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Laura Tanner

Originally from Yate, Laura was inspired to start music lessons by a brass quintet performance at her primary school, and experimented with a variety of instruments before being encouraged by her teacher to play Horn.

“Becoming a professional musician was a complete accident. I was always interested in art and music, but decided to go to music college because – of the two activities I enjoyed the most, making music was the most difficult thing I knew how to do! I thought it would make me work hard…”

Laura studied Horn at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama with Angus West, and the Royal Northern College of Music with Lindsay Stoker. As a student she was the recipient of awards and scholarships including the Simon Clarkson Prize (RWCMD), the Zochanis Scholarship (RNCM), and significant financial support from the Cressy Foundation, part funding her post graduate diploma and Masters degrees. Laura has also been a grateful recipient of assistance from the Royal Society of Musicians.

Since returning to the South West, Laura has built a varied career as a performer, teacher, community musician and workshop leader, arts administrator, concert presenter, and NHS Arts & Music Project Manager. Her children’s concert series ‘MiniBeats’ (produced in association with St George’s Bristol and the Bristol Ensemble) celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2021, having already encouraged thousands of children (and their parents) to explore classical music and the instruments of the orchestra.

“What drives me as a musician is the thrill of seeing a person’s face light up when they experience a new sound, or understand how an instrument works for the first time. My work on MiniBeats takes me back to my own first experiences of hearing live music as a child, and being desperate to have a go myself. It feels nice to close the circle of my own musical journey by encouraging more young people to get involved in making music.”

Laura has performed with the Bristol Ensemble since 2006, with highlights including Roni Size & Reprazent 2009, Beethoven 7 conducted by Ben Gernon 2013, and more recently Puccini’s La Rondine for Iford Arts conducted by Oliver Gooch 2022.

“I enjoy so many things about working with the Bristol Ensemble. The group is extremely versatile. One minute we can be recording for Aardman, the next, we might be rehearsing for a run of Opera, or presenting baroque masterpieces like Brandenburg 1. There is certainly no chance of getting bored!”

Outside of performing, Laura enjoys cooking, cycling, cold water swimming, camping and dabbling in the visual arts. Much of her down time is spent walking in the woods with her dog Luna.