Devon Philharmonic Orchestra
The South West's most exhilarating sound
Devon Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the South West's leading symphony orchestras. Musical Director Leo Geyer is an inspiring professional conductor based in London. The orchestra gives three major concerts each season, often involving professional soloists and local choirs, and in addition contributes to the musical life of Exeter with events such as chamber concerts and collaborations with other organisations.
The orchestra was founded in 1967 as the Exeter Music Group, and since that time has grown to the full-scale symphony orchestra which exists today. In 2019, the orchestra relaunched as the Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, to reflect its more contemporary style and approach.
DPO is proud to support local charities, and to provide opportunities for younger musicians to join us at open rehearsals. In May 2019, under its previous name, EMG was awarded the Lord Mayor of Exeter's Commendation for its services to charity and the wider community over many years.
More information about the orchestra's history will be available soon.
Leo Geyer is a young composer and conductor with a passion for imaginative, daring and dramatic approaches to music-making, encompassing new compositions, cross-disciplinary collaborations and reimaginings of existing music. Leo has received various accolades for composition, most recently being awarded the Lord Mayor’s Composition Prize. He has received particular praise for his stage works, including the opera The Mermaid of Zennor,described by The Times as “imaginative and beautifully shaped”. Leo's music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and a recent recording of his solo violin composition Guarea has been viewed over 70,00 times online.
Leo is the Founder and Artistic Director of Constella OperaBallet – the world’s only company dedicated to the fusion of opera and ballet. He is also a Cover Conductor for The Royal Ballet and Music Director for Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, and works as a guest artist internationally, collaborating with the English Chamber Orchestra, The National Theatre, Ensemble 212 (USA), AUT (Denmark) and Southbank Sinfonia.
Clare Smith started learning piano and violin from the age of six. At the age of 14 she gained a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, where her love of orchestral playing flourished, enjoying performing in some of the UK’s major concert halls and the BBC Proms. In addition, Clare was awarded a scholarship to study violin with Emanuel Hurwitz in London for four years.
Following her A levels, Clare went on to study Dentistry at Bristol University. Music continued to be a huge influence in her life, and she led both the University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras throughout her dental degree course.
After Clare had qualified, she moved to Exeter, and joined the EMG Symphony Orchestra (as it was then) in 1990. In 1993 she was appointed Leader and has relished this role since, and the opportunities and challenges it continues to bring. In 2012 she gained her ABRSM Diploma in Violin Performance, and now devotes her time solely to playing and teaching the violin.