After a conventional training at the Royal College of Music, Catherine took up the viol and baroque violin, attracted by the expressive possibilities which early instruments can bring to pre-classical repertoire. Over the past 4 decades, she has taken part in a fascinating era of discovery, pioneering many ground-breaking projects played for the first time on original instruments.
Catherine was leader of the Academy of Ancient Music 1973-1988. During this period she made countless best-selling recordings for Decca, amongst which Handel's 'Messiah', the first complete cycle of Mozart symphonies on original instruments, and Vivaldi's 'L'Estro Armonico' and 'Four Seasons' were highlights. She also took part in Norrington's celebrated EMI recordings with the London Classical Players.
She has directed the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment of which she is a founder member, in London, the Göttingen and Istanbul Festivals, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Brazil, Rome, U.S.A's Tanglewood and Lincoln Centre, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Now having retired from her position as leader, she continues to enjoy playing chamber music with OAE colleagues.
Her extensive discography includes over 40 CDs with the Purcell Quartet (Chandos), Bach violin concertos (Hyperion), Bach sonatas with Maggie Cole (Chandos), Vivaldi viola d'amore concertos (OAE/Hyperion) nominated for a Gramophone Award.
In classical repertoire she plays with fortepianist Geoffrey Govier as Duo Amadè. They recently completed recording the Mozart violin and piano sonatas (Chandos) and appeared in the Mozart Festival in Cluj (Romania), Royal College of Music and National Trust's Hatchlands in programmes of the complete Mozart sonatas.
Catherine has passed on her enthusiasm for earlier styles of performing to countless musicians. From 1977-2001 she was professor of baroque and classical violin and viola at the Royal College of Music in London. At the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow she has directed concerts, Purcell's semi-operas, Handel's 'Serse' and Monteverdi's Vespers.
Now in demand for masterclasses, orchestral direction and coaching, Catherine has formed close links in Eastern Europe with Aestas Musica International Baroque Summer School, and otherCroatian, Czech and Hungarian ensembles, including The Croatian Baroque Ensemble, The Varazdin Chamber Orchestra and The Budapest Chamber Opera. She was also teaching atCzech Early Music Summer School in Valtice. From 2008-2011 she taught baroque violin at the Hague Royal Conservatoire and is a visiting professor of the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music, London, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia and Zagreb Music Academy, Croatia.
Catherine is a Fellow of Royal College of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.