Helen Vollam

Helen Vollam

Helen joined the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 2011.

Born in Bedford, she started playing the trombone at the age of seven. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Eric Crees. Whilst at college she won the bronze medal in the Shell/London Symphony Orchestra Music Scholarship and was Principal Trombone of the European Union Youth Orchestra where she performed with conductors such as Giulini, Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Rostropovich, and Rozhdestvensky. She won the Worshipful Company of Dyers Award for Woodwind & Brass and the Philip Jones Memorial Prize in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition.

Helen has been Principal Trombone of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2004, and is the first woman to be appointed principal trombone of a London orchestra. She also appears as a guest principal with many of the UK’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia. She is a member of the trombone quartet Bones Apart with whom she has toured extensively, giving recitals and masterclasses. Helen has also appeared on the soundtracks to the films Star Wars The Attack of the Clones, The Last King of Scotland and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Helen has given classes at the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal College of Music, and has adjudicated for the BBC Young Musician of the Year and Royal Over-Seas League Competitions.