Amira Bedrush-McDonald

YEAR OF AWARD: 2005
AGE AT AWARD: 22
ARTFORMS: Violin , Music
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Biography

According to her violin tutor at the RSAMD, Amira has 'star quality' and is quite simply the best violinist he has ever taught. Not only does she have an outstanding talent as a violinist, but she also has the ability to hold an audience. While still at the RSAMD in Glasgow Amira regularly brought the house down at student gigs with her techno-rock ceilidh group, which she formed with friends from school.

After she completed a Masters in music at the RSAMD, Amira could have begun a successful professional career, but she was encouraged to set her professional sights at the highest possible level.

She is currently in a postgraduate programme in Texas studying with leading violin tutor, Brian Lewis.
Shortly after arriving in Austin, Amira auditioned for the University Symphony Orchestra and was thrilled to be offered the post of Concertmaster.  In her first concert she played the solo violin part in Brahm's Symphony No. 1, which was extremely well received.  After a successful first year, Amira writes, "My dreams seem more accessible now."

How the Award Helped

Amira received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Texas Music School.

Since the Award

May 2007: After two years studying violin performance at the University of Texas with Brian Lewis, Amira graduated in May 2007 with a Master in Music and the "Outstanding Master of Music Recital Prize". She writes, "I feel incredibly fortunate that I was afforded the space, time and opportunity to learn such a great deal and also have the support and belief that I was capable of doing it."

Amira is now working in the UK as a full-time musician. She and fellow Dewar Award-winner, Genna Spinks, have formed a string duo.

March 2017: in 2015 I became a member of the 1st violins in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. For me, this is a dream job which has involved tours round Europe, India and the Far East, and has included making highly acclaimed recordings and also appearances at the BBC Proms. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the support from the Dewar Arts Awards 2005-2007 and know that my chosen career path might not have been possible without it.



I have surprised myself with the amount of progress I've made as a violinist and the whole experience is enabling me to grow in many ways I never expected. This opportunity would [have been] impossible without the kind support from the Dewar Arts Awards.