Chamber Music Experience
Anna enjoys a busy career as a free-lance violinist. She plays regularly with English Symphony Orchestra, English String Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera, National Concert Orchestra of Great Britain and National Symphony Orchestra with artists such as Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson.
Anna is in regular demand as a guest leader. Recent engagements have included leading English Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Elgar's 'Music for the Powick Asylum' under the direction of Barry Collett, as part of the Royal Elgar Jubilee Festival. She has also led he Elgar Camerata in a performance of Bach's B minor mass with the Elgar Chorale in Pershore Abbey, conducted by Donald Hunt, and the Beauchamp Sinfonietta in a 'Gala Night' as part of the Evesham Festival of Music. She has also been invited to lead Sinfonia of Birmingham, Heart of England Orchestra and Vivaldi Camerata on many occasions.
Anna is the lead violinist with Sophistication String Quartet, VLO String Quartet and the Lynwood Lea Quartet, playing regularly at weddings, functions and coporate events. She also deputises for established quartets such as Wignornia String Quartet, Astaria String Quartet, Highly-Strung Quartet, No Strings Attached and Reflection Strings on a regular basis. Anna runs 'Sophistication Strings' which provides String Quartets, Duos, Trios and solo violinists for all events.
In addition to performing commitments, Anna is an experienced teacher and pedagogue. She has recently been shortlisted to become an Adjudicator with the British and International Federation of Music Festivals. She has adjudicated for Northfield Festival, Dudley Young Musician, Winterfold House Instrumentalists Competition and Central England Ensemble Concerto Competitions. In 2000, she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education and then began her teaching career at King's School in Wolverhampton before becoming Head of Music at The Crestwood School in Kingswinford. She currently holds the position of Head of Instrumental Studies at Old Swinford Hospital, a boarding school in Stourbridge, West Midlands.
In 2001 Anna founded Central England Ensemble which is made up of postgraduate musicians, music students and other talented musicians. The group has two main aims: to promote the music of Midlands composers and to provide a high standard performance platform for young talented musicians in the area. Since its conception CEE has performed over fifty concerts with a work by a Midlands based composer in each one. The orchestra has also toured in Northern Germany and in Paris, giving concerts in prestigious venues such as La Madeleine. The orchestra also runs its own Concerto Competition. In 2008 the first winner was Sarah Sew, playing Elgar's Violin Concerto and the second, in 2010 was Martyn Jackson, playng Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
In addition to this, as a former leader of Midland Youth Orchestra (2000-2003), and recipient of the James Langley Memorial Award (2000), Anna has recently been appointed as a Trustee of the James Langley Memorial Trust in recognition of her education and communitty work.
Anna lives in Worcestershire with her husband, Mike, and two very lively young sons, Oscar and Maxwell.
the University of Exeter (BA Hons, 1995-1998) and the University of Central England (PGCE Secondary Music, 1999-2000)
Dip ABRSM - July 1996
Haybridge High School
Anna joined Morgensterns in November 2015
Anna's web profile was last updated 8th Feb 2019
Recital - May 2013, Stourbridge - performance of Strauss Sonata for Violin and Piano
" Just to say a huge thank you for yesterday's concert. It was truly stunning, especially with such an emotionally charged programme. I so enjoyed having the opportunity to hear the Strauss Violin Sonata. If only more people could play it! You both performed so well, it's a great partnership. There was a real buzz at the end and I hope you both enjoyed it as much as the audience did. Love to have you back in the future!" (Janine Parsons, CC Concerts administrator)
Leader, Central England Ensemble - performance of Shostakovich Symphony no 5, November 2015, Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham
" ....Exposed pianissimo strings stopped the heart, with splendid solos from leader Anna Downes.......... " (Maggie Cotton, Birmingham Post)