CoMA London


COMA London is an ensemble of strings, woodwind, brass, piano and percussion. There is a very friendly, supportive atmosphere, and we welcome new members on any instrument. We are a mixed ability ensemble ranging from intermediate to graduate level players.

Our aim is to play music of high quality which is accessible to amateur players, whether it is written by established composers, students or COMA members. We work towards concerts – about four concerts a year – and often work directly with the composers.  Recently, as part of CoMA’s Open Score project, we have collaborated with composition students from the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance who wrote pieces for us.

We sometimes have evenings when members have the opportunity to try out their own compositional ideas with the ensemble. We have performed at many festivals around the country, including Spitalfields Festival for seven consecutive years, and the bmic Cutting Edge series for three consecutive years.

All players are required to be Ensemble Members of CoMA nationally, and pay subscriptions to cover costs of rehearsals and concerts.

CoMA London Ensemble
CoMA London Ensemble

During coronavirus lockdowns we moved to online rehearsals, which were very different to our usual rehearsals, but we  rapidly learnt what does and doesn’t work in this new environment. We were very creative and had a lot of fun. Our three online concerts with CoMA Singers are available to watch: Creativity Online in July 2020 (11 works – 9 written during lockdown), Yarn in December 2020 and Chains of Connections in March 2021 (exploring graphic scores and combining individually recorded parts of works from the CoMA repertoire).

We returned to live performance in the Octagon in the People’s Palace at QMUL in December 2021 and in March 2022 as part of the fourth Festival of Contemoporary Music for All.

Music Director

Matthew Hardy
Matthew Hardy

Matthew Hardy joined CoMA London Ensemble as Music Director in September 2019. He studied conducting at the Royal College of Music with Peter Stark, Howard Williams, and Martyn Brabbins. Whilst at the RCM he assisted conductors Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Jac van Steen. He is the artistic director of East London Music Group with whom he has given several premieres and organised a number of large-scale educational projects. Matthew is also Musical Director of St Albans Rehearsal Orchestra and East London Community Band. He has also recently worked as a guest with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra, University of London Symphony Orchestra, London City Orchestra, and a number of other ensembles. In September 2019 he also started as Musical Director of Southampton University Symphony Orchestra.

Composers in Residence

We are seeking two Composers in Residence for the calendar year 2023.

The successful applicants will join CoMA London Ensemble in January 2023 and play with the group in rehearsals and concerts throughout the year.

During the year, each composer will produce a five minute piece which will be rehearsed in the autumn term and premiered during the ensemble’s December 2023 performance. In the spring and summer there will be workshop sessions with the ensemble, dedicated to developing the composers’ ideas.

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, applicants must play a string, woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument to a reasonable standard and must be able to commit to attending rehearsals on Tuesday evenings during term time in Tower Hamlets (6.45-9.15pm).

There is no cost to participate, with the normal members subscriptions being waived for Composers in Residence.

If you would like to take part in this project please complete the online application form.

The application deadline is 18 December 2022.

You can view examples of our music watch/listen to recordings and find out more about CoMA.

Come to our concert in 3 December 2022.


We normally rehearse on Tuesday evenings in East London. We welcome all instruments at intermediate to graduate level at the start of each project.

Our current project, Bold & Beautiful, is a collaboration with the professional East London Music Group culminating in a concert on Saturday 3 December in the wonderful Octagon at QMUL. Do come to the concert on Saturday 3 December.

Rehearsals start again in the new year on Tuesday 10 January 2023 for a project with student composers from Royal Academy of Music with a concert on 4 March. Do get in touch at if you’d like to join this exciting project.


Contact Richard Gartner on if you would like to join the ensemble or would like more information about us.

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Information for CoMA London members only (this is password protected)

Upcoming events

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