Viola workshops

Robin Ireland

Robin Ireland

Robin Ireland was born in 1954, son of viola player Patrick Ireland and pianist Peggy Gray. He was a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral Choir School and studied at Cambridge University and at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He had a short spell as leader of the Las Palmas Symphony Orchestra and subsequently became a founder member of the Piano Quartet, Domus, which toured with its own portable concert hall (a geodesic dome) as well as having great success in more conventional venues.

Robin is well known as the violist of the Lindsay String Quartet, with whom he played for twenty years. The Lindsays were celebrated throughout the world for their intense and moving performances, and they made over fifty CDs for ASV, covering virtually all the major string quartet repertoire. Robin now plays with the Frith Piano  Quartet and the Anton Stadler piano/clarinet/viola trio, and has a duo with the pianist Tim Horton, with whom he has recorded a CD of Russian music including the Shostakovich Viola Sonata, released on the Nimbus label (CD available from Robin). As a soloist, he has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, performed Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Liverpool Philharmonic and the London Mozart Players, and has in his repertoire all the major works for viola. He specialises in recitals of unaccompanied Bach, transcribed for viola from the violin and cello works. His CD of Bach, which includes the Chaconne, is available on Quartz. His orchestral experience includes working as guest principal viola with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera North. 

Robin is Head of Chamber Music at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He also has taught at the University of Sheffield, on courses run by ESTA, Pro Corda and Cadenza, and at the International Sommerakademie fur Kammermusik in West Germany. During 2011 he was invited to coach chamber music regularly at the Yehudi Menuhin School. In South Yorkshire he  initiated an ongoing series of viola workshops to promote the viola and to improve the standard of viola playing, and he tutors string orchestra workshops in Sheffield. He is a keen student of the Alexander Technique and of Chi Kung, both of which influence his teaching.

Robin is also a composer. In 2005, Robin was commissioned by the University of Sheffield to write a string quartet for its centenary celebrations. This work, recorded by the Lindsays, features on a CD alongside Pairings (his three duos, for viola and cello, two violas, and violin and viola) released on the Meridian label. In the same year, he received funding from the Arts Council to collaborate with the poet Elizabeth Barrett and composed fifteen tone poems for solo viola which interleave with poems from her collection The Bat Detector (CD available from Robin). His set of twelve Concert Études for viola was published by Spartan Press in 2014, and in November that year a short piece for six violas The Deviant Jig, was premiered at the International Viola Congress in Portugal.

Robin has recorded CDs of unaccompanied Bach transcriptions (Quartz Records), the Shostakovich Sonata for Viola and Piano with Tim Horton (on Nimbus) and the two Brahms Sonatas for Viola and Piano alongside Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, also with Tim Horton on Nimbus.

Robin plays on an Amati viola made in the early 1600s and a modern Chris Tayler viola. He lives near Birmingham.

For more details of Robin's teaching and other information see

Robin can be contacted on 07980 275368



Robin is teaching in Birmingham, Sheffield and Rotherham (Ravenfield)

and may have vacancies for viola and violin pupils.

Lessons could be on a monthly basis or more often as preferred.  A trial lesson could be booked in the first instance.

Robin also offers one-off refresher or diagnostic lessons to amateur or professional viola and violin players.

Cost £45 per hour. For full details contact Robin on 07980 275368



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