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Our 2023 Performers

Bristol Ensemble

Our 2023 resident ensemble is Bristol’s only professional orchestra, and plays an important role in culture and music education in Bristol and the West of England, working with outstanding artists to present a vibrant and varied annual programme of concerts and events in the region’s major venues. 


Committed to all types of music, Bristol Ensemble has commissioned over 50 new works by British composers. It is also known for film and media collaborations and has provided the music for award-winning productions including the BBC series Life in Cold Blood, Channel 4 drama Any Human Heart, and the 2021 Aardman Animation film Robin Robin. 

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Our Soloists

Liv-Marie Kodurand - 

Liv-Marie’s expressive and sophisticated playing style has won her critical acclaim, and her innovative approach to programming has established her as one of the most unique and versatile performers today. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at major international festivals and concert halls throughout the UK and Europe. Performance highlights include prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the-Field’s, Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall, St Johns Smith Square, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the International Young Artists’ Series at St Georges’ Bristol. 

As artistic director of the Florentine Arts Ensemble she has performed at venues across the UK including The National Portrait Gallery, The Fitzwilliam Museum, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Dulwich Picture Gallery and The Holburne Museum alongside regular lecture recitals at The National Gallery on a wide range of themes. 

She is the co-founder and artistic director of the Somerset International Festival of the Arts, developing a programme of education and performance in rural communities across Somerset. 

John Telfer - 

John Telfer took a degree in Music/Theatre at York University, then trained as an actor for two years at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, to which he has frequently returned over the years to teach, direct, and musically direct students.

He joined Richard Cottrell’s Bristol Old Vic Company straight from Theatre School, where he spent, initially, 5 happy years in a variety of plays.

Favourite shows have included a magical Midsummer Night’s Dream, also seen at the London Old Vic, and Amadeus at Chester, playing Salieri.

The 80’s were generally a time of touring- including Orwell’s England for The Royal National Theatre- and television work. He was one of the Actor/Presenters on ITV’s children’s shows Let’s Pretend, and played DC Pettit in 4 series of the much loved Bergerac. 

TV appearances since then have included roles in Without Motive, Casualty, Licence To Live and Skins.

Recently  he has been touring playing Johnny Cradock, and Philip Larkin.

He has narrated for The Brodsky String Quartet and also for the Bristol Ensemble  and made literally dozens of radio broadcasts in plays and short stories, and Poetry Please.

Audio books are another enthusiasm, recently completing all 50 of Leslie Charteris’ Saint catalogue; Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin was placed 9th in the Telegraph’s 20 best Audiobooks of all Time.

He is also Alan Franks, the vicar in The Archers.


Imogen Triner -

Imogen studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Neil Black and Gordon Hunt, where she won many of the major prizes, including the Paddy Purcell Prize for all wind instruments. She was awarded a Countess of Munster Scholarship and then a Winston Churchill Fellowship to continue her studies with the Berlin Philharmonic’s solo oboist, Lothar Koch.

Imogen Triner is one of Britain’s foremost oboe soloists and performances have included major concerti with the Tivoli Festival Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic and Kuopio Symphony Orchestras – both in Finland, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway, the Kansas Chamber Orchestra, the National Italian Symphony Orchestra, the Belgian National Radio and Television Orchestra, the Norkoping Chamber Orchestra in Sweden and many orchestras in the UK. Many of these performances have been recorded for the radio.

As a chamber musician Imogen has performed highly acclaimed recitals in major London venues and in festivals throughout the UK. She has toured all over Scandinavia, America and Japan both as a recitalist, giving masterclasses and with her Oboe Quartet.

In the UK Imogen works regularly with chamber groups which include the Bristol Ensemble with whom she has played numerous concerti and recently recorded 2 CDs which include Vivaldi’s C major oboe concerto. Imogen is the oboist in the oboe quartet ‘oboeworks’.

Carl Hill -

Carl studied viola at the Guildhall School of Music with Mark Knight and Paul Silverthorne. After leaving college, he moved to Athens, and then Spain, where he was principal viola of the Real Philharmonia de Galicia. He returned to the UK in 1999, joining the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as sub-principal viola. 

Carl is now living in Penarth, enjoying the diversity of freelancing. He has performed as guest principal viola with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Swan, along with performing concertos and chamber music with various ensembles.

Mirek Salmon -

Mirek Salmon is an experienced accordionist, pianist and bandoneonist. His busy freelance career has seen him perform with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, Bristol Ensemble, Mark Padmore, the late Lynden David Hall and others. He has toured extensively around the UK for opera and theatre tours as well as on rural touring schemes with his own project Tango Calor and cabaret/jazz group Moscow Drug Club. Mirek has appeared on many of the country’s big festival stages including WOMAD and London, Edinburgh and Cheltenham jazz festivals. Live broadcast appearances include BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (BBC2) as well as performances on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3. He was a featured accordionist for a Renault advertising campaign and his playing appears regularly on lifestyle programmes as a result of his busy recording session work.

Simon Kodurand -

Equally at home on both the modern and baroque violin Simon pursues a varied career as violinist, presenter, and teacher.  Simon was appointed Artistic Director of the Bristol Ensemble in 2021 and has directed a number of projects with them since joining the ensemble in 2011.

Starting the violin at the age of thirteen Simon went on to study at both the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music with the assistance of the Rowsby Woofscholarship.  Since his London debut at the Purcell Room in 2004 Simon has performed and recorded with most of the orchestras and period ensembles in the UK, and has made numerous live broadcasts on the BBC, as well as American, Mexican, Polish, and French radio.

As a soloist and director Simon has guest-led ensembles throughout the UK, recorded numerous commercial soundtracks for film and television, and performed as recitalist and concerto soloist at a number of diverse venues from St. John’s Smith Square, London and St. George’s, Bristol to a funeral parlour in New York.

As co-founder of the Florentine Arts Ensemble Simon has curated and presented events at the National Gallery in London on the relationship between music and art, as well as the Holburne Museum in Bath and at galleries across the UK.

Thank you!

Our grateful thanks to the following donors and sponsors for their kind support of our launch festival, without this incredible support our festival would not be possible:

  • Backwell Parish Council

  • Nailsea Community Fund

  • Professor Neil Allan

  • Parker’s Estate Agents

  • Bristol Airport Fund

  • Marchus Fund

  • Aimee’s Wine Ltd

  • Nailsea & Backwell Rotary Club 

  • Brockley Stores

  • Adroit Print


We would like to thank all of the fantastic volunteers who have helped and supported our festival! We would particularly like to mention the following individuals who have so generously given their time to help us:

  • St Andrew's Church Staff & Volunteers

  • Cherry Leake

  • Janet & Andy Pitcher

  • Jane Canning

  • Karina Eccles

  • Ann Belcher

A big thank you to all the fantastic photographers at Backwell Camera Club who have given their time to capture our festival over the weekend!

SIFA Trustees:


Professor Neil Allan

John Turbervill


SIFA Patrons:

Hilary Davan-Wetton

Jonathan James

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