Described by the Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”, young British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen has been one of the ECHO Rising Stars of the 2016/17 season. The ECHO tour has seen her perform in many of 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.
Orchestral debuts last season have included the Hallé Orchestra as well as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. She has also returned to the Royal Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. Internationally, recent performances include the Budapest Philharmonic, Graz Kammerphilharmonie and Chapelle Musicale de Tournai. She was Associate Artist with the Orchestra of the Swan throughout the 2015/16 season.
In 2017/18, she makes her debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performing and recording the world premiere of a new violin concerto by British composer Richard Blackford. Other orchestral engagements this season include her debut with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in New Zealand, and she will also return to the Orchestra of the Swan, performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4.
Tamsin’s constant ambition to explore new artistic goals has led her to build up a wide ranging chamber music network and most recently, she has founded a new string quartet, the Albion Quartet, with whom she embarks on a residency at London’s Kings Place and the quartet also makes its debut at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw this season. Other regular chamber partners include James Baillieu, Hugo Ticciati and Annelien van Wauwe. Her interest in contemporary music has led to strong relationships with composers including Oliver Knussen – who has written a new work for violin and piano for her ECHO tour – and Huw Watkins, who is also her regular chamber partner, and will write a new work for her to be premiered at Wigmore Hall in 2020. Together with her sister, the composer Freya Waley-Cohen, and the architects Finbarr O’Dempsey and Andrew Skulina, she has devised a project for the Aldeburgh Festival called Permutations, exploring the relationship between sound and space. Tamsin is also Artistic Director for the Sunday Series at London’s Tricycle Theatre, as well as the Honeymead Festival on Exmoor.
In 2017/18 she returns to the Wigmore Hall, Saffron Hall, Stratford Music Festival, Music in the Round, and presents a programme of violin duos with Hugo Ticciati at Hull City of Culture 2018. Recent projects have included a four concert residency at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, as well as her appearance at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.
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. She has released a number of discs with Huw Watkins and their next recording of works by Janacek, Dvorak and Suk is released in November 2017.
Born in London, 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.