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"...a symphonic triumph, combining lovely slower melodies with periods of frenetic soloist virtuosity to demonstrate her mastery of the violin. The large audience was entranced."

 - Wanaka Sun

"...sonic fireworks that dazzled with all their brilliance..."

- The Guardian

"Irons' playing was well controlled, lyrical and perfectly sustained."

- Christchurch Mail


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.

Supporting Your Dream

New ideas. New sounds. New places.

Maybe you'd like to unwind at a classical chamber concert, toe-tap and smile along at a jazz concert, listen to your favourite song played by a string quartet on your wedding day or at a partner's birthday, or have always wanted to play the violin. Or maybe you're a composer and want string backing?

I have had the pleasure and privilege of playing with a wide range of people on different projects in all sorts of places, and I would love to help you and make your project easy and enjoyable for you.

I have performed premieres of commissioned music or music dedicated to me by Christchurch Composers including Salina Fisher, Alex van den Broek, John Emeleus and Melbourne artist Nathaniel Provis. Chas Williams wanted violin backing for his songs and we created the soundscape he liked. Craig Smith asked for a string backing for the cover of his 45 South album. And the Art of Recovery film crew needed a string trio for their music score. Kerry wished for a string trio at her wedding, and John desired to restart violin lessons as an adult, remembering his childhood love for it.

What is your dream? Let's go places!


Concert Review

...Irons played the Handel in Baroque style then switched effortlessly into modern technique for the Kreisler. In a term, her playing was jaw-dropping, her musicianship and mastery of her lovely instrument defying any other description. Gasps of “wow” could be heard from the audience as this duo turned on sonic fireworks that dazzled all with their brilliance – in a venue that proved ideal for recitals of this nature...John Williams’ Theme from Schindler’s List is to my mind a profoundly sacred work, and was treated as such by this duo, with Irons’ violin line hovering contemplatively over the piano accompaniment. The silence maintained by the audience for some time after the closing notes died away speaks for itself...

- The Guardian

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