Tamsin Waley-Cohen talks about the Orchestra of the Swan
Tamsin Waley-Cohen is looking forward to her season as Associate Artist at the Orchestra of the Swan, she tells Jayne Howarth
For someone so young, violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen has already chalked up a lifetime’s experience.
For the 26-year-old, who is celebrated as one of the most talented young violinists in the UK, is looking forward to being Associate Artist for 2012-2013 at Stratford-upon-Avon’s Orchestra of The Swan.
She follows in some illustrious footsteps - including cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor - and is looking forward to her year-long role with the chamber orchestra.
Tamsin, the daughter of theatre owner Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen and his wife sculptor Josie Spencer, performed last year with OOTS, delighting audiences.
Artistic Director David Curtis is anticipating a stunning 2012-2013 season with Tamsin.
“For those who enjoyed her performance of The Lark Ascending with us last season I know you will be looking forward to seeing the orchestra and this exceptionally gifted young violinist again at numerous concerts and festivals across the country,” he says.
The in-demand recitalist will perform in the orchestra’s subscription series concerts in Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham, as well as appearing at Ollerton, Penrith, Hagley, Cheltenham and Stamford.
Tamsin brings with her a fine musical pedigree.
She became a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music, where her professor was internationally-renowned violinist Itzhak Rashkovsky, winning numerous prizes.
Although she is also a pianist, her first love is the violin, which she first started playing at the age of three.
“I think it is the sound, so like human voice, which did and still does hold my fascination, for the beauty and expressive possibilities, and its emotional power,” she explains.
“I remember asking and asking for lessons, and the story, although I don’t remember this, is that at the age of two I saw a televised Prom concert and became obsessed with the violin.
“However, I do remember my first lesson very well. The teacher was quite strict, but it was always a lot of fun, at that age it has to be.
“I made up my mind very early in life that I wanted to become a soloist and a chamber musician.”
Performing on stage is where she feels most comfortable.
“The best feeling is on stage when one senses a real connection with ones fellow musicians and the audience,” she says.
“It’s that sense of a joint journey and experience created in that moment by such a rare instrument of which I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.”
Tamsin has been playing an ex-Fenyves 1721 Stradivarius violin since 2007 - an instrument that took some time to get used to.
“It’s a very temperamental instrument and took me quite a long time to learn how to play, but now I think we have got to know each other,” she laughs.
Critics would agree. For Tamsin, who is a cousin of 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sam Waley-Cohen, has been described by The Times as a violinist “who held us rapt in daring and undaunted performances” and by the Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”.
For audiences at Orchestra of the Swan, it will be yet another season for them to look forward to.
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See Tamsin Waley-Cohen play Mozart on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012, 2.30pm, at Town Hall, Birmingham.
Tickets: £6.50-£21.50 • Box Office: 0121 345 0600
For more information about Tamsin’s performances www.orchestraoftheswan.org
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“Tamsin Waley-Cohen held us rapt with daring and undaunted performances” The Times