Davey Chamber Ensemble


The Davey Chamber Ensemble is a group of dedicated professional musicians working under the leadership of violinist Juliet Davey. The basis of the group is a string or piano quartet to which extra strings or wind players are added as required. They have performed throughout the 80s and 90s and up to the present day mainly in London, Edinburgh, the Home Counties and the West country.

The leader performed an early violin sonata by Judith Bailey when they were both studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Judith’s string quartet was played by the Ensemble in Birmingham Symphony Hall in 1990. It gave “Light” its first performance at Burgh House, Hampstead in 2006, a venue where the quartet has given regular concerts of the classics, as it has also done in Kew and at music clubs nationwide.

Juliet Davey (violin)

Juliet was a prizewinning student at the Royal Academy of Music, learning with Robert Masters and Frederick Grinke. An Arts Council scholarship took her to Switzerland for study with Max Rostal. As a freelance orchestral player she played with the Royal Opera House Orchestra, the London Bach Orchestra and the Steinitz Players. After performing worldwide with a French chamber ensemble she formed a string quartet and gained second prize at the international chamber music competition at Colmar, Alsace. Chamber music is central to her life which also includes teaching privately and previously at the Wells Cathedral School. She also played as a pianist in the concerts for the sick and elderly with the scheme “Four Strings Each”.

Prunella Sedgwick (violin)

After completing her studies with Frederick Grinke at the Royal Academy of Music, Prunella joined the BBC Northern Orchestra in Manchester where she stayed for 5 years. She then returned to London to join the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden, playing under many of the greatest conductors. After eight years she left to become a member of the Adelphi String Quartet for four years, performing at many venues including the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, and abroad in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. Since then she has played all over the world with various orchestras as a freelance player.

Lucy White (viola)

Lucy won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study with Marie Wilson. She taught the violin while bringing up two sons and then took the opportunity to play violin and viola with London orchestras including solo viola d’amore with the English Chamber Orchestra and Steinitz Players. She has performed in the Purcell Room and given concerts with the Davey String Quartet. She and Juliet have worked together in “Four Strings Each”, a scheme she organized to provide concerts for the sick and elderly. There were 4000 of these concerts over 14 years together with two TV appearances.

Catherine Wilmers (‘cello)

Catherine’s CD “A Cello Century of British Women Composers” (ASV Quicksilva CD QS6245) consists of lovely, but neglected, cello works by women composers. Released worldwide, it received the rare gold award from the French recordings magazine Diapason. Catherine studied at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London, as well as in Vienna. She was awarded a Wigmore Hall début recital by the Incorporated Society of Musicians and a Purcell Room concert by the RAM. For 10 years she sat at the No.3 desk as a cellist in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, she prefers to teach, play chamber music, give concerts for children and grow interesting-tasting squash in the garden.

Jane Plessner (clarinet)

Jane began playing the clarinet at the age of 9 studying with Georgina Dobree while at school, and later privately with Angela Fussell. While attending the Universities of Liverpool and Surrey, she played with various orchestras and chamber music groups both within the universities and locally. Jane specializes in chamber music, playing with various groups including the Davey String Quartet and the Capicchioni Ensemble. She has performed at music clubs throughout the country, and at major concert halls including the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank. She plays regularly with orchestras and for choral and operatic societies, and in recent years has performed concertos by Mozart, Weber and Spohr. Jane has two children and lives in Windsor. Her other interests include computing and gardening.

Nicola Grunberg (piano)

Nicola trained at the Royal College of Music and in Israel. She has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and accompanist, appearing in all major venues in London and throughout the UK. She was married to the distinguished violist Cecil Aronowitz, and in 1976 they gave the first British performance of Shostakovich’s last work, the sonata for viola and piano, at the Aldeburgh Festival in the presence of the composer’s widow. She has worked as official accompanist at the Britten-Pears School, the Mayer-Lismann Opera Centre in London, Stowe Opera, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as well as for competitions, auditions, exams and diplomas. For many years she taught at the Purcell School of Music in London and, privately, has taught at all levels from beginners to diploma standard. Nicola has recently moved to Brighton from where she continues her teaching and freelance activities. She is an active member of the ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians), serving as a committee member of the Performers and Composers section in London.