Lavinia began learning the oboe at the age of 10 and at 13, became a student at the Purcell School of Music. In 2010, Lavinia was a woodwind category finalist on BBC Young Musician of the Year and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra from 2010-2012 with whom she played Principal Cor Anglais.
In 2012, Lavinia began her undergraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in July 2016. Here, Lavinia studied with Celia Nicklin, Ian Hardwick and Jill Crowther and took part in masterclasses with renowned oboists including Jonathan Kelly, Fabien Thouend and Domenico Orlando. Whilst studying, Lavinia played Principal Oboe in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro with Royal Academy Opera, conducted by Jane Glover. In January 2016, Lavinia played Principal Oboe in Strauss’ Don Juan, under world-renowned conductor Semyon Bychkov.
During her time at the Academy, Lavinia was the winner of the Royal Academy Barbirolli prize for solo oboe and the Nicholas Blake prize for woodwind ensemble. Her wind quintet, the Aether Ensemble, were invited to play as part of the Festival de Campos do Jordano in Brazil where they performed various chamber music concerts and played in the festival’s orchestra under conductor Marin Alsop.
Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Lavinia has gained a place with the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Foyle Future Firsts scheme and in 2017, will be a member of London’s Southbank Sinfonia. Lavinia also reached the final of the Barbirolli International Oboe Competition in 2017.
What do you love about classical music?
There is something profoundly inspirational about watching a concert or playing as part of an orchestra or ensemble. Classical music expresses every emotion there is in the world and that’s simply amazing in itself. What I particularly love is that no performance of a piece is ever the same: each concert is different with each conductor, ensemble or soloist offering their own unique interpretation and as a player you can come back to a piece and hear something that you didn’t hear the first time! Classical music is constantly changing, and whether you are playing or listening to it, it will always evoke emotion.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
When I’m not playing music I love cooking and trying out new recipes, even if they do end disastrously! I enjoy country walks, catching up with friends and finding new places to enjoy with them, and weirdly, I enjoy ironing…I find it very therapeutic!
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
I grew up on a farm so when I go home I drive tractors and help out in the fields. I say it’s because I want to help, but mainly it’s because driving a tractor is a lot of fun!