Adrian Spillett

Section Leader Percussion

Adrian joined the CBSO in 2011 as Principal Percussion and became Section Leader in 2012.

Alongside his CBSO work, he is a member of the Colin Currie Group, the Graham Fitkin Band and BCMG, having worked with the latter since 2002. He continues to work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Wilson Orchestra and London Sinfonietta on a freelance basis.

Adrian was appointed Head of Percussion at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2014 and continues to tutor the National Youth Orchestra’s percussion section. He was formerly Professor of Percussion at the Guildhall School of Music for four years.

Born in Shrewsbury, Adrian says that he was fascinated by the drummer in bands from the age of three and took up the drums himself at the age of nine. He continued on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music under Ian Wright, Graham Johns (with whom he still has lessons occasionally), Paul Patrick and Liz Gilliver.

Whilst a student in Manchester, Adrian won the prestigious BBC’s Young Musician of the Year in 1998 and founded the percussion quartet, 4-MALITY in 1999.

Adrian claims that his most memorable moment with the CBSO to date was performing the notorious snare drum in Shostakovich 7 at the Proms with Nelsons, calling it ‘a truly terrifying and rewarding experience … Never felt adrenalin like it’. He also enjoys the CBSO Percussion Ensemble Schools’ Concerts, describing them as ‘a true percussive spectacle and an awesome force to be reckoned with’. Always partial to a spot of fancy dress, Adrian is immensely proud of the percussion section’s fine efforts in the Festive and Friday Night Classics (particular highlight: inflatable turkey).

A keen cricketer, Adrian is the fixture secretary and wicket keeper for the CBSO Cricket Team and loves travelling the world to support the England Team. He also cites skiing as a new found obsession.