Described in The Strad magazine as “a talent to watch”, Alexandra Wood is fast establishing herself as one of the most dynamic, versatile violinists of her generation. She has given recitals for various international festivals including Brighton, Bath, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Huddersfield, Newbury, King’s Lynn, Deal, Windsor and Edinburgh, as well as appearing in prestigious venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, Kings Place and in the BBC Proms.
Alexandra graduated with a starred double first from Selwyn College, Cambridge before going on to the Royal College of Music in London, where she was President Emerita Scholar and studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky. She was subsequently awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Medal and held both the Mills Williams and Phoebe Benham Junior Fellowships.
Amongst her many achievements on the competition platform she has become one of the first British violinists to win major prizes at prestigious International Violin Competitions, including the Wieniawski, Tibor Varga, Yampolsky and Rodolfo Lipizer competitions. She won 1st prizes in the International Young Musicians Platform and the Haverhill Sinfonia International Soloists Competition, and she is also a prize-winner of the Royal Overseas League Music Competition. Alexandra has received awards from the Countess of Munster, Emily English, Myra Hess and Craxton Memorial Trusts, the Hattori Foundation and Allcard Grant Fund, PO/Martin Musical Scholarships, Raymond Fox Bursary and the Emanuel Hurwitz Prize. She was selected for the Tillett Trust Young Artists Platform, was also an NFMS Recommended Artist and won a Wingate Scholarship.
Alexandra gave her South Bank debut back in 2001 (as part of the Park Lane Group’s Young Artists’ Recital Series) where she was described in the Observer as “a fiery violinist” and in The Times as “ highly charged yet imaginatively refined” in a piece which “demanded quite extraordinary physical and imaginative dexterity from the players”. She has also given London recitals promoted by the Fresh Series, Kirckman Concert Society, and the Maisie Lewis Award. Alexandra has appeared as soloist with various orchestras, including the Philharmonia, City of London Sinfonia, and the OSJ collaborating with conductors including Richard Hickox, Martyn Brabbins and Sir Roger Norrington. She has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, for Classic FM, Polsat Polish Radio and for the Radio Suisse Romande. She recently released a new CD of world premiere recordings, described in The Sunday Times as “splendid”, and BBC Music Magazine as “agile, incisive and impassioned”. 2009 sees the premiere of a new violin concerto written for her by Hugh Wood, and the publication of the ABRSM Spectrum for Violin Volume which she has compiled.
Alexandra has led orchestras and ensembles under the batons of Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Tom Ades, Pierre Boulez, and Oliver Knussen. She regularly leads Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with whom she appeared in Carnegie Hall in 2008, and has guest led other ensembles including London Sinfonietta, Radius, Chroma and Insomnio (Netherlands) Alexandra also teaches at Birmingham Conservatoire.
She plays a violin made by Nicolo Gagliano in 1767. This instrument was purchased with generous assistance from the Countess of Munster Trust, Abbado Trust, Loan Fund for Musical Instruments and St. James’ Place Partnership.
birmingham chamber orchestra