Francesca Simmons

Violinist, Musical Saw, Vocalist and Research

Francesca is a violinist based in London and Bristol.

Francesca is a dynamic, versatile and exciting musician. She plays violin, musical saw, viola, double bass and ukulele. She has also played for recordings with voice, recorder, soprano sax and keys.

Francesca is a regular collaborator with TONAL and is featured on many recordings and live performance. She is the principle musician for Sarah’s new score for The Scarlet Pimpernel, a drama for radio 4 which will broadcast in the Autumn. Other projects include A Tale of Two Cities Tonal’s 10 year birthday album ’10’.  She was a vital member of the ensemble for Yasmine, a Musical, and  War And Peace @ the Circus with Giffords Circus.

Francesca plays extensively across UK and internationally. She works regularly for The Paper Cinema and her own music has been performed on Radio 6 Music, Radio 3 Late Junction, Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.

She has performed in many venues throughout the UK and Europe – from streets, art galleries, concert halls, clubs, festivals, to big tops.


Tonal 10 Digital Release from Leah Llewellyn on Vimeo.

For a deeper look into Francesca’s work please visit her website


“I’ve worked with Francesca since 2010. She is an extremely exciting, intelligent and instinctive player. As a composer I work with many players but rarely have I found a musician who is so professional and who ‘gets it’ straight away. I can write with ambition if I know Francesca is playing – she not only has great technique and is a quick and accurate sight-reader but she is inventive, has a unique sound and is a great leader when called upon to run sectionals, direct an ensemble etc. Francesca is a player you want to have in every rehearsal, she is supportive, respectful of others, plays with precision and personality and also offers skills on soprano sax, musical saw, percussion and vocals. I hope to work with her for many years to come” Sarah Llewellyn

Involved in:

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

    Two part drama for BBC Radio 4, The Scarlet Pimpernel, starring James Purefoy and Sienna Guillory.

  • A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood

    A Tale of Two Cities 2022. Hong Kong, Chung Ying Theatre. A ‘thrilling production’ for stage by Jonathan Holloway with a ‘beautiful and mesmerising ‘ original score and sound design by Sarah Llewellyn.

  • Album 10

    Tonal celebrates 10 years with a new album ’10’ by Sarah Llewellyn, Claire-Rose Barbier and The Tonal Ensemble

  • War and Peace @ the Circus

    Giffords Circus’ sensational 2011 adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace @ the Circus toured England and Wales for 5 months. A fantastic 15 piece live band drove the action with an original and vibrant score by Sarah Llewellyn.

  • Yasmine a Musical

    The sell-out 2010 Giffords Circus production ‘Yasmine a Musical’ toured around South England and Wales from May to mid September featuring a swinging new score written by Sarah Llewellyn with lyrics by Gaynor Winstanley