Niamh Aston – Viola

Originally from Co. Monaghan in Ireland, Niamh studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she was awarded the Vera Smart Scholarship and completed a BMus (Hons) degree in performance with distinction. In March 2010, during her final year at college, she was offered the position of Violist with the Mavron Quartet. The quartet regularly performs recitals at St David’s Hall, as the concert hall’s first Ensemble in Residence and has also played for members of the royal family and ministers, at venues including Buckingham Palace and Lancaster House. Collaboration projects with the Mavron Quartet include recitals with Llŷr Williams, harpist Deborah Henson-Conant, storyteller Liz Weir and clarinettist Michael Collins.

Niamh has performed with a number of professional orchestras, including the Northern Ballet Sinfonia. She has been Principal Viola of the British Sinfonietta, the Cinematic Sinfonia and the Welsh Session Orchestra since 2010, which has given her the opportunity to tour throughout the UK and Scandinavia, performing with artists such as Alfie Boe, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Karl Jenkins. Niamh is also Co-Principal of The Welsh Sinfonia and plays with Sinfonia Cymru, with whom she recorded Karl Jenkins’ latest large-scale work at Abbey Road studios and played with Bryn Terfel and Sting at The Royal Albert Hall. She has played with a wide variety of artists, ranging from classical to pop, which have been broadcast on BBC, ITV and S4C. These include John Cale, Charlotte Church, Catrin Finch, Katherine Jenkins, Pink Martini, Only Men Aloud, Russell Watson and Kanye West. A particular highlight was teaching Benedict Cumberbatch the fundamentals of playing the violin for his starring role in BBC One’s Sherlock.