CoMA London


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.

About

CoMA London and CoMA Singers perform at Iklectik, 12 December 2023. Photo by Dawid Laskowski
CoMA London and CoMA Singers perform at Iklectik, 12 December 2023. Photo by Dawid Laskowski

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 nonclassical associate composers. The ensemble has performed at venues such as Iklectik, King’s Place and St John’s Smith Square, and has appeared at national festivals, including Spitalfields Festival for seven consecutive years.

Our most recent concert was a packed evening at Iklectik in Waterloo with the CoMA Singers. At the centre of the programme were the premieres of pieces by our 2023 composers in residence, Megan Steinberg and Paul Evernden; we also played recent comissions by Blasio Kavuma and Emily Abdy, and a classic piece by Louis Andriessen.

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.

CoMA London performs Red Planet by Gregory Rose as part of CoMA's 30th anniversary celebrations at St John's Smith Square. Filmed by Chris Adams

Music Director

Matthew Hardy conducts CoMA London at Iklectik, 12 December 2023. Photo by Dawid Laskowski
Matthew Hardy conducts CoMA London at Iklectik, 12 December 2023. Photo by Dawid Laskowski

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. While at the RCM he assisted the 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 recently worked as a guest with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra, University of London Symphony Orchestra, London City Orchestra, and a number of other ensembles. He frequently commissions new works and has given premieres of pieces by composers such as Robin Haigh, Sungji Hong, Oliver Leith, Héloïse Werner, Kate Whitley, Edward Nesbit, Leo Geyer and Uri Agnon.

Louise Rendle of CoMA London at Iklectik. Photo by Dawid Laskowski
Louise Rendle of CoMA London at Iklectik. Photo by Dawid Laskowski

Rehearsals

We rehearse on Tuesday evenings in east London. Our current project starts on Tuesday 9 January. We will be rehearsing for joint concerts with CoMA Sussex on Saturday 16 March in Brighton and Sunday 24 March in London as part of the national CoMA festival, playing new pieces by Uri Agnon and Angela Slater commissioned for the festival. Throughout 2024 we will also be working with our composers in residence, David Roche and Charlotte Glyn-Woods.

Contact

Contact Caroline Star on london@coma.org if you would like to join the ensemble or would like more information about us. Caroline checks and responds to emails on Fridays.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

George Haggett of CoMA London at Iklectik. Photo by Dawid Laskowski
George Haggett of CoMA London at Iklectik. Photo by Dawid Laskowski

Composer inquiries

We are always interested to hear from composers who have a project or composition they would like to pitch to us. Please think carefully about why CoMA London would be the right ensemble to work with you, and fill in this form. Approaches received this way will be reviewed at the start of each of our terms, in January, April and September, and we will contact any composers we would like to hear more from.

Upcoming Events

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