Penny Driver is a versatile cellist, equally at home as solo performer, chamber musician and orchestral player and is a much-respected teacher. She teaches at Wells Cathedral School, one of the UK’s four specialist music schools, attracting students internationally. Her students frequently go on to win scholarships to the major conservatoires in London, Europe and the USA and many of her ex-students are now in prominent positions in the profession. She is regularly invited to give Performance Classes to undergraduate and masters’ students at the Royal Academy of Music and was for many years Professor of Cello at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Penny has had a long association with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she performs all over the world. She was Sub-Principal Cello with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a member of the London Mozart Players and Co-Principal with Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. As a chamber musician she performs in festivals and series throughout the UK and Europe with a wide variety of ensembles.
Penny studied with Amaryllis Fleming and Ralph Kirshbaum, whilst taking a degree in Russian at Cambridge University. She gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Solo Studies at the RNCM with Ralph Kirshbaum, then went to study with Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet in the USA on a Countess of Munster scholarship, where she was a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. She completed her studies in Moscow with the great Russian pedagogue Natalya Shakhovskaya and played in masterclasses to such legendary cellists as Pierre Fournier, Heinrich Schiff and William Pleeth.
Penny is on the faculty of Bozsok Music Festival in Hungary where she gives masterclasses in Cello and Chamber Music. She is also co-director of Conspirito chamber music Sundays (www.conspirito.co.uk) for young musicians in north London.