Emily Bouwhuis is from Auckland, New Zealand, and started learning the violin at age six. In June 2013 she graduated from Auckland University with a BMus/BSc, majoring in performance violin and physiology, studying under Elizabeth Holowell. During her degree she performed in masterclasses with Feng Ning and Takako Nishizaki. In 2011, she was awarded the Auckland Youth Orchestra Freemasons Scholarship, and received the Carl and Alberta Rosenfeldt Prize for Chamber Music in 2013.
Emily is an active musician, having learned and performed in Chicago, Tokyo, throughout Europe, and New Zealand. She was principal second violin in the Auckland Youth Orchestra, and played in the Auckland University String and Symphony Orchestras. She was frequently concertmaster of the Devonport Chamber Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto in A Major with them in 2012. She has also played in the ARCO String Orchestra, Blackbird Ensemble, and the DSCH String Quartet. Many of her performances have been broadcast on Radio NZ Concert FM.
In November 2012, as second violin with the Rothko Quartet, she won the coveted Pettman/Royal Overseas League Chamber Music competition, resulting in a concert tour of the UK. The quartet performed in Devon, London (including concerts at St. Martin in the Fields and St. James Piccadilly), and throughout the Lake District. The tour ended with performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With Rothko, Emily participated in masterclasses with David Takeno, Simon Rowland Jones, Jon Thorne, Cara Berridge, Garfield Jackson, and the Chilingirian Quartet. The quartet also organised concerts in Germany and Luxembourg, and attended an intensive residency with the Kronos Quartet in Malta.
Outside of music, Emily enjoys travelling, good food, reading, and many sports and outdoor activities. She loves windsurfing, rock-climbing, skiing and snowboarding, and is a fiercely competitive field-hockey player, playing centre-half for Auckland University’s premiere women’s team.
Did you know? Emily is running the 2014 Oxford Half Marathon as part of a team of 25 Southbank Sinfonia musicians and staff. Find out more >
What is your earliest musical memory?
I was absolutely obsessed with the violin when I first started learning it. I remember when I was about 6 years old, I would wake up in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep, get out my violin, and start practicing. I actually used to get into trouble for wanting to practice too much, instead of doing other important things, such as sleeping!
If you could play another instrument, what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to sing! I can hold a melody, but to have a really great voice would be a lot of fun. It is nice to sing along while playing the guitar, and I would love to do a better job of it. Orchestrally, my other favourite instruments are the cello and french horn, and as much as I would love to be able to play them both, I’m thankful that the violin is lighter and easier to transport!
Emily’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by Elman Poole.