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.
Our last performance was at the Third Festival of Contemporary Music for All in the Octagon in the People’s Palace at QMUL. 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.
We have three online concerts with CoMA Singers which 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).
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. We welcome all instruments at intermediate to graduate level at the start of each project.
We held some socially distanced in-person rehearsals in Summer 2021 and have a full rehearsal schedule planned from Tuesday 7 September, meeting in Mile End (close to the tube), working towards our December concert. We very much welcome new members.
Contact Richard Gartner on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the ensemble or would like more information about us.
Information for CoMA London members only (this is password protected)