My life revolves around music. For as long as I can recall, I have been intoxicated by its expressivity and drawn to its challenges. From the age of four, I have sought out every opportunity to expand my musical experience. I have played in jam sessions, performed my compositions at festivals, sung jazz in cafes, and busked at craft sales. Over the years I have also enjoyed hundreds of concerts, competed in old-time fiddle contests, and performed live on X Factor and BBC Radio.
My first musical experiences were participating in Orff: Music for Young Children as a toddler. From a very early age, I was banging on drums, playing xylophones, and experimenting with a multitude of recorders. One memory from my childhood is of a family trip to Vancouver Island. Between picking up starfish on the beach and trying to convince my parents to bring critters home, we visited a place called Butchart Gardens. A home video exists of me wandering around making up songs about the different plants and flowers. I later began jazz and classical vocal lessons and sang in choirs.
By age eight it was time for a “proper” instrument. I had my heart set on the harp or cello, but my parents were adamant that they would not be carrying such a large instrument! Violin seemed like a suitable compromise, but Suzuki classes as an eight-year-old surrounded by four-year-olds with Kleenex box violins was not my cup of tea, and I soon sought new diversions. As a teenager, this led to a passion for percussion. Being the only female in a percussion section of teenage boys was often extremely trying, but experiencing an ensemble from the back gave me a new perspective.
Music of many genres has enabled me to study and perform throughout the world, often as a chamber musician, concertmaster, or soloist. I’ve had the privilege of performing with such artists as Nigel Kennedy, Pinchas Zukerman, and Vladimir Jurowski, and at such venues as the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Royal Albert, Royal Festival, Queen Elizabeth, and Roy Thompson halls. I’m also a passionate chamber musician, and last year won the Cavatina Competition as a member of the Nemesis Trio.
Alongside studying at McGill University, the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, I’ve also had the privilege of being taught by such artists as Maxim Vengerov, Zakhar Bron, Pierre Amoyal, and Igor Ozim.
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Royal College of Music
Royal Academy of Music
What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?
There are too many to choose from! One of my favourite songs would be Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday. It has such a strong message, and was an incredible act of defiance at the time.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
I am obsessed with cooking. I love baking fancy cakes, and cooking massive dinners. I also spend a lot of time going to galleries, travelling, reading Old Russian literature, and exploring antique stores.