Cathy Irons played in the Kwa-Zulu
Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa before immigrating
to Christchurch in 1997. She is currently a first violinist and the
Community Engagement Project Leader for the Christchurch Symphony
Orchestra. She has broadcast on South African Radio and TV, Radio NZ
Concert, Plains FM and CTV and regularly performs recitals and chamber
music concerts throughout NZ.
Another string to her bow, is her cross-over jazz playing in her group, The Classical Jazz Quartet which played for the NZ Jazz and Blues Festival.
As a promising teenage pianist in South Africa, Cathy recorded and broadcast regularly for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and was invited to record several times on television. She also sang for the Pope, the late John Paul II in Rome while on tour with the Natal Youth Choir.
However, at the University of Natal, she began concentrating more on the violin and graduated with a distinction for her Bachelor of Music (4 years) specializing in Orchestral Performance.
She was awarded an AMI Professional Development Fund to study with Wilma Smith, Michael Dauth and Keith Crellin in Australia. She has participated in masterclasses with Shlomo Mintz, Sergey Malov and Anthony Marwood.
During her studies, and subsequently, she played with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Cathy immigrated to Christchurch in 1997 where she is a first violinist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO). She has acted concertmaster for both the Vector Wellington Sinfonia and CSO. She currently leads the Jubilate Chamber Orchestra.
Cathy tours South Island regularly giving talks at high schools and retirement homes, violin demonstrations and lessons, composition and arranging workshops and orchestral sectionals. She performs and gives feedback to young composers at the Composer Workshops held at Nelson each year. She has a small private teaching core of students in Christchurch.
Photo: Cathy playing for Jolt Dance at the Body Festival
"Children respond so readily to music. Playing for Jolt Dance gave me insight into the boundless imagination of children, expressed freely through their dance and movement."