ESTA UK Award Winners

2020

William Bruce 2

William Bruce

In recognition of distinguished services to string teaching 

Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall, Guildhall School’s specialist Saturday School offering advanced training to under 18s, William Bruce has been awarded the 2020 European String Teachers Association (ESTA) Award in recognition of distinguished services to string teaching.

William Bruce says: “I’m thrilled and humbled to have won this award from ESTA. In these difficult times I’m even more convinced of the value of music education.  Music is our birth right, the soundtrack to a lifelong journey and the soundscape of our very existence, coordinating our mind, body and spirit towards harmony on a never-ending learning process.     

It is a privilege working with so many young people at Junior Guildhall watching them blossom through such a powerful, joyous and transforming life force.

Thank you so much to ESTA, a supportive and guiding light right from the start of my career, providing shared experiences through so many inspiring platforms.”

William Bruce studied with Christopher Bunting and took part in classes with Jacqueline du Pré and William Pleeth, whilst attending chamber music courses at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies with the Amadeus Quartet.

His playing career has taken him as far as the USA and Australia, his Carnegie Hall debut was in 2005 and he was a member of the orchestra of English National Opera from 1982 until his recent retirement. The Royal Academy of Music awarded him an Honorary ARAM in 2017.

At the heart of Bruce’s career has been his teaching. As well as continuous private teaching, he is now Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall. He is the founder and director of Cello Club, the junior part of the London Cello Society, which brings together young cellists from all over the country and beyond. He has given countless masterclasses and summer schools, and he ran a residential summer school for cellists each year at Hindhead Music Centre for 20 years. He is currently involved in bringing Chinese students to study on his music summer schools.

In addition to many years’ experience as an adjudicator, for over 30 years Bruce has been involved in many aspects of the work of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), training and moderating of examiners, syllabus development, presentations and tours. This work has taken him across the globe to places like Hong Kong, the West Indies South America, Africa, Sri Lanka and Iceland. He has also recently worked in Soweto on a teaching project with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and worked with Magyar children on music projects in Transylvania.

Publication collaborations include a cello tutor with Mary Cohen for Faber Music, the Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection for Boosey & Hawkes and More Time Pieces for ABRSM Publishing.  He has also been Commissioning Editor for Fingerprints for Cello and Spectrum for Cello, a volume of contemporary pieces which has received worldwide acclaim.

Throughout his career, Bruce has been involved with ESTA, sitting on the Management Committee for many years, and is now a member of Council.


Keith Berry

Keith BerryIn recognition of exceptional services to ESTA

Keith’s association with ESTA goes back a long way, and his involvement links him with two of the most outstanding early leaders of our organisation, Nannie Jamieson and Joan Dickson, after whom  – appropriately – our first two bursary funds are named. 

It all started with viola lessons given by Nannie in the early 1970s, just after ESTA UK was founded. This led – inevitably, as anyone who met Nannie will know – to his joining ESTA. At this point he met another of ESTA’s giants, Joan Dickson, who persuaded him to become treasurer of the London Centre. 

During this time, Keith was working full time as a scientific civil servant at the National Physical Laboratory. When he retired, he was invited by Sylvia Palmer to join the newly formed Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund committee. This he did in 2003. The NJNF committee was very active through the 2000’s, organising annual play days at the Royal Festival Hall, and thereby raising money for the Fund. 

Eventually, in 2011, the two bursary funds were amalgamated into one committee, the ESTA Bursary Committee (EBC), of which he became Chairman. He continued in this role until his retirement this year. 

The birth of the EBC was far from easy. Putting two committees together created all kinds of problems, political, personal and logistical, which caused a fair deal, initially, of conflict. In his role as Chairman, Keith rose above all the difficulties, and very swiftly created a stable working relationship with all the committee members. For this alone, ESTA owes Keith a huge debt of gratitude. 

As Chairman, Keith maintained very high standards. He kept a close eye on the financial wellbeing of the two (now three) bursary funds, and created a very reliable set of checks and balances so that decisions about awardees, and how much money they should receive, were open, transparent and fair.  There is no doubt that the rigour of his approach was honed in the civil service, and it came to ESTA’s aid at a very important time. 

His legacy will be the committee’s determination to continue his careful approach into the future. 

We wish Keith a very happy retirement after nearly fifty years of dedicated (and unpaid) service to ESTA. A record to be truly proud of.


Nicole Wilson

Special award in recognition of exceptional services to ESTA

This award to Nicole Wilson is given for her outstanding contribution to ESTA’s work in the sudden crisis of COVID.  We needed someone who understood how to organise online sessions for our members, many of whom were desperately in need of support and reassurance as lockdown changed everyone’s lives. Not only that – Nicole had the vital skills needed to host sessions and act as an interviewer and link person. This she did with huge success, making sure everyone had their say, and giving just the right feel to the videos, which initially went out live. Her professionalism was second to none. 

Being the daughter of Ted Wilson, it was almost inevitable that Nicole would enter the world of violin playing! She had an ‘ideal’ education, studying at Chethams and the Royal Academy before joining the LSO in 1999. That led a few years later to becoming a Principal Violinist at the ENO. Since then, she has led or co-led orchestras around the country. 

Her teaching career also flourished during these years. She is now a professor of violin at the Royal Academy and Eton College. She is also a member of the Council of ESTA UK.  

It is her work for the media that will have honed the skills that led to this award. She has worked as orchestral fixer for film and TV, and has been a presenter on both the BBC and Classic FM. 

She has also created two very special enterprises. Musical Orbit is a website that brings top professional teachers and players to students worldwide. She has also created AuditionPerform, which is a residential course aimed at young professionals who want to improve their auditioning skills, helping them to prepare in the various ways that such things are organised around the world. 

When COVID struck, Nicole was very quick to take up the challenge of our weekly webinars, hastily arranged, and then really came into her own hosting the very successful – largely thanks to her – three day “Resilience” course. This we put on to replace in some way the Summer School, which of course had to be cancelled. 

Nicole truly was the right person in the right job at the right time, and ESTA owes her a sincere debt of gratitude. 


2019

Anna Shuttleworth

Anna Shuttleworth
award for services to string teaching

Kay Tucker

Kay Tucker
award for services to ESTA UK


2018

David Angel

David Angel
award for services to string teaching

Dale Chambers

Dale Chambers
award for services to ESTA UK


2017

Kathy and David Blackwell

Kathy & David Blackwell
award for services to string teaching

Bruce Perrin

Bruce Perrin
award for services to ESTA UK


2016

Helen Brunner

Helen Brunner
award for services to string teaching

G Hooson

Gwilym Hooson
award for services to ESTA UK


2015

William Roskelly

William Roskelly
award for services to string teaching

Edmund Wilson
award for services to ESTA UK


2014

Simon Fischer

Simon Fischer
award for services to string teaching

Cathy Elliott

Cathy Elliott
award for services to ESTA UK


2013

Kato Havas_ESTA

Kato Havas
award for services to string teaching

Judy Bird
award for services to ESTA UK


2012

Eta Cohen

Eta Cohen
award for services to string teaching

John Shayler
award for services to ESTA UK


2011

Edward Hows Jones

Edward Huws Jones
award for services to string teaching

Bob & Janet Thomas
award for services to ESTA UK


2010

Sheila Nelson with ESTA award

Sheila Nelson
award for services to string teaching

Marion Peddar
award for services to ESTA UK