Cello teaching

Cello teaching has for many years been an activity I have been involved in.

I originally trained as a cellist in the Schola Musica of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, studying cello with Farquhar Wilkinson (then Co-Principal Cellist of the NZSO).

I went on to study with Christopher Bunting in London, where I also completed a Diploma in Orchestral Studies.

I had become acquainted with highly effective string teaching ideas through attending a seminar given in New Zealand by the American string teaching expert Paul Rolland, which led on to me working in London for a year for the then Inner London Education Authority as a teaching assistant in the Tower Hamlets String Project under Sheila Nelson.

The greatest single influence on my thinking for cello playing and teaching was my teacher Christopher Bunting. In terms of teaching beginners, what I learnt from him was supplemented by my experience of the great violin pedagogue Sheila Nelson’s work.

A revelation in sound and expressive power was hearing Steven Isserlis play; once I’d heard him I took every opportunity I could to see him play or teach, which had a profound effect on me.

I have been extremely fortunate in having had the opportunity to see many of the greatest cellists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries teaching in master-classes, including:

Anner Bijlsma, Christoph Coin, Lynn Harrell, Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, Boris Pergamenchikoff, William Pleeth, Heinrich Schiff, Janos Starker, and Raphael Wallfisch.