Catriona Hetherington

ARTFORMS: Music , Cello


Cellist, Catriona Hetherington, loves extremely challenging repertoire. A specialist in unaccompanied solo cello performance, she has given solo recitals throughout the UK including a performance of all six Bach Suites over two consecutive nights at the RSAMD, Glasgow.

In 2002, she won a Young Soloists Award which led to performances in the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C as well as live on Fox Television. Since November 2002 Catriona has been part of Live Music Now!, which was founded by the late Yehudi Menuhin.

A graduate with distinction of RSAMD, Catrìona won various prizes including the Governor’s Recital Prize (Strings), the Violoncello Challenge Prize and the Hilda Anderson Deane Prize.  Since graduating, she has studied with Robert Cohen in Lugano, Maria Kliegel and Anner Bylsma and has performed for Mstislav Rostropovich. 

Catriona is now undertaking an equally challenging practice-based PhD at the RSAMD into violinistic technique on the cello and the performance on the cello of the 24 Paganini Violin Caprices.

As part of her final submission, she will produce a DVD of demonstrations of violinistic techniques and performances of Paganini Violin Caprices Opus 1 for the cello together with written editions of the Caprices.

Early in 2006, as part of her research, Catriona went to the US to view the biggest cello archive in the world and to consult with 87-year-old cellist George Neikrug. Mr Neikrug was very enthusiastic and encouraging about her research and her own cello playing. In turn, Catriona was thrilled to meet one of the last living links to cellist Emanuel Feuermann, who lived in the first half of the 20th century, and was famous for playing the cello with the ease of a violinist.

How the Award Helped

Catriona received a Dewar Arts Award to support her doctoral research.

Since the Award

The original intention was for Catriona to submit for a PhD, however, because of the scope of her research, it was decided that submission for an MPhil was more appropriate.  In 2008 Catriona was successful in gaining an MPhil. It was written of her that "one of the most pleasing aspects of Catriona's work over the past three years is the intellectual and artistic journey she has made and the maturity of thought she has gained."

Catriona writes that she hopes that "given that this was research into very advanced cello playing, some cellists may take an interest and use my ideas to further their playing."

I am tremendously grateful for the Dewar Arts Award... every day I am thankful! Aside from practising really hard to get to grips with the Caprices myself, the documentation of the techniques is the hardest thing. In addition my brain is being forced to think more expansively than before… I'm relishing new challenges even if they're hard!