BRIEN STAIT was a scholarship winner to the Royal Manchester College of Music where he studied the violin with Henry Holst and Endre Wolf. As a freelance player he has worked with all the leading orchestras in England and many abroad.
Throughout his career he has maintained a strong commitment to training young professional string players. He founded and directed for eighteen years, the Missenden Abbey International Summer School in String Playing for advanced players, and for four years directed the Malmö Summer School of Music in Sweden. He also gives master classes in the conservatories in England and Scandinavia.
Brien studied conducting with Sir Adrian Boult and Dr Reginald Jacques, and in 1969 he formed the Arion Orchestra, and has been Principal Conductor and Artistic Director throughout its existence. He has guest-conducted throughout Britain, Europe and America.
More recently he has been working with established professional string players from London's leading orchestras (and in conjunction with the London Devonshire Hospital) in dealing with, and correcting, injuries and accumulated physical and mental problems caused through stress and technical misuse of the body.
Right: Dame Gillian Weir and Brien Stait preparing for concerts in the Great Hall of Reading University and Douai Abbey
Below: Hephzibah Menuhin and Brien Stait in rehearsal discussing Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto for their forthcoming concerts in Reading and Oxford
"Coupled with his exceptionally sensitive musicianship, and his single-minded devotion to the music in hand, Mr Stait has the ability, not only to communicate his musical intentions to the orchestra in an wide range of music, but also to project his performances with the magnetism essential to the public performer...I was greatly impressed by his outstanding gifts." (Sir Clifford Curzon)
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Arion Orchestra
Arion Orchestra at St.James's, Piccadilly May 2011