Meet Our New Principal Violas
5 September 2019
After an extensive two-year international search, we’re excited to welcome Hélène Clément and Ruth Gibson to Aurora as our two new Principal Violists. They will share the Principal Viola chair, joining our core group of 18 principal players. Both Hélène and Ruth have performed regularly with Aurora for a number of years, and we are thrilled to be continuing our musical journey with them.
Here’s a little introduction to both Hélène and Ruth:
A proud french wine lover, Hélène learned to combine it with the cheese delicacies found in England when she moved to London in 2013. She is the viola player of the Doric String Quartet with which she performs around the world. Hélène’s chamber music partners have included Nicolas Altstaedt, Jonathan Biss, Alina Ibragimova, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Mitsuko Uchida and Peter Wispelwey, as well as the Brentano String Quartet and the Nash Ensemble. She is a regular guest at the Marlboro Music Festival in America and Prussia Cove in England, and has performed at various world-renowned venues around the world, such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin and The Royal Concertgebouw. In addition to her performance career, Hélène teaches viola and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music of London. When her viola is safely at home, she can be found riding an old motorcycle across London.
Ruth loves communicating through music, taking on an open-minded approach to music-making, and pursuing a diversity of creative projects. As a Samaritan and qualified yoga teacher she strives for meaning and balance on and off the stage. Her recent collaborations have included a Mozart string quintet cycle with the Heath Quartet, Mozart piano quartets with the Linos Piano Trio, Reich and Harvey string quartets with the Hebrides Ensemble and a UK tour of Janáček Intimate Letters (from memory) and Written in Fire for quartet and electronics with the Singh Quartet. She is a member of Ensemble 360 and the Manchester Collective, and also regularly plays with Manchester Camerata, Nash Ensemble and the City of London Sinfonia. Ruth founded and directed the String Quartet Collective, the resident ensemble at the Royal College of Music (RCM) until 2016. In this innovative project, Ruth brought together players from different nationalities and generations for a week at a time, collaborating with RCM students and culminating with final performances, some of which were broadcast by the BBC. With the City of London Sinfonia, she is proud to be part of their outreach work year round, creating music with young people with psychiatric illnesses and patients in palliative care.