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Jonathan Hennessey-Brown

Professional cellist, father and bipolar sufferer working to support people with mental health and addiction issues.

Jonathan Hennessey-Brown is a professional cellist. He is bipolar and works to raise awareness of mental health issues through music.

Jonny gained his musical education at Guildford Cathedral Choir, the Junior Academy of Music and the National Youth Orchestra. He graduated from the Royal College of Music with Honours in 1997.

He held the second cello chair with Carl Rosa Opera Company for two years, and the principal cello chair in the Yucatan Symphony in Mexico for six. Since returning to the UK, he has worked with many orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Oxford Philomusica, Bath Philharmonic and British Philharmonic Orchestra, and has had the privilege of working with musicians such as Placido Domingo, Renée Flemming, Evelyn Glennie. He performs regularly in London’s West End show, The Lion King. He also played in the Drury Lane production of Oliver and in the 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Miserables.

Jonny was a member of the studio orchestra for live performances on ITV of the show Pop Star to Opera Star and has played live on Radio 3’s The Verb with Ana Silvera. Solo performances include an appearance with The Wanted on Fern Cotton’s Live Lounge show on BBC Radio 1.

He is the founder of the Santiago Quartet.

Originally Cuarteto Genesis, the group took the name Santiago Quartet when two of its founding members moved to England after several years with the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra.

Whilst working in Mexico, the musicians discovered a repertoire that is rarely or never performed in the United Kingdom. They collaborated with the renowned Yucatecan guitarist Cecilio Perera. Their interest in exploring this music led to performances with the Grammy Award winning Cuarteto Latinoamericáno, and at the 2008 International Chamber Music Festival in Mexico City's Bellas Artes Theatre.

Santiago Quartet's first album, Latin Perspective, a collaboration with Cuban guitarist Ahmed Dickinson, received outstanding reviews in Gramophone and Songline Magazines. Performances included upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s as part of Classical Kicks, Guildford International Music Festival, Guildford Spring Music Festival, St.Martin in the Fields, Bolivar Hall and with the singer-songwriter Ana Silvera at the Purcell Room and live on Radio 3.

After personnel changes which led to a new beginning for the group, the Santiago Quartet reaffirmed its intention both to bring vibrant performances to audiences and to play an active role in the education of young musicians. The Quartet is currently preparing to record their second album, Language of the Heart.

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