Born in Aberdeen, violinist Jessica spent six months in Oslo studying with Stephan Barratt-Due at the Barratt-Due Musikkinstitut, before completing her undergraduate degree at the Royal College of Music, where she was generously supported by the Hilda and Douglas Simmons Award.
In 2011, Jessica won the Edinburgh Festival Concerto Competition, performing Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole with the Festival Orchestra. Since then, Jessica has performed numerous concertos around the UK, notably Bruch’s Violin Concerto with the National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland in Perth Concert Hall. Jessica has presented solo recitals across the UK, including the inaugural concert of the recital series at Leith Hill Place, the family home of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Jessica has performed with orchestras including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, culminating in performances at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms Festival, with conductors Donald Runnicles and Vasily Petrenko. Other orchestral highlights include leading the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, and Children’s Orchestra of Scotland, and performing on tours across the UK, Norway, Italy and China. Whilst in Norway, Jessica performed with Olso Camerata under violinist Henning Kraggerud and took part in a collaboration with the El Sistema Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra at the Bergen Music Festival.
Jessica performs regularly as a chamber musician and is a founding member of the Vasara Quartet, receiving first prize at the Britten Intercollegiate String Quartet Competition 2013. They have since performed in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Kings Place, Conway Hall and Cadogan Hall.
Jessica’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by Dr Elman Poole.
What do you love about classical music?
I love the way music brings people together. I think of it being like a language that we can all understand. It allows us to express ourselves, connect with others and communicate with human beings all over the world.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
I love exploring new areas of London, either by foot or bike, and going for runs along the Thames. I have, unfortunately for my bank balance, developed a taste for good sushi and love discovering new restaurants. When I get the chance to go home to Scotland, I always enjoy long walks in the hills or along the North East coastline.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
I did figure skating for many years when I was younger. My best memory was when the figure skating team did a routine to the song Is This The Way To Amarillo. It was a very proud moment.