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Biography

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Ursula Leveaux is a sought-after chamber musician and is currently the bassoonist of London’s Nash Ensemble, the resident Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall.

She is the Principal Bassoon with City of London Sinfonia and is also in demand as performer on Period Instruments, in 2011 was appointed Principal Bassoon to the Academy of Ancient Music.

She is a prominent orchestral player having held the position of Principal Bassoon with  the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1987 to 2007. Ursula is frequently invited to appear as guest principal with major orchestras and ensembles in Britain and throughout Europe.

A former pupil at Chetham's School of Music, she furthered her studies with Martin Gatt in London, Brian Pollard in Amsterdam and also studied Baroque bassoon with Danny Bond in The Hague. While still a student in London she was the winner of the Shell-London Symphony Orchestra Scholarship and also became a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Georg Solti.

 As well as regular appearances with the SCO, Ursula’s solo work has included concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and at the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Barbican in London with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. On early instruments Ursula has perfmored as soloist with the Academy of Ancient Music and the English Concert.                                                                                                    

 Ursula’s CD recordings include the complete chamber music of Poulenc and of Saint-Saens, Beethoven Septet and Schubert Octet, all with the Nash Ensemble. She can also be heard on the complete recording of Chabrier Songs with Dame Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson.With the Academy of Ancient Music she has recorded the Bach Orchestral Suites and the St. John and Matthew Passions.  As well as a huge range of orchestral and opera repertoire with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra , Ursula has also recorded the Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto in D minor, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Bassoon Concerto, Strathclyde Concerto No 8, which was written especially for her, and the Mozart Bassoon Concerto released in 2006.  Ursula plays on the folk album Midnight May Monday and also the soundtrack for the 2016 movie of ' We're Going on a Bear Hunt' where she  is credited in the closing titles. Ursula is a frequent contributor to  BBC Radio 3.

Ursula has given masterclasses at most of the UK music colleges and as far afield as Toronto and Hong Kong. She was invited to join the Senior Faculty at the Marlboro Festival in the US in 2003 , 2005 and 2007. In 2013 she was a member of the jury for the ARD Competition in Munich and in 2018 will sit on the jury for the semi final of the Eurovision Young Musician held in Edinburgh. 

When not travelling and performing Ursula lives in the Lake District with her husband and 11 year old daughter.

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