... (nee Saunders) studied with Malcolm Layfield at Chethams School of Music before furthering her studies with Eli Goren at the Royal Northern College of Music, gaining a performance degree (PPRNCM) in 1983. During this time at the RNCM she was a member of the Britten Pears Orchestra working with soloists such as Murray Perahia and Rostropovitch. She was also involved with many chamber music courses held at Snape Maltings, tutored by quartets such as the Borodin and musicians William Pleeth and Hugh Maguire. Following this she continued her studies near Chicago, USA at the Northern Illinois University, studying with Shmuel Ashkenasi of the Vermeer quartet. She also enjoyed regular chamber music lessons with all members of the Vermeer Quartet.
In 1986 and 87 she joined the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon Portugal. In the following year she returned to England for a year ? freelance work with the Northern Sinfonia in Newcastle before becoming a member of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for seven years under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle.
Since leaving the CBSO she has married, had a daughter and now spends her time freelancing and teaching. Her hobbies include cosmology, running, cycling and kayaking.
Nicola Pearce autobiography
I began playing the cello and piano at the age of eight and soon realised that I wanted to become a cellist! At the age of 11 I was accepted to take lessons with Naomi Butterworth and at the age of twelve I won a music scholarship to study at St Margaret's/Exeter School, where I remained until 18.
I began my studies at The Royal Academy of music, London where I was taught by David Smith, and then with Naomi Butterworth at Trinity College of Music, London. During this time I played with the Britten Pears Orchestra and was principal cellist during 1996-1998. I was also principal cellist in Trinity College of Music's Chamber Orchestra, String Ensemble and Cello Ensemble. I have played in master classes with William Pleeth, Karina Georgian, Louis Claret, Eduado Vassallo (Manchester cello festival 1998), Colin Carr, Maud Tortelier, Michael Bochmann, The Alberni String Quartet, the Brodsky Quartet and the Endellion Quartet.
Whilst at college I was awarded the John Barbirolli Memorial Prize for Cello, Guivier Prize for a String Player, Vivian Joseph Award for Cello, John Ireland Chamber Music Prize, Leonard Smith Prize competition for Cello and Piano Duo. Our quartet also won a scholarship to attend the Musical Academia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and to represent the Academy giving concerts around Tuscany.
I have performed in the Royal Albert Hall, The Festival Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Snape Maltings and St John Smith's Square, London amongst many other venues in both orchestras and chamber ensembles. I have also performed Elgar's Cello Concerto, Saint Saens' Cello Concerto and Faure Elegie with the Exeter Symphony Orchestra. From 1999-2003 I worked at Westminster School, London where I taught the cello, conducted the junior orchestra and was a chamber music and orchestral coach. During this time I also did freelance work with orchestras around London and Buckinghamshire.
Since moving to North Wales in 2003 I have been teaching all ages and levels. I tutor the cellos in both our junior senior youth orchestras and conductor the Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Cello Ensemble. Currently I perform in the Menai String Quartet, Ensemble Cymru, Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia North Wales, as well as other freelance work. In January 2014 I was invited by Anup Kumar Biswas to give tuition, masterclasses and concerts at the Mathiason Music School, Calcutta, India.