Ben Chappell (interview)

Ben Chappell
Position: Number 4 Cello

Ben has his own we site – www.bchappell.com

I am Principal Cellist with the Rambert Orchestra playing for Ballet Rambert. This involves performing everything from solo Bach Suites to brand new pieces or improvised work on stage with the dancers. The repertoire can cross all genres of music. Most recently the composer Szymon Brzoska was commissioned to write “I will”, a piece for solo cello and dancer/choreographer Malgorzata Dzierzon. We included this piece in two recitals that I gave this year and the audiences loved the dance.

After leaving the Guildhall school of Music where I was a student of William Pleeth and Raphael Wallfisch, I became a member of the McCapra String Quartet. The Quartet gave performances at festivals across Europe, making recordings for Radio 3 and the Decca and Conifer record companies. At the Guildhall I was awarded the Toissaint Prize and the Chamber Music Prize and I would particularly like to thank the Chilingirian Quartet for all their coaching and support.

I then went on to play for Les Misérables in the West End, which was the beginning of a new career in the more commercial side of the music business. I have been fortunate to take part in recordings of celebrated film sound tracks and albums with artists like Robbie Williams and U2 or film scores by Rob Lane and Hans Zimmer.

I have also found coaching very rewarding working with artists young and old, youth orchestras, chamber music and even MBA students who were looking for some insights into leadership dynamics amongst musicians (follow the cellist!).

These days I have a varied schedule playing with the London Mozart Players, Britten Sinfonia, Rambert Orchestra, or taking part in recording work, chamber music or recitals. Not forgetting the wonderfully entertaining performances with my colleagues in the cello section, as the London Mozart Players Cello Quartet.

All this is dwarfed of course by the most important things, family and friends. I would like to mention my wife Bea and daughters Tara and Madeleine who light up my world.

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