Kelsey, Xenophon

A native of Ripon (North Yorkshire) and former pupil of Ripon Grammar School, Xenophon studied horn, double bass, piano and conducting in Manchester and was principal horn and conducting student on the European Summer Schools for Young Musicians in Vienna, Salzburg and Montreux from 1967-71. 

He was the founder and first conductor of the Bowdon Sinfonietta and the Northern Pro Arte Ensemble and he has played horn with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Manchester Mozart and Ulster Orchestras as well as various chamber ensembles and other orchestras. 

As a conductor, he has specialised in work with young musicians and has brought to his many orchestras a remarkable reputation for excellence. He was appointed Director of Stockport Youth Orchestras in 1975 and was responsible for their development into one of the UK's leading youth orchestras, undertaking no less than 15 foreign tours and twice winning 1st Prize cum laude at the European Festival of Youth Music in Neerpelt, Belgium, in 1983 & 1985. 

In 1987 he became Director of the Northern Youth Orchestras Association and, in 1989, of Primavera Youth Chamber Orchestra, Cheshire. 

He returned to live in Ripon in 1989, since when he has developed a varied free-lance career as conductor, chamber music coach, teacher, lecturer, composer, arranger and performer. He is the founder and director of the outstandingly successful Vacation Chamber Orchestras organisation (VaCO), promoting residential courses and performing throughout Europe as well as in the UK. 

He also directs the Ripon Youth String Orchestra, the Ripon Community Orchestra, the Mowbray Ensemble and the nationally renowned St Cecilia Orchestra. He was a moving spirit behind the establishment of the Ripon Cathedral Concert Society, the St Cecilia Orchestra, Ripon Youth String Orchestra and Ripon Youth Choirs. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Oxford University Orchestra in a performance of Mahler's Symphony No 5 at the Sheldonian Theatre and as conductor of Opus 1 Opera Company for their first production of Puccini's La Bohème. 

Xenophon is also a long-standing member of the distinguished international jury at the European Festival of Music for Youth, Neerpelt, Belgium. In May 2007 he was awarded the accolade of "Ambassador of the Festival" in recognition of his services to the Festival and to youth music in Europe. For more information about this remarkable festival, visit: EMJ (

In 2009, Xenophon was awarded an MBE for his services to music and music education. He was also the first winner of the “Jewels of Ripon” Award for Culture in 2008 and, in 2010, he was given a “Hearts Appreciation Award” for his contribution to promoting music and the arts in the Harrogate District.


Xen Kelsey

Compositions in catalogue

Catalogue no.

Price £

To buy click PayPal links below



Chamber Music series




Concertino for bassoon and string quartet


edb 0705006
Xenophon Kelsey
Concertino for bassoon and strings (piano reduction)
edb 0702015
Xenophon Kelsey

Eine Kleine Christmasmusik for string quartet

edb 0704008
Xenophon Kelsey

Orchestra series

Eine Kleine Christmasmusik for string orch.
edb 0501002
    Xenophon Kelsey
Eine Kleine Christmasmusik - extra set of parts
edb 0501002a
Xenophon Kelsey
Concertino for bassoon and string orchestra (score and sets of string parts)
edb 0502003
Xenophon Kelsey
Concertino for bassoon and strings (extra set of string parts)
edb 0502003a
Xenophon Kelsey
Villanelle arranged for horn and chamber orchestra
edb 0502004
Dukas / Kelsey


When ordering orchestral versions the price includes a score and 3 sets of violin parts, 2 sets of viola and cello parts and one double bass par. Asingle set of extra parts is available above but if there is a specific requirements on numbers please email to specify the number of each part that is required as the total price will change accordingly. You can still pay via Paypal by emailing the total payment to


ALSO - 50% of proceeds of sales of Eine Kleine Christmasmusik will go to two charities:

Ripon St. Cecilia Orchestra and Vacatiion Chamber Orchestras