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Tamsin Waley-Cohen

Violin

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Tamsin Waley-Cohen and the Albion Quartet perform at the Aldeburgh Festival

Tamsin Waley-Cohen and the Albion Quartet perform at the Aldeburgh Festival

Tamsin Waley-Cohen returns to the Aldeburgh Festival, holding an Open Space residency together with her sister, composer Freya Waley-Cohen, and the architects Finbarr O’Dempsey and Andrew Skulina The performance artwork ‘Permutations’ explores the relationship between architecture and music and will be open to the public from 10 – 16 June at Jerwood Kiln Studio Moreover, ...

Tamsin Waley-Cohen performs at the Royal Albert Hall

Tamsin Waley-Cohen performs at the Royal Albert Hall

Tamsin Waley-Cohen is one of the star soloists appearing at this spring’s Classic FM Live series at the Royal Albert Hall on 18 April She will be performing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Stephen Barlow The renowned pianist Simon Trpčeski will follow with Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2, while the ...

Biography

Described by the Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”, young British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen is one of the ECHO Rising Stars of the 2016/17 season.

The only British artist selected for the prestigious programme of the European Concert Halls Organisation, she will embark on a major tour to Europe’s foremost concert halls, including Musikverein in Vienna, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Barbican in London and Philharmonie in Cologne. The tour will begin with her return to Birmingham Symphony Hall – the venue that nominated her for the programme. Her recital programme will include a new work by Oliver Knussen, written for Tamsin Waley-Cohen and commissioned by the ECHO Rising Stars programme.

One of the Wigmore Hall’s “Emerging Artists” of the 2015/2016 season, she has already performed with major UK orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and this season will see her debut with the Hallé Orchestra, with whom she will perform the Tchaikovsky concerto with Stephen Bell. She will also make her debut with the with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

Internationally, she has performed with the Budapest Philharmonic, Graz Kammerphilharmonie and Chapelle Musicale de Tournai, and was Associate Artist with the Orchestra of the Swan throughout the 2015/16 season.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen is a recording artist for Signum Records. Her most recent release is a recording of American violin concertos by John Adams and Roy Harris, for which she has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton. Her most recent solo disc ‘SOLI’, explores post-1944 solo repertoire. Tamsin collaborates closely with composer-pianist Huw Watkins, and together with him, she has released discs with works for violin and piano by Hahn and Szymanowski, a disc with works written in the year 1917 and an French-American recital including works by Gershwin, Poulenc, Ives and Ravel.

With her insatiable artistic curiosity, Tamsin Waley-Cohen’s activities span a wide range and include the Artistic Directorship for the Sunday Series at London’s Tricycle Theatre, as well as the Honeymead Festival on Exmoor. She has a strong interest in contemporary music, which has led to strong relationships with composers including Dobrinka Tabakova, Huw Watkins, Torsten Rasch, Joseph Phibbs, and Richard Causton. Together with her sister, the composer Freya Waley-Cohen, and the architects Finbarr O’Dempsey and Andrew Skulina, she is involved in a project called Permutations, exploring the relationship between sound and space. Permutations was unveiled in June as part of Aldeburgh Music’s Open Space artist residency programme and will be recorded for future release on Signum Classics. Other projects this season include a four concert residency at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen was born in London in 1986. She became a Foundation Scholar, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music where she won all available awards, including – twice – the concerto competition, and was their String Player of the Year in 2005. Numerous competition successes include winning the 2005 Royal Overseas League String Prize and the 2007 J&A Beare Bach competition.

Tamsin plays the 1721 ex-Fenyves Stradivarius violin.

Reviews

One of this year’s [Rising Stars] artists is the terrific British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen … In a programme that included a febrile and rhapsodic account of Poulenc’s Violin Sonata, Waley-Cohen gave the London premiere of Oliver Knussen’s Reflection ... this beautifully crafted eight-minute work is made of tiny aural brushstrokes suggesting water: ripples mirroring each other and bursting out in expression and ecstatic high lines.
- The Observer
 (Fiona Maddocks)
, 2017
Oliver Knussen’s eight-minute Reflection (2016), for violin and piano, had its London premiere from Tamsin Waley-Cohen and James Baillieu, superb players both. With its stylistic assurance and fresh-sounding impressionism ... it seemed a piece long present in the canon.
- The Sunday Times
 (Paul Driver)
, 2017
During the orchestral introduction, the soloist visibly entered into the soundworld, and this was echoed in the later orchestra-only sections, when her body language showed she was living the music with them. In every sense of the word, there was harmony between all players, a great feeling of supporting each other. The whole concerto was a triumph, but special mention goes to her pin-drop cadenza in the first movement, with eloquent silences and an exciting sense of anticipation. Affectionate applause was followed by Waley-Cohen's exquisite encore in the shape of J.S. Bach's Sarabande.
- Bachtrack
 (David Mellor)
Tamsin Waley-Cohen held us rapt with daring and undaunted performances.
- The Times
 (Hilary Finch)
Waley-Cohen had shown what a fine player she was, projecting George Benjamin’s Three Miniatures, Richard Causton’s new Fantasia and Air and Fernyhough’s daunting Intermedio alla Ciaconna with fearless intensity.
- The Guardian
 (Andrew Clements)
Young Artist to Watch - Great playing from the very talented Tamsin Waley-Cohen. This really highlights the talent of the next generation of virtuosi.
- Classic FM
 (David Mellor)
... her sense of line and capacity to make things happen are both beautiful and strikingly individual ... The Lark Ascending's opening solo searches out an extreme degree of musical space in a way that's at once daring and mesmerising.
- BBC Music Magazine
Tamsin Waley-Cohen launches into Szymanowski’s Sonata with gusto, her bow rasping on the string in the composer’s passionate flights, her sound meltingly beautiful and fragile in his graceful melodies. She has a potent rhetorical style, moving neatly from dramatic flourishes and cadenzas into gentle lyricism.
- The Strad
Her playing reminded me of that of the great Arthur Grumiaux; a higher compliment is impossible.
- The Examiner, Ireland
 (Declan Townsend)
Miss Waley-Cohen charmed us throughout the evening with a Beethoven that was passionate and elegant, full of a liberty and grace we haven’t heard for a long, long time.
- Una Voce Poco Fa, Italy
 (Massimo Crispi)
Waley-Cohen's playing is radiant and soaring.
- The Sunday Times on Tamsin's Hahn/Szymanowski disc
... superlative performances of Vaughan Williams. The Lark Ascending ... Highly recommended.
- Northern Echo
Waley-Cohen brings such intimacy to her performances that at times one could believe her 1721 Stradivarius was a breathing organism.
- New Zealand Herald on Tamsin's Hahn/Szymanowski disc
The most exceptionally gifted young violinist I have ever encountered.
- Ruggiero Ricci, violinist

Discography

Permutations
Released June 2017 on Signum Records

Permutations is a new work by Freya Waley-Cohen, commissioned as part of a Aldeburgh Festival’s 2017 season and exploring the relationship between architecture and music.

Roy Harris & John Adams Violin Concertos
Released September 2016 on Signum Records

Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen continues her series of concerto recordings on Signum with two contrasting works by American composers.

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Litton (Conductor)

Hahn & Szymanowski: Works for Violin and Piano
Released September 2015 on Signum Records

“… a wonderfully subtle, introspective and touching performance.” The Guardian

Recommended Recording, The Strad

Soli: Solo Works for Violin
Released April 2015 on Signum Classics

“Bartok’s sonata is as fine as any on record, cogent and genuinely moving; Penderecki’s substantial Cadenza proves a gripping-ten minute masterpiece; and miniatures by George Benjamin, Elliot Karter and (especially) Gyorgy Kurtag are valuable rarities. ” – Classical Music Magazine

Vaughan Williams & Elgar
Released September 2014 on Signum Records

“The quiet intensity and tonal beauty of Waley-Cohen’s playing, especially in the hushed conclusion made you savour every note.” – Birmingham Post

1917: Works for Violin and Piano
Released April 2014 on Signum Classics

“Great playing from the very talented Tamsin Waley-Cohen. This really highlights the talent of the next generation of virtuosi.” – David Mellor, Classic FM

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in D minor
Released September 2013 on Signum Classics

“Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins resist the works’ temptations to indulge in speed for its own sake, and their new performances are all the better for their avoidance of excessive flashiness.” – Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

An American In Paris
Released June 2013 on Champs Hill Records

“stunning technique” – EDGE Atlanta