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Dr. George Kennaway
George Kennaway is a cellist, conductor, teacher, and musicologist. Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the universities of Newcastle and Oxford, the Salzburg Mozarteum, Guildhall School of Music, and the University of Leeds. He studied the cello with Marie Dare, Valentine Orde, Michael Edmonds, and Christopher Bunting. George was principal cello no. 2 in the Orchestra of Opera North for 28 years; before that he freelanced with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish SO, and the Ulster Orchestra. From 2008-12 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Leeds, investigating 19th-century annotated editions of string music as a guide to historical performance. He is Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield’s Centre for Performance Research and also Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. He regularly appears as a soloist and chamber music player, on modern, 19th-century, and baroque cello. In recent years he has performed unaccompanied 17th- and 18th-century solo cello works and played concertos with the Leeds Baroque orchestra directed by Peter Holman. With David Milsom and Jonathan Gooing, he is a member of the Meiningen Ensemble based at the University of Huddersfield, a chamber group which explores applications of historical research to the 19th-century repertoire; their most recent performance was of music from the collection at Burton Constable Hall, East Yorkshire. George has conducted orchestras in the UK, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Italy, and Lithuania, and was for six years conductor of the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra. He has written two books: Playing The Cello 1780-1930 (2014), and John Gunn: Musician Scholar in Enlightenment Britain (2021). Other publications include articles and book chapters on editions of Haydn cello concertos, opera orchestra contracts, theoretical aspects of historical performance and historiography, and analytical topics. He is the leading UK specialist in the music and art of the Lithuanian M. K. Čiurlionis, lecturing at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2022 for their major Čiurlionis exhibition; in 2023 he published a book chapter dealing with Čiurlionis’s octatonic compositions. He has coached chamber music at Oxford, York, and Huddersfield universities, at the Abbaye aux Dames (Saintes, France), the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Lithuanian National Academy of Music.
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