I started learning the violin when I was begrudgingly dragged to my first lesson by my mum aged seven. Despite my initial complaints, I gradually started to enjoy my lessons and after a while joined my local junior orchestra. As I grew up I spent most of my evenings at the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust, and I was a member of the National Children’s Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO). When I joined NYO in 2012 I enjoyed it so much that it made me realise how great it would be to be able to play the violin professionally for the rest of my life.
In 2014 I moved to London to study at the Royal College of Music (RCM) with Ani Schnarch. I have lots of amazing memories from my time there, particularly playing under world class conductors such as Haitink and Ashkenazy, and I met some of the best people! During my time at college I performed at festivals such as the Sacconi Festival, New Virtuosi in Duino, Italy, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine. I love travelling so being able to do this while ‘on the job’ was perfect! I also formed a piano trio, Trio Rouge, in my first year at RCM and in the five years we’ve been playing together we’ve been semi-finalists in the ROSL competition and invited for a residency in the South of France, as well as continuing to regularly perform across London.
I’m now in my final year of my master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where I study with Krzysztof Smietana. I’m really enjoying it and this year I have been fortunate enough to play in orchestral projects alongside the LSO, Australian Chamber Orchestra and London Mozart Players, whilst also being on trial with The Hallé.
As well as being surrounded by incredible musicians and people, my other favourite thing about living in London is being surrounded by good food! I also love going to the theatre and I’m an absolute boss at table football!
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Royal College of Music
Where’s your favourite place to listen to music and why?
If you mean live music, then probably somewhere like Ronnie Scott’s where you can listen to something different from the usual classical and orchestral repertoire. If you mean generally in life, then probably on the tube...I recently got noise cancelling headphones and they’ve changed my life!
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
I have no idea, but during my time at secondary school my career aspirations included being a lawyer or a paramedic...before I realised I hate confrontations and blood.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
When I was younger I won the British Championships in gymnastics!
Sophie is a member of the 2020-2021 fellowship.