Conductor & Leader

John Anderson – Conductor

Award winning conductor, John Anderson, is well known to audiences inthe north of England, and especially in Ilkley, where he has conducted over 120 orchestral concerts in the King’s Hall since 1983! As an orchestral trainer and motivator, he is second to none and he has conducted all the leading community orchestras in the region, including Sinfonia of Leeds, Harrogate Philharmonic, Huddersfield Philharmonic, Slaithwaite Philharmonic and Airedale Symphony Orchestra, with whom he was principal conductor for over 34 years. He was the longest serving conductor in the orchestra’s history and one of the longest serving conductors of any orchestra in the country.

John studied timpani and percussion at the Royal Academy of Music in London and as a student he worked with many of the leading orchestras in the UK, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He later gained a Masters’ degree in conducting from the University of Leeds. He moved to Leeds in 1980 to take up the position of principal timpanist with the Orchestra of Opera North. In 1989, John left the company to become music director of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. In 1990, he became associate conductor of the world-famous Black Dyke Brass Band and toured with them to New York, performing in the iconic Carnegie Hall and giving a masterclass at the Juilliard School of Music.

As a professional freelance conductor John has worked with the Hallé Orchestra, Kazakh State Philharmonic Orchestra in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic and the Yorkshire Chamber Orchestra. As a choral conductor he has directed the Chorus of Opera North, Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Bradford Festival Chorus, Stephen Hill Singers and the Kazakh State Chorus (Kapella). He has worked with many eminent soloists including Paul Lewis, Raphael Wallfisch, Kathryn Stott, Wayne Marshall, Lynne Dawson, Jane Irwin, Mary Plazas and Paul Nilon.

John was the music director of the extremely successful British-made feature film Brassed Off and conducted the soundtrack recording with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. He was awarded both a silver and gold disc for sales of the soundtrack recording which reached the number 2 spot on Classic FM for many months! John worked closely with the actors Pete Postlethwaite, Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald, Sue Johnston and Jim Carter. He also played a cameo role in the film for all of 10 seconds! Brassed Off is frequently shown on Channel Four and Film Four.

John has recently founded two new orchestras, Ilkley Chamber Orchestra and Ilkley Philharmonic Orchestra. He lives near Otley with his wife, Rosemary, and their two Labradors, Masha and Ruby.

Sally Robinson – Leader & soloist

Sally Robinson was born in London and was a junior exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music then a graduate at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying violin and piano. As a freelance violinist Sally has worked with orchestras all over the UK and currently is the leader of the National Festival Orchestra, the Yorkshire Chamber Ensemble, and the Lydian String Quartet. Sally plays a Santo Seraphin 1743 violin copy by David Rattray.