2019 Conductor

Robert Baxter is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he studied trumpet. Since graduating he has, and continues to work extensively with every professional orchestra in Scotland. He has also performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Tenerife Symphony, New London Consort, Manchester Camerata, Bruckner Orchestra Linz and Flanders Symphony. He studied conducting with Ilan Volkov and Kristian Kluttig and has conducted the Lithuanian State Symphony. This season he has conducted at Scottish Ballet for Prokofiev’s Cinderella and for their world premiere production of Dextera. He has been MD for the film composer Craig Armstrong in an evening of the composers music. He has also been MD for the Scottish Concert Orchestra conducting for both Belle and Sebastian and Colours Classical 2018 in the SSE Hydro and for Celtic Connections in a televised concert from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with Chieftains and Kris Kristofferson.

He is MD for the Dunbartonshire Concert Band and the Helensburgh Orchestral Society where apart from regular concerts he has commissioned and premiered new works, toured and recorded. He conducts regularly for many regional youth orchestras and has been course director for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Spring Academy and conducted NYOS Juniors.

Robert has been guest conductor for the Dunblane Chamber Orchestra, RSNO Community Orchestra, Amicus, Glasgow Chamber Orchestra, Glasgow Orchestral Society and he also enjoys teaching trumpet and taking performance classes at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland junior department and for the Music School of Douglas Academy. Many of his students have gone on to study at leading music conservatoires throughout the UK. robertbaxter.org.uk

2019 Soloist

Liubov Ulybysheva was born in Moscow and started playing the cello at the age of five. Having studied at the Gnessin Special Music School and the Russian Music Academy, she came to London in 2003 to continue her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Oleg Kogan and the Royal Academy of Music with Felix Schmidt, winning the Mir Carnegie Prize for cello upon graduating. Liubov became the only cellist to win a prestigious scholarship from the Paganini International Competition in Moscow, funded by the Investment Programme Foundation. She was also featured in Reader’s Digest magazine as one of the young stars of the Russian Hope feature.

In 2006 she won the First Prize at the Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artist Competition, followed by winning the MBF Music Education Award, the Muriel Taylor Young gifted Cellist Award, the Hattori Foundation, the Jellinek and the Kenneth Loveland awards. Liubov was also a recipient of the Meyer Foundation Award and the English Speaking Union Scholarship. Liubov later became a member of the Razumovsky Academy and made her solo debut at Wigmore Hall as part of the Razumovsky Young Artists Recital Series in 2008. The same year she started teaching at the Razumovsky Academy herself.

As a concerto soloist, Liubov has performed in Russia, the UK, and Europe with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Orchestra Young Russia, and more. Liubov is also a keen chamber musician and regularly performs in the UK and abroad. She has participated in numerous music festivals such as the Manchester Cello Festival, Alderburgh Festival, Valdres and Lidkoping Music Festivals. She has played with, amongst others, Dora Schwarzberg, the Mozart Piano Trio and the Razumovsky Ensemble.

She has performed live on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Ulster and Classic FM. In 2018 Liubov joined the Royal Opera House orchestra and in the same year she released her debut recording, From the Shadow of the Great War, featuring works for cello and piano by English composers. In 2019, Liubov became an artistic manager of the Brundibar Arts Festival, which aims to bring little-known music written during the Holocaust to the general public. liubovulybysheva.com


USSO Artistic Director

Chris is currently Artistic Director of the Auricle Ensemble and the Universities of Scotland Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted many ensembles, including the Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestras and the Metropolitan Ensemble of London and recently made his debut with the Orchestra of Opera North conducting Copland's complete original score to Appalachian Spring. Chris' passion for new music has seen him conduct countless premieres, including Steve Forman’s ‘Sprawl’ at City Halls and seven world premieres at the Royal Northern College of Music with contemporary music group Ensemble 11. He recently premiered the opera 'Navigate the Blood' by Gareth Williams and the band 'Admiral Fallow' on a tour of Scottish distilleries for NOISE Opera, which was nominated for 'Outstanding Musical Performance' in the 2019 Herald Culture Awards. He conducted the first public performance of Howard Blake's Diversions for marimba in the presence of the composer with soloist Heather Corbett. Chris also lead a Scottish Opera Connect workshop on a new opera at Aberdeen University. With the Auricle Ensemble Chris directed several critically acclaimed projects, including Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, a two year Mini-Mahler project and two European premieres of works by Aaron Copland. One of these works by Copland, 'The City', was performed live to film at the Glasgow Film Festival. He also conducted Auricle alongside the band Admiral Fallow, arranging two of their songs in a special gig for the Celtic Connections festival, and more recently performed a new commission from Sarah Hayes, alongside works by Steve Reich, Jonny Greenwood, and Frank Zappa. Chris was educated at Chetham's School of Music and holds a Masters degree in composition and conducting from the University of Manchester. He has actively participated in many masterclasses across the world and gained a place at the Bard Summer Music Festival, New York where he conducted Mahler's Sixth Symphony chrisswaffer.co.uk

2019 Tutors

Conductor - Robert Baxter

Cello Soloist & Masterclass - Liubov Ulybysheva

Full Strings - Chris George

Violin - Chris George, Liz Beeston

Viola - Michael Beeston

Cello - John Davidson

Bass - May Halyburton

Full Wind - Michelle McCabe

Flute - Michelle McCabe

Oboe & Bassoon - Kirstie Logan

Clarinet - Calum Robertson

Full Brass & Percussion - Bede Williams

Horn - Christine Smith

Trumpet - Bede Williams

Trombone, Tuba - Ronnie McNivern

Percussion - Andrew Horne

Previous Years


Chris George

Chris Swaffer

Robert Baxter

Andrew Nunn - Les Sirenes Choir


Liubov Ulybysheva - Cello

Simon Donaldson - Narrator

Richard Ingham - Saxophone

Daniel Browell - Piano

Rudi de Groote - Cello

Tamas Fejes - Violin

Les Sirenes - Choir


Full Strings - Chris George

Violin - Justine Watts, Chris George, Tamas Fejes, Elita Poulter, Liz Beeston, Heidi Kuehne, Jacquie Speirs

Viola - Michael Beeston

Cello - John Davidson

Bass - Paul Sutherland, Paul Speirs, May Halyburton, Neil Cameron, Chris Gray

Full Wind - Duncan Swindells, Julian Appleyard, MIchelle McCabe, John Cushing

Flute - Michelle McCabe, Emma Roche

Oboe - Kirstie Logan, Julian Appleyard, Rona Pollard, Colin Friend

Clarinet - John Cushing, Lawrence Gill, Duncan Swindells, Calum Robertson

Bassoon - Simon Rennard, Kath Nagl

Full Brass & Percussion - Robert Baxter, Bede Williams

Horn - Christine Smith

Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba - Robert Baxter

Percussion - Andrew Horne

Harp and Celesta - Sophie Askew

Conducting - Bede Williams, Chris Swaffer