The Ponte Cultura Team

Sir Neville Marriner - President d'Honneur


Line Playfair

Founder & President

Miranda Playfair

Founder & Artistic Director

Jan Rautio

Co-Artistic Director

Dee Dee Roberts

Logistical Manager

Laurent Benslimane

Secretary, Prof

Monia Benlahcen


Tara Persaud

Prof & Logistics

Tim Wright

Instrument expert


James Barralet . Cello                   Judith Busbridge . Viola

Miranda Playfair

Born in London to Prof John Playfair- world renowned Scottish Immunologist and to Line Mariani Playfair- much loved French teacher, lecturer, and wizard at turning good ideas into action from Corsica, Miranda was schooled at the Lycée Français de Londres and at St Pauls' Girls' School. A whole day, every Saturday at the Royal College of Music Junior department ignited her appetite for music and the community which surrounds it. Twice a year for ten years, starting at the age of 9, during the Easter and Summer holidays in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk in NE England, she played chamber music and was taught  by musicians from all over the world including amongst many others such icons as the Amadeus Quartet and Sir Colin Davis.

At 15 she joined the European Community Youth Orchestra ECYO (renamed EUYO) for 3 years, under the baton of maestros such as Claudio Abbado.

Miranda chose Trinity College of Music in London to be able to continue studying with her Professor, the Hungarian Bela Katona. She soon joined the Goldberg Ensemble in Manchester which encouraged her taste for orchestral work. She appeared as a soloist with local orchestras, and played for Sir Neville Marriner who invited her to join the violins in the already legendary orchestra the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. During her post graduate year, Miranda decided to leave Trinity College early to accept a shared co - leader position in the Bergen Philharmonic Ochestra in Norway. Here began her love affair with Scandinavia.

Her first year in Bergen opened the way to the co- leader job in Trondheim, several guest appearances as principal with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, one  leading Rimsky Korsakov's 'Sheherazade' live on radio. This led to directing the North Norwegian chamber orchestra, and to her joining the Oslo Philharmonic during their golden years under maestro Mariss Jansons. During this time she was invited to become guest musical director and artistic leader of Musica Vitae for a year, a Swedish chamber orchestra in Vaxjø, for whom she planned programmes, directed from the chair and played solo. Joining the Norwegian chamber orchestra under Iona Brown's leadership (the pioneering female leader who also led the smaller chamber orchestra of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields at that time) was one of the most exciting times of her early musical experience. Iona was a major inspiration and influence and will never be forgotten. Norway and musical life in England had already come full circle. Iona Brown asked her to join her smaller Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra, and Miranda returned to London.

A surprising telephone call later when the Malaysian Philharmonic asked Miranda and her then Norwegian husband to come and help them set up the orchestra. They wanted experienced players as well as all the excellent youngsters who had auditioned. After six years of being principal, soloist, chamber musician and teacher, it was time again to return home to London.

Miranda's repertoire includes Dutilleux's Violin Concerto 'L'arbre des Songes' which she had the great honour of performing with the Malaysian Philharmonic. As a chamber musician Miranda has most recently performed at the Nürnberg International Music Festival (2011), and has been invited to play at Prussia Cove (International Musicians Seminar) and at the Banff Centre, Canada. She has also given regular chamber concerts in the Malaysia Philharmonic Hall; performed in India (Mumbai) with principals of Malaysian Philharmonic; been on tour with the Vertavo String Quartet from Oslo.

More recently, Miranda joined the Academy of St Martin in the Fields as a full member, joined the historically informed Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique  under maestro Sir John Eliot Gardiner where she has the opportunity to play on gut strings and adapt and rethink playing styles with like minded musicians from all over Europe. Shehas been appointed Associate Leader of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with its dynamic young conductor Vasily Petrenko, and invited to become a Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She guest leads orchestras around the UK, such as City of Birmingham Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The Ponte Cultura project in Corsica is very close to her heart. Her extraordinary grandparents François and Barberine Mariani and mother Line lived in the village of Vero, and it is from this that the wish to bring something cultural and fresh to the village and island comes. Other passions include her interest in architecture and design. Soon, in Corsica, a lasting Foundation will be established and a cultural centre in an exquisite building will nestle in the countryside, welcoming painters, dancers, cooks, storytellers, sculptors, writers, musicians, traditional and experimental from all over the world and from Corsica itself to collaborate and work intensively. This cultural centre will become famous for its quality, generous resources, and breathtaking location. In addition, a full Corsican youth orchestra will be established to bring together students from the North and South of the island. The adventure has begun. The vision, step by step, will be fulfilled.

 François & Barberine Mariani 

Marie Philippine (Line) Playfair

Wedding Day, Vero, 1959  

 Line was born in Ajaccio Corsica but her roots are in the village of Vero. She started life as a nurse in Algeria.  During her short time in London as an au pair, she met the then Dr.John Playfair at a Summertime PROM concert in London through mutual friends. Both loved music but left the concert early as Delius was not a favourite composer, and getting to know each other seemed far more interesting. She was soon married to Prof JHL Playfair- of Scottish and Huguenot descent-  and has two children, Edward and Miranda, and four grandchildren between 21 and 27. Edward is the principal of a 3000 student College in East London, near the new Olympic village.

Line has lived and worked in London for 57 years. She practices Tai Chi every day, is still teaching French and is involved in much charity work, organising cultural events and therapies for the elderly.

 Line is Honorary President of the UK Corsican Association  (ACRUPP - Association Corse du Royaume Uni  Pasquale Paoli - visit our 'links section for more info) and is Founder-President of the Chiswick French Circle. She has an MA in French, English and History of Art and is Chevalier in the order of the 'Palmes Academiques'.

 In a lifetime devoted to art, music and literature, she has organised concerts, lectured on a range of subjects, and leads the Reading Group at the French Institute in London. She also keeps up her interest in pottery, batik and textiles and her Corsican language and traditions, regularly making 'Brocciu' ( fresh ewe's milk cheese ) and chestnut flour beignets in Chiswick.

 Her children and grandchildren have maintained strong links with the island and come back every year to stay in the family home in Vero. The Ponte Cultura project has been a wonderful opportunity to bring her experience of the Arts and the Island together. The love and memories of Prof Playfair - John, form the heart of all we do at Ponte Cultura.

Line and John Playfair at home in London