Biographies - Violins

Feargus Hetherington - Violin

Violinist Feargus Hetherington studied at the RSAMD (RCS) in Glasgow before completing his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the USA. He has performed throughout the UK and abroad, giving his New York recital debut in June 2010. Recent performances include the Elgar Violin Concerto (New Edinburgh Orchestra), Vaughan Williams Flos Campi (St Andrews Chamber Orchestra) an eight-concert recital tour in the UK with pianist Olga Gorelik, and Rant for solo violin by Eddie McGuire for the composer's 65th birthday concerts. Feargus has worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Red Note Ensemble, recorded 'Ness by Gareth Williams for the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland, and has performed for BBC Scotland and BBC Ulster.

In 2009, as violist, Feargus joined the Roxburgh Quartet and in 2010 was appointed associate teacher of violin at the University of St Andrews. Feargus has worked for the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation festival, and the'Music for Change' project in Polmont Prison with the Scottish Ensemble. His recent CD A Highland Ballad was released on Natural Studio Records to critical acclaim. Feargus' interests extend to improvisation, and the study of harmony and temperaments. Feargus has taken part in the Unity Hills Arts Center's seminars in Vermont USA, studying with Joseph Swensen, supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund and Creative Scotland.

Richard Smith - Violin

Richard Smith was born in 1977 and began learning the violin and piano at the age of five. After gaining a first class honours degree at Birmingham Conservatoire, under the tuition of Phillipe Graffin, he continued his studies with Rodney Friend at the Royal College of Music as a Countess of Munster Scholar. In 2008 Richard was delighted to receive an Honorary Membership of Birmingham Conservatoire.

Richard was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in its inaugural year, and deputy leader for the 50th anniversary production of West Side Story, on tour and at Sadlers Wells. He also performs with Oxford Philomusica, The Chamber Ensemble of London, Belmont Ensemble, Orchestra of the Swan, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Philharmonia, Southern Sinfonia and leads the Chameleon Arts Orchestra and Dionysius Ensemble.

He is a member of the Guillami String Quartet, the Mezin Piano Trio and the London Trio, playing for chamber music societies around the country and private functions. Richard gives recitals and plays golf with pianist Anthony McCarthy, and is a regular featured artist for Saga, with whom he sails to Iceland in June.

Richard also gives masterclasses and private tuition, teaches at Epsom College, as well as coaching the Marryat Players, the National Scouts and Guides Symphony Orchestra and at StringWorks.

Simon Howes - Violin

A graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Simon is a talented violinist with a passion for chamber music. In addition to his vast orchestral experience which includes television broadcasts for the BBC, Simon has received string quartet coaching from the likes of the Maggini, Chilingirian, Emperor and the Wihan String Quartets. He is currently 2nd violinist with the Hillman String quartet.

As an orchestral musician Simon works regularly with orchestras such as the Bristol Ensemble, Orchestra of the Swan, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, British Sinfonietta and Welsh Sinfonia. Simon has also performed and recorded with many popular artists including the manic street preachers, and has performed in the west end.

Emma Wragg - Violin

After graduating from the University of Manchester with a First Class Honours Degree and receiving the Proctor-Gregg Prize for Performance, Emma Wragg entered the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded the Swanston Scholarship and was generously funded by the Musicians' Benevolent Fund. Emma joined the class of Yossi Zivoni and won several prizes both as soloist and leader of the Rivoli String Quartet. In 2004 Emma was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance with distinction from the RNCM.

Outside college Emma was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra, was accepted on to the Professional Access Scheme with the BBC Philharmonic, and enjoyed freelancing with the BBC Philharmonic, Halle, Opera North, and Camerata orchestras. She went on to complete an 'MA in String Quartet Performance' with the Rivoli Quartet at the University of Sheffield passing with Distinction. The quartet were participants on the 28th International Academy for String Quartets at the Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh, in 2004, and at IMS Prussia Cove 2006, 2007 and 2008. They were finalists of the Royal Overseas League Competition 2006, and winners of the Prix Ravel 2007 from the 'Academie International de Musique, Maurice Ravel'.

Now London-based, Emma freelances for various orchestras such as the Philharmonia and BBC Symphony Orchestra, is a founding member of the 'Randolph' and the 'Vale' piano trios, collaborates with a variety of other musicians in chamber performance, and teaches the violin privately.

Caroline Subedi - Violin

Caroline Subedi studied violin at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with Simon Fischer and Martin Hughes. After gaining a Masters degree in solo performance, she embarked on a freelance career, playing with orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the Scottish Concert Orchestra. She recorded albums with artists such as Texas, Belle & Sebastian and Isobel Campbell, soundtracks for BBC and Scottish Television and TV appearances for Moloko.

Since moving to London in 2008, Caroline has played with the European Chamber Opera, London Concert Orchestra and Urban Soul Orchestra. As a session musician, she has recorded for producer and composer Nitin Sawhney and made TV and live appearances for artists including Leona Lewis, Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins, Paul Potts, Westlife, Susan Boyle and Joy Division.

As part of the violin duo Elektra, Caroline has performed shows in the UK and as a Guest Entertainer on board a number of luxury cruise lines.

Christian Halstead - Violin

Christian Halstead started learning the violin with his mother at the age of five. He subsequently studied at the Royal College of Music, where he performed Vaughan-Williams' Lark Ascending with the RCM Symphony Orchestra. He has since established himself as a freelance violinist, notably with London Mozart Players, London Concert Orchestra, London Festival Orchestra, 18th Century Concert Orchestra and Dorset Opera. He has been 1st violinist of the Abraxas String Quartet since 1999, and is a founder member of both Souhbank Sinfonia and The Auriga Strings. Christian will also be leader of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular Orchestra for the 2010 season.

Anna Kirkpatrick - Violin

Anna Kirkpatrick graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2000 with an MMus in Advanced Instrumental Studies, gaining a first for her final recital. Anna has played since the age of four and gained a scholarship to attend Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama where, at 17, she won the Lutine Prize for Instrumentalists. She has a keen interest in chamber music attending Procorda and masterclasses (solo and chamber) at Dartington International Summer School, Westonbirt and Lake District International Summer School.

Recent engagements include orchestral work with the Symphony Orchestra of India and solo performances of the Vivaldi Four Season for Musique Cordiale, France.

Teachers: Krzyzstof Smietana, Simon Fisher, Krysia Osostowicz

Mark Gateshill - Violin

Mark Gateshill was born and brought up in South London where he began studying violin with Helen and Douglas Paterson at the age of ten. From London his family moved to Surrey where he played for Surrey County Youth Orchestra. He then went on to study Music at the University of Exeter where he led both the Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestras. It was through these ensembles that he was given the opportunity to start conducting on a regular basis - including conducting the Chamber Orchestra on their tour of Estonia. On graduating Mark took up a post as a Graduate Music assistant at Wells Cathedral School for two years. In September 2009 Mark took up conducting posts as Musical Director with Frome Symphony and Winscombe Orchestras. In January 2010 Mark was appointed Head of Strings and violin teacher at Bristol Cathedral Choir School. Mark currently teaches violin, coaches the string quartet and conducts the county youth orchestra for North Somerset Music Service, the North Somerset Sinfonia, who he has toured with in Germany and Poland. Mark is also a member of the funky horn, violin and oboe trio Ensemble 3 who specialise in outreach and community based projects. This is all combined with playing regularly throughout the region as a freelance violinist.

Laurine Rochut - Violin

Laurine Rochut was awarded a Gold Medal with unanimous decision in the Conservatoire de St Maur whilst she simultaneously followed an orchestral course at the Conservatoire de Paris. She graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2007 as a postgraduate advanced student with distinction, studying with Ani Schnarch and obtained her Masters Degree.

As an orchestral musician Laurine has played with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Brighton Philharmonic, Northern Ballet Theatre, RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Laurine plays in a Duo and Piano Trio. Concert highlights have included recitals at The Forge, Yamaha Europe, St James Piccadilly, the National Gallery, Dorchester Abbey and various festivals such as the Lake District Summer Music, Festival International de la Hague, and many concerts in France.

Dominic Moore - Violin

Dominic Moore was born in England and began learning the violin with Pamela Spofforth at the age of 8. He later won scholarships to Winchester College and the Royal College of Music studying the violin with Itzhak Rashkovsky, and also the piano as a joint first study. In 2004, Dominic founded the St George's Chamber Orchestra, which is based at St George's Beckenham, with the conductor Madeleine Lovell. As well as leading the orchestra he frequently appears as soloist. Solo performances have included the Beethoven violin concerto, and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the viola player Edward Vanderspar. Dominic also made an unexpected conducting debut with the orchestra at very short notice in a performance of Copland's clarinet concerto with the clarinettist Jon Carnac.

As a soloist, Dominic has recorded a CD entitled Cafe Music with the pianist Daniel Becker for Persephone Books. The disc was brilliantly received, being broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and was described by Classic FM magazine as 'playing of grace and zest'.

As an orchestral player, Dominic has been invited as a guest to lead the Ulster Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Nacional do Porto and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Recent engagements included appearing as soloist with the Orquestra Nacional do Porto in performances of Haydn's and Martinu's Sinfonia Concertantes.

Dominic is immensely grateful to the Countess of Munster, Abbado, Ian Fleming Trusts and the Musicians Loan Fund for help with acquiring an extremely rare Spanish violin by Marianus Ortega. It is believed to be the only Ortega violin currently in the UK.

Naomi Rump - Violin

Naomi Rump began the violin at the tender age of six, studying with Kathryn Hardman and Christopher Hirons. She graduated from Cambridge University with a First in English, and launched herself into the itinerant life of the freelance violinist. She now lives in Bristol, but finds her work leading much further afield: the last twelve months allowed her to take in icebergs in Greenland, midnight sun in St.Petersburg and Norwegian fjords, alongside the more prosaic traffic-jams of the M25.

Naomi frequently plays for the Pavão Quartet: recent highlights have included the Elgar piano quintet with John Lill; a long-running 'Paul Robeson' collaboration with Sir Willard White; a recording for the Classic FM label with guitarist Craig Ogden; and a recording, for Decca, of composer Eric Whitacre's choral music, for the album 'Light and Gold'. The last two discs topped the classical music charts in the UK and USA. Other recordings include work with Hayley Westenra, John Barrowman, The Villagers and the music for Rick Stein's television series. She has played the viola with Ronnie Scott's All Stars.

Naomi holds seats in both the Bristol Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Swan, and has recorded with Welsh National Opera. She also makes occasional forays into the commercial market, filming for Sky television and recording with Bristol Ensemble for the BBC's natural history department. She works as an animateur in special needs schools, particularly enjoying projects with autistic children. She is currently the recipient of the Sir Charles Makerras Fellowship at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Clara Biss - Violin

Clara Biss enjoys a busy and varied career, playing both the violin and viola, and performing as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician and teacher. Having spent four years as a member of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, she is now much in demand as a guest principal 2nd violin in orchestras including English National Opera, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and RPO. She is a member of The Britten Sinfonia, and has worked with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Halle and ECO.

As a chamber musician, Clara plays regularly with Endymion and has been a guest of The Dante Quartet, Primrose Piano Quartet and Touchwood Ensemble. Clara has played Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove, as well as at festivals such as Cheltenham, Winchester, and at King's Place. As a member of The Tavec Quartet, which won the Rio Tinto Chamber Music Prize in the Royal Overseas League competition, Clara played in the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and on the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme.

Aside from playing, Clara enjoys teaching violin and viola to the Choristers of Westminster Abbey, and has been involved in many education and community projects, including a project in India in 2011. She has also been a tutor on music courses such as 'Cadenza' and 'The Vacation Chamber Orchestra'.

Clara studied at the Guildhall School of Music with Krysia Osostowicz, and at the Royal College of Music with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Ivo Van Der Werff.

Feargus Hetherington

Richard Smith

Simon Howes

Emma Wragg

Caroline Subedi

Christian Halstead

Anna Kirkpatrick

Mark Gateshill

Laurine Rochut

Dominic Moore

Naomi Rump

Clara Biss