Biographies

Julia Richards, Cellist

Julia Richards
Julia Richards

JULIA RICHARDS studied at the Welsh College of Music and Drama with George Isaac, gaining a diploma in performance and the Garfield Philips memorial prize. Since the age of sixteen she has been helped and encouraged by Bruno Schrecker and after leaving college studied with Lowri Blake.

Julia has broadcast for Radio Wales with a string quartet and also as a music quiz team member. She has given performances on BBC Television and has worked with American jazz clarinettist Bob Wilber. She has established herself through solo performances, chamber music and continuo playing as well as freelance orchestral work with Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Viva and the Orchestra of the Swan. During her freelance career the conductors she has worked with include Vilem Tausky, Bryden Thompson, Richard Hickox and Lazlo Heltay.

She also works with the chamber ensemble Zephyr having performed with them in Malvern Concert Club‘s Centenary Concert. Her work as a teacher and coach of young players is highly respected and she also adjudicates.

Julia formed “Cariad Duo” with violist Helen Schilsky and works with string quartets and other chamber groups.

Julia plays on a cello attributed to the celebrated 18th century London maker Thomas Smith. Her bow was made in 1988 by the acclaimed French archetier Benoit Rolland.

In her leisure time Julia enjoys walking with her partner, organic gardening, watercolour painting and pastels.

Helen Schilsky, Violist

Helen Schilsky
Helen Schilsky

HELEN SCHILSKY was born in Dagenham, Essex and started playing the viola at the age of eleven.

Whilst a pupil at the Purcell School of Music she gained a place at the Royal College of Music Junior Department to study under Bridget Crouch, following this with full time study with Margaret Major. Helen played in the RCM Baroque Orchestra at a Buckingham Palace Investiture for HRH The Prince of Wales and since leaving college she has worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Philharmonia and more recently was on trial with Scottish Opera.

Helen moved to North Wales with her husband and son in 2005 and has established herself as a much sought after teacher, whilst continuing her professional performing with several Welsh orchestras and ensembles including Ensemble Cymru with whom she accompanied the Welsh language Rap act Genod Droog at the Welsh Rap Awards.

Helen has been performing regularly with pianist Simon Reynolds since they were sixth formers at the Purcell School of Music and also works with cellist Julia Richards in the string ensemble “Cariad Duo”.