Association of British Orchestras

Catherine Arlidge MBE


In January 2014 Catherine became the first violinist - and only the third ever recipient - of the Royal Philharmonic Society and The Association of British Orchestras’ Salomon Prize, a prestigious award celebrating the outstanding contribution of orchestral players to the UK’s musical life. ‘A true advocate of the modern orchestral musician’, she was awarded the prize for devising numerous projects which connect young people with classical music, for ‘her great skill for motivating and inspiring colleagues, and for engaging with her audience.’

Catherine began playing the violin at the age of 5. At 13 she started to study with Sidney Griller, Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She went on to gain a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Manchester. In 1987 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and an Eastman Fellowship to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She completed a Masters degree there studying with Zvi Zeitlin. On her return to England she concluded her studies with Felix Andrievsky at the Royal College of Music.

In 1990 Sir Simon Rattle appointed Catherine Sub-Principal Second Violin of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has dedicated her professional life to performing, touring and recording with the CBSO, along side a busy programme of educational activities off the concert platform.

Catherine is a regular presenter of the CBSO’s Schools Concerts and Family Concerts. In 2006 she created Notelets - a highly popular series of interactive performances for pre school children. She works regularly in schools, exploring creative music making and composition, through collaborations with teachers, actors, composers, visual artists, authors and dancers. Her string quartet, The Stringcredibles, are dedicated to inspiring creativity, supporting instrumental learning and extending the school curriculum.

Catherine’s latest project, Clock onto Safety, a collaboration with DBS Law and Birmingham City Council, is a performance which uses music and CBSO musicians to teach young children to cross the road safely. In 2013 these performances were awarded a Jaguar Land Rover Business Champions for Arts and Business Award.

From 2011-2013 Catherine was one of the two elected Player Trustees of the CBSO.

She lives in Harborne, Birmingham with her husband Jonathan, and their 3 children, Katie, Lucy and Ben.

Annual Conference

The next conference will be held in London from 10-12 March 2021,
hosted by London Mozart Players and Fairfield Halls.