MEET the Orchestra

Founded in 1999, Dorking Philharmonia is an ensemble of enthusiastic amateur musicians who perform a diverse repertoire of classical music. It is based in Dorking, a market town in the Surrey Hills, and is lead by Joshua von Bohlen and directed by Paul Newbold (see below). The orchestra maintains a friendly, welcoming atmosphere as well aiming for high standards of musical performance.

In the years since its inception the orchestra has performed the world premier of Jesse Durkan's work Concerquarto, taken part in an exchange with the Universiteitorkest Maastricht, run various workshops and most importantly put on regular, well attended concerts and showcased many talented soloists. It is also committed to providing educational opportunities via links with local schools, and to developing excellent relationships with our supporters through the 'Friends' scheme.

Dorking Philharmonia is a member of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies.

Paul Newbold

Paul studied music at King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music, where he first took conducting lessons with Denise Ham. He gained much experience as an orchestral viola player, performing regularly at the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and St. John's Smith Square and working with eminent musicians including Yehudi Menuhin, Vernon Handley and Dame Janet Baker.

Following university, Paul had a successful business career with Unilever and Capgemini, working on supply chain and change management projects, both in the UK and across Europe. During this time he continued working as a freelance violist, performing regularly with many orchestras and ensembles, particularly in Surrey and London.

After completing a PGCE in 2006, Paul returned to full-time music, teaching at the Ashcombe School in Dorking. In 2012 he obtained a Masters degree with Distinction in composition and conducting at the University of Surrey, studying conducting with Russell Keable. Subsequently he was appointed Director of Music at Burgess Hill Girls School. Working with young people, Paul has directed and coached many ensembles including orchestras, choirs, chamber groups, musical productions and Samba bands.

As a composer and arranger, Paul has worked and recorded with renowned Indian film composer Illaiyaraaja and has arranged productions for, and performed with, the international touring charitable music group, Toccata, across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Kenya.

Paul left teaching to focus on further music studies and research, commencing a PhD in composition in 2018 at the University of Surrey with Tom Armstrong. His research and composition explore the transformation of quotidian time and location specific data, the development of processes which shape direction and form, aesthetics of imperfection and the Everyday and the mediation of reality through ubiquitous technology.

Alongside his PhD, Paul works part-time as a postman in Horsham. Other interests include brewery and the outdoors. He has conducted Dorking Philharmonia since 2013.

Joshua von Bohlen

Joshua Hugo Gustav von Bohlen began playing the piano at six, the violin and tuba at seven. He won a Lady Dacre Major Music Scholarship to attend Emanuel School, London. Upon graduation, Joshua received prizes in both Physics and Music together with an award for his outstanding contribution to the music department. He also won a place at the Pro Corda International training academy.

In 2009, Joshua received a scholarship to attend Trinity Conservatoire junior department, studying violin with David Brodowski and tuba with Oren Marshall where he was awarded the Vivian Joseph String Players' Prize. A former leader of Surrey County Youth Orchestra, Joshua has performed throughout England and Europe, including at the Royal Albert Hall in the presences of their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

A graduate of Trinity Conservatoire Joshua gained his Performance Degree and LTCL in instrumental teaching with Distinction where he studied with Professors Boris Brovtsyn on violin, Matthew Jones on viola, and conducting with Gregory Rose. He was also selected to perform in masterclasses with Michael Bochmann, Ofer Falk, Rivka Golani, and Clio Gould. Joshua also performed alongside members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra live on BBC Radio 3, Philharmonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

As a violinist and chamber musician Joshua has performed throughout London and Surrey on stages such as St Johns Smith Square, St James Theatre and the Rose Theatre, whilst enjoying many engagements with The Alzheimer’s Society. Recently, Joshua partnered with Saki Matsumoto as Duo Sonatina, receiving First Prize in the Chamber Virtuoso Competition at Musikverein in Vienna and has performed the Beethoven Romances in Berlin under the direction of Zakhar Bron.

Joshua is much in demand as a teacher with students of all ages ranging from beginners to advanced players. Since joining Kingston Music Service as a violin tutor, Joshua has been appointed director of the advanced and innovative ensemble, Kingston String Sinfonia. Joshua enjoys performing in many local orchestras and is also leader of Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra.