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About Joanna

About Joanna

Joanna grew up in North London and studied cello with Christopher Bunting and at the Moscow Conservatoire. She made a debut at the Wigmore Hall where the Daily Telegraph noted her “ ardently responsive style”  but it was while working as principal cellist of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble that she realised how much she loved the string orchestral repertoire. This enthusiasm resulted in her forming Peterborough String Orchestra in 1983 – the only full time orchestra in the East of England at that time. Under her artistic directorship the orchestra received excellent national reviews.

Joanna loves reading and has also worked as a journalist and magazine editor. But in 2011 she returned to music and played in a string duo with a violinist colleague who encouraged her to start arranging repertoire. This, combined with teaching herself to play by ear and improvise, gradually gave her the confidence to start composing. She is delighted to be writing original music at this stage of her life. Listen here – www.womenmakingwaves.co.uk  – to her interview on Radio Cambridge’s Women Making Waves.

Joanna’s work is published by SJ Music, UM.P. and  she is a house composer at Kevin Mayhew.  Two of her duets have been chosen for the 2024 ABRSM cello exam syllabus.  Her Ensemble   recorded Joanna’s first string orchestra work – Clan –  and gave the premiere at the Elgar Concert Hall in Birmingham in February 2024.  The recording was released on March 8th 2024 and immediately chosen as Album of the Weekend by Scala Radio and the video of one of the movements from the premiere was chosen as Video of the Day by Gramophone.  In the video below Her Ensemble  members perform a quintet version of the first movement at Scala Radio.