workshop leader

viola player

creative Musician

Copyright © Neil  Valentine 2011

Neil is a creative musician, workshop leader and string specialist who delivers creative, fun and inclusive music making.  Working with schools, in community settings and with arts organisations he designs and delivers exciting, fun and relevant music making projects across the country. He combines his skills as a professional orchestral player and chamber musician, broad understanding of most western (and some non-western) instruments as well as his experience as a conductor with creative, communication and musical skills to bring all kinds of instrumental and vocal music alive with the participants.

Neil specialises in 're-imagining' existing classical repertoire for today. He passionately believes that classical music is relevant and exciting, and is committed to breaking down any barriers which are apparent when one thinks of classical music, whether in the concert hall or in expectations of the audience member or participants. Neil identifies key melodies, themes, chords, or storylines from a particular classical work, and together with the group explores these themes and ideas and how they are relevant to us all today. He then works together with the group  to create their own version of the music, through composing or improvising new parts, adapting or creating melodies and harmonies, developing structure and orchestral as well as writing poetry or lyrics which can be turned into songs. All these elements are then rehearsed and culminate in a world premiere performance of the 're-imagined' work.

Neil is also a very experienced string teacher and coach. He trained as a viola player but has taught violin, cello and viola as well as coaching ensembles and orchestras throughout his career. His ability as a communicator and his understanding and experience as an orchestral player and conductor gives him a great understanding of how to get the best out of orchestral and ensemble playing. He specialises in running coaching sessions with whole orchestras, string sections or individual instrument sections, but is especially fond of Viola sectionals!