Cathy Irons performs concerts from baroque and classical to contemporary and jazz throughout New Zealand and abroad. She began her violin and piano studies at the age of seven, emerging as a promising young teenage musician performing regularly on South African's national TV and radio. Her tertiary violin studies were with Jurgen Schwietering, the concertmaster of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, at the University of Natal, South Africa, where she graduated with a distinction for her Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Performance. In her final year of study she received an internship with the KNPO, which she joined subsequently, before immigrating to Christchurch. Cathy is currently a first violinist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, sometimes as acting concertmaster.
A founding member of the Tres Cordes String Trio, Cathy has toured for Chamber Music NZ and was invited to and performed in the Deia International Festival in Mallorca, Spain. Another string to her bow is her cross-over playing with the Classical Jazz Quartet.
Cathy enjoys collaborating with musicians, artists, dancers and composers; recent multi-genre performances include Labyrinth in the Library, CSO Studio Series: Journeying Inward and the Creative Stage. She has performed and/or recorded with Cliff Richard, Aled Jones, Brooke Fraser, Craig Smith and Amiria Grenell. Her eclectic range of skills and personal warmth resonates with the people she interacts with which has led her to sharing her music in many different environments.
Cathy is the Engagement Artist for Chamber Music New Zealand. She has worked alongside participants at the Gisborne International Music Competition in community-focused activities each year, and has been Head of Community Engagement for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Cathy has also adjudicated at the Christchurch Competitions and CSM's May Music Festival, and given presentations and workshops at conferences for MENZA, the NZ School of Modern Music and IRMT.