About Us


The Eskandari Quartet formed at the University of Manchester in 2017. Since its inception, the ensemble quickly developed a reputation as a prominent exponent of contemporary music. The Eskandari has frequently performed commissions from undergraduate and postgraduate composers based at the University and the Royal Northern College of Music. Having premiered Will Frampton’s Watermark, Benjamin Marrington-Reeve’s Blindfolded, and Atefeh Einali’s Fear, the Eskandari has built up a considerable repertoire of contemporary music. In the wake of these successful performances, they have established a collaborative network of chamber music performers and composers known as The Eskandari Collective, through which they aim to support new emerging musical talent in Manchester.  In the immediate future, the quartet looks forward to several collaborative projects with a variety of artists based in Manchester. 

Dan Phillips

Violin 1

Dan is a 3rd-year music student at the University of Manchester, where he studies violin with Julia Hanson of the Royal Northern College of Music. He started playing the violin aged 7 and developed a passion for Irish folk music, bluegrass, and gypsy jazz before embarking on his classical training. In his teens, Dan studied with Andy Sherwood – a professor of violin and conducting at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. During this period of his musical education, he performed with the Lewis-based semi-professional orchestra ‘All Saints’, an ensemble directed by the joint artistic effort of Andy Sherwood and composer/cellist, Peter Copley. He also played in the Brighton Youth Orchestra and Brighton Youth Orchestra String Ensemble, which he led in his final year there. Dan also sang in Glyndebourne's youth choir programme as a boy, and later played as an orchestral violinist alongside the Southbank Sinfonia in David Bruce's Opera "Nothing", and as a chamber musician in the Youth Opera Lover's Walk , and in Glyndebourne's 'Rinaldo Project' with members of the OAE. In addition to his activities as a classical musician, Dan regularly works as a session musician in other musical disciplines. Before arriving at Manchester, Dan worked for mastering engineer Max Gilkes at 1Sonic Studios in Brighton, on the short film The Life and Times of Melvyn Pfefferberg and also with singer-songwriter Charlie Peverett. He also regularly works in collaboration with his father and film composer Andrew Phillips. As well as having played on several of Andrew’s film soundtracks – The Battle for Marjah (HBO - 2012), Charlie Hebdo: 3 Days That Shook Paris (Channel 4 - 2015), The Chillenden Murders (BBC2 - 2017) – Dan has also played on several of Andrew’s records with the British electronica duo Grasscut, which include tracks like Pieces (2012), Curlews (2015) and their remix of Jaga Jazzist’s Toccata (2011). He now plays regularly with the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra and the University’s Chamber Orchestra, having led the Chamber orchestra in his 2nd year. After his undergraduate studies at Manchester have concluded, Dan hopes to study for a masters in musicology at Oxford. 

Rhiannon Bedford

Violin 2

Rhiannon Bedford is a violinist from Bristol, currently living and working in Manchester. In 2019 she graduated from the University of Manchester with a Bachelors Degree in Music, where she studied violin with Gemma Bass. Initially a pianist, at the age of 10 she was nominated for a grant from Awards for Young Musicians which enabled her to pursue violin lessons. She began her musical education with a music specialist place at Bristol Cathedral Choir School, the UK's only music specialist academy, alongside attending Bristol Youth Orchestra and the Novacorda Chamber Music Course. During her time at the University, Rhiannon performed with a variety of chamber groups, Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and pit orchestras for Musical Theatre and Opera productions. In her final year, she Co-Directed the annual MUSICA Festival, a fortnight of events dedicated to celebrating all aspects of female music-making and addressing gender imbalances both within the University and in the wider profession. An interest in music education and facilitation led her to assist the deliverance of projects with the Hallé and Music Action International. She now works as a freelance violinist and music teacher, performing with ensembles such as Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Shack, Sycamore String Quartet, the Philharminic ensemble, Bradford Cathedral, and Macclesfield Mydel Choir.

Nadia Eskandari


Nadia is a violist based in Manchester, currently working as an instrumental tutor, project manager, and freelancer. Having graduated from the University of Manchester last year learning with Lucy Nolan, Nadia plans to join the Royal Northern College of Music in September for further postgraduate study. While initially a first study pianist, Nadia started the viola at the age of 10 and went on to gain music scholarships and enter competitions on both instruments. Following a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto at the age of 13, she went on to study at Junior Trinity Laban Conservatoire to have lessons with Helen Reid and Michael Posner. Being in demand as a violist, this setting encouraged her love for ensemble playing, with performance highlights in quartet, orchestral and contemporary ensemble groups at prestigious venues such as Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, and Glyndebourne. After accepting a music scholarship at Trinity School, she joined the Trinity Piano Academy and started lessons with Nigel Clayton, regularly performing in masterclasses with the Maggini Quartet and taking part in Pro Corda ensemble competitions with her piano quartet. Since joining the university of Manchester, Nadia switched to the viola as her first study and has played with ensembles such as MUSS, The Untold Orchestra, No Dice, Opera Shack, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera, Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra, and the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra. Alongside quartet projects, Nadia has a passion for contemporary repertoire and session work. Previous highlights have been playing alongside Bill Laurance with the Untold Orchestra and recording for Tugboat Captain at Abbey Road Studios. Nadia looks forward to receiving a new commission for solo viola and electronics next year. 

Clara Rundell


Clara Rundell recently graduated from the University of Manchester where she received a first-class bachelors degree in Music. She is now pursuing a career as a freelance musician based in Manchester. At Manchester University Clara studied the cello with Jennifer Langridge. As a cellist, Clara has played with a number of ensembles and was the principle cellist of Hallé Youth Orchestra, Stockport Youth Orchestra and the University of Manchester Symphony and Chamber orchestras. Clara still performs regularly with the Eskandari Quartet and other ensembles in and around Manchester. Clara is passionate about many forms of music making and also spends her time teaching and conducting. At the University of Manchester, Clara studied conducting with Robert Guy and was selected for the prestigious conducting training programme. Through this programme Clara conducted a number of ensembles including Ad Solem Chamber Choir, the Cosmo Singers, the University of Manchester Chorus and the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Clara was recently appointed as the new music director for Hallam Choral Society and also conducts Knutsford Youth Orchestra. Clara is also passionate about music education and teaches the cello and piano at the Music Place in Altrincham as well as having private students.​