Meet the Tutors

Founded by Alec Roth in 1987, Southbank Centre Gamelan Programme comprises a core of expert gamelan tutors with years of experience teaching gamelan and running workshops and classes.

Andy Channing

Andy Channing studied gamelan initially at Southbank Centre, then later at STSI (the Indonesian Academy of Performing Arts) Surakarta, Central Java, and with various teachers in Bali. Since 1991 he has taught Javanese and Balinese gamelan throughout the UK and Europe, to school children of all ages, adults and special needs groups. He teaches regularly at Southbank Centre, City University, SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies) and LSO St Luke’s and with Hampshire Music Service. Recently, he has led groups in Paris, Marseille and Porto. Andy has performed extensively in the UK and Europe. He has been a member of Southbank Gamelan Players, Europe’s foremost Javanese gamelan group, since its formation and is the founder and Artistic Director of Gamelan Lila Cita, the UK’s leading Balinese gamelan group who played in Bali in 2006. He has composed several pieces for gamelan, the best known being Pig in the Kraton.

Pete Smith

Pete discovered gamelan as a music student at York University. He received a scholarship to continue his studies in Indonesia where he enrolled at STSI, the Academy of Indonesian Arts in Central Java from 1992 to 1995. During this time, Pete also worked independently as a professional gamelan performer with an extremely diverse range of groups including village wedding bands, all night puppet show backing groups, palace orchestras and night-time street buskers. Since returning to the UK, Pete has taught at every level of the education system and has been instrumental in setting up many of the UK’s gamelan programmes. Pete has performed both Javanese and Balinese gamelan throughout the UK and Europe with the renowned Southbank Gamelan Players, and also plays regularly with Widosari Ensemble – the leading gamelan group in the Netherlands. He was invited in 2007 to join a group of performers from STSI for the International Gamelan Festival in Amsterdam. He is also a founder member of Laras Laris – the only group in Europe specialising in the lively tjokekan style of gamelan associated with celebrations and gatherings. Based in Oxford where he teaches gamelan classes at the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Pete also teaches at Royal Festival Hall and Kingston University, and is guest tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Sophie Ransby

Sophie began studying the gamelan in 1989 taking classes in Bradford-on-Avon and at the Royal Festival Hall, London. After completing a music degree and MA in composition, Sophie was awarded a Darmasiswa Scholarship by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in August 2000 and studied karawitan (gamelan music) for three years at STSI (Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia) in Surakarta, Java. She specialised in learning the kendhang, gender and rebab. Since returning to the UK in 2003, Sophie has taught gamelan for a number of organisations including Southbank Centre, LSO St. Luke's, RNCM, The Sage Gateshead and Open Arts, Belfast. In 2006 she began working regularly at Southbank Centre to manage the gamelan programme and its associated activities. Sophie regularly performs throughout the UK and Europe with Southbank Gamelan Players - Ensemble in Residence at Southbank Centre, Laras Laris, the Oxford and Cambridge Gamelan Societies, Gamelan Na Gallimhe - Galway and with the gamelan ensemble at Graz University of Music and Performing Arts, Austria. Sophie graduated with a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology from City University in 2013 with a thesis entitled: The Emergence of Notation in Surakarta, Central Java, and its Implications for the Transmission of Gamelan Music as an Oral Tradition.

Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts started playing gamelan whilst at university and went on to study Javanese music at one of Java’s most prestigious arts academies, ISI Surakarta. He currently teaches for the Cheltenham Festivals Education programme whilst writing a PhD in ethnomusicology, and has taught at the Birmingham Conservatoire and for Hertfordshire and Hampshire Music Services. He specialises in Javanese vocal repertoire and technique, including singing with gamelan, unaccompanied poetry recitation, and communal, devotional singing with frame drums. He performs regularly with the Southbank Gamelan Players and Oxford Gamelan Society, and as a guest musician with groups across the UK and Europe. Malcolm Milner Malcolm performs with the Southbank Gamelan Players. He is also a producer and runs the Wall of Spoon label releasing electronic music by Eternity Bleeps, Nem and Wall of Spoon. There have been worldwide performances of his compositions for Gamelan and electronic music, including Java, the 2008 World Gamelan Symposium, Malaysia, the International Gamelan Festival in Bremen and a performance of traditional and new music for gamelan at the University of the Performing Arts, Graz, Austria in 2015.

Ni Madé Pujawati

Ni Madé Pujawati has been dancing ever since she can remember. A graduate of both the Indonesian National Conservatory and the Institute of Arts, she is recognised as the foremost young performer of Balinese dance-opera, Arja. She has also trained in classical Javanese dance for many years, and has played the lead role of Sita in the Ramayana at Southbank Centre and on international tour. She is artistic director of the London-based dance group, Lila Bhawa, is dancer-in-residence with the Balinese Gamelan Gong Kebyar, Lila Cita, and the Semar Pagulingan, Puja Semara Kanti, as well as dancing regularly with the Southbank Gamelan Players. Ni Madé Pujawati has performed widely in Europe, the USA and Australia, as well as Asia. She has recently worked on a collaborative choreographies from a Greek-Indonesian version of Hippolytos to a series of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Balinese-Javanese pieces. Currently she is working on three pieces around the Javanese Panji cycle of stories.