Orchestra De Cymru

Our Musicians

LEADER : Barry Haskey

   On leaving music college in 1961 Barry Haskey joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) and attended master classes with Henryk Szeryng. In 1967 he left Liverpool to take the position of Associate Leader with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, remaining with the orchestra until he retired in 1996.

    During his time with the BBC Barry Haskey led many other orchestras including the Festival Ballet, Midland Radio & Ulster Orchestras as well as the West of England Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. He has worked with deLloydMusic for many years, and has been leader of OrchestraWest since its foundation in 2006.

PRINCIPAL : VIOLA  James Drummond

   Born in Glasgow, James studied the viola with Keith Lovell, Gwyn Williams and Rosemary Sanderson. Whilst in Birmingham, James freelanced with the CBSO and the English String Orchestra.

   James continued his studies with Rivka Golani after joining the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 1987.

   James continues to play with the BBC and enjoys his freelance work, particularly with the Orchestra De Cymru and the St Woolos Sinfonia.

   Further freelance work has included Chamber Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony and the RLPO.

Principal Viola


   Russell was born in Paraguay but spent his childhood in West Cornwall.  When the family emigrated to New Zealand he studied at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

   His first professional job was with the City of Birmingham SO followed by moves to the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Cardiff. Russell has been a freelance player with Chamber and String Orchestras throughout the Midlands and South Wales over many years.

   For nearly twenty years he was a member of the Archduke Trio in Residence at Leicester University.

   Russell is a keen luthier and plays on a cello of his own making.

PRINCIPAL  FLUTE : Catherine Handley

   Catherine Handley was born in Harrogate, Yorkshire. She studied the flute with Gareth Morris at the Royal Academy of Music where she gained her degree & recital diploma & was awarded the Paddy Purcell prize for woodwind playing. She completed her training at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies.

   Catherine has a varied career which encompasses orchestral & chamber music. She is principal flute with the Welsh Sinfonia & the West of England Philharmonic Orchestra & has played with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert , & Royal Philharmonic Orchestras & also the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

   Catherine is also a score-reader for BBC classical music productions.

   Catherine lives in the Black Mountains. In her free time she enjoys hill-walking, playing badminton,photographing flowers & birds & playing & singing folk music

PRINCIPAL OBOE : Gillian Taylor

   Born in Glasgow, Gillian studied the oboe at the Royal College of Music in London for four years, before embarking on a free lancing career which she has enjoyed ever since.

   Now based in Cardiff, Gillian is the Principal Oboe of the Welsh Sinfonia, the National Chamber Orchestra of Wales and of Opera Box. A recent venture for her has been the formation of a five piece group called “Mozartissimo” which is a wind trio with soprano and baritone , providing evenings of entertainment in an 18th century setting.

   Gillian works regularly with both the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the orchestra of Welsh National Opera.

   Home is in Dinas Powys with her physiotherapist husband and any or all of their itinerant children, a camper van, motorbike and walking boots. In free time, Gillian enjoys planning expeditions involving any combination of the above.



   Studied at the Royal Welsh college of Music and Drama and graduated with Honours. After completing the Postgraduate Orchestral Practices course at the Royal College of Music he returned to Cardiff to work as a Freelance

   He regularly works with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and many other leading Orchestras in the area including Welsh National Opera, Bristol Ensemble and further a field including CBSO, Halle, RLPO. 

   He has performed on numerous TV and Radio broadcasts as well as recording sessions for CD and TV including Dr Who. Recent tours abroad have included Holland, Spain and Italy. He currently lives in Caerphilly with his family and a house full of percussion instruments!

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