Alison Wells recently returned to the UK after many years in the USA and is now on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She was a founding member of the Pirasti Trio, whose performances have been described as “absolutely incandescent” (The Strad) and “eloquent, unfailingly stylish” (Gramophone), and whose recordings on ASV were recommended by BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, International Record Review, and Fanfare and were selected recordings by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library. Her chamber music career has taken her to over 20 countries throughout Europe, North America and Asia, performing at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, New York’s 92nd Street Y and Merkin Hall; the Bath, Warwick, and Schleswig-Holstein International Festivals, and the Orlando Festival in Holland.
She has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, London’s Classic FM, Dutch National Radio, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, North German Radio, and WQXR in New York. In 1986 she was featured in a British Channel 4 TV documentary on the Chamber Music of Penderecki, working with the composer.
Alison is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Ralph Kirshbaum and David Strange. She holds a doctorate from Yale University, where she studied with Aldo Parisot as a Harkness Fellow. Additional awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund enabled her to participate in further studies at Prussia Cove, the Banff Centre, and the International Menuhin Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland. In 1988 she joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, under Simon Rattle, and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. The following year she gave her London solo recital debut at the South Bank, supported by the Maisie Lewis Young Artists’ Trust.
She has participated in many summer festivals, including many years at the Heifetz Institute and Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival in the USA, and, previously, the Paxos, Orlando, Aberystwyth and Dartington festivals in Europe. She still returns every summer to the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont. She is a much sought-after teacher and has held positions at the Peabody Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music in the USA, and Trinity College of Music, The Purcell School, and Wells Cathedral School. She is fascinated by the physiology of cello playing and has been involved with many technique workshops, including annual contributions to the Aria International Festival in the USA. Former pupils have been winners at competitions internationally and hold positions in orchestras across the world.
A passionate supporter of increasing access to the arts, she has participated in numerous community initiatives, educational workshops, and outreach concerts. She was formerly on the board of the Cleveland Cello Society and chairman of the Board of TUBA:The Uganda-Baltimore Alliance, an organization linking young musicians from Uganda and Baltimore, providing mentorship for a youth brass band program that supports rural communities in Uganda.