After being awarded the Gold Medal prize for the highest mark in Grade 8 cello, Mary Pells studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Derek Simpson, Jean Harvey and Sidney Griller winning awards for chamber music and diplomas on both cello and piano.
She has been in constant demand ever since as a performer and a teacher and has combined this with an interest in early music, working closely with the eminent musicologist Peter Holman and studying the viola da gamba with Alison Crum. These studies led in 1997 to an M.A. in early music performance specialising in viola da gamba.
She now performs widely as a viola da gamba soloist, having appeared with the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, the Essex Baroque Orchestra, the Lecosaldi Ensemble, the Choir of St. John’s College Cambridge and the Sweelinck Ensemble among others. In 1995 she performed a viola da gamba concerto by Leonard Salzedo at Benslow Hills Music Trust in the presence of the composer. Recent engagements include solo performances at the St. Endellion Festival and lecture recitals in Hong Kong.
Since 2000 Mary Pells has worked for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as an examiner and as a mentor on their Certificate of Teaching course. She is married to the Canadian guitarist Timothy Pells and lives in Suffolk.