Susan Stanford

Born in Yorkshire, Susan studied the violin with Eta Cohen. As a teenager she enjoyed performing with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britian. On applying to the Royal Manchester College of Music she was awarded an exhibition to study with the Russian violinist Alexander Moskovsky. Graduating in 1968 with a distinction she was employed by Oxfordshire County Council as a member of the Oxfordshire Sinfonia and Director of the Henley Music School.

On moving to the midlands she freelanced with The New London Ensemble, Orchestra de Camera, and the English Sinfonia. Susan was appointed Violin/Viola tutor at De Monfort University and Nene University.

In 1975 Susan was able to study in London with the violinist Kenneth Sillito. She became an East Midlands Arts sponsored artist and gave many recitals in the region. In 1978 she performed in a master class given by Pinchas Zuckerman at the South Bank Festival.

Susan formed and co-led a professional string orchestra directed by Kenneth Sillito which gave its debut at the Guildhall in Northhampton in 1981. Corelli Strings was received with much critical acclaim and toured the region giving concerts in Northamptonshire and surrounding counties for the following ten years.

In 2001 Susan moved to live in Swanage where she teaches adult violin and viola classes at which beginners are always welcome. The classes take place every Wednesday 4:30 - 7:30pm at St Marys Church Rooms, Swanage. (Enquires on 01929 426931). Her three daughters whom she taught from being very young all went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Laura Ellie and Amy perform together professionally as three parts of the Stanford Quartet.



 Ian Pillow

Ian Pillow was born in Ealing, London, and studied viola and piano at the Royal Academy of Music.

His first professional experiences were as a viola player with the RPO, LPO, LSO, and Covent Garden Orchestras. He joined Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1966, becoming its co-principle viola. He then embarked upon a spell of teaching, lecturing, conducting and playing, including three years with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and re-forming the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra into a large semi-professional outfit. He came back to the BSO in 1989. Since then he has become it’s assistant Orchestra manager, conductor of their brass section during ensemble weeks, conductor of the Rusty Musicians project, as well as presenting pre-concert talks.

He wrote the popular Pillow Talk for Classic FM magazine over a period of six years and has been a regular contributor to The Independent newspaper. Novello published his choral work in 2004. Thus, his return to the BSO for a quiet, uneventful life on the back desk of the violas (where he still resides) has been a total failure!


Stanford Quartet


The Stanford Quartet has established a reputation as a dynamic and versatile string quartet working with a variety of artists from Harrison Birtwhistle at the Dartington International Summer School to singer songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan on the main stage at Glastonbury. Raised in musical families the quartet’s background is firmly rooted in classical music, with additional influences in theatre, opera, composition and dance.

Whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music with members of the Alberni Quartet, sisters Laura, Eleanor, and Amy Stanford established the Stanford Quartet with cellist Jessica Cox, winning the John B McEwan quartet prize and receiving awards in the Sir Arthur Bliss and the Wigmore Hall competition. With an interest in British repertoire, the quartet entered the professional world as the resident ensemble for the Purbeck String Festival premiering newly commissioned works by Sally Beamish and Mike Westbrook as well as giving recitals, master classes and coaching. Continuing their association with living composers the Stanford Quartet currently enjoy a three year collaboration with the Dartington International summer school, working with Harrison Birtwhistle, Gerald Busby, Dai Fujikara and Peter Copley .On the other side of the musical spectrum, the quartet can be seen indulging their passion for all musical genres with worldwide tours playing and dancing with ABBA the show, performing acoustic sets with Gilbert O’Sullivan and dressing as Baroque gentlemen in The Opera Show.

In addition to ongoing commitments to these projects the quartet look forward to a busy diary giving recitals nationwide for the Concert Promoters Network and in London as resident quartet at The University of Westminster.

For further information about the quartet visit:

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