About the festival

The Wirral Chamber Music Festival is a not-for-profit festival driven by a love of music.  The festival's aim is simple: to promote the enjoyment of classical music by making world-class chamber music both exciting and accessible for the Wirral community, through performance, participation and learning, including its very own Youth String Quartet Academy.

From offering a fresh take on classical music concerts to all of the Wirral, in welcoming and family-friendly settings... 

... to working with local young musicians and enabling them to see the joy and value of making music together.

The festival team

Thelma Handy - Founder and Artistic Director

Thelma Handy

Thelma has been Joint Leader of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, with whom she has also performed as director and soloist on numerous occasions. 


She has appeared as guest leader with many orchestras, including the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, City of Birmingham Symphony, Manchester Camerata and the Real Filharmonía de Galicia. Throughout her orchestral career she has also worked extensively with the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, the London Mozart Players and the London Symphony Orchestra.


Coming from a large musical family, Thelma spent much of her childhood playing chamber music in various formations, including a family recorder consort. She is in frequent demand as a chamber musician, recently collaborating with Catrin Finch and Julian Rachlin. She has worked in Japan with the Mito Chamber Orchestra and in France with the baroque chamber ensemble Orfeo 55. Closer to home, she regularly leads Ensemble 10/10, with whom she has made several recordings and performed at Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3. 


In 2017 Thelma was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Liverpool.

Alex Holladay - Co-founder


Celia Goodwin

Esther Ingham

Carol Keelan


Kate Carpenter

Thelma Handy

Alex Holladay

Tony McDermott

Jo Tedstone