Roger Coull’s route into conducting has come very much from the eyes and ears of a performer. As a string quartet leader of international standing he has always been used to interpreting music and every aspect of the process of turning a vision into performance.
His years of experience as an orchestral trainer and conductor gained through his work at the University of Warwick, the Tees Valley Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the String Orchestra course at the Canford Summer School of Music have led to many conducting invitations.
Principal conductor of the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra, he is also a regular guest conductor of the Guernsey Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Beauchamp Sinfonietta, conductor of the University of Warwick String Orchestra, and a regular director of the Helix Ensemble. He has also conducted the Academy of St Thomas, and the Crendon Chamber Orchestra, amongst others.
Roger Coull studied the violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Trevor Williams, and later Frederick Grinke, and whilst a student was awarded many scholarships and prizes. Chamber music has always been one of his great passions and it was there that he formed the Coull Quartet under the guidance of Sidney Griller.
The Coull Quartet was appointed quartet-in-residence at the University of Warwick in 1977, where its members are still actively involved in its music making, and soon established itself as one of Britain’s leading string quartets. The Quartet performs regularly in concerts and radio broadcasts in Britain, Western Europe and the USA and has also toured India, the Far East, Middle East, South America and Australia. 2009 saw their first tour of mainland China, and more recently they have toured Brazil, Berlin and Poland. They were awarded a prestigious New Music 20×12 commission, with composer Joe Cutler, to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Included in their many critically acclaimed recordings are the complete Schubert Quartets on Upbeat Classics, the complete Mendelssohn Quartets on Hyperion Records (the recommended choice of BBC Radio 3’s Record Review) and a recording of quartets by Walton, Elgar and Bridge which was voted ‘Record of the Year’ by the BBC Music Magazine. The ensemble has a broad repertoire and has retained a strong commitment to contemporary music, commissioning works from eminent British composers such as Robert Simpson, Nicholas Maw and Edward Cowie. One of the Coull Quartet’s recent recordings (Sibelius quartet and piano quintet) was Editor’s choice in the Gramophone magazine, and their latest recording is of quartets by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.
Roger Coull also has much experience as a teacher, and has given many masterclasses internationally. He is a regular guest at Britain’s music colleges as teacher, examiner, and adjudicator and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music for his services to professional music making.