Sarah Burnett

When did you join the LMP?


Where else do you work?

I’m a member of Britten Sinfonia, The Haffner Wind Ensemble and teach at the Royal College of Music. I am also Bassoon Consultant at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire..  Any free time after that takes me up and down the country, working for other orchestras as guest principal, as well as giving masterclasses and doing the odd bit of session work.

When did you start playing the bassoon?

Aged 11

What is your first musical memory?

Playing for the first time ever in an orchestra.  It was Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony with the National Youth Orchestra.  I was only 12 and was totally overwhelmed by the sheer raw power of the music.

What is special about your instument?

It’s an old 1927 Heckel with a huge history, and it happens to have been made the same year as my house was built.  It has a warm singing voice with many individual quirks, which always makes it interesting to play. Shostakovich said the bassoon was the instrument closest to the human voice; I don’t think you can get a better compliment than that.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love being outdoors, whether it’s just pottering in the garden, going for walks and cycles or having a barbeque.  Friends and family are extremely important to me; there’s nothing better than sharing food and wine with those you love.


Mozart – It speeds up your reactions

Listening to Mozart minuets could speed up your reaction times when working, according to a new study. Researchers from Kyoto and Harvard Universities found people of a range of ages worked more efficiently while listening to the soothing strains of a Mozart minuet.

Participants aged between eight and nine and 65 to 75 were asked to complete a Stroop task, where a word spelling out a colour is presented in a different colour (such as ‘red’ written in blue letters). When listening to Mozart quietly in the background, reaction times were faster and error rates were lower than when listening to no music at all, or listening to a modified version of the piece with introduced errors.

These findings help make the case that music, sometimes thought of as a pleasant byproduct of evolution, may have played an positive role in human evolution, regardless of cultural systems of harmony or pitch. It’s also further evidence of the Mozart effect, which suggests listening to classical music can make you more intelligent.

Click here for the complete article

Wiltshire Music Centre

The LMP performed at this wonderful hall on Friday 25th April 2014. We would like to thank everyone involved at the hall for inviting us to perform. Thanks also to Orchestras Live for their support with this event.

Howard Shelley was conductor and soloist and gave a great performance – as usual. The program included Poulenc Sinfonietta and Aubade (for Piano and 18 instruments). The concert concluded with Haydn Symphony 104  “London”.

Thank you to Sebastian Comberti  and Howard for the pre concert talk. Members of the orchestra met the audience during the interval.

The staff at the hall were so friendly and helpful. They also provided yummy snacks and fruit with Tea during our breaks and made the orchestra feel extremely welcome.

We are really looking forward to re visiting in the future.

Michael Posner

Michael studied with Nobuko Imai, Mischa Geller and Simon Rowland-Jones at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he achieved a Gmus RNCM and PP RNCM, and was the winner of the Dearden Academic Award.

Upon leaving the RNCM, he joined the Peterborough String Orchestra where he became principal viola, playing regularly in the Chamber Ensemble and as soloist with the orchestra. Michael then moved to London, where he became a member of the London Mozart Players and a regular in all of London’s leading chamber orchestras including the Academy of St Martins, English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia. He has toured and recorded extensively with these orchestras.

Over the last 20 years Michael has developed a passion for teaching, alongside his playing. He held a post at Trinity College of Music, Junior Department for 14 years, and has recently taken up a post at Bromley Youth Music Trust teaching violin and viola, coaching chamber music and conducting orchestras. With his wife Julia Desbruslais, he runs the highly successful Summer Strings music courses, and coaches regularly on the Arpeggione course.
Michael is a keen supporter of Arsenal football club.

Julia Desbruslais

At sixteen Julia Desbruslais won an open scholarship to study the cello with Florence Hooton at the Royal Academy of Music.  During this time she won many awards including the Suggia Award and the Leverhulme Chamber Music Scholarship.  Under the direction of Sydney Griller she was a founder member of the all-female Fairfield String Quartet. They enjoyed ten years touring Britain and Europe, winning major competitions, giving many live broadcasts for the BBC, and recording for Hyperion.

On leaving the Quartet, she became Co-Principal Cello with the London Mozart Players, where she regularly performs with the Chamber Ensemble and has appeared as a concerto soloist. She is also Principal Cello with the London Jupiter Orchestra, with whom she has performed John Taverner’s Eternal Memory at St John’s, Smith Square. She regularly plays as guest principal with many London orchestras, including the New London Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.

She has a great passion for inspiring young children and is one of the leading lights in the vast education programme of the LMP. Her work has included performing to all ages from work with young children to the elderly in numerous and varied venues.  Her work with young children led to the production of television workshops and compositional projects and she was responsible for the setting up of cello master classes and massed cello ensembles with young children. Julia holds posts as a cello teacher at Whitgift School and Eltham College, and a large private class. With her husband Michael Posner, they run the highly successful Summer Strings residential music courses for children of all ages.

She is a member of the cello quartet formed from the four cellists of the LMP, presenting concerts drawing on the works of the great cellist composers. Their first CD Petits Fours was received with great acclaim. Recent recordings include ‘Lullaby for a Lost Soul’ by Ronald Corp.

Sarah Butcher – Cello

Sarah studied cello with Stefan Popov at the Guildhall School of Music and chamber music with Hans Keller and the Chilingirian String Quartet. She also took part in masterclasses with William Pleeth at the Aldeburgh Summer School. She has played in many orchestras and ensembles in the UK including the BBC Symphony orchestra, The Guildhall String Ensemble, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Peter Gabriel’s New Blood Orchestra, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera Orchestra for whom she has played principal cello.

She has made recordings for the Cello Classics label, Music for Two Cellos and ‘Petits Fours’, music for four cellos with the London Mozart Players cello section. Also on the Cello Classics label she has performed in a CD of music by the great pedagogue Julius Klengel. As a baroque cellist and founder of Bach Camerata she has also recorded St John Passion (in English) with The Crouch End Festival Chorus and David Temple.

Sarah is a keen chamber musician and has played with the Mistry String Quartet and was a member of the Mainardi Trio. For 10 years she was Artistic Director of The Chamber Players who play regularly at Festivals and venues throughout the UK, including Holywell Music Rooms, Imperial College and Buxton and Chichester Festivals with artists such as Ashley Wass, Gaby Lester, Tim Horton and Benjamin Nabarro.

Sarah is a keen participant in education and community projects and plays principal cello in the Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra, sitting side-by-side with music college students for a series of concerts in the Chipping Campden Festival. Other recent projects include devising a piece for the Croydonites Festival with SLiDE in South Norwood and workshops and concerts for Everyone Matters in Bromley and Kingston.

Sarah also edits audiobooks for the Naxos AudioBooks label and has been involved in many exciting projects including The History of Classical Music and Famous Composers in collaboration with ClassicFM. She has performed on several of these discs including The Cellist of Sarajevo and Macbeth with music by oscar-winning composer Stephen Warbeck.

She has been a member of the London Mozart Players since 1998.

Louise Honeyman R.I.P.

Louise Honeyman died on March 19th 2014. Louise was the Managing Director of the LMP during the 80’s and 90’s. She was the first Woman MD of a British Orchestra. Jane Glover was appointed, by Louise, as Artistic Director. In March 1989 she approached Croydon Council and they agreed to make the LMP their resident orchestra. Louise was also responsible for bringing in HRH Prince Edward as the Patron.

Louise was a much loved character and the LMP was her passion right through her retirement. She suffered a severe Stroke on March 15th 2014. Her partner was David Wilson who has been the General Manager of the orchestra since the 80’s. David bravely attended our concert on March 20th accompanied by Louise’s family.

We will all miss Louise tremendously. The concert on March 20th was dedicated to her memory. Our thoughts are with David and Louise’s family.

Press Release February 12th 2014

PRESS RELEASE: 12 February 2014

“A renaissance for the London Mozart Players!”

‘’……….it gives me more joy than I can say to perform and record with them, I am honoured to be their Conductor Laureate” (Howard Shelley)

The London Mozart Players, the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra and considered by many as one of Europe’s finest, is to become self-governing in a bold but characteristically creative move to counter recent funding cuts.

As of May 2014, when the LMP’s current principal conductor, Gérard Korsten, rests the baton at the final concert in their 2013/14 Fairfield Halls series, a core group of orchestral members led by Viv Davies, a former classical musician turned economist with 20 years senior management experience in the non-profit sector, will take up collective responsibility for the management and strategic direction of the orchestra, drawing upon a wealth of professional experience from within the ranks of the LMP.

Current members of the management team include Paul Archibald (Projects), Julia Desbruslais (Education) and Peter Wright (Operations). David Wilson (General Manager), Jenny Brady (Concerts Coordinator) and Martin Sargeson (Orchestral Librarian) will continue to provide crucial administrative, management and logistical support.

In support of the management team will be an impressive and experienced group of player ambassadors, led by Marieke Blankestijn, that will advise on the artistic direction of the LMP.

The LMP’s niche lies in interpretive research and understanding of performance style, but with the advantages of instruments designed for the modern concert hall and audience. Its mission is to perform classical music to the highest standards of excellence and to take music to communities where access to live concerts is limited. The orchestra is also committed to devising workshops for schools and hospitals, creating projects that bring people together and enrich lives through a shared musical experience. New plans and initiatives are now underway as the LMP is set to build exciting new partnerships within these communities.

There is unanimous commitment to ensuring the LMP will continue to occupy an exciting and dynamic position in the musical life of the UK and on the international stage. One of the LMP’s first engagements as a rejuvenated organisation will be a tour of China in May. In the meantime, a gala fundraising concert featuring Howard ShelleyTasmin Little and Laura Van der Heijden will take place on 29 April in Kensington. Discussions are also underway with sponsors for concerts through 2014/15, and for a range of community-based projects in the south-east and around the UK.

This orchestra is one of the jewels in the crown of British music.”(Hilary Davan Wetton)


For further information on the LMP and its activities please contact:

Paul Archibald: 07973 731866,

Peter Wright: 07831 157618,




Sir Richard Stilgoe

We are delighted that Sir Richard has agreed to perform at our Gala fundraising concert on April 29th. You’ll have to come along to find out exactly how he will entertain you. But a re wording of a Flanders and Swan Classic is a clue!

START Project Update: 21 May 2013

Well folks, I think Mr Bailey and his crew of LMP musicians may be on to something here. The children are not only producing and creating some amazing (and very diverse) material Read more

Jenny’s Experience

The LMP is currently working in many of Croydon’s primary schools, developing the START project funded by the Prince’s Foundation for Children Read more