Linda Kidwell VIOLA

Born in Southampton, Linda Kidwell (b.1981) began learning the viola at school at the age of eight - a small and select (and quietly proud) breed of viola player who has never played the violin!

Inspired by her teachers, the Southampton Youth Orchestra and the Hampshire Specialist Music Course department in Winchester, Linda knew from an early age that she wanted to play in an orchestra as a career. She studied music at the University of Manchester, receiving viola tuition and chamber music opportunities at the Royal Northern College of Music, and graduated with a first class degree.  Linda then left Manchester for London, accepting a place to study postgraduate performance at the Royal Academy of Music on a full scholarship.  Upon leaving the Academy, Linda joined the Southbank Sinfonia; a one year intensive training scheme for music graduates entering the profession, involving side by side schemes with the Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields and the Royal Opera House.  

Since then, Linda has enjoyed a busy and varied freelance career that has taken her all over the world, working regularly with the many symphonic, opera, ballet and chamber orchestras across the UK and beyond, including the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Cape Town Opera and English Chamber Orchestra.  In 2011 she accepted the position of Sub Principal viola with the English National Ballet, which she continues to combine with other freelance work.

Linda holds a string teaching diploma from the Royal Academy of Music and gives viola sectional coaching, orchestral excerpt coaching and audition preparation classes at the Royal College of Music.

When Linda isn't playing the viola she likes to draw them!  A keen artist, she has had commissions of her musically inspired paintings from friends, colleagues, the American Viola Society, British Viola Society and has designed the artwork for several classical music CDs.  

Linda has enjoyed a ten year association with the Philharmonia Orchestra before joining the viola section in September, 2016.