Alasdair Tait

Chief Executive & Artistic Director

Scottish cellist Alasdair Tait has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and is also much sought after as a chamber music coach. He was Head of Chamber Music at Guildhall School of Music until 2016 when he decided to devote his attention to the promotion and career development of young artists through his role as Chief Executive of Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT). He previously held the posts of Director of Chamber Music at the RNCM in Manchester, Artistic Director of the RNCM International Chamber Music Festival, Professor of Chamber Music at the International Chamber Music Institute of the Reina Sofia Conservatoire in Madrid and has been a regular professor on the Britten-Pears International Quartet Academy and the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA). He is frequently invited as jury member on international competitions such as Melbourne, London and Banff International String Quartet Competitions. Most recently he has given masterclasses at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Glen Gould School in Canada, New England Conservatory and  Stanford University in USA, and in Australia, Japan and Singapore as well as throughout Europe.

Alasdair studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under Emma Ferrand and Ralph Kirshbaum and at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland, with Thomas Demenga. On returning to the UK in 1998, Alasdair joined the Belcea Quartet and was its cellist until 2006. During this time he has performed around the world with tours to Australia and New Zealand, the Far East, North and South America as well as throughout Europe and at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Köln Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, Chatelet, Cité de la Musique, Frankfurt Alte Oper and the Casals Hall in Tokyo. For five years the quartet was Resident Quartet at Wigmore Hall, a position which also included regular education work. As a member of the Belcea Quartet Alasdair has recorded for EMI CD’s of Schubert, Brahms, Britten, Mozart, Fauré and Barber and collaborated with Ian Bostridge, Thomas Ades, Thomas Kakushka and Jonathan Lemalu. Their disc of Debussy, Ravel and Duttilleux quartets won a Gramaphone Award and an earlier recording of Janacek was awarded a Diapason d’Or in France. As well as being one of the first groups to participate in the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme, the quartet were also twice recipients of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Awards for Chamber Music Ensemble.

Alasdair has participated in many of the world’s important festivals including Edinburgh, Salzburg, Schubertiade, Risør, Delft, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Bath, performing alongside artists including Piotr Andrezewski, Christian Zacharias, Kathryn Stott, Imogen Cooper, Aleksander Madzar, Robert Levin,  Isabelle van Keulen, Alexander Janicek, Valentin Erben, Borodin Quartet, Heinz Holliger, Michael Collins, Simon Keenlyside, Dame Anne Murray and Christine Schäfer.

He is currently a council member for Aldeburgh Music, a trustee for the Ann Driver Trust, and previously was a Governor for Live Music Now UK and  founder board member of the European Chamber Music Teachers Association. In 2013 he was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy for his contribution to excellence in Teaching and Learning. In 2016, Alasdair was awarded the ABO (Association of British Orchestras) Artist Manager of the Year.

Alasdair is also a psychodynamic psychotherapist in private practice in London, registered with BPC, and FPC.