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Thomas Jackson (Violin)

Thomas Jackson studied as Chetham’s School Of Music followed by the Royal Northern College of Music where he graduated in the year 2000. Thomas quickly achieved a full time post in The Prague Philharmonia in the Czech Republic where he worked for over a year.  After Prague, Thomas moved to London and has appeared with many of the country’s leading Symphony and Chamber Orchestras as a freelancer.  These include RPO, Philharmonia, RLPO, RSNO, BBC Scottish and Northern Sinfonia.  Thomas was also a member of Southbank Sinfonia and has led performances with them in many of the major venues in the UK and abroad.

Thomas has appeared as soloist and director with Southbank Sinfonia and The Camerata of London.  In 2008 Thomas appeared as soloist in Vaughan Williams Concerto Academico at The English Music Festival, Dorchester. He has been a member of the Ulster Orchestra since 2006 and performs chamber music regularly in Northern Ireland.

Nicholas Rippon (Viola)

Nicholas Rippon was born in London in 1977, and began playing the violin at the age of four. At 11, he entered the Yehudi Menuhin School, where he studied both violin and viola with Wen Zhou Li, Mauricio Fuchs and Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

In 1996, Nicholas continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music on the Joint Course with the University of Manchester, graduating in 2000 with a Professional Performance Diploma, before completing a postgraduate year on a Masters Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with David Takeno.

Nicholas has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe,America and Asia, as both soloist and chamber musician, including solo recitals in Canada and London, and concerto performances in London conducted by Yehudi Menuhin.

Nicholas plays on a 1997 Frederic Chaudiere viola.

Sian Hetherington (Violoncello)

Sian Hetherington began her musical career at the age of 4 when she began learning to play the piano. Aged 8, she took up the cello and won a scholarship to study at Wells Cathedral School aged 10.

After leaving school, Sian studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under Emma Ferrand. After graduating in 2000, she began her trial with the Ulster Orchestra, and accepted the job in 2001.


The Ulster String Quartet is comprised of some of the leading musicians working in Northern Ireland.

Danny McCann-Williams (Violin)

Danny McCann-Williams began playing the violin aged 7. In 1991 he gained a scholarship to study at The Royal College of Music Junior Department with Roger Smith. Whilst there he was a winner of the Mary Gotch prize and Ian Stoutzker Violin prize. In 1994 Danny was given a scholarship to attend Pro Corda, the national school of chamber music, for 3 years.

In 1997, he gained an entrance scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he studied with Maciej Rakowski and Leland Chen, graduating with Honours and a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance. During his time in Manchester Danny led the highly successful Sapphire String Quartet.

Danny has enjoyed a successful freelance career, playing regularly with many of the UK's leading orchestras including BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Concert Orchestra.

He joined the Ulster Orchestra in 2007 and was appointed Sub-Principal 2nd Violin in 2009.