Bassoon, Piano, Theory, Aural,
Senior Wind Ensemble, Chamber Music
Catherine Baker studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. It was during her four years at college that Catherine began gainingvaluable orchestral experience taking part in overseas tours organised by the college Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and playing externally with most of the North’s leading orchestras including the Halle, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, The B.B.C. and Opera North.
As well as graduating with honours, Catherine was also the recipient of the Lucy Pierce Award for bassoon playing and the Maime Woods Exhibition Prize for outstanding achievement.
Being particularly interested in introducing classical music to a much wider audience, Catherine was inspired to form her own Chamber Group – ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ – a highly successful ensemble promoting creative learning and performing in schools, hospitals, hospices, care homes and prisons. As well as prestigious work with Music Societies throughout England, the group has also been privileged to work with physically challenged children and young people with learning difficulties
Catherine has enjoyed many professional positions including Principal Bassoon with Northern Chamber orchestra, Northern Ballet Theatre, N.O.E.L. Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra and sub-principal bassoon with Manchester Camerata and Camerata Wind Soloists. In between fulfilling her engagements with the above contracted orchestras, Catherine has been privileged to work with the Halle Orchestra, the B.B.C., the Goldberg Ensemble, the London Mozart Players, the Capricci Chamber Orchestra, the R.L.P.O., The East of England Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia, Opera North, the London Concert Orchestra and the R.T.E. Orchestra – Dublin.
Catherine has enjoyed extensive opportunities to travel and has visited fascinating places – Japan, Istanbul, Halle, Vienna, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, France, and numerous other European Countries. Closer to home, she has made two Wigmore Hall appearances and been involved in Chamber music at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as playing at most of London’s prestigious venues. Catherine has been involved in television productions, live radio recordings for the BBC and has featured on a number of critically acclaimed C.D.s with well-known record labels. Being passionate about teaching, she has taught in Private Schools as well as privately at home and her success rate for pupils taking A.B. exams is 100%. She has been successful too at getting many pupils into top musical establishments and continues to enjoy the challenge of teaching! She has been the senior woodwind coach for Yorkshire Youth Orchestra since its inception in 1996.
Catherine’s special areas of interest include using accelerative learning techniques, N.L.P. and helping people with dyslexia.