Biography

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”, Tamsin Waley-Cohen enjoys an adventurous and varied career. In addition to performances with orchestras including the RPO, LPO and BBC orchestras, and conductors including Andrew Litton and Tamas Vasary, she continues her association with Orchestra of the Swan, returning as “Artist in Residence” next season. Performances have taken her across the UK, Europe, to the USA and the Antipodes.

In demand as a recitalist, Tamsin enjoys a duo partnership with pianist and composer Huw Watkins, with whom she has released three CD recordings. Their most recent recital disc, ‘1917’, received outstanding reviews from the likes of The Strad, The Guardian, Classic FM, BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone and was in the Top 20 of the Official Classical Charts. BBC Radio 3 described their playing as  Their other albums include music based on ‘Americans in Paris’ in the twentieth century (Champs Hill) and a disc of Mendelssohn concerti with David Curtis and Orchestra of the Swan (Signum Records). Tamsin’s most recent disc is Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending and Violin Concerto in D minor, again with Orchestra of the Swan and David Curtis. In Spring 2015 she will release a disc of solo violin music written in 1944 onwards. Tamsin is a “Signum Classics Artist” with Signum Records.

Tamsin’s interest in contemporary music has led her to forge strong relationships with composers. In addition to premiering Huw Watkins’ “Concertino”, and works by Richard Causton, Joseph Phibbs, and Torsten Rasch, in 2015 she will be premiering a new concerto by Dobrinka Tabakova and a Suite for Solo Violin by Joseph Phibbs. Together with her sister, the composer Freya Waley-Cohen, she will be embarking on a residency at Aldeburgh with the architects Finbarr O’Dempsey and Andrew Skulina, for a project exploring the relationship between sound and space.

Her love of chamber music led her to form the Honeymead Ensemble (resident at the Tricycle Theatre in London) as well as the Honeymead Festival on Exmoor. She is also Artistic Director of the Sunday Series at London’s Tricycle Theatre, for which she was named one of Evening Standards 1000 most influential Londoners and she was Artistic Director of Music at the Bargello Chamber Music Festival in Florence, Italy in 2011-2012. She recently joined the acclaimed London Bridge Ensemble, with whom she appears regularly and has recorded the Dvorak piano quartets with Gary Pomeroy for the Champs Hill label.

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 prizes. Tamsin has been a regular participant at the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove since she was 16. Her teachers have also included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Andras Keller,  and Ruggiero Ricci, the latter describing her as “the most exceptionally gifted young violinist I have ever encountered.”

Since 2007 she has played the 1721 ex-Fenyves Stradivarius violin.