Cambridge International String Academy 2013

Specialising in the transition from student to professional


Rodney Friend - Artistic Director

Stephen Shipps - Managing Director


Rodney Friend
Stephen Shipps
Simon James
Josef Spacek
Ivan Straus

Rohan De Silva
Mi Eun Kimj


Heather Kendrick
(PA to Managing Director)

Anna Stokes

(PA to Artistic Director)

 "Just walking into Cambridge is like stepping into a perfect little fantasy world...I can only imagine how much information and inspiration the students have absorbed, how much their playing and futures have changed, and wish just a tiny bit that I were in their shoes"

Ariane Todes, Editor, The Strad


Rodney Friend - Violin

Rodney Friend is recognised internationally as one of the most outstanding English born violinists. As a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster, director and teacher, he has appeared worldwide with the greatest musicians of the last fifty years. He made his London debut playing Sibelius concerto with the Halle Orchestra and his American debut playing Britten concerto with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Centre. He has performed extensively as concerto soloist with major orchestras in Europe, North and South America, Scandinavia and the Far East under such conductors as Haitink, Boulez, Bernstein, Barbirolli, Mehta, Leinsdorf, Solti, Giulini, Davis and Roszdestvensky. Amongst his many recordings, his performances with the London Philharmonic of the Britten and Bach concertos for EMI received the highest critical acclaim.

In 1991 he formed the Solomon Trio with whom he toured Europe extensively, playing at such venues as La Scala Milan and recording much of the great trio literature for Carlton Records. It is however as a Concertmaster, where his experience and reputation is legendary. In 1964 he became the youngest ever leader of the London Philharmonic, working closely with Bernard Haitink, Barenboim, Solti and Giulini. In 1975, he received the unique honour for a British player when he was invited by the New York Philharmonic to be their Concertmaster, playing concerts and recording worldwide with Bernstein, Boulez and Mehta. It is with these two orchestras that he recorded almost the entire orchestral repertoire.

On his return to London, he became concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Roszdestvensky, and a senior lecturer and consultant of violin at the Royal College of Music. He is presently Artistic Director of the Cambridge International String Academy and Professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music London. His many students have achieved success in all areas of violin playing. He travels extensively as a teacher and also as a jury member for the international violin competitions.

In 2008, the first two volumes of his books ‘The Orchestral Violinist’ were published by Boosey and Hawkes, and received universal acclaim as being the most important works so far produced for this discipline.

In 2015, he was conferred a Member of the British Empire by the Queen for services to music. He plays a Joseph Guarnerius violin dated 1696.

Stephen Shipps - Violin

Stephen B. Shipps enjoys a varied professional career as violinist, teacher, editor, administrator, adjudicator and commentator.  He serves as Professor of Violin and Senior Advisor to the Dean for International Study at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He is Director of the International Music Academy Pilsen in the Czech Republic, now entering its seventh season.

Mr. Shipps is presently under contract with Naxos recordings for five CD’s and Lauren Keiser Publishing for a series of print editions of standard violin solo repertoire. An avid chamber musician, he is currently performing and recording with the Vorobiev-Shipps-Aaron Piano Trio.  He serves on the Audition Panel for the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and is returning as Media Host of the 2010 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

Mr. Shipps pursued violin studies with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, receiving a BM, MM and Performer’s Certificate. He also studied with Ivan Galamian and Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School and with Franco Gulli at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.  He began his career as an orchestral performer, serving as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Dallas Opera and Omaha Symphony Orchestras.  As a chamber performer, Mr. Shipps was a member of the Amadeus and Meadowmount Piano Trios.  His recording career spanned all recorded genres and his solo and chamber recordings are available on Albany, American Gramaphone, Equilibrium, Melodiya/Russian Disc and Naxos.  His solo work on the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas series has yielded over two-dozen gold and platinum records representing over 20 million copies sold.  His print editions are available from Encore Press in Detroit, E.C. Schirmer in Boston, Editio Amos in Prague and Lauren Keiser Publishing in New York.  Shipps has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Banff Centre in Canada and the Prague Academy of Music.  He is invited regularly for teaching residencies at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe and the Hochschule für Musik Dresden.

In service capacities, he has served on the Board of Advisors of the Sphinx Organization and Competition since its inception.  Mr. Shipps currently co-chairs the Committee for Studio Instruction for the American String Teachers Association and is a long-standing member of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Advisory Board.

Rohan De Silva - Piano

Rohan De Silva’s partnerships with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Benny Kim, Kyoko Takezawa, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Julian Rachlin have led to highly acclaimed performances at recital venues all over the world.  With these and other artists he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Academy of Music, Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and La Scala in Milan and Tel-Aviv, Israel.  His festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Manchester, Ravinia and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Wellington Arts Festival in New Zealand. He performs frequently with Itzhak Perlman and was seen with Mr. Perlman on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center broadcast in early January 2000.  In September 2009, Mr. De Silva performed with Mr. Perlman in Mexico City and in recital at the Moscow Conservatory.  Mr. De Silva regularly tours the Far East with Mr. Perlman, and in October 2011, they travel to Asia for performances in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.  The 2011-12 season will also see them together in recital across the United States, including stops at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and Washington’s Kennedy Center Concert Hall.  Mr. De Silva and Mr. Perlman recently performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House.

Mr. De Silva, a native of Sri Lanka, began his piano studies with his mother, the late Primrose De Silva, and with the late Mary Billimoria.  He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Hamish Milne, Sydney Griller, and Wilfred Parry.  While in London, he received many awards including the Grover Bennett Scholarship, the Christian Carpenter Prize, the Martin Music Scholarship, the Harold Craxton Award for advanced study in England, and, upon his graduation, the Chappell Gold Medal for best overall performance at the Royal Academy.  Mr. De Silva was the first recipient of a special Scholarship in the arts from the Presidents Fund of Sri Lanka.  This enabled him to enter The Juilliard School, where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, studying piano with Martin Canin, chamber music with Felix Galimir, and working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay.  He was awarded a special prize as Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.  He received the  Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. De Silva joined the collaborative arts and chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School in 1991, and in 1992 was awarded honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.  In 2001, he joined the faculty at the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan, where he gives masterclasses in collaborative piano.  Radio and television credits include The Tonight Show with Midori, CNN’s “Showbiz Today”, NHK Television in Japan, National Public Radio, WQXR and WNYC in New York, and Berlin Radio.  He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, CBS/SONY Classical, Collins Classics in London, and RCA Victor. 
Photo by John Beebe