Violas at Trinity Laban

With its extraordinary teaching roster, numerous high-level orchestral and chamber music performance opportunities and a unique approach to unlocking creativity, Trinity Laban offers violists a truly exceptional learning experience.


Roger Chase and Rivka Golani

Images: Roger Chase and Rivka Golani

Our exceptional roster of professorial staff includes Sarah-Jane Bradley, Roger Chase, Richard Crabtree, Rivka Golani and Emmanuella Reiter. They have performed as soloists and as members of some of the world’s leading orchestras, and have initiated numerous creative projects. Most important of all, they are passionate about education, and deeply committed to their students.

They are complemented by our visiting professors Aleksander Milosev (Principal Viola of the Philharmonia Orchestra) and Jiří Žigmund (violist with the Wihan Quartet).

We also regularly welcome leading violists to give masterclasses. This academic year we have welcomed – among others – Garth Knox, Ivo-Jan van der Werff and Philip Dukes.

And our Head of Strings Nic Pendlebury is himself the viola player with the world-renowned Smith Quartet. If you’re considering applying, you can chat to Nic at any time by emailing him at [email protected]

Side by Side

At Trinity Laban we offer many outstanding performance opportunities. Chief among those is our Side by Side scheme.

This unique programme sees principal players from some of the UK’s leading orchestras come to perform alongside and mentor our students. In the last 12 months our collaborations included:

  • Respighi Fountains of Rome and Debussy Nocturnes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Nielsen Symphony no 5 with the Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Korngold film music with the BBC Concert Orchestra
  • Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Elgar Symphony no 1 with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra

TL student Irene Katsnelson Side by Side with Tom Beer

Image: TL student Irene Katsnelson Side by Side with Tom Beer, TL alumnus and Principal Viola of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

In September 2017, Trinity Laban students will also perform alongside Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) musicians in one of the operatic events of the year: the world premiere at Grange Festival Opera of a newly orchestrated version of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park. This is part of an ongoing partnership with BSO that will see our orchestral students gain benefit from a number of new mentorship initiatives.

The Side by Side scheme also extends to chamber music. Our students gain the invaluable experience of performing alongside professors in the magnificent Old Royal Naval College, in repertoire such as the Brahms String Sextet and Mendelssohn Octet.

And our many other performance projects include performances from our Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble at prestigious venues across London and beyond.


Ever since we were founded in 1872, there has been a long history of Trinity Laban alumni finding success in the profession. Some recent successful graduates include:

Norbert Blume (graduated 1978): Principal Viola, BBC Symphony Orchestra

Tom Beer (2000): Principal Viola, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Samuel Burstin (2008): Viola, Philharmonia Orchestra

Elin Parry and Caleb Sibley (2016): Viola, Southbank Sinfonia

Chamber Music

All TL students perform in chamber music groups, and can receive unlimited coaching from our professorial team and resident and visiting artists.

Students can work with our Quartets in Residence (currently the Wihan Quartet and Dulcinea Quartet), as well as amazing visiting artists such as the Kronos Quartet.

There are also frequent performance opportunities at amazing venues including the Old Royal Naval College Chapel.

This year, students have also been working with our current Junior Fellow, violist Stephen Upshaw.

Stephen Upshaw

Image: Stephen Upshaw

Location and Facilities

Our truly magnificent location – the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich – is the envy of the world.

Faculty of Music

Image: Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music

We are just a short journey from the centre of London, one of the leading musical centres of the world, yet situated within the “village” atmosphere of Greenwich, allowing for an escape from the busy city.

Our exceptional facilities include numerous well-equipped practice rooms, a suite of recital spaces, a recording studio, award-winning library and extensive IT.

Crucially, our on-site luthier is also on hand to rehair bows and repair instruments. 

And perhaps the most important thing of all…

…is the atmosphere here at Trinity Laban. Time and time again, our students. You’ll find yourself surrounded by colleagues – both students and staff – who are extremely dedicated, and hard-working but also friendly and supportive.

Many students who come to Trinity Laban after studying at other conservatoires around the world tell us that there is nowhere better to help you unlock potential, and complete your journey into the professional world.