I remember pestering my Mum at the age of five to start violin lessons after a particularly exciting play date with my friend who had a bright red toy violin. She eventually gave in and I began learning the violin with one of my Dad’s BBC work colleagues. I progressed through the Worcestershire Youth Music scene alongside my three musical siblings and decided that music was just too big a part of my life to leave behind after school. I gained a place to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Gabriel Painter before taking a job in the music department at Wells Cathedral School. This not only gave me the chance to develop my teaching but also further opportunity to expand my skills as a musician, being surrounded by so many great teachers and indeed, beautiful countryside!
I went on to study my master's degree at the Royal Academy of Music with Richard Ireland. It was amazing to be immersed in such a musically rich environment and I gained so much from being part of such a variety of projects and classes with some of the best musicians the world has to offer. During my time at the Academy, I was accepted onto the Britten-Pears Young Artists program and performed with the Britten-Pears Orchestra as Co-Principal 2nd Violin. This was an invaluable experience for me, working closely with Marin Alsop and playing incredible repertoire such as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring alongside other great musicians. This made me all the more determined to make orchestral performance a big part of my professional career. Throughout my time studying in London, I have played at all the major concert halls, freelancing with various orchestras and am currently a principal violinist of the newly formed Pro Youth Philharmonia.
Closer to home, I am fortunate to live in a town with a healthy music scene and I’m often invited to lead the Bedford Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia as well as the Milton Keynes Sinfonia. I have recently been working with a local professional orchestra, Milton Keynes City Orchestra.
In addition, I also enjoy regular teaching in Bedford as well as performing alongside my good friends in the Element String Quartet.
In my spare time I enjoy a good country walk with my husband Andrew, swim in my local pool and collecting stamps on my Nero’s loyalty card with any friends I can find!
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?
I have so many and it’s always changing. But at the moment it’s got to be Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir De Florence, it’s just packed full of beautiful melodies that transport you between Italian and Russian landscapes (neither of which I have experienced first-hand… but one can imagine!)
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I once made an appearance on BBC’s day time television show Flog It!. It was part of a mini documentary they did on a violin maker from Worcestershire who had made a violin for me. Every now and again it gets repeated to my embarrassment.