MEET THE ORCHESTRA
Click on the profiles below to find out more about some of the members of NLS
Owen Leech - conductor
We have been fortunate to have Owen Leech as conductor and musical director of the North London Sinfonia, formerly the Tudor Orchestra, since December 2005. Owen's knowledge, enthusiasm and encouragement ensures we progress, both as individual players and as an ensemble, each term.
Owen is a London-based composer and conductor. Having completed doctoral studies with Robert Saxton and Raymond Warren at the University of Bristol, he received a Polish government scholarship to work for two years with Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw. Prominent commissions include several chamber works for the Schubert Ensemble, for Jamie Walton (cello) and Daniel Grimwood (piano), a piano quartet for the cellist Yehuda Hanani and his New England concert series ‘Close Encounters with Music’ and a quintet for the Miami-based Amernet Quartet. He has written pedagogical works for the Schubert Ensemble’s Chamber Music 2000 initiative and for the Kodály/Colourstrings-based North London Conservatoire, where he works as a pianist and composer-in-residence. His music has been widely performed in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, and has been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, Australia’s ABC Radio National and on WPRB Radio Princeton. Owen combines his work as a composer and teacher with his conducting activities. He has a particular passion for exploring new and neglected repertoire and has given the UK premieres of important works by Ned Rorem and Vítězslava Kaprálová. In November 2018 he conducted the premiere of his new Viola Concerto with the world-renowned violist Rivk
gosia kuznicka - leader
Gosia joined Gordan Nikolić (former leader of the LSO) and Goran Gribajcević class in Codarts, Rotterdam following her postgraduate studies in the UK. She was mentored by the late Patrick Halling (former member of the Hirsch Quartet) and joined the Pro Musica Quartet where she played as second violinist under Pat, learning all the great Quartets which ignited her love and rigour for chamber music playing. She has recorded for several artists including a CD ‘celebrating Jon Lord: Live at the Royal Albert Hall’. In 2018, she gave a solo performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concert with the North London Sinfonia, whom she now leads as principal violinist. In 2020, she and cellist Ekaterina Solomennik formed Pro Arte Duo (which we take to mean in Latin, [Art...] “For arts sake”), their aim is to communicate and inspire audiences through a LIVE online concert audience during the pandemic in collaboration with the South London Hub, The Sisters of Oz. Gosia has also participated in masterclasses in the UK and in Europe with imminent musicians such as Nina Balabina and Oleg Balabin (renowned Violist), Menahem Pressler from Beaux Arts Trio, Pavel Vernikov (Vienna Conservatory), Gordan Nikolić (Former leader of the London Symphony Orchestra), Joanna Mądroszkiewicz (University of Performing Arts Vienna) and Rachel Podger.
Gosia has been teaching at the North London Conservatoire formerly known as the North London Colourstrings Centre where her students have won scholarships and are part of the NYO Inspire scheme. She is also teaching assistant to Viktoria Grigoreva (Junior Royal College of Music) and will be part of the faculty of the Jersey International Music Masterclasses. She has held positions at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Music Masters (formerly known as London Music Masters) as well as St Edmunds School, Canterbury, home to Canterbury Cathedral’s choristers.
MarinA COMAS CASTIÑEIRA - principal cello
Born in Barcelona, Marina began her musical studies in Mexico City, where her family lived for a number of years. Back in Spain, she studied with Peter Thiemann before taking up a scholarship, in 1997, to enter János Starker’s internationally renowned cello program at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, where she was a pupil of Helga Winold and Emilio Colón. Having received the prestigious Pau Casals scholarship she then went on to study with the distinguished soloist Lynn Harrell at Rice University in Houston, graduating with a Master’s degree in 2005. She has taken lessons with Starker himself, and participated in masterclasses with Siegfried Palm, Lluis Claret and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, amongst others. She has appeared as a soloist on many occasions, making her debut with orchestra at the age of fifteen with the Yekaterinburg Chamber Orchestra. She has also played concertos with the Barcelona Sinfonietta and Camerata XXI, and in 2010 played the Dvořák Concerto with the North London Sinfonia. At the moment she enjoys a freelance career both as a chamber and orchestral musician, having played in orchestras such as the Orquestra del Palau de les Arts in Valencia, the Orquestra del Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in the UK. Since moving to London, Marina has focused largely on performing chamber music and teaching. She is a specialist in the Kodály based Colourstrings method and has been teaching at the North London Conservatoire since 2012.