14 March 2019
Julia was born and bred in Yorkshire and attended Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. At the age of 18 she was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music to study violin with Eli Goren. She went on to postgraduate study at Nice Conservatoire, France to learn with one of Oistrakh's pupils, Danielle Artur, (who she describes as terrifying!). After being awarded Premier Prix for Violin, she joined the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, the youngest member, at the age of 22.
She spent 15 happy years at her beloved BBC Phil recording CDs, performing in concerts and getting through an encyclopaedia of repertoire every week, noting that in this period she finally learnt to sight read! She also taught violin at Manchester University and became BBC Philharmonic's Orchestral Mentor, training postgraduate students at the RNCM in orchestral technique – her top tip is always offer to buy the tea at the first rehearsal. She went back to University to take a Master's degree in Performance and also became a member of the Degani String Quartet which were featured in Young Composer's Competition on TV’s BBC 2, many moons ago.
In 2001 Julia met her husband, Malcolm, who is an orchestral manager in London, and she made the move “down south”. The London freelance scene kept her busy, playing with English Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, English National Opera and Philharmonia orchestras. During her career, she has also been invited to the Ulster Orchestra as guest leader and guest principal second violin for the Hallé and BBC Concert Orchestras. Teaching posts have taken her to the London College of Music and Hampton School and currently she teaches at Danes Hill School in Oxshott and Tiffin Girl's School in Kingston.
Malcolm and Julia have two sons, Alasdair and Cameron, who are carrying on the family musical tradition. They both attend the Junior Guildhall School of Music on a Saturday; Alasdair studies composition, piano and cello and Cameron is a horn player and pianist. They live in leafy Surrey with their beloved spaniel, Louie and a cat called Guiseppe Verdi, who terrifies the dog.