Cuddington violinist Sophie Rosa takes a bow

PUBLISHED: 01:32 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:44 20 February 2013

Sophie Rosa

Sophie Rosa

Award-winning Cuddington violinist Sophie Rosa is hoping to add another string to her bow. Emma Mayoh finds out more.

Sophie Rosa isn't your average 20-year-old university student. The Cuddington-born violinist listens to some of the finest classical music and knocks back invitations to go to the pub to spend hours every day honing her musical talents. For most around her age, this could seem like a huge sacrifice.

For Sophie, a former BBC Young Musician of the Year strings finalist who also recently won her first international competition representing the UK in the Lions European Musical Competition for Violin in Cannes, it is no hardship.

'I love what I do and I love classical music,' explained Sophie, who was sponsored by Northwich-based Vale Royal Lions for the competition in Cannes.

'Music has been such a huge part of my life and to succeed I have to

make sure I put the work in. But I still work my social life around this and make sure I see my friends.'

The passionate musician first picked up a violin at only four-years-old and has been hooked ever since. Her spare time and much of her later education has been dedicated to becoming a successful international star with a list of credentials longer than a violinist's bow.

The former Grange School pupil has performed solo in dozens of concerts including for Princess Margaret at just eight-years-old. She has also played the violin as part of a quartet including with the Schubert Ensemble at the Purcell Room, London and with another group who played for Prince Charles when he visited Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

She was also invited to tour Norway to perform at the Northern Lights Festival in Tromso and has taken part in many masterclasses and courses with eminent musicians across the globe.

Adding to this, the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) student has received several awards to help finance her musical studies including the London Philharmonic Martin Scholarship, the Manchester Graucob Award, the first ever High Sheriff of Cheshire's Prize for Music and she was awarded the Geoffrey Shaw Scholarship after playing in Wigmore Hall in 2004.

Previous accolades have included reaching the semi-final of the Junior Wieniawski International Violin Competition and she also won the RNCM'S Paganini Prize in 2007.

But Sophie, who is tutored by Professor Wenzhou Li who teaches at Chethams School of Music and the RNCM, is about to embark on her biggest challenge yet. In June, she will compete in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand.

She was picked from 90 entrants for the line-up of 18 musicians to travel almost 12,000 miles to Queenstown for the semi-finals and a shot at the final being held in Auckland.

She will take on talents from Korea, America, China, Canada, Japan, Poland and Russia. Sure to be cheering her on in the wings will be parents Gail and Michael who attend as many competitions as possible.

'Practically my whole family came to Cannes which was absolutely fantastic,' recalled Sophie, who recently performed at the Lions Club International's 54th Forum. 'New Zealand is a bit further so we'll have to wait and see if they can make it first.

'I'm so happy though. To be picked as a semi-finalist is just incredible. It's very difficult to get into a competition like this so I'm working really hard now to make sure I give it my best shot. I really hope it goes well.'

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