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Charles was born in 1970, in Sussex. As a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music from 1983 to 1988, he studied violin with Kenneth Piper, piano with John Barstow and composition with Gary Carpenter and Timothy Bond. He gained the ARCM diploma with honours as a pianist in 1988.Rather than attend one of the London music colleges (where he would have been forced to drop one or other instrument) Charles chose to go up to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read Music and English Literature, continuing his instrumental studies with David Takeno and Leslie Howard. His BA thesis on Britten's transformation of short novels into operas won a college prize.

After graduating from Cambridge Charles moved to London, which was to be his work-base until 1999. He toured the world with ground-breaking groups such as the Kreisler String Orchestra, the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique and the Smith Quartet, appeared as soloist and chamber musician at festivals all over the UK & Europe and made numerous broadcasts for BBC Radio 3.

Charles was the leader of the Edinburgh Quartet from 2003 to 2006, and their work together attracted much critical acclaim. Charles' extensive overview of a wide variety of musical styles enables him to create programmes that are eclectic, logical, informed and entertaining. The countryside around Loch Shiel is of special interest & inspiration to him.

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