CoMA London


COMA London is an ensemble of strings, woodwind, brass, piano and percussion. The players are of mixed ability, some of a very high standard. 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

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.


We normally rehearse on Tuesday evenings at St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch (and occasionally at St Dunstan’s Church, Stepney). We welcome all instruments at intermediate to graduate level at the start of each project.

We have an exciting programme of performances in 2020.

  • In March we will be performing a number of premieres as part of the Third Festival of Contemporary Music for All, and also at Shoreditch Church at the end of the month.
  • In July we will be performing at Kings Place as part of their Nature Unwrapped series with a new work by Hollie Harding. Rehearsals will start on Tuesday 21 April. Do come and try us out.


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

Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Information for CoMA London members only (password protected)

Next concert

Our next concert will by at 19:00 on Sunday 8 March at The People’s Palace, QMUL, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS.

We will be performing

  • Blasio Kavuma: Pathways  (Festival commission)
  • Soul Ifat Zisso:  Frenzy (Festival commission)
  • Tim Parkinson:  second song for many (Festival commission)
  • Jonathan Harvey:  Climbing Frame
  • Donnacha Dennehy:  A Fatal Optimist

There will also be performances from CoMA Singers, East London Community Band, QMUL Chamber Ensemble and London Sinfonietta players (performing works by Junior Royal College of Music students).

These groups will all participate, along with others joining us on the day, in a Festival Allcomers Ensemble to perform the Festival’s major commission: Three movements by Kate Whitely.

Tickets are £10, £5  (concessions) and free for students and under 16s. Available from Eventbrite.

More details about the concert programme are available here.


Upcoming events

no current events