Royal Ballet Sinfonia

Under Music Director Koen Kessels, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Britain's busiest ballet orchestra, playing for Birmingham Royal Ballet's wide-ranging programme in the UK and abroad.

As well as playing for Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Sinfonia plays for The Royal Ballet and has a long tradition of playing for tours by the world’s leading ballet companies, including Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The Australian Ballet. They have performed with Het Nationale Ballet, Queensland Ballet and Acosta Danza. They also worked with the Pet Shop Boys on The Most Incredible Thing. On the concert platform, the Sinfonia has also accompanied the National Opera Studio, the Voice of Black Opera competition and Opera North’s production of Carousel. They recorded Edward Loder’s opera Raymond and Agnes with distinguished Australian conductor, Richard Bonynge.

Regular performances of An Evening of Music and Dance play to a sell-out audiences. The orchestra has an extensive library of recordings on CD and DVD. Highlights include DVD performances of Cinderella, Hobson’s Choice, The Nutcracker and Coppélia. CDs include the Sullivan overtures, Addinsell film scores, the ballets Far from the Madding Crowd, Edward II and Cyrano, and three tribute CDs of ballet scores written for Ashton and de Valois. The orchestra also played Stephen Montague’s The King Dances in the 2015 BBC4 documentary The King Who Invented Ballet.

Schemes for the development of young orchestral musicians are in place with the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and for the development of young conductors in the dance world, including the Constant Lambert Conducting Fellowship in partnership with The Royal Ballet. Several players also work with the Company’s Learning Engagement, Access and Participation team in projects around the country.

Koen Kessels – Music Director

Koen Kessels has been BRB’s Music Director since 2010, and has also been Music Director at The Royal Ballet since its 2015-16 season.

Koen studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp. He made his Royal Ballet debut in 2008 conducting The Nutcracker, and has since returned every season to conduct such repertory as Giselle, Symphony in C and world premieres including Raven Girl and Woolf Works. Koen is a regular guest conductor at the Dutch National Ballet, the Opéra National de Paris and the Vienna State Opera, and has conducted for companies such as New York City Ballet, the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, Teatro Real in Madrid and the New National Theatre in Tokyo.

His ballet repertory includes Le Parc, Coppélia, La Source, Sylvia, Proust, Cinderella, Hurlevent, Hommage à Jerôme Robbins, Giselle, Bolero, La Valse, Suite en Blanc, L’Arlésienne, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, Apollo, Les Noces, Prodigal Son, Jewels, Romeo and Juliet, Carmina burana and The Prince of the Pagodas. His DVD releases include Proust, Cinderella, Coppélia, Hommage à Jerôme Robbins and La Petite Danseuse with Paris Opéra Ballet, The Nutcracker with The Royal Ballet and Cinderella with Birmingham Royal Ballet.



Robert Gibbs

First Violins
Joana ValentinaviciuteCo-Leader
Vanessa David
Amanda Brown
Deborah Schlenther
Philip Aird
Caroline Ferriman
Tutti vacancy

Second Violins
Naori Takahashi (Principal)
Rebecca Jones
Mary Martin
Fiona Robertson
Robert Simmons
Tutti vacancy

Errika Collins (Principal)
Sub-Principal vacancy

Tutti vacancy
Tutti vacancy

António Novais (Principal)
Sub-Principal vacancy
Jane Rainey
Tutti vacancy

Double Basses
Vera Pereira (Principal)
Sub Principal vacancy

Anna Wolstenholme
Sandra Skipper Piccolo

Principal vacancy

Maxwell Spiers Cor anglais

Ian Scott
Harry Penny Bass Clarinet

Luke Tucker
Contrabassoon vacancy

Andrew Littlemore (Section Principal)
Neil Mitchell (Sub-Principal)
Chris Pointon (Principal)
Sub-Principal vacancy

Michael Allen (Section Principal)
Christopher Deacon (Principal)

Amos Miller
Andrew White
(Sub Principal)
Bass Trombone vacancy

David Gordon Shute (Principal)

Principal vacancy

Grahame King

Kevin Earley (Principal)
Paul Parker (Sub-Principal)

Orchestra Management

  • Andrew Bentley
    Orchestra Manager
  • Emma Crooks
    Music Assistant
  • Charles Strickland


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