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Central England Camerata, founded by freelance violinist Anna Downes in 2013, has become one of the most sought-after chamber orchestras in the central region of the UK and now works regularly with Hereford Cathedral Chamber Choir, Ledbury Choral Society, Derby Choral Union, Warwick and Kenilworth Choral Society, Birmingham Festival Choral Society, the Choirs of Southwell Minster and Cantores Chamber Choir.


CEC is made up of professional musicians who freelance in orchestras such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English Symphony Orchestra and Welsh National Opera.

CEC has appeared at music festivals across the UK, touring with Andrew Downes' Ballad of St Kenelm. In August 2017 CEC performed a series of film music concerts at Moseley Lord of the Rings Festival. In 2020/21, CEC made several professional recordings of the music of Andrew Downes; Festival Overture to St Cere, Toccata for Small

Orchestra, Symphony no 6, and the Christmas Cantata. In 2022, the orchestra recorded Downes' brand new Violin Concerto with soloist Rupert Marshall-Luck. The first live performance was given at the Hagley Music Festival in April 2024 and a further performance is planned for 2nd March 2025 at Huntingdon Hall in Worcester.


Following the composer’s death in early 2023, CEC recorded Downes’ Recorder Concerto with soloist James Risdon and then gave its UK premiere in February 2024 at St Peter’s Church,Notting Hill. A further performance in planned for September 2024 at the

Henry Sandon Hall, Royal Porcelain Works, Worcester.

In the Summer of 2024, CEC took part in an acclaimed performance of Wagner’s ‘The Flying Dutchman’ with Persona Arts at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Under the baton of Jack Ridley, produced by Byron Jackson and directed by Iqbal Khan (director of Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 2023), with top quality Principals from across the Commonwealth, the performances received rave reviews as well as an acknowledgment of thanks from King Charles III.

'Conductor Jack Ridley wrings every note of Wagner's majestic score out of the Central England Camerata so that simply listening to the music is a joy'

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