Dorothy Croft Trust
for Young Musicians
Dona Lee Croft, Director
Dona Lee Croft has given performances and broadcasts on the international concert circuit since her debut at the age of fourteen. She studied in America with Ivan Galamian, Benno Rabinof and in Europe with Nathan Milstein and Bela Katona of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Her distinguised career has encompassed performances as soloist or chamber musician in concerts in prestigious venues throughout The United States, Europe, Great Britian, Mexico and recently in the world famous Carnegie Hall, New York. Her recordings of sonatas by Schumann and Debussy, as well as works by Kreisler, Vieuxtemps and Brahms is available on Karuna Record label and her second CD on Classical Recordings includes Sonata No.2 by Schnittke, “Ruralia Hungarica by Dohnanyi as well as two commissioned works by Earnest and Salter.
Dona Lee was a Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music for 30 years and, in 1991, an Honorary Membership of the Royal College of Music was conferred on her by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Some of her lessons were filmed by the Harmos Project, an educational initiative sponsored by the European Commission to video lessons given by those they consider to be outstanding professors.
Scottish violinist Rowan Bell gained undergraduate and masters degrees as a Douglas Downie Scholar at the Royal College of Music under Professor Dona Lee Croft. As a member of the Vardanyan Quartet he held the Bulldog Junior Fellowship at Trinity College of Music from 2008-2009. The Vardanyan Quartet were the MBF Ensemble in Residence at Lake District Summer Music and Park Lane Group Young Artists in 2009-10. Rowan has performed as a chamber musician at many of the most prestigious venues in the UK including the Purcell Room, King’s Place, the Wigmore Hall and the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, and has performed chamber music with artists including Martin Frӧst, Kathryn Stott, Jennifer Pike, Philip Higham, Levon Chilingirian, Simon Roland-Jones and Arisa Fugita. He has also performed as second violin in the Fitzwilliam Quartet – the quartet who premiered Shostakovich’s last three quartets.
Rowan is a Director and principal second violin of the Arensky Chamber Orchestra and as well as being a regular teacher at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and an 'Advanced Violin' teacher at the North London Colourstrings Centre. He plays a violin made by Guiseppe Pedrazzini (c. 1927).
Born in Odessa to musical parents, Cynthia started her studies with Dorothy Croft at the age of 5. When she left school she was honoured to be awarded a four year scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music, London, with the renowned pedagogue Bela Katona.
Cynthia joined the BBC Concert Orchestra in London in 1981, was appointed Associate Leader in 1987 and Leader in 2003 where she remains to date. She enjoys playing a huge variety of types and styles of music and is acknowledged as one of the UK’s foremost specialist in the Light Music genre. She has just recorded a new album with pianist Barry Booth due to be released soon and enjoys a successful teaching career.
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OF THE DOROTHY CROFT TRUST
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Nick has worked in the financial services industry since 1987, gaining a wealth of experience in sales, marketing and managing people. His clients are Company Directors and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Owners, and he compliments their existing advisors, auditors and accountants by introducing them to new ideas to help them make the most of their situation and achieve their goals. Passionate about this and mixing traditional with innovative planning ideas, Nick provides a ‘high touch’ financial advice service.
Nick's financial consultancy Corporate Financial Resources LLP (CFR) launched in March 2012 and is situated in the City of London . Prior to this he worked for a number of companies, including Zurich, and gained valuable knowledge in the financial field, especially with multi-disciplined businesses.
Nick is also the Finance Trustee for the charity ‘Momentum’ based in Kingston-upon-Thames since 2010. This is a charity for children with cancer and life limiting illnesses.
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John was Leader of the National Youth Orchestra for its first two years. as scholar at the RCM he studied under Henry Holst and Manoug Parikian, and was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal after two years.
At 26, he became leader of the Sadlers Wells (now English National) Opera Orchestra. Later he led the Royal Opera House Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the BBC's Langham Chamber Orchestra. In 30 years of freelancing, John was leader of a number of orchestras including the London Concert Orchestra, Guildford Philharmonic and the Virtuosi of England.
John was a Professor at the Royal College of Music from 1970 to 1998, and also involved in orchestra coaching at the RCM and the Kent Youth Orchestra.
Dermot Crehan was born in Dublin and studied classical violin under Jaroslav Vanecek at the Royal College of Music. He has worked at the top of the music profession for 40yrs. Combined with his classical music career, his experience of commercial and Irish folk music, as well as music from other diverse ethnic cultures, places him amongst London’s elite professional musicians.
As a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic, Dermot played for many world renowned conductors. He is also known for his work as a folk fiddler, appearing on many film sound tracks and television scores. His solo work can be heard on films, including Lord of the Rings Trilogy (on which he plays Hardanger, Sarangi, Dilruba and Kemara), Four Weddings and a Funeral, High Spirits, Patriot Games, Shipping News, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Legends of the Fall, Mrs Brown, Charlotte Gray, The Mighty, Closing the Ring, Evelyn, The Girl with the Pearl Earing, Sunshine on Leith.
Dermot has extensive experience of teaching students of all ages and standards. In January 2014, he took up his current position as Head of Strings at London College of Music, University of West London.
Jonathan was born in England in 1974 and started his musical studies at the age of 7. He obtained a BA degree in violin performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. After completing his first degree, he won two major scholarships to continue to study with Prof. Dona Lee Croft. As a performer Jonathan has been a member of some of the most prestigious orchestras in the UK such as the BBC Welsh Orchestra and Welsh National Orchestra among others. Mr Burnett has a passion for contempary music, and he has played with many chamber ensemble who pioneer new music. These collaborations include Michael Nyman, Graham Fitkin AluN Hoddinot and Charlie Barber.
Jonathan's teaching career started in Wales, while studying for his first degree. After contributing to the development of different music departments in various institutions, he became Head of Strings at Berkshire Maestros where he has been working since 2002. He is not only an accomplished performer, but also a dedicated conductor and at present he is in charge of different ensembles as well as the Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Burnett's teaching and performing expertise has allowed him to work around the world delivering tuition and advise in countries as far as in the Middle East, South Africa, Australia and South America.
Shih-Yun came to the UK to study at The Purcell School in 2002, before going on to the Royal College of Music (BMus) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (MA) studying with Professor Dona Lee Croft.
As a performer, she has performed in various venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St George’s Hanover Square and St David’s Hall. Prior to becoming a trustee for the Dorothy Croft Trust, she has worked as a musical director and instrumental teacher for various institutions. Currently, she spends most of her time teaching small groups and individual lessons and coaching orchestras in schools. As well as teaching, Shih-Yun is the Ensemble Development Lead for Ealing Music Service. Her goal for the position is to promote ensemble playing and to get as many young people as possible to experience and enjoy ensemble playing.
John has worked in music education for over 35 years. Much of his early career was spent working for the London Borough of Newham at its Academy of Music, holding posts of Head of Strings, Head of Instrumental Teaching and finally Deputy Director of the Newham Music Trust. His time there also involved working as an ensemble coach and orchestral conductor, giving notable performances in many of the major concert venues in London and other parts of the UK.
John has also held teaching positions at Radley College, Oxon and St Edmund’s College, Ware and for the past 16 years has been a member of the string teaching staff of the Royal College of Music Junior Department. He also spent 15 years with the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, working as orchestra/course manager.
A former student of Dona Lee Croft, John combines his busy teaching commitment with work as a freelance violinist in and around London.