Rebecca McNaught is a dynamic young British cellist who has performed internationally as a soloist and orchestral musician.
She has a particular affinity to Elgar’s Cello Concerto, which she has performed across the UK at Merton College’s Passiontide Festival, St. John Smith’s Square, Gloucester Cathedral and in Tewkesbury Abbey. She is excited to embark on a Professional Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music next year where she will be exploring post-romantic solo and duo sonatas by composers such as Britten, Debussy, Crumb and Kodaly under the tutelage of Hannah Roberts. Upcoming performances of this repertoire include at the Two Moors Festival, Knighton and District Concert Series, and in Guildford Cathedral in the autumn.
Born into a home alive with classical music, Rebecca began learning the piano at a very young age, and, although the piano remained a big part of her upbringing, it was the cello that became her focus and she has been playing now for seventeen years. Drawn to both academic and practical music, Rebecca studied for a BA in Music at Merton College, Oxford University where she obtained a first-class degree. Alongside her studies, she explored a wide variety of chamber music, and performed the Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets with the Holywell Quintet at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and the Holywell Music Rooms, Oxford. Now completing her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, she has enjoyed continuing to expand as a chamber musician. At Cowbridge Music Festival, Rebecca participated in the Chamber Seminar Week, where she performed Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello with Elena Urioste, and Mendelssohn’s C minor Piano Trio, with pianist Tom Poster. Last year, she was the cellist in the Cordis Quartet who have performed across the country, including at the opening of the Angela Burgess Recital Hall at the Royal Academy of Music and in the Halesworth Arts Festival.
During her Masters, Rebecca has performed as principal cello of the Academy Symphony Orchestra, including in Shostakovich Symphonies 8 and 10, Bruckner Symphony 4 and Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances with conductors Sir Mark Elder, John Wilson, Robert Trevino and Edward Gardner. She also toured Japan in June 2018 with the Academy Chamber Orchestra under Trevor Pinnock, taking Beethoven and Mozart to locations in Tokyo and Koriyama. Earlier that same month, she was privileged to participate in the Kyoto International Music Student’s Festival, exploring a different region of Japan. She performed solo repertoire by Schumann and Chopin with pianist Richard Gowers, as well as uniting with musicians from ten different countries from around the world in chamber music and as principal cellist in the orchestra. She has also enjoyed expanding her outreach work, and has created accessible concerts for people living with dementia in the Wigmore Hall and Leighton House, providing varied programmes of short works and providing spoken information for the audience.
Rebecca plays on a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume cello which has kindly been lent to her from the Royal Academy of Music Collection for the duration of her studies. She is grateful to be supported through her Professional Diploma by the Zara Nelsova Trust, Help Musicians UK, the Kathleen Trust, the Pate’s Grammar School Foundation, and the Higgs & Cooper Educational Trust.