Bridge Scheme 2022 & ongoing

We are delighted to be working with Meera Maharaj (flute), Ọlá Akindipe (clarinet), Benjamin Garalnick (horn) and Daria Phillips (bassoon) as our new Bridge Ensemble.

‘Bridging the Gap’ is nurturing, supporting and training these talented young wind musicians as a brand new wind quintet showcasing talent drawn from backgrounds under-represented in chamber music.

Performing at the highest standard, these musicians will also become role models for young musicians who may never before have seen or heard themselves represented within the world of chamber music, as they begin work in South Yorkshire schools in 2023 as part of our new WeCompose project.

In partnership with specialist organisations, including Black Lives in Music, we have developed a two-year programme to support the musical, participatory and professional development of these young musicians.

We hope to be able to offer opportunities for these musicians to live, work and thrive in the north. We also hope this will contribute towards the evolution of chamber music, so that our audiences and performers become more reflective of contemporary northern England. To find out more, please contact


Meera Maharaj (flute)
Meera is a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme artist and has previously been a Tunnell Trust and Park Lane Group artist. She was a finalist in the Royal Overseas League competition, as well as the International Guitar Foundation Young Artists. She graduated with Distinction in her Masters from the Royal Academy of Music and is Co-principal flute of the Chineke! Orchestra.

Ọlá Akindipe (clarinet)
Ọlá was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He received a full MTN Foundation scholarship to study at the Musical Society Of Nigeria (MUSON) where he won the Musiquest Youth Competition and the David Nwamara Prize For Woodwind Performance. In 2019, he received a full scholarship to study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire Of Music And Dance where he proposed a project which led to the formation of his band, “The Amalgam”, in 2021.

Benjamin Garalnick (horn)
Ben graduated from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2019 and was previously 4th horn for Orchestra Academia China. He currently plays with Chineke! Orchestra and has toured with his wind quintet. He regularly performs with MishMash productions as well as working in music education.

Daria Phillips (bassoon)
As a child, Daria began lessons on the mini-bassoon as part of a council-run project. She progressed through various music ensembles before joining the Junior Guildhall where she held the Bassoon Scholarship and, in her final year, received the Woodwind Prize. Daria has played with Chineke! Orchestra and was a Junior Artist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra mentored by the principal bassoonist, Jonathan Davies.

The Bridge Scheme is supported by the Golsoncott Foundation, the Garrick Charitable Trust and The Leche Trust.