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Sage Gateshead

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String Programme

String Programme

Study Leader: James Craig

The CAT offers tuition in all string instruments from a team of tutors that includes members of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

In addition to their individual instrumental lesson and music language tuition, all string students rehearse weekly in small ensembles, working closely with the keyboard team. Current groups include quartets and trios, often working with the first study piano students. Most students enter for Associated Board music exams up to diploma level.

Our string students are often invited to form larger ensembles for special projects. In December 2016 they performed with renowned artist Lake Poets in a sold out gig in Sage 2. We also have occasionally formed large cello ensembles, and in early 2017 performed movements from Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras.

More advanced students normally join Young Sinfonia. String players who enjoy folk music may also be interested in Folkestra.

Many string players also take a second study instrument (usually piano) and we strongly recommend this.

Workshops over recent years have included sessions with Simon Wallfisch (cello); Ruth Killius (violist with the Zehetmair Quartet); Robert Cohen (international cello soloist and member of the Fine Arts Quartet), together with his quartet violinist colleague Ralph Evans (a former prize winner in the Moscow Tchaikovsky competition). Violinist Alexandra Soumm, violist Lise Berthaud and cellist Jakob Koranyi combined a visit to Sage that included BBC broadcast solo performances with Royal Northern Sinfonia with classes for CAT string students. We also regularly hold workshops with soloists from the ECHO Rising Stars programme, and those involved in the Brundibar Arts Festival.

Other workshops have ranged from chances to play electronic string instruments exploring the worlds of rock and contemporary music, through to folk, improvisation and recording techniques.

For further information on the Centre for Advanced Training, including on dates and content of auditions, please click on Information for Students


String Team

  • Study Leader: James Craig (Cello)
  • Alana Tonetti-Tieppo (Violin)
  • Iona Brown (Violin)
  • Ed Cross (Violin / Viola)
  • Chrissie Slater (Viola)
  • Deborah Thorne (Cello)
  • Gemma Murray (Double Bass)

I enjoyed meeting the four talented and serious students. They were all very focused and responded quickly to new ideas and concepts, and there was a lovely supportive atmosphere in the class, which was wonderful to see.
-Tamsin Waley Cohen, ECHO Rising Star Violinist