Jonathan Byers

Belfast-born Jonathan Byers began playing the cello aged seven, and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Prof. David Strange and Jennifer Ward-Clarke. Aside from performing with the Badke Quartet, Jonathan has a busy and varied freelance career performing as guest principal with many orchestras and period instrument groups, including the Academy of Ancient Music, Gabrieli Consort, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Classical Opera Company, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Early Opera Company. He is co-principal cello with the English Concert and the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

Jonathan also performs with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and has worked as guest principal with the Symphony Orchestra of India, and with the Weinberger Kammerorchester in Zurich, directed by Gábor Takács-Nagy. He also enjoys performing in recording sessions for film and TV soundtracks.

Jonathan has also given solo recitals across Europe and in Washington DC and China. In 2012, he performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, a concert which was broadcast by the BBC. He recently worked alongside Oscar winner Mark Rylance and counter-tenor Iestyn Davies in the The Globe’s production of ‘Farinelli and the King’.

In May 2011, Jonathan was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, an honorary award for former students of the Academy who have made a notable contribution to the music profession.

Jonathan performs on a c.1750 cello by John Johnson and a fine Italian cello from c.1730s made possible by Jonathan Byers Cello Trust, which has been established by Nigel Brown and the Stradivari Trust to raise the funds needed to secure the instrument.