Laura Embrey

Award: Postgraduate Award

Year: 2020

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Violin

Location: Royal College of Music


Laura is a postgraduate violinist studying at the Royal College of Music in London with Professor Gaby Lester. She graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a First Class BMus honours degree. She previously studied with Professor Benedict Holland, Lyn Fletcher, and Professor Detlef Hahn.

As a soloist, Laura was a finalist in the RNCM Norman George Scholarship competition, 2018 and 2016. In the North London Festival, she was a Prizewinner in the 2018 D’Addario String Competition, and runner-up in her recital category, 2019. She holds an ABRSM Diploma in Violin Performance. Solo performances with orchestra include Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5, Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, and Beethoven’s Romance in F. Laura has been selected for masterclasses with Yair Kless, Marianne Piketty, Mauricio Fuks, Frederieke Saeijs and Ning Feng.

Awarded a Cambridge University Instrumental Award Scheme Scholarship for chamber music, she has been selected for RNCM Spotlight and Monday Recital Series concerts as both a soloist and chamber musician. She has represented the RCM and RNCM as a recitalist nationwide.

Laura has held appointments as leader of the RNCM First Year String Orchestra, RNCM Strings Festival Dove Orchestra, and the Hallé Youth Orchestra. Laura has also undertaken freelance work with the Hallé Orchestra, and as a member of the RCM Orchestral Freelance List. Interested in contemporary music, Laura collaborated on a new commission for the Northern Ballet School. She recorded new commissions by RCM postgraduate composers for commercial projects.

Interested in music research, Laura presented at the 2020 conference ‘Musical Women in Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century’. At age thirteen, the ABRSM awarded her the Hedy King Robinson prize for music theory and the following year, Laura achieved a distinction in her AMusTCL Diploma from Trinity College London.
Laura plays an 1876 violin by George Gemunder, and is proud to be supported by Help Musicians.

I am immensely grateful to be the recipient of a Postgraduate Award from Help Musicians, enabling me to study the MMus in Performance degree at the Royal College of Music. My postgraduate award makes a massive impact to my studies, alleviating the burden of course, rent and travel costs. With the money from Help Musicians I have the freedom to focus on my studies and my progression as an artist.

Due to this year’s grant I have been able to work on exciting projects, which were unpaid but have been invaluable experience. This included the contemporary Illuminate concert in the RCM Chamber Music Festival. My paper and conference presentation on identity politics in the career of Teresa Milanollo was an opportunity to network and gain recognition for a future research career. I have been able to test a successful prototype for managing my own concerts, which I aim to expand this year. Many business plans take time to become established. In this sense my award can give me the opportunity to create long-term performance projects that may be profitable in the future.