1st violin Nic Fallowfield has extensive experience as violinist, conductor and teacher. He has been co-leader of sinfonia ViVA since 1987, the year he left his position of co-principal 1st violin in the Northern Sinfonia. During his time in Newcastle he was 1st violin of the Bridge String Quartet which performed on Tyne Tees TV, and of Terzetto, a string trio which recorded for BBC Radio 3.
Since 1987, Nic has also been co-leader of the English String Orchestra and was leader of Orchestra of the Swan in its early years. He has been a soloist in concertos of Mozart and Bach, and in double concertos of Schnittke and Arnold. He has been guest leader of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and Manchester Camerata among others. Nic is regularly called upon to lead sinfonia ViVA and has also conducted the orchestra on several occasions. Playing has taken him on tour throughout Europe, North and South America and Japan, and he features on countless recordings. In the 1990’s Nic was 1st violin of the Delcini String Quartet which played at music societies throughout Britain.
Nic is very fortunate to have been introduced to chamber music by his first violin teacher Anne Macnaghten, 1st violin of the Macnaghten Quartet and co-founder of the original Macnaghten Concerts. He went on to study with the great Hungarian pedagogue Bela Katona.
Nic is a much sought-after teacher at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Clare Bhabra studied music at Birmingham University where she graduated in 1984 with a B.Mus and a 1st in performance. She continued her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music under the direction of Lydia Mordkovitch.
At the age of twenty-two Clare joined the first violins of Opera North. For the next ten years she combined a busy orchestral schedule with co-founding the Mirage String Quartet and the Janacek Piano Trio. With these ensembles she gave numerous concerts around the country.
Since moving to Nottinghamshire in 2002 Clare has continued to perform as an orchestral and chamber musician with various groups including Sinfonia Viva. In 2010 she was appointed leader of the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra and also finds time to teach and coach pupils aged from eight to eighty.
For many years Richard Muncey was a member of the Guadagnini String Quartet. They won several international prizes and were resident at Lancaster University and Banff Summer School (Canada).
He is now the Principal Viola of the Northern Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva and The London Festival Orchestra. He has appeared as guest principal with many of Britain’s orchestras including the SCO, The Halle, the CBSO , the Liverpool Phil and also with the Orchestra of Bologna Opera.
For 20 years he was the violist of the Music Group of Manchester. The ensemble promoted five seasons of concerts at RNCM, released a CD and toured at home and abroad to great critical acclaim.
He plays on a fine English viola made in 1851 by S.A.Forster
Cellist Jenny Curtis studied at the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded many prizes and scholarships. She took part in masterclasses with Ralph Kirschbaum and Maurice Gendron and also in the masterclasses with Paul Tortelier which were televised by the BBC.
Jenny was a finalist in the LPO/Pioneer Young Soloist competition. She was a member of the Philharmonia for six years and has played with many of the finest orchestras in the country, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the Halle.
Jenny has regularly appeared as a soloist in this country and in Denmark. She is a well-respected and experienced teacher and has been a cello professor at the Royal Northern College of Music for eleven years.