Peter BellinghamChief Executivepeter@sinfonia.cymru
I was rubbish at the violin. I learned it so I could join the school orchestra and avoid the cadets. Then I realised that you needed a second instrument for most music colleges. I got accepted at the Royal Northern College of Music, the only one that didn’t need me to play the violin! Now, after a long convoluted journey, I’m here at Sinfonia Cymru. It’s such a joy working with young musicians who bring so much passion, energy and commitment to their work and who readily show the pleasure they get from making music together. This really is my perfect job – and I’ve had a lot to choose from over the last 40+ years! And they pay me to do it – imagine that.
Tammy DalyGeneral ManagerTammy@sinfonia.cymru
I grew up in North Devon and decided I wanted to play the french horn after seeing a wind quintet concert and thinking it looked pretty interesting! I was never brilliant at it but went on to music college in Cardiff and then Manchester where I soon realised my skills were better suited to the logistics and management side of music making. My first job was with Sinfonia Cymru as Orchestra Manager in 2008, before heading to the bright lights of London for 7 years and then returning to Sinfonia Cymru in 2017. I love the variety of music and performances that this orchestra does, and the energy, excellence and positivity that all the wonderful musicians bring to each project. In my spare time I love live music of all different genres, and enjoy the great outdoors!
Joseph EvansOrchestra ManagerJoseph@sinfonia.cymru
I’ve always much preferred reading and talking about music to playing it (my trumpet has remained firmly in its case for at least two years now) and spent most of my time at university in Oxford and Cambridge obsessing over fugues. It’s great that I can continue to chat to people who love music and be part of planning exciting and diverse projects, working with such interesting musical personalities. I also grew up and had all of my first musical experiences in Cardiff, so I’m glad to be part of the musical culture here again. When I’m not thinking about music, I love to work my way through my increasingly large collection of recipe books, which is currently pushing fifty.
Hannah RobertsMarketing Officerhannah@sinfonia.cymru
I’ve worked with Sinfonia Cymru for a year now and what a fabulous first job to have after completing my Undergraduate and Masters degrees studying flute at RWCMD. I love working in a small team, all of us having a shared common interest – music.
I was born in Wrexham and that’s where my musical journey began, in school, as well as attending the Junior Royal Northern College of Music every Saturday for 7 years. Outside of work, I love keeping fit and healthy and used to play tennis for Wales (when I was about 10, but still an accomplishment in my books!!) and slightly more recently, completing the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2 hours 20!
Caroline HarrisDevelopment Consultantdevelopment@sinfonia.cymru
Music in all its forms has always been a huge part of my life, the more out there the better and crossing all genres. I still play (very amateur) clarinet, although it’s harder when you spend your life listening to the pros! Careerwise, I started life as a lawyer but not-so-secretly always wanted to work in the arts. In 2009 I made the move, working for six years at the Barbican Centre and four at Aurora Orchestra, and as a trustee of social drumming project Drum Works. It’s been everything I’ve hoped for – to “work” watching a rehearsal from inside an orchestra, or listening to world-class artists tuning up backstage? Nothing better! I believe passionately in creating opportunities in music and I’m thrilled to be contributing to that at Sinfonia Cymru.
I was born in Cardiff and studied English at Cambridge University. I’ve worked in arts management and fundraising since graduating including at Glyndebourne, Wigmore Hall and Brecon Baroque Festival. I am Director of Mid Wales Music Trust which I co-founded in 2009 to increase access to high quality live music for people across rural mid Wales, especially through creative learning and participation. I am also Company Secretary at Hay Festival.
Deborah KeyserBoard member
I was born and raised in Wales and studied music at Cardiff University before post-grad studies at Goldsmith’s College, London. My career started at the BBC, working for Radio 3 and BBC Music Magazine and I then worked in orchestral management and opera production before moving back to Wales, and becoming Director of Creu Cymru. I’m currently Director of Tŷ Cerdd, the national body responsible for promoting and celebrating the music of Wales. I am a Board member of the ISM, Anthem Music Fund Wales and the Presteigne Festival.
Fflur JonesBoard member
I am a Partner at Darwin Gray and head of their Employment and HR team. I advise on all aspects of employment law and have a particular expertise and interest in discrimination law. I’m a regular contributor to radio and TV programmes, run training events, and speak at functions and conferences on issues surrounding mental health in the workplace. In 2016, I helped establish the Wales HR Network and the annual Wales HR Awards to encourage best practice in the employment sector and celebrate the achievements of HR professionals across Wales.
Marc ThomasBoard member
I studied at Cardiff University and Technische Universität, Berlin and then did post-grad journalism back in Cardiff. I helped to start and develop the Welsh Music Prize with John Rostrom and Huw Stephens, which promoted the best album of any genre from a Welsh artist. More recently I co-founded doopoll, an award-winning polling platform, of which I’m CEO. I’ve published several books, and love learning new languages – currently speaking English, Welsh, French, German.
Simmy SinghBoard member
I was born and raised in Llandybie where I was taught music by my wonderful mother. I headed for Chetham’s School of Music when I was 16 and went on to the RNCM after that and now enjoy a colourful and varied life as a freelance classical and crossover violinist. I am passionate about pushing boundaries and believe variety really is the spice of life and try to live true to that in my freelance career. From co-founding the Manchester Collective, to leading the Kaleidoscope Orchestra, recording strings for electronic producers and playing with some of the country’s most exciting jazz artists with my quartet, Amika, I love every part of what I do. Until recently, when I reached the age cap, I was a long-standing member of Sinfonia Cymru (although, I’m returning as a guest in 2021 to lead a project) and it really has helped shaped me into the musician I am today. I cannot wait to continue the journey with this amazing family and to keep pushing, exploring and growing together, to give back all they have given me and to bring it all back home!
Simone WillisBoard member
I studied violin at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where I graduated in 2014. I still do some teaching and playing but I have recently focused on research, undertaking a PhD at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I am researching workplace stress, coping and well-being of professional classical musicians and conservatoire music students. Alongside this, I am a Systematic Reviewer at Cardiff University, developing the evidence base to inform policy and practice in health and social care.
Wiard SterkBoard member
I’m a Dutch national who’s lived in Wales for over 35 years. My early career was in stage and theatre management, working for companies such as Made in Wales, Hijinx, the Sherman and Theatr Hafren. In the early 1990s I graduated as an Art Historian from the Open University and moved into public art management, working at CBAT the Arts & Regeneration Agency. I became its Director in 2003 and later Executive Director of its successor Safle. This was followed by some years working as a freelance art consultant. More recently I’ve joined the immigration charity Settled, advising EU Citizens in the UK on their post-Brexit immigration status.