PAUL APPLEYARD also comes from Yorkshire, being born in Dewsbury in 1951. He began learning the violin at Oldershaw Grammar School in Wallasey but soon switched to the viola and took lessons with Andrew Thomas, then Principal Viola in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. From school, he studied Law at Kings College London before entering the Royal College of Music as a postgraduate, where his professor was Frederick Riddle. He spent two years in the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra before returning to the UK to freelance. He has worked with all the major London orchestras and those of the BBC as well as spending short periods as Principal Viola with the Ulster, Scottish Ballet and London Festival Ballet orchestras. In 1988 he was invited to join the Scarborough Spa Orchestra, where the quartet was founded and where his interest in arranging began, producing many numbers for both the orchestra and the quartet. His major spare-time activity is in the classic car movement, being the proud owner of a much-cherished Triumph Stag, and is also a member of the Jaguar Drivers Club. His viola was made for him in 1974 by the celebrated modern Luthier Sergio Peresson, in Haddonfield NJ
The youngest member of the quartet, DIANE PORTEUS comes from Chester and started playing the cello at the age of 10, studying with Lawrence Wood from the Hallé Orchestra. At the Royal Academy of Music, where she also graduated as Bachelor of Music, her cello teacher was Derek Simpson. She retains her connections in the North of England by working regularly as an extra with both the Hallé and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, despite often being found during the summer months at the Oval as a keen supporter of the Surrey County Cricket team.
A native of Saddleworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, GILL AUSTIN began playing the violin from an early age and went directly from secondary school to the Royal Academy of Music, studying with the established French soloist and teacher Maurice Hasson. She plays regularly with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and with Welsh National Opera. She has led the orchestra for the Thursford Xmas Spectacular in Norfolk for the past eight seasons, and is occasionally invited to Norway to work with the Bergen Symphony. Despite her Yorkshire roots, she is an avid supporter of Manchester United.
PAUL COSTIN was born in 1968 in London and was educated at the Latymer School, studying the violin privately with Peter Manning. Subsequently he went to Trinity College of Music, where his teacher was Alexander Balinescu. Since leaving the college he has enjoyed a varied career in orchestral and chamber music, including a six-month contract in the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, as well as work in the theatre and recording studio. In his spare time he is a keen sportsman, having represented Middlesex at Badminton and plays off 9 at golf. His violin was made in 1779 by Johannes Cuypers, the celebrated maker sometimes referred to as the "Dutch Stradivarius.
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