Esslemont has been playing the violin for a long time,
and it shows.
is one amazing fiddle player, moving from classical,
to folk, to world scales, with distinct and utter
well practiced ease. She moves those fingers so fast
if you blinked you'd miss it."
- Quay Arts Centre, Isle
Anna began learning the
violin aged 6, and soon found herself progressing
quickly through the usual classical processes.
The folk music influences
in Anna's life became apparent in her teen years,
and she began playing and singing in sessions and
various local bands in Mid Wales. During this time
Anna also helped out as part time tutor of children's
band Sox, a community project in Newtown lead by Kitty
Anna left Wales to attend
the Royal Northern College of Music in 2001 to study
classical violin, where she met Cormac Byrne, and
ironically began to feel more and more drawn towards
world and folk music. The pair formed Uiscedwr that
year and after struggling with the pressure of college
commitments versus folk ideals, she left the Royal
Northern to pursue her dreams of playing the fiddle.
No less than a month later, the Daily Telegraph described
her as being a "startlingly versatile fiddler,"
and after winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
with Uiscedwr she knew she'd made the right choice
in leaving the classical regime.
Uiscedwr's debut album
received widespread acclaim and landed the trio a
nomination for the Horizon award at the BBC Radio
2 Folk Awards. Shortly after this, Anna was awarded
a PRS Foundation Atom Award for her music writing.
In 2005 Anna was diagnosed
with a rare auto-immune disease, which meant taking
time out from gigging, ("which I hated more than
anything!" - Anna) while she underwent a year
of heavy treatment. Despite Anna's ongoing battle
with the illness, Uiscedwr released their highly anticipated
second album in 2006 to much applause and gigged up
and down the country - including spots at Cropredy
Festival, Solfest, Towersey Village Festival and the
Oysterband's Big Session.
Anna loves teaching,
and is a visiting tutor at Farncombe Estate Education
Centre, where she runs weekend fiddle courses. In
2006 Anna was privileged to teach alongside Joe Broughton
on his popular Fiddle School at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
In December 2006 Anna
had a successful bone marrow transplant in Leeds.
Since recovering Anna is back on the road with Uiscedwr
and has just recorded with rock supergroup New Model Army on
their new album, which is due out soon. She has also recently blogged for the BBC Radio 2 Folk website, as their guest for three posts.
Tel: +44(0) 1926 632 946
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