“A versatile and accomplished artist” was how Classical Music Magazine described Stacey many years ago and the Scottish press heralded him as a ”A Wizard” of the Double Bass. Neither may have realised at the time that more versatilities and wand waving were to follow. Stacey is Principal Double Bass with the London Chamber Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Orchestra of the Swan, Primavera Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Domaine, the English Soloist’s Ensemble, the National Symphony and the Johann Strauss Gala Orchestras. He is also a Principal Bass for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Stacey has also appeared as a guest principal with larger groups such as the Royal Concertgebouw, the Royal and London Philharmonics, the Hallé, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He is Principal Bass, Principal Conductor and Founder of the Esprit Ensemble LTD.
Stacey made his concerto début on the Bass at the age of thirteen and on the Piano at seventeen. He won the Eugene Cruft Prize for the Double Bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied as a scholar and later became a professor. Stacey appeared live on Russian television and radio after becoming a prize winner at the first International Koussevitsky Double Bass competition in Moscow in 1995.
Having had a tremendously busy career as a concerto soloist, chamber musician and orchestra principal performing on recordings, live television and radio broadcasts, not to mention having a busy commercial career recording the sound tracks to numerous Hollywood films. Stacey has now embarked on a career as a conductor making his major London début conducting Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom sequel “Love Never Dies”. Continuing to show his adaptability he recently conducted Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Mahler’s very technical 4th Symphony, with some of the professions’ finest musicians at his own music festival with the ensemble he founded in 2002. The Mahler performance was well received and he was subsequently invited to become an Associate Music Director at Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s world famous epic show ‘Les Misérables.’ This in turn lead him to his current Associate Conducting position at Disney’s world famous ‘Lion King’ at the Lyceum Theatre in the heart of the West End. Stacey regularly flies to Finland to conduct, recently giving performances of Brahms 2, Dvorak 9, Elgar ‘cello concerto, Strauss Wind Symphony and Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Milton Keynes City Orchestra conducting Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations along side his long time friend, and esteemed ‘cellist of the Tippett Quartet, Bozidar Vukotic.
Jorma Panula, legendary conducting guru, who mentored the likes of Esa Pekka Salonen, Sakari Oramo, Mikko Franck, Jukka-Pekka Saraste said, “Yes!! You describe the music!” after he saw Stacey conduct Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, with the Koupio Symphony Orchestra in Finland. Atso Almila, Jorma’s esteemed colleague and highly regarded composer, conductor and head of conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy said “Stacey has so much more to offer than just clear beating like most other conductors offer these days and he looks like he loves being on the podium. Even more interestingly his approach is humble, honest and non stuffy. He has a very positive charisma combined with a humble way of working with others and the music? – the essence of it.”
Stacey’s career as a soloist has seen him perform numerous concertos in prestigious venues throughout the world and is one of the few bassists in England to make regular concerto appearances. He was deeply honoured to perform Bottesini’s B Minor Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra at the Vredenburg International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, Holland. He impressed audience and colleagues alike at the ease at which he performed the technically challenging Dragonetti’s Grande Allegro with the wonderfully spirited London Chamber Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square, London. Stacey has also enjoyed sharing the recital stage with eminent ‘cellists Steven Isserlis, Torleif Thedeen, and Daniel Mueller-Schott. Performances with the “Mighty” Belcea Quartet and Ian Bostridge at the Gulbenkian International Music Festival Lisbon and Perth International Music Festival were also a highlight of his playing career. Other International artists such as Nigel Kennedy have commented that Stacey is a “remarkable talent”. Each year he is reunited with his chamber music family at Julian Rachlin and Friends International Festival in Dubrovnik, Croatia and at Janine Jansen’s International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, Holland. He is always very proud to be included in a family which also includes one of the most famous ‘cellists of all, Mischa Maisky and the ground breaking revolutionary Clarinettist Martin Frost. Oh and not forgetting Sir Roger Moore 007. See his Elephant on utube and all will be revealed.
Stacey is Principal Conductor and the Managing and Artistic Director of “The Esprit Ensemble Limited” and his recording company and session orchestra, “First Take Music”, regularly record for commercial sessions at Abbey Road Studios in London.
Mark Chivers studied Viola at York University and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Alan George (an original member of The Fitzwilliam String Quartet), Yuko Inoue (Capricorn Ensemble) and Garfield Jackson Violist from the Endellion Quartet.
He now leads a busy freelance career in London, being Principal Viola for many crossover artists including Katherine Jenkins, Andrea Boccelli, Alfie Boe and Russell Watson alongside TV and film sessions (including X Factor, Popstar to Operastar and Britain’s Got Talent for ITV and the soundtracks to Doctor Who, Land Girls, Father Brown Investigates, The Coroner and The Human Planet for the BBC). He also recorded the score for Victoria Wood’s film “That Day We Sang” (starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton) which aired on BBC2/Boxing Day 2014. His latest appearances on a Hollywood movie soundtrack are “Anna Karennina” (2013) and “The Theory Of Everything” (Nov 2014) which won the Golden Globe for Best Music Score and was nominated for an Oscar. He can also be heard on many “Sony Award” winning TV Adverts, from Reebok through to Mercedes Benz.
Mark is Principal Viola of the National Symphony Orchestra, a core member of Orchestra Of The Swan and is the newly appointed No.2 for Raymond Gubbay’s London Concert Orchestra, alongside extensive work for the BBC Orchestras. He was also in Katie Melua’s String Quartet (11 million albums) alongside touring with a diverse range of pop artists (from Peter Gabriel to Goldfrapp). Mark was also Principal Viola for Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds UK Tours and has deputised on many touring West End Shows including Phantom Of The Opera and Les Miserables. His String Quartet (Masquerade) has recorded two CD’s of his arrangements: Music from Broadway and The Great American Songbook. In 2015 the Quartet are toured the UK with Russell Watson in his “Up Close and Personal” Tour.
Simon Munday (trumpet) began his musical career with the Salvation Army. He was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied modern and baroque trumpet with David Mason, Andrew Crowley, Malcolm Smith and Mark Bennett.
Simon works now as a freelance musician with the Royal Opera House, Halle, BBC Phillharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israeli Camerata, Manchester Camerata, English Chamber Orchestra, The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists, the English Concert, Dunedin Consort, St. James’ Baroque, and Les Talens Lyriques. He has performed as a soloist with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Academy of Ancient Music, Les Arts Florissant, The New London Consort, Gabrieli Consort, Ex Cathedra and La Serenissima.
Bach’s second Brandenburg concerto has featured heavily throughout Simon’s career performing this work many times both on modern and baroque trumpet, most notably, a live Radio 3 broadcast from Brixton prison as part of their ‘Bach at Christmas project’. He has also performed the Haydn, Leopold Mozart, Michael Haydn concertos and has given over 150 performances of the Telemann Concerto in D, a work which he has also recorded.
As well as his work with Alberti Brass, Simon’s chamber music has extended to working with ensembles such as London Brass and Halle Brass. Simon regularly performs in the West End and has also appeared on the big screen in Bright Young Things, De Lovely, The Duchess and Young Victoria, as well as on TV in Top of the Pops, Songs of Praise and Ant and Dec’s ‘Push the Button’. He has particularly enjoyed touring with Peter Gabriel and has performed on the recordings of Peter’s latest albums, adding to Simon’s diverse and rounded career.
As leader of NSO Matthew is one of London’s most respected violinists and orchestral leaders.
He is leader of the National Symphony Orchestra and the English National Ballet Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a member of the English Chamber Orchestra and was sub-leader of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Previous to this he was contracted leader of the Gavle Symphony Orchestra.
He served as a guest leader of the City of London Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, London Mozart Players, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, B.B.C. Scottish Symphony Orchestra, B.B.C. National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia (Guest Leader), Leader/Soloist for Sarah Brightman UK/World tours (1999 – present).
Matthew is Guest Tutor at Royal Academy of Music for “Audition Class”, Guest Tutor Royal Northern College of Music for “Audition and orchestral preparation class”.
As a London-based musician since the mid 1970’s, Andy Findon has appeared on countless albums, film and TV scores. He has been involved in just about every genre of performance from serious orchestral work and session recording to rock-bands and performance on a vast array of ethnic instruments.
Andy has worked throughout his career on varied chairs in London’s West End theatre, playing many instruments, including sax, clarinet, ethnic flutes and flutes. As well as his enviable reputation as a master performer on the flute, Andy has been Michael Nyman’s baritone saxophonist since 1980. Personal recording projects include 2 multi-tracked CDs and several solo pan-pipe albums as well as writing for many “library” music companies. Many of his compositions now feature on TV and film productions, most notably a current TV advert for Pampers!
In 2008 he transcribed and recorded a 37 minute, solo flute work by Michael Nyman, “Yamamoto Perpetuo” (published by Chester Music). Andy released “Density 21.5” in 2011 and “The Dancing Flute”, (the flute and piano music of Geoff Eales) in 2013 on Nimbus Alliance. He is a member of the “The Home Service”, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 (best live act), “Acoustic Earth” and “The London Woodwind Orchestra”. Andy’s vast array of sounds appear on a series of high profile sampling packages, entitled “Andy’s Kitbag”, produced by Spitfire Audio. Andy is a “Pearl Flutes International Artist”, as well as being the proud owner of Geoffrey Gilbert’s 1950 platinum flute.