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About the orchestra

About the orchestra

East London Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2017 to give young instrumentalists a chance to collaborate on exciting repertoire in performance in London venues. Jamie Conway and Zoë Kundu brought together an orchestra of the highest standard, making quality music more accessible. The orchestra aims to serve as an experience opportunity for players at the music conservatoires and universities across London, Cambridge and the surrounds aspiring to be orchestral musicians or soloists, as well as young composers.

ELSO performs at various venues across London and elsewhere, drawing participants from across the south of England. The players meet a few days before each performance to learn and rehearse the new repertoire and to work together on its realisation. Rehearsals are led by the conductor and co-founder Jamie Conway, and the players in the orchestra travel to rehearse out of their love for the music and the collaborative opportunity it presents. The orchestra relies on the support of ticket sales and generous donors in order to continue its work for young musicians based in the UK. ELSO is pleased to be able to support young soloists at the start of their professional careers, young composers who are currently writing music for future ELSO concerts, young musicians who are enthusiastic about being mm

involved in active ensembles, and young audiences new to classical music. As well as being committed to commissioning new music and giving young composers the opportunity to hear their work performed in London, ELSO aims to place an emphasis on existing music currently neglected by performers and audiences.

Jamie Conway - conductor

The Conductor

Jamie Conway

Jamie Conway, 20, currently studies music at Robinson College, Cambridge and sings with the world-renowned Choir of St John's College under Andrew Nethsingha. Whilst singing at Truro Cathedral in the 2016/17 season he conducted and accompanied several of the choirs in the area including the St Mary's Singers and Cornwall Youth Choir, and was awarded an Associateship of the Royal College of Organists (ARCO) in February 2017. Previous experiences have included conducting appearances in Hong Kong and Singapore in front of Uppingham School Chamber Choir, as well as at various UK venues.


A former chorister of Gloucester Cathedral under Andrew Nethsingha and Adrian Partington, Jamie's first orchestral experiences involved singing as a treble at the Three Choirs Festival with the Philharmonia Orchestra in repertoire as diverse as Handel's Israel in Egypt to Mahler's gargantuan Eighth Symphony. Once at secondary school he started learning percussion under Sarah Stuart and piano with Alexis Ffrench and played both with the Britten Sinfonia Academy, and his interest in conducting was nurtured by director of music Stephen Williams, who afforded Jamie his first conducting opportunities. He studied organ with Ashley Grote and Peter Clements and has more recently played piano, organ and percussion for National Schools Symphony Orchestra and Watford Youth Sinfonia.


A busy répétiteur and assistant, he is currently rehearsal pianist for Cambridge University Symphony Chorus, and frequently accompanies concerts at both St John's and Robinson Colleges, and across Cambridge. He will be playing piano/celeste  in Nico Muhly's Mixed Messages for Cambridge University Orchestra, the premiere orchestra at the university, and is frequently called upon to play percussion for a variety of ensembles. Having studied with Richard Dickins at National Schools Symphony Orchestra in 2016 with Zoë Kundu, Jamie's regular conducting exploits began with ELSO at the beginning of 2017, and has since conducted Cambridge Fundraising Choir in Trinity College Chapel. He is currently planning an orchestral concert in St John's College Chapel for Spring 2018.


Jamie has performed at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, Snape Proms at Snape Maltings, St David's Hall, Cardiff, Three Choirs Festival, Milton Court, London A Cappella Festival at King's Place, and more.

Anthony Poon - leader

The Leaders

Anthony Poon​

Anthony Poon was born in Hong Kong in 1996. He started violin lessons at the age of 7 and at the age of 9 Handel Lam took over his musical development. Anthony was awarded Associate of Trinity College of London (ATCL) in 2010. Anthony has performed concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Brahms. He played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Uppingham Symphony Orchestra in Norwich Cathedral under the baton of Dr David Hill. Anthony has also led the School Symphony Orchestra and the Senior String Ensemble for several years. He achieved a distinction at the Licentiate of Trinity College London (LTCL) diploma violin recital examination in 2011.

In 2013 a quintet led by him won Champions' Prize at the Pro Corda Chamber Music Festival.  He was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2013-2014, performing in major halls and various concert venues, including Barbican Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and elsewhere.

Anthony has participated in masterclasses with Jack Liebeck, Remus Azoitei and Philippe Graffin. He has also studied chamber music with Elias Quartet, Sacconi Quartet, Doric Quartet, Levon Chillingirian, Sebastian Comberti, Michael Dussek, Guy Johnston, Quatuor Mosaïques and Jim Sleigh.

During his first year at the Royal Academy of Music he also played in the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra under the batons of Christian Thielemann and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Alongside his orchestral playing, Anthony is a passionate chamber musician and plays in the Cymbeline Quartet founded in 2015. The highlights of the Quartet’s performances were collaborations with Jörgen van Rijen, principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and bandoneon virtuoso Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi in the David Josefowitz Recital Hall at the Academy. They have been invited by M. S. Pietrodarchi to perform the same programme in Italy at the end of April. Recently, the quartet has qualified and played at the St Martin-in-The-Fields in the semi-final round of the St Martin’s Chamber Music Competition 2017.


At the end of March he will be performing the 1st movement of Lalo’s ‘‘Symphonie Espagnole’’ with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for their Charity concert. He is currently a scholarship student of Mateja Marinkovic.

Natasha Kenealey - leader
Natasha Kenealy

Natasha Kenealy is currently studying for her undergraduate degree in violin performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She took up the violin at aged 7 and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music's Junior Department in 2013 with Ben Wragg. She is now studying with Ofer Falk, going into her 3rd year of study at Trinity Laban.


Natasha was awarded a music scholarship to Forest School for her secondary education, during which she performed Svendsen's Romance with Chamber Orchestra at St' John's Smith Square, and led the Symphony Orchestra at the Palau de la Música de Valéncia in 2015, as well as  premiering works by composer Darren Bloom.


She is a keen chamber, opera and orchestral player. While at Trinity Laban she has performed with members of the Philharmonia Orchestra and with the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra. She also took part in the premiere of  Stephen McNeff's  opera 'Banished' in 

2015. Some other notable works performed include Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with the Janus Ensemble, Mahler's 1st Symphony with the Junior Academy Symphony Orchestra and Tchaikovsky's 'Romeo and Juliet' with the Barbican Young Orchestra, which she was part of for two years under the batons of Sir Colin Davis and Ed Gardner. Natasha has also performed with the Orion Orchestra for the past year, including performances featuring Rick Wakeman and a children's concert presented by comedian Sue Perkins.


Over the years she has been part of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain, performing chamber works under Chris Hirons' leadership. She has also played with the National Youth Music Theatre, leading the string section of the pit band for the new musical 'Brass' by Benjamin Till premiered in 2014 in Leeds - of which she also featured on the Original Cast recording - and 'Pendragon' performed in Bury St' Edmunds in 2015. She was also part of the 40th anniversary concert at the Adelphi Theatre. From this, Natasha has developed a keen interest for musical theatre playing, performing in venues such as the Garrick and Twickenham Theatre, for amateur and professional performances such as 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Company' by Stephen Sondheim. 

Charles Westhoff - violin
Robin Haigh - composer

Guest Artists

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Charles Westhoff - violin

Charlie Westhoff is a burgeoning Australian violinist residing in London. Charlie has performed at all major concert venues in Australia such as the Sydney Opera House, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Melbourne Recital Hall, and Sydney Entertainment Centre, whilst performance experience spans from America, Italy, France, Singapore, Germany, and Israel.


As violinist and musician, Charlie has won a number of accolades and awards. Charlie was named Pittwater Young Citizen of the Year for his contribution to the Arts in 2009, gained his Licentiate Diploma in Violin with Distinction in 2011, and was invited to study at the Julliard school. Charlie performed the Violin soundtrack for the short feature film ‘Reason to Smile’ by Academy Award nominated director Rene Hernandez. Charlie has won the Wenkart Foundation Junior Violin Award, Alf and Pearl Pollard Award for performance excellence and The Marcus Edwards Prize for Violin, whilst becoming prizewinner in the Fine Music 2MBS Young Performers Awards, NSW Dr’s Orchestra Scholarship, National Kendall Violin Competition, and the Animato International Violin Competitions.


Charlie began his studies through the Suzuki method at the age of 3, then studied under the tutelage of Janet Davies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the Rising Stars program and Dr Robin Wilson at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. He now studies as a full scholarship student under the tutelage of renowned pedagogue Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music, London, supported by the Ladies of the Soiree D’Or Foundation. Charlie is also grateful to be supported by ARS Musica, and to be a Talent Unlimited artist.


Charlie is a graduate of the Keshet Eilon mastercourse, whilst having received lessons and mentorship from artists such as Mischa Maisky, Nicolas Alstaedt, Richard Tognetti, Vadim Gluzman, Vesa Matti Lepanen, as well as members of the London based Doric String Quartet and Australia’s Goldner String Quartet.


He is a keen chamber musician and has performed in festivals and concerts across Australia and Europe, whilst having toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2015. Over the past 2 years Charlie has been a featured soloist with the Melbourne Philharmonia Project performing works by Sibelius, Richter, and Barber.


Charlie performs on an 18th Century Grancino Brothers, Milanese violin generously loaned by a private sponsor.

Robin Haigh - composer

Robin Haigh is a composer from London. In 2017, he became one of the youngest ever recipients of a British Composer Award for his recorder quintet, In Feyre Foreste, at the age of 24. Upcoming projects include pieces for the Ligeti Quartet, the Heath Quartet, Berkeley Ensemble, LSO Chamber Ensemble, and the Hermes Experiment.

His opera, The Man Who Woke Up, was premiered in London in 2015, and went on to receive three performances in 2016 with Thompson Street Opera Company in Louisville, with further performances planned for 2019 in Chicago. Other theatrical works include his 1936 for two narrators and large ensemble, commissioned by East London Music Group, and the site-specific Die Nächte in Berlin for the Art of Chaos Festival in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall. His piece Zorthern for Luke Carver Goss (accordion) and the Royal Northern Sinfonia was premiered in January 2018, and features on a release by NMC Recordings.

Robin studied at Goldsmiths University of London with Dmitri Smirnov, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Edmund Finnis and David Sawer. While at the Academy, he was awarded the Eric Coates Prize for his orchestral piece Movado, and participated in lessons and masterclasses with Magnus Lindberg, Bent Sorensen, Oliver Knussen, Judith Weir, and Michael Finnissy. He was recently selected for both the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub scheme and the PRS Accelerate scheme, and was previously a member of Sound and Music’s Next Wave 2. Later this year he will begin a PhD at the University of York under the supervision of Martin Suckling, supported by a WRoCAH studentship.

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Samuel Huston - clarinet
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Samuel Huston - clarinet

Samuel Huston is currently studying Music at Cambridge's Gonville and Caius College where he has acheived a first in his first year of study. As a clarinettist, he is a member of the University’s prestigious Instrumental Award Scheme and his recent performances as a soloist and in chamber ensembles have included playing at the Fitzwilliam Museum, in Gonville and Caius College Chapel and in West Road Concert Hall. He is also a member of the Gonville and Caius College Choir with whom he has just toured around England alongside the Armonico Consort. Prior to coming to Cambridge, Samuel studied as a music scholar at Highgate School.

Simone Tavoni - piano
Simone Tavoni - Piano

Simone Alessandro Tavoni has been awarded a place on the BBC Pathway scheme during the 2015/2016 academic year. Through this, he has had the opportunity to rehearse and perform as an orchestral pianist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and some of these performances have been played by BBC Radio 3.

Simone has given solo recitals internationally, including in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Hungary, France, Spain, Malta and across Italy. He has featured as a soloist with the Kensington Chamber Orchestra, Ashod Symphony Orchestra and Luigi Cherubini Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatory of Florence. Performance venues have included Liszt House (Budapest, Hungary), Florence Conservatory Concert Hall (Florence, Italy), Royal Festival Hall, Victoria & Albert Museum, Regent Hall, St. James’ Piccadilly (London. U.K.), and Hausmusik of Aarhus (Aarhus,Denmark ). He has also performance in the En Blanc Et Noir Piano Festival in Lagrasse, France.

After graduating from the Giacomo Puccini Conservatoire in La Spezia when he was 18, where he studied the piano under Marco Podestà, he then moved to Florence to study at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatoire, continuing piano studies with Giuseppe Fricelli, and studying composition with Rosario Mirigliano. Simone won the opportunity to participate in an exchange programme, and went to study in Budapest on a scholarship at the Franz Liszt Academy with Kesckes Balazs, receiving lessons from Laszlo Baranyay, Andras Kemenes and undertaking masterclasses with Zoltan Kocsis and Malcolm Bilson.

In 2014, Simone moved to London to study on the Master of Performance programme at the Royal College of Music with Andrew Ball. Simone won a second exchange bursary in Autumn 2015, to study for one term at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany with Peter Nagy.


Simone has been generously supported by the Henry Wood Trust, and one of his most recent performances has been recorded by the Canal du Sur (Andalucia, Spain).

Zoë Perkins - trumpet
Zoë Perkins - Trumpet

Zoë Perkins began her musical career playing the cornet and first picked up the trumpet in 2008 when she met Cambridge-based teacher Michel Sedgwick, a trumpet player with the renowned Cambridge brass dectet Prime Brass. She joined ensembles such as the Cambridge County Youth Orchestra and the Cambridge County Youth Wind Orchestra where she regularly played with Army bands based at Bassingbourne.

In 2011 she was invited to join Junior Prime Brass, whom she remained with until she left school in July 2016, taking the principal seat for her final two years. This led to many solo opportunities, and notably the chance to perform with Prime Brass in King’s College Chapel under the direction of Stephen Cleobury.

Alongside this, Zoë was appointed as the sole trumpet in the newly-formed Britten Sinfonia Academy in 2013 and commenced her studies at the Junior Academy of the Royal Academy of Music in February of that year, where she was taught by David Price. While studying at the Junior Academy she enjoyed opportunities to play in venues such as Holy Trinity Church in Sloane Square, Cadogan Hall and St John Smith’s Square for the 80th anniversary celebration. Significant performances included Mahler’s First Symphony, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony for which she took the principal seat.  For her final performance at the Junior Academy she was invited to play the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto with the JA symphony orchestra in the Dukes Hall. During her time at the Junior Academy she won the intermediate brass prize in 2014, and the senior brass prize the following year.

Zoë gained a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2015, playing for HM The Queen and in venues including the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Leeds Town Hall, Sage Gateshead, and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. She took the principal chair in 2016 and for her final residency she performed for the third time at the BBC Proms in a concert of Holst’s The Planets and Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra with Edward Gardiner, televised live on BBC. The Planets was subsequently recorded in Birmingham Symphony Hall for Chandos Records.


Zoë was one of the five brass finalists in BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016 where she was praised for her challenging repertoire choices, technical bravura and sensitive playing. She has been awarded a full ABRSM scholarship and is now an undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, studying trumpet with Mark David and natural trumpet with John Hutchins. She has played in masterclasses with Reinhold Fredrich and Jeroen Berwaerts.​

Evan Bailey - composer
Evan Bailey - Composer

Evan Bailey was born in Loughton, East London, and grew up in South Woodford, a mere five miles from ELSO's home at St John of Jerusalem Church, Hackney. He began learning trombone with Andrew White aged 9 and attended Forest School. Once there Evan found his love for composing, dedicating much of his time to practising the craft. At 16 he took up lessons in composition with Darren Bloom, and works from this period were often performed and workshopped by Forest School's Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Continuing his studies with Darren Bloom at the Trinity Laban Junior Department, Evan has recently had works performed by the Ossian Ensemble and the Composers' Ensemble at Junior Trinity. In 2016 he studied with Edwin Roxburgh on the Benslow Music summer school, and was involved in a collaboration with amateur choreographers working to combine music and dance under the direction of Mark Bowden and Bethan Peters, culminating with a performance at the Tate Modern in February 2017. Evan was awarded Composition prizes twice at Forest School, and has recently been awarded the Composition Prize at Trinity Laban Junior Department.

A keen trombone player and singer, Evan was involved in the Big Band, Symphony Orchestra, Close Harmony and Chapel Choir at Forest School, and continues in the Symphony Orchestra, Four Part Choir and Vocal Consort at Junior Trinity, which has included solo opportunities.

Evan will move to Glasgow in the Autumn of 2017 to take up a place on the Undergraduate Composition Degree Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Edward Jowle - baritone

​Originally from Derbyshire, Edward Jowle studies on the undergraduate course at the Royal College of Music with Tim Evans-Jones and Andrew Robinson. He is a Soirée d'Or Scholar and is sponsored by the Sir Henry Wood Trust. He previously studied at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music with Louise Winter and David Jones, supported by the Leverhulme and Sylvia Swiffin Trusts.

Operatic work includes Masetto (Don Giovanni), Dottore Grenvil (La Traviata), Notaro (Don Pasquale) and Scythe (Iphigénie en Tauride) for Euphonia Studio; Alidoro (La Cenerentola) for Bedford Park Festival; Cecil (Maria Stuarda) for Magnetic Opera/Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Wagner (Faust) for Winterbourne Opera. 

Operetta and Musical Theatre work includes: Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance) and Despard (Ruddigore) for Grosvenor Light Opera Company; Seymour (Little Shop of Horrors) and Raoul (Phantom of the Opera) for Chesterfield Studios.

As a concert soloist, Edward's repertoire includes the Fauré Requiem, Bach St John Passion and Kaffeekantata, Mozart Requiem and Purcell Come

Edward Jowle - Baritone

Ye Sons of Art. He has performed with choral societies across the UK and has been invited several times to sing with the Orchestre Symphonique de Canet en Roussillon in the South of France.

In a different vein, Edward recently completed a run of three Chekhov plays - The Proposal, On the Evils of Tobacco and The Bear - in Kensington's Drayton Arms Theatre. 

Edward was a finalist in the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Competition and was named Best Male Voice at the 2015 International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. He has been coached by artists including Sally Burgess, Stephen Varcoe, Patricia MacMahon and Robert Dean, and has appeared in masterclass with Sir Thomas Allen.

Future engagements include Schaunard (La bohème) and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) for Euphonia Studio as well as a recital of Beethoven and Schumann Lieder with Alisdair Kitchen for the Rye Arts Festival.

Edward is thrilled to be part of the East London Symphony Orchestra's debut concert.

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