Concert 6

17 March 2024

Fyrish String Quartet

Joe Hodson (violin 1)     ​Emma Donald (violin 2)
Sarah Leonard (viola)     ​ ​Tim Cais (cello)

The group

Formed in 2017, the Fyrish String Quartet is a young, vibrant ensemble. Each member excelled during their studies and collectively they have received tuition from some of the UK's leading musicians. The quartet has performed across Scotland, presenting varied programmes often combining classical and folk music. Whilst the ensemble enjoys playing much of the core string quartet repertoire, they also explore lesser known works and champion new music.

The players

Scottish violinist Joe Hodson grew up in Galloway and began his studies aged four. At fourteen, he commenced studies with Angus Anderson at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Junior department, ultimately relocating to Aberdeen to attend Aberdeen City Music School to access more intensive study. During his studies with Anderson, Joe achieved a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and was awarded a place to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014, where he learned with Justine Watts. During his degree Joe was co-leader of the Symphony and Opera Orchestras and leader of the Chamber Orchestra, whilst also taking on freelance work with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra in his final year. Upon graduating, Joe continued to work with Scottish Ballet and began to freelance for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and was involved in a cultural exchange with l’Orchestre de Picardie in Amiens, France.

From the Highlands of Scotland, Emma Donald has been playing the violin since the age of 8. Growing up, she enjoyed learning both classical and traditional Scottish music, and has strived to keep both passions running simultaneously. She has a first class honours degree in music from the University of Edinburgh, and she works full time as a freelance musician based in Glasgow. Emma plays for the Scottish Ballet orchestra, and is the leader of the Highland-based orchestra Mahler Players. Emma is an avid composer, and has a contemporary folk duo with harpist Isbel Pendlebury where they perform original compositions. As a studio musician, Emma has recorded violin for composers in the game, TV and film industries based in Scotland and the USA.

Sarah Leonard is from Glasgow and graduated from the RCS with a BMus Hons degree in 2012 and the RNCM with a Master of Music (Solo Performance) degree in 2014. Whilst studying music, Sarah won the RCS Mabel Glover String Quartet Prize and was a finalist in the RNCM Viola Prize. She has since gone on to perform with Goldfrapp, Evanescene, Rod Stewart, Hanson and Groove Armada. Sarah loves performing all genres of music, and finds it particularly exciting when those styles combine to create something new. She has performed with Manchester Camerata, including their Hacienda Classical Shows with DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering. Sarah also regularly performs with Kaleidoscope Orchestra and has performed in Cream Classical with K-Klass and Ministry of Sound Classical.

Tim Cais is a Scottish cellist, singer, teacher and arranger. He graduated from the Reid School of Music (University of Edinburgh) with a BMus (Hons), and has since performed across the UK and Europe with many orchestras, ensembles and choirs, Blackbird Opera, Magnetic Opera, Amicus, Ensemble Alba, Octavoce, the Glasgow Chamber Choir, and the Robin Chapel. He has been involved in session work with various bands and ensembles across Scotland. Tim teaches cello for East Lothian Council and Glasgow City Council as well as having a number of private students.

Tonight's programme

Haydn: String Quartet in Bb major 'Sunrise', Op 76, No. 4
Emma Jean: The Sound of Sleepless Kings
Traditional arr. Seonaid Aitken: Dark Lochnagar
Rebecca Clarke: Two Movements for String Quartet
Carl Nielsen: String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13

Buy tickets