About Us

Jillian Leddra

Jillian was brought up in New Zealand and studied the violin in Australia. After graduating she played in the Queensland Theatre Orchestra, before being offered a scholarship to do a Masters in Performance and Teaching (Suzuki) in the USA. On moving to London, she founded The Bayswater Suzuki Group, which is now based in Holland Park at St Clements and St James Primary School. Jillian set up the Extravaganza in the mid-1980s and it has run every July since. She also runs two other summer courses, the Chamber Music Course, Sforzando, and as of 2016 was also appointed Director of the International Suzuki Summer School at Bryanston.

Tim Murray

Originally from Glasgow, Timothy studied at the Royal College of Music, London and the Banff Centre, Canada. He was the Pianist for the Isis Piano Trio and Ballet Creations and is now in demand as an accompanist and chamber musician having performed with artists such as Sarah Connolly and Tasmin Little. He has toured widely internationally and has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM as well as TV appearances in Russia and Egypt. Murray’s compositions have been recorded by The Fibbonnaci Sequence and Piers Lane among others with reviews such as ‘Corruscating’ (Independent) and ‘highly imaginative’ (The Sunday Times).

He has been involved with the Suzuki Method as an accompanist and arranger for nearly 30 years and has been privileged to work at numerous National and International courses and conferences.

Alasdair Melrose

The longest running Extravagandist apart from Jillian herself, Alasdair’s debut was as The Serpent in Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ in 1996. After over 15 years of involvement, Alasdair will now be directing his seventh production. He has a degree in politics from Newcastle University and an MA in Music Theatre from Central School of Speech and Drama, and is following his dreams as an actor and producer.

Helen Hugh-Jones
Helen has attended almost every Extravaganza since 1998. Her first one was ‘Bugsy Malone’, where she was Talulah’s Friend No. 6. 2018 was her first year as Art Director and Administrator, after many years working on both the music and art sides of the show. She has a BA from Cambridge in Classics, and an MA in History of Art from the Courtauld. During the rest of the year, she is freelance illustration and teaches at the Bayswater Suzuki Groups on Saturdays for Jillian. 
Olivia Hugh-Jones

Olivia’s first Extravaganza was in 2003, where she played Augustus Gloop in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, and she has attended almost every course since then. In 2018 she worked wonders with the orchestra and singing as Music Director and is a dab hand at helping with the set design. She is in her final year as a choral scholar at Oxford and has toured all over the world – not to mention has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe for the past 4 years (and reads Classics in her spare time).