GAIA - Ensemble in Residence at
Chamber Music Scotland's Showcase Concert - 2019
GAIA are an award winning violin and cello duo, comprising two of Scotland’s most distinguished chamber musicians - Katrina Lee and Alice Allen. Winners of Chamber Music Scotland highly competitive and prestigious two year residency, GAIA are at the forefront of innovative and pioneering programming with exciting, bold and daring performances that push the boundaries of string duo performance and creative programming. Their impressive and growing collection of bespoke commissions from world renowned composers includes Sally Beamish, Kim Moore (Sound designer for SuperFan, Nose Dive), and Duncan Strachan (Maxwell Quartet). GAIA celebrate and champion works by under-represented voices within classical music and their commitment to spotlight historical works by uncredited women composers sees them explore current issues of gender inequality within classical music, making them one of today's the most exciting and dynamic duos of our times.
Both Alice and Katrina are previous Scottish Ensemble Young Artists and between them boast an impressive array of instrumental awards. During her time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Katrina was recipient of every string prize awarded by the Conservatoire. She was also the recipient of the International Konigin Sophie Charlotte competition for Violin. During Alice’s two year masters at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland she was recipient of the Durbar-Gerber Chamber Music Award, Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust Scholarship and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. Whilst studying at the Royal Northern College of Music Alice was winner of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s professional experience scheme.
GAIA are regular performers at the Royal Conservatoire’s annual PLUG Contemporary Music Festival, which showcases the talent of current composition students. GAIA were recently commissioned by the world renowned Courtauld Gallery in London, to compose a piece of music inspired by Claude Monet’s 'Antibes' from the gallery's extensive collection of prized art. Other recent highlights include an award winning performance of Konstantinos Terzakis piece ‘Invisible Sound’ which saw the composer awarded second prize at the 4th International Composer Award in Vienna. This outstanding ensemble regularly work on cross-arts collaboration, and their work with award winning Glasgow based artist Jennifer Wicks has been showcased by Centre for Contemporary Arts.
Alice and Katrina are co-founders of the Scottish Freelancers Ensemble, formed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, helping our community of freelance musicians support each other to keep our art alive.
Alice Allen - Cello
Alice Allen is from Banchory and has worked with many of Scotland’s leading groups including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, London Concertante, Concerto Caledonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and 13 North. Alongside this she has played traditional scottish music on cello from a young age having studied with leading instrumentalist Natalie Haas on the Isle of Skye. Alice has recorded with many leading folk artists including former BBC young traditional musician of the year Robyn Stapleton, WHYTE, Manran and Rura. She is one third of new folk trio LYRE, alongside Marit Falt and Patsy Reid, who debuted at Celtic Connections 2021. She teaches Scottish Cello at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In 2020 Alice released her debut album with Nyckelharpa player Gabi Maas, and continues her work with Scottish traditional duo partner, fiddler Alistair Savage (BBC SSO). Her own work draws on her experience in both classical and folk music. She is passionate about the role of the musician as curator, creator and performer and is in high demand across the UK as a recording artist, regularly working with and collaborating with Christian Henson (Spitfire Audio). Alice’s solo work draws on a range of influences including the natural world, cross genre collaborations and acoustic sound manipulation. She is currently embarking on a part time PhD, exploring the role of the cello in Scottish Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and University of Glasgow, kindly supported by The Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities.
For more information visit aliceallencello.com
Katrina Lee - Violin
Katrina Lee is a violinist from Yorkshire, who began studying at the Kirklees Music School with Ralph Barker under the generous sponsorship of Stephen Bell. After winning numerous prizes in local competitions, Katrina decided to pursue a career in music and in 2010 received a scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; graduating with first class honours in 2014 and masters of music in 2016 under the tutelage of Andrea Gajic.
In 2017, Katrina was appointed the Principal 2nd Violin position with the orchestra of Scottish Ballet and has enjoyed learning all of the rich ballet repertoire including Swan Lake, Nutcracker and most recently Prokofiev’s enchanting ‘Cinderella’. As well as Scottish Ballet, Katrina works regularly with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and has performed with orchestras all around the UK including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC symphony, Northern Sinfonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
As well as orchestral playing, Katrina loves chamber music and is in the Brodick String Quartet and the Escocia duo, a Violin and Classical Guitar duo. Her playing work has taken her to lots of countries including most recent the Lincoln Centre in New York. Other places include China, South America, Hong Kong, Canada, Iceland, Italy and Prague. Katrina plays on a modern violin (2003) based on a Guaneri del Gesu by Andrew Fairfax and a bow (1955) by Louis Henri Gillet.
For more information visit: katrinaleeviolin.com