Brodick Quartet / string quartet
The Brodick Quartet is comprised of four of Scotland’s most promising young string players, who are rapidly making a name for themselves in Scotland and beyond. Formed in 2016, the quartet’s recent performances have included Aberdeen Sound Festival, Brodick Hall (Arran), Cottiers Chamber Project, including major classical repertoire, cross-genre collaborations, and a UK premiere. Having individually studied at the Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the quartet became acquainted post-study whilst working in Glasgow with groups such as BBC SSO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, RSNO and London Concertante.
Ben Norris, violin I
Ben Norris was born in Perth, Scotland, and began his studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (junior department) with Joanne Green and Tony Moffat before going on to study at the Royal College of Music (London) with Yossi Zivoni, Radu Blidar and Lucy Russell.
Ben has a diverse performance schedule which sees him playing as an orchestral player, chamber musician and soloist. Recent concertos have included Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (Perth Symphony Orchestra), Vivaldi and Piazzolla Seasons (Ruthven festival) and Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy (Tayside Symphony Orchestra).
Chamber appearances and recitals have included guest directing London Concertante (as soloist in the Four Seasons, Bach Brandenburg Concertos, Bottesini Grand Duo Concertante amongst others), SCO Supporters’ concerts, performances at Perth Festival of the Arts, Leeds International Concert Series, London Handel Festival, Palace of Versailles (France), and performances in Italy and Australia, as well as broadcasts on the Radio and TV througout Europe.
Ben holds positions in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, leader of the Glasgow New Music Expedition, 1st violin of the Brodick Quartet, and regular director of London Concertante. He can also been seen performing with other ensembles around the country including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English National Opera and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
In his spare time, Ben is a keen rock and ice climber and hillwalker, and is only a hand-full short of completing the Munros.
Ben plays a 2015 Neil Ertz violin, a 1990 David Rubio violin and bows by Martin Devillers and Jutta Walcher.
Katrina Lee, violin II
Katrina Lee is a Yorkshire violinist, who began studying from the age of eight at the Kirklees Music School with Ralph Barker. In 2010 Katrina received a scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduating with first class honours in 2014 and with a masters in 2016, receiving the highest mark for her final recital under the tutelage of Andrea Gajic. Katrina was the grateful recipient of scholarships from the Conservatoire, Stephen Bell Trust and the Musicians’ Company Goldman award to fund her further studies.
During her time at the Conservatoire, she won several awards including the Ian D Watt award, Hilda Bailey Prize, Robert Highgate Scholarship and the Governors’ Recital Prize for Strings. Katrina was one of the finalists in the International Königin Sophie Charlotte
competition in Germany in 2014, playing in Mirow Castle, House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz for the final concert. As a chamber musician, she has won the Mabel Glover Prize for String Quartet and the Governors’ Recital Prize for Chamber music, with the Leopold String Quartet. After successfully auditioning in 2011, Katrina joined the Scottish Ensemble’s 2012 tour and performed at the Wigmore Hall in London alongside guest soloists Anthony Marwood, Lawrence Power and she was the Young Artist with the Ensemble in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 performing and touring with them all over Scotland.
Her playing work has taken her to places such as Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Macau, France, Germany, Iceland and Prague respectively. Future tours include going to Chile with her guitar partner Roberto Kuhn as the Escocia Duo.
Katrina has recently been appointed as the Principal 2nd Violin of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra and looks forward to joining them this autumn for their production of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
Liam Brolly, viola, is now pursuing a career in America, and the quartet is delighted to announce their new viola player will be Rhoslyn Lawton. Details to follow.
Alice Allen, cello
Alice Allen is from Banchory, Aberdeenshire, and recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a distinction in Masters of Music Performance. During her two years in Glasgow Alice has performed Saint-Saëns cello concerto in A minor with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and joined the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on their tour of India. Whilst on tour Alice also performed string quartet concerts with Nicola Benedetti. She has played with Glasgow’s Red Note Ensemble and in 2014 joined the Scottish Ensemble on their Young Artist Scheme for tours across the UK including London’s Wigmore Hall. Alice was the Scottish Ensembles Young Associate Artist for the 2015-16 season and the 2014 winner of the Dunbar-Gerber prize for chamber music playing with duo partner Julija Sadaunykaite. She is grateful to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Thomas and Margaret Rodden Trust for their generous scholarships.
Alice began learning cello at the age of 8 and attended Banchory Academy before moving to Manchester to study for her undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. Alice studied with Hannah Roberts and graduated with a first class honours degree. During her time at the RNCM, she was selected by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to work with them on their Professional Experience Scheme.
Alice can be seen performing with groups such as London Concertante, BBC SSO and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She is also the cellist in the Brodick String Quartet and is passionate about chamber music. She has participated in masterclasses and lessons with Rohan De Saram, Ralph Kirshbaum, David Watkin, Peter Wispelwey and Emma Ferrand and has received coaching from esteemed chamber musicians such as violinists Peter Cropper, Pavel Fischer, Peter Manning and clarinettist Matthew Hunt.
Alice enjoys playing a variety of music styles and has played at Celtic Connections alongside Scottish fiddlers Graham Mackenzie, Louise Bichan and Scots singer Robyn Stapleton. She has recorded and performed with bands such as Fat-suit and The Scott Wood Band. She is also a keen baroque player, performing alongside musicians such as Alison McGillivray and John Butt and John Kitchen. Alice has always had a keen interest in traditional Scottish music and has participated in many workshops with Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas on The Isle of Skye and in California.
When she is not playing, Alice likes nothing more than hillwalking, animals and the outdoors. She has a life long interest in the benefits of mediation and its cognitive behavioral changes. She loves trying food from different countries and spending time with family and friends.
Alice plays on an English cello circa 1780, Preston School.