TALENTED AND VERSATILE...
Athena first attempted to pick up her older sister’s (much too big) violin aged 2, and essentially hasn’t put it down since. When she was finally able to hold the violin aged 5, she started having proper lessons, and within 4 years was studying at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. There she won several prizes in piano, violin, and music theory, and studied both jazz and improvisation as well as classical violin and piano.
At 14, Athena became a member of the National Youth Orchestra where she remained for 4 years, being principal 2nd Violinist and then Co-Leader in her final two. Performing highlights included Mahler’s 9th symphony in the Berlin Konzerthaus and performing alongside her desk partner the 1st desk violin solo at the end of Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra at the Royal Albert Hall.
Athena studied Music at Oxford University, graduating with a First and the highest mark in Performance across her year. Following this she completed an MA in Violin Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with distinction and in addition being awarded a DipRAM for an outstanding mark in her final recital.
Athena had always enjoyed listening to and experimenting with playing other genres of music besides classical, but it was after she left Oxford that she began taking this more seriously as an avenue for her music-making.
Athena wanted to bring the technical and musical artistry of classical violin to the genres she enjoyed listening to, as well as expand the range of things she could do with the violin. This includes jazz techniques as well as experimenting with technology such as loop pedals and effects. She believes that now more than ever it is important to be a versatile musician, and that the boundaries between genres should be crossed.
As well as being a solo performer, she is also a member of a four piece country-pop band, Iris and Steel, who play both original songs and covers.
Athena enjoys tailoring her performances to the client and event and creating an electric atmosphere with her music. Being extremely adept at playing by ear, she is able to take requests even on the spot!
In addition to her violin playing, Athena is a keen pianist, earning distinction in her DipABRSM performance diploma at the age of 16, and does regular accompanying and teaching work on the piano.
She plays a John Wilkinson violin and a green and black Bridge Aquila electric violin.