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Biography

I am very fortunate to have grown up in a musical and artistic environment. From a very young age my parents began the battle of getting me to practise the violin. It was NOT a match made in heaven. I found the E string of the violin almost offensive as it hurt my ears and I would refuse to play it, making Twinkle Twinkle Little Star a bit of a challenge. At six years old, I encountered the most captivating instrument, which was to be my musical companion from then on: the viola. As well as learning the viola, I played the recorder with a purple elephant sticker and took up singing at the age of eight years old. I marched into my very first singing lesson and belted out a sad song about a little Roman slave girl. Little did I know that my love of singing would lead to a profound interest in Drama, Ancient History and Literature.

I am very fortunate to have grown up in a musical and artistic environment. From a very young age my parents began the battle of getting me to practise the violin. It was NOT a match made in heaven. I found the E string of the violin almost offensive as it hurt my ears and I would refuse to play it, making Twinkle Twinkle Little Star a bit of a challenge. At six years old, I encountered the most captivating instrument, which was to be my musical companion from then on: the viola. As well as learning the viola, I played the recorder with a purple elephant sticker and took up singing at the age of eight years old. I marched into my very first singing lesson and belted out a sad song about a little Roman slave girl. Little did I know that my love of singing would lead to a profound interest in Drama, Ancient History and Literature. 

After A Levels, I was faced with the difficult decision of choosing between studying the viola and ancient history. The influence of concerts, tours and the camaraderie of my youth orchestras swayed my decision and I am happy to say I definitely made the right one. Never would I have imagined the amount of life changing experiences and inspiring musicians I would encounter as a result! I moved to Cardiff in 2013 and began my undergraduate studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD), studying with Louise Williams and Dorothea Vogel. 

My years at RWCMD flew by, with highlights including a masterclass with Lawrence Powers and a performance at Buckingham Palace with the Royal Welsh String Soloists. In my final year I successfully auditioned for orchestral placement schemes with both the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra (WNO). This was a challenging and motivating experience for me, opening my eyes to the professional world of music with the mentorship of experienced musicians as I progressed through the placements. One of my proudest moments was performing Mahler Symphony No.2 alongside the WNO Orchestra. 

During my studies, I formed the Eilan Quartet with some fellow students. I owe a lot of my musical growth to this quartet as it has led to numerous performance opportunities and amazing masterclasses with prominent quartets such as the Elias and Emerson Quartets. In 2016, we were prize-winners of the Bridgewood and Neizert chamber music competition and represented RWCMD at the Cavatina Intercollegiate Competition. Some of my fondest memories of my time in Cardiff are late night rehearsals fuelled with pizza and copious amounts of tea.


EDUCATION

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Cardiff, UK


OTHER PROJECTS

Eilan Quartet


QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS

What’s on your playlist right now? 
At the moment I am obsessed with Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2 in A major and I enjoy listening to The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky and would love to see the ballet sometime. Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No.2 in A minor is always a frequent listen for me. I performed this a few times with my string quartet two years ago so it holds a special place in my heart. As a violist I find it such an incredible piece to play and it is incredibly interesting structurally and contextually.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us. 
When I was at school I was an RAF Cadet. This meant I learnt numerous skills like map reading, rifle shooting and how to camp. It was an amazing experience and I was given a number of opportunities to fly and experiment with aerobatics. One of my fondest memories was when I flew in a Viking Glider. This particular glider didn’t have an engine which meant when you were in the air it was completely silent and all you were relying on to keep you up were the thermals.


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Blog

A Bridge Too Far?

22 June 2018
Southbank Sinfonia violist Lily takes us through her preparations for the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hoad's 'Between the Skies, the River and the Hills'.
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