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Patrick Rafter played Beethoven's violin concerto with DSO in
November 2017 and wrote this message to the orchestra:

I want to write to all of you to express my gratitude for making music so rewarding! I thoroughly enjoyed our performance on Saturday last and found it to be such a warm and inviting concert. Enjoyment is one of the pillars upon which music is built and each of you played as the epitome of music and performance last week. Thank you for making my time with you so beautiful!  I look forward to our next meeting and wish you all the enjoyment and happiness of the world in the meantime!




One of the great things about DSO for players and audiences is the opportunity to work with or hear at close quarters with excellent soloists. Some of our soloists, including Leslie Howard, Ruth Holton and Matthew Sharp, were already well established nationally and internationally when they appeared with us, but most are at an early stage of their careers. Some have played with DSO after success in the Croydon Festival concerto competition  (Patrick Rafter, Emma Halnan, Matilda Lloyd,
Bocheng Wang
, Anna Harvey and the late Felicity Smith), while others came to us through Making Music and the Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists prize (Matthew Jones, Boyan Ivanov, Sara Deborah
, Sadie Fields and Mario Mora).

These young musicians have gone on to establish themselves as soloists, orchestral players, teachers and innovators. Several have established themselves in leading orchestras – Amanda Lake with
the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Naoko Keatley (nee
Miyamoto) with the London Symphony Orchestra. Sadie Fields regularly

performs with the Namur Chamber Orchestra and Trio Khnopff in France and Belgium. Jonny Byers plays with the English Concert and appeared in Farinelli and the King on Broadway and in the West End. Violist Matthew Jones is the head of chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music, a regular performer with the Danish group Ensemble MidtVest. He has issued a number of recordings, with a focus on English music including the solo works of York Bowen, Britten and Bridge.

Oliver Coates is an artist in residence at the Southbank Centre, setting up its Deep Minimalism festival. He is a leading member of the London contemporary music scene, a member of the London Contemporary Orchestra and a regular performer at Café Oto. His projects include an album for cello and electronics, Upstepping, and work with composer Mica Levi.

Anne Harvey is a Welsh National Opera Associate Artist and made her Proms debut in 2016, singing in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. In January 2018, she sang in the Bach B Minor Mass with the English Concert at the Bath Bach Festival.