CATHERINE RIMER Cello Teacher in London, Cello Lessons in London Highbury N5 1JA

CATHERINE RIMER Cello Teacher in London, Cello Lessons in London Highbury N5 1JA

Catherine Rimer

Instrument Taught : Cello
Qualifications : GRNCM, LRAM (Teacher’s Diploma), M.Mus (Eastman), ARAM
Teaching Location : My teaching studio is just off Highbury Fields (5 minute walk from Highbury & Islington station) Highbury N5 1JA
CRB : Yes
Age ranges taught : 11 years – adults
Fees : Available on request
Contact :
or complete and send the Contact Form at the bottom of the page
Telephone : 07941 770422
Biography : I am an experienced and versatile cellist and a friendly, imaginative teacher, who performs internationally with leading ensembles on both modern and period instruments. I am based in Highbury Fields, London N5.

My Studies :
I was born and raised in the North East and studied the ‘cello with Emma Ferrand (Royal Northern College of Music), Alexander Baillie (Royal Academy of Music), Steven Doane (Eastman School of Music, NY) and with Steven Isserlis (Prussia Cove) with the aid of numerous scholarships. I also had solo masterclasses with Ralph Kirshbaum and Karine Georgian and inspiring chamber coaching from Eli Goren, William Pleeth and the Amadeus, Bartók and Smetena Quartets. As a postgraduate in the U.S. I pursued a new interest in historical performance practice with Paul O’Dette and Malcolm Bilson, winning the J.C Graue Fellowship for my Master’s. Since returning to the UK I have enjoyed a busy freelance career playing with leading ensembles on both period and modern instruments.

Performing Experience:
I have been a member of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique since 1996 (on numerous projects from Purcell to Stravinsky, including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage throughout 2000) and also of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, including playing continuo at Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms. With these groups I have performed throughout Europe, the USA and the Far East, accompanied world-class soloists and recorded many choral and orchestral masterpieces of the 18th-19th centuries. Guest continuo work includes Avison Ensemble, Dunedin Consort, English Concert, Ex Cathedra, Gabrieli Consort, Hanover Band, City of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Nicola Benedetti’s Baroque Italia disc) and English National Opera (Charpentier’s Medea, on bass violin).

Chamber music has always featured strongly. I am the cellist in the Florin Ensemble whose debut disc featuring Mozart’s Divertimento K.563 met with critical acclaim – “a fine intense performance” that “bears witness to the mastery of the three players” – Gramophone. ( I previously played with the Skampa Quartet (on major European and American tours) and as a guest of the Eroica Quartet on several occasions. As soloist I have performed classical concerti by Haydn, John Garth and Beethoven (with Nadja Zwiener and Maggie Cole) on period instruments and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo  Variations in its original version.

Teaching Experience :
As a teacher, I have a wide range of experience. I have taught at the Royal College of Music since 2003 and have given classes at the Guildhall School of Music and as a deputy for Alexander Baillie at the Bremen Hochschule.

I have coached the cello sections of London Schools Symphony Orchestra and C.U.M.S., Cambridge and coaching chamber music on Pro Corda North.

I have 15 years of experience taking students to Grade 8 with excellent results & offer preparation for both Associated Board and Trinity Guildhall exams. I am equally happy to help those who prefer not to take exams. I also enjoy working with adult amateurs on preparing chamber and orchestral parts.

Above all, I believe in passing on the ability to ‘teach oneself’, by making technical and musical discoveries, connecting natural ability with sound musical instincts and most of all, by having fun and enjoying the process!

My Qualifications :
GRNCM Royal Northern College of Music (1988)
Certificate of Advanced Studies – Royal Academy of Music (1990)
LRAM Teacher’s Diploma – Royal Academy of Music (1991)
M.Mus. Eastman  School of Music, N.Y. (1994)
ARAM – Honorary Award (2010)

Cello Teachers :
Emma Ferrand – RNCM (1984-88)
AlexanderBaillie – RAM (1988-1991)
Steven Doane – Eastman School (1992-1994)

Masterclasses :
Steven Isserlis – Prussia Cove (1991-94)
Ralph Kirshbaum – Prussia Cove (1992)
Karine Georgian – Dartington Summer School (1991)
Frances-Marie Uitti – Dartington Summer School (1991)

Chamber Music coaching :
Christopher Rowland, Eli Goren, Sir Michael Tippett, Sidney Griller
& members of the Amadeus, Takács, Smetena, Bartòk & Vermeer Quartets (1985-90).

Historical Performance classes : Eastman School
Baroque – Paul O’Dette & Christel Thielmann
Classical – Malcom Bilson, Gretchen Wheelock

I’m a friendly & imaginative cellist & teacher, with many years of experience. I offer lessons and chamber coaching to students and adult amateurs. Having studied with some great masters I have many ‘pearls of wisdom’ to pass on! Current students range from an adult ‘beginner’ to keen adult amateurs playing regular chamber music, teenagers between Grades 1 and 8 and students at the Royal College of Music.

My teaching studio is just off Highbury Fields (5 minute walk from Highbury & Islington station.)

Due to the nature of my busy performing schedule my diary is flexible. I am willing to teach during the daytime or in the evening, and sometimes at weekends and during the holidays, depending on what suits best. Some school-age students prefer to avoid academic exam stress by having the odd ‘catch up lesson’ in half term or during the longer holidays .. this is fine with me. I can’t guarantee the same time every week but I make every effort to accommodate.

I try to instil the same general principles of balance & ease of movement – whatever the level – focusing on beauty of sound, good sense of pitch, strong rhythm and the subtleties of phrasing with the bow as our means of musical expression.

My philosophy is that although we play the most beautiful instrument, practising on your own can be frustrating. I have lots of ways to demystify technical issues and I aim to help you develop strong musical instincts. Most of all I hope you have fun and enjoy the process!


“Cathy was hands-down the best music teacher I’ve ever had! Her expertise on the cello and her ability to teach that skill in creative and entertaining ways is unrivaled (her great sense of British humor always made lessons light-hearted and a blast!). If you are a prospective student of hers, feel free to call my American cell at 609-651-7617 to hear me rave about her as a teacher and as a person!” – Samuel

“Catherine is a brilliant, inspiring teacher and very fine musician. She is very encouraging, kind and patient. She is also completely practical and can show me exactly how to practise to achieve the musical effect I want. My playing has improved and become freer with her help and guidance.She always has lots of interesting information to pass on about the composer or form of the music. She makes our lessons fun and interesting. I could not recommend her more highly” – Karen

“Inspirational” – Candace

“Catherine is an amazing teacher. I had a history of switching cello teachers every few months or so until I came across Catherine, who ended up teaching me for seven years! She took me through from a confused beginner to a Grade 8 distinction cello player, and everything I know about cello now comes from her. I’d definitely recommend any person looking to learn cello to go to her.” – Lilia

“Cathy Rimer is an incredibly talented teacher who as well as being amazingly gifted is able to connect to her students and get the most out of them. She has amazing technical ability and an in depth knowledge of the composers and music which is all encapsulated in the lessons. I could not possibly give a higher recommendation for a cello teacher.” – Katie

“The inspiration and training I got from Cathy constantly informs my playing & teaching. Working with her took my musicianship to a higher level, through understanding what was going on in the  harmonic structure of the pieces I was working on. She helped me to identify not just the “what” I needed to improve, but the “how” of the mechanics – and equally as importantly, the psychology and musical intention – required to achieve better technique and greater confidence. It was a revelation to discover how to actually practise effectively – nobody had taught me that before! It’s so much more than repetition. Cathy’s enthusiasm, expertise, and encouragement inspired me to spend more time exploring my musical potential. And I’ll never forget her texting me when I was at music camp, with the fingerings for the high bits in Debussy’s La Mer! Legendary!” – Annie

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