Banks Quartet

Banks Quartet - String Quartet

The Banks Quartet was formed at the Royal College of Music in 2013. The first violinist is Osian Dafydd with Kayvon Sesar as second violinist, Cathryn Jenkins playing the viola and Tim Burton the cello. The Quartet has made its mark at the Royal College performing with the Sacconi Quartet , the Quartet in residence. The Quartet has performed a wide repertoire ranging from works by Haydn to Debussy and is in demand for corporate events playing a range of light popular classical music. The Quartet has engaged in many exciting projects including being the first quartet to publicly perform the Frank Bridge Quartet in B flat Major  since its  inaugural performance by his own quartet in the RCM over half a century ago, and also in exploring experimental contemporary music in a performance of John Adams’ ‘Shaker Loops’. They are currently based in Cardiff studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and are looking forward for a new chapter of exploring the wonders of chamber music.

Osian Dafydd, a Welsh violin soloist and chamber instrumentalist studied in London at the Royal College of Music under the virtuoso violinist Daniel Rowland. He has regularly performed with Daniel Rowland at the International Cividale Music Festival Italy, performing the Vivaldi and Piazzolla 'Summer' as soloist in 2016. He has led several orchestras including the RCM Opera orchestra, and was co leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. He has worked under many leading conductors namely most recently the highly renowned Valery Gergiev as concertmaster of the RWCMD String Soloists. Osian is no stranger to performing in various concert halls in London and beyond including the Royal Albert Hall, Festival Hall and the Berlin Concert House. He leads the Banks Quartet in having won the 2016 Helen Just and Susan Connell Prize and the Sacconi Quartet Prize as the leading quartet in the Royal College of Music. As a young soloist he was twice first prize winner at the National Eisteddfod under 19 age group. He won a scholarship to further his studies in violin performance under David Adams, at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where he also receives coaching from one of the UK’s most renowned violin teachers Itzhak Rashkovsky. He has also played in a Masterclass with the acclaimed Nicola Benedetti playing the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Concerto and was highly praised. Last year, he gained a place on the Welsh National Opera student placement scheme playing in a Viennese themed concert in the wonderful Dora Stoutzker concert hall, Cardiff. In addition, he has led the RWCMD Symphony orchestra in the St David’s Hall under the baton of David Jones. Osian plays on a violin made by Benjamin Banks in 1792.

Kayvon Sesar was born in 1990 in Anaheim, California. He is an accomplished performer having started playing the violin at the age of 4. A graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s in Music and The University of Limerick with a MA in Violin Performance, he currently studies under Lesley Hatfield, leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and will be completing his final year at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama with a MMus in Orchestral Studies.

Kayvon has performed in Australia, Korea, Austria, Ireland, Wales, and at various venues in the US including New York’s Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2008, Kayvon was accepted into the Interlochen summer arts camp in Michigan where he performed as the concert master of the Interlochen Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently rehearses with BBCNOW and Welsh National Opera on a placement scheme while leading various chamber and symphony orchestras at RWCMD and serves as the second violinist in the Banks Quartet.

Cathryn Jenkins is a welsh violist studying at the Royal Welsh Collage of Music & Drama under the renowned Alex Thorndike, co-principal violist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. As well as being a prominent member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, she has also performed with the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain and leads a number of projects in the RWCMD, particularly String Soloists with the accomplished violinist Stephanie Gonley leading the ensemble. Cathryn with be leading the string soloists in a conducting masterclass with the highly accomplished conductor Valery Gergiev. Additionally, Cathryn is a three time recipient of the ABRSM High Scorers prize based on individual excellence.  

Timothy Burton, originally from Buchinghamshire is a recent graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. During his time at RWCMD he has been taught by many influential cellists including Raphael Wallfisch, Pieter Wispelwey, Paul Watkins, Roel Dieltiens and Giovanni Sollima. Tim spends much of his time as an orchestral and chamber musician, having experience as principal cello in Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Vitae, Welsh National Youth Opera, and Royal Welsh College Symphony Orchestra as well as playing in side by side projects with Welsh National Opera and Aurora Orchestra. As an active chamber musician Tim plays regularly with The Banks Quartet. He has also played in Royal Welsh String Soloists under the direction of prominent violinists such as Henning Kraggerud, Gary Levinson, and Lucy Gould. As a soloist, Tim has appeared with Misbourne Symphony Orchestra, performing Haydn's D major cello concerto and Bloch's Schelomo. During his time at RWCMD he also performed Haydn D with college chamber orchestra Repco Sinfonia. Tim is passionate about music of the 17th and 18th centuries. As well as winning the Bridgewood and Neizert Bach prize, he has recently performed solo works of Boccherini and Boismortier in venues in France and Italy. He currently plays on an English cello by Thomas Kennedy made in 1840.

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