Press Releases 2014-2015

‘Nidum’ String Ensemble to perform as part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Music Festival


Nidum - a string ensemble featuring musicians who regularly play with high profile orchestras including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra - will be performing in Carmarthen on Thursday, June 18th as part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Music Festival.

The concert will take place at the University Chapel on the University’s campus in Carmarthen and will include Haydn’s string quartet Op.65 no.5 'The lark' and Schubert’s string quintet in C Major.

The ensemble will feature home-grown Welsh talent - Rhys Watkins, Gwenllian Richards, Benjamin Roskams, Steffan Morris and Thomas Carroll.

Cardiff-born violinist, Rhys Watkins is enjoying a successful career as a soloist, recitalist and orchestral leader. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2004, with a First Class Honours Degree and continued his career as a freelance violinist until 2009, when he was made a member of the first violin section of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Rhys is a member of the award-winning Artea String Quartet and is also an orchestral leader, working regularly with Sinfonia Cymru and Symphonica Tywi.

He was one of the main contributors to the recent television series 'Valley of Song' which was broadcast on BBC television in 2011/12 and forms a duo, with violinist David Worswick, called 'Mazzepa'.

Gwenllian Richards, originally from Neath, was appointed sub co-leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2009. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Stephanie Gonley and Ofer Falk and gained a distinction in Master of Music.

Gwenllian has been leader of Sinfonia Cymru Orchestra, British Sinfonietta and a principal player in the National Chamber Orchestra of Wales, the European Union Youth Orchestra as well as playing with numerous orchestras within London. In addition to orchestral playing, Gwenllian enjoys performing with various chamber music ensembles and also tutors on the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain.

Benjamin Roskams began playing the violin at the age of nine in Cardiff where he studied with Harry Cawood before going on to win a scholarship to study with Lydia Mordkovitch and Emanuel Hurwitz at the Royal Academy of Music. Benjamin continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with David Takeno as a scholarship holder and then with Professor Ilya Grubert at the Amsterdam Conservatoire. He now seeks inspiration from Ivry Gitlis in Paris.

As an experienced orchestral musician he has led the Dutch National Ballet as well as acting as guest deputy concertmaster of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Holland Symfonia. In the UK he works regularly with the LSO, LPO and Philharmonia Orchestra as well as being a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra 1st violin section.

Welsh cellist Steffan Morris is quickly making a name for as one of the finest cellists of his generation.  Much in demand as a soloist, chamber and orchestral player, Steffan enjoys a varied career collaborating with people such as Daniel Rowland, Thomas Carroll, Rachel Roberts, Ben Baker and Heinrich Schiff.

He is the youngest ever guest principal cello with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and has also been guest principal cello with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Having studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Steffan moved to Vienna to study with Heinrich Schiff at the University of Music and Performing Arts where he lived for three years.

Steffan now lives in London where he is a professor at the Yehudi Menuhin School.

Swansea-born Thomas Carroll studied with Melissa Phelps at the Yehudi Menuhin School and with Heinrich Schiff in Austria. An exceptionally gifted cellist, he is one of only two artists who auditioned successfully for both Young Concert Artists Trust in London and Young Concert Artists, Inc. in New York. He has since gone on to give critically acclaimed debut recitals at Wigmore Hall (London), Alice Tully Hall (NY) and in Boston, California, Florida and Washington DC.

As a concerto soloist Thomas has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Mozart Players, ViVA, Orchestra of the East Midlands, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Heinrich Schiff), English Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic, Sofia Philharmonic, and Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra.

This season sees a continuation of recitals in series and festivals throughout the UK, South Africa and Europe and concerti with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players and Cape Philharmonic. 2010 will see the release of Thomas and eminent pianist Llyr Williams’ CD of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms sonatas on the Orchid Label.

Thomas is currently a Professor at the Royal College of Music in London and the Yehudi Menuhin School.

“Nidum is a fantastic string ensemble and features some of Wales most talented musicians,” says Eilir Owen Griffiths, organiser of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Music Festival.

“We’re really pleased that musicians of this calibre have agree to perform as part of the University’s Festival and we look forward to welcoming them to Carmarthen on June 18th,” adds Eilir.

For the opportunity to see these accomplished and successful Welsh musicians play in the intimate surroundings of the University chapel, book your tickets for the ‘Nidum String Ensemble’ concert at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David at 7.30pm on Thursday evening, June 18th. 

Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions and can be purchased by calling 0300 323 0015 or by visiting

Note to Editor

  • The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  • The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  • On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014

Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / / 07449 998476