Head of Chamber Music
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Tim Smedley studied cello at the Royal Northern College of Music with Hannah Roberts having previously been a pupil at Chetham's School of Music. As a cellist, Tim has over 20 years’ experience playing in orchestras such as the Hallé, Opera North, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He frequently plays as principal cellist with the Northern Chamber Orchestra and has also played as principal with Northern Ballet and Manchester Camerata. Chamber music has always been integral to Tim’s career and in addition to performances in many leading chamber music festivals, Tim has played extensively with the Fitzwilliam Quartet, alongside the Sacconi Quartet and with Ensemble 360. He has also given in live Radio 3 broadcasts with artists such as Alison Balsom, Elizabeth Watts, Mahan Esfahani and James Gilchrist. Tim also plays regularly with the Northern Chamber Orchestra Soloists, with recent highlights including the Schubert Quintet with Matthew Sharpe and a performance of Strauss's Metamorphosen and Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht in the 2021 Buxton Festival.
Whilst at the RNCM, Tim developed a strong interest in historically informed performance, which has led to a varied career performing with many of the country's leading period instrument ensembles. He especially enjoys playing continuo cello. He works regularly with Arcangelo, the Academy of Ancient Music, The King's Consort, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists in addition to many smaller chamber projects. In contrast, in 2010, Tim was part of a six-month world tour with Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and has also collaborated with bands such as Cherry Ghost in both studio recordings and live performances.
Teaching has always formed an integral part of Tim's career. From 2006-2018 he was a tutor in cello and chamber music at Junior RNCM and held a similar role at Yorkshire Young Musicians from 2008-2018. From 2018-2022, Tim was Head of Strings at King's College School in Wimbledon where he directed the school’s chamber music programme. In addition, he also teaches cello at the University of Sheffield and the University of York where he was a co-director of the Baroque Ensemble from 2005-2019. Tim has taught on chamber music courses with the Fitzwilliam Quartet and regularly teaches on the Oxford Cello School. In summer 2022 he will be teaching at the Wells Cathedral School International String Summer School.