Simone van der Giessen
Simone van der Giessen (viola) was born in Amsterdam in 1984. She started to play the violin at the age of five and received private tuition from Julia Veerling and Jeroen de Groot. In September 2002 she moved to Manchester to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Jan Repko and in 2004 she began studying viola with Predrag Katanic. After graduating in June 2006 with First Class Honours she won the RNCM’s Cecil Aronowitz Prize for viola and performed Walton’s concerto for viola with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in June 2007. In 2009 she performed in the Royal Festival Hall with pianist Amy de Sybel after receiving a Martin Music Scholarship. Simone has performed in masterclasses with Garfield Jackson, Isabel Charisius and Thomas Riebl and attended various festivals such as The California Summer Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival and The International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove in Cornwall. She recently earned her Masters degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, studying viola with David Takeno. Simone plays on a mid 19th Century English viola of an unknown maker.