Professional viola player Catriona Lightfoot started violin lessons at the tender age of two in Cork, Ireland where she grew up. Since then she has enjoyed an active and varied musical life. In college she delighted at the opportunity of playing the viola, as she had always loved the instrument. She is now a freelance viola player based in London and teaches viola and violin from her home in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. She has a passion for orchestral playing and chamber music and has performed extensively as a viola player across Europe with many prestigious orchestras and ensembles such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra, Stavanger Symnphony Orchestra and Wexford Opera Festival Orchestra.

Catriona graduated with a first class honours BMus Degree and Masters Degree in Viola Performance from the Cork School of Music where she studied with professors Adrian Petcu and Simon Aspell. Catriona won many internal awards from the college including the "Student of the Year Award" in her final two years and the "HETAC Bridget Doolan Memorial Prize".

Chamber Music
Since an early age Catriona has been passionate about chamber music. She was a member of the Quay String Quintet, prizewinners of the RTE Millennium Musician of the Future Ensemble Prize. With this group she performed for President Mary McAleese, was broadcast live on RTE television from the National Concert Hall and gave recitals in prestigious venues throughout Ireland and in France. Catriona has performed on two occasions at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and at the FIMNA Chamber Music Festival in Eugi, Spain. Currently she plays with the baroque quartet Retorika and various other chamber ensembles including performing with the London Concertante Chamber Ensemble at St Martin in the Fields, London and the New London Orchestra String Quartet at London City Hall for Lord Mayor Boris Johnson.

Orchestral work
Catriona has a keen interest in orchestral playing. Her recent orchestral experience includes working with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Irish Film Orchestra and the Wexford Opera Festival Orchestra.

Folk Music
Aside from classical music, Catriona also enjoys playing folk music, performing with many world musicians and is a member of the acclaimed world music band The Polskadots who are strongly influenced by the Finnish members of the band and they play many a Scandinavian tune and share a passion for gypsy music from Eastern Europe, South America, Russia and Turkey. They have performed throughout Ireland, Finland and in Berlin and have an exciting album ‘Join the Dots’.

Collaborations and Recordings
Catriona has recorded and collaborated with up and coming songwriters and well established artists of the Irish music industry. She has done recordings at Eastcote Studios - London, Windmill Studios - Dublin, Grouse Lodge Studios - Westmeath and has appeared live on the RTE Late Late Show. Catriona has performed or recorded with artists such as Bill Bailey, Sinead O’Connor, Rumer, Andrea Bocelli, Julian Lloyd-Webber, John Scofield, Declan O’Rourke, Micheal O’Suilleabhain, Phil Coulter, Tommy Fleming, Fred, Blake, Eamonn Cagney amongst many others.

She has participated in master-classes and coaching with a variety of acclaimed musicians including the RTE Vanbrugh String Quartet, St. Petersburg Quartet, Vilnius Quartet, Bruno Giuranna, Dr. Hugh Maguire, Ioan Davies, Martin Lovett, Howard Davies, Yfrah Neaman, Perrti Sutinen, Danilo Rossi, John Lynch amongst others.

Catriona has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland winning a Music Bursary Award in 2010. She plays on a Yann Besson viola and Arthur Bultitude bow.

Copyright © 2015 Catriona Lightfoot
Catriona works for CJ Lightfoot Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 08891822. Registered office: 18 Doddington Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 2JG, United Kingdom.