Gemma Connor was born in Edinburgh. Having achieved a First Class Honours degree in Music Performance at Edinburgh Napier University, she gained considerable experience frequently appearing as a soloist, in ensemble, opera, recordings and orchestras including The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Sistema Scotland ‘Pop Up Orchestra’ with Gustavo Duhamel and The Universities of Scotland Symphony Orchestra participating in tours of Ireland, Holland and Belgium.
In 2014 Gemma received a scholarship to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on a two year Postgraduate Diploma Course in Music Performance studying with Alice Neary (Gould Piano Trio). Throughout 2014 -2016 she performed in masterclasses with Paul Watkins and Natalie Clein. She also successfully gained an orchestral placement for two years with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In November 2015, she appeared as principal cellist with the RWCMD symphony orchestra and chorus in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at St David’s Hall Cardiff with Carlo Rizzi. Gemma also appeared in an ensemble performance at the BBC Proms Portrait in London in a Radio 3 live broadcast performance of ‘The Secrets of Eros’ by B Tommy Andersson. In February 2016, she performed alongside the Royal Welsh Soloists in a Gala Concert at Buckingham Palace.
During her time in Cardiff Gemma gained considerable performance experience. She was a finalist in the RWCMD Concerto competition and semi-finalist in the Ian Stoutzker Music Prize 2016. Gemma has been privileged to receive a ‘Young Artist’ award at the Aboyne Cello Festival and performed in a solo concert series throughout 2016-2017.
In July 2016 she graduated with Distinction and moved to London to begin a two year Master of Arts (Music Performance at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Josephine Knight (Piatti Chair). Throughout her time at the Academy, Gemma performed with world class conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Manuel López Gómez. She performed in masterclasses and performance classes with Hannah Roberts, Li JiWu, Colin Carr, Felix Schmidt, Lionel Handy, Mario Brunello, Nadège Rochat and Steven Doane. In 2017, Gemma won the Derek Simpson Memorial Prize at the Royal Academy of Music.
Gemma graduated with a Master of Arts Distinction in 2018 and has since been freelancing throughout the UK, performing with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and embarking on UK and International musical theatre tours. Most recently she travelled to China for a 6 week tour of Maury Yeston’s Titanic the Musical. She is currently working with pianist George Fradley with plans to perform lunchtime and evening recitals throughout 2021.
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