Helena Rathbone started the violin at the age of five with the London Suzuki group. She then went on to study at the RCM Junior department with Dona Lee Croft, and subsequently at the GSMD with David Takeno.
Before her appointment as Principal Second Violin of the ACO in 1994, she was Principal Second Violin with the European Community Chamber Orchestra and played regularly with ensembles such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
In her role as Principal Violin of the ACO, Helena performs regularly with the orchestra as a soloist and guest leader. In addition, Helena is the Orchestra Representative and Mentor for the ACO’s Emerging Artists Program, and from 2006 to 2015 was Director and Leader of the ACO’s regional touring and education ensemble, ACO Collective.
When not performing with the ACO, Helena has been a tutor and chamber orchestra director for the AYO at National Music Camps. She has also appeared at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Four Winds Bermagui, Christchurch Arts Festival, Sangat Chamber Music Festival (Mumbai) and at the Peasmarsh Festival (Sussex).
As a member of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Helena played in the IMS tour of the UK (led by Pekka Kuusisto) which was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Chamber Music in 2008.
Helena has been Guest Concertmaster of many orchestras, most recently on a European tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The recordings of Beethoven’s 2nd and 4th piano concertos that the MCO made with Leif Ove Andsnes during this tour won the Concerto award and Recording of the Year award with BBC Music Magazine in 2015.
Helena lives in Sydney with her two sons and husband.
She plays on a 1759 JB Guadagnini violin on loan from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Chair sponsored by Kate & Daryl Dixon