Meet the orchestra

The Corinthian Chamber Orchestra comprises around 50 to 60 players depending on the music performed. This is a typical size for a chamber orchestra, compared to a full symphony orchestra of around 100 players. CCO has the typical composition of a classical or later romantic orchestra:

  • Strings: 10 - 12 first violins; 8 - 10 second violins; 6 - 8 violas; 6 - 7 violoncellos; 2 - 3 double basses
  • Woodwinds: 2 flutes; 2 oboes; 2 clarinets; 2 bassoons
  • Brass: 2 - 4 French horns; 2 trumpets; 2 - 4 trombones
  • Percussion: timpani

Occasionally our wind section is supplemented by a cor anglais and a tuba joins our brass section. We sometimes perform with a harp and a keyboard player may be employed to play the piano or celeste. Music composed in the late twentieth century and onward sometimes calls for an enlarged percussion section with instruments such as the bass drum, cymbals and triangle. Among the instrument groups (called sections) there is a generally accepted hierarchy. Every section has a principal who is generally responsible for leading the section and playing orchestral solos. Some sections also have an assistant principal (or co-principal or associate principal). The principal first violin, Anna Kirkpatrick, is also called the Leader (or in other parts of the world, Concertmaster) and is considered the leader of not only the string section, but of the entire orchestra, subordinate only to the conductor. Our other String section principals are Suzanne Doyle (second violins) and Hywel Jones (violas). Fran Blum leads the cello section and Robin Major is our principal double bass player. The principal oboe (Nick Ridley) is considered the leader of the woodwind section, and is the player to whom the orchestra tunes. Principal flute is Mike Copperwhite, principal clarinet, Richard Stockall, and principal bassoon, Oliver Galletta. The principal trombone (David Carnac) is considered the leader of the lower brass section, while the principal trumpet (Richard Knights) is generally considered the leader of the entire brass section. The French horn, while technically a brass instrument, often acts in the role of both woodwind and brass. Our principal horn is Andy Feist.