Philip Dukes

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Philip Dukes (born 1968) is a British classical viola soloist.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Birmingham, England, Dukes began his musical education at Wells Cathedral School in 1978.[1]

In 1985 Dukes went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama[2] His principal teachers included Mark Knight,[3] Yfrah Neaman[4] and in New York, Michael Tree. In 2006 Dukes was unanimously elected as a Fellow of the Guildhall School.[5]


Dukes' 1991 recital debut at London's South Bank was described as "world class" by the magazine The Strad.[6] This performance launched a career that has led to Dukes being recognised as one of the foremost violists of his generation.

Many of Dukes' concerts in the 1990s were as one third of the Plane Dukes Rahman Trio, which received considerable critical acclaim.[7]

Dukes' debut as a viola soloist at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall was on 2 August 1995 with the London Mozart Players conducted by Matthias Bamert, the program included Sally Beamish's Viola Concerto No. 1 world premiere.[8] Dukes returned on 3 August 1999[9] with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins; he also featured as a soloist at the Proms on 4 August 2005[10] and 26 July 2007. The latter Prom included a performance of Sir Michael Tippett's Triple Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, a live recording of which is available on CD on Deutsche Grammophon.[11]

Dukes was lent the Archinto Viola (one of only two remaining playable Stradivarius violas) in 2007 and for a 20th anniversary recital at the South Bank Centre in March 2011.[12] Dukes' own viola was made by Japanese-American luthier Hiroshi Iizuka. There is a recorded interview hosted by The Guardian, comparing these two instruments.[13]

Dukes can be regularly heard on BBC Radio 3, the highlights perhaps being the live broadcasts from The Proms.[14] Dukes has appeared as a concerto soloist with many of the UK's leading orchestras and performs a wide range of engagements, from solos with major orchestras, to chamber music and music for films and TV.


Dukes' most recent contributions to TV were as a member of The Locrian Ensemble of London who performed the original television sound track for the BBC production of Wolf Hall and Dickensian, both composed and conducted by Debbie Wiseman.

Dukes solo viola recordings with leading orchestras include, Arnold Bax's Phantasy recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, released by Chandos Records; William Alwyn's Pastoral Fantasia recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Lloyd-Jones released by Naxos Records, and Best of British 20th Century Classics, live from Royal Albert Hall during BBC Proms 2007 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis, released by Deutsche Grammophon.

Other recordings include:

Academic roles and honours[edit]

In 2003 Dukes was appointed head of strings[28] at Wells Cathedral School and in 2008 was appointed artistic director[29] at Marlborough College. In 2006 Dukes was elected a fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and in 2007 was made an honorary associate of the Royal Academy of Music where he is a visiting professor of viola[6]

Personal life[edit]

Dukes married Caroline in 2002; they live in Marlborough and have two sons.


  1. ^ "Patricia Noall". Wells Cathedral School. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Highlights, successes & alumni". Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Mark Knight Cadenzas". Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  4. ^ Inglis, Anne (7 January 2003). "Yfrah Neaman". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Philip Dukes". Leicester International Music Festival. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Staff – Philip Dukes". Royal Academy of Music. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Philip Dukes – YCAT Digital Archive". YCAT Digital Archive. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Prom 16".
  9. ^ "Prom 23".
  10. ^ Rye, Matthew. "Proms 2005: soloists rise to the occasion". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Best of British 20th Century Classics". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  12. ^ "One of last Stradivarius violas to be used in rare performance". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Peter Kingston". The Guardian. 16 July 2007.
  14. ^ "404 Not Found".
  15. ^ Review
  16. ^ Reviews
  17. ^ Reviews
  18. ^ Dutton Vocalion
  19. ^ Sunday Times Classical CD of the Week
  20. ^ Review
  21. ^ Reviews
  22. ^ Reviews
  23. ^ Reviews
  24. ^ Reviews
  25. ^ Reviews Video clip
  26. ^ Reviews
  27. ^ Daily Telegraph CD of the Week; Reviews
  28. ^ Who's Who 2008. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. 2007. ISBN 978-0713685558.
  29. ^ "Department Staff". 16 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.