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Jem began to study the violin at the age of 5, and at age 11 won the Saxton Noble Memorial Prize
for the highest mark in Grade 6 that year. After leading the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra,
Jem read Music at Lancaster University, specialising in performance.
He currently divides his time between maintaining his busy freelance career, running the Petrucci-Merton Booklet Service (a printing business providing music for orchestras and chamber ensembles across the UK), and looking after his old son.
He regularly plays with the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, is a principal player with Liverpool Sinfonia, and has played with a range of orchestras including the Manchester Concert Orchestra and the National Concert Orchestra, as well appearing as a backing musician for Katherine Jenkins.
Jem has recently annonced his retirement from the WSO after leading it for many years. He has also been guest leader for Bolton Symphony Orchestra, Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, Lancashire Chamber Orchestra, North Staffs Symphony Orchestra and Burnley Orchestra. He also manages and directs Musica Nova, a chamber orchestra he founded in 2011.
His string quartet Regency String Quartet, is in demand for weddings and corporate events across the North West.