New fixed-term additions to the Orchestra


The CBSO welcome three new fixed-term additions to the Orchestra. Bethan Allmand, Richard Thomas and Sarah Malcolm will be joining the string section for six months, performing throughout January to July.


Bethan Allmand - Tutti First Violin

Originally from Wrexham in North Wales, Bethan was inspired to pursue a career in orchestral playing after becoming a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and CBSO Youth Orchestra in 2008. Bethan studied with Steven Wilkie at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music before moving to London to complete her undergraduate and postgraduate courses with Yossi Zivoni at the Royal College of Music. Since graduating from the Royal College of Music, Bethan has enjoyed a varied freelance career including orchestral work with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Welsh National Opera Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She has also enjoyed recording and performing alongside artists including Ariana Grande, Gregory Porter, Sting and Boy George. In her free time, Bethan enjoys reading, walking in the mountains, skiing and watching rugby.

Bethan Allmand Square.

Richard Thomas - Tutti Second Violin

Performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto on his 22nd birthday, Irish violinist Richard Thomas made his solo debut at Dublin’s National Concert Hall alongside the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Following his debut, Richard’s career soon began to blossom after taking first prize at the 2017 edition of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Award. This award allowed Richard the use of a Nicolaus Gagliano violin from Florian Leonard Fine Violins, upon which, he gave several concerts including solo engagements with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Studio Symphony Orchestra, radio broadcasts on RTÉ Radio One, and an evening recital at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, with pianist Gary Beecher. Richard recently recorded Mozart’s A Major Violin Concerto with Camerata Ireland under the baton of Barry Douglas and returned to perform chamber works at the Clandeboye festival over the summer.

Richard is an avid orchestral player, all the while continuing to hold a great love of chamber music. He has led string quartets at the West Cork and Sligo international chamber music festivals alongside having worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera, Ulster Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Richard began his musical studies at the age of five with Loretto Nelson. After many wonderful years under her direction, Richard furthered his studies with Dr Fionnuala Hunt, culminating in the completion of a Bachelor in Music Performance degree with First Class Honours at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. During this time, Richard also spent a term under the tutelage of Ernst Kovacic at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna. Following his undergraduate studies, Richard secured scholarships to study with Jan Repko at the Royal College of Music, London, and later at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating with distinction. Richard has also had the great pleasure of participating in masterclasses with many renowned violinists and pedagogues, including Maxim Vengerov and Mauricio Fuks. It is with the utmost gratitude that Richard continues to further his career with the use of his father’s 1920 Giuseppe Pedrazzini violin.

Richard Thomas. Credit: Frances Marshall Photography.

Sarah Malcolm - Tutti Viola

After studying at Trinity College of Music (London) with Jane Atkins, Sarah soon began her 24-year career as a busy and successful freelance musician. 

Sarah has played with many orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, London Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, English National Ballet and with The Orquestra do Algarve, to name but a few. 

She has performed in all corners of the world, from America to Australia, and extensively throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Highlights have included playing at Glyndebourne Opera House, Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall and Saudi Arabia in a concert hall in the desert. 

Sarah has played in many groups and ensembles with genres including opera, musicals, jazz, rock, pop, and chamber music. She feels extremely privileged to have had the experience of working with some of the greatest conductors, artists, and soloists.

Alongside her playing career, Sarah has always been involved in music education and has enjoyed teaching her private students and also at a number of schools. In her spare time, she is kept busy with her other passion, art. She loves to learn about all aspects of painting and takes pleasure in creating her next piece of art.

Sarah Malcolm.