Neil Valentine BSO Associate Musician
Neil began his musical career as a violinist, until he grew really tall and at 14 switched to the viola, never to look back. He studied at York University and Trinity College of music and was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2007. During his time with the orchestra he discovered creative music workshops, and became the Trainee Animateur with Wigmore Hall. He is an Associate Musician of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra working across all of the BSO Participate Strands. He has also delivered music projects, workshops and performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, LSO, RPO, London Music Masters, Hatfield Chamber Music Festival, Spitalfields Music, BBC SO, BBC Proms, Hatch My Ideas!, Voces8, Wigmore Hall and St Paul’s Sinfonia.
He has worked closely with Music Hubs and services across the country as well as being a Music Mentor and Presenter for Music for Youth. He works in primary and secondary schools, nurseries, hospitals, care homes and with community groups of all types. He currently works on a number of music projects supporting older people suffering from Dementia including Music for a While, a project between the BSO and Arts and Health South West. Music for a While has been shortlisted for the Arts & Health Award at the 2017 RSPH Health and Wellbeing Awards.
He is passionate about music making in all settings and with all groups of people. He believes everybody is musical and that anyone can make music with anyone else. He is privileged to be able to facilitate this process; it is a source of unending inspiration and enjoyment.
In 2016 he founded www.abcconcerts.com, a concert series for babies and toddlers in the South of England that aims to take down all the barriers to live music which parents and their little ones face.
His solo project LASTLIGHT takes classical and folk traditions and, using live looping, electronics, effects and laptops, mixes them all together from his viola. This way of making music is very exciting and freeing, allowing original music and exciting new arrangements to blossom and develop within the natural beauty of the string sound.
He is also Creative Director at the University of Winchester Music Centre, bringing his passion for music and people to this setting.