I began my further education at Christ’s College, Cambridge University. Whilst there I studied the violin privately with Howard Davis, and took an active part in the performing scene of university and college. I led Christ’s College Orchestra, I was principal 2nd in the university orchestra, and also played in the university chamber orchestra. A highlight of my time there was performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto with Christ’s College Orchestra, in the West Road Concert Hall.
After graduating from university, I spent two years on the Postgraduate Performing course at the Royal Academy of Music. Here I studied with Jean Harvey, and had many performing opportunities in solo, chamber and orchestral playing. I played in several masterclasses, most notably for Ruggiero Ricci and Erick Friedman. I was also the leader of the Manson Ensemble, the RAM contemporary music group. Whilst there I gained my LRAM teaching diploma, and my diploma of postgraduate performance (with merit).
Since graduating from the RAM, I have been working as a freelance orchestral violinist and violin teacher. I have worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, English National Opera, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (RTÉ). For the past eighteen years I have been a freelance member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Throughout my career I have taken part in many recording sessions, including the complete symphonies of Dvorak and Prokofiev. I have toured to several exciting countries, and played many live broadcasts on radio 3, but the highlight of my year is always performing at the BBC Proms in London.
My performing CV is at https://maslink.co.uk/client-directory?client=HEPBC1&search=Catriona+Hepburn
I have been teaching the violin for twenty five years, so have gained a lot of experience in that time! I am lucky that I have a great love of playing the violin, and have been able to turn this into my career. I like to think that I pass this enthusiasm on to my students. My old teacher, Howard Davis, was very generous with his time, and particularly good at inspiring, nurturing, supporting and giving confidence to his students. I am much indebted to him, and I hope I help my pupils in a similar way.
Although I started playing the violin aged 5, and was reasonably advanced when I left school, I was relatively old (18) when I resolved to follow a career as a performer. As a result, I was learning some techniques later in life than many instrumentalists. Whilst that made it harder work for me to catch up, I consider it an advantage when it comes to teaching. It means I can remember my own difficulties, and the methods used to overcome them. I understand that violin technique doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and I can find personalised solutions. My pupils tell me that I am patient, but also quite demanding. Along with my enthusiasm, I hope this helps them fulfil their potential. I had to work very hard myself, but the reward of playing professionally is more than worth the effort. If you are determined enough, and have the right support, then success is possible.