Afton Strings

Trio, Quartet or String Orchestra, we can provide the perfect accompaniment to your event 

Our players

Mark Wilson

Violin

Mark studied London University, the RSAMD and the RAM under three distinguished professors: Frances Mason, Miles Baster and Maurice Hasson. On graduating from the RAM, Mark co- founded the Solaris Quartet  with whom he played first violin for 8 years, giving recitals in many of the country’s leading concert halls including the Purcell Room and Royal Festival Hall in London’s South Bank Centre. He then accepted an invitation to become the concertmaster of the Orquestra de Câmara do Estado de Mato Grosso in Brazil and went on to give several concerto appearances with the ensemble, as well as featuring on the orchestras DVD releases.

Since Mark’s return to the UK in January 2008, he has been in high demand as a freelance violinist (playing with, amongst others, the Birmingham Royal Ballet orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra and the Scottish Ballet orchestra), chamber musician and a soloist.


Mark’s solo appearances include premieres of concertos by Neil Crossland (2016) and Steve Law (2015). He has also performed works for violin and orchestra: 

Kenneth Leighton Concerto;

Vaughan - Williams The Lark ascending; Tchaikovsky concerto;

Bruch Scottish Fantasy;

Vivaldi Four Seasons,

Mozart A Major Concerto

Elgar Violin Concerto

Brahms Violin Concerto


website: www.markwilsonviolin.webs.com

Nina Kopparhed

Violin, viola and soprano

Nina Kopparhed is a professional violinist, viola player and  soprano.

After graduating from the Birmingham Conservatoire, Nina lived and worked in London for several years. Nina then worked in Brazil lfor two years as principal viola with the Orquestra de Câmara do Estado de Mato Grosso. Nina now lives part time in London and Scotland.


Nina has many years experience as a session musician, chamber musician and orchestral freelancer. She has freelanced with the RSNO and Scottish Ballet, as well as many other orchestras and ensembles. Recent work includes a tour with Secret opera as solo violinist/violist for their production of CarMen (2016), as well as playing for "Mozart and Salieri" at the Grimeborn Festival (2016).


website (singing) www.ninakopparhed.com

Michael Beeston

Viola

Michael is one of the UK's most distinguished and recognised musicians.

He graduated with distinction from the Royal Manchester College of Music where his teachers were Frederick Riddle, Alexandre Moskovsky and Cecil Cohen.  Moving to Scotland to become co-principal violist with the BBC Scottish Orchestra, Michael has also been a guest principal player with the Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and others.

During this time, he spent 40 years as violist with the celebrated Edinburgh Quartet, travelling throughout much of the world, broadcasting and making many acclaimed CD recordings.  He is perhaps particularly known for his championship of the music of Kenneth Leighton and Hans Gal, having partnered the latter in a series of concerts and broadcasts of the composer's works for viola and piano.

Ilse McFarlane

Cello

Ilse started learning the cello at the age of six and four years later was awarded a scholarship to study with Florence Hooten of the Royal Academy of Music.  She has since studied with Eileen Croxford of the Royal College of Music, Ulrich Heinen of the Royal Northern College of Music and John Todd of the Coull String Quartet.  Concerto performances have taken her to London, Warwick, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Italy, Belgium and the Czech Republic.  However, her main love has always been chamber music and she has performed extensively as a member of the Richey String Quartet, the Salon Quartet, Contrasts Chamber Ensemble and the Warwick Piano Trio.

 Having worked for several years as a Computer Systems Engineer and Ergonomist, Ilse could no longer resist the lure of music and is now a teacher and freelance player based in Central Scotland.

Feargus Egan

Cello

eargus has recently graduated from the RCM with a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction, where he studied with Melissa Phelps. While studying there he was a scholar supported by the Bliss Trust. In 2011 he graduated with a BMus from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with first class honours.At the RCM he was a member of the Arbellio string quartet, winning the Helen Just and Susan Connell prize, and attending the 7th Trondheim International Chamber Music Academy. Feargus performed with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera on their apprenticeship scheme in 2010, in an award-winning world premiere version of Prokofiev’s War and Peace.In February and April 2011 he performed in tours with the Scottish Ensemble, and most recently was section co-principal of the RCM Symphony orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink.Feargus has travelled widely as principal cello of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Camerata Scotland and contemporary ensemble NYOS Futures, touring Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Holland and Poland.

Review: Recitals

...a delightful evening.

The standard throughout was extraordinarily fine both musically and technically, not least in the fiendishly difficult Moeran String Trio which appeared effortless.

Robert Lind, about Afton Strings' recital at Moffat Music Sociey, March 4th, 2016
 

Testimonials: weddings

Well what can I say you guys were absolutely amazing on our wedding day!! The amount of guests that commented on your playing and who were almost crying to the Braveheart music or other pieces at some point was crazy!!

Thank you for being part of our big day and for helping it run as smoothly as it did it really couldn't have went any better....

You guys are clearly very very talented at what you do and I can't comment highly enough how good you are!!

Thanks for everything!
A&P, Ceremony and reception, Lochside House Hotel, March 2016
The quartet's participation and contribution to  J and O's wedding  on Saturday was superb. We have had many, many complimentary comments  about the beautiful sound made by the group and how it created a wonderful atmosphere before,during and after the ceremony. We had friends and family from Australia, Canada, United States, the Caribbean and many more European countries plus, of course, Kilmarnock! Now the quartet's fine playing will be getting talked about,literally, world wide!

Thank you for helping to make J and O's wedding day truly memorable.
G.P, ceremony and reception,
Rowallan Castle, June 2016
 

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