Philip Dukes

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

Early life and education[edit]

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 whilst in New York, Michael Tree. In 2006 Mr 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 Strad Magazine.[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 the 2nd August 1995 with the London Mozart Players conducted by Matthias Bamert, the program included Sally Beamish's Viola Concerto No 1 world premiere. Dukes returned on the 3rd August 1999 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins; he also featured as a soloist at the Proms on the 4th August 2005[8] 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 the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon Label.[9]

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.[10] Dukes' own viola was made by Japanese-American luthier Hiroshi Iizuka. There is a recorded interview hosted by the Guardian, comparing these two instruments.

Dukes can be regularly heard on BBC Radio 3, the highlights perhaps being the live broadcasts from the Proms.

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, Bax: Phantasy recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, released by Chandos Records ALWYN: 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 Sir Andrew Davis released by Deutsche Grammophon DG Concerts.

Other Recordings Include

Erwin Schulhoff: String Sextet Op. 45 Spectrum Concerts Berlin released by Naxos

Benjamin Britten: Lachrymae with the Ayriel Ensemble on Ayriel Classics

Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi with Northern Sinfonia and Richard Hickox.

Takemitsu: A String Around Autumn with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tadaaki Otaka, conductor

Geoffrey Burgon: Viola Concerto ‘Ghosts of the Dance’ (2008) City of London Sinfonia, Nicholas Ward – leader.

Elegy for Viola and Orchestra: Lady Caroline Lamb (The Film Music of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett)with BBC Philharmonic and Rumon Gamba

Britten: Lachrymae with Northern Sinfonia conductor Steuart Bedford released by Hyperion Records

Sally Beamish: Viola Concerto with Swedish Chamber Orchestra conductor Ola Rudner Review

Frank Martin: Viola Ballade with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Matthias Bamert

Hellawell: "Inside Story" ( double concerto), with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Piers Hellawell

Rebecca Clarke : Viola Sonata, Dumka, Chinese Puzzle, Passacaglia on an old English Tune Artists Dukes, Rahman, Hope, Plane Reviews

LISZT, F.: Berlioz - Harold en Italie and Romance oubliee ROGER, K.: Viola Sonata artists Dukes, Lane Reviews

Arthur Benjamin: Five Negro Spirituals, Sonatina for Viola and Piano, Pastoral Fantasy for String Quartet....artists Locrian Ensemble, Rita Manning & Steve Morris Dutton Vocalion

Mozart: String Quintets artists The Nash Ensemble with Dukes released by Hyperion Records SUNDAY TIMES CLASSICAL CD OF THE WEEK

Beethoven: String Quintets Op 4 & 29 artists The Nash Ensemble released by Hyperion Records Review

Gabriel Fauré: Piano Quartet No. 1, Piano Trio artists Kungsbacka Piano Trio and Dukes released by Naxos Reviews

Gabriel Fauré: Piano Quartet No. 2, Piano Trio (version for clarinet trio) 3 Romances sans paroles artists Kungsbacka Piano Trio, Dukes, Hosford Reviews

JOHANNES BRAHMS : The String Quintets The Nash Ensemble with Dukes released by Hyperion Records Reviews

JOHANNES BRAHMS : The String Sextets The Nash Ensemble including Dukes released by Hyperion Records Reviews

Klein, Krása & Schulhoff: Forbidden Music from Theresienstadt Gideon Klein, Ervín Schulhoff, Hans Krása Artists Hope, Dukes, Watkins

Beethoven: Contemporary Arrangement for Chamber Ensemble Artists: The Locrian Ensemble,

Volkmar Andreae: String & Flute Quartets Artists: The Locrian Ensemble, Reviews Video clip

Volkmar Andreae: Volume 3 String Quartet in E flat, String Trio Op 29, Violin Trio Op 4, Six Piano Pieces Op 20 Artists: The Locrian Ensemble with Fali Pavri, Reviews

Richard Arnell: String Quintet Recorded at the Henry Wood Hall

Walter Leigh: Complete Chamber Works Artists: The Locrian Ensemble Recorded at the Henry Wood Hall

Alexander Borodin: String Sextet No.2 in D minor Alexander Glazunov: String Quintet in A, Artists The Nash Ensemble

Mendelssohn: Octet in E flat Op. 20, Artists The Nash Ensemble Recorded at the Wigmore Hall live

Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen, Capriccio, Artists The Nash Ensemble released by Hyperion Records DAILY TELEGRAPH CD OF THE WEEK Reviews

Academic Roles and Honorands[edit]

In 2003 Dukes was appointed Head of Strings[11] at Wells Cathedral School and in 2008 was appointed Artistic Director[12] at Marlborough College. In 2006 Dukes was elected a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & 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. ^ "Guildhall School of Music & Drama | Highlights, successes & alumni". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  3. ^ "Mark Knight Cadenzas". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  4. ^ Inglis, Anne (2003-01-07). "Yfrah Neaman". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  5. ^ "Philip Dukes". Leicester International Music Festival. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  6. ^ a b "Staff - Philip Dukes - Royal Academy of Music". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  7. ^ "Philip Dukes - YCAT Digital Archive". YCAT Digital Archive. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  8. ^ Rye, By Matthew. "Proms 2005: soloists rise to the occasion". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  9. ^ "BEST OF BRITISH 20TH CENTURY CLASSICS / Deutsche Grammophon". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  10. ^ "One of last Stradivarius violas to be used in rare performance". Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  11. ^ WHO's Who 2008. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. 2007. ISBN 978-0713685558.
  12. ^ "Department Staff". 2016-12-16. Retrieved 2016-12-21.