Bed, MMus, ARCM, PGCE
It was hearing Ruggiero Ricci deliver some flashy left-hand pizzicato passages that inspired Brigid Kirkland-Wilson to take up the violin. She was all of five at the time and living in Hong Kong. Her first teacher was the erstwhile leader of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, a fiery Italian by the name of Arrigoa Foa.
A music scholarship to Cheltenham Ladies’ College brought her back to England, and lessons with Frederic Grinke, under whose tutelage she gained an Associated Board Silver medal for her grade6 practical exam. A Countess of Munster award allowed her then to study, whilst still at school, with Eli Goren at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she won the Alfred Gibson Prize at the age of 17. Further studies were with Maria Lidka at the Royal College of Music, where she gained honours in her ARCM, and with Max Rostal in Berne. Chamber music courses were enjoyed with Rudolf Baumgartner in Portugal. Living in London, she played with Maurice Clare and the Camerata, taught at St. Pauls Boys School, Queens College Harley Street, and the Junior Department at RCM.
Interested in first-hand knowledge of a then new violin teaching method, Brigid travelled to Japan to visit Suzuki, whilst giving recitals in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. On return to the UK she read Music and Philosophy at Goldsmiths College, and Baroque performance and related studies for her MMus. She started examining for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
Moving to the West Country opened up opportunities to work at Queens College in Taunton, Wellington School, and Wells Cathedral School. Brigid led various local orchestras, and started up a pre-school music class based on Eurhythmics and the Kodaly method. She has also coached on both Pro Corda and NCO courses. She now lives on the Gloucester/Herefordshire borders, teaches at Wells Cathedral School, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, and the Royal College of Music Junior Department. She examines Grades and Diplomas, both in this country and abroad, and is on the mentor panel for the CTABRSM scheme.
Brigid runs an Easter strings course for 8-13 year olds in Dorset, specifically to explore the various styles of English music from the baroque era to the present day (works are specially written by David Matthews). She also freelances on both standard and baroque instruments, and has played with Devon Baroque under Margaret Faultless, and Marches Baroque.