About the Orchestra

The Kingston U3A Orchestra, founded in March 2010, consists of around 30 players, many of whom are re-starters or late starters in their instruments. We meet weekly at the United Reformed Church in Eden Street, Kingston, KT1 1DJ, on Wednesday mornings during term time under the baton of professional musician David Ward, rehearsing music from the classical repertoire in preparation for regular concerts.  Email Liz Bartlett on lizbartlett@brightnet.co.uk for more information.  Click here for more information about Kingston U3A

 Inaugural concert November 2010










   Our conductor        

David WardDavid Ward has had an active life as pianist, fortepianist, conductor and teacher. His performances and recordings of Mozart in particular, on piano and fortepiano, were highly praised. He has played in the major concert halls in London and in many parts of the UK as well as in Holland, Ireland, South Africa, America, Australia and New Zealand. He conducted for New Sadlers Wells Opera Company and has also conducted opera and oratorio in London, Dublin and Marseilles. He taught at the Royal College of Music for over 40 years where, among other things, he was instrumental in developing the area of fortepiano studies. He also taught fortepiano at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He has always enjoyed working with amateur players and singers, and delights in encouraging people to give fully, to listen to each other and to enjoy and appreciate the music. 


Our leader

John Kitchen

John Kitchen studied Violin at The Royal Manchester College of Music where he obtained a Teaching and Performing Diploma. He was in the Grenadier Guards for two years as a member of the String Orchestra after which he joined the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra (the youngest Member) and was privileged to work under the Baton of such Conductors as Pierre Monteux, Ernst Ansermet, Sir Malcolm Sargeant, Stravinsky and Antal Dorati who was the Principal Conductor at the time. His career then took him to The London Symphony Orchestra where he played under Conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn, Kertesz and many others. He spent 4 years leading The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland during which period he played many Violin Concerti and Radio Recitals. After this John returned to England where he became a Member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by a period of time asNo.3 in the Violin Section of The English Chamber Orchestra where he played with wonderful soloists such as Murray Perahia, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman and many more. In 1982 John returned once more to The London Philharmonic Orchestra 1st Violin Section until his retirement from The Orchestra. He now enjoys his playing and teaching at a more leisurely pace.

Our Secretary

Liz Bartlett, founder of the Kingston U3A Orchestra, started out as a teacher and drama therapist. In 1989 she founded History Talk, a North Kensington based charity which ran Reminiscence groups for older people from the various local and ethnic communities. This included publishing books of memories, organising intergenerational projects with local schools and training volunteers to reminisce with housebound people. She plays the flute and enjoys chamber as well as orchestral music. For many years Liz was a member of Portobello Orchestra and organised concert tours for them in Norway, France and Germany. She is married to Ken Bartlett, who is currently Chair of Kingston U3A Orchestra, and they have a daughter, son and grandchildren who live nearby.


Members of the organising committee are:

Chairman     Ken Bartlett

Secretary     Liz Bartlett

Treasurer     Martin Bloomfield

Committee members     Peter Anning (librarian), Angela Ayton, Peter Bullett, Barbara Haynes, Martin Stuart.

Web editor (non committee) Sue Pluthero