Kirsty Hilton

Q. First Name:
R. Kirsty

Q. Last Name
R. Hilton

Q. When did you join SYO?
R. Joined Junior Strings in 1984 I think?

Q. What instruments did you play in SYO?
R. Violin

Q. What is your favourite memory of SYO
R. I loved coming to SYO on a Saturday. It was my social life! I’d go busking with Luisa Hyams and Philippa Allan in the morning at Circular Quay, then we’d have lunch at Rossini’s at the Quay, do a bit of shopping and come to rehearsal!!

Q. What role does music play in your life?
R. Well it’s all I’ve done really! It’s my profession and always has been so it’s a huge part of my life. I went to the Con High too so most of my friends are musicians. And SYO played a huge part in me becoming a professional musician. It made me want to be part of an orchestra. I never had that desire to be a soloist that so many people seem to have.. I always knew I wanted to be part of something big like an orchestra. A soloist’s life seemed way too lonely for me!

Q. What is your favourite musical repertoire from the SYO performances?
R. We played so much it’s hard to say! I remember doing Sheherezade and loving that t the time:)

Q. What advice would you give young musicians today?
R. Being part of a youth orchestra is a fantastic thing. We are so lucky to be able to do things like go on tour and experience this sort of connection that most people don’t get to experience. It’s really something that helped me get the jobs I have had too, having so much experience and having to improve sight reading and learn things quickly is a huge asset and being in a youth orchestra gives you all of this. I made friends through youth orchestra who still to this day remain close friends of mine through youth orchestra too. It really is something to be cherished.

Kirsty Hilton was born in Sydney in 1976. She began playing violin at the age of five as a Suzuki method student before beginning lessons with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, aged seven. She attended the Sydney Conservatorium High School where she was awarded numerous prizes, before completing her undergraduate studies with Alice Waten at the Australian Institute of Music.

During this time she worked with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was Concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra. In 1998 she was a postgraduate student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under David Takeno.

From 1999 to 2001 Kirsty Hilton was a member of the prestigious Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where she performed under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink and Lorin Maazel. She was then contracted by the Berlin Philharmonic for a year, before being appointed Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, under the direction of Mariss Jansons. She still performs regularly with these orchestras as well as with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg.

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