’s career started in Bristol but in 1988 she moved to Scotland in order for her husband to take up a Cathedral Organist position. Elizabeth became principal flute with the Sinfonia of Scotland, Dundee Opera and Dundee and Perth Light Operatic Company, alongside a busy teaching schedule. Elizabeth has recorded programmes for the Open University and other children’s programmes and gives Organ duo recitals with her husband.
Elizabeth has successfully prepared pupils for scholarships to leading public schools, Junior Conservatoires and Specialist Music Schools and now has many ex-students working in the profession. She has directed summer schools and other courses for young wind players. It is a mission of hers to encourage as many children to have the experience of both ‘performing’ and taking part in festivals under the auspices of the British & International Federation, of which Liz is currently a Board member. Elizabeth believes that all children should have the opportunity to learn how to perform as it benefits many areas of a child’s education, as is well documented. Currently, Elizabeth is engaged in a busy teaching schedule which includes Beechwood Park Preparatory School and the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy of which she is founder and Director; its Flute Ensemble has undertaken concert tours to Brugge and the Netherlands, and reached the 2017 final of the Flutewise/ABRSM Flute Choirs Competition.
Liz is also flautist in Quintessimo, and has undertaken some voluntary work with young flautists in Nairobi, culminating in some well received concerts. She is also a full member of the ISM, a committee member of the Hitchin Festival of the Arts and the local Bedfordshire Representative for The British Flute Society. Liz has three children and two twin grandchildren, and in any spare time enjoys cookery and spending time in her garden and greenhouse in a lovely Bedfordshire village at the foot of the Barton Hills. Elizabeth is in much demand as an Adjudicator both at home and abroad and is very much looking forward to her first trip to the Abingdon Music Festival.
David Beer (Voice) is a classically trained pianist and conductor, and, after a short career in teaching, became a full-time professional Musical
Director, pianist, and vocal coach. He has been Musical Director of numerous West End productions and National tours of shows including Fame, Cats, Guys and Dolls, Me and My Girl, We Will Rock You, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aspects of Love and Joseph. He has played on film soundtracks, and conducted and played on TV and radio.
He was Director of Music at the BRIT School for Performing Arts, is a
Music Mentor for Music For Youth, an adjudicator for competitive
festivals across the UK and examiner in Music Theatre and piano for
London College of Music. David has taught singing at Guildhall, Italia
Conti, RADA, GSA, Hurtwood House, EDA Academy, Stella Mann
College and has been MD of shows at Arts Educational Schools and
While living in Bedfordshire he formed East Bedfordshire Chamber
Choir, which had great success in the area. He also conducted the
Military Wives Choir of Chicksands, St Mary’s Singers, Locrian
Chamber Choir, and was deputy conductor of Leighton Buzzard Festival
Singers and Biggleswade Choral Society.
Now retired from full-time professional conducting and settled in
Lincolnshire since 2019, he is accompanist for Grimsby Philharmonic
Choir and sings with and accompanies Lydian Choir.