Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Alistair Vennart


Alistair is from Northumberland and started playing the Viola when he was 9 years old. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2011 gaining several prizes including the Keith Elcombe Award for highest overall performance, and then went on to postgraduate study at the RNCM with generous support from the Seary Charitable Trust, the Headley Trust and the RNCM Friends. He was awarded the Thomas Barratt Memorial Prize for Viola in July 2013. Alistair studied with Dr Louise Lansdown for 4 years at Manchester University and the RNCM, and with Contemporary Specialist Garth Knox from 2013-14.

He has had lessons and masterclasses with some of the world’s greatest Violists including Thomas Reibl, Nobuku Imai, Maxim Rysanov, Roland Glassl, Tatjana Masurenko, Simon Rowland-Jones, Adam Romer and Susie Meszaros. Alistair works professionally with the Hallé, Sinfonia Cymru, Northern Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and recently undertook the epic Ring Cycle while on trial for No.2 Viola for Opera North.

He has appeared as a soloist in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, including performing Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Manchester University Symphony Orchestra and Bach Brandenburg Concerto no. 6 with the Talich Quartet’s Vladimir Bukac. Alistair is in demand as a versatile performer, playing a wide variety of musical genres, and as a tutor in Violin, Viola and Chamber Music, working for organisations such as RNCM, Junior RNCM, Pro Corda, Live Music Now and Yorkshire Young Musicians.

He also has a side-profession in composition and arrangement, writing new music commissions for the Solem Quartet and fiddle trio ‘Y Singhs’, as well as creating new arrangements of existing music, notably for the BBC documentary ‘Dancing Cheek to Cheek: An Intimate History of Dance’.


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