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 – usually three or four a year – and often work directly with the composers. In recent projects we have worked with Edward Nesbit, Lloyd Coleman, Héloïse Werner and Non-Classical associate composers. The ensemble has performed at venues such as King’s Place, St John’s Waterloo and St John’s Smith Square, and has appeared at national festivals, including Spitalfields Festival for seven consecutive years.
We run regular evenings in which members have the opportunity to try out their own compositional ideas with the ensemble, sometimes with feedback provided by professional composers and teachers. And alongside our usual rehearsals we will often have workshops on improvisation and group composing.
All players are required to be Ensemble Members of CoMA nationally, and pay subscriptions to cover costs of rehearsals and concerts.
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 with further concerts there in March 2022 (as part of the fourth Festival of Contemoporary Music for All) and in December 2022 with the East London Music Group. In March 2023 we performed new works by student composers at the Royal Academy of Music and in July 2023 we participated in the CoMA 30th Anniversary celebrations at St John’s Smith Square.
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.
We rehearse on Tuesday evenings in east London. Our current project starts on Tuesday 12 September. We will be rehearsing for a joint concert with CoMA Singers on Tuesday 12 December at Iklectik in Waterloo, featuring new works written for us by our composers in residence for 2023, Megan Steinberg and Paul Evernden.
Contact Richard Gartner on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the ensemble or would like more information about us.
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