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Meet WNO

Barry Friend

No.3 Viola

Barry attended the Royal College of Music Junior department from the age of 15, and the Royal College of Music senior department from 1988-92, graduating with a Dip.RCM for both teaching and performance.

Prior to joining WNO, Barry spend six years freelancing in and around London, including leading two local amateur orchestras (on violin).  He spent a period as principal viola in an orchestra in Portugal, worked with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and countless freelance orchestras. He also busked a lot in Covent Garden!

Barry’s personal highlight at WNO so far was working with his Uncle, Lionel Friend, on The Merchant of Venice in 2016: 'The culmination of my journey from seeing him conduct at ENO in my youth to my being in a professional orchestra under his direction.' 

Away from WNO, Barry’s principal interest has always been railways – reading, watching programmes, railway art and model railway equipment as well as travelling on various steam railways and the Great Orme Tramway.