Madeleine Pickering is a British violinist and violist, driven by a desire to bless listeners and performers with music. She recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied as a scholarship student under professors Maureen Smith, Tasmin Little, Michael Foyle (violin), Garfield Jackson and Martin Outram (viola).
Whilst at the Academy she won all the major prizes for her instruments: the Theodore Holland Viola Prize (2016), the Winifred Small Prize for Solo Violin (2020) and the Martin/Hooton Violin Concerto Prize (2021). As winner of the Martin/Hooton Concerto Prize in 2021 she directed and performed as soloist with the Academy String Orchestra in a recording of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D minor for Violin and String Orchestra.
Passionate about the collective experience of orchestral playing, Madeleine enjoys leading and directing from the violin. She regularly led the Royal Academy of Music Chamber Orchestras, Opera Orchestra and Symphony Orchestras, collaborating with conductors Trevor Pinnock, Edward Gardner, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Mark Elder and others in these projects. She received her orchestral training in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which she co-led in 2014, and was then made the youngest ever leader of the Amadeus Orchestra, a position she held until 2018, performing regularly with them as leader and soloist. In 2019 Madeleine was awarded a place on the LSO String Experience Scheme, and has since played with the orchestra professionally, including for a live performance of Vaughan Williams Symphony No.6 under Sir Antonio Pappano, which is included in the orchestra’s latest album released in April 2021.
A keen chamber musician, Madeleine led the Florizel String Quartet from 2015-19, touring the UK and Italy and winning the Wolfe Wolfinsohn String Quartet Prize in 2018. She was invited to perform with Joanna MacGregor and Adrian Brendel in the Royal Academy of Music’s Piano Festival in 2018.
Madeleine is involved in several new, emerging musical projects. Among these are Seida Strings, an unconducted string ensemble that uses music to connect with and serve communities, and Hygge Sessions, a chamber music series that aims to remove the barrier between performer and listener through hospitality and discussion.
Madeleine is grateful to have received generous support from Help Musicians UK, Rachel and Peter Martin, The Rosemary Bugden Charitable Trust and Talent Unlimited. She has been a member of the Musicians’ Company Young Artists’ Programme since 2019, when she received the Biddy Baxter and John Hosier Music Trust Special Award.
She plays on a violin by Giovanni Pistucci c.1800, generously loaned to her by the Harrison-Frank Foundation in association with J&A Beare. Her viola was made by Alexandra Apenberg in 2016.