Helen Shillito – French Horn

Helen studied the horn and piano at the Royal College of Music both as an undergraduate and postgraduate with Julian Baker, Tim Brown and Sue Dent (natural and baroque horn). During her postgraduate year she studied for a semester at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest with Adam Friedrich. On completing her studies in London, Helen studied natural and baroque horn in Saintes, France for two years with Claude Maury gaining Honours for her Masters degree in the performance of classical and romantic repertoire. Helen was principal horn with the Britten-Pears Symphony Orchestra from 1998-2000.

Although based in London, Helen is currently 2nd horn with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra (since 2003). Helen’s trials include Irish Chamber Orchestra (2nd horn, ongoing), Scottish Opera (4th Horn 2005) and Ensemble 360 (2006).

Orchestral Work
ORCHESTRAS Academy of Ancient Music, Aurora Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia, Chamber Orchestra of Anglia, Chameleon Arts Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique.

Helen’s orchestral work also includes Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Ambache Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Cyprus State Chamber Orchestra (principal), English Sinfonia, Fine Arts Sinfonia, London Pro Arte, Northern Sinfonia, and the Orchestra of St John’s.

Helen’s period orchestra experience includes Europa Galante, Gabrieli Consort, English Consort and Newcastle Baroque.

As a chamber musician Helen is a founder member of the Aurora Ensemble, (wind quintet),

“…dazzling precision and infectious wit. These players are a superb team, brilliantly accomplished, and I long to hear more of them.” Financial Times.

They were prizewinners at the European Musique d’Ensemble Competition in Paris (April 2001) and have worked for Live Music Now! (2001 – 04). The Aurora Ensemble have also taken part in the BBC Young Artists’ Forum Broadcasts in 1999, and have given concerts in venues such as the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room (both for the Park Lane Group), St David’s Hall and Bridgewater Hall and were selected for the 2004-5 Making Music scheme. Their education work inculdes the Sounds Exciting scheme, coaching on Benslow Music Trust (2002 – 04) and Hawkwood College (since 1999). www.auroraensemble.com

Other chamber music experience includes Brass10, Piros (strings & wind), Broadwood Ensemble (wind & piano), Alla Caccia (horn, violin & piano), Etesian Ensemble (period instruments), Orchestra of St John’s Wind Octet, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Wind Quintet and Vent (a period octet) and The Crowther Wind Quintet.

As a concerto soloist Helen has performed as 2nd Horn in Schumann’s Konzertstuck for 4 Horns and Orchestra with the Dorking Philharmonic and London Charity Orchestra. She has also played 2nd Horn in Durkan’s Concertoquarto for 4 Horns and Orchestra with the Dorking Philhamonic and Mozart Concerto No.3 at the Salzburg Fringe Festival (2003).

Helen’s schooling took place at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh (1992 – 1994). Helen’s graduate studies took place at the Royal College of Music (BMus (Hons) & PGDip RCM Solo/Ensemble, 1994 – 1999). Helen also studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest (1998 – 1999) and the CESMD, Saintes, France, on Natural and Baroque Horn (Masters (Hons) CESMD, 2000 – 01).