County Down girl adds valuable string to her bow
Outstanding young violinist Rachel Grimes from County Down has been awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Milton Violin Award. The Arts Council will loan the £75,000 Neapolitan violin to Rachel for a period of up to 3 years. The Milton Violin Award is given to an exceptional young violinist from Northern Ireland who wishes to pursue or continue professional training.
Rachel, age 21 from Comber, Co Down and a student at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, fought off stiff competition to be named winner of this prestigious award. The beautiful instrument by the Neapolitan violin maker, Joseph Gagliano, was donated to the Arts Council by Professor Alan Milton in 1980 and has been used regularly by the Leader and Principal players of the Ulster Orchestra.
Rachel is delighted at winning the award, “It’s a huge honor to be chosen to receive this award. The Gagliano is such an amazing instrument - the tone, the volume, it’s just wonderful to play. I do feel that it will help me to develop my talent and further my career as a musician.”
Music officer at the Arts Council, Robert Collins said, “The Milton Violin Award is designed to help outstanding young performers develop their work and practice. Rachel really deserves this award and her passion for music comes across in her playing. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is confident that Rachel will benefit tremendously and we look forward to following her future successes.”