“Catherine Arlidge is not only one of our most inspiring, valued and unstinting musicians but also one of our strongest and most idealistic personalities.” – Sir Simon Rattle
In January 2014 Catherine became the first violinist – and only the third ever recipient – of the Royal Philharmonic Society and The Association of British Orchestras’ Salomon Prize, a prestigious award celebrating the outstanding contribution of orchestral players to the UK’s musical life. ‘A true advocate of the modern orchestral musician’, she was awarded the prize for devising numerous projects which connect young people with classical music, for ‘her great skill for motivating and inspiring colleagues, and for engaging with her audience.’
Catherine began playing the violin at the age of 5. At 13 she started to study with Sidney Griller, Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She went on to gain a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Manchester. In 1987 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and an Eastman Fellowship to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She completed a Masters degree there studying with Zvi Zeitlin. On her return to England she concluded her studies with Felix Andrievsky at the Royal College of Music.
In 1990 Sir Simon Rattle appointed Catherine Sub-Principal Second Violin of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has dedicated her professional life to performing, touring and recording with the CBSO, along side a busy programme of educational activities off the concert platform.
She was instrumental in creating the CBSO’s chamber music programme Centre Stage and has performed in this series alongside visiting solo artists including Pekka Kuusisto, Baiba Skride, Leonidas Kavakos, Daniel Müller-Schott and Christian Tetzlaff.
In 2014 she joined with her CBSO colleagues Helen Edgar, Bryony Morrison and Amy Thomas to create The Stringcredibles – a string quartet dedicated to exploring the relationship between classical performers and their audiences. Over the past five years they have performed to over 25,000 audience members outside of concert halls and as an independent charity, are supported by Arts Council England, trusts and foundations and many generous individuals.