Our Members

The Quartet was formed in 1989. Current members:

1st Violin:
Gillian M Tolliday
2nd Violin:
Pip James
Viola:
Christopher PK Smithies
Violoncello:
Amanda de Jong Cleyndert

Supplementary members:

Deputy Leader:
Brian Johnston
2nd Violin/Viola:
Nuala Land
2nd 'Cello:
Christopher Magnus

Biographies

Gill Tolliday

Gillian Tolliday

Gill graduated in music at Southampton University and obtained her violin diploma at Trinity College, London. A valued member of many orchestral and chamber ensembles, until recently she was head of string tuition and Professional Team Leader at the CODA Music Trust. Her accomplishments also extend to folk and jazz, and she leads the Swing 39 gypsy jazz quartet.

Pip James

Pip James

Pip graduated in music at Nottingham University, started teaching, but later switched to a playing career with the late lamented Bournemouth Sinfonietta. With three other members of the Sinfonietta he helped form the Regis Quartet in 1974, fitting quartet concerts around the orchestral schedules until disbandment in 1999. Since taking early retirement in 1998, his playing has increasingly favoured the violin over the viola.

Christopher Smithies

Christopher Smithies

Christopher was privileged to be the last pupil of Edgar Mouncher, who had studied with the renowned Professor Otakar Ševčík in Vienna 1909-1912. After a glowing virtuoso career, from about 1930 Mouncher devoted himself to teaching, and was the foremost violin teacher in the Hampshire area for many of his 84 years.

Therefore, Christopher is one of the last surviving second-generation Ševčík pupils. His viola and bow are the work of gifted local craftsmen.

Amanda de Jong Cleyndert

Amanda de Jong Cleyndert

Amanda trained at the Royal College of Music. After leaving college she pursued other careers in nursing, fashion design, and office management. On moving to Dorset in 1989 with two young children she decided to return to the 'cello, studying again with Alexander Boyarsky at the RCM and benefiting over many years from attending master classes with Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Torlief Thedeen, Heinrich Schiff, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman and Miklos Perenyi at the Verbier Academy in Switzerland.

Amanda performs regularly as a freelance player in Orchestras and chamber groups and as soloist. She also teaches 'cello and piano.

Supplementary Players

Brian Johnston

Brian Johnston

Brian occasionally leads the quartet when Our Glorious Leader is unavoidably detained elsewhere. He studied at the Royal Academy under Winifred Small and Sidney Humphries, both pupils of Hans Wessely, himself in turn a pupil of Joseph Joachim.

After seven glorious years with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Constantin Silvestri, Brian was a founder member of the late lamented Bournemouth Sinfonietta. He still plays with the BSO from time to time, and gives regular talks to local and national music groups such as the Elgar Society.

Nuala Land

Nuala Land

Nuala has often played with the Grainger Quartet, both as 2nd violin and as more recently as viola in our Quintet. She was born in Ireland. She obtained her diploma at Portsmouth University. A professional violin teacher, she plays regularly in many orchestras and ensembles in the South of England.

Chris Magnus

Christopher Magnus

Winner of the 1967 London City Livery Prize, Chris joined the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1969 and was subsequently brought into the Sinfonietta as sub-principal 'cello. Chris has extensive experience in the field of chamber music: as 'cellist of the Regis quartet, he attended master classes by the world famous Amadeus Quartet, and now plays regularly with the Intermezzo quartet.

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