Elizabeth Layton

Elizabeth Layton was born in London and studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School. She continued her studies as a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School, New York, at the Banff Centre, Canada, and with Sandor Vegh in Salzburg and Prussia Cove. Full scholarships to the Aspen Festival enabled her to work closely with the Juilliard and Cleveland String Quartets.

Returning to the UK, Elizabeth was a prizewinner in the NFMS and Young Concert Artists Trust Competitions, which led to her South Bank and Wigmore Hall debuts. She appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Bournemouth Symphony, English Sinfonia, Calgary Philharmonic, City of Barcelona Symphony, Lahti Symphony and many others. Festival appearances include Bath, Windsor, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Valencia, Gstaad and numerous music societies.

At the age of twelve, Elizabeth was invited to join Hephzibah and Yehudi Menuhin for a chamber music concert to celebrate the latter's Golden Jubilee, broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall, London. Since then she has performed with many other distinguished chamber musicians, including Yuri Bashmet, Zara Nelsova, Schlomo Mintz, Rudolph Buchbinder and Artur Pizzarro.

She has toured and recorded extensively with the Nash Ensemble, giving concerts in Europe, North America, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand and was also a member of Trio Zingara. Among appearances at major international festivals, were recordings of complete piano trios of Beethoven (nominated for a Gramophone Award) as well as trios of Ravel, Schubert and Shostakovich. Other discs include violin and piano works of Schubert (Daily Telegraph 'CD Choice') and chamber music for DG, Hyperion, BIS and Chandos.

In 1997 Elizabeth was appointed Associate Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, recording and touring with them worldwide, and appearing frequently as soloist with Iona Brown in concerti of Vivaldi, Bach and Tippett.

In 1999, she became Leader of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Elizabeth appeared regularly as soloist with the orchestra, working with conductors such as Osmo Vanska, Ilan Volkov, Martyn Brabbins and Jerzy Maksymiuk. She also regularly directed the orchestra from the violin, with soloists Michael Collins, Martin Roscoe and Alison Balsom, performances all broadcast by the BBC. Other guest directing appearances included the Manchester Camerata, Scottish Ensemble and Ambache Ensemble.

A commitment to contemporary music has seen the BBC broadcasting a number of her other solo performances, in works of Dutilleux, Cresswell, Knussen, van der Aa and Scelsi. In 2010 she was soloist in a critically acclaimed CD of Jonathan Harvey's 'Scena' with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov.

Elizabeth has had strong links with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow, working as Professor of Violin. She also formed the Academy String Ensemble, working closely with students to perform concerts throughout Scotland.

Elizabeth Layton moved to Australia with her family in 2010.

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October 2018

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