MBE for CBSO musician

Birmingham violinist and passionate educator celebrated as part of New Year Honours.

Birmingham based violinist, music educator and presenter Catherine Arlidge has been awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours for her work inspiring and engaging young people in a love of live classical music.

Catherine, who last year was the recipient of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society/Association of British Orchestra Salomon Prize for heroutstanding contribution to the UK’s musical life, has played with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years. As well as performing throughout the year with the CBSO, one of the world’s finest orchestras, Catherine has initiated a number of projects designed to engage young people in classical music. In addition to her work on the CBSO’s innovative family and schools concerts, she created and presents CBSO’s regularly sold out Notelets series of concerts for toddlers

Two years ago, Catherine created The Stringcredibles, a string quartet formed of CBSO musicians which delivers creative workshops, performances and offers opportunities for young people to mentor other students. More than 6,000 young people have engaged with the quartet since its inception and recently their work has brought generations together through a series of World War 1 themed concerts Tunes From the Trenches.

Catherine said: “This is an overwhelming accolade to receive; knowing that my peers and industry experts put me forward is all the more humbling. I am fiercely proud of all my colleagues at the CBSO, and standing with them, introducing young people to their skill and artistry is the highlight of my performing career. However even more significantly, opening new eyes and ears to world-class classical music is possibly the most important thing we do.”

CBSO chief executive Stephen Maddock said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Cath, she is a fundamental part of the CBSO family and her creativity and enthusiasm for music are second to none. She has a real ability to create experiences that children and young people will love whilst also inspiring her colleagues to be the best and in turn creating the best musical experiences for future music lovers and musicians. As a CBSO and ABO Board representative, she’s also at the centre of classical music in Birmingham and at a national level.

“This award really shows her that her talent is something to be very proud of. To be recognized at a national level not once but twice is an outstanding achievement.”