Since 2011, Emma has been a committed member of Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble. With the Folk Ensemble, she has played a wide variety of venues, ranging from a tiny village hall in Bedfordshire, to Fairport's Cropredy Convention in 2014, where they joined Fairport Convention for a track, before playing a set of their own to 27,000 people.


Emma has recently completed the  BMus (Hons) Performance course at Birmingham Conservatoire, studying with George Caird, Melinda Maxwell, Richard Weigall, Jenni Phillips and Anna Cooper. While she was at school, she was accepted into Aldeburgh Young Musicians (AYM), an exclusive scheme aimed at "exceptionally talented musicians aged between 8 and 18", run by Aldeburgh Music and held in the picturesque settings of Snape Maltings in Suffolk. Through this, she worked with a huge variety of artists in a diverse range of styles, including rock, serialism and Klezmer. Her final course as an AYM, working with the London based Klezmer band She'Koyokh,opened her eyes to the range of possibilities that can be achieved on the oboe, and directly led to her joining the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble.


For the past three years, Emma has played with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's Youth Orchestra, where she has, for the past two years, been the principal Cor Anglais player. During this time, she has played under conductors such as Alexander Verdernikov, Andrew Litton and Ed Gardner. At the Conservatoire, she plays with a variety of orchestras, including the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra and Opera Orchestra. A personal highlight was playing Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites as part of the Vocal Department's 2014 production, as this was her first full scale operatic production, and she has always enjoyed working with singers. She also plays with several local orchestras, including the British Police Symphony Orchestra and the Central England Ensemble. Emma is also very interested in musical theatre, and appeared in several productions whilst at school. She has also played in the bands for youth performances of South Pacific, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and Les Misérables.


Since joining Birmingham Conservatoire, Emma has increased her knowledge of, and developed a keen interest in, contemporary music. She has played in the Conservatoire Composers' Orchestra and Thallein ensemble, where she has played newly written works by composition students, as well as more established works by composers such as Harrison Birtwistle and Gérard Grisey. She enjoys the challenges that these works present, as they often include techniques that most oboists will not come across on a daily basis!


In her spare time, Emma enjoys singing, and is a member of several choirs. She sings in the Birmingham Conservatoire Camerata, which performs sacred and secular music from the 16th to 20th centuries. She has also recently been accepted into the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, working with Jeffrey Skidmore and Paul Spicer. She was also invited to join Via Nova in 2013, a new music chamber choir of 12 Conservatoire students from the Vocal, Conducting and Instrumental departments. Via Nova work closely with composers, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, when they gave the UK premiere of Morton Feldman's Swallows of Salangan. Emma left the choir recently, but recently performed with them, as an oboist this time, playing Karin Rehnqvist's Till Ängeln med de brinnande händerna at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Emma is a freelance oboist based in Birmingham, who works in a variety of different styles. She also teaches oboe, recorder and music theory around the Birmingham area. 

Print | Sitemap
© Emma Cowper