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Catherine Rimer

MMus, GRNCM, LRAM

‘The pulse of the piece was drawn by the finely-etched continuo line of Catherine Rimer’ - The Times

Catherine Rimer is an experienced and versatile cellist and teacher who performs internationally with leading ensembles on both period and modern instruments. She was born and raised in the North East of England and studied the cello with Emma Ferrand at the RNCM, Alexander Baillie at the RAM, Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music, New York and with Steven Isserlis at Prussia Cove, with the aid of numerous scholarships. As an undergraduate she had inspiring chamber coaching from Eli Goren, William Pleeth and the Amadeus, Bartòk and Smetana quartets. As a postgraduate in the US she pursued a new interest in historical performance practice with Paul O’Dette, Christel Thielmann and Malcolm Bilson, winning the J C Graue Fellowship for her Master’s. Since returning to the UK she has enjoyed a busy freelance career playing with leading ensembles on both period and modern instruments. In 2009 she received the honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music award (for former students who have made a significant contribution to the music profession).

She has been a member of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique since 1996, playing co-principal on numerous projects from Purcell to Stravinsky (including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage throughout 2000) and as continuo in the Monteverdi Choir's 50th Anniversary season at Buckingham Palace, Aldeburgh Festival, Château de Versailles (live webcast) and in Bach Motets at the BBC Proms. She has also been a member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for over 20 years, sharing the number two position and playing guest principal on occasion, including Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018. With these groups she has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Mexico, the Far East and Australia, accompanied world-class soloists and recorded many of the choral/orchestral masterpieces of the 18th-19th centuries.

Guest principal/continuo work includes concerts and recordings with Avison Ensemble, Classical Opera, Dunedin Consort, English Concert, English National Opera (Charpentier’s Medea, on bass violin), Ex Cathedra, Gabrieli Consort, Hanover Band, The King's Consort, Les Siècles, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Nicola Benedetti's Baroque Italia disc) and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and she joined the section of Mahler Chamber Orchestra for Abbado’s live recording of Mozart Die Zauberflöte.

Catherine is the cellist in the Florin Ensemble whose debut disc (featuring Mozart’s Divertimento K563) met with critical acclaim: 'a fine intense performance that bears witness to the mastery of the three players' - Gramophone. In 2015 they commissioned a new work for string trio by the distinguished composer Hugh Wood. Itháka was generously supported by grants from the Britten-Pears Foundation, the RVW Trust and the Swaledale Festival where they gave its world premiere in June 2016 followed by a second performance in the Cheltenham Festival. Chamber music has always featured strongly; with Configure8, as acting cellist of the Skampa Quartet on major European and American tours and as a guest of the Eroica Quartet on several occasions. She joined the principal players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht in ‘The Night Shift’ series 2017. As soloist she has performed concerti by Haydn, John Garth and Beethoven (Triple with Nadja Zwiener and Maggie Cole) on period instruments.

Catherine loves teaching and has been on the Historical Performance Faculty at the Royal College of Music since 2003, as well as coaching externally for the Purcell School and on Ithaca College's Exchange Programme. She co-led a three-day Bach workshop for Gardiner's Monteverdi Apprentice Scheme together with Kati Debretzeni in 2016 and in 2018 she was invited to give a Bach masterclass at the Eastman School, NY and to be the Lower Strings tutor for the Britten-Pears Young Artist's Programme (Handel's Theodora).

Faculties / departments: Historical Performance


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