Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen is one of Britain's most active concerto soloists and recitalists, with a vast repertory encompassing both standard works and new commissions.
She is in-demand at summer festivals in Britain and abroad.
Waley-Cohen was born in London in 1986. Her father, Stephen Waley-Cohen, was a financial journalist (and baronet); composer Freya Waley-Cohen is her sister. She saw a BBC Proms concert on television at age two and resolved to become a violinist. Waley-Cohen studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Itzhak Rashkovsky. She also took master classes with Ida Haendel, Igor Ozim, and Ruggiero Ricci; the latter became a major backer of her early career. That career was bolstered by significant awards, including String Player of the Year from the RCM in 2005, the Royal Overseas String Prize in the same year, and the J & A Beare Solo Bach Competition in 2007. That led to a career that has included appearances with top orchestras in many countries, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony. A special collaboration has been that with the Orchestra of the Swan, where Waley-Cohen has twice served as an associate artist. She is an enthusiastic chamber player who has performed and recorded with pianists James Baillieu and Huw Watkins, among many others. Waley-Cohen is a founder of the Albion String Quartet. She performed at numerous summer festivals and became the artistic director of the Two Moors Festival, the Tricycle Theatre's music series in London, and of the Bargello Festival in Florence, Italy. An advocate for contemporary music, Waley-Cohen collaborated with her sister Freya and architects Finbarr O'Dempsey and Andrew Skulina on the 2017 interactive performance artwork Permutations. Her plans for 2020 included the premiere of Watkins' Concertino, a work composed for her.
Waley-Cohen made her recording debut in 2013 on the Champs Hill label with An American in Paris, a recital featuring works by Gershwin, Poulenc, and Ravel. She moved to Signum Classics the following year for a recording of Mendelssohn's early Violin Concerto in D minor, and she has recorded for that label ever since. In 2020, Waley-Cohen and Watkins released a recording of three violin-and-piano sonatas of Beethoven.