Born in Dublin, Justin left Ireland at 14 to study in England with Derek Simpson of the Aeolian String Quartet. He entered the Royal Academy of Music where he won all available prizes for chamber music playing. Justin joined the Locrian String Quartet who became Resident String Quartet at The University of Hertforshire) 1979-1990.
The Locrian Quartet were prize winners at both Evian and Belgrade International String Quartet Competitions. The quartet commissioned premieres of works by Maconchy, Bedford, Lutyens, Crosse, McGuire, and collaborated with composers such as Penderecki, Lutoslawski and Kurtag, undertaking very many tours, both national and international.
Justin formed the Locrian Ensemble of London in 1985 in order to organise numerous tours, recordings and broadcasts. The Ensemble established long-running concert series in London at St. Martin-in-the-Fields and many theatre concerts and festivals through Britain.
Justin was appointed principal cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra UK in 1994, a position he still holds. He now both manages the orchestra and is artistic director.
Justin was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2012.
For many years Justin was the cellist in the English Piano Trio, with whom made appearances at SBC, several recordings and international tours. He played guest principal cello with the English Sinfonia between 1994-2004, where he presented outreach programme and chamber concerts.
Other ensembles with whom he has performed include:
The Michael Nyman Band 1990
Very many film score recordings and international tours.
Solo cellist, Music Projects/London 1980-1996 Many concerts both national and international. BBC Proms concerts. BBC broadcasts including concerto by Colin Matthews. Worked with John Cage and Kurtag.
Asian Music Network 1990
Touring Britain with Drhuba Ghost (sarangi) playing cello in crossover projects composed by John Mayer.
Feinstein Ensemble 1990-2003
Recordings, BBC and Classic fm broadcasts, international tours
The Oxford Concert Party 1990-2005
Europe’s only Baroque and Tango band. Concerts and recordings.
A special commitment to performing in high security prisons, outreach work and hospices. Tours to Spoleto and Edinburgh Festivals.
Solo cellist, Opera East 1978-1996
Britten all chamber operas, etc.
Solo recital tour to the USA 2006, 2009, 2010
Concerts in Philadelphia and New York
COACHING, EXAMINATION AND LECTURING
Justin has a wide range of experience:
Coach to National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2006
Coach to National Youth Orchestra of Wales, 2005
Visiting Lecturer in Outreach and Community Music, Cork School of Music, MA Course
Adjudicator, Royal College of Muisc, Senior Cello and Viola Prizes
Adjudicator, Bromley Music Festival
Private teaching and coaching to present.
Justin has written scripts for plays with music that have played London’s West End and toured theatres through Britain:
Janacek – Overture to Intimate Letters, for the Sacconi String Quartet and actor, Timothy West (2010)
“The Angel of Rome”, the poignant story of the last surviving castrati singer, Alessando Moreschi. (First performed, Playhouse, Norwich; broadcast New Zealand Radio)
“Tango! Tango!”, a play with narrator, tango band and dancers about the life of the tango composer, Astor Piazzolla (First performed ICA Theatre, London, 90 performances, 2008-9
“An Unconventional Love”, a play about the lives of Percy and Mary Shelley, and Byron. (First performed, Norwich, Maddermarket Theatre)
“Elgar - Stirring the Spirit”, (commissioned by the Sarratt Festival, performed at Edinburgh, Buxton and Cambridge Festivals. West End, ICA Theatre, 2006)
“Haydn – A London Notebook” for the Sacconi String Quartet and Roger Ringrose, Kings Place 2009
Lyrics and book for a stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The Twits” (Questors Theatre and South Bank, London), narrated by Henry Kelly
Justin has served as a Chairman and Treasurer to the Royal Society of Musicians, Britain’s oldest charity, supporting musicians in need.
He is Musical Patron of Sunbeams Music Trust, helping children and adults with special needs, through music, in Cumbria.
Justin is a trustee of the London Cello Society and the Sacconi Trust.
BBC RADIO PROGRAMMES:
Justin has produced independent programmes for BBC Radio 3, two three-part series, featuring the chamber music of Ginastera and Gliere.
Justin has contracted musicians since 1980 for the film composer, Debbie Wiseman most recently topping the classical charts with the music from the award-winning BBC drama “Wolf Hall”.
He has recorded and performed for composer Julie Cooper.
Link to “Cariad” http://juliecoopermusic.com/project/cariad/
He has appeared live on stage with “Oasis” and Eric Clapton. He has been invited to perform on three Royal Variety Shows. Justin is to be heard playing the solo cello line in the film about the life of Oscar Wilde, “Wilde”, starring Stephen Fry,
and is also the featured soloist on the soundtracks to cinematic successes, “Female Perversions” and “Frozen”. He has recorded on scores on films such as “Gladiator”, “Hannibal”, “Harry Potter” and “Da Vinci Code. For many years, Justin has been Andrew Lloyd Webber’s chosen soloist for West End and studio work. He has worked in a solo capacity on shows such as “Bombay Dreams” and “Lord of the Rings” and is currently the cellist in the hit West End musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company, “Matilda”.
Justin owns and plays a cello made in 1695 by the fine Cremonese luthier, Francesco Ruggieri.
Fantasy for solo cello/Piano Trio (a “Gramophone” award winning disc)
English Piano Trio CD 8.554237
Chamber works with flute with Feinstein Ensemble CD 8.553459
“Souvenirs de Venise” with Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) Felicity Lott (soprano)with members of The Songmakers’ Almanac
'Top Ten of the Year' (The Guardian)
Piano Quartet in F major, Op 55bis
With Rita Manning (violin) Morgan Goff (viola) and Leslie Howard (piano)
L. van Beethoven
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 8 / Pathetique Sonata in 19th century arrangements for chamber ensemble / Locrian Ensemble with Philip Dukes (viola) GMCD 7274
The Eye of the Storm – Music of Busoni’s Zurich friends and disciples GMCD7189
Piano Trios / Locrian Ensemble GMCD7307
String Quartets / Flute Quartet GMCD 7328
String Quartets / String Trio
Viola Quintets in G minor and C major
Locrian Ensemble/ Philip Dukes (viola) CDQS 6238
Cello Quintet/String Trio in Bb major
Locrian Ensemble CDQS 6207
DUTTON EPOCH (6 discs)
Complete repertoire for solo cello/Chamber Music
Locrian Ensemble with Lorraine McAslan (violin) CDLX 7105
Chamber Music/ Locrian Ensemble CDLX 7143
Solo cello suite/Chamber Music
Locrian Ensemble CDLX 7163
Solo pieces for cello/Chamber Music
Locrian Ensemble CDLX 7110
Hubert Clifford and Edgar Bainton
String Quartets/Locrian Ensemble CDLX7163
Romance for solo cello/Piano Trio
English Piano Trio CDLX 7145
Chamber Music by Piazzola /Oxford Concert Party
IRISH LYRIC fm
Cello Sonata by Charles Alexander Osborne CD391507
Heitor Villa-Lobos “Assobio a jato” for flute and cello
Various chamber works by Ginestera CKCL