About The Orchestra

The Bristol Classical Players were formed in 2008 to perform the nine Beethoven symphonies to a high standard. Since then, our concerts have covered a range of repertoire and we have worked with several international soloists, notably Stephen Hough and former BBC Young Musicians of the Year Nicola Benedetti and Jennifer Pike. We were delighted when, in 2014, Stephen agreed to become our Patron.

Our programmes are usually based around series of works, so our audiences can hear how a composer developed. As well as the Beethoven symphonies, we’ve played the Brahms symphonies, Russian works, highlights of British music and series of works by Sibelius and Mozart. This year, we’ll be playing all four of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos while our future plans include Czech music and lots of Haydn!

The orchestra has around fifty players and we play 3-4 concerts every year at St George’s Bristol, with occasional appearances elsewhere.


Tom Gauterin – Conductor

Tom was born in 1980 and read English at Jesus College, Oxford. Since then, he has been praised in the press for a “rocket powered” Beethoven Eroica Symphony and his “authority and flair” in works by Elgar and Dvorak. In 2004 he co-founded the Brunel Sinfonia which has since established itself as one of the most innovative and popular Bristol orchestras. He conducted the Brunel Sinfonia from its inception till 2013, leading them in many thrilling concerts including the first-ever performance in Bristol by amateur orchestra of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and (at Colston Hall) in the first Mahler 8th Symphony in Bristol for 30 years.

Tom established the Bristol Classical Players with the aim of giving players the chance to work fast and to a high standard and was privileged to conduct them in all nine Beethoven symphonies.

Although largely self-taught, Tom participated in Martyn Brabbins’s conducting masterclass at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival. He was invited to conduct the European Medical Students’ Orchestra on their 2006 UK tour. He has received informal guidance from Marin Alsop, Alexander Shelley and John Wilson and attended Neil Thomson’s conducting course in 2011.

Tom’s musical interests are wide, although his area of special interest is English music from the first half of the twentieth century, notably Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Bax.

Away from music, Tom is a tax lawyer and might otherwise be found reading, enjoying a glass of Rioja, being defeated by The Times crossword or being used as a climbing-frame by his two young daughters.


Anneka Sutcliffe – Leader

Anneka SutcliffeGrowing up surrounded by classical music, Anneka started learning the violin and joined her first orchestra aged 7. She has since continually played in orchestras her whole life and developed a deep love for symphonic works.

She studied violin with Richard Crabtree at Clifton College, led the school’s symphony and string orchestras and took the string quartet to National Competition level. There she also obtained Grade 8 distinctions in violin and voice: singing in all the choirs and operas the school had going. Staying in Bristol for university, she got a first-class honours degree in Philosophy and Theology then a foundation diploma in Psychotherapy, keeping music as a keen hobby. During a year travelling through Africa in 2013 she missed her violin so much that on her return, devoted herself to music.

Now a well-established face on the Bristol music scene, she works as a freelance violinist, teacher and fixer. She manages and leads two outfits of her own set-up: the Brunel Quartet and Insight Ensemble. This latest project is the culmination of a long-awaited dream of combining her love of theatre and circus with classical music, and reaching out to an entirely new audience base: An alternative orchestra performing sell-out, immersive, theatrical shows in the Loco Klub Tunnels.

Available for solo performance and recordings, she is regularly in the studio with Echoic Audio and has worked with bands such as This is the Kit, Future Dub Orchestra, Mad Apple Circus, Slamboree and The Transpersonals.

Passionate about sharing her love of classical music, Anneka regularly presents on Bristol Community Radio talking about upcoming concerts in the city with other enthusiasts.