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Odyssey In The Press

Welcome to our Meet the Team page! Here you can get to know the faces behind our orchestra and learn more about our team members. Don't forget to check out our Vacancies page if you're interested in joining our team.

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Peter Ash

Artistic Director

Peter Ash’s career as conductor has been characterised by ambitious new projects: from first performances at the Salzburg Festival with members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Haydn operas at Garsington, to the premiere of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox for the Los Angeles Opera. Recent projects have included the world premiere of Jamaican-born Eleanor Alberga’s Trumpet Concerto at the Barbican Hall and an immersive production of Richard Strauss’s opera Salome in the USA. Born in Iowa, Ash has been resident in London for over forty years, where he is passionately committed to high standards, imaginative programming and broadening audiences for classical music. He has taught at London’s Centre for Young Musicians for forty years and for twenty years he was Artistic Director of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.  As a composer, he has written two family operas: Keepers of the Night and The Golden Ticket, based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He is thrilled to be beginning a wonderful new musical Odyssey. 

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Donald Sturrock

Executive Director

Donald Sturrock joined BBC Television's Music and Arts Department in 1983, where he worked as writer and director, making over thirty documentaries, several of which won major international broadcasting awards. Since leaving the BBC, he has continued writing and directing for television and live theatre. His work includes seven opera librettos, two with Peter Ash as composer, including the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr Fox at the Los Angeles Opera, conducted by Peter and with designs by Gerald Scarfe. He has a long association with the work of Roald Dahl. He has made two television documentaries about the writer and adapted a number of his stories for the concert hall. His critically acclaimed biography, Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl was published in 2010 and shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize. Love from Boy, a collection of Dahl’s letters to his mother, was published in 2016. From 2018-2022, he was Chair of Trustees of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. He is currently Chair of the Fantastic Peach Foundation. 

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Gill Tarlton

Orchestral Manager

Gill studied violin and organ at the Royal College of Music. Her first professional position was with the orchestra of La Fenice in Venice. This was followed by work with such orchestras as the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, D’Oyly Carte, The London Mozart Players and The Bournemouth Sinfonietta. She gradually moved into the world of teaching, building up work with private pupils and in various school music departments. In 2008, she was appointed Head of Strings at the Centre for Young Musicians, a job which she enjoyed for 13 years. During this time, she was also Orchestra Manager of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.


Hilary Sturt

Lead Instrumental Tutor

Hilary Sturt studied the violin with Sheila Nelson, David Takeno, and Felix Andrievsky, graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal College of Music with solo, chamber and contemporary music prizes. As a violinist and violist she performed and recorded worldwide with Ensemble Modern for 20 years, including notable projects with Frank Zappa, Peter Eotvos and Pierre Boulez. She has been guest leader of many British ensembles and chamber orchestras, a member of the Rasumovsky Quartet and Apartment House, winners of the Philharmonic Society Award for the Most Outstanding Chamber Music in 2011. Hilary is much in demand as a teacher, adjudicator, and conductor, sitting on many audition and interview panels throughout the UK. She is Head of Strings at St Paul's Girls' School, Head of Chamber Music at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music, Instrumental Teaching Tutor and mentor to the MA Ed course at the Senior RCM, and was a Diploma examiner for the ABRSM. She was awarded an MA from the Institute of Education in 2018. Hilary recorded the violin syllabus Grades 1-4 for the ABRSM in 2015 and was on the advisory panel for the 2020 ABRSM violin syllabus.


Martha Neugarten

Team Leader and Sustainability Manager

Martha is a recent Natural Sciences graduate with a passion for sustainability and championing diversity. She's a violinist in Odyssey orchestra and works to promote the orchestra's projects to professional and aspiring musicians alike. She can't play double stops.


Clara Neather

Community Engagement Manager

Clara is a recent maths graduate from the University of Bristol, where she was President of the Music Society. She's currently studying for her maths Master's at Imperial College London. She is also a cellist in Odyssey Festival Orchestra.

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Claire Biek

Social Media and Marketing Manager

Claire is a cellist at Odyssey. Music and orchestral playing have always been an integral and irreplaceable part of Claire’s life, and she enjoyed playing in various different ensembles at university. After recently graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in French and Spanish, Claire went travelling to Central and South America for six months and is thrilled to be back in London, performing and working with Odyssey on exciting new projects.

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Ellen Wilkinson

PR and Content Creation

Ellen is an oboist, writer and arts educator. She recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, and founded the conservatoire’s student newspaper, RAMpage news, in her first year of study. Ellen enjoys combining mediums in performance, including narration, movement and music, and loves that Odyssey has similar aims. She is very excited to be developing a blog for Odyssey, as well as playing in the orchestra. 


Alexander Lee

Administration Assistant and Website Manager

Alex is a violinist in Odyssey. Although graduating with a Natural Sciences degree he was heavily involved in music at university, playing in and managing multiple ensembles. Alex loves performing with Odyssey now that he is back in London and finds it a great way for young professionals to still be a part of high-standard music-making. He is really excited about the upcoming concerts this season and exploring the themes presented.

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Joscelyn Hilder

Assistant Orchestral Manager

Joscelyn is dedicated to creating thriving spaces for young musicians, having played the violin in orchestras throughout her life. After studying Music at the University of Manchester as an undergraduate, Joscelyn travelled to Barcelona to study Arts and Cultural Management for a year. She’s now back in London and involved in various music projects, including Odyssey. 

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Joanna Phillips

Development assistant

Joanna’s musical endeavours began aged 5 when her parents handed her a violin and sent her to her first lesson.  She hasn’t looked back!  Now 24 and working for the Philharmonia Orchestra here in London, Joanna continues to play the violin and sing choral music as an amateur. She has completed degrees in Medieval History (St Andrews) and Arts Management (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama) and is delighted to be helping Odyssey in developing their audiences.  Joanna also loves playing with Odyssey and ticking some epic repertoire off her bucket list.

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