Penny Driver is a versatile cellist, equally at home as a solo performer, chamber musician and orchestral player. She is also one of the most respected teachers of talented specialist cellists in the UK. 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 and Europe. Penny is regularly invited to give Performance Classes to undergraduate and Masters students at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and for many years she was Professor of Cello at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Penny studied with Amaryllis Fleming and Ralph Kirshbaum, whilst taking a degree in Russian at Cambridge University. She went on to the RNCM to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Solo Studies with Ralph Kirshbaum. She was awarded a Countess of Munster scholarship to work with Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet in the USA 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 and William Pleeth.
Penny has travelled all over the world with many of the UK’s symphony and chamber orchestras. After a short spell as Sub-Principal Cello with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, she joined the London Mozart Players, was Co-Principal with Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and played with the BBC and London Symphony Orchestras. Her string trio played in festivals and series throughout the UK and she performed as chamber musician with a wide variety of ensembles including Gemini and Matrix.
Penny has had a long association in particular with three orchestras with whom she continues to perform all over the world - the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart players and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.