Helena Ruinard is an established violinist and music educator, working with some of the UK’s premier orchestras and ensembles and regularly undertaking a variety of work with children and adults, both in learning and community settings.
As a performer she plays at high profile venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and Cadogan Hall and regularly appears on recordings and live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Concert Orchestra and others. She is guest co-principle of Sinfonia ViVA, based in the midlands, and also leads Kingston Chamber Orchestra. She is an active chamber musician, giving recitals at small venues in London and the south east, such as St James’s Piccadilly, the Forge Camden and Art in Action festival, Oxfordshire.
Over fifteen years she has built up extensive experience teaching in the state and private sectors and presently teaches privately and at St George’s. Training with Spitalfields Festival, Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service, the Tri Borough Music Hub the British Kodaly Academy and the ABRSM has influenced her teaching, alongside the approaches of Paul Harris, Sheila Nelson and Faith Whitely. She is fortunate to have the opportunity to reflect regularly on teaching through her work as a contributor to Music Teacher magazine, which has included writing comprehensive teaching notes on Grades 1-3 of the present and previous ABRSM violin syllabuses. Through this work, Helena was asked to author a book for adult learners: Restart Violin, which is published by Music Sales.
Helena trained at the Royal College of Music, where she was supported as a postgraduate by an award from the Countess of Munster Music Trust, and read Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where she was an Instrumental Award holder.
Agnes started her musical education at the age of 4 under her mother’s violin tuition on their houseboat in Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex UK. Showing a great passion for musicianship at a young age, she gained a music scholarship in 1997 and was soon leading school orchestras and quartets. Agnes made her concert debut at the age of nine, performing the Bach A minor concerto with orchestra. Having started the piano at 5 years old, at the age of 9 she also began Harpsichord lessons with Maggie Cole, and continued to study 3 instruments as a triple major until her undergraduate programme. However, violin being her clear passion throughout, Agnes continued this alone into her undergraduate programme, under professor Lutsia Ibragimova. Inspired by her involvement as a volunteer teacher in the El Sistema project in Venezuela. Agnes is now a dedicated teacher and campaigner for arts funding and support, working closely in her community to help young under-privileged children follow and realise their dreams.
In 2009 Agnes started teaching violin and piano to a small group of children at St Stephen’s CoE primary school in Shepherd’s Bush. In 2011 after demand for music lessons increased dramatically, she formed a complete music department of 7 different teachers, and 10 different instruments.The school now has an uptake of individual music lessons for half the students in the school.
Still a passionate performer, as a soloist Agnes has been noted for her rich sound and mature musical voice, with a clear connection to the repertoire and the violin. She also performs as her violin duet Elan with duet partner Rachel Gorman.
Peter Yarde Martin is currently the director of music at St Peters church in Nottinghill where he coaches the church children’s band and gospel choir as well as running the music for the church services. He also teaches peripatetic brass in a school in Barnet where he runs their full brass band. He is a Cambridge graduate.