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’s musical education began at Trinity Conservatoire, where he gained his Performance Degree and Licentiate Diploma in instrumental teaching with Distinction. 

Joshua recently completed his Master of Music Degree at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied with Yossi Zivoni and received support from The Humphrey Richardson Taylor Trust and The Kathleen Trust. Since graduating Joshua has studied with international soloist Dr. Remus Azoitei.

As a violinist and chamber musician Joshua has performed throughout the UK and Europe. In partnership with Saki Matsumoto he received First Prize in the International Virtuoso Competition at Musikverein in Vienna. As an orchestral musician Joshua enjoys playing with a variety of orchestras, including performances alongside members of London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 with BBC Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Joshua holds the position of leader at the following orchestras: Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra, Dorking Philharmonia and Kingston Third Age Orchestra.

Joshua is much in demand as a teacher with students of all ages and abilities. He holds teaching positions at City of London Boys School, Surrey Strings Academy and Kingston Music Services where he has been appointed director of the innovative advanced ensemble, Kingston String Sinfonia. Consequently, Joshua’s efforts with the ensemble have been acknowledged by Kingston Music Services with a successful nomination and gaining of a Jack Petchey Foundation Leader Award.

Joshua recently performed as soloist the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra and has been invited back to perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto.