Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra
Conductors
RICHARD HOWARTH
ORR GUY
ROBERT CHASEY
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Richard Howarth is President and Chief Guest Conductor of the Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra.

Richard has had a distinguished career as a violinist, leading and directing orchestras for over twenty years. He brings to conducting a wealth of experience and dynamism to inspire both musicians and audiences.

He is as comfortable working with elite orchestras as he is training and educating amateur and youth groups. He has conducted Manchester Camerata, the Ulster Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the London, Scottish and Manchester Concert Orchestras and, from the violin, has directed Manchester Camerata and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Richard trained as a violinist at the Royal College of Music in London, Richard worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and as Leader of the Ulster Orchestra before becoming Leader of Manchester Camerata.

He has been a guest leader with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Scottish and Welsh Symphony Orchestras, the BBC Philharmonic, the Halle, Orchestra of St John's Smith Square, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, East of England Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta.
Spanish conductor Juan Ortuño is enjoying an exciting career in the UK, and has conducted the Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra on a number of occasions.

Juan started music lessons in Madrid with his parents. Both were performers in the Spanish National Radio and Television Choir. His first ambition was Astrophysics in which he obtained a Bachelors Degree. At the same time, he was studying voice, piano, and violin. He then decided to focus on a career in music and earned degrees in Orchestral and Choral conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid.

He was selected to take part in the young conductors' project of the Spanish Youth Orchestra (Joven Orquesta Nacional de España) and since then has continued working with them as guest conductor in concert tours.

During this time he has attended several conducting master classes with Benjamin Zander, George Hurst, Martyn Brabbins, and Antoni Ros-Marbà.

After finishing his degrees in Spain, Juan was awarded a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue further studies in the UK. He is a Masters graduate from the Royal Northern College of Music where he studied with Clark Rundell and Mark Shanahan.

Robert  Chasey was formerly  Principal Second Violin of the t BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born in  Bristol in 1952, Bob studied violin at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, before joining the Orchestra of the Royal Ballet as Assistant Leader.

As a soloist he has performed all over the world in such varied places as Philadelphia, Gibraltar and Montreux and continues to record extensively for the BBC.

The conducting spark was lit while working with the late Rudolph Kempe in London and Switzerland. Bob has 30 years' experience as a conductor and his great humour and charm instil wonderful warmth wherever he goes. He is a regular contributor to the nationally acclaimed Rehearsal Orchestra and for many years was conductor of the Lancashire Chamber Orchestra.

In 2003 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Bolton Symphony Orchestra and since then Bob has earned tremendous respect for his stunning interpretations of works by Janacek, Respighi, Tchaikovsky and many more.
STEPHEN THRELFALL
EDWINA WOLSTENCROFT
RITA BLANCO
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From 1995 Stephen Threlfall was Director of Music at Chetham’s School of Music, the UK’s leading music school - a happy culmination of many years’ experience in the professional music world. After 24 years he decided to relinquish this post to further his conducting and creative work.

As a conductor, Stephen has earned much acclaim for his performances, recordings and broadcasts having conducted at many major venues and festivals throughout the UK and alongside many renowned international solo artists.

His engagements have taken him to the USA, Europe and Scandinavia, with regular visits to the Urals Philharmonic and Bach Orchestras in Yekaterinburg and the Royal Oman and Amman Symphony Orchestras.

His work with choirs has  included St George’s Singers,Leeds Festival Chorus,Chester Bach Singers and Manchester Chamber Choir. He works frequently with a number of student and youth ensembles including the National Children’s Orchestra and also with the Northern Ballet and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, the Hanover Band and frequently with the Northern Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, with whom he recently recorded a CD of orchestral works by Marcus Blunt.

As well as performing with an array of outstanding classical artists he has collaborated with many actors, entertainers and directors.

He has created a number of arts and community projects involving an impressive number of guest musicians, artists and specialists, among them the award-nominated Antarctica (2001) and Brundibár (2002/3)
Edwina Wolstencroft is a music graduate of Exeter University where her first study was the piano. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance (conducting), from the RNCM and has conducted several amateur orchestras in the North West, most regularly the Middlewich Concert Orchestra.

Her day job is as a BBC Editor, leading programme teams in the production department at BBC Radio 3, where the programmes she is responsible for include Afternoon Concert and The Listening Service.

In the Woman’s Hour 2018 Power List, Edwina is listed as one of the top 40 most successful women having an impact on the music we’re all listening to today.  
Rita Blanco was awarded a degree in orchestral conducting at the Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra in Lisbon in 2016. In 2017 she obtained her M.Mus at Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa and is currently contining her studies at RNCM.

Born in Portugal, Rita has taken part in many masterclasses with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Marin Alsop and Johnannes Schlaefli.

Assistant conductorships have included the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Manchester Camerata.

Rita has conducted concert performances with Northern Ballet Sinfonia, Stockport Symphony Orchestra and RNCM New Ensemble.
projects;  A Child of Our Time (2005) and The Spirit of Norway Festival (2007) (supported by the Norwegian Embassy and Hurtigruten ). In Autumn 2008, the Leonard Bernstein Celebration included chamber and symphonic concerts, and a special concert with the composer’s daughter Nina Bernstein-Simmons. Nina returned to Manchester in Spring 2018 to work with Stephen alongside an orchestra of young musicians from across Greater Manchester to commemorate the Leonard Bernstein Centenary.

In 2012 Stephen created a 4-day celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of Frederick Delius.
He devised and a major project in 2013 marking the Benjamin Britten centenary supported by the Britten Pears Foundation

In 2015 Stephen conducted two performances of Mahler’s Third Symphony with Mezzo Soprano Sarah Connolly and the
Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in Manchester and the Cheltenham Festival, both of which received rave reviews.
Having spearheaded the ambitious project to open a new state-of-the-art concert hall at Chetham’s, Stephen then devised and delivered the opening celebrations of The Stoller Hall in April 2017. The royal opening concert received a 5 star review from Richard Morrison of The Times.

He has recently programmed a number of special performances and projects spanning 2019 to mark Chetham's 50th anniversary. The centrepiece was the highly acclaimed performance of Mahler's 8th Symphony which he conducted in July 2019  broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

‘Stephen Threlfall reminded me so much of my father as he moulded their performances, always leading with love, never fear.’                
Nina Bernstein Simmons
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The Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra
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