Principal Leader and Director

Pamela Bell


My Beginnings

At the tender stage of Grade 5 ABRSM, my Head of Strings, John Gillow, (now violin tutor at The Royal College of Music), memorably said to me, “You can teach technique, but musicianship comes from within.”

I passed all my exams with distinctions and the doors to the world of classical music opened up….it was like a bright ray of sunshine.


It was through my local music service, Newham Music Academy, that I began learning the violin at the age of 11, and where I led my local youth orchestra, performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G and won Young Musician of Newham, which included a trip to Disneyland Paris. I took my violin teacher, Rachel Sokolowski, with me and we had a great time!


My Growth

Majoring in performance, I went on to study music, after which I taught the violin and viola at Newham Music Academy, and was soon appointed Musical Director of Newham Schools Orchestra. Teaching taught me that children are like sponges: if you are enthused, so are they. I loved seeing them grow and improve their performances. Music truly is magical - it brings everyone together.


In addition, I performed with the Lawyers’ Orchestra in London and am the founder of Kuumba Youth Music (now Kuumba Youth Orchestra).


I relocated to Bristol in 2005, qualified as a solicitor and now work as Regulatory Counsel for a Bristol based FTSE 30 Company. New to the City, I wanted to keep playing and performing alongside my legal career and from 2010 – 2015, became leader of Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra. During this time, I also organised ensemble and chamber events.


My Future

Music is my sanctuary and, having the opportunity to create and share my passion for it, is truly a privilege and a treasure. All of us at Bristol Symphony Orchestra are so fortunate to have such a gem of an opportunity with William Goodchild as our maestro.


I do hope from my bio that you know me a little bit better now, and I very much look forward to meeting you at our concerts.


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Website Photos by

Rosa Fay Photography

and Remco Merbis

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